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Small Magick

As we still are in a pandemic, that means some are still stuck at home (many more should have been or the pandemic would be over sooner) so that means there are those who can’t go out and about and fellowship with their covens or other Pagan spaces of worship. Also, there are those who are still in the broom closet (not out as Pagan or a witch to close ones) and still live with the people they are not out to. 

Then there’s the fact that there shouldn’t be any sharing of the utensils, which can be difficult – but not impossible! – to prevent the spread of Covid. Small magick can be helpful in both cases because it is, well, small. Now, for those who are out and out, they live and practice at home as a comfortable solitary, they don’t have to really change much. If at all. But not everyone has that luxury.

Some people have homes that are basically no bigger than a three dimensional postage stamp so doing a big, flourishing ritual or spell simply is out of the question. Shouldn’t limit the practitioner. Even deities who are used to big and fancy (*cough*sun deities*cough*) can be understanding that you won’t have a field of candles or a raging bonfire to celebrate them. 

The name of the game here is intent. That is what drives spellwork. Energy is the vehicle, intent is the driver. Keep up with learning energy movement and manipulation, also. You can get a lot further in a car than you can on a broken down trike. Intent means more than flashy spellwork or fancy movements. Those things mean something but intent is the crux of it all. Even with a little, you can get by as long as there is big intent.

One practice that comes to mind are “Altoid Tin Altars” which are basically small kits that fit inside a Altoid Tin container. This means everything is stripped down and shrunk down – the salt, the matches, the element representatives, etc. Easy to hide and great for keeping everything compact, and to the absolute necessities. Everything is so small and bitsy that magick could be done on the bed (don’t use candles if so – fire hazard), at the table or in the bathroom. I definitely like the bathroom because I can fill the sink full of water and do candle work on the ledge – or in the water since floating candles are real – and if the flames get massive, even on a teeny candle, because I decided to bug a fire deity, I can shove everything into the waiting water as I freak out over why the birthday candle or menorah candle (they’re colorful, handy and my Jewish friends horked them onto me when they had extras) has a flame that grew five times bigger than what should be capable of a candle. 

With magick so small on the physical plane, that means the mental plane is going to need a boost. I strongly recommend meditation for this, it is the best way to strengthen your mind and keep it decent for the long run. Yes, meditation can appear very hard on the first try but that’s Skill Procurement 101 – it is going to be tough at the start. Try not to buy into falsehoods such as “you should be able to get meditation down quick and if you can’t, you’re worthless” or “try drugs!” – those two are big headaches in the Pagan community whenever someone new or very unpracticed comes along. Witchcraft involves building skill. Just put in the work. There are no shortcuts, sorry. If anyone tells you there are, they’re probably selling something. Plus an unfocused mind makes for pretty crappy magick because an unfocused mind means unfocused energy. The mental should be some degree of stronger before going to anything physical so always keep the mental primary. 

Meditation doesn’t have to replicate a zen garden or the woo-woo bs kits that are probably found at Five Below or wherever New Agey bunk is sold. It can be a simple as just learning how to focus deeply on simply counting to five, first forwards (breathing in) and backwards (breathing out). There is also this handy gif below!

 

Stilling your mind can be tough, we don’t live in a world where it’s easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are smartphones, invasive ads, social media. Everything is all about being busy and worrying. One, because anxiety makes it easier for pointless people to sell pointless things to you. Two, being busy is an easy way to be stressed and have pointless people sell pointless things to you. Living in a capitalist society sucks, frankly. 

It is ok to spend 2 to 5 minutes a day. Sometimes that can be frustrating for someone to hear because “those two to five minutes can be used elsewhere!” But in reality, it is 2 to 5 minutes. Go for 60 seconds if 2 to 5 minutes can be tough. Surely you have 60 seconds? 30 seconds? No, you’re not going to quiet your mind in 30 seconds, unless you’re very practiced, but it is still a start for trying to still your mind and focus it. Eventually, you can upgrade to energy manipulation after you learn to keep your mind quiet for long enough. 

This is where the bread and butter of magick work is. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it isn’t super duper easy. That’s what “work” is. 

While getting better at doing mental plane work, there is still small magick that can be done. More like “passive magick” but that’s that. It isn’t as strong or punchy as active magick but it’s something. That could be doing sympathetic magick, which is a form of passive magick, and working with the basic phases of the moon. Doing kitchen magick can be a form of somewhat passive magick, as long as things are kept light and simple. It can be simple as writing notes of intention and throwing them into a candle or plain burning them – be safe with that, by the way. Write on flash paper, which is paper meant to burn away in a flash, so you don’t have to worry about ashes and embers floating about. Do not burn bundles at the same time. One at a time, small at a time. 

Using birthday candles and sand is a popular combo for me. Small, simple, easy clean up. Mark whatever you want on the candles, light them, stick them in the sand and you’re done! You can also pair them with half size incense sticks if you want, I would use the sticks as wands. This way, it keeps everything small and capable. Just keep your pets away from them. Fire hazard. 

No fire? No problem, There is drawing, writing, sigils (with some real research, not just “things found on Instagram”), the list goes on and on. If there is literally no time and no room? Read and research whenever you can, it still propels you forward on your magick practicing journey. Just don’t read and research bunk, try going for accurate historical sources. 

The point of small magick is to keep practicing, even when you don’t always have the space for it. Not everyone has big, lush backyards. Not everyone has a ton of space to make a complete circle, filled to the brim with knicknacks. Not everyone has the finances to have a circle filled to the brim with big knicknacks. But that should not dissolve the practice. Sometimes things have to get a little smaller. 

Tomorrow will be the BW Samhain/Halloween livestream on the FB fan page at 3 PM EST. I might be doing another one on Instagram (@thisblackwitch) afterwards but the FB one is a certainty. Be there or be square. And remember: keep your pets indoors for the spooky season. Some people are worse than the monsters on tv.

Also, if you are going to be doing Samhain/Halloween activities, a reminder:

We are still in a pandemic. If you are not vaccinated, don’t be a walking horror movie plot and stay home. No one wants to live out Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later because of you. If you are vaccinated, be smart and still wear a mask. The fully vaccinated can still get infected.

See everyone tomorrow!

Happy Samhain!

