Archive for May, 2011

The Establishment (Afro-Punk) Version

So, I’m doing some research for an English paper about the African American Wiccan experience. However, the deeper I dive the less I find about the subject (thank Goddess for the African American Wiccan Society). What gives? There must be more information and I know we exist!
1. How would you describe your experience as a black Witch?
2. What do you think about the almost nonexistent information describing our experiences and giving us advice?

– S.

Oooh, an English paper. I know how you feel about wanting to find extensive information about the Black Pagan experience, there seemed to be a complete drought when I was looking myself when I was starting out. I remember before Black Witch or even the Black Pagan group on Afro Punk, I found myself ultimately frustrated that there seemed to be nothing there for Black Pagans. Plenty for White Pagans but if you wanna talk about Africana stuff and Black culture, it seemed to be an empty place. I have looked endlessly on the web, in books, in stores, wherever you could for Black Pagan groups and it seems they’ve only just started to pop up recently. I believe African American Wiccans has been around for ten years but as a list proc on Yahoo since 2001 but I never happened upon them once until Black Witch came to be and a reader suggested me to them. I would search endlessly for “Black Pagan” on Google with just about nothing worth reading coming out of it. I think the issue is 50/50 in regards to the internet as a whole and the Black cyber culture.

1. My experience as a Black Witch? Well, it’s a pretty fulfilling experience for me. Despite my problems and issues that life likes chucking to any and everyone, I am definitely happier here than I was when I was Christian. I feel a better connection to what it is that I am doing, everything doesn’t seem so pointless and I feel more spiritual, in that I am practicing something I truly feel, not something I was told to do so religion doesn’t feel like a chore. That’s a lot more I’m getting out of it than I would have when I was Christian. When I was Christian, I was totally miserable no matter what I did to solve it. I went to church, got saved (three times), read the Bible, etc etc etc. Wasn’t cutting it for me. I wanted the same kind of faith that I saw my favorite band P.O.D. had: honest, sincere and fulfilling and I wasn’t getting that at all from Christianity. I’m happier as a Witch because Chrisitianity didn’t work out for me but Paganism sure did. Christianity is a nice religion (when not bogged down with stupidity as it commonly is) but not a religion for every soul on this earth.

2. I think there is a well of information but it’s like oil, gotta hit it first and it has to have worth or else it’s just another thing. Since Black Witch, like I said, I’ve been introduced to more Black Pagan groups than anything but that’s in part because readers will tell me “Hey, I’ve been interested in this stuff too, here’s the website I go to/book I read/metaphysical store I visit” but that’s mainly because they know I exist. I attribute the success of my column/blog to the fact there’s no easily accessible trove of information about Black Pagans (I use present tense and not past tense because it’s still hard and we have more of a force now than then) and the fact that this is one of the few very kinda easily accessable sites there are about the Black Pagan Experience on the net. I can promise you that there are more sites about this, spend some time on African American Wiccan society but they’re not really given a voice. There’s a multitude of reasons why:

Too small and exclusive:
When you look around the Important Links on Afr. Am. Wiccan Society, you’ll see lots of little pockets of Black Pagans getting together. That’s great we have so many but it can be a problem too because we have so many. Without the help of sites like AAWS, there would be just about nothing to reel them in (I certainly can’t always do it) and showcase them. Also another issue I noticed is that they don’t provide true glimpses into those communities, either register or leave. I understand wanting to keep the trolls out but everyone else should at least be able to see something that will give anyone that happens upon those sites something to chew on. I think they should have a way for people to lurk without being members, it would probably help.

Poorly advertised:
Black and Pagan with a site? It seems people are just waiting for BET or Black America Web to stroll by and pick them up – which is just about never going to happen without some forceful nudging or a terrible gimmick. Most people who run sites like these aren’t advertising them very well for the average Black Pagan to find them. The term Black Witch still does not return positive results for Black Pagans – actually, before the Afro-Punk group Black Pagans (which I started, yayz!), it was just as bad, no responses or hits for actual Black (as in African-Diaspora) Pagan…just tons for black magick, gimmicky hexes and other stuff that I really didn’t need to see, especially at a young age. Yes, there was the one page on Witchvox a Black Pagan wrote about her experience but no groups and no way to socialize. If someone has a site, they should advertise and well. Submit to Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. Plus sites like Black Witch and African American Wiccan Society, the fairly recognizable sites of the Black Pagan experience it seems, have started within a year ago basically. Thanks to sites like WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook and other sites, a more vibrant voice of the Black Pagan experience can come through and interconnect us to each other and to the rest of the world. I know the blog Black Pagan has just started up (I’ll feature it but first I need that site to exist for about two months with consistent posting before I slap it up here) and I’m sure there are more that are going on. These developments are pretty recent tho so there are projects and works, time just has to pass first.

