When you approached me, I was so, first of all, honoured and blown away that you asked me. And second, I love the idea because that’s not something you find very easily and that’s one thing I’ve had a bit of a hard time with within being a witch and being queer. Not just being a “male” witch but then incorporating my queerness into it and being seen as more than just an “aesthetic” witch or just someone who wants to look it because it’s oooh spooky or whatever or it’s all on trend. Which is does happen quite often in the queer community and sometimes unintentionally. And that’s what I was worried about I guess. There’s very very very few anything for that focuses on queer magic and on queer spirituality and if you do find something, it’s usually of a different religion… not religion, sorry, different culture. So it’s a bit harder to identify with. So I guess in my own way, I have been creating my own path.
What card did you choose to shoot?
I chose to shoot the King of Wands. There’s something about it. There’s such a beauty to it, and such a… the way I see it at least. I see it very…. as a duality of natures. Being powerful and having a very masculine energy and a very intense power to you and behind you, but also quite nurturing and kind and fair and just and loving, and… with a maternal feel to it still. I guess those are sometimes the aspects of myself I see or have been told that I have, and sometimes aspects that I want to be able to project more.
I need to be…. I feel like in different aspects. So, I definitely know that I have that… I protect. You can be somebody that I am in love with, my friends, my family, somebody that I just talked to on the street for 30 seconds. But I will do whatever I need to do to protect somebody. And that’s something I have seen in myself. But I also feel like just in day to day life, I want to be more sure of myself and like, I feel that – not just in the card – what’s the word you used? The archetype – that’s something I need to project more I guess, or allow myself to invite that into my life a bit more.
Talk about manifesting that or bringing it into real life by being it– can you tell me a little bit about your face makeup and what you are non-verbally saying?
My dualities of nature. My masculine side which I don’t show very often. I don’t show it in the way society sees it. I don’t wear suits and ties. I don’t grow a beard, I don’t… I don’t live my life in such a way… er, let me see. I don’t conform. But I still have some of that.. I still… I don’t physically conform or mentally conform, but there’s still that masculinity part of myself and at this point in my life that’s something that I struggle with and sometimes I feel like erasing both (gestures at two halves of face) or keeping one over the other or keeping neither and my femininity is something… my femininity and feminine nature
Is something I’ve had a very interesting experiences with, in daily life, spiritually, emotionally. And same thing goes with my more masculine features and presentation. Sometimes take me more seriously when I present or have a more masculine air about myself. But at the same time, people are more welcoming and kinder and sweeter to me when I’m presenting feminine. And that’s sometimes … it’s interesting. And sometimes it’s really hard but at the same time it’s something that (sighs) I wouldn’t ever give up if that answers your question, I hope.
I actually came into myself through a social experiment I started in 2013. Up until that point I was presenting AMAB or yeah… AMAB, so assigned male at birth. But I’ve always had feminine features. I developed a chest, what would be considered a female or feminine chest in my early teens. I’ve always had much more of a softer and outtake and outlook on life so I always had that femininity and femme-ness to me but I was still, I was not openly showing that. And so I (chuckles) basically the short story or short form of it, I embarked on a social experiment to see how I’m perceived and how I perceive myself. Every day for 2-2.5 years, I looked very different. Sometimes I would block out my eyebrows completely and look like an alien. Some days it was like no makeup and but just a big heart or really bright lipstick or really intense eyeliner or… and then from there it kind of took a punk rock look at first and hmm hmmm but over time it progressed to more of a feminine and softer look and I started realizing that’s the way I feel much more comfortable in this more feminine androgynous queer feeling look to myself and so I started looking into things and started doing research and my… I don’t know how to describe it. My gender is something that’s caused me so much pain and so much hate but at the same time, it’s so much, there’s so much beauty and there’s so much of myself that I want to explore and so much that I have yet to learn and so.. .currently I see myself, it’s a day to day difference, I guess. Yes I am AMAB but that’s never been a defining feature to me at least. I do, I understand and respect my experience as being perceived as male because I have insight on things. I have also gained a lot of insight from being to connect into my feminine side and even present as feminine or as a woman actually. And a lot of people have mistaken me for a biological woman so I get an insight into the good, the bad, and the ugly on both sides and there’s a person who.. I go between masculine, feminine, androgynous, and nothing.
Exactly. I’ve seen and felt and experienced so many different aspects of gender and people open up to me about their experiences with gender a lot easier, especially when I present feminine. It’s so beautiful, heartbreaking, maddening, and at the same time I don’t think and at least for myself I don’t think there would be… yes there are days I want to be not gawked at but I don’t think I would change myself in such a way or go back to conforming to something or conforming into a mindset of something to not have those experiences.
