Archive for August, 2010

Ask a Witch

It’s the August edition of “Ask a Witch”, one of my favorite parts of the column where you ask me questions and I answer them! Wanna ask me something for a future Ask a Witch? Here are your options: Comment here on this entry with your question, use the Ask a Witch form on the right side, or email it to me at It all goes to the same place, my inbox, so feel free to choose. Hey, use a Twitter? Ask me there too @thisblackwitch…or just click on the link in the site’s header to get to my Twitter faster.

This month’s questions:

“Just like it is hard to find acceptance within the black community or punk community in general…Do you find it hard to find acceptance within the pagan community as well which is largely white? Maybe you haven’t had a hard time finding acceptance…just wondering.”

– Taryn M. (AfroPunk)

I actually found this to be a good question and very poignant to me because if I did feel fully accepted in Pagan culture (Black culture, Alt-Culture), this column would not exist because I would have just about nothing to talk about and perfectly sedated by life’s blisses. I write this column because there is a complete and total lack of voices for Pagans who aren’t White and I firmly believe that no one can talk for us but ourselves. A Black Pagan, a White Pagan or even an Asian Pagan will not have the same exact experiences. Just like Christianity, the religion is modified by our own cultures and background. We have the same aims but very different means of how to get there.

Now that I’m done with my little soapbox…I would like to say that though I do have difficulty now with finding acceptance in Pagan culture, I was very lucky in the beginning because the metaphysical shop I went to was very Black. Black owners, Black sellers, everything was steeped in Black culture, and there was even a terrific Voudon and Santeria section. I could go there and talk about Cornel West, divination tips, Chris Rock and amethysts shards without having to explain myself or deal with stupid closet-racist jokes. I felt completely normal because I had wonderful mentors there keeping an eye on me and teaching me some of the very life lessons that has structured me in part of who I am today. The one mentor I appreciate overall is Ms. Donna. She was Black, raised in the city like I was and ran the metaphysical shop. I always would come to her constantly with my teen issues such as being jobless, guys, the world both near and far and simply life. She would always have something to school me about and I appreciate those moments. She was like a mom to me and it is because of her that I became so good at helping others through divination and magick if not simply by being a good person. She was willing to challenge my ideas and introduce me to new concepts. All around her were other wise women as well who I took on as aunts rather. Ms. Vita knew astral work, psychism and chakras; Ms. Annie was the best at numerology; Ms. Latonya was a self-made business woman. They all helped me identify nonsense when I saw it, how to keep focused, be happy with life and how to be a proper Witch. They were my group of few whom I trusted and turned to, especially when I started to chalk up strong religious dissenters.

When that little metaphysical shop changed and everyone dispersed, I can say that I do currently feel like a loner because I don’t have them around me anymore. I originally grew up in a Black Pagan world so being introduced to the bigger, far Whiter Pagan world at large did make me pretty jaded because I felt misunderstood and I didn’t understand the world around me anymore. Our backgrounds very different to the point it has been tough for anyone to feel comfortable sometimes and I never feel like dealing with people who think they are oh-so-funny cracking jokes about my culture and background. Calling a glitzy wand “bling” all the time or saying “oh snap” way too much isn’t funny and certainly doesn’t impress me for it doesn’t scream, “I’m culturally aware” but more of a “I’m a racist bigot and I don’t know it”. That’s actually kinda why I don’t go to a lot of Pagan outings unless I know for fact there will be at least one other Black Pagan there or someone who doesn’t act like their brain is marinated with stupidity. I can’t really relate to the White, middle-class Pagan story so that’s why I write this column – because I know I’m not the only one.

“I understand you are a pagan witch but why have you chosen not to be wiccan?”

– Pauline via Ask a Witch Formstack

Ah another good question. For the record people, I am not Wiccan but I am Pagan and a Witch. What’s the difference? Paganism is more like a spirituality as it is far looser in its forms (there are no particular godheads and it simply means “nature-based belief-system”) and Wicca is more of a dedicated religion, with consistent rituals, holidays and ideals. Here, read this awesome piece on “What is Paganism” that I found. Now, Wicca does falls under Paganism because it is a Neo-Pagan (nature-based) religion. Remember folks, not every Wiccan is a Witch, not every Witch is a Wiccan and not every Pagan is Wiccan. When I get a little venn-diagram or something made for this, I am totally gonna post it.

