Archive for April, 2011

This is April’s Ask Black Witch. Remember, if you want to submit to future ABW’s submit to the ABW submission form or email. Even tweeting or asking on the fan page qualifies.

Do you believe in gods and goddesses? Are they part of your craft and if so, what are your favorites?
– Spookycreep

Yep. Kinda hard to be Pagan without it – it’s possible, just not that easy considering most Pagan materials make a reference to a god and goddess. Of course they’re part of my craft but I don’t really use any particulars, I try to be rather general (just God and Goddess instead of maybe Isis and Osiris or Juno and Zeus, for instance) when it comes to spellwork, especially since a big rule is to not summon different deities of different cultures in one ritual. Keeps the headaches to a low.

First of all, thank you so much for giving me your card at the end of Otakon last year (I asked about Rocking Horse shoes). It helped outside of Lolita, cause magick and such has interested me since forever.
A while ago I picked up a book at my school library called Spellcraft for Teens. It listed a couple different things such as candle magick, poppet magick, and such. It also mentioned casting circles and such, and ended up leaving me with a lot of questions.
1) Do I need a circle to use the other types of magick?
2) If there are no specialty shops in my area, can I just get them from the grocery store?
3) Was picking up a book ‘for teens’ even a good idea?
4) I’m living in a Jehovah’s Witnesses household and therefore practicing is completely out of the question. I’m currently learning about tarot cards and other things on my own, but is there something else I can do that won’t end up with my parents raging at me? It’s not a secret to my mother that I’m not Christian in general, but I don’t want to do anything that will set off alarm bell; she’s had a bad experience about black magick in the past and I don’t want her jumping to conclusions.
Thanks again!

 – Bertina

For those who aren’t aware, Otakon is an anime convention that is hosted in Baltimore every summer. I’ve been going to them for a while (with the exception being last year and I’m not so sure about this year). As for rocking horse shoes, just look at my About Me/Contact Me page, I wear them all the time.

Spellcraft for Teens, penned by Gwinevere Rain, is actually a good book and one I would definitely recommend because it’s written by a trusty author and very easy to follow. I’m also glad that your school library supplies it, not many do. Now for your questions:

1) Casting circles is pretty important for any spellwork because it creates a defined space to work in and keeps the inside energy pure as well as any outside influences out. Some Witches may disagree but I don’t think it’s a must to have a circle for the minutest spells but the bigger ones definitely. However, I also believe in following things by the book when a beginner so if Rain recommends a circle, cast one.

2) Yep. For candle magick I use birthday candles actually. They come in various colors (even black!), small, discreet, burn for the better part of an hour (which is good because that’s how long spell casting lasts for me) and extraordinarily easy to get. Most things for spells can be bought in your average grocery stores such as olive oil for anointing, black pepper for binding/isolation spells, salt for purifying a sacred space (note: don’t use outdoors, you’ll kill the grass), etc etc etc. Even the tea bags can be used as an aid to make potions. I very rarely go to a metaphysical shop for witchy products. I’m fine as is with the local supermarket.

3) I actually recommend teen books more than adult books on Witchcraft because they’re more comprehensive, easier to read – and on the eyes -, breaks it down even further than adult books on Witchcraft because it’s for a younger audience and it’s a wonderful springboard. Most of my witch books are teen books and I much prefer them over some arduous reading of a tome that could probably put me to sleep.

4) Ah, it’s always a tricky situation when living in a household that may not be so conducive to learning metaphysics or anything related. I’m afraid I would have to suggest that until you move out, try to keep your practices to yourself until you move out, especially since your mother had a run in with black magick and that it probably solidified her beliefs and hence more adamant to your practices. There’s probably tension in the home because she knows you’re not Christian so best not to potentially ruffle more feathers. The best you can do besides practice in secret and bide your time ‘till you can leave is to perhaps have some conversations with mom about different religions if at all possible during the meanwhile. It isn’t easy but it’s better that way than risking getting kicked out or harmed over terrible misconceptions.