Black America Online:
If I say “Black Faith blogs”, the average person is going to think either about Christianity or even Islam. (Wanna change the face of Black belief? Vote for me at Black Weblog Awards in the Faith Category) Black Pagans just get tossed off to the side as the “Voodoo lady” of faith systems. Through the lens of the Black faith, Black Pagans are supposed to not exist (because we’re all Christian![/sarcasm]) and if we do, we’re supposed to be weird, extremely Afro-Centric to the point of being extremist, backwards with our African backwater rituals and killin’ goats in our backyards where we make voodoo dolls to get back our neighbors for having a nice car and rattling a jar of bones just to talk to a tree for the answers to our problems. Basically, a Black Pagan is supposed to be Calypso from Pirates of the Carribbean and most likely really crazy. I have had hard times getting into writing guilds for Black writers and getting new readers sometimes because *gasp*, I’m not Christian and I practice Witchcraft. Zomgz, how am I not catching fire when I set foot in a church? We as Blacks have a looooooooooooooooooong way to go in showcasing all of the African Diaspora and to be truly Black publications instead of being sometimes only secondhand to mainstream (and pretty White) media. Not everyone who has money is a rapper and not every person who has African descent naturally knows how to greet people with a, “Sup son? Gotta be runnin’ papers fa’ real fa’ real, nahmean bwoy? Ya’know howz’be, mahn.” When Black America figures out that hood culture does not mean Black culture (but Black culture is within hood culture and that’s it, not the other way around) and showcases it online and offline, we’ll do better. Till then, Black Pagans just keep putting their names out there till someone picks up. Already having Black Witch on Afro-Punk is a big help (that’s actually where BW got started).

Trapped in the broom closet:
If you’re a Black Pagan, chances are stupidly good you probably know at least two to three scriptures (even if you don’t know where they are in the Bible), a few hymns and a Negro Spiritual passionate enough to pass for a Christian. Black Christianity is pretty strong, don’t doubt that. While it has its benefits such as being the cornerstone and starting place of Black leadership and a lynchpin to the Black community, it can also be a daunting force for anyone who isn’t Christian. Daunting enough to make actual Black Pagans learn a few hymns and fake it so not to get disowned, to keep the peace and not become an insta-pariah in their community. With very few resources and places to feel at ease to express true religious affiliation, most Black Pagans’ faiths are put through a limbo. Because a lot of Black Pagans are scared to talk about their faith openly (I have gotten plenty letters from people who used screenames, pseudonyms and other ways to cover up their identities to talk to me and this is actually why I allow physical mail too), it makes the pool of Black Pagans look smaller. That’s not fair and pretty bigoted if anyone thinks it is. If Black Pagans aren’t talking, nothing is happening. I can see why though, from my own experience pushing Black Witch I’ve been met with some pretty disheartening responses from Blacks who would much rather Black Witch just be another Black Christian blog. I got a backbone and thick skin for that but what about Black Pagans who aren’t so steeled against disdain? Nothing is wrong with being in the broom closet but not always and definitely not forever.

The online Pagan world:
The online Pagan world is mostly White. All, if not most mainstream Pagan magazines are White. Paganism as a whole still carries a White face. Since this is what is depicted as the face of Paganism and the authority of the how’s and what’s of the religion, they get mail from Black Pagans as well and are fairly stumped in answering beyond blanket answers (“go look around on the internet, you’ll find someone”). Since I don’t think those sites necessarily know that Black Pagan sites exist, they can’t really direct their Black Pagan readers around very well. Without well-known thresholds to connect us, we have a harder time finding each other and an easier time feeling like we’re the only one of our kind.

There’s a lot of empty spaces when it comes to info about the Black Pagan experience but with the advent of the internet and all that it comes with, it’s getting easier to make content and to find content. Also – shameless plug – to build a better vantage point for Pagan blogs, vote for mine in the Black Weblog Awards in the Faith category (#6)! More Black Pagan resources are popping up or simply being more visible which is a great thing for future Black Pagans and those curious.