I tried Wicca but it simply wasn’t for me. I could not keep up with the Esbats (Full Moon rituals) and I didn’t feel entirely connected to the Sabbats (the eight holidays that make up the wheel of the year) because the backgrounds of the holidays were very Eurocentric and thus I couldn’t really relate beyond the basics. Wicca – if you can believe it or not – was a bit too structured for me and simply didn’t suit me and I haven’t even gotten into the different denominations of Wicca like Gardenerian or Eclectic. This is not to say Wicca isn’t a good religion, it just didn’t fit well with me. I like the freedom in simply being Pagan and live life as I see fit for me because I don’t want to cookie cutter my beliefs too much into a particular mold. All it would do is make me frustrated with that religion and leave it, just like I did with Christianity. Christianity wasn’t my bag, I tried to make it so and in the end I was very jaded until I finally left the religion for good. I didn’t want the same with Wicca so I decided to be simply Pagan. It was structured enough that I would still have spiritual guidance in my life but not so structured that I would be very frustrated by the politics within it.

And that would be your Ask a Witch for this month! Remember, it is you who keeps it running so send in questions big or small. So far I have gotten very good questions and that makes me happy, I like good questions. I also like silly questions too but good questions make me mega happy.

The Arts

The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

Here comes another round of The Arts! I hope you enjoyed the last one. Now we did completely music for The Arts but I wanna make sure everyone understands I’m doing all the arts. If it’s creative, it’s up here.  I couldn’t modify the post for Artscape, a yearly summer festival in Baltimore celebrating all the arts (except for the literary arts), for last month because The Arts posts are fairly pre-planned so it’s here this month. Now, let’s get this going, shall we? The first feature of The Arts is…

Nastassia Davis

I found Nastassia’s work in an honest case of mistaken identity. When I met some of the first members of Wondaland Arts Society (Janelle Monae’s crew) back in May, it was at complete and random chance. I met Kellindo the guitarist and I remembered his name very well but I couldn’t remember the back-up vocalist’s name though she told me her name just as much as he did. It did make me feel rather dreary and I would constantly think, “What is her name?” So I did some looking through the help of my own personal blog post I made that day, Twitter and Wondaland itself. First I found Isis Valentino but then I thought to myself, “Chea, I’m Black and Pagan, I would remember someone named ‘Isis’ and the name had a T in it.” Though her pictures were familiar, in my Olympic absent-mindedness I totally disregarded that and thought it was Nastassia. When I had seen Kellindo again at the Summer Spirit Festival, I told him of my “achievement”. He responded, “Oh, I meant to tell you, Nastassia is our photographer, Isis is who you met.” That means the ‘T’ I probably heard was from her last name, Valentino. I need flash cards, I’m telling you. One day, I’ll get everyone straight, Wondaland Arts Society is a big group!

Though embarrassing that was, it did bring me to something amazing. Nastassia is an incredible and imaginative photographer, her work is stunning and unbelievably creative. If you’ll look at her site,, you’ll see that she’s an absolutely fantastic photographer. I just adore her work!

I love her Selfies, I couldn’t stop looking at them, they’re so amazing! All are clickable to see a bigger picture. Every picture here is posted with the permission of Ms. Davis.

“Dumb Mees”

“Wakeup! Create!”




Her selfies are wonderful and each picture is incredibly amazing. When working with others, she is just as terrific!

