Archive for November, 2010

Ask Black Witch

Black, how long does your research process and the drafts and all that go into your columns?

– Jay J.

Since my column is weekly, I don’t have a lot of time to just sit back and admire my work like my readers do. This isn’t to say that I don’t but it can be difficult to remove myself from writer-mode just to simply read my work without worrying if it is grammatically correct, with sound logic or simply doesn’t come off as crazy talk. I’ve only just been able to read Black Witch on its mobile site (on my phone) just to seperate myself from writer-mode. Plus, once a post is up, the first thing I think is, “Okay, what’s next week’s going to be?” It’s an endless process kinda and I’m glad I have kept up with it thus far.

I actually have a bank of unpublished and roughly written columns that I made back in the summer when I was waiting for AfroPunk to put my column up. I figure if I had a selection to choose from, I would be less stressed in the long run (and it works!) and it’s always good to have a bit of a backlog when life wants to go upside down for a bit so that no matter what happens, I’ll always have a fairly decent post up every week. I still add to the bank because my mind never really sleeps, I always think of new ideas that I haven’t touched on and would like to write about in the future. I may have up to three or four new columns being written in a single week because I had a mental slew of material but there are weeks in between I barely touch the computer, save for the column I’m writing for that very week. In other words, you may see a column that’s looks fresh but has been in my computer since July or it was penned and completed on Monday, it depends on how I feel (or what the reader response is) but  hopefully the reader will never know the difference. It ebbs and flows but I thankfully haven’t really been stuck yet. I’m a chatty person so it isn’t too tough for me to think of something to write about. If I felt I was drying up, I would simply ask about and have conversations to see where that gets me.

I have an app on my phone (yay, android!) called Documents To Go that I use to write columns when an idea strikes me and I’m away from my laptop. It helps me jot down ideas – be forewarned, as of this writing, their capitalization feature sucks rocks They’ve fixed it! Pretty perfect now! – and the starts of future columns so I won’t forget. All I have to do when I get home is upload them to my computer to polish and complete, it really is useful. If I can’t use my phone (because apparently it looks like I’m doing some heavy duty texting) I just jot down the column piece in a journal I always have around. I’m a writer so I’m used to toting about writing instruments. If somehow I’m without my journal or a pen or with limited use of my phone, I will put a simple note on my phone titled “BW idea:” so I won’t forget.

When I write a piece that needs research such as “Okay, Mr. Illuminati”, I actually plan pieces like that out weeks in advance because I have the opportunity to. Countless times I have pushed back or pushed around pieces because there simply isn’t enough Fridays in a month to cover them all. I thought up “Okay, Mr. Illuminati” roughly around when the column began but didn’t type anything until October when the mood to continue that piece had hit me again and I had the resource (Watkin’s Dictionary of Magic) to make the proper definitions. Otherwise, it’s all from my own experiences and knowledge. I don’t have to worry much about research because I’ve been practicing Paganism and Witchcraft for almost ten years, I’ve wracked up enough books and knowledge so far to buoy this column for the longterm. So I could write a piece that needed research with less than a week’s time and it wouldn’t bother me any, I have all the resources needed so far.

I’m very tidy when it comes to writing columns and storing them away, I have a folder for each thing on my computer from the bank of potential columns to the folder of published columns (so I don’t post the same thing twice) to a separate folder for The Arts! and Ask Black Witch and more, all inside a Black Witch folder. This is so I don’t confuse myself and keep everything where it’s supposed to be. Otherwise I would be super frustrated because when it comes to electronics, I prefer simplicity. I also have a sticky note gadget on my laptop that tells me what columns are being posted for the next few weeks so I don’t forget what I’m doing and lose direction or have an installment post sneak up on me. Whenever a new column is posted, I move the Word file to the “published” folder and erase the title from the sticky note.

As for drafts, I write out all my columns in Microsoft Word and look them over a few times before posting them up to WordPress and then to AfroPunk. That way I can avoid most careless errors and misspellings instead of my readers seeing what may look like a result of smearing my hand across a keyboard. I try to have my columns completed and uploaded to WordPress by Wednesday so I can have ample time to catch any further mistakes, do coding and corrections in addition to actually seeing how the column will look on the website before it goes live. Because I’m a terrible perfectionist, I may look over a piece at least ten different times to make sure there aren’t any major errors and it reads okay.

