I had a wonderful conversation with author and teacher, Devin Hunter. Devin is the co-founder of the Black Rose tradition of witchcraft, co-owner of Datura Trading Company and the host of the Modern Witch Podcast. I've known Devin for a number of years which made this conversation feel more like catching up with an old friend.
Embracing the Term "Queer"
Devin shares his personal journey to realizing that his sexuality could be part of his spirituality in a positive way. Part of this journey involved an initial negative reaction to the word "queer". The word brought up memories of being bullied. He came to realize that people were taking the power back, reclaiming the word, and using it in a way that uplifts others. Now as a queer occultist, Devin says he feels that "the occult in inherently queer".
Environment & Queer Identity
Growing up in the Midwest, both Devin and I have experienced the challenges of living in conservative communities. Devin recalls his early experiences of seeking acceptance and belonging in the gay community, only to find a pervasive sense of anxiety and a focus on conforming to societal expectations. He shares, "There was a lot of anxious energy...people trying to survive...it's so hard to live in a certain environment...out here in California, there's a complete rejection of that...we get upset about things in a way that I would have been more willing to put up with if I lived in Ohio."
Creating Queer Spaces
Devin emphasizes the importance of creating dedicated queer spaces where individuals can feel safe and supported. He highlights his involvement in the Brotherhood of the Seder, a covenant of gay men that provides a space for queer spirituality and the exploration of diverse cultural traditions. He states, "I get my queer spirituality fix now...it's so important...to have a community of gay men...where we can talk about our queer experiences and find places within the spiritual world where there is a pocket of queerness."
Supporting Each Other in the Queer Community
We discuss the challenges of supporting one another in the queer community, particularly when success and recognition are involved. Devin and I both share experiences of encountering jealousy and negativity from within the community. Devin reflects on this issue, stating, "I think it gets down to that survival thing...people feel threatened...their identity feels threatened...it's a focus, it's a choice, and it isn't something that's great." We both agree that empathy and support should be the driving forces behind our spiritual progress as a community.
Navigating Controversial Issues
Devin opens up about his experiences with controversy within the queer community, particularly regarding the inclusion of trans individuals in certain spaces. He recalls a time when he stood up for trans rights and faced backlash and personal attacks. He emphasizes the importance of standing up for marginalized individuals and creating inclusive spaces. He states, "Empathy should drive our spiritual progress...if you've been here for a minute, it is your job to stand up for people who are being put down or diminished."
The Role of Leadership in Queer Spirituality
We discuss the role of leadership in the queer spiritual community and the importance of genuine intentions and humility. Devin shares his personal journey of realizing the need to step back and make space for others. He states, "I realized I really do, genuinely, want to be liked...want to be heard...want to be helpful...but those three parts of my personality...makes me loud and obnoxious sometimes...I need to let it go...strip away all of that ego stuff so that you can show up and do the work."
About The Guest(s):
Devin Hunter is a bestselling author and an expert in witchcraft and spirituality. He is the author of several books, including "The Witch's Book of Power," "The Witch's Book of Spirits," and "The Witch's Book of Mysteries." Devin is also the founder of the Sacred Fires tradition of witchcraft and the co-founder of the Black Rose tradition of witchcraft. He hosts the Modern Witch podcast and is the co-owner of Detoura Trading Company.
Devin Hunter, a bestselling author and expert in witchcraft and spirituality, joins the Queer Spirituality Podcast to discuss his journey in queer spirituality. He shares his initial resistance to the term "queer" and how he eventually embraced it as a celebration of the mysteries within ourselves. Devin also reflects on the challenges and growth he experienced as a queer person in the Midwest and the liberation he found in California. He emphasizes the importance of empathy and inclusivity within the queer community and the need to support and uplift each other. Devin discusses his current projects, including writing fiction and focusing on psychic development and solitary practice in witchcraft. He encourages listeners to listen to diverse voices within the queer community and incorporate their wisdom into their own spiritual journeys.
- Queer spirituality is about identifying and celebrating the mysteries within ourselves, regardless of their origin or manifestation.
- The occult is inherently queer, and there is queerness in all aspects of spirituality.
- It is important to listen to and support diverse voices within the queer community and incorporate their wisdom into our own spiritual journeys.
- Empathy should drive our spiritual progress as a community, and we should make space for others to share their stories and experiences.
- Solitary witchcraft can be empowering, but it is important to create a spiritual foundation that is beneficial and personalized to oneself.
- "Queer spirituality is identifying and celebrating those mysteries inside of ourselves, regardless of where they come from or how they might manifest." - Devin Hunter
- "The occult is inherently queer. No matter where you go, no matter which way you're looking at it, there's some queerness going on." - Devin Hunter
- "Empathy should drive our spiritual progress as a community, period." - Devin Hunter
- "Listen to some other people's stories, listen to some other wisdom, incorporate it into your own, and not only will you be a better person for it, but the world will be a better place for it." - Devin Hunter
Connect with Devin at https://www.modernwitch.com