“Day Dreaming Out of Season”

“Guitar Light”


Besides being an amazing photographer all-around, she is the top photog of Janelle Monae. Remember, the picture is clickable to see bigger (WordPress is being rebellious this post)

Wanna see more? ‘Course you do! Visit her website,! Got  Twitter? @Nastassiadavis

Oh boy, the first three The Arts have showcased someone from the Wondaland Arts Society. Last month was Janelle Monae, this month is Nastassia Davis and next month…you’ll find out soon enough. Know me in real life and you’ll know I love Janelle Monae to death and she really does surround herself with very talented people. She’s the co-founder of the Wondaland Arts Society and they certainly do live up to their name for they create amazing things together and individually. That said, I’ll try to keep everything even but don’t be too surprised if there comes a “Wondaland Corner” in The Arts. They’re all quite stunning.

Oh, and by the by, I am going to the 9/13 (and maybe the 9/14) Janelle Monae concert at the 9:30 Club in DC. Be there.

Onward with the other artsy stuff!

Japanese Cartoon

This is Lupe Fiasco’s side project but is not steeped in hip hop. As a matter of fact, this is more punk and fusion (I guess, I never have done well classifying music beyond the bare basics. I’m just a listener, not a discriminating critic). Either way, Japanese Cartoon’s album, “In the Jaws of the Lords of Death” is a cool listen. I really love “Heiroplanes”, “Crowd Participation” and “ARMY”.

Give it a listen! (Clicking will open in a new window. WordPress is being wack with the embedding.)

Artscape 2010

I only could mention Artscape in passing last month because there wasn’t any space to discuss it. I plan all my The Arts! ahead and there was no space to mention this yearly festival. Oh well.

Artscape is one of the biggest free festivals on the East coast celebrating the different manifestations of the fine arts from music to dancing to acting to visual arts. Everything is free, the concerts, the shows, the activities, everything (but the food). I love Artscape and I go every year, especially because I live so close to it. I really recommend anyone to come if you’ll be in the area next summer. Sadly, Artscape used to showcase the Literary arts as well but the people over at The Arts and Promotions office thought that the Baltimore Book Festival (September) and the City Lit Festival (April) were good enough.

The free concerts were amazing as we had Musiq Soulchild, Cold War Kids and Maysa this year. In years past we’ve had Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, India Arie, Wyclef Jean, Lupe Fiasco, Cake and Citizen Cope to name a few. Remember, these are perfectly free concerts so try to come next year! There is so much to do from the concerts, the plays to the visual arts such as the art cars!

My favorite part of Artscape? The short films! I looove short films. They’re not a bunch of big budget things with big budget names and terribly recycled plots. No, they’re usually unique and totally stand out.

Here is a short film from this year’s Artscape, courtesy of YouTube.

Now not everything is short films that I like at Artscape that’s got something to do with moving pictures. A couple years ago, Artscape had a graffiti house and I am a big purveyor of graff art. “Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure” is one of my favorite games, I keep track of the new art that’s around my neighborhood and when I visit a city, I wanna see its graff art.

In the graffiti house I saw this awesome independent movie called “WaveTwister”!

It was created by DJ Qbert and he made the album before the movie so everything is cut to his WaveTwister album. It’s a story of a dentist pursuing the lost arts of Hip Hop, which was outlawed by the wicked Red Worm yet the villain used them for his own malicious deeds. You have got to see it, I watch it all the time, especially when I’m sick, and never tire. I was tired of the searching I had to do but I managed to find a spot selling “WaveTwister” here. I really treasure my copy, I hope you’ll like WaveTwister too.

That’s all for now! And remember, next week is Ask a Witch so ask me anything via email, in the comments or using the Ask a Witch form in the right column and I’ll answer the best three I see – I know, I originally said six but I doubt I’ll be getting that many (guess it’s because I’m so new) so I have dwindled down to my usual three. Though, if I get more, I’ll answer more. Either way, send ‘em!

And don’t forget, you can catch me on Twitter, just travel to the top of the page. I’ll be in Philly on Thursday so if you want to say hi or chill for a bit, we can! I know I originally said I’d be in NYC too but that trip has been rescheduled for mid Sept.! Sorry peoples but know that I’ll keep you updated! And I may be slipping in a Samhain/Halloween trip to the Windy City, Chicago! Either way, if I’m coming in your direction, feel free to say hi. I will be the lolita on the lookout for okonomiyaki!

