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Refused Rebuke

Of my teeny weeny list of hate mail*, I have another to add. Angry Christian decided to send me a passive-aggressive (?) prayer.

This is the Light of God.
I command you, unclean spirit, whoever you are, along with all your minions now attacking this servant of God, by the mysteries of the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the descent of the Holy Spirit, by the coming of our Lord for judgment, that you tell me by some sign your name, and the day and hour of your departure. I command you, moreover, to obey me to the letter, I who am a minister of God despite my unworthiness; nor shall you be emboldened to harm in any way this creature of God, or the bystanders, or any of their possessions.

 

Let’s break down the bullsh*t, folks!

Here’s the thing: I understand Christians are told to proselytize and spread the word of their religion, to convert people as if they are playing some very, very weird game of Pokemon Go: Religion Edition. However, they should sincerely stop. Christianity isn’t a dying relic by any stretch of the imagination (there would probably be a lot less wars, abused kids, and dead people all along the LGBT spectrum if so), there really is no need to act like it. It really would not kill anyone to just let others be in their own faith. Literally. Like, Christian history is loaded with going to random places and going “Bible or Massacre, you pick” – even to this very day. The smartest thing to do in this instance is to clean that up and STFU until their own house is in some semblance of order. Every religion has screwed up people and groups but Western Christianity need to learn to put the bullhorn down and focus on their problems – not cover it up. **

 

Alright, now the actual text:

I command you, unclean spirit, whoever you are, along with all your minions now attacking this servant of God

Man, am I glad I can decipher Christian prayers, otherwise I would just toss this in the “mumbo jumbo” mental (and digital) bin.

I searched my entire email history (very easy to do with a couple clicks!) and this person, Lotus Flower, does not come up at all. New person. Either this person lives in a detailed saga in their head or … they live in a detailed saga in their head. With exception to very few cases (as in, less than three), have I ever done any variation of doing a jinx/hex/curse/hot-foot on anyone. Everyone else, I rather get my lawyers and/or federal agents.

 

Lawyers: It’s like summoning demons but you sincerely can’t tell the difference

Here’s the thing about me – I don’t tend to attack others. Point out issues and fallacies, sure, but not seek others out for the sole point of bullying and/or derision. I don’t cruise Christian sites and go “You guys stole Yule!” or “Why does Trump exist? Why did you let Trump happen? And Hitler? And … man, we’re gonna be here all day.” Because that’s silly and juvenile. And I’m busy. Sincerely busy – I even miss posting times because of all the stuff I have to do! Why the heck would I go after a no-name nobody for some wild reason?

by the mysteries of the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ … that you tell me by some sign your name, and the day and hour of your departure.

Truncated for brevity, but basically, “You are bothering me, when shall you leave?” Given I’m not actively doing anything to this person, let’s go with “Nothing ever happened to leave from”? This rebuke would be heavy – if it was useful. Oh! and rebukes don’t really work if you email them to other people for roughly the same reason you can’t spend a twenty you just xeroxed – it isn’t legitimate, just a simple copy.

I command you, moreover, to obey me to the letter

Nah.

I who am a minister of God despite my unworthiness

Is it just me or anyone else getting creepy The Preacher/Son of Sam/amoral Puritan pastor vibes? Like, every person I have heard this from usually are thirty seconds to launch in the “religious frenzy” way. It evokes the imagery from the preacher, Mr. Dimmesdale whipping themselves in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

This person probably shouldn’t be a minister if they’re holding this messed up a brain. Everyone has issues, including and especially community leaders, but when you’re reaching Hawthorne-level, that’s a problem.

nor shall you be emboldened to harm in any way this creature of God, or the bystanders, or any of their possessions.

Again, not doing anything to this person or anyone else in terms of magick. Because, again, why would I? Even somebodies I don’t maliciously bother so why would I go after a nobody? I feel like I’m on the weird end of every “I have a witch that is bothering me” letter that I get. Because witches have regular lives as well. Jinxing and fixing takes valuable time, effort and energy. Most people are not worth that.

The person who sent it went by the name Lotus Flower. That’s more Eastern, not Western, based faith. If you’re going to be a douche about people practicing different faiths, don’t hijack others.

This is hardly a concern for me, heck, even breaking it down, it’s not even standard hate mail (yay, something else for my friends and I to vote on). It’s just some person on the internet that emailed me a rebuke as if those work through digital transmission instead of performed. Yes, “they could have performed it” person – true but it’s like a random person getting a restraining order against Idris Elba, not really going to do anything because there was no problem to start with. Therefore, redundant and useless unless you parade it in his very baffled face.

