Well, can they? Queer magic, on the surface, appears to be a new phenomenon. It seems like the positive result of the liberalizing of society and the globally increasing acceptance of queer individuals. With the fertile ground of open-mindedness and tolerance, queer people appear to be finally free to develop their own magic. But is this really true? And if so, is it a type of magic that hetero cisgender people can do? Should they do it?
I know, that’s a lot of if/then questions in succession, but let’s briefly tackle each answer one by one starting with queer magic being “new.” No, it’s not new. Queer magic has been practiced by queer people all over the world for as long as humans have been interacting and influenced by the natural and spiritual worlds. In my book, Queer Magic: LGBT+ Spirituality & Culture from Around the World, there are numerous examples of how queer magic has been practiced throughout history and the globe, but the quick answer is that queer magic is nothing new. Modern technological innovations (like the Internet), ease of access to information, and the liberalization of human thought has just allowed these queer magic workers to finally share their stories and, more importantly, be heard.
So now that we know that there is millennia of queer magic spells, prayers, and rituals out there to discover, can non-queer people utilize them effectively? Or is queer magic only efficacious when done by queer people? Here’s the answer to that. Why can’t they? Many queer people utilize non-queer spells, and do their spells work? Yes! Since we didn’t know our history, queer people have utilized spellwork designed for and by heterosexual, cisgender people. Yes, it has been modified when necessary with the substitution of words, tools, and correspondences, but if queer people have been successfully using non-queer magic, then why can’t non-queer people can use queer magic successfully?
And lastly, should non-queer people engage in our queer magic? Again, why not? You don’t have to be Greek to develop a meaningful and potent relationship with the Olympian gods. You don’t have to be Middle-Eastern to find spiritual fulfillment in following the teachings of Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad. You don’t even have to be a practitioner of Buddhism to experience the healing effects of meditation. And so on. Magic, like music, is a universal language. It knows no borders, races, sexualities, orientations, or moralities. Regardless of who you are, so long as you feel the music and hit the right notes, you will create sounds of beauty. And so long as you feel the spell and do the necessary steps in ritual, you will create efficacious magic. Tapping into the ALL of the universe that is beyond human divisions and labeling is the goal of all magic. And if that ALL was limited by human divisions and labels, then it wouldn’t be the ALL, now would it?
Our thanks to Tomás for his guest post! For more from Tomás Prower, read his article, “Why Is Queer Magic So Powerful?.”