/ Philosophy

The need for Queer Witchcraft: Part 1

I officially let Facebook know about this blog yesterday. In my brief announcement I wrote:

Personally I am of the opinion that the witch has always been other. But what went before doesn't actually matter that much. Today, the witch is certainly other.

Queer Witchcraft is about embracing that otherness. About realizing that our magic and religion does not need to seem normal to anyone. Not even to other witches.

I have many more thoughts on that subject, but had neither the time nor space to elaborate on them then.

Warning: Gross generalizations ahead

I see a lot of witches trying to do it "right"

We get caught up a lot in doing things the right way, or the correct way, or the traditional way. I have certainly spent a great deal of time myself obsessing over whether or not I was doing something correctly. Western Culture, particularly the parts of western culture that pagans and witches seem to be drawn to, is obsessed with correctness. We fight and argue about everything:

  • how you pronounce athame
  • what tool you use for charging an object
  • how our pre-christian predecessors recognized the divine
  • what the core purpose of our craft is

And there are dozens or hundreds or thousands of other things that we struggle to be right about. And there is, I think, some value in the idea of rightness. But I also think that we, as a group, are using the wrong measuring stick to determine rightness.

Instead of striving for historical accuracy we should be striving for modern relevance. (Side note: for some people this may be the same thing. Assuming that it is the same thing for everyone becomes troublesome)

Instead of concerning ourselves with the pronunciation of a tool, we should be acknowledging the lessons we learn from the tool.

Instead of studying cosmologies which have been stolen away from non-dominant cultures, we should be exploring the way we interact with the world we live in.

Instead of arguing about whether some mud is Earth of Water, or Water of Earth, we should use our senses to experience the mud and determine its properties through observation rather than rough correlation.

These are just a few thoughts, and they are crude examples more than rules. The point is that right should be about value and meaning rather than propriety or tradition.

The need for Queer Witchcraft Part 2: Coming soon