Did you see our Winter Solstice Issue?
In this issue:
We talk with Devin Hunter, host of The Modern Witch Podcast!
Read about the history of Krampus as well as see him in action with a naughty boy!
Learn about greasing your broomstick and further your mastery of the Tarot.
Take a peek into using edging for scrying and chapter two of DEMON SHOCK.
Photographer :BernardGPhotography (IG: @bgphotography2)
Model: Bryan Knights and Joelsomeone
(IG: @bryanknight66) (IG: @joelsomeone )
Makeup Artist: Charles Zambrano (IG: @astrobatboy )
Hello! My name is Curcio, I am 23 from St. Louis, Mo, and a Gemini. My story begins with an experience in gay conversion therapy. As a child I always knew I was different, however, I did not quite understand just how different I was. I was always fascinated by witches and my favorite character was the Wicked Witch of the West with my favorite movie being Hocus Pocus. I used to run around the house with a cape, witch hat, and a sparkly baton as my broom. My parents should have known then that I was gay, but somehow claim they didn’t. As I grew older and started puberty, I didn’t find the females in my class attractive, but rather the males.
When I turned 16 decided to come out of the closet to my friends who were very accepting. Interestingly, one of them started studying Wicca and it made me uncomfortable at the time. When I came out to my parents, it didn’t turn out quite the same way. My parents had raised me in what I call Christianity lite, meaning sometimes we went to church, I knew of the beliefs but was never actively spiritual in Christianity. My parents sent me to a conversion therapist. My “therapist" tore my family apart, alienated me through manipulation, and destroyed my sense of self. Thankfully I survived and surprisingly my relationship with my parents did too. They are now very accepting of my sexuality and regret their actions. However, I remain in the “broom closet”. My relationship with Christianity suffered greatly from my experience with the “Christian counselor”. As said before, I was never deeply into Christianity, but I started to turn away after my experience.
In college, I met a professor who would go on to be my very best friend and teacher in witchcraft. She helped me overcome my mental and emotional torment from the experience in “conversion therapy”, that happened three years prior, and helped me find the strength to speak out to become an activist. She also slowly brought me into the realm of paganism while helping me realize my full potential as a witch.
I still follow her teachings, nearly five years later, but have been reaching out on my own to find other gay pagan men and to learn more about subjects for which my teacher has no interest. I would consider myself an “intermediate” eclectic witch with an ever-growing knowledge and experience. My main focus, currently, is of my Scottish heritage and Pictish witchcraft, Rune divination, and working with Cernunnos and Mercury. My preferred form of spell casting is candle magick, and I am wanting to delve more deeply into divination and harness my propensity for clairvoyance. I hope soon to find other gay witches in my area that I can start to get to know and practice with, as I have not been able to explore much of the “masculine” side of witchcraft.
I have not had any pushback or backlash as of yet for my spiritual path, but I also don’t regularly broadcast it. I was a prominent LGBTQIA+ activist in my home state of Illinois and have brought it over the river into Missouri. Due to being in the public eye in the Midwest/Bible Belt, I have to be careful about disclosure for more than one reason. Despite being partially in the broom closet, all of my friends and coworkers know that I am some sort of pagan and are fine with it. I am happy, and that is all that matters within my spirituality.
I found Horns by happenstance and am very pleased to know of a large male witch population inside of the queer spectrum. I am excited to see and read more!
My witch tumblr: https://ageoldnew.tumblr.com/
The Dionysian Artist
When I travel to the abode of Death I’ll find a woman dressed in white, who calls my name and directs me to a horned man. He is silent, his back turned against me. A snake slithers across his shoulders draped in saffron, and his head is crowned with dying ivy. The vivid colour of his robes are in stark contrast to his black, patterned hair. I needn’t speak his name. I know I’m of his race and nature. I am Starry. As I draw near, he turns, and his face is lit with aspects of man, woman, beast and god. He takes me by the hand and our feet leave the ground. We rise through starry sky in dance. His body presses against mine and he enters me, shattering my soul into stars. Like this we revolve round each other, spinning in apotheosis until we are one.
Life, life, life has granted me this boon, for he has observed my sorrows and joys.
You see, in youth I found an unlikely calling, one steeped in respect for the ancient peoples of Hellas. Through many trials I came to grasp the basics of their culture and faith, but it was only when my partner and I discarded our worldly possessions to make art in the streets that He took notice, entering my life as an ecstatic presence that’s never left. I’ve had to experience some horrors to learn my place. I’ve been hunted by spear-cocked satyrs that chased me to a river of Dis where I had no choice but to leap in, which washed away the name of my soul. I’ve had to replace it with a symbol and to lose myself, to become free of identity, and in exchange I’m given a collection of bestial masks and children’s toys.
