Ivo Dominguez, Jr.‘s latest book, The Four Elements of the Wise: Working with the Magickal Powers of Earth, Air, Water, Fire, achieves an extremely tricky thing: It’s a book with useful information and practical ideas for all magickal skill levels, on a widely-studied subject, without making newbies feel overwhelmed and lost, or advanced practitioners bored to the point of skimming for the new stuff. There’s something valuable on every page, for every level practitioner: hundreds of eye-opening gems and food for thought, as well as easily-implementable tips to add power to all manner of magickal workings.
One thing that surprised me the most about this book was the writing style. I’ve read three of Ivo’s other books, and they are brilliant, but incredibly densely-packed with information, such that I end up intently studying each paragraph a few times over to make sure I’m grasping it in full. By contrast, the content in The Four Elements of the Wise has a bit more room to breathe, while still providing hundreds of useful insights throughout the book. The writing style is engaging, fluid, and friendly, much like Ivo’s presentation style when he delivers workshops.
Did you know there’s a way you can help your favorite authors sell books, with only a few minutes of your time, without spending a penny?
It’s true! You can request your local public library purchase a book. Libraries love getting requests from patrons, and often fulfill them. They are keenly interested in knowing what their patrons want to read.
Requesting a book for purchase at your library is an excellent way to support authors if you don’t necessarily want to buy a book yourself, can’t afford to buy the book, or if you just want to help spread the word about the book and ensure more people get to read it.
It’s win/win: The author gets paid (libraries often pay more money for books than consumers), and the book becomes available to more people, who may then recommend it to their friends, who may also purchase the book.
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Qabalah for Wiccansby Jack Chanek (it comes out December 8, 2021), and it straight-up made me shriek with joy and shout “YES!” on multiple occasions while reading it. This book was so good, it made me giddy.
Chanek elegantly weaves Qabalah basics with Wiccan lore, but the bulk of the book is an accessible introduction to the Tree of Life appropriate for anyone who who is new to its study: I’d commend this book to anyone interested in Qabala, even if they aren’t Wiccan. Chanek offers a well-paced, easy-to-understand walk through the Tree, and repeatedly reassures the reader that you don’t need to understand the whole Tree to work with it.
I just did my first interview as a queer pagan author! This post is a great way to get a quick overview of what my forthcoming book is about.
QueerQabala.gay Offers Inclusive Spirituality
Enfys J. Book (they/them) is the author of Queer Qabala, forthcoming from Llewellyn Books. The book and their site, which you can visit via www.QueerQabala.gay, is dedicated to exploring queerness through the spiritual, magickal practice of Qabala. While you’re waiting for your copy of Queer Qabala to arrive, you can enjoy Enfys’ writing via their blog. There are reviews of books on queer and mystical subjects, detailed posts exploring topics of Paganism and Qabala, and helpful guides for understanding LGBTQ+ issues. (Topics include self-care, a guide for parents of non-binary adults, gender-inclusive language tips, and stories to help allies better-support and understand their trans and non-binary friends.)
Read the rest of this #DotGayQAndA interview to get a crash course in queer Qabala, plus a special musical bonus at the end!
What does your forthcoming book, Queer Qabala, offer to LGBTQ+ readers that other spiritual guides don’t?
My middle-aged adult friend just announced they are a different gender than I thought they were, and asked me to use a new name and new pronouns for them.
Why are they just realizing this now? They never seemed to react badly to their original name, gender, and pronouns before. Was it really bothering them so much they had to change?
Even the most well-intentioned ally can get confused, or even frustrated, when someone in their life comes out as nonbinary, transgender, or with a new name and new pronouns. Respecting that person now requires additional effort and practice. You have to rewire your memory a bit, and take extra care when speaking to or about that person until you get used to using the new name and pronouns. (I assure you, the effort is both worth it, and appreciated!)
You may have noticed this blog has been a bit quiet since the end of last year. I have a good excuse: I’ve been working on a book!
I’m pleased to say that Queer Qabala: Nonbinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick is coming to bookstores July 8, 2022, published by Llewellyn. I expect it’ll be available for pre-order in November or December this year — stay tuned! I’ll be sure to let you know when you can pre-order it. (Join my mailing list so you are among the first to know!)
I’ve expanded significantly on the Qabala content from this blog to bring you a book I’m extremely proud of, one that I hope will be a springboard for future books on Queer Qabala by a wide array of people.
The book is broken into three parts:
An overview of Qabala and queerness in magick
A walk through each of the ten spheres through a queer lens
Lots of Qabala-based workings for queer magickal practitioners
I’m extremely honored that the Foreword will be written by none other than Christopher Penczak, author of over 20 books on magic and mysticism and founder of the Temple of Witchcraft tradition. I’m a big fan of Christopher’s work, particularly his work with Qabala, and am so excited and humbled that he will be penning the Foreword.
I’ll keep you posted as there is more news to share, but I’m so excited I finally got to tell you all this wonderful news!
Barker and Scheele tell the story of of how humanity understands sexuality and why it’s so complicated, while acknowledging complexities, disagreements, and problematic elements within the evolution of our understanding of sexuality over time. Their approach is intersectional, acknowledging how race, culture, disability, and wealth are inseparable from one’s experience of sexuality; and they note the heavy influence capitalism and white supremacy have had on controlling people’s sexual desires and actions throughout the ages.
Other topics covered in the book include asexuality, BDSM and kink culture, sexual pleasure vs. function, sex disorders, and consent. The authors also dive into the much-debated topic of sex work, showing the harm done by stigmatizing sex workers.
I’d highly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Barker and Scheele’s other graphic guides, as well as anyone looking to get a deeper understanding of sexuality as a concept.