When it comes to coding, I don’t see what the rest of the world will when Friday midnight strikes. I have a lot of brackets in my pieces as place markers to remind me where links and videos are supposed to go. Here’s a snippet of “’Tis the Holidays!” before it goes to WordPress:

“Yule marks the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice. Following an astronomical calendar, the holiday falls on either December 20th, 21st or 22nd. It’s the last festival and harvest before the harsh winter and a call for the sun to return. Yule is often referred to as Saturnalia when actually the festivals are very different. The quickest distinction between the two solstice holidays is that Yule [link] is Germanic and Saturnalia [link] is Roman. I have seen The Boondocks history of Christmas [link] and the clip says that it stems from Saturnalia but actually it has stemmed moreso from Yule. (Yule logs and evergreen trees anyone?)”

See all those [links]? That’s my place marker to let me know that a link is supposed to go there when the column goes to WordPress and AfroPunk. Anything I put in brackets are directionals for me so I know what I’m supposed to do when the column leaves Word. When I’m done working on that piece and feel satisfied for it to be scheduled, I work on the next column. For example, right now as I speak, The Arts! for November is about to go live in two hours and I’m currently answering an Ask Black Witch question as well as writing all the columns for December (installments included) and the first week of January.

The Arts! take up the most time because I have to contact people and get them all together and let them know they’re being featured, if at all possible. I have to think of who is being featured almost two months in advance. I actually have planned The Arts! as far as five months in advance with some wiggle room in case I discover someone I want to feature right that very month (such as Human Machine this month, I found that out the very week of The Arts!). I even have a list written down in my room hanging on a wall so I can keep up and figure out what’s going on. There’s people on the list who I have been meaning to feature for months and those who I just happened upon and want to feature immediately, it’s a jumble that I only iron out solidly when the month in question is upon me.

Ask Black Witch takes up the least time because it’s just me answering questions, not too much work needed. In addition, ABW lets me know what readers may want to know or don’t already know. I’m a bit embedded in the Pagan world so I don’t always know or remember that not everyone knows what a esbat is or that Harry Potter is simply a well-written work of fiction, not a training manual. ABW is around for the reader to have a chance to speak and be heard. I have so many different methods of contact (email, twitter, submission form, comment, FB fanpage) because I don’t want anyone to say, “Oh, Black Witch ignored me” or “I wanted to ask a question but I didn’t know how to get in touch with her.” Can’t say that now, ha ha! They all come to the same place, my inbox, so my readers can always reach me without issue.

Since this is the very first year of Black Witch (this column is almost seven months old), there’s a lot of non-column writing work that goes into this as well. I have to keep up with the Twitter, learn Facebook and how to manage a Fan page, set up a formstack for Ask Black Witch, have pictures taken, get business cards, keep in touch with the maintainers of AfroPunk, continually trim the Black Witch inbox, figure out WordPress and promote, promote, promote.

In other words, Black Witch is kinda like a full time job. But I least I love it so it never feels like work. The trick to doing a good job is to like the job, I guess. Works so far for me.

That’s all the Ask Black Witch for this month! Remember, if you have a question you want to ask me, fill out the Black Witch submission form on the right, email me (with “Ask Black Witch” in the subject line), tweet me on Twitter, comment below or even comment at the BW fan page on Facebook!

Hey! Are you aware that Black Witch has a Facebook Fan Page now? Take a look! And don’t forget there’s also a Black Witch Twitter either. Continuing with The Arts! Starting with:

Angelica Temoche
During the Black Witch Ustream chat on Halloween, I got a lot of complements on my blue mini crown! It actually was made of recycled materials and fabric by my friend Angelica (Spiralred on the Ustream chat). Angelica is very multi-talented as she snaps my photos:

And in addition, she has also made a lot of my staple lolita outfits, such as my basic petticoat that I use all the time, my bloomers and the mini crown. Angelica also makes a lot of her own lolita clothes (which is a very useful skill because the fashion can easily run very expensive, such as $300 for a simple dress, not including staples of the look). Since she makes and designs a lot of her own things, I felt it would be best to feature her to showcase her talents. She’s very artistically talent as she is very DIY with sewing, photography and definitely more! 