If anything, the person may have been serious but this just comes off as ridiculous and random.

*Seriously, I’ve been running for almost ten years and only got maybe 3-4 pieces of actual hate mail. One was voted as “hate mail” because the English was so garbled and jank, I passed the letter around to my friends who studied everything from linguistics to psychology and even STEM. They majority voted “hate mail” but with a narrow margin. Democracy in action, everyone!

** The concept of “church hurt” exists and I’ve been asked if I’ve experienced it far more than I have ever heard of any concrete ideas to combat it. Dude, I am rarely in churches because I’m not Christian, no, I don’t have “Church Hurt”. But maybe instead of making excuses for it and giving it a name, do something about it for those who have. Not waste breath on me.

 

It has been a while since I have done any proper divination. No palms, no cards, no natal charts, no rods, nothing big. I still skim and such, out of habit, but nothing in depth.

I think part of this has something to do with how things are going. Since everything is up and down like a boat on choppy waters, I kind of don’t want to know the future because A) Something crappy lies there and/or B ) don’t want to incite the nasty habit of trying to avoid crappy thing and make it bigger or make it worse.

Divination is very helpful and the longer you have been at it, the better you are at quick reading omens and the hints around you. However, I don’t feel a need, outside of doing a birthday cartomancy spread or dream interpretation, to do more than that.  Unless I am seriously in a bad bind with absolutely zero solutions and sitting on a crowd of failed ideas, I don’t turn to divination as much. I don’t need to pull a card to decide if my month will be going smoothly or not.

Divination, to me, is like spell casting: I don’t have to do it every single day to be legit. It’s a skill, a practiced, long-wrought skill. I still know more than enough to jeer shows that present a Death card and go “Yer gunna die” because it’s the Death card, not the Death Note (which doesn’t exist (If you are a chaos practitioner – this is not a “for science!” challenge. Do not attempt)). I still know more than enough to note that if tornadoes pop up in my dreams, I should most likely take mental stock of what’s been going on lately.

It’s just, not everything in life, including some of the bad stuff,  does not need a “Warning Ahead” label. Divination is there for guidance, not to be used as a step-by-step “How to Exist” guide. Because, though literally no one likes it, even bad things can be useful (Note the “can”. “Can be” is not synonymous with “absolutely always”).  And even cards, mirrors, pennies and palms can sometimes just go “Yer F*cked. Big Time. That Is All.” Or go “Hey, found the problem: You. No viable solution available because, hey, you’ll royally blow that, too, so why bother?” It’s better to not develop an over-reliance on divination. It’s a great forecast but it’s no proper replacement for an umbrella or snow boots because you eventually will still get rained on or snowed in, despite your best efforts.

Ask Black Witch Free Space!

No questions this month! This means this is free space!

 

I haven’t posted a lot in September. Reason:

  • I got a new laptop
    • It’s a gaming laptop
    • I also have Dead by Daylight
      • I have been spending my time, productivity, and creativity murdering people online

There are other reasons, too, but that’s the main one.

“Why’d the Huntress run out of hatchets?! Now I have to chase that guy!”

Sorry for the late update, this post is going to be short however.

Dawtas of the Moon Convention

Dawtas of the Moon is going into its third year. This is a convention for Black witches (primarily Black women in particular) held in Baltimore, Maryland between October 25-27.

It’s my third year going and I will be doing a workshop titled: “Witchcraft and Research: How to Effectively Research Your Practice” I also will be the closing keynote speaker on the last day, Sunday.

Tickets are still available, get them now!

 

MultiMind Publishing

I have mentioned a while back that I do creative writing. Another story was bought and now is out for viewing/listening. It’s a Sci-Fi Horror story acted out for audiostory by Nightlight, a story podcast that focuses on Black horror writers.

Click the picture to listen!

I’m pushing these two questions together because they pretty much on the same track

Hello! I would like to start getting into and educating myself on African religions, spirituality, and witchcraft but I don’t know where to start. Every book or article I come across is just giving me the whitewashed versions of what I’m looking for. Honestly, idk what I’m looking for. I live in New Orleans so I have the resources that I need I just don’t know what’s the real thing and where I could get it from. Can you help me out? Thanks in advance!