That’s it for this month’s Ask Black Witch. Also, Black Witch is now competing for several Black Weblog Awards (I always call them the Black Bloggers Awards because it sounds better to me). Nominations are currently open so if you run a Black blog, submit. And for everyone else, voting starts on May 16! I am very excited and look incredibly forward to this engagement!

April is National Poetry Month. While I don’t believe in relegating a theme to months (hence why I had nothing in particular for February), I do like this theme because it brings me such happy memories. I wanted to have a literary contest for this month but I became too busy for that and will do it next year as tradition. Also be sure to read all the way to the bottom because I have some nifty announcements!

The 5th L/Dri Fish

The 5th L is a duo of Baltimorean poets who are very insightful in their lyrics and words. Always talking about Black life without getting depressing but remaining realistic. Consisting of members Dri Fish and Native Son, they’re one of many well known poets in the Baltimore underground poetry scene and deserve it well.

Sadly, I couldn’t land any vids to show due to wordpress’ derpiness (I’m trying to get that solved, honest) but here is where you can listen to 5th L works

Dri Fish recently branched off to do his own work within music moreso than poetry. However, he still uses poetry to express his flow.

Definitely look up Dri Fish’s work here if you’re interested

Arightie folks, I’m about to get a bit random because the point of this The Arts is to focus on poetry, not features and that’s what I’m gonna do. How? By being a leettle lazy and plumbing through my Def Poetry likes. Then I will chuck Black poetry books at you and we call it a day, dig?

This poem right here, this next poem is pretty much for every Black kid in a White Uni (ha, like I am, I have to admit, I really can’t stand that place very much right now but I’ll leave the ranting to my personal blog)

While institutional education gets on my very last nerves, it is important to have an education (not mis-education), especially if you’re Black and living in – well, anywhere in the world.

This poet is absolutely amazing, simply stunning and is a wonderful reminder that good poetry is diverse. Makes me so happy that I stalk Angry Asian Man’s site for more of her work.

Now, there’s one other poem that I wanted to show that was amazing on Def Poetry. A man standing solo, tapping his foot, mimicking the dribble of a ball. “One boy, one ball, one dream” I believe he said. It was fantastic but I couldn’t find it. If anyone can, it will be up here mad quick. That and the poem Savion Glover tapped for.

There are far more poets than these to feature but that means this would be the longest column I ever had – and what about content for next year? Or any upcoming The Arts? Definitely look up some poets for yourself, there is a rich history of poetry in Black culture (and other cultures) and it even serves as the undercurrent of hip hop – take note just about every good emcee worth noting has shown up on Def Poetry, it’s even hosted by Mos Def.

That’s The Arts for now! Next week is Ask Black Witch, send in your questions! Oh! and here’s some new stuff for Black Witch! There’s an address you can write to:

Black Witch
P.O. Box 2161
Baltimore, MD 21203

(This information is also available on the About Me/Contact Me Page)

Also, I gave this some pondering but I thought, why not? Black Witch is now accepting donations to keep the site (and writer of it) running. Keep the cauldron of paid bills happy here*. Also you can mail checks and money orders to the physical address. I figured also this would be a good start for the creation of the Black Witch Shoppe, getting it ready for the first BW book Black Witch: Life from the Black Pagan Perspective, Vol. 1, and giving this blog/column a chance to be a little something more so be on the lookout for even more new stuff as this column nears its first year anniversary on June 9th! I’m very excited.

*If there are any problems or issues with donating or other money stuff, please say so and we can work it out.

The Establishment (Afro-Punk) Version

Any decent book on witchcraft will tell you that despite popular media, there’s no such thing as black or white magick, just intent. But still even among witches the term “black magick” in reference to hexes and jinxes is used and even accepted partly. We as witches understand that magick itself is not evil – it’s just utilizing the natural energies of the universe to bring about change – but the colorizing of different types of magick (white magick, green magick, black magick) I admit does make it a little easier to discuss. Especially to those who do not understand witchcraft and think all of it is evil, the explainer just has to include the “magick is neutral” rider.