Remember that episode on “Everyone Hates Chris” where the dad Julius thought the family had a jinx put on them because his wife Rochelle mentioned of an upset hair salon customer that didn’t like her hair color? I love that episode because of all the silly things that happened. Things like what Julius had his kids doing to avoid the “bad juju” when really they had a bad case of the flu and how overdone the Caribbean chick was. There were so many candles in the Rock’s home they could have replaced the heating and the lighting bill together! And what was up with that chicken? That was one funny episode but I think the humor for me is that I’m on the other side of the crystal ball. I have seen people flip out aplenty like that and my god is it funny but also a little concerning because these people actually believe the nonsense they do will work. I was just watching the episode going “Bull…bull…that’s bull too…just call a doctor, man!”

The voodoo shop…I don’t think I have ever been in a spot like that and I have been in many metaphysical shops since I was 16. I’ve only been in Maryland metaphysical shops but I have this hankering feeling Brooklyn doesn’t have it this overdone either. I know I wouldn’t have stayed there, too dark and ghastly. And guess what? At the end of the episode, you found out this Caribbean chick was a sham. But in real life, she still would have had someone fooled.

Oh, the memories that episode brought. People have ran to me or called me, swearing up and down someone put a bad fix on them when really it was just life being life. Yes, jinxes and curses are indeed real but the likelihood of getting one? Chances only get slimmer and slimmer the more industrialized the nation and the higher the socio-economic ladder you go. Oddly enough, that little piece of logic never really stops anyone from pestering me either online or offline because they’re worry someone jinxed them. What I find more amazing is that I’m an actual Witch who does know other witches and I’m fine but normal people who know just about no one besides myself who owns a spellbook are the ones claiming to be jinxed. Supernatural hypocondria, I guess?

When someone tells me they believe they’ve been jinxed, what follows up as a close second is they tell me whatever pseudo-voodoo they have been practicing. To sum this up the best I can, it’s like a firefighter having a friend tell them that they’ve figured the best remedy for an oil fire is to dump lots of  water on it. (In case you slept through science class, this is possibly one of the worst ways to fight an oil fire because water and oil doesn’t mix, it would just spread the fire since the oil – which is on fire, mind you – is sitting on top of the water. Either use a fire extinguisher or suffocate the flames somehow.) Generally I would laugh because the things people come up with are really funny – like jumping on one foot with a tube sock tied around your neck at noon for a week to remove bad luck – but when I find these people are dead serious…well that concerns me.

Dear readers, as I have said before, the more industrialized the nation and the higher the socio-economic ladder you go, the less likely you will find a folk curse. Instead, it could be a run of bad luck. It’s a cold world out there, misfortune does happen to even the best of us. It doesn’t take a curse to lose a job, have a bad relationship, a terrible day or a sucky life. Bad things happen on their own, whether we want them to or not. Spells are mostly used for counteracting life’s curveballs but not always the cause of them. Everyone has issues, remember that.

To cure life’s problems, even I don’t always turn to spells. Any good book on Witchcraft and Paganism will tell you that spells ought to be your last option, mundane options first. That’s right, I have to solve my problems the normal way just like everyone else before breaking out the herbs and stones. I wasn’t casting spells my whole life so that doesn’t bother me, often my problems don’t need an incantation to solve it. A witch is not judged by the number of spells she (or he) casts but by how they act. This isn’t Harry Potter or Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. I’ll talk more about spellcasting at another time but know that it is not necessary to solve all of life’s problems. It’s super useful but not a cure-all.

As hilarious as I do find the average person’s lack of real magickal knowledge enable to determine that what has been hounding them is not a nasty fix but life itself and the straight-from-tv methods that they use, it does make me wonder how much the average non-Pagan person believe the movie magic that they see so much. The supernatural is quite a tricky thing to pin down but even at the slight mention of being exposed to it, imaginations go off like nitro rockets – and into the wrong direction. Here’s some pointers:

Use your logic.
I love this strip so much, it’s from a Pagan comic called “Oh My Gods”.