– Jessica R.

So I recently decided to make the jump and start practicing Paganism, but I have absolutely no idea about how or where to start. I feel as though this (Paganism) is the path I need to take to finally come into my own. I would honestly love it if I could find some kind of person with a first hand experience with the craft to give me a better understanding of what all of this entails. Any recommendations?

– C’ara B.

Firstly, for the person who lives in New Orleans:

  1. Walk into any Black owned/Black staffed metaphysical shop.
  2. Skim the books available
  3. Bug anyone who looks like you with questions
  4. Wash, rinse, repeat

For the second one: I have quite a few books littered throughout this site, I recommend poking about.

Onwards with the rest of the answer:

Now, it comes as no surprise to pretty much anyone that Western Paganism bears a very, very White face. Even on cultures that are extremely non-White or exist as a result of the horrors of European-based colonialism (examples: Voodun and Hoodoo, Santeria and Buddhism). It’s a major problem and one that is deftly ignored or responded to with pandering, patronizing lip service – if not met with declarations that, for some stupid reason, acknowledging that division exists and is quite pervasive “is divisive”. White Pagans like to steal from other cultures for the “Otherness” and to Whitewash them as if it was always theirs. That’s going to create conflict, whether they like to note it or not , given that most people don’t like being robbed from.

Paganism encompasses “nature-based belief systems” because it is Latin for Paganus, which means “country-dweller” because of the strong connotation that the person who lives in the country participate in folk/indigenous beliefs. This includes all indigenous faiths, folk religions, etc. These faiths didn’t start out in Europe and then spread everywhere else. They are from all over the world and should reflect that. Especially since Whitewashed versions of these faiths are simply not as legitimate. For example, I would not practice with a White person claiming to be a Voodun priest/ess, a loa, unless they had sincere and extreme in-depth knowledge about Blackness as a culture and an identity, pan-African history, the fact that it was their ancestors who caused the grief and turmoil that created some of these faiths (and not regard it as a good thing), etc etc. Oh, and was deeply involved in the Black community, even to their own detriment (meaning, giving up or rejecting their White privilege at every twist and turn). White folks like that are so few and far between, it’s probably easier to say they probably don’t exist except for nanoseconds at a time. Because it is a mindset, and very self-aware one. While the faith can have room for all, you have to acknowledge invaders and colonizers*. I’ve yet to meet a White person that practices with Voodun deities who knew more than five Black people. The face of indigenous and nature-based faiths should reflect that. But it doesn’t.

I have written about the White-washed Yemaya statue, for example. And my experiences at Pagan events.

This incessant racism also dribbles down to the books, you’re hard pressed to find diversity among the diversity of subjects. Especially Llewellyn, which, I should remind, legit sent me their book about the creator of Llewellyn and somehow deliriously thought it would get any glimmer of a good review from me. Apparently the dude was supposed to be a Champion of Justice just because he had one (1) Black friend and held some Uncle Tom/White Man Burden sector of the NAACP (who has not had a glowing repertoire when it comes to dealing with “well meaning Whiteness” (read: Rachel Dolezal) nor always being for Black folks (read: dismissiveness of Black Lives Matter)). For all the wonders this Random White Guy did(n’t) do, somehow, that glory for racial equality never made it into his publishing house in how he hired or who he published. Making whatever nonsense acts he did maintaining one Negro associate and shelling out money to a Black advocacy group with a checkered scorecard pretty much phony – just like him.

The problem is also that means there are few, decent researched books about Paganism. I always recommended Lauren Manoy’s Where to Park your Broomstick because it’s a good beginner book in general and she acknowledges that prejudice exists. She a White writer but at least she’s not a stupid one, hence why I always recommend her. Can’t say the same for most of the others I come across. New Agey books are really a disservice to those who actually want to learn and gain info. Not feel like they’re doing something because they burnt a stick of sage, wear Killstar or procured a drug habit. Paganism is a lot more than acting out The Craft or American Horror Story.

But in terms of books of culture-centered practices, it’s even harder to come by. For example, because of the pop “bruja/witch” phase, it’s going to be very hard finding reputable sources in Santeria because so many are going to be whitewashed and probably by people who have only know three words of Spanish, if even that. Add in the fact a lot of these cultures are not always in English and tend to be oral traditions, that multiplies difficulties.