Here are the different forms of magick as understood by witches, pagans and/or normal people:

Black magick – Most referenced to and most thought of when magick is discussed at all. This identification encapsulates hexes, curses and jinxes. If it’s considered wicked, evil, dark and potentially insurmountable, it’s here.

White magick – Barely ever discussed (unless around a herd of fluffy bunnies*) but this is supposed to be the opposite of black magick. It’s considered to be nice and neat and clean (and weak against big bad black magick (ugh)). White magick witches are suppose to have Glenda DNA and they are so pure, they’re almost not human.

Green magick – Mainly discussed within witchy circles, this acceptable term and form of magick refers to using only plants, stones and other materials found in nature to do magick. Green magick witches are good at potions, herbal work and tend to have a green thumb. Read any book written by Ellen Dugan for a good idea of green magick, she’s really cool.

These different ideas of magick differ in general knowledge and popularity depending on who is talking and in what social circle but usually the average person doesn’t know about green magick (or probably think it’s the Harry Potter overload version of a eco-hipster using recyclable bags to cast spells) but of all three color identifications, it’s the most accepted and understood. The other two are just pretty mainstream ideas of magick. White and black magick refer to intent whereas green refer to style of magick. As a matter of fact, if people want to strictly identify with color to magick, grey magick should be noted too.

Grey magick is middle-of-the-road magick. They are karmic spells and other spells that blur the line between good (white) and bad (black) but rides on enough technicalities that those who do not practice jinxes or curses can cast them as a form of retribution. For example, I don’t do jinxes or other versions of harmful magick because I think that’s wrong. Now, some of my friends may disagree and jinx when severely wronged but however, I do believe in retribution and feel that instead of putting additional bad energy on someone and be accused of being no better than the person who wronged me, I rather amplify and dredge the bad karma they already created themselves from their own wickedness. A karmic spell can also be used for good in the same effect of amplifying and dredging the good karma too. Karma spells are neutral; they just take whatever is there, good or bad, and use it in consequence. It’s not jinxing, more like a karma/life audit.

The essence of magic is like electricity: neutral. The same jolt that lights your home could shock you dead, depending on how it’s used and handled. Same with magick, neutral until intent is applied. Magick itself isn’t evil or wrong but how it’s used could be, something that all boils down to human choice. Another way to express this can be a doctor could kill a patient but they don’t because they feel it isn’t right and not what they’re in the business for (I consider that choice because even with the threat of malpractice suits and murder charges, that doesn’t stop someone wanting to permanently halt a heart.) It all depends on the person how magick is used, not the magick itself.

Now, the average witch isn’t out there to cause trouble and jinxing like mad because they clearly asked for French and not Ranch dressing and there aren’t any more bacon bits at the salad bar. Most witches (if not all) I’ve come across aren’t that shallow and generally have better things to worry about than someone being a mild and unwitting pest. To assume that any magick is most likely black magick is not only foolish but tells me more about the person saying it than the person hearing it. Why would I care so much about you, another faceless person I’ll meet, to the point that I would utterly waste my time and resources, which could be better used not getting emo over the pointless, to teach you a lesson that you’ll most likely dredge up yourself? Erm, no.

I would always ask people something along those lines when they would make reference to black magick in the form of “Oh, don’t piss her off, she’ll jinx you” or “I’m glad she liked my work, narrowly missed that one,” (I get that one after featuring folks) because, well, that like saying, “I’m happy she liked my shoes but I’m happier she let me keep them” simply because I’m Black. I just would outright ask “Now why would you think I’d waste my time jinxing you, especially since I don’t even do any of that stuff?”  Based on the responses I would receive and my own experience, I believe it’s because people see magick get used in movies and TV as a form of revenge or to slight others. What people don’t see is the “main character gets jinx, gotta fix it” plot is a tired old plot that churns in a lot of money, hence why it’s used so much. It provides a story of formidable odds for the main character to compete against and rise above. Even in movies where both sides have magick, the bad side is always seen as the stronger side because again, if the main character was the stronger one, there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell and not so much of a cash cow for the makers of the film.

