The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

Alright, this The Arts is the Samhain Edition, where I list out great books, sites and resources for Paganism, Witchcraft and finding like-minded individuals! Expect this to be yearly, there’s always new content! Have something to suggest? Lemme know! But first lemme kick things off with the winners of my first divination giveaway, Samhain Pickers! The winners (and their divy requests) are:

– C. Wright (Cartomancy)

– P. Scales (Tarot)

– S. Francis (Natal Chart)

All winners have been notified and will be read for this week. If you do not see your reading in your email by Halloween/Samhain, please do notify me. Thank you for making this contest so successful, it’s gonna be yearly so people who didn’t take part or didn’t win this year, there’s always next year! Alright, let’s head on with The Arts!

Books are where I first learned about Paganism and Witchcraft and the source I trust the most. I’m a total bibliophile and books I trust to be a very noteworthy source of information. Now this isn’t to say there aren’t any bad books, oh there are and plenty of them. I’m just recommending some of the best ones to you. In this year’s list I actually own these books (and more but that’s next year).

Where to Park Your Broomstick (Lauren Manoy)
This book is the first book I ever read on Paganism and Witchcraft and it totally was a great and revolutionizing read for me when I was a teen. I always refer back to this book, even now, and it still provides itself to be a wonderful source, no matter what. Ms. Manoy is fantastic and perfect for everyone, although it is originally pitched at teens. Gotta start somewhere.

Watkins Dictionary of Magic (Nevill Drury)
This book was suggested to me by my friend Brandon and wow is it amazing! It’s an encyclopedia of valuable information ranging across different backgrounds and mythos as well as history, facts and symbols. Over 3,000 entries on the magickal world from formulas to secret symbols to the sheer occult! Anything you need to know, no matter how obscure or well-known, it’s in this book.

Witch’s Halloween (Gernina Dunwich)
This book I referenced a lot in my last column “Witch’s Halloween.” Great book about the history of Halloween, how it is celebrated all around the world. Included are also backgrounds of the symbols of Halloween such as the black cat and Jack O’ Lantern, Samhain divination, spells and recipes to ring in the Witch’s New Year right! Very amazing read, Dunwich is a marvelous author!

Elements of Witchcraft (Ellen Dugan)
This book I had read after Where to Park Your Broomstick and I highly recommend it to any age. I love Ms. Dugan’s storytelling entries of her own experiences in the craft and the information that she gives is simply priceless, especially if you decide to go into green (nature-oriented) magick. Great book overall

Books are valuable but you can’t always connect with others through them and some things are easier with the help of the internet. Take note, there are a lot of terrible sites on Paganism and Witchcraft, my god it’s like some of them were written up while trippin on acid. I’ve seen a good few that I have stored away on my favorites tab in my computer or been recommended to by my readers and I’m giving them to you!

Black Pagans (AfroPunk)
I’m a firm believer in Booker T. Washington’s quote, “Put your buckets down where they are, there’s diamonds in your own backyard.” There’s a Black Pagans group here on AfroPunk. go and join it! Ask questions, look around, socialize, do whatever but know that there is a place for Black Pagans here on AfroPunk.

African-American Wiccans
Despite the name, it’s not entirely for Wiccans but really a Yahoo group for Black Pagans all over. I was recommended by a reader of mine on AfroPunk and went to see for myself. It really is a wonderful way to connect with other Black Pagans across the US, I even managed to make a good friend myself who I visited on my last trip to Philly! Really nice spot and I very much recommend it!

Avalon Moon
One of the first sites with Pagan goods online I have ever come across. I remember being in high school consistently leafing through their staple-joined catalog at the end of class, looking at all the lovely stuff they had. I believe I bought a ring from them with the little bit of money I had and I still have it, the lovely ring. I also remembered when they didn’t have a store but now they do in Delhi, NY! Their selection is amazing! Amazing books, products and simply a one-stop shop for all your Pagan needs! And best of all? Free shipping on orders over $19. Can’t beat that!

The Celtic Connection
Ah, good old Very good site detailing Paganism  and a decent jump off point for anyone new to the path or pretty curious about it.

Gryphon Moon
I loooooove this site ever since I stumbled upon it years ago! It’s entertaining (I love the freebies and the buttons section), has beautiful products such as the jewelry, everything is simply lovely. The site is very well done, I highly recommend going there and checking it out!

Witch Vox
This is pretty much the Witches’ Yellowbook, you can find just about anyone there. It’s a useful directory to find other Pagans and Witches in your area, functions and read essays from fellow Wiccans, Witches and Pagans all around the world!

Mystic Wicks
This is the first message board I ever was on for Paganism. I honestly have forgotten how I found it but I’m glad I did. Connect with other Pagans, participate in free online classes, be happy and merry! It’s a great place to hone your knowledge, make friends and learn from others.

These are resources that I use when I need something. Divination, charts, dreams whatever I need.

I trust this site for the current astrological conditions and to draft natal charts with. I have always used alabe to draft and interpret natal charts with. I think I have recommended them before in a previous Black Witch post, “Baby, the Stars Shine Bright”. The natal chart casting is free but take a gander at their software if you choose to get serious, they have some amazing stuff!

The Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams (Theresa Chang)
As a dream interpreter, I need a book with as far of a stretch as possible. I have a few dream books but this one I would really recommend because of the diverse and detailed entries.

The Crystal Bible (Judy Hall)
See a stone but don’t know what it is? This book is for you! Flip through thousands of countless crystals, their backgrounds, densities, various properties (including metaphysical) and how to’s, simply amazing. Wanna know the difference between a lodestone and a hematite and ever wondered what a Herkimer diamond looks like and how it got its name? This books is a wonderful resource, especially if you work with stones often. Even if you don’t, stones represent Earth so it’s best to have a book like this tucked away for just in case.

The Palmistry Bible (Jane Struthers)
This little, thick book is an amazing source for palmistry as it goes over every line in the hand, rings, fingers, fingerprint and very in-depth!

The Art of Hand Reading (Lori Reid)
Wonderful suppliment for The Palmistry Bible but great on its own as well, this book is taller and skinner but discusses the history of palmisty, how it is used and perceived around the world throughout time and the hand gestures that are made in different societies such as the peace sign and the handshake.

What is Paganism page
This I found after some long and hard searching for a good webpage or website to explain Paganism without the author sounding crazy or crazy high and this page is it. It’s now a staple on my Black Witch external site under “Links of Interest” on the right hand side, it’s so on point.

That’s all for The Arts: Samhain Edition this year! I couldn’t put everything down or this would be nothing but a long list! But never fear, The Arts: Samhain Edition will come every year with new books, sites and resources for you to use. Have something to suggest? Speak up! I found African American Wiccans through the recommendation of a reader, certainly there must be more out there I haven’t found. You know how to send ‘em to me, just comment, email or tweet.

Next week is Ask Black Witch so if you have any questions about me and my faith or just something in general you want to ask, send them! And on Halloween I will be at Mystickal Voyage metaphysical shop in Nottingham, MD doing my vcast on Ustream! AfroPunk and I are still talkin about which Ustream account to use, mine or theirs but you will know for sure by next week’s column! Regardless of whichever gets used (hopefully the BW Ustream The AfroPunk Ustream will be used), the streaming starts at 4:30 EST (the time changed) so be there! Now, I’m also kinda new to Ustream and from my understanding you can participate either with a Ustream account, twitter login, Open ID or even AIM. It seems a Ustream account is your safest bet but feel free to try whatever method works for you. And I’ll be on my twitter (@thisblackwitch) as well so if you can’t get into the chat via Ustream somehow, just tweet me and I’ll get it.