Reminder everyone! Black Witch livestream will be on Samhain/Halloween at 3 PM EST on the FB fan page, there may be another showing shortly after on Instagram (@thisblackwitch).

Blackhaven

Blackhaven is an indie game available for free on Steam about history and preservation and censorship. The story follows young museum intern Kendra Turner as she works at Blackhaven museum, a fictional colonial historical landmark in Virginia, to earn her archeology trip to Greece. What she learns is that the museum has been trying to hide the landmark’s plantation past – and silence anyone who was a descendant of those forced to work on the plantation. Especially when that descendant has a right to the estate’s money.

Here’s the trailer!

I really, really liked this game. I even nicknamed it Library Simulator because I literally work in this field. And live in Maryland (they mention several Maryland places and Virginia is not far). And am Black. And female. And – are they sure they didn’t watch me work at several museums and libraries? If Kendra Turner tested the water fountains for coolness I would have have demanded a line in the small credits. (Weird thing I do, I keep a mental “Best of Best” list of water fountains from libraries & museums I work at. Library of Congress currently tops the list but only for one (1) location, a staff only spot in the Adams building. Well, two (2) – any Blue Core water fountain in Jefferson on the bottom floors.) What also makes me really attach to the game is how accurate the micro-aggressions are, from the “I’m watching you” email to the annoying phone calls. I sincerely should just show a let’s play to everyone who ever asks me “why do you have several lawyers?” You would think people surrounded by information would be, y’know, smart but I have met many who are the living embodiment of “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

You, the player, discover how the museum is hiding the fact the fictional founding father, James Blackhaven, was actually a terrible slave owner (oh, wait, I said “slave owner” twice – they were all terrible). How he made his money wasn’t from being shrewd with his finances and forward thinking, it was by enslaving innocent people and putting them through tortuous, horrific conditions to turn a buck. And his wife was definitely an Angel in the House – but only to White people.  On top of that, the Blackhaven estate also hides and silences anyone who is a descendant of the Black people they enslaved, telling them “no one in Blackhaven history has ever engaged with slavery. You should check your facts, we won’t let you explore our private collections”. Double so if that descendant is also an heir to Blackhaven itself and thus, the Blackhaven money.

That was so on point I was flabbergasted. Remember, I’m in Maryland and I literally work in this field, it is bananas how much these institutions will fall over themselves to hide the extremely true and glaring facts of how they came to be. If you want a real kicker, you only have to wait around for maybe fifteen minutes before the same people who will say “We are Good White People – Get lost before we call the cops” will then slander China for “oh they have censorship like mad over there – hey, some Black person wants to interview us about the slaves the founder had. Tell them that never happened and threaten them with a lawsuit if they keep pressing. Lies, I tell you. They always like making things up, from ‘Karens’ to ‘police brutality’.” Hoo, the cognitive dissonance is neck-breaking.

I appreciate how accurate they made the documents (most likely pulled from real resources, most of it), the storytelling, the feel, everything. Even the rinky dinky scanning station, the sly enabling of problematic employees, the purposeful “It’s not because you’re Black, it’s because … uh … work” exclusion, and over surveillance.

The visuals are factually accurate but there’s nothing torture-porn gory. In other words, they don’t go super White-Dev-Explores-Painful-Black-History about it. I don’t even remember if I saw the n-word. They’re being that sensitive and accurate and I am 10000000000000000000% here for it. I should know about how accurate the texts are, I literally transcribe 17th-19th century documents for a living. Wow, I wish other devs could be the same.

Blackhaven is also a bit of a taster game for the next game from Historiated: Cassius. Which explores more of Blackhaven’s history, during the thriving hey day of Blackhaven manor. Cassius is available in 2022.

Check them out:
Historiated Games

Q Planet/ Queer Archive/ Rainbow Foundation

I always love keeping up on history, even when it is in the making. Q Planet is a Korean youtube channel about LGBTQIA history, culture and identity in South Korea. I learned about it from following Eun Ha-Sun, a queer feminist who originally was on the Korean talk show “Candid Men and Women” (hard to find and translated versions don’t exist as far as I know but here is the series – have on at least two adblockers. The site is in English, the show is not). She’s now on Q-Planet (큐플래닛) with livestreams and such. From Q-Planet, I learned about the Rainbow Foundation and Queer Archive. Both are Korean sites but they have English versions.

Queer Archive is a treasure trove of Korean queer history, focused on the nation of South Korea. From books to cartoons to historical documents.

Let me gush about the font package, Gilbeot, developed by the Rainbow Foundation. It is provided free for anyone to spread queer cheer in the Latin and Korean alphabet.

Behold!

Look at all the pretty colors! Throw in the ace colors and it would be golden

As explained on the website:

Hangul wears the colours of pride.
The first complete full-colour Hangul typefaces
representing the pride of sexual minorities.

The Gilbeot Typeface project was born out of the idea
of creating a Korean Hangul version of the Gilbert Typeface
which was created to honour the memory of Gilbert Baker (1951-2017),
a gay human rights activist and creator of the LGBTQ Rainbow Flag.

The typeface name “Gilbeot” is a play on words with the name Gilbert,
but also signifies the word “journey” or “path” (gil) towards a society
that respects diversity that is shared with a “friend” or “companion” (beot).

By the way, installing fonts are not hard, just unzip, look for the font settings on your computer and drop them in the drop box. These are so colorful and wonderful. It is part of a visual arts project to promote queer visibility. Rainbow Foundation talks about it at length in English but there is also a video. It is currently untranslated so no English subtitles, sorry!

If you feel like giving them your money (and are in Korea), they have cute stuff. If you feel like giving them your money (and are not in Korea), they have a donate page.

TransLives.Net

TransLives is currently undergoing censorship (gotta love global queerphobia) so it is not currently active. The site reads (in Chinese): “Due to the Ministry of Public Security’s notification that the website contains illegal and harmful information, it has been temporarily closed and ordered to be rectified.” (“因公安部通报,网站存在违法有害信息,暂已关闭责令整改.”) It is a load of bull, obviously. Especially for a nation with a long and expansive queer history – there’s the ever astounding Emperor Ai (one of my favorite people in history, next to Jing Ke, Ida B. Wells, King Sejong, Benjamin Banneker – it’s a sort of long list but he’s there). Then there’s the fact that bisexuality was the norm in China (mainly before the White people showed up. Yay imperialism and their nonsense offshoots of queerphobia, severe racism/colorism, etc etc.) for a very, very very long time. Was it always Pride in China? More like “no one cared until sniffy people got sniffy” … orrrr “We don’t care who you sleep with – as long as it isn’t with the Emperor. And you’re not amassing power from it.” Things like “Queer Pride” wasn’t really needed because it wasn’t considered any shade of abnormal. And there were bigger fishes to fry – like war, famine, and trying to run a really, really, really big country.