Now, I like movies like Harry Potter and The Craft (both favorite movies of mine) but they’re just that, movies. Just like Inception, The Matrix trilogy and Bewitched. Movies. Yeah they may have some inkling of truths (Nicholas Flamel was a real person and alchemist, for example (Harry Potter)) but that doesn’t mean they’re training tapes you’re watching in a theatre nor true depictions. So, yeah, assuming every witch is a walking vat of hate and wickedness when most aren’t is the same of assuming every Black person you meet is an uneducated mushmouth hoodrat that only knows how to make money through every illegal means you could think of (but usually as the gun-toting peons and pawns, never the mastermind) and even if they do have a job that doesn’t come with a federal sentence, it’s usually going to be in subservient roles. A Black man in the White House on the silver screen? Only if he’s cleaning the windows or screwing up worse than Bush. Now, it wouldn’t be right to assume that of Blacks but according to the TV and movies, that we’re still vaudeville characters to be secondhand men and women to a White lead. We’re not people, just a race of plots hinges, obstacles, helpers and villains. If that doesn’t make any sense then why does thinking I’m naturally evil (for practicing magick, not because I’m Black) does?

At the end of the day, magick is just magick. It’s the people who make it what it is.

Okay peoples, next week starts the nomination process for the event I have been waiting for since this blog began – the Black Weblogs Awards. I am very excited and happy to finally compete. Nominations begin on the 18th so if you also are a Black blogger, take note now, it only lasts until May 7th. Voting begins on May 16th and lasts until June 17th and the winner for each category is picked on July 9th. Get yourself together if you have a blog or just vote for this one when the time comes around.

Also, please note that I will be at the Afro-Punk Festival in New York City on both Aug. 27&28. Right now we’re picking bands so if you have one or have some names in mind, submit here. Annnnnd I’ll also be at the Black Comic Book Convention on May 21 in Philly. Summer’s rolling around so of course, I’m getting a move on.

* Fluffy bunnies are the newbies of Wicca and witchcraft. Verrrrry new agey in thinking to the point it showcases the absence of a working mind. They believe just about anything fantastical and spout just about anything fantastical. Most of their knowledge consists of Silver Ravenwolf, Twilight, Harry Potter, Hot Topic and godknowswhat. They’re not all bad, just a pestilence to be around.

The Establishment (Afro-Punk) Version

Dreams are very weird things. Anything can happen in them and they’re not easy to interpret always because the human mind is really complex. As a dream interpreter, I find dreams absolutely amazing because the mental landscape is far vast and express more than the physical landscape a person could express themselves in. Dreams may be complicated but once with a grasp of how they (and the brain and the mind) works, they’re pretty interesting and helpful.

I have a set list of protocol that I’ve developed when I was doing dream interpretation on that I generally follow. I usually ask to interpret dreams if someone throws one out there (haven’t done it often as of late because I have little time to dedicate) and first interpret it as is, not asking for additional info about the dream. If the dream procures something pretty sensitive, I tell the person maybe they should contact me or the other way around because I couldn’t care less if the recipient doesn’t believe in this stuff, no one likes havin’ their business put out there (then again, if you work my nerves and still don’t care about secrecy, I have no issue with pullin all the skeletons out of the closet and throwing them up like an exhibition). Now, there have been times I just jumped out there and interpreted a dream without permission just because I was excited enough about flaunting my skills and normally people don’t mind until I trip over a nerve and all of a sudden, reading over.

