Queer Qabala Playlist: Yesod

View of a crowd at a musical event, overlaid with rainbow colors. "Yesod" is at the top, and at the bottom is written "Queer Qabala Playlists."

Each week between now and the publication of Queer Qabala: Nonbinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick (pre-order now!), I’ll be sharing a playlist I made about one of the spheres on the Tree of Life, and will be giving you a tiny sneak preview of that sphere’s chapter in the book.

This week’s playlist is Yesod, what I like to call the “the ultimate drag queen.” This playlist is dedicated to our imaginations, the power of the astral plane, illusions, and humanity’s collective unconsciousness. This is the sphere where we “try on” different expressions of our gender identity, so the playlist kicks off with nonbinary musician Rae Spoon’s “Do Whatever the Heck You Want.” You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

Here’s a snippet from the Yesod chapter of Queer Qabala: Nonbinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick:

You can think of Yesod, the Treasurehouse of Images, as the universe’s clothes closet with infinite possibilities. Yesod turns truths to illusions and illusions to truths, just like drag artists do. The art of drag is all about illusion: using makeup and clothing to imitate and exaggerate stereotypical gender signifiers for entertainment, often while lip-syncing. Drag, like Yesod, begs the question, “What is reality, anyway?”

Beyond the art of drag, though, using our imagination to play with different looks and personae is one of the key parts of a queer discovery journey. Yesod is part of the Queer Identity Triangle—the triangle made up of spheres that help define who you are. When you suddenly find yourself outside the norm of society, you realize the rulebook you’ve been taught no longer applies, and you need to try some new things on to see what fits. It’s both exciting and terrifying. There are so many possibilities! What is your style, not just in clothing and accessories, but in hair, makeup, tattoos, or piercings? What about the kind of slang you use or how you spend your time in community? What feels right to you? Some- times this process of imagining and trying and testing things takes years, and that’s okay! Sometimes we try something for a while and decide we don’t like it, so we try something else. That’s okay too! It’s totally natural for styles and taste and what we consider fun to shift and change over time. That’s the joy of the illusions of Yesod: nothing is permanent, and the possibilities are endless.

This process of trying on personae isn’t unique to the queer community, but it is definitely one of the rites of passage of being queer, and queer people tend to approach this process in a more genuine way than mainstream society. Mainstream society pays lip service to the idea of finding yourself and being yourself, but may only offer acceptance for a ver- sion of self that fits neatly in a particular box within your culture. There are exceptions to this, of course, but generally speaking, within the queer community, we celebrate people being proudly themselves, in whatever form that takes. Weird is good! Outrageous is good! Quiet and introspective is good too!

Queer Qabala: Nonbinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick

🌈 Guess what? I wrote a book on Queer Qabala, and you can buy it now! 🌈

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