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!