Archive for November, 2011


Ok so I know that on everything I’ve it says not to do a spell to influence another person’s thoughts or actions but how do I get my ex back for good I’ve been in a lot of pain and I want to just get her back I know about the karma thing but I’ve never done anything with black magic before so I wanna learn how it works to thanks for the help

– Landon D.

Before I continue, let’s see if this can put a stopper to potential future questions such as this: if you check my “About Me/Contact Me” page, you’ll learn that I’m called Black Witch because I’m an African-American person who practices Witchcraft, not that I jinx or whatever. So anyone who want to ask me such a question, just keeeeep truckin’. Or just be yourself, that’s probably jinx enough for anyone who have to interact with you. And if it’s for dating, just buy a Bruno Mars album and shrink into the darkness.

Alright, Landon, you’ve got the basic very correct: you shouldn’t influence another person. That means no matter what. You’re scorned over your ex, join the club. The mundane version of getting back at her would be to harass her all the time, at home, at work, at play. That’s illegal. And a douchebag move.

Black magick works in that you’re adding bad energy (sounds new agey, yeah, but it is what it is) into a person’s life to deliberately cause harm. A mundane comparison: Cutting someone brakes (intent to harm) versus not telling them anything and their brakes break (karmic). Then there’s the karmic retribution on you. It is sometimes declared as threefold, some say tenfold, I just say whatever it is you’re going to do, it won’t be worth it for what you’ll get back.

If you’re in a lot of pain, you’re no different from anyone else suffering from a broken heart. Most pop songs wouldn’t be on the radio if the singer didn’t whine about how bad they’ve got the she-left-me blues. It’s a part of life and you can’t get pissed simply because things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to. When in a relationship, you do run a risk of getting hurt emotionally. It’s not fair and certainly isn’t fun, I can tell you that first-hand, but acting out on your grudge isn’t smart. Here’s why:

– You seriously think this is going to be the only time?: Relationships can suck, given if you keep dating the wrong people (which, I’ve noticed, plenty do). What if you get hurt again? Are you going to jinx the new chick too? Then you aren’t going to learn anything because it’s not like you’re perfect either. You’ll probably grow misogynist (“God, women are such gold-digging cunts. They’re so shady and freakin’ tricky.”) because instead of learning from your mistakes and dating better picks, you’re just going to rub salt into your own wound thinking that you’re dealing fair retribution. Not easy but you’re going to have to deal and find someone better.

– For good?: If your ex is such a terrible person, she’s going to meet her match. Either in the form of a wife-beater, terrible friends, people seeing straight through her or the worst of them all, the male version of her. It burns not to do anything but it’s better than potentially growing obsessed over a bad relationship.

– Relationships aren’t perfect: They’re not. Dan Savage wouldn’t have a job otherwise and love spells would be pretty pointless. Here’s the thing, you’re not perfect – I’m sure if I asked the ex, she probably can list some of your faults just as well as you can list hers – and the girls you’re going to date aren’t perfect. Nobody is perfect. Perfect relationships don’t exist because there are no perfect people. There are people perfect for each other but that doesn’t mean the relationship itself or the people in them will be perfect. There are high times, low times and times you wonder why you’re dating the person that you’re with. That means break-ups and barking up the wrong tree occasionally. They suck, they’re embarrassing as all get out and they promise Kleenex will never go out of business. The only safe route is to either imagine you’re in a relationship with a cartoon character, stay out of relationships or to be more careful dating by getting to know the girl longer and/or stating (and knowing) your deal breakers.

You’re not going to like the advice but move on. Seriously, move on. Take some time to get over the relationship, perhaps a few months or more depending on how long you dated. I didn’t like the advice when I got it but it’s the most that you can actually do to help yourself. Being vengeful feels good but nothing poignant is going to come out of it and you probably still won’t learn a single thing. And I mean learning something useful, such as “I don’t like when the girl I’m dating does this because of that” and so on. That’s actually useful, not hexing someone for breaking your heart.

I’m back with more questions. 😄
 
The first few involve dreams. I’ve noticed that I can foresee events in my dreams; if it’s a planned event the specifics are more clear. Thinking back this has definitely happened before, but I haven’t really taken notice until I got interested in magick and I also haven’t really remembered my dreams. However, it’s been happening more often once I got a necklace with my zodiac sign (Cancer) and a faux opal.
 
~Is it possible that the necklace has something to do with the increase? It’s just a simple necklace from Avon.
 
~I plan on getting a dream journal to write down my dreams before I forget, but is there anything that would help me remember my dreams more?
 
The next question is about pendulums: how exactly do they work and how would they be used?
 
The last question is actually a Lolita question: What is your stance on replicas? There’s a lot of debate on them thanks to Dream of Lolita and I’d like to see a lot of opinions on them.
 
