It’s that time again! It’s The Arts:! Samhain Edition! Before we start, I would like to say all the Samhain Pickers winners will be read for this week! And don’t any of you forget of the annual Black Witch Samhain vcast chat at 9 PM EST (sorry trick-or-treaters). Fun and hijinks! May even star my cat! (Seriously. She’s cute, great promotion material.)

This year’s winners:
Erika B.
Shaquez L.
Sherry W.

This year’s round up is Black Pagan blogs, books and other very Pagan things! I’m super happy that there are actually Black Pagan blogs to mention and just in case I miss a few, please do meander over to the African-American Wiccan Society’s Important Links page to find more and more.

Let’s get started!

Black Pagan Blogs
These blogs are just like mine, they’re Pagan blogs intended for a Black audience. I will admit, there has been a very recent sprouting of many Black Pagan blogs that provide a very multifaceted look of the Black Pagan community.

Black Pagan

University Witch

The Shy Witch

African-American Wiccan

Katrina’s Joy

Daughters of Eve

Cosette from Jupiter


I’m happy to see this when only a year or two ago, I haven’t seen really even this much of a blog roll dedicated for Black Pagans and written by Black Pagans. This is great! Takes work off of my shoulders definitely!

Pagan Books
I believe I have focused on some fairly Witchy books last year and not enough divination so I’ll be doing some of that. But first, I was asked to do a book review! I thought that was a very nice opportunity! The book is titled The Spellcasting Picture Book: Visual Tools for Grown-up Magic, written by Diana Rajchel.

Okay then, here is my review for the book: I believe that the book could definitely use some improvement as I feel that it is not exactly ready for prime time yet. From the start of the book, the reader is faced with the fact that the writer is mired in controversy apparently. On the cover under the author’s name it reads, “Yeah, that one.” And the Preface sounds very pointed: “If you’re reading this it’s likely because you know me, know my perfumery, or know a little bit about me and want to see if whatever the current batch of rumors is are true.” What rumors?  I, and I’m sure most other potential readers (unless I’ve been living under a rock), are not at all familiar with Rajchel or her work so it presents as a personal and private dislike aired in a public place. I understand having haters buuuuut there is a way to discuss them in an objective manner or at least provide a more thorough background than the one provided. A blog is one thing to air out disdain for those who dislike what you’re doing but a book is a bit different.

Here’s what I found very bothersome on the How to Use this Book page: “About Witchcraft: If you want to know more about Witchcraft and/or Wicca, please ask someone else.” That’s as if saying, “Please don’t read my book, it’s a waste of time.” Rajchel does mention other books that would be good to reference at the back of the book but she should have at least mentioned that in the “About Witchcraft” blurb.

The artistry is very base and, frankly, poorly done. If this was a book where Pagan religious artwork was collected from kids, fine, but it’s not. Bad photoshop of floating arms and hands, poorly assembled artwork that – for me – is reminiscent of crack conspiracy websites, reuse of drawn pictures – none of the artwork is good. The author describes it as “primitive” but this is not at all primitive. I have seen primitive art from various cultures and this is not it. It is moreso very basic and childlike. Very poorly done. Whatever good artistry is there was nicked from the internet and ‘shopped in. I have seen picture spell books such as The Spell Bible and they are done well. This book, I cannot say I have the same opinion for. The writing, which was both handwritten and typed was not incredibly provocative but fairly mediocre at best.

The Spellcasting Picture Book, claims to be a picture book for adults but at a glance, it seems more for children. I wouldn’t recommend it at all to anyone. Yes, the art in this work are doodles and personal works of the author which she put her heart and mind into it but still, I have to hold the work to a particular standard that it does not meet.

Onward to the other books!

The Spell Bible (Ann-Marie Gallagher)
If you do want to see a picture book of spells done well, get The Spell Bible. It is amazing the works they have in there and the spells are very beautifully photographed and explained. There are various spells in there for a range of subjects (no jinxes though. If you’re that coldhearted, just be yourself, that’s jinx enough.) and while I haven’t tried them myself because I make my own spells, they are very well crafted. This is a wonderful book for starters, intermediates or those who just need a little guidance for their spellcrafting. The pictures are beautiful, the spells are amazing and it’s all simply wonderful in a little, compact book. The pages are color coded for ease of use and there is an index and glossary as well as a reference page for materials and anything else you may need.

Playing Card Divination for Beginners (Richard Webster)
This book has taught me all I needed to know about playing card divination, my very first divining skill. It is a great book that breaks everything down card by card, has a special section on the joker, suggest spreads and more. My book is pretty tattered and worn from all the use, I’ve had it for half a decade but I still refer to it when I do readings and if I forget how to do a particular spread. This book also talks about combination spreads (such as what happens if you get three Aces in a spread or face cards everywhere) and there’s a great history section at the start of the book. Webster shares his own experiences doing card readings and gives ideas of how to diversify the divination practice using dice or paper. Now, I think this book is out of print and if that’s true, I’ll digitize my copy and have it up here. I tried emailing Webster and I think even the publisher themselves but I haven’t heard anything back I’m not going to wait. Information is information.

The Art of Hand Reading (Lori Reid)
This is one of the many books I have on palmistry – okay, one of the three, I don’t believe in having a billion books on one metaphysical subject because info overlaps and most books out there are pretty crappy. This book is completely awesome in that it goes into the political and religious history briefly in regards to palmistry. It’s very interesting to learn! Also there’s a section that talks about how different hand gestures mean different things in different parts of the world. The easiest example is the peace sign, palm inwards. In America, it can be a parting salutation. In the UK, it’s flipping someone off. The book is very factual so there not much, if any, fluffy content there.

Shades of Faith (Crystal Blanton, ed.)
The first anthology for Black Pagans has arrived! If you saw this post calling for Black Pagan entries, this book is what has come of it. It is very well done and two of my writings are in the anthology, one that is here on Black Witch “Why Don’t You Like Me?” and one exclusively for the anthology “Missing in the Picture”. There are a variety of Black (and I think other minority) voices heard in the anthology and it is indeed nice to have a Black book on religion but it not be focused on Christianity. Nab it!





Web Shops!
I have few webshops that I go to because I am quite accustomed to buying in person but if you have any suggestions, speak your mind in the comments! To see more, please refer to last year’s Samhain Edition.

Kotori Cards – This is pretty much shilling for my friends who are very awesome diviners. My (recently married :3 ) friends Jess and John started their store online after having a very successful run for many years. Now, I usually am not for people paying for readings, I still think it is better you learn for yourself but these two are amazing readers for those who still want to pay for readings.

The Dark Moon – The African American Wiccan Society finally has their store up and it has just about everything and growing in stock each and every day. The ritual chocolates look wonderful and there’s even gear specifically designed for Black Pagans such as tarot bags and more.

Well that’s it for The Arts!: Samhain Edition!