I remember the one time I did that, it actually was how I got started on FM as the dream interpreter. Some kid posted that he had a weird dream, didn’t know what it meant. Me and my over-zealous self just upped and interpreted the whole dream from top to bottom right there on the thread. Hey, others were throwing out guesses, I figured I’d be fine. Well, after a day or so the kid responded, pretty embarrassed. He remarked, “Dang, puttin all my business out there.” On one hand, I was pretty proud because it means I was accurate. On the other hand, I ain’t mean to do him like CNN, hence why I don’t just jump out there anymore. Instead I would try to ask or let people come to me (and oh they did, wasn’t long before I had to make rules about that). I don’t get as many requests as I did prior – a good thing because working too hard on too many requests  is what did me in as a dream interpreter. I would be so tired that the interpretations would start to become wrong or waaaaay left field. So that was the end (kinda) of that.

Dreams are on one hand fairly complicated but on the other hand pretty simplex if you know what to look for.

Not every dream is some deep, mystical, intricate fabrication of the mind that is incredibly metaphorical and completely perplex. Dreams actually do differ based on race, religion, age, culture, social impact from their environment, gender and even significant life alterations (i.e. being blind or restricted to a wheelchair) and it’s my job as the interpreter to see through all of that to find the real meaning of the dream as seamlessly as possible. Not an impossible task, just a arduous one sometimes because, well, sometimes I don’t feel like looking up what a light bulb flickering inside of a synagogue with Arabic scriptures being highlighted on dirty, crumbled walls while a ballet recital is going on that no one is noticing means when dreamt by some atheist who believes that all religion is a very intricate sham that takes advantage of the feeble-minded and hence hasn’t set foot in anything spiritual in eons and is repulsed by the fine arts. If only it were that easy to say, “’Eh, it is what you think it is. Laters,” but then I wouldn’t have any recipients to help out now would I? Some dreams have meaning, some dreams is just your brain filing away memories of the day or maybe your brain decided to take a sharp turn into Stupidtown for a night and rented a room. The best way to tell the difference is the symbolism being used and how likely a string of logic can be woven from what is discovered. There have been dreams where I said, “It’s nothing, honestly.”

Not every dream is worth looking at because some dreams are simply loony or will just tell you the same old crap you already know, it just tells me how much of it is on your mind. That could be noteworthy but people can be worrywarts too. I don’t interpret all my dreams because I’m quite lazy and I don’t feel that every dream is a message from the divine. It could be a joke script from your mind instead and what’s the point at looking at those? Dreams can help you better yourself but that’s not the point of dreams, to be an incredibly cryptic self-help kit.

Some dreams are worth looking at though because some dreams can be a cryptic self-help kit in the way that some dreams do have meaning. Dreams can be very useful in that they can provide insight or raise red flags that might have otherwise gone ignored on the conscious level. I know I personally have gone to the dentist because I had a dream about a particular tooth going gray and decaying to find out that I needed some important dental work done because something went unnoticed and could have been a real problem in the future. I could have interpreted the dream as an anxiety dream but there was something about the feel of the dream and how it played out that convinced me it was about a real matter and I followed up on it. To find all dreams as pointless I find to be very pointless in itself because it would be stupid to assume that people can note their own problems or that the conscious mind is thorough enough to handle everything that comes its way, suppressing and forgetting nothing.

Not all hard-to-interpret dreams are prophetic dreams or actual messages from God. Sheesh, if I had a nickel for every person who thought that God was speaking to them because they dreamt of walking a lamb in the desert and strolling right into a burning town filled with the most hysterical people you can find. Sometimes hard-to-interpret dreams are just that, hard to interpret. People aren’t easy little boxes that you can open up and tinker in so some dreams are very complicated because the general dream dictionary(ies) may not have a good enough interpretation for them. It doesn’t mean the dream is impossible to understand – for all we know, there isn’t anything in particular to understand – it just requires more work (or less).

It does bug me when someone tells me their dreams, it’s usually preceded with a “My dreams are weird.” No, they’re not. I have interpreted tons of dreams; yours most likely won’t take home the Weirdo Award. Dreams are just that, dreams, hence they don’t run the same as a linear movie always. Dreams are pretty abstract usually, which is why everything in a dream is called a symbol because most likely it’s gonna represent something else. There’s nothing weird about dreams, even if it includes some of the most taboo elements of someone’s culture, it’s still not weird. It can be weird if a person doesn’t dream but even that is rather explanatory in itself but it’s also something people want to take the Weirdo Award home for: not dreaming.