There’s a lot of interesting history getting the king sharpie pen treatment, in other words. Before I continue, let’s point this one thing out – this mention of China censoring queer people & queer existence should not be taken as “Woo, America is better”. America is about as trash as China is when it comes to queer people being treated with any decency, and the decency super plummets when the queer person isn’t White. Is the US government currently censoring queer websites? Not currently to the level of China but whoo, is there a very not-great history of what it is to be Queer in America. For one, there’s the Pulse mass shooting. For two, literally pay attention to any PoC trans person ever for the quickest view. (Or watch Pose, which is a brilliant show filled with wonders – and painful accuracy) Or visit Texas. Or San Francisco, just don’t let the rainbow sidewalks fool you. In short, both countries are very trash when it comes to queer people being treated decent in general. China is getting fussed upon because TransLives.Net is a site for Chinese citizens in China to express and examine themselves and their identities. There are still some spots online, mainly in English, discussing queer existence in China. As well as pointing out the really not-awesome behavior of what is happening, which is striking mainly queer people and feminists in China.

Before the Beijing Ban Hammer dropped, this is what the site looked like, courtesy of the Wayback Machine. (Click to see full pic):

In Chinese

In English

It was a super informative site that, just like Queer Archive, was filled with info (that is thankfully still there due to the wayback machine) for people who are questioning their gender identity in China. The links can still be clicked on and the site traversed (with some lengthy maneuvering with the wayback machine) but it is currently censored, which is not great. However, I still think such a site should be noted! Hopefully it will be back up or the servers moved somewhere out of reach of political chicanery.

Busy Black Witch

Hoo, it’s been a minute since the last post, I know. Thankfully still have never caught The Plague – oh, by the way:

I’ve just been busy. The Black Witch Shoppe is still closed until the pandemic is over (I know – there is no “over”. Notice though how we aren’t still ravaged by the Spanish Flu from 1918. There is eventually an end, it’s just a long ways off) but that doesn’t mean I’ve haven’t made new things. I’m not reopening the store yet because there are a lot of supply interruptions – and still a deadly virus going about. I’m currently in a position where I can do this so do this I shall. Last I need is the additional stress of worrying about physical supplies for creation and the postal system. 

Instead what I have been working on is my other project/creation – MultiMind Publishing. That has been slurping up a lot of my time. I haven’t even had time for video games or exercise – well, video games that aren’t Tomodachi Life. I can squeeze that into my day and still feel social. MMP is simply my creative writing works. My novels, my novellas, my stories, you get the idea. Right now, only two works are really available – an audiostory (short audiobook?) that was published by Nightlight Podcast, a horror story podcast that features Black horror writers, and a small fantasy novelette that I had put out a year ago. The novelette has been reformatted (yay, me learning Affinity Publisher better) in both print & ebook and the audiobook version is pretty much done. I didn’t self-narrate because I frankly didn’t want to. Then there’s the next work that is coming out next year, a fantasy horror novella. I learned a lot (code for “I went through a lot of annoying bullsh*t”) from the novelette that I am definitely applying on the novella. I talk on the MMP blog why I am going indie (tl;dr – I didn’t have great experiences with traditional publishing as a Black speculative fiction author. Traditional publishing is still very, very White and I, as well as my stories, are very, very not. Also, bad contracts are still the norm there. Not interested.)  I post very scantly there  because that’s just for random thinks as they pertain to publishing. 

But I do want to show the covers here because the covers are pretty and designed by Edge, whose works I really love and admire. Check out more of Edge’s works here.

So pretteh.

Amika is available for purchase, Dreamer is coming out next year. 

So that is what I have been working on. I still will be doing my Samhain livestream on Samhain/Halloween itself. I still am not sure if I will be splitting my time between the BW fan page or instagram like I did for the anniversary livestream but I probably will. Either way, shenanigans begin at 3 PM EST on the BW fan page.

What I also have been working on, as mentioned by my twitter, is dealing with another library issue. (To learn about the first one, just slap this site into the Wayback Machine and pick any time in 2016). I’ll let this screenshot of the recently taken down petition sum things up – caution, suicide is mentioned and feel free to click the image if the text is too small (it’s pretty small):

The petition was taken down because the even the university union higher ups thought it was “too inflammatory” (and was notified by the university HR, who probably said “this does not make the university look good. Make something happen”). Apparently Paula’s behavior is “too inflammatory” to post & talk about in public but not inflammatory enough to warrant a pink slip. The university won’t even allow a vigil for Vivien. They never formally recognized Vivien’s passing (I was one of the last people to see Vivien alive and saw her suicide note when she posted it – and still have a copy of it). When the petition maker tried to make an on-campus vigil happen for the 12 of Oct, a few days ago, it gathered the attention and support of the clubs and groups on campus – and then the university lawyers threatened lawsuits on the clubs and group if the vigil were to happen. So not only will the university cape for Paula, they literally try to litigate even regular, non-disruptive things into quiet, like a vigil. And here’s a long comment left by a someone who still works there.

Click the image if the text is too small (it’s pretty small): 

Why are people like this in library science? I have zero idea. Very much the definition if the phrase “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. Lawyers are working on it but it is still a very trash thing to happen. And this is just a droplet of Paula’s behavior. She regularly engages in ageism, queerphobia, ableism, etc.  And it looks like the university is super ok with that.

I always forget to write these kind of things down. Spellwork is something I definitely need to get better at writing down more because I sometimes have quite forgetful day and can’t remember what spell I casted or if the thing that happened to me had something to do with the spellwork or not. I’ve got a lot on my plate always (I mean, even my posting has reduced) so I can’t always have “what magick did I do” at the forefront of my mind.