I’ve made do with simply researching from an academic stance and mainly, if not only, selecting non-White (and preferably female) researchers. That has probably been the best way I have learned. They have bibliographies, they are fact checked, etc. These books exist in academic libraries and even normal libraries. As far as websites go, I would very much strongly suggest to make sure you’re not getting online screed peddled as actual fact. That means knowing the difference between a fact and an opinion, when you’re getting biased information and more. This is a multi-disciplinary skill but a useful one so you don’t accidentally turn into a Hotep.

Though, have you seen the Hertep skit from The Black Lady Sketch Show? It is comedic and a buoyant display of what not to listen to:

 

* For the whiners who claim “then Black people who practice Euro-centric gods shouldn’t be there, either.” Uhhhh, Black people were forced to literally follow Euro-centric beliefs. Like, actual death held over their heads. That and it isn’t the same because of that glaring fact. No one is forcing White people to practice Hoodoo or else be brutally murdered in the worst way.

I have been following artist Prinnay on Tumblr for the longest time because of her wonderful and creative art style. It’s a jovial mix of traditional and digital art. I always hoped she would make a webcomic – and here it is! HoverGirls!

HoverGirls is a webcomic about two cousins, Jalissa and Kim, who have just moved to Los Aquaceros from Podunkville. Kim is a bubbly girl who spearheaded the move so she could become a fashion maven. Jalissa is reserved, sporty and much rather keep up on her soap operas. Part of what made her move that one of her favorite shows, All My Gambinos, is filmed there.

One day, little sprites struck them and suddenly Los Aquaceros became under attack by a floating fish. From there, they became HoverGirls.

 

[1st three pages]

 

I really love the art style of the comic and it is wonderfully refreshing to see a new take to the Magical Girl storyline. I’m always a sucker for fun fantasy.

Some days, content writes itself.

I got an email from Reisen Sheldon and it was the standard fare of “bad questions”

Can you please turn me into bloody Mary 

Also, because there are so many emails in this exchange, I’m just going to blockquote them all.

When I first saw this, I thought of two things: the childrens’ horror tale of Bloody Mary (basically, stare into mirror, say “bloody Mary” three times, attract a homicidal ghost – you get the gist) and the alcoholic drink that involves tomato juice and a stick of celery. (I have never drank in my life so I still have no idea the point of the celery. I assume for flavoring.)

Either this person was asking me to turn them into a jilted first English queen or an alcoholic beverage – and it doesn’t help that I’m currently reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (by the way, Mos Def was brilliant in the movie) so both look like actual requests. Too bad I’m not too hot on my chaos magick to turn people into drinks on a whim?

Either way, I stay true to my goal to reply to each and every BW email I get:

A) This is dumb
B ) I’m not a genie
C) Dump blood on yourself and call yourself “Mary”, much quicker

As a quick reminder to everyone: I’m only this acidic to dumb questions – hence why I always say “good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated”.

Regal Numbnut of the Fiftieth Court decides to keep talking:

Can you please posses me

Wow, even in the world of magick this sounds disgusting. Also, possession takes time and why the heck would I do such a thing?

Why the hell would I want to do that? Again, this sounds dumb.

The Regal Numbnut replies:

What do you mean?  Your a witch

Okay, everyone. I have zero idea what Disney or American Horror Story or whatever has told anyone in regards to this part but witches don’t just “do stuff” to other people simply because they are told. We’re not fruit machines. This is remarkably flippant. That’s like me going up to an officer and going, “Hit that random guy right there. What? You’re a cop. That’s what cops do. Now go bink that random fella with the orange face, terrible hair and badly tailored suit.”

Uhhhhhhh, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to do what random fools on the internet tell me to. That would be a genie. It’s *your* problem, *you* handle it, not me.

If something sounds like a you problem, I’m not going to fix it. That’s your plate of rotten potatoes, deal. I’m no one’s personal wizard.

I’ll sell you my soul. 

Ya read that right. Someone legit offered me their soul. Though some may disagree (mainly bigots who I got fired/investigated by FBI/etc), I’m not the devil. I don’t even practice the Left Hand Path! Here’s the thing, I’m no soul accountant but I’m sure the soul of a pathetic person probably weighs way less than the lightest diamond and has far less value.

Also, I’m not in the market of buying and owning souls. Sounds like upkeep and I’m not all for that.

That’s worthless. Don’t want it.

The dude doesn’t let up.

Is my soul what you want 

Hell no. Sounds like dead weight.