Y’know why I love that strip (besides the webcomic being hilarious overall)? Because that’s what I deal with most when it comes to people asking me about magick. I wonder the exact same thing: Is logic the first thing you throw out of the window in attempt to fix a problem? Use your head about your situation. Think a jinx made you lose your job? Ask yourself: How has the economy been doing? What’s your job and how is it valued in that economy (i.e. work with technology, plumbing or typewriter repair)? Do you work for a company? How has been your workplace behavior? If you’ve been on your best behavior but lost a job still and the economy sucks, it could be the economy. No jinx involved…unless you count former president George W. Bush as a jinx. Please use your head and understand that lighting a candle and saying a poorly crafted rhyme will not get your job/significant other/money/whatever back or even thoroughly combat your “curse”. Just understand that sometimes bad luck does occur, it’s how you deal with the bad luck that determines how bad it gets … and trying to choke a chicken in sacrifice doesn’t count as “dealing with it”. 

It could be all in your head.
You are now aware that a friend of yours is a Witch or a Pagan. You think all of a sudden because you dreamt of fishes and then choked on your soda that morning you might be cursed since you have a magickal friend and thus life has become more…uh, magickal. Ah ha – no. Before you knock down your friend’s door and vex them for months on end, question yourself why would dreaming of fishes and choking on your soda thereafter have any significant meaning? I believe in coincidences too but there is such thing as reading way too much into something. A dream of fishes could have various harmless connotations but choking on your soda just means you probably should drink it more slowly next time.

Voodoo is not a cure-all.
Thank you bad television, lame movies, brain-dead producers and hack writers that are fresh outta ideas. Wanna demonstrate magick at its most devious? Mention voodoo. I like the idea of throwin’ some voodoo on it when doing the Tightrope (with the funkiest horn section in Metropolis, of course) but please know that actual voodoo – also known as Voudon – isn’t wholly evil and shouldn’t be the first thing to seek out if you think you’ve been cursed, regardless of your religion. Voudon is an actual tradition passed down mostly orally and is the fusion of Christianity with African religious traditions. It really is a wonderful culture and amazing to study in my opinion. Yes, there are poppets and there is some needle sticking but that’s not all of Voodoo and definintely not always used for evil so unlearn that, will you? Voudon also differs depending on region so Haitian Voudon is different from New Orleans Voudon because of background. With the use of African deities and saints in a total fusion, it would be difficult to practice decent Voudon without guidance from a Maman Loa or a Papa Loa around because, remember, a lot of this is oral tradition. There’s an amazing history behind Voudon, it is not some poor deus ex machina. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on tv anyways.

If the person is creepy, that doesn’t mean they’re a Witch. Just creepy.
It is near astonishing how many, “I thought they were a witch!” I have heard because the person accused doesn’t follow societal norms or are very creepy. Makes me feel pretty bad about myself, really. I can be odd but I don’t think I’m very creepy. Meanies. I have met maaaaaany creepy people in my life, way more than I care to admit but I can assure creepy does not equal witchy. Creepy equals creepy. Witches and Pagans can be anyone from the mailman to the deli owner. In other words, we’re normal functioning people.

Have some faith.
“If you reach a dead end trail, pray to God, it never fails.” – K-OS

I always liked K-OS, he’s got a terrific point here. Not a Witch? Then why do magick? A lot of work and practice goes into doing magick correctly and it certainly isn’t good to dabble at all. Contrary to popular belief, Witches and Pagans do work with deities and chances are we can or have worked with yours. Witches are not atheist outliers of religion so you may as well cut to the chase and have more faith. If your religion suggests prayer for your problems then pray. Even Pagans and Witches pray, you ought to do the same. Besides, all spells are – in my opinion – are fancy prayers usually. The divine is supposed to be considered most powerful and thus most useful for any curdled situation, use them. And if you don’t believe in a god, rely on what you should have already – yourself. Spells are my way of communicating to the divine above just like someone saying a normal prayer but that doesn’t mean it is a suitable practice for everyone nor is it an insta-fixer for life little mishaps. Have some faith in yourself and your beliefs and go with that.