Check out her stuff and buy from her store, Sumptuary Crime. Remember, she does custom work so you can choose a style as unique as your tastes and it is all handmade down to the lace so you can be assured no one else will ever have an exact replica! To see her artwork (and keep up with what she’s doing), here is her Livejournal blog 

I am a strong purveyor of poetry. I feel it is important in its form of expression and poetry in Black culture can easily be seen as the little brother to true hip hop. I saw the Poem-cees while watching Def Poetry and their piece “Cheatin’” is really what took my attention:

This is what the poetry duo has to say about themselves:

For over ten years now, POEM-CEES have stood on the cutting edge as innovators of the national Hip-Hop/spoken word movement. The excitement of their early works in Washington DC’s vibrant arts community soon led to tours & performances across the country. Their fun, insightful approach to hip-hop has earned them multiple awards as well as invitations to open for such national acts as the Fugees, the Roots, Erykah Badu & Jill Scott . Three seasons performing on HBO’s Def Poetry has since led to projects for larger groups such as SEIU, AIG, Youthbuild & the NFL Network. Despite their busy schedules, they still devote much of their time & energy to cultivating young artists in the DC metro area. Their love of Hip-Hop culture creates an automatic connection with people of all ages, and their dedication to the craft of poetry enhances their presentations & workshops with great energy & spontaneity that must be seen to be believed. Simply put, there is NO one doing it like the POEM-CEES can do it

They’re very creative and you should hear some more of their selections here:

And also they have a free mixtape out called “Solitaire: Everything  You’ve Never Wanted”

I found her work through a thread on African American Wiccans and found it to be a wonderful Black Pagan vlog. I really like her insight and it’s wonderful to show that not all Pagan think alike, we’re allowed to have and express our own opinions. Here are a few of her videos:

“Why I Like the Term ‘Witch’”

“What is a Shadow Journal?”

I find her take on ethical spellworking issues really interesting, such as hexing and jinxing (a hotbed topic in the Witchy world, expect plenty columns about this in the future)

“Hexing, Cursing and Self Control”

Not like many Pagans, Shazzypbear is not incredibly Goddess-focused. Here is her take on who is God:

“Who Is God?”

Her vlog is definitely something worth checking out, especially for Black Pagans because there simply isn’t enough of us. Here’s her sites:


Human Machine (Cindy Chi)
I just discovered this on a lolita community I am apart of and thought it was so adorable I had to share it with everyone! It’s so well done! If features a lolita and plays on the emphasis of the idea of a machine. You must watch!

That’s all of The Arts! Next week is Ask Black Witch so send in questions! Email, tweet, comment, fill out the ABW form on the side or even comment on the Black Witch FB Fan Page!

The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

Oh boy, the holidays! I love the holidays, love ‘em! The cheer, the joy, the (chance of) snow, the music, the gentle lights, the food – can’t forget the food – the parades, decorations and funky colored candy canes! The holidays are my kind of year. In my mind, the holidays are kicked off by Samhain/Halloween – my datebook fills up, I get wish lists and increasing questions of “What are you doing for the holidays?”

I try not to see the holidays as a stressful time, they should be cheerful and bright. If the holidays are too stressful, you’ve missed the meaning entirely. Since I’m Pagan and my family isn’t very aware of it, I have to work double time. Act Christian enough around my family and do Pagan stuff with my friends. I’m used to playing the part: remembering the Christian story of Christmas, Christmas songs, refresh my scripture knowledge and try to leave as little Pagan trace as possible. Thank goodness Christmas is an offshoot of the Pagan Germanic/Nordic holiday Yule.

Yule marks the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice. Following an astronomical calendar, the holiday falls on either December 20th, 21st or 22nd. (This year it’s Dec. 21.) It’s the last festival and harvest before the harsh winter and a call for the sun to return. Yule is often referred to as Saturnalia when actually the festivals are very different. The quickest distinction between the two solstice holidays is that Yule is Germanic and Saturnalia is Roman. I have seen The Boondocks’ History of Christmas and the clip says that it stems from Saturnalia but actually it has stemmed moreso from Yule. (Yule logs, evergreen trees and “Twelve Days of Christmas” anyone?)