Or I’ll let you possess me 

That would be disgusting, why would I want to have anything to do with such a pathetic, hapless person. That’s like playing the worst VR game ever. 

It truly would be. It would be like The Sims 2 (and a half): We Stopped Trying, EA Stiffed Us, I’m sure. Or some version of The Sims 1 if no one cared about making even a quasi-decent game.

And if you think that was the kicker:

Are you really evil 

While it depends on who you ask (again, I do leave hapless bigots in my wake and even my lawyers sometimes tell me to tone things down a little), the average consensus seems to hover at about 68% Good 17% Virtuous 9.4836% Wicked/Evil, 5.5% Undecided. So, technically, no. I am not evil.

Why would I be evil? I’m merely annoyed to get such a dumb request from such a whiny person.

But, wait! There’s more!

I’m a witch in training or what you guys call it a warlock

A witch in training is called “a witch”. That’s it. I already wrote about warlocks but here’s a basic go-over from that post:

Okies, let’s start with the lingo. Warlocks are usually shorthand for “bad (usually male) witches”. The word is middle English, warloghe, from before year 900. In ye olde English, it stems from “waerloga”, which mean “oathbreaker” because “waer” means “covenant” and “loga” means “betrayer” (and that word comes from “leogan”: to lie). Yay, dictionaries!

Note that there is nothing about gender in there. Just “liar, deceiver”. Outside of D&D and World of Warcraft, no one I have ever come across has ever called themselves a “warlock”. Male witches are just “witches”. Because they are practicing witchcraft.

And there you go.

Yeaaaaaah, doubt it. Stop watching so many “witch” movies, pick something else to watch. 

However, if you look past the major gender and race issues of Descendants 3, it is quite a delightful film. Ditto with 1 and 2. At least the fashion and dancing are both impeccable.

I need you to help me

The kid needs help all right, but not from me.

Too bad I don’t care

Sounds cold as ice, I know but have you read the entire convo up to this point?

With a evil spell

Nix Descendants 3. This kid is just going to pick up more stupidity somehow.

Now this just sounds beyond stupid. How much tv do you watch? Because this sounds tv-villain level. Get a therapist or something.

So far, we have had: soul-selling, possession-requesting, insinuations of being a “warlock” and we’re not even close to done yet!

What? Your not a real witch im a witch hunter 
This would sound like trolling but I’ve gotten enough of these to know when someone is clutching for straws to appear tough and overwhelming. This isn’t to say witch hunters don’t exist, they do in certain cultures all across the planet. But I have a really strong hunch I am not talking to the protege of Van Hellsing or Hellboy. At all.
That sounds dumb, bro
 Their reply:
So what kind of witch are you 
A regular, plain witch
Not really too jaw-dropping but there you go.
Your supposed to be evil
Wtf? As determined by who?
Says who? That’s ridiculous.
It really is!
So what could you possibly do to well please can you turn me into a girl 
Man, this guy is an idiot. Anyone who even glanced at my site knows that I am not at all favorable to anyone asking to be turned into a girl, body-switching, none of it.
Also, notice the dude didn’t answer my “who?” question.
Um, stop begging. I’m not a genie. Why do you think begging helps? Stupidity has never moved me to do anything for anyone
Or turn me into  [redacted name]
Have I already said that guys are creepy? Because I have been running this blog for literal years and have yet to think of a single time women asked me to be turned into specific guys!
I don’t know who that is nor do I care. That’s pretty sad you want to be other people XD
Seriously. There’s “self-esteem issues” and then there’s this.
Well what can you do to me can you turn me into any thing or are you scared 
Folks, daring me to do things doesn’t really work that well on me. It’s terrible reverse psychology. And it’s usually guys who pull this ego trick. Probably because stuff like that works on them like a charm.
Right now, I’m turning you into fodder for my website, this whole conversation is gonna be posted XD
It isn’t fear I have, it’s bemusement to be bugged by such a pointless person.
And here we are at the end, folks! Remember: If you send it to me, you could see it on this website!

This person was beyond ridiculous. The incessant pandering is out of this world! Throughout the conversation, this was me:

Yeah, I really rather get actual, good questions. None of this nonsense.

I am relatively (2-3 years) into my pagan beliefs and learning my way in this religion and community. What books should I read to help? I find that many of the books are from the perspective of a white middle class person and I cannot identify with that. I am just in search of any information to help me practice to my full capabilities and provide my family with the same knowledge and religion. 