Thanks again!

– Bertina

I don’t mind getting repeat readers asking me questions, I quite like it. Means I’m not messing up. So long the questions remain good, I’m happy.

Precognition, I think almost everyone experiences it. It does increase with magick use because of the fact that you’re opening up your intuition more. Your necklace can aid in that because it provides a visual representation to keep your intuition up. Think of how people have pictures or statuettes of Jesus with them, totally not needed in that Christ isn’t physically in the picture and is not the statuette itself but a visual reminder. The necklace works the same for its own purpose.

When I write down my dreams, I keep the lights off, eyes closed and scribble in my dream journal in (which is nearby, or my BOS, whichever I remember is closer). You forget, I believe, 90% of your dream in a few hours and a pretty big amount within the first 10 minutes. Writing the dream down right after I wake up works for me and I’ve heard it is the best method. Don’t worry about lines running into each other or misspelled words, just write it down and review it later in the day.

Pendulums, very pretty and can be pretty annoying when not used correctly. Pendulums have two uses: answer yes/no questions and to find stuff. When using it as a divinatory device (to answer yes/no questions) you work with the pendulum to either with or without a yes/no/maybe sheet to see how it responds to questions on its own or “program” it to respond to yes or no as you desire. Protip: You have to be verrrrry still or wind up swaying the pendulum so lay your arm down somewhere if you worry this will be a problem. I find pendulums can be problematic because some questions need more than a yes or a no and if it’s for a question you desire a particular answer for, you may sway the pendulum. I know I have – oh, and if you’re practicing psionics (i.e. psychokinesis) then skip out on this divination form, you will affect the result. It is more useful, in my experience, to find lost stuff. I would ask my pendulum (I have several, including one that I think hated me) to swing in the direction of my lost object, saaaay, my glasses. I tell it to go in a circle (or become still) once in the general area and the stronger it responds, the closer I am. Again, be steady. It takes a bit of meditation and work with the pendulum enable to reduce the chance of false positives. The pendulums work by connecting with the collective unconscious of the universe and refined via intent either for an answer or to find something. Or if it hates you, like one of mine did, it’ll just steer you directly into trouble or screw with the answers even if you were as still as stone.

My stance on replicas – for readers who are not aware, replicas are dresses in the Lolita fashion that are replicated designs or prints of popular and expensive dresses in the fashion – is that I think they are useful gap fillers within the fashion. Not everyone is after a name; some like a dress because it is pretty, not because it screams “I have brand”. Some simply cannot fit the small size range of Lolita dresses. For example, I would need a replica of the Carnival Cards dress by Angelic Pretty because A) the color I want it in is sold out and B) I couldn’t fit it even if I could buy it. Since Lolita dresses constrict themselves into such a narrow size range, I don’t look down on replicas and they make some dresses more affordable. Also, there’s the issue with a lot of brand dresses getting ruined from simply coming in contact with water, which the replicas may not do. I know I have only gotten one replica dress, a black Sugary Carnival dress from Dream of Lolita, that has this problem. I hate it because there are mistakes, the fabric is terrible and it faded fast through washing. But it cost almost 1/5th the price of the original dress, which cost about $600, can rocket up to $800 secondhand. A person just has to look around for reputable replica makers such as Oo Jia. I would say look hard at reviews before committing to buy because while a replica dress may be cheaper than the original, it is not cheap by any definition as a whole.

I am getting older by the day, and because of this fact, I am wondering if I will ever find true love where there is passion on both sides and ultimately have a baby or two?
 
I have been meeting too many men who are just not my type or I am not there’s. Whatever the case may be, I am extremely tired of looking. Can you shed some truthful light on me and let me know if love and a family is something that is meant for me to experience or not. Is there a spell to improve my situation? I need to know.
 
Thanks!

– Cali

The subject of true love is a tricky one. I’ve tried to do a true love spread but it became a can of worms over the course of two years for me so I don’t do them anymore. I certainly don’t suggest spellwork because it will be more trouble than it’s worth.

Now, do you see a loving and passionate relationship as little arguing, the guy is just knows your needs or can read your body language like a book, things like that? Or do you see a loving and passionate relationship as something that’s going to have back and forth along with the happy times, you’re going to get on his nerves sometimes, he’s going to get on your nerves sometimes, you both are interacting with each other as people and as friends, etc etc etc? If you see it as the former, you’ll always be unhappy. The latter? You’re off to a good start but still that doesn’t promise marriage and the baby carriage.