I don’t celebrate Saturnalia since I don’t really connect to the Greco-Roman pantheon but I do prefer Yule, which is just Christmas without the Christian overlay so I don’t have to do too much double work, just remember when to say “Happy Yule” or “Merry Christmas” at the right times.  This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Christmas, I love it – except for the omni-American spend-yourself-into-debt thinking and over-commercialization of Christmas. I appreciate Christmas/Yule for a cheery time where I hear Boyz II Men “Let it Snow” and The Temptations “Silent Night” on the radio, I get to watch old timey shows such as A Charlie Brown Christmas and whatever Christmas cartoon that’s being played on PBS. I love singing Christmas favorites such as “Carol of the Bells”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Need a Little Christmas” and Stevie Wonder’s “This Christmas”. There’s the food and the presents and friends and decorations! I don’t often buy presents because I hate gift wars and American gift politics but I do like spending time with those I care about most. I also have lovely Christmas cards that I honestly need to send out to friends and figure out how to wrap presents while my cat tries consistently to shred the ribbons and play in wrapping paper. I do love my Christmas.

As for Thanksgiving, I have once been asked, “So, since you’re a Witch ‘n Pagan ‘n all, do you celebrate Thanksgiving?” To much of the dismay of many narrow-minded and over-patriotic Christian Americans, my religious convictions do not grant nor nullify my American citizenship. In layman’s terms, no matter what religion I am, I am still an American and thus will stuff my face on Thanksgiving, an American holiday. Thank goodness for that, I love Thanksgiving and I love food.

I generally stay home for the holidays although when I was younger I would be sent sometimes to my grandmother’s house on my dad’s side. Since my dad side of the family is from Jamaica, we would have what I saw as a split Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner – American foods on one side (Turkey, mashed potatoes, etc) and Jamaican foods on the other side (goat curry, oxtail, chicken and dumplings,  etc). The American food tasted a bit off and everyone had rather the Jamaican food, the American food was merely an act of assimilating into American celebrations of the holidays. I remember the smell of jasmine incense that would just permeate the air, oh, it was such a nauseating smell when I was younger. I remember my grandmother’s accent and everyone nestled in the living room watching television and opening their gifts. When it came to Christmas on my mom side of the family, it was a usual big dinner at my grandmother house. All the fixings of an African-American Thanksgiving/Christmas like greens, turkey, ham, nuts, everything. Since I’m such a homebody and I’m not as close to my family as I was in the past, I simply stay home.

What I also like about Thanksgiving is the Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving dinners for the poor and homeless. Bea Gaddy is considered a hometown hero here in Baltimore for she was very generous and helped those who were much like herself, poor and homeless. She’s most known for winning the lottery and using the money to feed the poor and homeless in her neighborhood. Bea Gaddy is very important to me because there’s not a lot of people like her in the world and to help their own city or others in their situation in such a humble manner. Often people take the lives they have for granted and when given the opportunity to help others, especially in a financial way, it never matter how well it all starts, soon those golden hearts being to tarnish and bronze. I was raised poor myself so I knew how to appreciate what I have and to appreciate those who help the downtrodden. Not everyone has the luxury to have an expensive phone or a home that can spark envy and it seems those people who cannot afford or even dream of having such luxuries are often cast to the side and deemed parasites of American society, too lazy or too stupid to get a job. Hard times are hard times and when living in hard times, there is no time to think of keeping up with the Jones’ when it’s more important to keep up with the continually stacking bills. It is good to see someone like Gaddy who truly wanted to help out, not take advantage of, the poor and the homeless. She didn’t do it for good PR, she wasn’t a plucky suburbanite trying to “save the world”, she simply saw that people needed help, the very same help she needed when she was going through rough times, and did just that, helped the people who needed it most.

If you will be in the Baltimore area and you would like to volunteer for the annual Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving dinners, here is the information.

Not in Baltimore but want to help anyways? Last year the fund for the dinners fell short due to the suffering American economy, please donate this year to make someone’s season bright. Here is the information to support the Bea Gaddy Family Center.

Happy Holidays!