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who nominated Black Witch for the Black Weblog Awards. I am now in the voting rounds for the faith category (#6) and have been invited to attend the Black Weblog Awards! I am very excited indeed. Here’s the ballot, if you want to donate to send BW to LA and the BW post containing all the necessary details.

Now go out and vote! The Arts for the month of May:

The Shy Witch
Here’s a quick fact about me: I do read what my readers are doing. If you subscribe to my blog, twitter or fan page, I will and have scoped you out. Y’know, “Put your buckets down where they are, there’s diamonds in your own backyard.” Even if you comment and leave your website down, I will look at it. I like to see what other people are doing, who am I attracting and well, I’m just super curious(/nosy).

I really like the Shy Witch because I think it is a wonderful personal blog of a Black Pagan and little bits and pieces of useful information such as her post on flowers and their magickal qualities or even on Italian nuggets (a recipe that I shall be jacking for my own uses, it is teh aweshome).

Her blog is very expressive, there’s poetry, stories, reflections, recipes, a very well rounded Black Pagan blog, which is very hard to come by.

Check her out yourself!
The Shy Witch
The Shy Witch Fan Page

Yak Ballz
I actually happened upon his music through a late night radio station listen. It was the song “Hello Eyes” which I thought was pretty amazing in sound. I prefer music that says something and of course as you can see emcee after emcee on here, this should be no different. The guitar loop is striking and the song is very late-night in feel. Take a listen, it’s really cool. Another song that I liked from Yak Ballz is “Dirt Empire”. The chorus is captivating, Yak Ballz is being directly honest and political and it is just a cool video and song

He been working on some new stuff, I like the fact he develops his sound instead of staying stagnant and on the same track, same note, same gig forever and ever. Definitely an emcee indeed

He’s been workin on some recent stuff, here’s his latest official video of his song “Compass”

Wanna get more Yak Ballz or even buy some of his music? Here you go:

Yak Ballz
Yak Ballz Tv

I found his work on the international Lolita community EGL and this was the picture he posted up: (Click for clearer image)

Starry Sky

And I thought his work was stunning. These pictures are not done with computer but the old-fashion way, by hand and with talent. Everything is acrylic on canvas and they are so marvelously stunning. I love the detail that he has an amazing eye for and most importantly, the figures are diverse in skin, body, expression and theme. There is plenty of lolita art out there but usually the subject is White and doesn’t often stray from that or if so, more in a tokenized fashion than anything. Atra_mental mentions about his artwork, “Someone asked me why I paint space with the figures and I said because space is full of magic, creation and beauty.” Good answer

Here’s more of his works. I can’t say enough that Atramental has stunning work of detail. He has several lolitas wearing brand prints (click on Lolita Fashion on “Links of Interest” to understand what I’m saying) and they’re unmistakenable. (Click to see clearer image)

GMO Apple



Want to see the rest of his gallery? Here’s where you can find him:

Portfollio site
Deviant Art

That’s all The Arts for the month of May! Next week is Ask Black Witch, send in your submissions! Use the submission form on the side, email me, tweet me, post on my fan page, mail me, just get it in and it’ll be on here, just look on my contact page for info if you don’t feel like using the form. (Why not use the form? It’s right there at least.)

I have just learned on Monday that Black Witch has been nominated in the Faith Category for the Black Weblog Awards. I am very excited as I have been waiting all year for this opportunity. I really would like to win this, it would be very much awesome. First Black Pagan blog to win a BWA, I like the sound of that very very much. Plus, I’ve never been to L.A., where the first ever live Black Weblog Awards show will be conducted on July 9. Very exciting indeed!

Wanna help make this all happen? Vote and donate.

Vote: (Here’s the ballot)
– Fill out your email (no spam, BWA just wants to know there’s a human voting)
– Scroll down to Faith-based Blogs (6th category) and select Black Witch
– Scroll down more till you see “Next Page” and click on that till you see “Submit” (Feel free to look at the other blogs if you like, some are really cool!)
– Done! You’ll get an email saying you voted. It’s one vote per computer.

To go to LA for the Awards Ceremony:
Wordpress can ever be a pain sometimes but not a problem! ChipIn is here to save the day. Donate at the Black Witch ChipIn Page here, keep up with the updates and pitch in!

Black Witch ChipIn Page

Vote and donate! Vote and donate!

