Book review: Queer Qabala

Book review: Queer Qabala June 7, 2022

While it’s true that I try to focus on my own culture, I can’t help but be interested in others, in different points of view, and see what I can learn elsewhere. Queer spirituality is an idea I like to read about as often as I can, and I feel Queer Qabala: Nonbinary, Genderfluid, Omnisexual Mysticism & Magick, by Enfys J. Book, will be a good choice to anyone who thinks in a similar way. Thanks to the publisher for sending me an advanced review copy!

Branch Out from Antiquated Interpretations of the Tree of Life

The Hermetic Qabala is a rich framework for understanding ourselves, our magickal workings, and the universe, but outdated descriptions often obscure its intrinsically queer and nonbinary nature. With updated, affirming metaphors and word choices, this guide makes it easy for any practitioner to understand and work with the Tree of Life.

Enfys J. Book welcomes queer people to see themselves in this esoteric practice and offers a variety of pathworkings, exercises, and spells to deepen their understanding of each of the ten spheres (sephiroth). This book also shows magickal communities how to co-create spaces and structures that are friendlier and more accessible to all. With a modern, inclusive understanding of the Qabala, you can enhance your magick, fully express your identity, and conquer life’s challenges.

I like how simple the whole book is and explains enough for the reader to have a good starting point regarding the Qabala, how to work with the sephiroth, what they means, incorporate them in meditations. I’m specially a fan of the journaling prompts, more than one being perfect for healing and shadow-work.

The queer aspect of the book was my main reason to pick it up. I was curious about Qabala as an early teen, but found the whole discipline so complicated and hard to follow that I left it. The fact that it wasn’t as inclusive as I wanted was also a factor, or so it seemed to me. Enfys J. Book made a good job at explaining that there are a lot of queer aspects on it but they have been ignored for a long time.

A few of the explanations, however, felt a little forced to me, especially on the last chapters, so abstract that sometimes I had to re read several times before getting the idea of what the author was talking about. Also, my main problem would be the inclusion of Biblical content on it after they said they’re not a fan of the Bible being used in the Qabala. That quote could be seen as queer, for sure, but just because it could doesn’t mean it adds anything to the reading as a whole, even less with all the other chapters shining without the aid of the Bible.

Interesting, captivating, and thought-provoking, Queer Qabala is a book that could interest many queer readers and Qabalists. While not as detailed as I would have liked, it serves as a great introduction and offers enough recommendations to go deeper in understadning and practice.

About Bader Saab
I’m an Arabic witch and journalist, also with a master’s degree in digital research. I have worked as a book reviewer and written about pre-Islamic folklore. You can connect with me by Private Message on Instagram: @saab.bader. You can read more about the author here.

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