Book Review: Queer Qabala

The Western magickal world has a gender binary problem.  Much of modern Paganism and Witchcraft derives from Wicca, which derives from…the 1950’s. And it shows. We have historically classified *everything* into the heteronormative categories of male and female, including things that have no gender. Like rocks. It’s pervasive and ultimately does a disservice to a system that specifically supports experiences that occur in liminal spaces – spaces outside the “box system” of reality management. For a culture that likes to talk about “time between times and space between spaces,” we color inside the patriarchal lines a LOT.

Enter Queer Qabala: Nobinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick.

I hate to admit it, but I’d never found Qabala interesting before I heard author Enfys Book give a presentation on the topic. I was aware that Qabala is the operating system that much of Western magick is built on, but it just struck me as…dull. Dusty. Patriarchal. The exact kind of magick that makes my skin crawl.  I’m a witch in the hedge sense of things. I talk to plants and spirits, seek out transcendental experiences, and otherwise get as weird as possible in my practice. Memorizing charts of correspondences and parsing through old texts to filter the useful bits from the patriarchy is about as appealing as a trip to the dentist for me.  Imagine my surprise to find my skepticism transforming to interest and enthusiasm when Enfys took the podium at the 2019 Sacred Space Conference.

Queer Qabala is a revolutionary take on the magickal system that supports and governs the functioning of this world. And we finally have that take from an author who took one look at an inherently queer, deeply liminal, beautiful system and asked “Why isn’t anyone talking about this aspect of Qabala?”

Well, we definitely are now.

Queer Qabala is divided into three parts. The first section grounds the reader in the basic premise and function of Qabala.  The Tree of Life and Sephiroth are presented in an understandable, contemporary fashion.  Enfys also spends the first part of the book connecting the dots between queerness and magick, and making a compelling argument for the expansion of magickal practice through a queer lens.

The second part of the book takes the reader through each of the ten Sephiroth, covering both the nature and properties of each Sephira and its inherent queerness. In a bit of authorial genius, Enfys offers a queer identity, experience, or archetype that expresses the energy of each Sephira. These archetypes help draw the Sephiroth out of the realm of the conceptual and into the reality we know today. Fantastic pathworkings and exercises to connect with the Sephiroth help the reader truly integrate the system and understand it from their own perspective.

The third section of the book is a collection of workings, rituals, and tools using the Qabala and the reader’s new understanding of it.  These workings are for everyone, queer-identified or not. Who doesn’t need more resiliency right now? Or help balancing their lives?

In case you couldn’t tell by now, I loved the book.  It’s an amazing gift to the occult world, and one that is truly welcoming to everyone.  Queer Qabala brings a fresh gaze to a traditional magickal system, reveals deep beauty and resonance that often gets overlooked, and gifts the reader with new tools and techniques to further their spiritual and magickal practice. The very best books not only improve our magick but also our outlook, and Queer Qabala does so with ease, humor, and potency.

Queer Qabala is available through all the major booksellers, and is out now. Pick up a copy and give it a read. I’d love to hear what you think of it!


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