Let’s define “true love”: True love, in reference to a person, does not mean they will be perfect in every single way, let’s get that out the way. No one is perfect. Not you, not the President, not the person who collects your bills, not your best friend, no one on this earth is perfect. Everyone is imperfect, has flaws, quirks and issues of varying shades and ranges. There are people who are perfect for one another (for example: your best friend is perfect for you, even if she or he gets on your last nerve sometimes) and that’s what you should look for. Look for friendship, not relationship, from the start. A true love is just a deeply and romantically loved friend that helps you grow, you help them grow and each of you bring something wonderful into the relationship.

I understand the problem that you have, I get the same issue but maybe you should try this: Don’t look. I understand that it can be difficult but it’s advice I get constantly and I hear from a lot of happy couples – they weren’t looking when they found each other. I can’t tell you if you’re going to have the happy family and loving relationship that we all want and I don’t generally do spreads or suggest spells for Ask Black Witch questions. Besides, even if I did, what help would it do? It wouldn’t say, “hey, you’re going to meet him tomorrow” and it won’t provide enough details for you to fully be satisfied. What if you learn you would meet this guy thirty years from now? It would just make you go mad. Just meet guys as you would want to make friends with so you can get to know him, he can get to know you, etc etc etc. There’s no spell I could give you, short of treading on free will, that would make you happy. You just have to let it come to you. You’re not going to like it (I sure as hell don’t, I’d gun down cupid with a scud missile if I could) but you’re going to have to just live your life, continue to improve your life so you’ll be happy – which is attractive, mind you – and meeting people normally.

Instead of waiting, improve yourself for yourself. Become happy of who you are, your accomplishments and etc etc. In focusing on yourself, you won’t be so stone-fast into getting a boyfriend (and ultimately husband and father) toute de suite and that means more opportunities can open up. Anyone, guy or girl, can be super easily turned off by the aura of “Can we date? Plz?” because it comes off as subconscious desperation and can make them feel trapped and suffocated, hence cause for bolting. Can’t force someone to love you nor do you want to coerce them. People like individuality, regardless of gender – and I think you probably would prefer a guy that doesn’t want a woman cling-on dependent (which is extremely different from basic mutual dependency, which is what you – and he – should want because a relationship can’t sail far if there’s no balance)- and it’s great when someone wants you for you and everything that you are. Just remember to improve yourself where you yourself think improvement is needed, enhance yourself for yourself, be happy with yourself, get to know people as people and not potential dating subjects. If it gets to where you like a guy naturally, make sure you have a basic understanding in what you want in a guy. Not surface stuff like money and looks but something that you know you would love to spend the rest of your life with, your deal breakers, etc. It’s not easy doing all this and there’s no promise you’ll die with a ring on your finger and/or a kid to carry on your memory so just live for yourself. It’s really the only thing you can do.

Last month, I had answered an Ask Black Witch about if grimores existed and I responded pretty much with a “Not the olden day kinds”. That was a derp on my part but Nkyinkyin caught my mistake. Here is what she wrote on her blog:

I appreciate many of The Black Witch‘s posts–she fills an important niche in the lives of the young and new, and also puts up with a lot of crap that I freely admit to not having the patience to deal with. I was disappointed with her answer to one of the questions in last month’s Q&A session, though. Someone was asking about the old grimoires and essentially the answer given was that they no longer existed. If that’s the case, then how is it that I have a copy of The Picatrix (the Liber Viridis version) translated by John Michael Greer & Christopher Warnock lying right by my feet now? What about my copy of The Black Dragon and The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III translated and compiled into the The Crossed Keys by Michael Cecchetelli sitting by my right hand? This collection of 50 books on a CD via Twilit Grotto Esoteric Archive, including works by Abramelin, Agrippa, John Dee, and Trithemius? You can check them out for FREE. Hell, even a quick google puts you at the gates of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, where you can also browse any number of famous esoteric and occult works, including The Key of Solomon. Also free, but I’m really sure they’d appreciate donations and purchases of the site on DVD and CDROM right now, just to keep up with the costs of keeping such an immense effort online. Unlike the Grotto, The ISTA is a treasure, a resource that isn’t limited to esoteric texts–you could literally spend the rest of your life browsing that site.

For the “witchier” texts, there’s collections of those too, like the 2 volumes of cds offered by the highly-regarded House of Eleggua‘s Carolina Gonzalez: CD #1 and CD #2. And that’s me just listing what I’m aware of in strictly traditional old school stuff, I’m not even getting into all the physics and history and natural sciences texts out there that I find absolutely necessary if you’re going to practice in the here-and-now and not have a root-bound practice based on and limited by ignorance.