How would you relate that experience to the King of Wands tarot card?
There’s a lot of steadiness in the card. A lot of – at least this is the way I see it – there’s a lot of steadiness and, and….power’s not the right word, but in a way, yes. Strength, confidence, presence – yes. And those are things I’ve recognized myself, but also things I know that I need to work on, and to be stronger in or be more aware of or be more assertive. That’s what I’m looking for. In…
What would you tell your younger self as The King of Cups?
Don’t be afraid to speak out. Don’t be afraid to show your colours. Because one day you’re gonna – you’re gonna be showing all of your colours in 8 inch boots and a neon wig. That you are – you matter and you are a part of something great – even if you don’t see it at the moment or you feel the most alone that you’ve ever felt. And people are going to come out and say that you are a lot of things and claim that you are wrong for being who you are, but there’s always going to be that steadiness to you. And that, that unshakableness – even when you feel the most broken there’s always going to be…you’ll always be able to pick yourself up. You will change your name. You will transform into something that’s never been seen before.
If you were talking to a baby queer and they pulled your card in the reading what would you want them to know?
On your queer journey, don’t rush into finding a label. You don’t need to. Um, at least not right away. Unless something that’s very important to you, but don’t – and don’t feel like you have to conform to what that label is. Respect yourself and respect other people, and learn. Learn about more than just your identity. Learn about what it means to be trans. What the experiences of trans men and women and gender non-conforming and trans queer people might be. Learn your history on what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, two spirited. Um, and have fun. Have fun with yourself. Have nights where you stay at home and watch a movie and have moments where you go out and party with your friends. Or do whatever brings you happiness and brings you that connected to that feeling of being comfortable and confident in yourself. And as far as moving as a queer person through spirituality…and magic.
I’m a witch. and that’s something that is very personal to you. And don’t be discouraged when it’s really hard to find. Literature on gay magic or queer magic or queer witchcraft or spirituality or, or anything that’s not, that’s different, I guess. It’s hard, it really is. And I haven’t – I’ve found some things, but sometimes they only apply to certain parts and don’t fully resonate with me. So, listen to your gut. Be willing to see something that might be made or might be set in a way that a cis heterosexual person might understand it or read it. But with respect, feel free – not – feel free to maybe try adapt it. Again I say with respect, so that you’re not appropriating anything from anyone.
What about Magic that doesn’t belong to you?
I will say this for being in your – as a queer person, as a spiritual person just because you’re queer doesn’t give you a – and I know this goes for everyone, including myself. Just because you’re queer and part of the LGBTQ+ does not give you a pass on misappropriation. On racially or culturally insensitive acts or other things in that, of that nature.Magic that doesn’t belong to you, exactly. But that’s not to say that you can’t learn about it and be aware of it and experience it in a different way. Don’t be afraid to use your queerness in your magic and in your, your life and in your, your spirituality cause that’s the most – one of the most powerful things I’ve know I’ve learned and experienced as a queer, gender non-conforming and non-binary, androgynous witch is I have some very, some very intense and accurate workings with calling up the energies of queer people who’ve walked before me.
I’d say, stop hiding. And that goes for me as well. Let me rephrase that, Stop hiding to yourself. If you’re in a place physically, emotionally, mentally, whatever that it’s not safe for you to be out and queer and pagan or a witch or a different spiritual path, of course, of course. Be careful. But don’t, be out to yourself. Don’t try to hide the truth from yourself in your own heart because nobody can see that but yourself. And if you live everyday to that light and to that knowledge and to that spirit. Even if you don’t even if you don’t put on a wig and makeup and heels and put on crazy shows like I do. Like, even if you don’t do that you still have that spark in you.
It’s taken me a long time to be comfortable enough in who I am and in my spirituality. To be comfortable as a witch as a person, as a person of colour as a queer individual as everything that I am. It has taken me so unbelievably long to recognize, feel, and experience myself for the value that I have.
I would say that’s what this card – at least to me – represents a lot of is a lot of knowledge and strength and wellbeing of your mind, body and soul. And not allowing anyone to trample on who you are, what you believe in, how you feel – nobody can tell you that you are wrong for being your authentic, true self. And be kind.
There’s a lot of – within every aspect of life – there’s a lot of people who are unkind, and so just be kind to everybody, be kind to people. You don’t always have to like everyone.**
** Transcription from video interview
Phoenix – They /Them – Trans-queer, androgynous, pansexual