Garbed in Green: Gay Witchcraft & The Male Mysteries by Casey Giovinco A Book Review by Lord Tanys
Garbed in Green is one of the best books on Witchcraft I have read in a long time, and easily the most interesting. While I have read Witchcraft books by Gay Male authors, this is the first I have read that is about Gay Witchcraft, for Gay Male Witches. I really enjoyed reading it, and I refer to it quite frequently.
Casey writes about Gay History in a flowing, easy to understand manner, from modern to ancient. For anyone who is looking for historical accounts that are not the usual Wicca/Witchcraft fare, this is certainly eye opening and important.
He talks about the Mysteries for several chapters, and these are some of the most interesting in the book. Here the author talks about Goddesses and Gods, Legends, Polarity, in a very diverse context of ages and cultures that opens one’s eyes to the vastness of the Mysteries themselves, especially when seen from a new perspective. Few books of Witchcraft and Wicca touch on what Casey writes about.
The author very deftly tackles the subject of Polarity, which is one of the most overemphasized but least understood aspects of Wicca. Even in Gerald Gardner’s “Eight Ways Of Making Magic” the one and only technique calling for two people of different polarities is the Great Rite. As we all have Female and Male within us, as part of our “psychic gender” even the Great Rite can be performed by same sex couples. And it should be.
Casey explains very convincingly why Gay Males are so special in this regard; why their magic is so powerful and dynamic. He very tactfully attributes “old guard covens” Gay exclusionary practices to the thought that the energy of a Gay Male Witch may interrupt the usual Female/Male energy exchange in said covens. While I think he is giving this type of Coven a bit more credit than is due, I can certainly agree with the uniqueness of the kind of energy within the Gay Male Witch, compared to Straight Male Witches.
My opinions aside, Casey writes in an intelligent way, which is not dumbed down, yet is easy to understand, and stay involved with. And there are lots of footnotes!
Garbed In Green is an excellent book for beginner Witches (our Lady Morgana called us “Witchlings”) with very workable exercises that will aid in one’s magical progress right from the start. There are fantastic recipes, and the Rituals… oh, the Rituals!
Casey includes a Dedication Ritual, and Sabbat Rituals for the Equinoxes and Solstices. These being Solar events, the symbolism is clear as Day. The Rituals have a primal feel to them, are dynamic and ecstatic, and flow beautifully all through the year. The invocations are Orphic Hymns, which I love, and of course serve to take the celebrant out of modern times and mind, which is so needed right now.
I love Garbed In Green and recommend everyone read it. You do not have to be Gay Male Witch to benefit. It is absolutely a Gods-send for Gay Male Witches, but also serves to make the Craft better, Covens better, and anyone who performs the Rituals is sure to be thrilled, even fascinated by them.