It really is uncommon for a person in a well-off nation to be the recipient of a curse, remember that. If life is being unbearable, know that will happen from time to time. It doesn’t mean you’re jinxed, it’s just life. And if someone walks around saying they’ve put a fix on you, chances are they probably didn’t, especially if they’re super overdramatic about it. It’s not normal to announce spells because some believe the effectivness would be reduced (i.e. you now know you have something to counter) and others believe that some things shouldn’t be shouted from rooftops. I’m more of the latter but either way, usually lips are kept zipped. This column is the start of the “Spells & Potions” Category! However, don’t think I’ll be posting spells here. This is a column and while I know what I’m doing, I can’t say the same for everyone else.

So soon? The Arts is next week! Second round of the installment posts, I hope y’all like the last ones! As always I am very excited to do The Arts! This month will feature:

– Nastassia Davis
– Japanese Cartoon
– Artscape ’10 (late, I know)

And after The Arts is Ask a Witch! Remember to send in your questions, I want to do six this month but next month will be the normal postings of three a month. Say it in the comments below or use the form but send in your questions! Wanna email them to me? That’s okay too, Remember, if you have Twitter, follow me and my 140 character randomness: @thisblackwitch.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A mistake was made in the post “Baby, the Stars Shine Bright”. It was Isis Valentino, not Nastassia Davis whom I met with Kellindo back in May. Appropriate changes has been made. Ms. Davis will still be featured in next week The Arts! My apologies for this incredible oversight, thank you Kellindo for informing me.

EDIT: Misspellings of “Voudon” were cringeworthy. Sorry it was caught late but now corrected! And I renamed the category from “Spells and Spellworking” to “Spells & Potions”

As many of you readers know from “How I Became a Pagan Witch“, the very vast majority of my family doesn’t know that I’m Pagan. As much as I would love to share this fact with them, I’m totally well aware they won’t be pleased. They’re fairly Christian and most likely won’t understand why I have left Christianity and gone to join what they may perceive as “Satan’s religion”. I just doubt I would be met with open ears, much like others I know. I’ve heard that “family is supposed to love you regardless” but that can turn to rubble when it comes to unintentionally challenging their core beliefs.

I have many Pagan friends and acquaintances who have been met with something less like understanding and more like despair by their own families. There are many stories of vicious fights, disownment, destruction of property regardless of whether or not it is related to their “unusual” part, having to hide or lie to family members – basically treated like pariah, regardless the age. Even if the discovery or admittance doesn’t go over like a bombshell, their religious identity may be used by their families as a scapegoat for even the slightest transgressions – they don’t have a good job because they’re Pagan, the little cousin is sick because they’re Pagan, the bill collector won’t stop calling because they’re Pagan, the whole world is on its last legs because they are Pagan. In my experience, a loving family isn’t what pops out the woodwork but usually an angered, confused, and disappointed family. (If that isn’t your family, then consider yourself very lucky.) The family, mainly the parents, always tries to think of where they went “wrong”, how to “reverse the illness”. I put those in quotes because not only are these the phrases I hear the most frequently, there is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone who chooses to believe in something outside of the Judeo-Christian Islamic faiths. There is nothing wrong or sick with seeing god as a woman and nature as a metaphysical being they are part of. The only sick person in the situation is the religious bigot (and total hypocrite) for they will turn even against their own blood for something that I believe is very pithy in comparison to familial bond. Blood is supposed to be thicker than water but apparently belief is stronger than blood. Yes, that’s a fairly strong accusation but there’s a difference between being taken by surprise and wanting to understand the person now that they have mentioned something new versus going on a complete and total rampage, no questions asked.

