Outside the Charmed Circle: Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You!

Outside the Charmed Circle: Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You! January 2, 2020

Hello, beautiful creatures! If you’ve been following me for more than a minute or two, you’re probably aware that I’ve written a book. The book is titled Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Magical Practice, and it comes out in just a few days—January 8th, to be official, though apparently it’s already available in some brick-and-mortar shops—so I thought this would be a good time to tell you a little about it.

book cover for outside the charmed circle
I made this! Not the cover, though. That was Llewellyn’s art department. It’s quite good, though, don’t you think? (Cover for “Outside the Charmed Circle” by Misha Magdalene, Llewellyn, 2020.)
I’ve said before that people familiar with my blog would be entirely unsurprised by the subject of the book, and I think I’ve kept that promise. In many ways, the book Outside the Charmed Circle is the culmination of a journey which began during the completion of my degree program, with a rejected anthology submission of mine. That essay subsequently informed many of the posts on this blog, and some of those became first drafts for sections of the book. However, while those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while—and thank you!—will find some familiar themes and passages, this book isn’t a collection of blog posts. On the contrary, it’s a space where I was able to and expand on many of the ideas I’ve addressed here on the blog, exploring them in greater detail and following them to some practical conclusions. The central thesis of the book is one of the fundamental themes of this blog: that queer people have every right to a seat at the table of Paganism, polytheism, and magical practice, because magic and devotional polytheism are both inherently queer.

What do I mean by that? Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out.

As you might be able to see in the cover image, the foreword for Outside the Charmed Circle was written by the redoubtable author, occultist, and media personality Michelle Belanger. I was curious what sort of foreword Michelle might write for my book, given that she knew nothing about me prior to my editor asking if she’d be interested. To my great surprise and honor, it’s everything I could’ve hoped for and more. I actually found myself in tears several times while reading it. Michelle gets my book, to a profound and touching degree, and her foreword itself is easily worth the price of admission.

Of course, I think the rest of the book is worth your time, too. In it, you’ll find rituals, exercises, meditations, historical information, speculative research, and an awfully long bibliography. You’ll also find the usual combination of sass, snark, and silliness longtime readers of the blog a while have come to expect, as well as a few Easter eggs here and there for those who enjoy playing spot-the-reference. If you’re interested in trying it before you buy it, the first 47 pages of the book, including Michelle’s foreword and the first chapter, are available to read for free on Issuu.

Writing this book has been simultaneously one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and one of the most rewarding. I’ve lived with (and inside) this book for a couple of years now, in one way or another, and the ideas at its heart have been a part of my lived experience as a queer nonbinary person, a witch, and a writer for as long as I’ve been alive.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

Outside the Charmed Circle will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide on January 8, 2020. You can order it directly from Llewellyn, from your preferred online retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound), or—best of all, if you have access to one—your Friendly Local Occult Store.

Until next time, dear ones, happy new year. ♥

Yes, it’s another picture of my book cover. Don’t worry, this won’t become a habit.

About Misha Magdalene
Misha Magdalene (Seattle) is a multiclassed, multi-geek, multiqueer witch and sorcerer with a degree in gender studies and a slightly odd sense of humor. Their first book, Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Magical Practice, was published by Llewellyn in January 2020. They're an initiate of multiple lines of traditional witchcraft, including Anderson Feri and Gardnerian Wicca, and have also been known to dabble recklessly in both modern ceremonial magic and grimoiric goetia. They've been blogging since 2001, negotiating the online world since 1987, playing Dungeons & Dragons since 1981, and listening to weird music since birth. They live on occupied Duwamish territory in the Pacific Northwest with their polymath partner, their precocious daughter, far too much coffee-making apparatus, and a long-suffering bamboo plant named Smitty. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and their very own website, or lurking somewhere around the Seattle area, usually hiding behind a cup of coffee. You can read more about the author here.

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6 responses to “Outside the Charmed Circle: Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You!”

  1. Oh Misha! I’ve had the great fortune to see your workshop, drawing on the work in this book. I can’t wait to read the entire book. Thank you for writing on this much needed topic.

  2. Late to comment, but this news of “A New and Large Collection of Your Thoughts” made my day! Although I currently identify as Christian + Zen Buddhist + ??? (long story short, I like to keep it weird), I still find myself wandering over to your virtual pagan haven when I’m having a particularly teeth-grinding day and need some words that will grab onto my brain and give it a satisfying 90 degree twist, and this time it was the jackpot! True, there are topics that you cover that nearly bring me to squirming in my chair and reading out of the corner of my eye, but you write with such intelligence and humor, that I’m always charmed back into your circle.

    Side note: By sheer coincidence, I began a “New Testament in 90 Days” challenge this morning, and now I’ll be reading your book at the same time, in case you’re wondering among what strange company your Thoughts might find themselves; I hope you don’t mind!

    • Not at all! I hope you enjoy the book, and find it a useful counterpoint to the Gospels and Epistles. ^_^

      And thank you for reading. While the primary focus of my blog is the umbrella of Paganism, polytheism, and magical practice, anyone of good faith is welcome to read and comment here. Cheers!