I dunno, maybe people think it’s so cool to not be of the norm (I’m kinda laughing because those who say they don’t want to be of the norm generally are the people who fight hard to keep it) that they can’t dream and omigosh they’re so different and unique and would probably make for an awesome villain for the next Inception film and stuff like that.

Ha, no.

There are different stages that the brain partakes in during sleep, some stages producing more memorable dreams than others but basically a complete and total rarity to not at all dream a single whit. We all dream at least 200-400 dreams a night as the brain goes through the different stages between alpha, beta and theta (I won’t bore you with what those are – until I start running out of content for this blog/column, then this place is gonna look like a textbook) and we basically remember about three or four dreams out of all of that, particularly the ones as we were going into deeper sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and the two hours right before we wake up naturally from sleep. Those patterns can be disturbed however if the dreamer is stressing out in real life or isn’t getting enough sleep, among other factors. It’s not terribly unique to not have dreams, it’s even happened to me, just generally a flag to something more important.

Dream interpretation is really fun to me. I’ve always been intrigued by psychology and metaphysics so it just makes perfect sense to me to get into that because the human mind is really interesting and I think that dreams are way more than just a mental slideshow of nonsense as we sleep. Not all dreams are poignant tales of caution or of the dreamer itself but they are remarkable in what they tell. Dream interpretation isn’t as hard as one would think, just keep an open mind and a good grasp of psychology and sociology for the harder stuff but just get a dream dictionary (here’s some recommended ones on Black Witch) and keep a dream journal. I still interpret dreams for others but I’ve mainly been keeping them to offers of divination giveaways and even if I did get dreams to interpret, they would have to situate themselves to a spot on Ask Black Witch.

The Establishment (AfroPunk) Version

I am very sorry to announce that this is the last Black Witch column. It’s been a wonderful run, nearly at the one year mark too. I am truly happy and enchanted by all the wonderful people that I have met and the places I’ve gone. It’s totally world changing to me, I am very happy to see how this column/blog have influenced more people than I originally thought and how widespread it became in such short time. It’s really amazing and I’m very happy to see that there is a stronger Black Pagan community (and that there’s an actual, defined Black Pagan community) than I originally thought. I’m really happy for the opportunity that Afro-Punk had given me (even when sometimes they would make me pretty fussy with the edits), the support I’ve gotten from friends and readers and all the cool stuff I got to do – I mean, it’s amazing to introduce myself as Black Witch and to see the responses or even better yet, find that I have a reader that I didn’t know of.

It has been really nice to experience all these things, even if I feel like some of the success came a little too fast at times. It’s not every day I meet Lupe Fiasco and find out he’s one of my readers or that I see inside my column’s fan page are people who are from the Divine Nine or Black Ivy League alumni in the mix of my usual readers and this is only with ten to eleven months on the column. I thought it would be years before I would experience something like that. It was already surprising when I went to the Afro Punk Festival last year and people were walking up to me, knowing who I was. I honestly thought by the time of the AP Fest, everyone would have forgotten my column because it was a month before. Instead people were happy to see me, chatted with me and said they hope I would stay as their columnist. And I did for as long as I could.

It’s not anything bad that’s making me stop. If anything, this is the smoothest run I could ever anticipate. I haven’t gotten any hate mail, even when I called out the haters (turns out they were writing to Afro-Punk so AP was getting my hate mail, I was getting fan mail) because hey, if you got something to say, whine to me, not AP. I always promise to be nice – if it’s worth it. I’ve got a multitude of readers far beyond the spectrum of Black Pagans and even when things seemed odd, I always had friends to vent to. Yeah, a dumb commenter may be made as the carp of the day in my circle, always gave me and my crew entertainment but it’s wonderful to share the nice comments and really kind readers that I’ve gotten. What’s putting the brakes on this column is that I don’t feel I could dedicate as much time to it as I would like to maintain the column as is. Between the writing, editing, responding to readers and making sure Black Witch remains as seamless as possible, it gets burdensome for a college student such as myself on the brink of graduation and starting my life.

