Christopher Penczak is a Witch, teacher, writer and healing practitioner. His practice draws upon the foundation of both modern and traditional Witchcraft blended with the wisdom of mystical traditions from across the globe as a practitioner and teacher of shamanism, tarot, Reiki healing, herbalism, astrology and Qabalah. He is the founder of the Temple of Witchcraft tradition and system of magickal training based upon the material of his books and classes. He is an ordained minister primarily serving the New Hampshire and Massachusetts pagan and metaphysical communities through public rituals, private counsel and teaching, though he travels extensively teaching throughout the United States.
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 heavy rock music.
While in college, a long time friend and teacher introduced Christopher to the principles of witchcraft, meditation, tarot 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 Cabot Tradition with an emphasis on Witchcraft As A Science. 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 and herbalist.
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. The initial ritual group formed the nucleus of the first Temple of Witchcraft series.
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. He wrote many articles for local and national publications including Wisdom, Horns & Crescents and Green Egg. He has contributed as a columnist to both New Witch and New Worlds magazine.
In 2000, Christopher Penczak was ordained as a minister by the Universal Brotherhood Movement, Inc. He has been a part time faculty member at the North Eastern Institute of Whole Health and was 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. He also serves on the Town Council of the Between the Worlds Queer Pagan Brotherhood Festival as director of publicity.
Christopher is a founding member of the Coven of a New Dawn, operating in various incarnations since 1999, and co-founder of the gay men’s group The Circle of the Sacred Thyrsus (2006-). In 2008 Christopher was initiated as a High Priest in the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft by Laurie Cabot, alongside Sully Erma of the rock band Godsmack. He continues to offer workshop for the Cabot Academy of Witchcraft.
Christopher has penned over fifteen books on spirituality, witchcraft, healing and magick and has won multiple awards, most notably from the Coalition of Visionary Resources. He continues to write books and articles while holding a full time teaching and healing practice in New Hampshire, where he lives with his partners, science fiction/fantasy/RPG author Stephen Kenson and psychic Adam Sartwell.
For more information about Christopher, please visit his website at http://ChristopherPenczak.com.
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