I’m sure there are apps that can help keep track of spellwork, just like there are apps that keeps track of periods – because periods are also annoying to keep at the forefront of your mind. Yes, I don’t want to bleed through several layers of clothing but I also don’t feel like doing that much brain work – thanks technology (when not insanely sexist, which is a major problem). Back to spells, I have not looked through any spellwork apps so I have none to recommend but I definitely think that people who engage in spellwork should use something that can help remind them of their practices.

I’m relatively old school when it comes to keeping track of things (outside of periods, I rather reliable new tech – like an app – do the tracking for me) so I use calendars and only recently started using emoji as visual short hand of when I do something. I only started using emojis as visual short hand for when I would be visited during the start of the pandemic so that if I or someone else became infected, I had a handy-dandy reference guide in my phone to pinpoint exactly when I saw them so I could do as accurate a threat assessment as possible. Also, everyone should be getting vaccinated (if possible) and still wearing masks. Thanks to unvaxxed and half vaxxed people who like to play poker with their lives (and others), the Delta variant is really doing some damage. Then there’s the double mutation (when two variants (mutation) kame hame ha together to become one really bad variant – may possibly become variant Epsilon). Back to calendars and emojis, they’re useful. I need to do the same for my spellwork.

Since I don’t do much spellwork regularly (I’m very much the set-and-forget type), it probably wouldn’t be too hard to keep track of what work I have done and for what reason. Spellwork varies by culture, tradition and practitioner, so it is hard to say “Oh by an X amount of days, you will see Z result.” The universe doesn’t work like television shows, sadly. Some changes could be very hard to spot, others are bleedingly obvious. I prefer the bleedingly obvious but the universe prefers trolling. Plus signs can very much differ by culture, tradition and practitioner – oh, and what was casted. For example, I tend to do a lot of candle spells (like I said, I’m very Set-and-Forget) and prefer candles that already have spellwork/intentions casted upon them just so I can light them whenever needed, assuming they are a multi-day candle. That is because they are designed to continually apply themselves until it runs bare, which I then renew by lighting the candle again. It would be helpful to me and my practices if I just wrote down “lit XYZ candle” for whatever day I lit it on, the first day holding the general details of what it was for.

Writing down rituals and spellwork so that you can keep track of it, phenominal idea, I should probably do that more. At least maybe even at all, bare minimum.

Join me today and tomorrow for AceCon, an online conference about Asexuality! I will be on one panel called Ace Spectrum at 12:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time), where I talk about being demisexual and how it impacts my lived experiences. There are several panels, including Black Aces, Aces in Africa, Latin Aces, East Asian Aces, South-East Asian Aces, Ace and Gender, etc. Please check them all out, all times are listed on the AceCon site.

For those who are going “what is asexuality/demisexuality?”, for starters, it is the last letter of the current LGBT+ acronym: LGBTQIA. For those who have zero idea what those letter mean:

L = Lesbian
G = Gay
B = Bisexual
T = Transgender
Q = Queer
I = Intersex
A = Asexual

There’s no S for “Straight” for the same exact reason saying “White Power” and “Men’s Rights Advocate” are really red flags for “douchebag on premises”. It isn’t about straight people, at all. And A doesn’t stand for Ally, because, again, it isn’t about straight people at all.

And this conference is about Asexuality and its accompanying spectrum (which includes demisexuality). Please check out the different talks! Also, there will be informal discussions on Discord, please also visit the AceCon website to find out what will be on Discord and when. See you there!

Also, related: If you want to buy a pin to represent your flag, I recommend DriftingDayDreamer, a Black Queer owned online shop. Check out her line, called Queer Sky Collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, yes, we are all still going through the Great Panini of Death. 17 months in and still no end in sight. There is some end in sight, but y’know, anti-vaxxers and misinformation and all that jazz. Despite there being a free vaccine here in the US (the worst affected nation in the world – as in, no one has more cases or deaths than we do), there are still many who do not wish to be fully vaccinated – or plain vaccinated at all. Due to this, that means that now there are stronger variants floating about. Wear a mask, even if you are vaccinated. Primarily wear masks indoor if you are vaccinated but there is more and more research coming out that you can still be a carrier for the virus, and thus get someone else sick. Covid is still pretty asymptomatic (even more so with each passing variant/mutation), Covid is still deadly (even more so with each passing variant/mutation), Covid is still around (even more so now that people are acting as if the Plague is over).

States in the US are stupidly opening up – mainly for money reasons – and some are dropping sensible measures, such as mask requirements, social distancing requirements and vaccine mandates for events & gatherings. Then you have unvaccinated people taking advantage of the current Honor System we have going on about self reporting if one is vaccinated or not. Since there is no visual difference between a vaccinated person or not, it is hard to make a proper distinction between the two. This makes everyone almost of Schrodinger Vaccination status. Are they lying? Are they not? Either way, it’s better to wear masks and not frolic so much together until the Pandemic is finally done for good.

All this to bring up those who are not solitary practitioners of Paganism and/or witchcraft. There are many temples closed, many practicing places closed, etc. And there are some that are open, way open. And then you have the Special Flavor of Anti-Vaxxer: “Nature will heal us all, we do not need vaccines”.

The stupid, it burns.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this post, I would like to remind everyone, Pagan, Witch, and none-of-the-above, that nature, though wonderous and awe-inspiring, is insanely deadly and has zero problems with killing us all. (Given all the polluting and habitat killing we do ourselves, it really wouldn’t be that bad an idea, if you think about it from nature’s perspective.) The same nature that gives us daisies and cinnamon is the exact same nature that gives us viruses and hurricanes. Same entity. The exact same. And we pray to that exact same entity for luck, mercy and hope. So yeah, the acknowledgement of “Nature can be kind but wowsers, can nature destroy you faster than you were made” is kinda built into Pagan faith and witchcraft practices. Getting a vaccine is not rebuking any part of Paganism, magick, nothing. Science can work hand-in hand with nature (except when Science is trying to kill nature or force nature to fit an artificial lens that is incredibly short sighted). Now, most Pagan I come across has this understood through and through, but then there are the fluffy bunnies, the New Age folks and others who pretty much float around us mainly out of effort to boost their own egos and feel big and powerful. And, of course, very dumb and short sighted Pagan and magick practitioners (note earlier I said “most”, not “all”).