Thank you all for your support, this has been a very happy experience of my life and I wish you all a very happy, merry April Fools.


Happy April Fools, suckas! Ah, Black Witch is still here, gonna be here and will be staying here. I quite like this spot, all decorative and my words got power and weight to them and such. A Witch can get used to this, especially this Black Witch right here. “Putting on the brakes” my rufflebutt, I’m perfectly fine. I got columns for months and months. I was going to say I was leaving due to “unfavorable pressure” but I figure I might as well be a bit honest for authenticity. Even if I tried, I couldn’t care less what people say about my column, let ‘em talk. My inbox stays silent of the wack pedigree and I barely get static so if people did dislike Black Witch, it must not that bad of a grind. Besides it’s not like they got anything better to give, not even some of their cheesy words to match their whine. Besides, the more they chat, the more name I get so it works out for me in the end. As a matter of fact, Black Witch is even turning into a yearly book titled Black Witch: Life from the Black Pagan Perspective, vol. 1. That’s right, volume 1. Not only to I plan to stay but I plan to stay for a very. Long. Time. Preorders start in June on the anniversary, June 9th.

Since Black Witch isn’t going anywhere, lemme give you this week’s column,“Nice To Know Ya”:

You know what my pet peeve is as a diviner and witch? Know-it-alls.

Not intellectuals, know-it-alls. They think they know you like the back of their hand because they saw the palm of yours. It isn’t they’re not good at it, some of them are merely overflexing a well-wrought skill, it’s just they’re so posh and pompous about it, like they don’t need to get to know you, they already have your number – but they’re total enigmas to the mortal mind. (Yeah, right.)

One thing I find rather common in my experience is that people are truly uncomfy with the prospect of the unknown. Gotta turn over every rock, put religion in a test tube and peer review the afterlife. There’s nothing wrong with seeking knowledge or having it, it’s just how you go about it. No one knows truly everything and not everyone measures on the same scale however these people like to pretend that their minds are gifts from the gods, that they have no discomfort because they know all…supposedly. To seek knowledge isn’t problematic nor is being good at reading people. The issue comes alive when the person is too reliant on anything that can be a knowledge bank and get cocky about it because they believe they no longer live with the unknown being the unknown and not only that but somehow it makes them mysterious that they can “easily” figure you out and you can’t.

Granted, as a palmist, I could steal a glance at someone’s hand and figure them all the same but here are a couple issues with that and why:

How pretentious – I know I have a tendency of hiding behind a shell of myself but to live in it? That’s never good. I’m simply introverted but that’s just overly insular. It’s okay to be reserved and to have a method of interacting with people but to hide always never benefits anyone.

People aren’t black and white – Say I scan a palm because I want a quick way to know how to interact with the person but even then I know I could be surprised. No one is a simple box to open up and examine – the human mind simply doesn’t work that way. If it did, mental disorders would be a cakewalk to handle and the field of psychology would be very pointless. Plus, it’s much less headache to let people be themselves rather than figure them out all at once.

The idea of knowing everything of everyone but to the world be an absolute mystery is, to me, a way to make up relevancy where there isn’t any and to mask insecurity. They want a noteworthy talent and to even be talked about for it. It reminds me of the “wizard” in the Wizard of Oz and The Wiz where the wannabe showstopper tries to play up who they are around people who don’t truly know them or how small and pathetic they really are, just like the big and scary wizard being only a scared and failed man poised behind a curtain. Indeed, there is comfort in knowing countless information about someone. They aren’t strangers anymore and they can’t surprise you with a hidden trait that you may not like. The person is, well, conquerable and controllable even and that’s what I think those people want: control. It provides some extra control in life where the future is certain, waste is minimalized and practically nothing is for naught again. To have a grip on thing, not a bad thing to ask for, right?