Oh wait! I have to talk about what I’m grateful for, that’s right! I kinda did a small bit for Mabon (which is somewhat of a Pagan Thanksgiving) on Twitter but here’s the rest for Thanksgiving:

Beyond the basics (health, shelter, clothes), here is what I’m grateful for, Black Witch edition:

AfroPunk – They gave me the opportunity to create Black Witch and became the foundation spot for my column and with a ready audience to read my work. I never thought I would be in journalism of any sort but this is a very wonderful and interesting experience! I’m very happy that Black Witch has been very well received.

Wondaland – When I first met Wondaland back in May, I remembered mentioning Black Witch on a semi-whim because I didn’t want to come off as just a fan and that was back when BW was only still a pitch to AfroPunk, nothing physical. I wanted them to remember me for something and to foster friendships. Well, almost seven months and three Wondaland features later, I think something came through, haha! Because I told the very people I admired, I wanted Black Witch to be impressive now, Wondaland gave me a goal far enough I’d have to work to achieve it but close enough to know it’s possible. If I didn’t have, “Oh crap, Wondaland could be reading this! This thing’s gotta ace!” in the back of my mind, I don’t think Black Witch would look even half as good as it does right now, Wondaland pushes me to strive for the best and to be better than that.

My readers – Welp, despite all the support I’ve been given from AfroPunk and my own friends, it is important for a column to have readers. That is kinda what a column is for, I already have a personal blog for soapbox yammering. Plus if there is someone out there who is reading, hopefully it means my work is going to good use somehow. I want Black Witch to be for the Black teen still trying to figure out what they believe but know in Jesus Christ isn’t exactly it, for the closet Black Pagan to not feel like they’re alone and for the Black Christians who think that it’s either Christ or highway – some prefer the highways, byways, hills and mountains, to be anywhere but trapped inside an institution they don’t truly agree with or believe in. This is to let the world know we’re not crazy, devil-worshipping freaks and that our lives don’t look a thing like Harry Potter if it were completely colored in. Black Witch is for everyone but it’s mainly for my Black Pagan readers to have something to enjoy and for us because frankly, we need it.

Erica, Angelica & Kimmah – Erica gave me the idea to have an external site for Black Witch. AfroPunk was a little slow getting BW up and that was making me antsy, I don’t like feeling tugged about and out of control. Erica then told me to make an external site for the column to keep my head and my wits together. Best. Idea. Ever. I have gotten so many positive responses about the site and how it has led people to Afro-Punk, I felt this was great. Plus I could make business cards and really put my best foot forward because I felt comfortable now, I had a control of something. Angelica and Kimmah gave me the idea to have a Black Witch Twitter and even a BW Fan Page (currently in the works, should launch in January at the latest Currently up now) to better keep in touch with my readers and respond to them. I can have control and the utmost liberty to connect with my readership, that’s all I needed to feel confident enough about my column to spread the word about it.

My friends who deal with my BW bantering – From Wondaland worries to wack responses to potential columns and paranoid freakouts, my close friends hear it all. They’re the ones telling me that I’m not screwing up and my fears are all in my head. They let me know when I’m being unreasonable, rambling or not making a lic of sense but they all give me good ideas and let me know when I’m on the right track. They’re the safety net to my tightrope so I can keep on tippin’ without (much) worry.

Kellindo & Nastassia – Yes, I already did my Wondaland bit but these two have been nothing but big helps to me when starting up Black Witch. See, I have never done column work or even official features before so to have their kindness and support really means a lot to me. Whether it’s Nastassia being super kind to me as my first feature to contact or Kellindo reading my columns and telling me I’m a good writer, they’re really nice mental boosts to counterbalance the “Am I even good enough? My pieces are wack.” If those two weren’t so nice to me and such good friends, I would probably be scared stiff when it comes to doing features and talking to professionals. Kellindo was who I told first about Black Witch on that semi-whim and I remember Isis jumping a little at the idea but he never broke stride and that stuck with me. Oh, I was so proud giving Kellindo my business card at Merriweather, I felt accomplished because I simply remembered his generosity and receptiveness. I felt even better when he complimented the card as colorful, ha ha! Nastassia is just darling and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! She embodies true Christianity in that she’s kind, caring and very humble. I was very scared contacting her at first because I didn’t know what to expect. What if she’s mean? What if she doesn’t want her work up on a Pagan site? Instead she was very happy to work with me and have a successful feature that even became the most popular column on AfroPunk and The Establishment as well as featured on another site Black Girl with Long Hair. I always love working with her! Kellindo and Nastassia are the closest friends I have in Wondaland and I appreciate them both equally, don’t know what I’d do without them. (Yes I do, it’s called “being a nervous wreck.”)