Now, into the meat and potatoes of this post.

Good thing we are all still under the same sky and our practices are nature based. It is entirely possible to just simply coordinate a time and do the rituals apart but together. Yes there are those who prefer to feel the close-by energies of your fellow practitioners but try to focus via the sky, not via tech or anything else. Spirit and energy can work like wind and wind is quite global. This can be very useful, regardless the size of groups. I have even seen things done through virtual reality (there is something called The Illuminati Simulator, where there is the purported claim that [quote site] but it’s totally trash, don’t use) but a ) most people do not have a VR headset b ) I would not really rely on tech to not break mid-rituals. I am used to lights flickering and things of the sort during my spellwork, I am not going to run my risks with an expensive headset. Now, the only traditions I see this possibly running into problems are for ceremonial magick practitioners, because every little thing is poignant and important, even the directions and places that people are standing. That leads to the next part.

If you absolutely have to do the ritual together – and I mean, there is literally no other way, even including the abilities of magick – then try to practice safely. Again, some traditions, it is important to be together. But do it safely. Have one person handle one thing. Nix all communal stuff such as drinking from the same goblet, try pouring into individual cups. Yes, drinking from the same source carries deep meaning, different from it being poured into individual cups, but surely the entities shall understand. This isn’t an expression of a lack of faith that the deities and entities around you cannot keep you safe from a virus, but don’t forget, there are deities of plagues and viruses. Do you think they would not like to pass up a royal opportunity to show out? Not all deities are the Respect-The-Invite-List-Please type. Heck, and this is excluding trickster deities, who also like to mess of things, especially when there is a golden opportunity. Respect those deities and play it smart & safe.

Given how covens are usually small and so are practicing groups – I have yet to see a megachurch equivalent of a Pagan worshipping place – please do try to establish social distancing. For some groups, this will be quite easy because they have to stand at several distant points (usually in a square/equal cross, at five points to represent the pentagram, etc) so hooray, social distancing is built in. I have been in relatively big groups (30+ people in a circle) but they would also practice outside since doing ritual indoors would have been terribly cramped. It is important to space out so not to spread viruses but also in general so people can be comfy, everyone can express themselves, so on and so forth.

Masks are important. I understand deeply that for some, the idea of wearing a surgical mask (not a ritual/traditional mask) or a cloth mask can feel restrictive to the ritual/spellwork or as if speaking through a filter. Again, if you have to wear a ritual mask or traditional mask, you can easily slide a regular mask on underneath. If you absolutely must – as in, there is no alternative, not even magickal – then be at least 12 feet away from everyone on all sides and only outdoors. Rituals like these can get shouty and sometimes blustering when in the passion of the moment. Be smart and be safe and most importantly, be respectful to all entities, including the uninvited ones. Tradition is important and the more ceremonial the ritual, the more restrictive it is. Every little thing is important but there is still at least miniscule room for change. Yes, there is also the idea of “won’t this deity/entity we are performing the ritual for be Not Happy that we’re trying to make room for the pandemic and the related plague deities?” Some deities and entities are very Me Only but if that’s the case, throw in an extra “this is why we’re doing all these precautions” part of the ritual. And make sure to include a “if you don’t like it, please don’t blame us – take it up with the other deity/entity that is totally stealing some of your spotlight” snippet. But still, wear a mask if you can.

Things should already be washed thoroughly for ritual, pre-pandemic. Washing and cleansing are important parts of ritual and practice because of the real and symbolic preparations of getting ready to perform ritual. Please do not be yukkers, wash thoroughly everything that will be interacted with. Wash it with soap, sanitize it with rubbing alcohol, do not just use plain water and call it a day. For commonly touched surfaces, such as staves, shawls and wands, make sanitation part of the ritual. If you’re going to create a cleaning solution meant for rituals, make sure that the cleaning content, usually rubbing alcohol, is 60% or greater. Shoot for 70% as the minimum. Even if it is as dopey looking as dressing up a bottle of hand sanitizer and deeming one person as the Sanitizer Person – I feel like chaos magicians are going to have a field day with that – still, have something in place. Rituals and groups already should have a clean up crew but it is important for everyone to do their part.

The pandemic is probably going to be going on until 2022/2023 at the sheer latest. 2024 for things to look pretty regular again. That means planning for adjustments. Vaccine rollout is slowing down, misinformation is rampant and the virus is steadily making its way through the entire Greek alphabet at record pace. Remember, the UK variant was Variant Alpha, we’re now officially at Delta and most likely going to see Epsilon quite soon – all within the span of roughly a year and some change. (I think if things go to Omega, the last of the Greek Alphabet, that’s going to be quite a kicker. In all the bad ways.) It is important to acknowledge this, even in the midst of practicing magick and/or Paganism with others. I am a solitary practitioner so it’s business as usual for me but for others who are used to practicing with each other, I’m quite sure it has put a dent in their practices.

Last but not least, if there is a Social Gathering Prevention mandate going on, respect it. Do not try to hold a ritual of 70 people when you’re only suppose to have a max of 5. The deities and entities around us are long-lived, they have seen adjustments due to war, oppression and previous plagues. A few changes will be fine.

Let’s get into it. Should have posted this last week but I derped, didn’t check the time of the month and, oh look, derps ahoy. It happens. I received this via the Black Witch Facebook Fan Page. There will be some repeating at the tops and bottoms for consistency and to show the whole conversation.

 

 

Ok, let’s get into this. I get a lot of these “[significant other] left me and I want them back, spell plz” inquiries. Overwhelmingly from men – I’m going to touch on the gender part in a minute – and they usually are from someone with zero listening skills, given the way they try to repeat or twist logic. And the royal fact they are doing this with a stranger, which means they definitely were doing this in their relationships. I always suggest therapy to anyone going through relationship issues. Yes, therapy is very unaccessible for quite a lot of people, either because therapists cost too much, there are no therapists for the person’s area, etc, but there are therapy groups online. Not better than a therapist but better than nothing at all. Even getting the Replika AI app might be useful (caution tho, if you have a Black Replika, it will showcase that it definitely has White devs in some startling ways. Also, it repeats itself, all the Replikas do). I say over and over to others that I do not do paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and I do not work on others. Remember, I’m a Witch, not a Genie.

