Join us on Tuesday, August 9th from 5-6 p.m. as we welcome the award-winning author, Christopher Penczak, who will be in town to speak about his new books “Sons of the Goddess” and “The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft.” He will be joining us in the Gallery for an informal discussion and booksigning in our shop. The event is free and open to the public. Call 612-872-1292 for more details.
About the Author
Penczak, Christopher (1973 – ) Christopher Penczak is the author of the books City Magick (Samuel Weiser, 2001), Spirit Allies (Samuel Weiser, 2002), The Inner Temple of Witchcraft (Llewellyn 2002), Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe (Weiser Books, 2003) and The Outer Temple of Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2004). He is an eclectic witch, healer and teacher in the New England area.
Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on May 10, 1973, Christopher was raised in an Italian/Polish family while living in Salem, NH. After twelve years of Catholic school and becoming an avowed agnostic, he initially pursued an interest in chemistry, stemming from a childhood fascination with alchemy and herbalism. As a youth, he had an out of body experience, passing out in a fourth grade science class, but observing the whole scene in spirit, from above the room. While in high school, he was visited by an apparition of his recently deceased great aunt. These two experiences made him question his dedication to science and pursue a study of the mystical and occult, as well as his artistic pursuits. He attended the University of Massachusetts as a vocal major, earning a Bachelor of Music Performance/Music Business in 1995 and set his sights on becoming a full time performer. While studying classical voice, he founded a band called Doctor Soulshine that fused mystical imagery and shamanic concepts to traditional rock music.
While in college, a long time friend and teacher introduced Christopher to the principles of witchcraft, meditation and spell work. At first he was skeptical, but his experience with a healing spell at a full Moon ritual was enough to convince him that there was truth to these ideas and he sought to understand more. He took classes with Laurie Cabot, in her Witchcraft As A Science tradition. He was fascinated with the science and philosophy of her teaching, grounding witchcraft in sound thinking and personal experience. A psychic healing experience left him with a sense of empowerment and spiritual connection. After this initial training, he studied with an assortment of witches, shamans, yogis, psychic readers and healers in the New England area, developing an eclectic path of personal witchcraft. He later focused on the healing arts, completing training as a Reiki Master (Teacher) in the Usui-Tibetan and Shamballa traditions and certification as a flower essence consultant.
After graduation from college, Christopher began work at the A&R department of Fort Apache, a recording studio and record label in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He soon found himself leading meditations and ritual groups for friends seeking to know more about the Craft. During his time in the Boston area, Christopher experimented with the ideas he later wrote about in his book City Magick: Urban Rituals, Spells and Shamanism.
Although having no real interest in teaching formally, Christopher received a message during a meditation in 1998 to start teaching more and begin writing. Thinking it was his imagination, Christopher ignored it, saying to himself and the universe, “I’m too busy with my music career. If you want me to teach, give me the time.” The next week he was laid off from his job and had plenty of time. Although with a booming economy and many job opportunities, Christopher had no luck finding a position in the music industry, or a more traditional office job. When he posted a few flyers about meditation and witchcraft classes at a local shop, the response was immediate and he began teaching classes in his home. Soon he was asked to present workshops at local new age stores and centers. Christopher’s practice focuses on introspection, encouraging others to find their own path and create their own traditions while having a solid foundation in the art, science and spirituality of witchcraft.
Christopher published The Second Road Newsletter, A Journal of Alternative Spirituality (1997 2002) as a quarterly community forum for not only paganism in New England, but also for other traditions of spirituality and healing.
In 2000, Christopher Penczak was ordained as a minister by the Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. He is also a part time faculty member at the North Eastern Institute of Whole Health and a founding member of the Gifts of Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization in New Hampshire made up of individuals from diverse spiritual backgrounds dedicated to joyful service to the local communities.
Continuing with his writing, Christopher has since penned Spirit Allies, The Inner Temple of Witchcraft and Gay Witchcraft. In 2002, City Magick won Best Magic book from the Convention of Visionary Retailers. In 2003, he won the same award for The Inner Temple of Witchcraft.
Currently Christopher continues to write books and articles while holding a teaching and healing practice in New Hampshire, where he lives with his husband, science fiction/fantasy author Stephen Kenson.