This is the role of a Dionysian. Terror-filled. Flesh rendered. Marked in blood and ash, and thunder struck by wine.
Δ, Markos Gage, The Dionysian Artist.
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Head on over to www.hornsmagazine.com/shop and pick up a digital download for $3.99 or a print copy for $14.99!
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There have been questions rising regarding the stance of HORNS Magazine and it’s staff on equality, racism, Trans Rights, and white supremacy.
I want to thank our readers for their concern and I want to make it very clear:
HORNS Magazine does not condone, accept, tolerate, promote, or agree with Racists, Transphobes, or White Supremacists.
I personally find these ideas disgusting and stupid. No one on my staff is any of these things. If I found that any of them held such idiotic beliefs or engaged in discrimination, I’d fire them on the spot.
HORNS Magazine is for ALL Queers who explore the Occult and are a bit too different.
We do accept that HORNS is a controversial magazine due to it being open to all Occult paths. We welcome Wiccans, Satanists, Pagans, Voodoo Practitioners, any person who walks this path no matter their gender, identity, race, ethnicity, body type, or lifestyle.
We DO NOT endorse or tolerate discrimination.
NO human being is better than another because of their identity, gender, race, sexuality, or ethnicity.
We do understand that people may disagree with statements made by our writers elsewhere and we’ve gotten emails because we employ a Transwoman, members of The Church of Satan, and members of other Pagan Communities. We encourage everyone to engage in discourse with ideas that they may disagree with so long as civility is maintained. As long as our writers do not hold beliefs that contradict the aim of HORNS and our skilled at their job we will defend them. I will defend anyone against the slander of my staff because they discuss controversial topics.
The Queer Movement, I believe, is still about accepting our differences and working together towards equality for all of us.
I am happy to have such a diverse staff and that our readers care about discrimination and racism.
Thank you for your concern and for allowing me to address them.
May you be blessed on your path.
Editor in Chief
Chasing shadows in the woods
I come from a family where natural healing practices and connections with the currents of nature are part of our day to day life. My Mother is a Naturopath and Herbalist, my Grandfather is always brewing or preserving something from his amazing garden. On my Father’s side we are all very connected to the land through gardening, farming and wine making. My Dad had a strong passion for the Australian bush and it was with him that I first explored the woods and listened to the wild. It is also through my father that I carry the genetic heritage of Australias First Nations People. I have not gone through the initiations or know the teachings of my people and so I do not speak as a Dunghutti man, but I carry the connection in my blood and spirit.
There were a lot of events through my childhood and teen years that would stir my inner truth and make me take notice ranging from speaking to spirits, following shadows in the woods and deeply passionate reoccurring dreams of a horned man, but as many of us do, I pushed it away out of fear of not being understood. Coming out of my awkward teen years as a rather eccentric gay man I already felt enough like a social outsider. Some of my closest friends identified me as a “Spiritual” person and I would be the first one they turned to with questions dealing with the mystic, esoteric and hauntings, but this was still kept hushed and relatively unspoken.
I was an out and proud gay man since the age of 14, but my Witchcraft journey continued as a lonely one. I found comfort in Witchy movies like “The Craft” and stories about witches like Rosalyn Norton and a romanticised fascination for Voodoo and the Conjure craft of the Deep South of America. Again this was a world I mostly kept to myself. Then at the end of my 20’s I was introduced to the world of Paganism by my partner of the time. Pagan was a term I knew little about. This was at a time when Facebook was really starting to grow strong and social networking had just started to really take off. Much of what I had experienced and kept hidden up until now was all making sense and was now part of my daily discussions in multiple online groups and in person. I suddenly felt less alone and a lot less crazy. I had now discovered the joy and the horror of the Online Pagan community.
It was now that I was able to share ideas with others and was given books on Paganism and Witchcraft. I began a much deeper journey to strengthen my connection with the God Pan who I used to play with in the woods as a kid and whose voice would still make me go wondering off from time to time. I soon discovered the name of the horned God from my reoccurring childhood dreams. The one who I would dance for and who would lay me out on a large table as if I was part of the banquet and fuck me into ecstasy. His name is Dionysos. I had studied theatre and dance for most of my life, I performed as a professional Drag artist, have a vineyard in our family and love to dance myself and others into ecstatic revelry as much as I can. There is too much to be said on it here, but this part of my journey was deeply transformative and helped to make so much sense of my life. After a few years of studying and exploring his mysteries I ritually dedicated myself to him as a lover and devote. Io Evohe!