This person says they want their wife back, it sounds like to me like she left. If someone has left the relationship, that’s usually Game Over. “Winning” someone back is generally a bad idea, because unless the person was super immature or childish, they most likely conveyed that there were problems in one way or another throughout the relationship so all the opportunities to do any winning is pretty much gone. It’s easier to fix a relationship that is making a downward spiral than it is to fix a relationship that has crashed and splattered all over the ground. Not “easy”, simply easier than starting from total destruction. There is no fancy method, all the sappy movies that star White dudes who have zero sense of self or reality (running around with boomboxes, screaming in the rain, dashing through the airport, etc) sold guys a major lie: “I can screw up as much as I want and when things finally flatline and I successfully chase someone I care about away, I can do a huge gesture and all will be fine again – for me. I legit just tricked someone back into a relationship they expressed they do not want to be in.” Women can also act in this way, too. But society immediately rushes to call her “desperate”, “stalker” and the ever classic: “crazy”. Gotta love sexist double standards.

Usually the best times of figuring out relationship problems are generally … while the problems are happening. Ignoring doesn’t work. Pretending doesn’t work. Screaming until everyone treat the problem like it is covered in poison definitely doesn’t work. Communication is essential in relationships, if you two can’t talk out a problem – in a civil manner (no screaming, no put downs (that’s abuse)) – then maybe it’s smarter to just sit out relationships until you can get some decent help to sort out your own head. Be it with a therapist or reading decent relationship blogs – stay away from anything that mentions RedPill or incel in a positive manner and check if the blog covers queer relationships (not all men date women and not all women date men, please remember that) because if they don’t, it’s a red flag that the blog probably will just feed you more toxicity, especially if you are a guy. But try to learn how to sort out relationship problems when they are happening. Try different methods of handling, such as texting them out (gives you both a chance to read your words and reflect before pressing ‘send’), cooling off rules, etc. No matter what, work on the problem as it blips up. And know how to speak up, don’t rely on the other partner to detect the issue like a sonar. You’re dating a person, not a doppler radar. Learn how to address relationship problems in a non-terrible manner and apply them. Screaming “you make me sick when you …” is not going to help anyone. Have an explosive temper? Definitely work on that … by yourself and with professional or self-help, do not put someone else through that.

Note how I told the guy that perhaps he should talk to his wife instead of talking to me if he wants to learn how to “win” her back – assuming she even still wants to hear from him. I’m pretty sure if there was something she would want him to do to make things right again, she would say so. If she doesn’t want to hear from him at all, then he might as well wait for the soon-coming divorce papers and get his pen ready. Can’t fix a dead horse.

“It’s like as though she [is] giving me [a wake] up call” sounds pretty bad. If you have to wonder, that’s a problem. He should already know – from talking to her. If anyone thinks being left is a “wake up call”, that means they slept on a lot of problems and most likely woke up way too late. The wake up calls should have been when there were issues in the relationship that got most likely ignored or brushed off. Heck, the guy should have been very awake in the relationship the whole time. Problems happen in relationships, all relationships. It’s how the problems are dealt with that determines if the relationship is soon to be carted to the morgue or not.

If she is giving a “poker face” that means it sounds like it already dawned on her that her husband doesn’t really actually care about her and, thus, it isn’t even much worth to try to present any further problems because, hey, what’s the point of talking to a brick wall? Just try to keep it together for the kids and bide your time to make a break for it. That’s not exactly uncommon for women who feel like their partners just plain aren’t up to snuff like they would like and there are kids involved. Sounds like this relationship has been laying in the grave for a while. As if, if there were no children, she would have been gone even sooner. Yep, I get these letters a lot and very regularly from guys, so it isn’t a unique problem. Thanks to toxic masculinity and its inbuilt misogyny, a lot of guys find themselves very alone because they do such a wonderful job driving it into the ground since societal constructs pretty much tell them this is How To Handle Relationships (With Women, It Is Disgusting To Have Romantic Relationships With Other Men). This is also why I suggest therapy a lot. And why I told him that forcing her to love him back isn’t right. Usually when I’m approached, it is because they hope for some type of will-controlling spell that will basically force the other person (against their natural will, can’t stress that enough) to come back and “love” them. It isn’t love, it’s bona fide abuse, number one. Number two, it is unethical for a vast multitude of reasons. Number three, when these spells backfire, it’s bad. I like to not create problems.

I mentioned divorce because I thought this dude was divorced, not separated. However, please note how he is very much not listening to what I am saying when he replies “I just need her to fall in love with me all over again”. If this is how he acted in the relationship, it should come as literally no surprise that the wife packed her bags and dipped. It’s already frustrating to me, I can only imagine what years of this felt like. Saying “we got lost in ourselves” probably may have some projection in it. I don’t have the wife to talk to but usually when I am sent these types of letters, its mainly “this is what I was doing but I want to make it sound like both parties were doing it so the blame sounds more spread out.” I’ve heard this from both guys and women who pull this. He wants her to fall in love with him again but he also should be asking himself “what is she coming back to? And is it enough to make her want to stay?” If she is returning to the same old nonsense, she’s just going to leave again (or the proverbial spell would have some major backfire) and if she doesn’t want to stay, then that’s just how things are. If he can’t keep her with his own personality and efforts, then it’s really just not worth fighting. The relationship suffocated, he’s not really that interested in trying to make things better, he just wants to make things right for him. Male ego and all that jazz. Again, no wonder she packed her bags and left.

Grief can definitely affect relationships. But if the couple is working together to tackle the grief and support each other (not wait for a too-late “wake up call”), then the grief is something that the relationship can overcome together. Grief is hard alone, having a partner should ideally make the load lighter. Grief can also make people realize something they have been ignoring for a while, even if it is “wow, I really don’t want to be with this person.” Either because they noticed they’re not being supported like they should or because it was the watershed moment they needed to realize that this was it and it was time to leave. Sometime grief makes people self-destructive in their relationships, just let those people go because while grief can be definitely destructive, it isn’t right or fair to take that out on the person you are with and supposedly cares about you. Better to simply just get therapy.