That’s my list, what are you thankful for?

Next week kicks off The Arts! Who’s featured:

– Shazzypbear
– Angelica Temoche
– The Poem-cees

Be there and submissions for Ask Black Witch is wiiiiide open (as always) so send in good questions!

The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

The title is a favorite quote of mine from a game I love, Marc Ecko’s “Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure”. I loved that quote so much I would always say it in my mind whenever I hear crazy conspiracy theories, especially when they involve secret societies such as The Illuminati, Freemasons or other members-only clubs that people believe are bent on New World Order, devil-worshipping and other notions that don’t ever seem to get old.

Now, for those who don’t know and are luckier than me in regards to having their ears stuffed about it, here’s a rundown of a few secret societies that people often talk about, as defined by the Watkins’ Dictionary of Magic (I love this book):

Illuminati: A term used by occultists from the late fifteenth century onwards to describe spiritual adepts who had received mystical insights or “illumination” from a transcendent source. The Order of the Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian law professor, in 1776, but this was hardly esoteric in any mystical sense and based most of its “secrets” on the work of Voltaire and the French Encyclopedists. Weishaupt and another enthusiast, Baron Adolf Knigge. later adapted the order’s teachings in order to infiltrate Freemasonry. A decree in Bavaria in 1784 banned all secret societies – including Freemasonry – and the order declined. However, it was revived around the turn of the 20th century by the occultists Leopold Engel and Theodor Reuss. In recent times the idea of a secret brotherhood of adepts or Illuminati has been popularized by fantasy occult writer Robert Anton Wilson and New Age spokesman Stuart Wilde.

Freemasonry (or Masonry): This international institution now has the nature of a benevolent, friendly society, but was originally an esoteric organization. It still has elaborate secret rites and ceremonies and a code of morals, and requires that its members believe in “the Great Architect of the Universe”. Freemasonry may be descended, directly or indirectly, from a guild of stonemasons that existed in fourteenth-century England; but modern Masonry dates from the establishment of the Grand Lodge of London (1717). Freemasonry later spread to the United States and Europe. At times, in some countries, Freemasonry has been suppressed by the state. Traditionally, it has aroused the hostility of the Roman Catholic Church, but in recent years this antagonism has subsided.

Rosicrucians: The name used by many occult groups who have claimed inspiration from a figure called Christian Rosenkreuz or Rosencreutz. The origin of the Rosicrucians (who take their name from Rosenkreuz, which mean “Rose Cross” or “Rosy Cross” dates from the publication c. 1614-1616 of three books purporting to emanate from an occult order, the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross (Fraternitas Rosae Crucis) – it is likely, however, that all three were written by Johann Valentin Andreae. The first of these publications, Fama Fraternitatis, described how a certain Christian Rosenkreuz met the “Wise Men of Damcar”, and subsequently translated the mystical book Liber M. into Latin. The second, Confessio Fraternitatis R.C. provided more details about Christian Rosenkreuz and invited members of the public to join the order. The third, Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosenkreuz (The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz) was a Hermetic allegory in which the central figure witnesses a royal marriage and later discovers the king’s “secret books of wisdom”. The Rosicrucian myth has been a strong influence on several mystical groups, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (who incorporated Rosicrucian elements into the initiations of their second order, the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis). Similiarily, Franz Hartman started a Rosicrucian order in Germany; and Sar Josephin Peladan ran a fashionable Rosicrucian salon in Paris. Competing Rosicrucian orders of questionable authenticity now market the esoteric wisdom of Christian Rosenkreuz in the United States.

Ooh, spooky.

I have learned in my experience that just like the over-skeptical and over-analytical, there’s no arguing with a conspiracy theorist who believes the world is a puppet at the complete and total whim of a few old men in a secret club that conjures the devil and do all sorts of crazy things no normal person would do, all in the name of world domination…white Persian cat, maniacal cackle and black high-back executive chair not included.