Though I had found Pagan community I was still searching for more in Australia like me. Not just Pagans, but Gay pagans. When I began learning about Pagan and Witchcraft traditions I kept seeing the same heteronormative fertility based paths that in no way reflected my own truth. Many of the Gay pagan books I found were nothing more than a gender swapped Wicca 101. It was around this time that the Pagan community were having discussions/debates around LGBT inclusion in ritual. It was back in 2011 that a small group of gay male witches and I were looking at how we could hold an event specifically for Queer Pagan Men in Australia similar to what we saw happening in the USA with “Between the Worlds”. We wanted desperately to find a space where we could not only network with our community, but learn our unique stories, our Witchcraft history and learn about Gay and Queer inclusive paths out there. We realised we needed to find the community first. This originally took shape in the form of a Yahoo group called Oz Gay Pagans. I quickly did flyer drops at every Gay book store and gay friendly Cafe as well as any Pagan store that would take them to promote the group. Over the year we gathered just over 40 members, but it was becoming clear that Yahoo groups were beginning to fade away in the shadow of the newly launched Facebook Groups. After a discussion with a fellow gay pagan in February 2012 the group moved across to Facebook and Queer Pagan Men Australia began. This started simply as an online discussion group and quickly grew to include regular in person meet ups that still run across 3 states of Australia in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Since 2010 on my search for Gay and Queer inclusive Pagan paths I had been exploring a series of podcasts that act as introduction classes to the Unnamed Path. This is a relatively new tradition (10 years as of February 2017) that is for men who love men and it continues the legacy forged by Eddy Gutérrez (Hyperion). It consists of four main areas of skill and training that is, Magic & Prophecy, Energy Healing, Shamanic Journey Work and Death Walking. For me the journey through the Unnamed Path has been a very long and personal one as it took me 6 years of research, questioning, listening, online discussions and soul-searching (…and a dead guy turning up in my bed telling me to) before I finally began my formal training toward initiation. I have now formally finished my studies and as of January 2018 I will be the first Australian initiate in the tradition and I endeavour to continue on my training to become a teacher of the Unnamed Path.
Soon after my initiation I will be hosting the first workshop event presented by Queer Pagan Men Australia called “Roots & Bones”. This is essentially the idea that began the Queer Pagan Men Australia in the first place. Roots & Bones is a day of workshops, technique training and ritual through the practices of a variety of Gay and Queer inclusive Pagan traditions. The workshops will be run by a variety of special guest presenters including David Shorey and Tommie StarChild from the USA and Gede Parma from Australia. Each brings with them a wealth of knowledge and experience as teachers and practitioners in many forms of the Craft including the Unnamed Path, Anderson Feri, Druid, Reclaiming and Wild Wood traditions.
As a Witch, Dionysian and Brother of the Unnamed Path I look forward to helping the growth and inclusion of our community so the the next little boy who is chasing shadows through the woods doesn’t feel as lost as I did.
- Buck Agrios
To find out more about Queer Pagan Men Australia and Roots & Bones follow the links below.
(Photo Credit: Luke Brohman)
Dudley Clarence Sturgis IV was born and raised in the south, and inspired by the mermaids he saw on television, he learned to draw them as a child. From these simple childish doodles formed a creative spark that soon turned into a glowing flame. After years of perfecting his drawings, he began to write stories about the characters he created as a preteen. These formed the first of his novels – the DemonCradle series. The tales seemed to flow right out of him. He wrote them between classes in high school, documenting everything that happened to him, but surrounding the events within a fantasy setting. This makes the series part autobiography, and part urban fantasy. After creating digital art for the physical releases of these books, he decided to dabble in painting in his twenties. Now this side project is just as important to him as his novels. Be they erotic fantasy pieces, or family friendly, they tell stories all on their own without a single word. He also dabbles in sculpting and jewelry making.
Follow him on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DudleyClarenceSturgisIV
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Alexander S. Brown is a Mississippi author who was published in 2008 with his first book Traumatized. Reviews for this short story collection were so favorable that it has been released as a special edition by Pro Se Press. Brown is a co-editor/coordinator with the Southern Haunts anthologies published by Seventh Star Press. His horror novel Syrenthia Falls is represented by Dark Oak Press. His current short story collection The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out, published by Pro Se Press, received bestseller status under three literary categories on Amazon.com upon release. He is currently dabbling in spoken word poetry.
Brown is the author of multiple young adult steampunk stories found in the Dreams of Steam anthologies, Capes and Clockwork anthologies, and the anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. His more extreme works can be found in the anthology Luna’s Children published by Dark Oak Press, Reel Dark published by Seventh Star Press and State of Horror: Louisiana Vol 1 published by Charon Coin Press.
Brown is also the producer of, and actor, in the short film The Acquired Taste inspired by a story in his book Traumatized and directed by Chuck Jett.
Brown has been a tarot card reader since Jr. High and has always dabbled in the paranormal. While becoming introduced to many outlets in the occult, he has been a practitioner of Voodoo, Santeria, and Catholicism for the last five years. As he has grown within spiritualism, he has assisted in seances and communication with haunted locations.
Visit his website www.alexandersbrown.com