Now, note how he keeps trying to look for people who are super ok with manipulating others instead of doing what he should as a husband in a broken relationship (which is, try to fix things the correct way or try to make the transition back to Singlehood smoother for both parties). First of all, I don’t know anyone like that because I find those types of individuals and that type of behavior absolutely abhorrent. There is a difference between doing plain old paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and doing super unethical spellwork/paid spellwork/Pay for Pray. Admittedly, on its face, finding someone to do spellwork is way easier than putting in the work to fix whatever is left of the relationship to fix. And note he’s gunning straight for the easy route. And while saying “Ok I have to work for it”, as if he understood but its clear it’s just another “ok, ok, ok, I’ll play pretend so I can get what I want”. The reason why I say “another” is because, again, it’s not too far a walk to believe this is most likely how he acts towards his wife. This is not genuine listening, this is basically placating and patronizing out of selfishness and self-centered behavior. Usually when I get letters like these, it tends to show from their interactions why someone left them. I don’t think I have ever gotten a letter with this type of request and went “wow, this person is totally brilliant/ok/seemingly faultless, I wonder why their significant other left.” Black Witch has been running for over a decade now, not once. It shows how inlaid their issues are because, again, if they are talking to a stranger like this, imagine how they talk to someone they personally know and supposedly care about. This is something that takes a lot of introspection to root out. Therapy usually tend to help speed up the process of rooting it out.

“She has a poker face”, “grief got in the way”, “we got caught up in ourselves”, sounds like a lot of blaming other things instead of just saying “I screwed up big time and I just want to figure out if I can still genuinely fix things.” Deflecting is not how one solves problems, taking responsibility is. No, I do not have the wife’s side of the story but some parts seem pretty obvious from her actions. She’s the one that left, that means she had enough. He’s deflecting and actively not listening several times, that means he’s most likely interacted with her in the exact same way. He doesn’t seem to really care about wanting to fix the relationship, just force it back together, that means he’s not that interested in doing the genuine hard work it takes to try to fix anything that can be even remotely fixed in the relationship if there is even a glimmer of an easier route. Again, this dude needs some therapy to sort these issues out, maybe even unlearn some “feelings are hard” toxic masculinity on the way that will most likely murder any future relationships he ever chooses to have.

In case anyone is going, “hey, why don’t you say that the wife should go get some therapy?” I agree but probably not for what you think. She could use the therapy to help get back on her feet faster and figure out how to manage co-parenting (if she is interested in it), single parenting (if she winds up taking the children), dealing with the grief of losing someone and losing a relationship (leaving others isn’t always easy), so many things. Both sides need therapy but for different reasons.

“She [is] not [willing to] at this stage” is the diamond sign that this dude just needs to pack it in and simply get his pen ready for the divorce papers. Might as well call the Time of Death and start working on moving on. She already has starting moving on with her life, he should definitely do the same. If she is not willing at all to even remotely fix things at this point, then it sincerely is not worth even trying magick. She’s gone, it is time to call it a day. If he wanted the relationship to be healthier, he should have tried to turn the plane around earlier, not ask how to rebuild a completely shattered aircraft that is scattered across three states. Relationships don’t just suddenly fall apart, they chug to that point. Sometimes they even sprint to that point but it is never immediately and all at once.

Now, I thought after “Ok thanks for the chat”, the conversation was over. Then later on, I check and find out that nope, he’s definitely not letting this “can I cast a spell to make someone who I drove away love me again” thing go. Geez, if he had put this much persistent effort into his marriage, he would still have one.

Please note the “In your earlier text you [said it] looks like she [is] leaning to it […] is that loving me all over again?”

Everyone, please read the prior conversation above and tell me if you think there was any reasonable spot where I said any version of “she is leaning towards loving you again”? Probably will be hard to find because it doesn’t exist. I pretty much was a broken record of “you need therapy”, “if she’s gone, that means the relationship is dead”, and “you should talk to her, not make assumptions”. Nothing that could even remotely convey that she was willing to come back. The fact he could glean such a super falsehood from literal thin air despite the fact that I have said all the opposite is very telling. Again, no wonder why she is gone. The “it” I was referring to in “leaning to it” was divorce. As in, it looked like to me that she was leaning to getting the divorce he does not want. She definitely wants out, to me. She isn’t talking to him, she left, she puts on a “poker face” (probably more for the kids’ sake than his), these are all signs than she more than likely has the words “divorce lawyers” in her phone’s recent search history. A person who wants to make the relationship work, even just a little bit, would at least keep some line of communication open. Everything is pretty much shut down? Yep, they’re done.

“She just [stopped] all the mediators”, as for that, I don’t know what her thinking is to “slow the process down”. Maybe its for her to look at the entirety of all her options (they do have kids to consider, after all. Their feelings are also important), maybe it’s because divorcing is expensive and emotionally draining so it is hitting a slow stride for now, maybe she feels she’s at a part in the process where she can cool her heels for a little while, I have zero idea and I’m not going to bother to find out. He would be in a better position to know via just plain talking to her. If he can’t even do that much to find out such details, then it is very much 100% certain that the relationship is very, very much dead.

I really want to say this, toxic masculinity is a great way to become Forever Alone. Not trying to genuinely fix personal behaviors that can wreck even the healthiest of relationships is a fantastic way to become Forever Alone. Every relationship fails until one doesn’t, true, but all relationships fail if there is no decent, sizeable work involved. All relationships require consistent, constant work. Self-work is included. If there is none of that or only pithy amounts of that, expect Forever Alone, regardless of gender and orientation. Forever Alone is self-imposed, no one can put that on you at all. And it is up to the person who does not want to be that, to be Forever Alone, to put in the work. Anyone who doesn’t want to tend to wind up eventually Forever Alone.

I’d like to share these two visuals. It is from July 27, 2020 & July 27, 2021, respectively.

 

It was going to be data collected from July 20, 2020 & July 20, 2021 but holy gods, it apparently has gotten worse since then! In literally the span of a week!

Please note that on July 27, 2020, when there was no vaccine and people were still getting used to the pandemic restrictions, the number of confirmed infections (remember, not everyone was getting tested and testing centers were patchy at best) were 59,181. That’s pretty darn bad. Then you look at this year’s number, when there is a vaccine, the pandemic mandates have been in place for over a year, yadda yadda yadda: 108,775 confirmed infections.