Thanks for your time
L

Most (if not all) books on modern Paganism are penned by middle class White people. It’s a multifold issue: publishing companies (like Llewellyn) don’t like to publish works by diverse authors because, well, they don’t want diverse authors in their ranks, to be honest. At this point, it’s fair to say it’s by design and not by accident for the book selection to look so blanche neige. Anything said otherwise is a plain excuse out of sheer laziness and desire (regardless whether it is conscious or unconscious) to keep up design.

If you want to find books about Paganism that are not written by White people, you’re going to have to look at academic resources and do more searching. It would be nice to have a nice “Paganism 101” book penned by someone not-White to show your folks but they don’t really exist or I would have seen them by now.

There a woman i like her friends dont like me they are using reiki to make her forget about me what can i do to revese the affect of that

– William L.

Firstly, I have to show an Oh My Gods! strip because this question literally made me think of that.

 

Alright, for those not in the know, Reiki is the Japanese art of healing others via energy. The dictionary says:

a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Generally, I would link a site but the decent, informative ones are in Japanese and a blind guess of 98% of the English ones are just full of White-washed, watered-down bullsh*t.

You can manipulate energy (“ki”) to make a range of outcomes, yes. But what this dude is saying isn’t exactly one of them. Here we have another tale of a crush wondering why the person they like isn’t head over heels mad for them. And it’s always because of meddling outsiders like friends and family. Gotta be magick, there’s no other explanation. Not even “They’re just plain not into you”.

She’s not that into you, bro.

I’m in need of some advice even a hint, I want to know how I could use witchcraft to find people/or lost items, I figured using a Pendulum and placing it down on a map, like a Ouija board, but I’m not quite sure how to go about doing that. I appreciate your time. 

Thanks in advance. 

– Aeloz

I suggest looking at the books I recommend on this site and go from there. I don’t really teach divination or anything much anymore (I’m a tired, old coot at age 32) so that’s your next best pick.

The Arts!: Beat’n Path

I really like martial arts and have practice traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu for over a decade now (I also have discovered it is hard as heck finding a partner of any sort, including total noob, that is female or trans).

This also means I like martial arts media. Why, the only magazines I ever really kept up on the most was Black Belt Magazine and Kung Fu Insider.  (I kinda stopped reading because the articles got boring and how many White guys in gis are you going to shove on the cover?)

Lupe Fiasco went on a journey to China to the various birthplaces of Kung Fu. It is an introspective trip that is full of history, outstanding visuals and demonstrations of Chinese martial arts.

What I like most is that it’s not a version of “Eat, Pray, Love”, Lupe actually is a trained martial artist, has been since he was a kid. So that means he genuinely does appreciate what he gets to see and experience. Martial arts is presented as part of a historical culture, not “a way to beat people up and look cool”. The camera angles aren’t something out of National Geographic or BBC where we feel like we are experiencing the world of the Other through a heavy, orientalist gaze. Nor is it, “Rapper sees martial artists, says a lot of stupid stuff because they treat the experience like it is an extended VR feature of a Wu Tang flick.” It also isn’t depicted as Ip Man 5.

I really like the episodes, I recommend giving it a watch:

Beat’n Path (site)

Para-annoying

It appears I’ve gotten attention from folks who are interested in stereotypical “paranormal” stories – ghost stories, stuff that fuels creepypastas, pretty garden-variety stuff.

I was contacted by an NPR head hunter (didn’t know NPR had those but, apparently, it is a thing). I have been contacted by NPR before for an interview that never got aired a few years back. However, that was by an NPR journalist. A headhunter, in entertainment, is someone that seeks people out for shows, usually reality shows. It’s never a compliment when they show up in your inbox, it’s because they think you’re weird/sensationalist enough you’ll bring in the clicks/views. This is why I was surprised to see NPR has one – my idea of NPR is that they’re the audio version of PBS: Informative but very dry, deafeningly White liberal in perspective (meaning, they think they’re forward thinking but they just have smarter-sounding excuses for their blatant racism), and very “we’re for the intellectual echelon”. Even when they try to be light-hearted and funny, it’s still with this tilt. Their target audience are yuppies with Birkenstocks (or Toms), and Enlightened White Savior complexes. Not exactly a heavy competitor for CreepyPasta at a glance. Nor TLC or VH1

This is the email I got:

I checked out both Spooked and Snap Judgement. Snap Judgement seems more NPR’s normal speed, they’re stories that tend to appeal to NPR’s usual listeners. Spooked just looks NPR is trying to break into the CreepyPasta crowd. While trying to garner the Slenderman fandom and beyond can certainly be profitable, it’s annoying for people like me.

