A Lokian Family: Queer and Pagan Agency in Montreal


  • Martin Lepage Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)




contemporary Paganism, gender, identity, performance, queer


Contemporary Paganism portrays gender in an array of different ways and, as such, is very inclusive of sexual diversity. But how do queer people take part in the Pagan community? More precisely, what kind of efforts or changes do queer and transgender people have to make in order to relate to the pagan community? To answer these questions, this article examines how queer and transgender people proceed to different kinds of negotiations, especially regarding the concept of gender, that allow them to either participate actively in the Pagan community or to distance themselves from it. After a brief definition of the Pagan community in Montreal and its take on gender, it will demonstrate, with the help of certain concepts from queer studies and performance studies, how a few queer individuals perform gender in ritual context and how gender and queerness impact their relationship with Pagan religious beliefs, practices and communities.

Author Biography

Martin Lepage, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)

Martin Lepage is a PhD. candidate in the Département de sciences des religions, Université du Québec à Montréal.


Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and other Pagans in America Today. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986 [1979].

Althaus-Reid, Marcella. “From the Goddess to Queer Theology: The State We Are in Now.” Feminist Theology 13, no. 2 (2005): 265–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0966735005051952

Austin, John L. How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962.

Beauvoir, Simone de. Le Deuxième Sexe. Paris: Gallimard, 1949.

Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex.” New York: Routledge, 1993.

——. Trouble dans le genre: Le féminisme et la subversion de l’identité. Paris: La Découverte, 1990.

Charbonneau, Marisol. “A Distinct Paganism: The Contemporary Pagan Revival in Montreal at the Turn of the Millennium.” MA. diss., University of Ottawa, 2008.

——. “Mother Earth, Father Sky? The Sexual Politics of Contemporary Wicca and Paganism.” In Stories from Montréal 2: Ethnographic Accounts of Life in North America's Francophone Metropolis, edited by Tammy Saxton, Crystal Léger, and Karoline Truchon, 1–19. Montreal: Armchair Academic Publications, Concordia University, 2002.

Comstock, Gary D., and Susan E. Henking. Que(e)rying Religion: A Critical Anthology. New York: Continuum, 1997.

Davy, Barbara Jane. Introduction to Pagan Studies. Lanham, Md.: Altamira Press, 2007.

Dufresne, Lucie. “The Goddess Incarnate: A Discourse on the Body within One Community of Contemporary North American Goddess Worshippers.” PhD. diss., University of Ottawa, 2004.

Fedele, Anna, and Kim E. Knibbe, eds. Gender and Power in Contemporary Spirituality: Ethnographic Approaches. New York: Routledge, 2013.

François, Stéphane. Le néo-paganisme: une vision du monde en plein essor. Valence d’Albigeois: Éditions de La Hutte, 2007.

Gagnon, Mireille. “La mouvance wiccanne au Québec: un portrait de la sorcellerie contemporaine.” MA diss., Université Laval, Québec, 2003.

Griffin, Wendy. Daughters of the Goddess. Studies in Healing, Identity, and Empowerment. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1999.

Guilhaumou, Jacques. “Autour du concept d’agentivité.” Rives méditeranéennes 41 (2013): 25–34. http://rives.revues.org/4108 (accessed March 8, 2012).

Harper, Susan. “‘All Cool Women Should Be Bisexual’: Female Bisexuality Identity in an American NeoPagan Community.” Journal of Bisexuality 10, no. 1 (2010): 79–107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15299711003609724

Harvey, Graham. Listening People, Speaking Earth. New York: New York University Press, 1997.

Hasbrouck, Jay. “Utopian Imaginaries and Faerie Practice. Mapping Routes of Relational Agency.” In Gay Religion, edited by Scott Thumma and Edward R. Gray, 238–58. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 2004.

Heelas, Paul. Spiritualities of Life: “New Age” Romanticism and Consumptive Capitalism. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781444301106

Houseman, Michel. Le rouge est le noir: Essais sur le ritual. Toulouse: Presses universitaires du Mirail, 2012.

Hurteau, Pierre. Homosexualités masculines et religions du monde. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2010.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.001.0001

King, Ursula, ed. Religion and Gender. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1995.

Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Kraemer, Christine Hoff. “Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Paganism.” Religion Compass 6, no. 8 (2012): 390–401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-8171.2012.00367.x

Lemieux, Raymond. “Bricolage et itinéraires de sens.” Religiologiques 26 (2003): 11–34.

Marron, Kevin, Witches, Pagans and Magic in the New Age (Toronto: Seal Books, 1989).

McGuire, Meredith B.. Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172621.001.0001

Neitz, Mary Jo. “Queering the Dragonfest. Changing Sexualities in a Post-Patriarchal Religion.” In Gay Religion, ed. Scott Thumma and Edward R. Gray, 259–80. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 2004.

Oboler, Regina Smith. “Negotiating Gender Essentialism in Contemporary Paganism.” The Pomegranate 12, no. 2 (2010): 159–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/pome.v12i2.159

Pike, Sarah M. Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves. Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

——.“Forging Magical Selves: Gendered Bodies and Ritual Fires at Neo-Pagan Festivals.” In Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, edited by James R. Lewis, 121–40. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.

——. New Age and NeoPagan Religions in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

Roberts, Rosemary. “‘Healing my Body, Healing the Land’: Healing as Sociopolitical Activism in Reclaiming Witchcraft.” Ethnologies 33, no. 1 (2011): 239–56. http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/1007804ar

——. “‘It’s All a Giant Web’: Syncretism, Agency and (Re)connection in a Contemporary Pagan Community.” MA. diss., University of Montreal, 2009.

Schechner, Richard. “What is Performance Studies?” Rupkatha Journal 5, no. 2 (2013): 2–11.

Sloan, Jesse Daniel. “The Gendered Altar: Wiccan Concept of Gender and Ritual Objects.” MA. diss., University of Florida, Orlando, 2008.

Turner, Victor W. The Anthropology of Performance. New York: PAJ Publications, 1986.

——. Le phénomène rituel: Structure et contre-structure. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1969.

Van Gennep, Arnold. Les rites de passage: étude systématique des rites de la porte et du seuil, de l’hospitalité, de l’adoption, de la grossesse et de l’accouchement, de la naissance, de l’enfance, de la puberté, de l’initiation, de l’ordination, du couronnement, des fiançailles et du mariage, des funérailles, des saisons, etc. Paris, 1909.



How to Cite

Lepage, M. (2014). A Lokian Family: Queer and Pagan Agency in Montreal. Pomegranate, 15(1-2), 79–101. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v15i1-2.79