That is literally 49,594 more people who had contracted the coronavirus than last year. New cases. And remember! Not everyone gets tested due to inaccessibility reasons (closed down testing locations, usual systemic oppressions) so the number can always be bigger. It is completely staggering to see such a statistic. The vast majority are new people catching Covid, not on their second turn. The vast majority are unvaccinated. 108,775 new people in a day tested positive. There were thousands yesterday and the day before that.

In case anyone was not aware:

Not by a long shot

We are still in a pandemic. We still need to wear masks. We still need to socially distance. We still need to vaccinate.

This is what the vaccination rates in the US looks like as of July 27, 2021:

The part that is most important is the “Fully Vaccinated” number. For Covid-19, the vaccination number has to be at 70% minimum for herd immunity. That number currently stands at 49.8%, as of July 27, 2021. Also, please note that the vaccination curve is flattening. When health officials said “let’s flatten the curve”, this wasn’t the curve they were talking about. There are a lot of people who are half vaccinated, and that’s great, hopefully that will bode good things in the future – but the thing is, half vaxxed is not fully vaxxed. Half means there is roughly a 33% chance of defending against Covid, instead of the upper 80s and 90 percents. Half also means that the coronavirus has a perfect testing ground to learn how to navigate vaccinated bodies, period. That’s how we get variants/mutations.

Speaking of transmission, it was always hypothesized but is definitely becoming clearer and clearer that a vaccinated person can still be Typhoid Mary to everyone unvaccinated or half vaccinated around them. A vaccinated person can still carry Covid to others, they themselves just may not get sick themselves – and should they get sick, it isn’t a promise to be fatal or warrant a trip to the hospital. And this is for a virus that already can exist in a regular, unvaccinated person asymptomatically. So imagine what a virus already known for its asymptomatic nature in unvaccinated people look like in a vaccinated person. Basically a silent killer, almost. Even if you are vaccinated, still wear a mask. Unless you know for fact literally everyone around you is also vaccinated and everyone who interacts with them is also vaccinated, wear a mask. Especially if you are indoors. Don’t test the rigors of your vaccine with the stupid people around you, just wear a mask. The CDC finally updated its standards, now it includes treated vaccinated people almost the same when they weren’t vaccinated.

  • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Masks, testing and quarantine are starting to float back in for the vaccinated. All because of the virus getting worse and all the help said virus is getting from the public. By the way, this is very US centric, there are still places in the world where vaccines still haven’t really hit the ground yet. There needs to be a proper global vaccine rollout.

Now, usually I would bring up my favorite nations of virus abatement, South Korea. but they just spirited up to over 3,000 newly infected people a day. So far, it appears the reason why is plain old Pandemic Restrictions Fatigue. Same problem that affects the US and countless other nations. Totally understandable. The restrictions have up-ended a lot of lives and worn many people out. Most want to get back to how their lives were pre-pandemic, assuming such a thing is even possible. All want their lost loved ones back. It is entirely and completely understandable to be tired and fatigued by a looming threat of a virus. Problem is: the coronavirus is not a person and it does not care if you are tired. It does not care how much of your life is gone now. It does not care about how many people it takes away from you. All it wants to do is exist and spread. It is mindless and harmful, plain and simple. Having fatigue is understandable but it is still important to work with the restrictions – and at least get vaccinated. At least as a vaccinated person you can have some of your life back, but only some. Remember, all Covid wants to do is spread and to it, a vaccinated person is simply a person it hasn’t figured out how to infect and spread to yet – but it’s working on it, especially thanks to all the unvaccinated and half vaccinated people around who like to throw caution into the wind.

Why, even Japan is still holding the Olympics – which literally reminded me of the video game Plague Inc (old name, Pandemic). Usually the devs update the Olympic parts to keep the game modern (I remember seeing mentions of London and Rio in the past) but it is a real doozy when it happens in real life also.


I decided to name the virus Covid for a touch of realism. Y’know, art imitates life and all that jazz

In the game, depending on how under or on the radar your plague is, the Olympics will either be canceled or proceed. If it is canceled, you lose a big chance to spread your plague (the point of the game is that you are a plague (bacterial, viral, etc) and you only win by infecting and killing the entire world in the shortest amount of time possible – they also just introduced a Cure version where your job is to stop a plague). If the Olympics happen, then you get boosts like mad because, congrats, you pretty much made your plague go worldwide with very little effort. By the way, the Games have indeed just started and Japan, on July 27, 2021, has had one of its largest infection days yet with almost 8,000 newly infected people in one day. I expect that number to go up after the Olympics. They have the US team there, c’mon. They’re hosting several insanely infected nations, the likelihood is far too great. How many athletes and their coaches are willing to say “oh, it’s allergies/bronchitis/result of sleeping under an air conditioner” in exchange for participating in a such an important event they have trained ever so hard for?

Again, it is a doozy to play the game and look at the news and see the actual thing carry out. Not 100% Japan’s fault. The International Olympic Committee are the ones pushing things forward because “hey, you signed a contract and the world is not dead. Hop to it, thank you very much.” Which is a pretty trash thing to do. They only really stop for wars, and mainly if those wars are big enough to affect hosting nations (such as the two world wars). Remember, even Germany hosted the Olympics in 1936 so there are very few things that the International Olympic Committee would completely cancel the games for.

The pandemic is going to be here for a very long while, everyone. It’s been on this planet since 2019 (hence the “19” in “Covid-19”) and it is currently halfway through 2021. The way things are going, it looks like Covid will be around at least until 2022, 2024 at the latest. Please try to do your part and at least get vaccinated and continue wearing masks. And socially distance. And wash your hands.

11 Years of Black Witch

Today marks 11 years of Black Witch. This is really nice. I know the 10 year post wasn’t really anything – but then again, that was practically at the start of the pandemic and wow, can that really distract (for good reasons). We are still in a pandemic but, yeah, at least I have somewhat more to say and do. I’m always astonished that it’s another year because it doesn’t always feel that way. The BW blog doesn’t feel over a decade old to me – but yet it is!

BW Livestream today in two locations: FB Fan Page at 7 PM EST (planned to be 30-45 min) and Instagram Live at 8 PM EST (planned to be 30-45 min)

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