Yes and no. Is getting a better grip on life good? Sure! Or I wouldn’t do divination or spellwork, let alone support it. However taking on the severe notion that everything and everyone in life must be attached with a string is a bit concerning. Generally those who try to control others have a problem controlling themselves. I’ll glance at a palm to help me out interacting with the person but I don’t want to make it feel like I’m trying to be a puppet master and assert dominance where there isn’t any and definitely no need to. In my experience, those that want to be an occult know-it-all have some pretty disheveled lives themselves, they’ve been picked on, made fun of, hapless victims of the hands of fate or feel unnecessarily threatened somehow. They can’t have any control in themselves or it’s too hard to gain control that they try to find it by subverting it onto others. This is why they try to pretend they know everything about everyone but no one knows anything about them, it creates the illusion of superiority because there’s a serious bout of inferiority floating about in their minds somewhere. Divination and spellwork is here to help people, not pretend you’re awesome.

Usually these folks can stun the crowd and even get a few to believe them and their pseudo-intellectual ways. They carry a highfalutin air about them, that they’re smarter than the average populace and can quote a few dusty books (usually incorrectly). They dress different from the crowd, decked out in tons of silver symbolic jewelry, perhaps has a Korn or System of a Down shirt in their wardrobe, something from Hot Topic, their hair may have seen better days. Or maybe they dress like Harvard professors from the 1940s (and may even have the social views to match). They talk kinda fast and like every sentence they say is a remarkable zing, paced as if they have the mind of a sage man or thematic like they’re V from V for Vendetta, usually walking with hunched shoulders.  Depending on how deep in the occult they are, they may even make reference to otherworldly beings as if they’re so tough and powerful they could sic a deity on you. Always, they make it seem that no matter how hard you try to outwit them or have a level conversation with them, they imply that any chance to compete intellect is futile for they will always come out on top. Hey, they may even brag about women and sex like a 14 year old with a flair for stuffy chatter – despite the fact that nary has a woman ever approached them and they have no idea how to talk to one without sounding stupid. These people just want to mystify you with all their personal smoke and mirrors but they’re pretty easily handled fast with some straight talk and not being afraid to say, “Oh really?” They don’t like questions, just submission. If anything, they’re flustered by non-submission, they don’t want to be seen as an equal, they want to be a superior, something to fear. Take them down a few pegs and unravel the enigma they’re trying to be and you find someone who just wants to be somebody for once.

I think that while it is fun and very good to know divination because of its usefulness to get a better grip on life but to rely on that for relevancy or control is pretty pathetic. The world is a pretty wild place filled with coincidences, happenings, surprises and weird stuff, it’s impossible to harness all of that and rather pointless to. The unknown is the unknown, so what? Not everything is meant to be discovered, examined or thoroughly understood to a fine point, including people. To study the occult, there shouldn’t be a direct aim to control it but to best understand it and work with it. Those that want to control others or to somehow have what they want to believe is an unfair advantage aren’t mysterious, they’re stereotypical. It’s clear what they want and what they lack. It’s annoying how much leverage people give them because they know a few big words in the dictionary (it’s another argument altogether of whether or not they use them correctly) and can act like a character out of an Alan Moore movie. They’re believed because they act the part, it’s a common stereotype that those involved with the metaphysics acts weird and creepy because they know something the general public don’t. These folks act pompous because they’ve stumped and amazed enough people willing to believe that stereotype and I’m stumped and amazed that people believe them.

Usually those who are good at what they do generally don’t flaunt it. There’s no need to. Why show yourself off as something big and bad to those that shouldn’t care? The best diviners I know never show it until they have to and some of the most intellectual people I know have a multiplex and full personality filled with perks, quirks, moods, strong suits and shortcomings. They believe that the proof is in the pudding, not the recipe and that’s how it should be. Know-it-alls are more like know-nothings that want to be something, intellectuals just that – intellectual.

Speaking of intellectual, have you read the post below about Black Victims in the Holocaust? Very interesting read

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