I’m a witch but I find this all incredibly ridiculous, just as ridiculous as I think of those who believe all witches are wicked souls bent on destroying and deceiving others regardless of circumstance. (Erm…I know quite a few people like that and nary of them are witches, but a notable amount are Christians and that attitude really goes on overdrive when they find out you’re not). Lemme let you in on a secret (not a society, too much micro-management)…I live across the street from the Hiram Grand Lodge O.T.O., a Freemasonry. Next door to that is a synagogue (that was bought and now owned by Hiram Grand Lodge) and I’m completely surrounded by churches, including the very first Black church in America, Bethel A.M.E.. Annnnnnd down the street, I believe, is a few more churches and a mosque. Pretty lively Black neighborhood, wouldn’t you say? The men and women who go to the Lodge are always sharply dressed in suits and dresses or always throwing bashes and parties. I have yet to see or hear any demonic laughter or ominous thunderclaps during any of the time I have lived in this neighborhood. In addition, I have friends who are Freemasons or have Freemasons in the family to the point of generational tradition. I don’t perceive being part of a secret society as much different or any greater threat than a normal, well-known, hard-to-get-into club.

I hear so much talk about Illuminati this, the Freemasons that and it usually revolves around Hollywood. I generally never agree with Kanye West on anything at all but he was right when he asked who was the Illuminati and why does everyone think all celebrities have a membership in response to accusations made about West’s relation to the occult group because of the broadly metaphorical production of his short film “Runaway”. West is, almost unsurprisingly, another celebrity who a bunch of crazy theorists believes he partakes with the Illuminati simply because he’s popular, knows it, flaunts it and clearly doesn’t mind it. I have heard these same accusations for Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, Lady Gaga and even utterances of Janelle Monae (you could probably believe I was only quiet upon hearing such “news” for I wasn’t sure whether to bawl in laughter or simply stare confused and perplexed. The most esoteric Wondaland could possibly get is me and I’m not even part of the group, just friends with a few.) While I do believe the music industry itself is quite evil but celebrities taking part in secret societies simply because they’re popular or have a few out-there and abstract music videos? That’s senseless. They’re creative and will pull out all stops to express it…and have a killer promotion & marketing team backing them up. Nothing unusual about that except for their manner of creative expression – which is in an incredibly appropriate field: the fine arts.

Since I peruse the same metaphysical shops, hang out at the same sites and simply am a Black Pagan columnist, I get to run into these wack and fragmented theories fairly frequently. Where the devil falls into this, I simply do not know but I must admit, anything occult does garner images of evil, bloody goat heads, fire and scary stuff. People do fear what they don’t understand, after all. Good thing I’m here and with an Ask Black Witch submission form. When I do hear these wacked out theories, I often tell them to my Freemason friends to see their reactions. They may roll their eyes, laugh or just give a look that communicates, “They said that?” They wonder how people come to these conclusions and will even joke, “Wait, so that means Jay-Z works for me too…Then how come I still can’t get into his concerts or the tickets are too high? Ain’t I suppose to have a special pass or somethin’? He does work for me after all!” The findings that people create to connect the dots are really farfetched often times and looking into the history of secret societies, the theories wouldn’t 100% work because, quite frankly…they don’t make a lic of sense.

Do I believe in secret societies? Well, yes, especially since I practically live across the street from one but I’ve never seen them as the spooky secret society that everyone else sees them as. They’re just another organization to me. But if they were bent on world domination, Persian kitty, nice swivel chair, controlled thunderclaps and all, maybe that’s what they would want you to think. Hmm…


And speaking of spooky, thank you everyone for attending the first ever Black Witch vcast on Halloween! It was a lot of fun, although I was fairly nervous since this was my first video anything but I enjoyed myself. I was very happy to see so many viewers and chatters. Sadly for those who weren’t there, the hour long broadcasting was not recorded due to my derpiness but I did stay an extra fifteen minutes and recorded that. There will be more vcasts such as that but at the very least twice a year for the Black Witch anniversary on June 9th and on Halloween/Samhain.

And speaking of Wondaland, remember Nastassia Davis, the Wondaland photographer with the lovely pictures that I featured on The Arts? She’s going to be selling some of those prints so if there was a particular picture that you adored, it can be yours! Send an email to And don’t forget to peruse her site,, for ideas of what prints to ask for!

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