I find this to be very problematic indeed because in finding a new path, support is very important, especially if that new Pagan is a teenager or younger. It’s a big world out there and without proper guidance, who knows what troubles may lay ahead. Now with the invent of the internet, it is very easy to find others who believe the same that they do but still dangers arise even in cyberspace. There are still people who lurk out there, waiting to prey on someone unsuspecting. I can’t count how many times I have been contacted through WitchVox, an online connecting place for Pagans and Witches alike, when I was a teen by creepy older guys who thought I could be easily beguiled with their big claims of “holding otherworldly knowledge” that they didn’t have. Now, WitchVox isn’t a bad place but just like anywhere else, you can run into the wrong people and without the proper support or discipline, things can turn out very poorly. I’ll talk about the predators at another time but please keep in mind that they do exist. I will also post at another time the different sites where Pagans can socialize and connect with other Pagans, especially Black Pagans. (And if you know some yourself, shout them out!) Remember, just because there are some bad people out there, don’t let that spoil your fun, just be careful.

If you are Pagan and thinking of coming out of the broom closet, please think carefully of the reaction you may receive. The best way to gauge is how well does your family (or friends) generally consider subjects like metaphysics, witchcraft and Paganism? Do they think it’s all the devil’s work or are a couple of them fairly curious if not at least open to different faiths? Do you live with your parents or do you live alone? If they did find out, how do you think they would react? There are a lot of questions to ponder and they’re mainly for your safety. There is nothing more important in the world than your wellbeing, even if that means creating a façade for your family (and maybe friends but you shouldn’t have to do that. Family you can’t pick, friends you can). I usually do not condone lying to one’s family but sometimes a situation such as this does call for that. Paganism values family strongly but should that family turn your world upside down, that can become very dangerous quickly. And come out on your own time, do not let anyone push or prod you into it. They’re not going to give you a secure place to live and they’re not in your shoes so please think for yourself and decide for yourself. It is your life this will ultimately affect, not theirs.

If you are someone who just recently discovered that your loved one is Pagan or into Witchcraft, I’m so happy you’re reading my column – feel free to ask me questions! I’m also going to need you to keep your head if you can. Your loved one hasn’t gone crazy and this is not a gateway to sinister habits such as drugs and self-mutilation. Your loved one is merely following his or her heart and so long as they are not doing anything morally reprehensible such as harming animals or threatening others, they and their soul are doing perfectly fine. If they are committing terrible acts, I assure you that these are not the tenets of Paganism they are practicing for this is a religion that believes in harming none and that there is quite possibly a deeper issue at hand. Please try to get them help if possible should this be the case. If they are not doing anything morally reprehensible (and they shouldn’t, not even under the excuse of religion), then try not to fear about their soul or if they are never going to find salvation. Instead please, please, please listen to your loved one and to what they are saying. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions like why they’re going to a new religion and what was it about the old one that made them leave but don’t get defensive about it. Keep an open heart and an open mind and please be there for them, the road will not be easy and they will need any loving they can get.

Would I ever open up to my family? I don’t really know. It’s something I’ve been keeping on the hush for almost ten years now. A couple are aware but I just hope they won’t use that as leverage against me. As for everyone else, if I do plan to open up it is definitely when I am firmly independent and sure of myself. I don’t want to cause any heart attacks and early funerals and I don’t think I’m ready for the storm coming out the broom closet to the rest of my family would cause. For now, I just do what I have been doing for nearly a decade, just have two personas and play by ear. I don’t enjoy the balancing act but it either that or my life possibly becoming very topsy turvy.

Does this entry seem short to you? If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I do find my previous columns fairly lengthy. I would like to remedy that if at all possible so I am trying to keep my newer entries to between two to three pages at best, tipping four at the worst. This is mainly so you all, my readers, don’t have a mini-tome to scroll through. Some entries may break the new rule such as up-coming series like “Fandom and the Fan” and “Commin’ Straight Outta Your Monolith” or the installment posts (The Arts, Ask a Witch) but I will try to stick with this rule as much as possible for your reading pleasures. This does mean that I may keep some entries very hyper localized but I’ll try to keep as much confusion out as possible,  mostly with introducing new categories such as “Coming Out of the Broom Closet”.

As always, you can find me on Twitter under @thisblackwitch being completely foolish and ask me questions using the “Ask a Witch” form! Remember I will be doing six this month so send them in! Usually I do three but I want to make up for last month where I did only one so put ‘em in my inbox now!

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