Look, I get that I’m a Witch and that “Witches are Spooky”. Just like the person who wrote to me suspected, I’m probably teeming with all sort of “SpoooOOoooOOoOoOoky” experiences. Because that’s how witches are depicted – creepy women doing creepy things (unless it’s psuedo-feminist media, then it’s pretty/hot women doing creepy things – for “empowerment.”) I’m supposedly just a well of memories that can keep someone up late at night.

Yah, no. I’ve dealt with ghosts, entities and spirits – none of them tops actual, living, breathing humans in the horror department. Seriously, review case studies in abuse, view videos on predators and then just hang out on Reddit and you’ll meet absolute payloads of people who are pretty much walking advertisements for abortion. I mention such to the head-hunter:

 

Yeah, no. The “paranormal” stuff I run into is honestly less frightening than the “normal”. Like, I’ve dealt with a lost and angry/baffled confederate ghost before and a regular neo nazi incel before. The incel was way worse. 
– Black Witch

Here’s the thing about head-hunters: they’re persistent if they see something they want to exploit.

Hi Black Witch!

Thanks for getting back to me. I can honestly believe that “normal” experiences are way more far out than the paranormal stuff. Either way, I would love to hear more about those instances that you mentioned. A confederate ghost??? That’s super interesting. Are you available tomorrow for a brief phone call? If so, please let me know the best time and number to reach you.

See what I mean? Ignores the fact I initially said no and my reason why. It’s the “Confederate ghost story” that they want to put on the air. The experience was hardly terrifying for me, it really was just the lost and baffled ghost of a soldier that died right before the Union made a major turn during the Civil War. The ghost was surprised that A) Modern day Baltimore, Maryland looks really different from 1860’s B ) The only person really interacting with them is an annoyed Black kid that just want to go to the bookstore C) The South didn’t actually rise again, they got cruuuuuushed D) The president of the United States they see on a nearby newspaper is a super-educated Black man with a super-educated Black family. Aware of this, they wanted to be at a Confederate burial ground. The only reason I knew the dude was a ghost and I wasn’t getting summer heat exhaustion was because I fact-checked every little thing he said (You think old people around smartphones are awful, interact with someone from the 1800s). Because Confederate soldiers aren’t too golden in the civility department to PoC/minorities and this dude was no exception, I pretty much abandoned him. Not my problem, not my issue and I literally could not care less. I don’t run into ghosts much because I don’t want to and this is why. Dead people are annoying. Not really a scary story.

Here’s what Spooked looks like:

Every tale reads like they’re telling ghost stories by a campfire. This means my story would just get twisted and contorted to sound like a bone-chilling tale of a Confederate soldier visiting a Black person to ease their restless, chattering soul. You can almost hear the chains of antebellum rattling in the background. It’s literally the point of every story there. That’s agitates me. And I said so:

No way. Sounds like the broadcast will make the story sound way more ominous than it actually was. 
– Black Witch

Emails like these are not much different from when random people would visit Pagan events because Halloween couldn’t come early enough. They would think everything, even the sodas in the fridge, had something to do with the occult and witchcraft. Never thought RC Cola would have anything to do with magick outside of chaos magick (those folks use any and everything), buuuuuut never underestimate an overactive imagination fed with a steady diet of crappy shows, campy movies and sensationalist internet articles. They’re having a “paranormal experience”, I’m experiencing disrespectful douchebags looking for a thrill. They think they’re doing something spooky when really, they’re just being disruptive and disrespectful. I don’t go to churches and start jumping on Bibles going, “So is Jesus gonna get me yet? Hey, Jesus! I got a cup of water, turn it into a fizzy blue raspberry soda! And I want bread! Gimme breadsticks! The garlic butter kind. And not the cheap stuff, either, the good variety. Make a dead person show up! Or the walls bleed! Man, y’all ‘Jesus’ guy is boring af. Make him do somethin’, I want an experience.”

Here is the thing: it’s fine that people like scary stories. I’m goth, I’m the last person on the planet to be surprised by that. But there’s a difference between just wanting to read something spooky on the internet and using random people lived experiences like it’s a horror movie extended feature.

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