The Establishment (Afro-Punk) Version

Through a particular issue (okay, issues. They just have to come in clusters), I’ve had to do a lot of shuttling back and forth and doing spellwork in the midst of it all (so I can get rid of my issues on a metaphysical level as I handle them on a physical level. I’m Pagan. It’s how we solve our problems. Christians take it to the cross, we take it to the spellbook (generally)). In that and even when I wasn’t shuttling back and forth and causing columns like Absent Black Witch, I never had a dedicated altar for ‘crafting.

I don’t own a wand, a cauldron (though if I had a mini-cauldron, I would only have an urge to burn dried herbs in it and a stronger, insatiable urge to chuck it at somebody. It’s got some weight to it.)  I don’t own a Witch’s pantry, a shelf dedicated to spell work, or anything like that. To be honest, most witches that I know of don’t have the prescribed altar that are spoken of in so many witch books, beginner, intermediate and advanced. To save me a bunch of space explaining what an altar is or looks like, I’ll take a leaf out of vlogger Shazzypbear’s book and show her vid about it to you:

and here’s another vid about altars from another Pagan, TheMorganFire (The altar is about halfway in and based on Lammas, a Pagan holiday)

Yep, altars are diverse and they all may look a little different, depending on the Pagan. I don’t have one because I’m deftly accustomed to living in a household where I had to hide my beliefs from my pretty Christian family. That and not having a lot of money would put a dent in any altar to have so I’m use to DIY’ing it enable to adapt to my environment and situation. Plus it’s mad helpful when I travel because you can’t drag a whole altar around with you and there are just some restrictions (i.e. can’t carry a lot, gotta travel light) that you can’t help. Here’s some of what I use:

Birthday candles – Alright, I actually have candles you put on menorahs given to me as a gift from my Jewish friends (shalom, pplz!) but I mostly use birthday candles because they come in so many colors, even black! Birthday candles are very easy to find, cheap and very discreet for spellworking or any other religious function. They take roughly 30-40 minutes to burn so they’re about the length of a spellcasting session. Very cute too!

Aluminum foil – Spectacular for bundling everything together for traveling or storage. They can be meld into fire-safe creations such as candle snuffers, candle holders and placemat for them for easy clean up. Also easily accessible and not expensive

Incense – Useful for wand work because they are long and wand-like but you can specify them for whatever spell you’re doing or pick a general “wand” and throw it away after once it all burns out. Useful instead of using salt to cast a circle for the smoke can be an visual aid for the same effectiveness (a note: have an incense with some protective quality such as dragon’s blood if you’ll be casting with the same wand that you draw the circle with, otherwise, just let that incense sit somewhere else to burn out and use another for the spell. I usually use the same incense for circle drawing and spellcasting.)

Sticks, stones, plants – if you can’t burn anything or don’t want to draw attention, that’s what the readiness of nature is for. Use a stick or general stones to put down a circle (I haven’t said use salt yet because salt can be messy and I don’t use it for myself for that very reason) and use particular stones for the four quarters, such as fire agate for fire (south), aquamarine for water (west), topaz or clear quartz for air (east), and hematite for earth (north). Instead of a stick of incense, just use a stick roughly the length of your forearm for a wand (where do you think wands come from?) or a pointed stone. Since you’ll be using nature, best to learn nature and be creative!

Cloth – This is a method that I personally don’t use but author Lauren Manoy mentioned in her book Where to Park Your Broomstick. You design a cloth with six or nine foot circle marked out as well as any enchantment symbols you pull to. I don’t use this method because it is too much work for me to find a piece of acceptable cloth big enough, paint on it, let it dry (undetected) and pack it and use it. Frankly, some spaces may not be big or clear enough to accommodate the cloth. Then there’s walkin on it, laying it down, cleaning it and other arduous things that I rather not trade up my current methods for. However, if this is a spiffy method for you – and it does have its upshots such as an already defined sacred space so you just have to put it down, do your thing, clean up, pack up and continue on. Can’t argue with that.

Cups – another method that I don’t use but has been vouched for. These, of course, should be glass cups because they will be use to hold the symbols of the elementals/directionals: a white or red candle (fire/south), salt or dirt (earth/north), nothing or filled with sand to hold incense (air/east), water (west). These cups don’t have to be spectacular, just small and clear. This method could also be used for holding candles (gold and silver) or incense to represent the god and goddess if you so choose. They’re small for easy storage and easy for clean up and keeping everything all to the same place.

