I’d been eagerly anticipating the new book Sacred Gender since I first heard about it earlier this year. When I finally got a review copy, I sat down to read it, and by page 17 I had to briefly set it aside and pick up my phone to text a bunch of my friends that they had to get this book.
This entire book is fire. It’s practical, metaphysically illuminating, deeply personal, and well-researched, of course, but it’s also the kind of book that will make you want to yell quotes from it while standing atop the nearest mountain, preferably with a bullhorn.
Sacred Gender comes out of the gate swinging. Take a peek at this tasty snippet from the introduction:
[T]his book proceeds from the idea that transgender and nonbinary people understand themselves. This [book] is not a space where we will be providing arguments for our existence; we exist and always have and always will. Modern politics may rail against us, but that will not stop us from being. I have no interest in defending our right to exist; we have to spend too much of our energy on that already. I’m ready for deeper conversations, as I’m sure many others are.Sacred Gender, page 6
I joked with my partner as I read this book that I was going to run out of ink because I underlined, starred, and annotated so many passages throughout.
Sacred Gender is valuable for magickal practitioners on several levels. I gained new perspectives on some deities I’ve worked with before, and several I haven’t yet. I found some great new ways to articulate the concept of and my struggles with gender. I learned a new, super-affirming technique for asking people to share their pronouns in a social setting, particularly when they’re new to a community and possibly a bit nervous to share them. I’m excited to try some of the exercises for continued self-reflection as well, since self-awareness is a key part of being an effective magickal practitioner, and the work of understanding ourselves is never finished.
So, as I texted my friends, you absolutely must read this book. It’s fantastic, and it’s a book I will likely be citing repeatedly in a book I’m just starting to write. (Stay tuned for more details on that!)
BTW, I had the joy of interviewing the author, Ariana Serpentine, on 4 Quick Q’s last week. Watch the video and listen to her talk about the next book she’s writing (one I’m really excited about):
Support indie bookstores by buying this title from Bookshop.org:
🌈 Guess what? I wrote a book on Queer Qabala, and you can buy it now! 🌈
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