Tub o’ dirt – This method a friend of mine introduced to me recently and since using it, I find it to be incredibly awesome. She reused a plastic food container tub, washed it out (which should be done anyways), and poured sandy dirt in it to weigh it down and uses it to keep lit incense and able to put it anywhere. I believe that small candles can be used just as well, just skim out the remainder wax. For incense ashes, just sift and shake until the soil looks new again. There’s no need to skim that out because everything is of the earth so it all can stay – plus who want to dredge, skim and sift out fine ash from sandy dirt? Very much a waste of time.

Bookbags – This is a method I used for the longest time to store my witchy things while living at home. Get a bookbag, preferably with lots of pockets and compartments to better section stuff up. It doesn’t have to be pricy, a simple and cheap one from Wal-Mart worked fine for me. Store your books, herbs, stones and other things there and store that somewhere you believe the bookbag will remain safe. I would say put a lock on the zippers but nothing screams “Suspicious!” quite like that.

These are some of the methods that I use and then some. Now, of course magick can still be done without materials but materials can help focus the mind. The ability of spellcrafting is from within, not in the products that you use, they only amplify the intent you’re trying to pass into the universe. To do magick without materials, meditation and visualization is all that is particularly needed since that garners energy that is going to be raised later on in the process of the spell.

Now, spells work best with personal connection, there’s nothing wrong with taking materials from the world around you (materials, not life. No killin’ (Just throwing that in there for the possible newb who somehow missed that modern (and even some back then) witchcraft does not tolerate killing for spellwork) and please, no using your cat somehow, they’re animals, not insta-altars) if they bear a natural connection to you already. That means if you see those little brightly multi-colored pebbles outside and they remind you of magick or whatever that may be important, go for it. That’s part of why I actually don’t use salt and dirt in my circles although it is greatly recommended. I don’t feel much connection to salt and it would upset my OCD to use dirt – yay for disorders – so I much rather use incense to draw my circles and use stones to resemble the earth because otherwise I would feel disconnected and out of focus. That’s not useful at all.

Magick is what you make of it. It isn’t 100% arbitrary and definitely you shouldn’t restrict yourself so steadfast to the book if you know something better. This doesn’t mean destroy and reinvent the whole system – unless you’re a chaos magician, which is an entirely different matter altogether – but to modify what you see to who you are. It wouldn’t be incredibly sincere if it were any other way, unless you were super scared of making a mistake. Being scared of messing up in Witchcraft is perfectly natural, just not tightly adhering to the rules and regulations for an extremely long time and way beyond the learning curve, gotta branch out someday. That means figuring out and finding out what that means for you.

That’s all the Black Witch for this week, next week are the installment posts, starting with The Arts. Who will be featured:

– The Shy Witch
– Lolita artist, Atramental
– Yak Ballz

After The Arts is Ask Black Witch! I haven’t gotten any submissions yet so send them in! Here are your methods:

  1. Tweet me on Twitter (@thisblackwitch)
  2. Ask on the Black Witch Fan Page
  3. Fill out the Ask Black Witch submission form
  4. Email me directly (look on About/Contact Me for the email)
  5. Write to me directly (also on the About/Contact Me page)

There are five different ways to contact me and send me questions! Some methods are quicker than others, some slower than others but they all reach the same place right on time. Ask whatever you like.

Absent Black Witch

 I’m afraid to report that there isn’t a new Black Witch column for today. I’m going through a personal discrepancy which makes it not easy to simply drill out a new, decent column worth reading. I’m really sorry to everyone that there couldn’t be something new to read, there was a column indeed planned but considering my current situation, it couldn’t get completed. How am I going to remedy this? By taking a leaf out of Dan Savage’s book and posting up a previous column.

First, I’m gonna hock for whatever nomination votes I could possibly wrangle up in what’s left in the timing of the Black Weblog Awards: Check out this post (or you can scroll down) for the deets.

And the column from the past: “I Put A Spell On You – Nah”

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.

Well then, aren’t I a silly little thing? I totally misread the nomination process and apparently I need more than a few nominations, I need a lot lot more. So I am coming to you all, my readers to nominate my blog for these sections:

– Best Faith Based Blog
– Best Writing
– Blog To Watch
– Best Lifestyle Blog

Click on the nominate me picture to know how:

Click to Vote!

Here’s what you do:
You go to the nominate page (because the main nomination page may not work well with Internet Explorer on BWA’s site, I have the raw page up instead) and you fill in the web address ( in the particular fields I had mentioned above (Best Faith, Best Writing, Best Lifestyle Blog, Blog to Watch, all listed alphabetically), put in your email and yay! Nomination! Thanks for your support!

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