We live in an amazing age, a time wherein pretty much everything anyone can think of has been made accessible to us–things that those old timey (whimey) mages, witches, philosophers, and scholars would have killed to get their hands on. Some of it you’ll find brilliant. Some of you’ll find worthless. Some of it you’ll think of one way at one point and change your mind later. The esoteric stuff is not that hidden anymore; I’ve been able to look up a significant number of titles and personalities on Wikipedia, as they also have a historical context. A lot of the originals of the old works are now public domain, and the stuff that isn’t is not being held hostage by collectors for hundreds and thousands of dollars (but hey, you can get fancy bound versions and classes on how to use them for hundreds and thousands of dollars if you want to do that!). And that’s beside all the individual magician blogs–notes by people that are doing the Work and posting what they’ve discovered.

The tools are out there. What are you gonna do with ’em? Welcome to the new old frontier.

She’s actually right. I had forgotten that while some grimores were destroyed and lost, some were very well recovered. Total derp moment on me but good to know my readers are willing to disagree and correct my mistakes! :3

I’ve been asked to speak on The Sunshine Show via blogtalk radio tonight 7-10 PM CST. I’ll be talking about Black Paganism, this blog, and taking calls from listeners. Listen here and if you want to call in: 760-683-2663, press 1

It’s The Arts! And right before Thanksgiving. Let’s get this going!

Bea Gaddy
If you’re in Baltimore, you might be familiar with the story of Bea Gaddy. The Thanksgiving story is pulled from Bea Gaddy’s Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame:

Her Thanksgiving event, which would become a mainstay in the community and brought greater recognition to Ms. Gaddy’s work to aid the needy, began in 1981. With $290 she won on a 50-cent lottery ticket, Ms. Gaddy bought enough food to feed 39 of her neighbors. She then decided to start a community kitchen for the needy.

At the beginning, the Thanksgiving dinner was held on the sidewalk in front of her home. Ms. Gaddy cooked most of the meal herself. To accommodate the growing numbers of diners, the dinner was held at a local middle school. Resourceful and persistent, Ms. Gaddy relied on donors to aid her work: local grocers donated canned goods, Shady Brook Farms donated turkeys and the Maryland Correctional Facility in Hagerstown assisted with cooking.

She is a real city hero, helping out those who are going through what she did growing up. She even hit the lotto twice and what did she do? Give more to helping the homeless and suffering from despair. The dinners on Thanksgiving are continued in her memory and help towards the city of Baltimore. If you would like to read Bea Gaddy’s biography, please do! It’s worth a look! She fought long and hard for the poor and homeless until she passed in 2001 from breast cancer. Not only did she fight for the homeless and poor, she opened the now-famous Patterson Park Emergency Food Center and has now, since 1981, fed over 100,000 families and feeds about 50-150 people on any given day. In honor of her kindness and unfortunate passing, the Bea Gaddy Cancer Education and Prevention Center opened in 2002 to provide free cancer screenings and health education to Baltimore residents.

What I like about her so much is that, much unlike the politicians and rich townies who live here only to get something out of Baltimore, she’s here to help Baltimore. Not the yuppie-transplant-who-lives-in-a-$2000-condo Baltimore and not the politicians who are much better at green-lighting jails instead of green-lighting schools, but actually helping out the people of the city of Baltimore using the little resources she had and even going into the political sphere to help out from the legal side as well. Ms. Bea Gaddy was elected to Baltimore City Council in 1999. She has earned the title “Mother Teresa of Baltimore” and “St. Bea” for the selfless work that she has done and carried on in her name.

If you are in Baltimore and want to help, you can serve food, donate food or donate money. If you’re not in Baltimore, you can donate food (non-perishables) and money to continuing Bea Gaddy’s legacy. Here’s the website with all the information. (If the site is down, try the Bea Gaddy’s Women and Children Center)

Occupy The Hood
It is unfortunate that this feature goes up after the dismantling of the headquarters of Occupy Wall St up in New York City. I am not entirely too surprised as it is the way of politics and going against a pretty big system. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine put it very well when he described the whole Occupy Wall St situation as a three card monte:

Moving on, as the movement isn’t dead yet, I’m pretty sure you’re curious how the Occupy Wall St is faring and what does it appeal to you, my (mostly) Black audience. Over 68% of the protesters are White, 10% Black, 10% Latino, 7% Asian and 5% is everyone else compared to the population of NYC being 36% White, 27% Hispanic, 22% Black, 13% Asian and 2% everyone else – this can be pretty concerning because I personally believe Blacks and other minorities* should be at the forefront of this movement, given that most – if not all – of what the movement is standing against has affected us for a very, very long time.

Occupy The Hood is made in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. to give a voice to those who need it most in these movements: us. OTH is created so it would be easier for minorities to feel as part of the movement and to figure out how to integrate our problems with the rest of the movement away from all the people who say it is divisive. Race discussion is not divisive – ignoring it is because it ignores the fact that the economic downfall effected minorities the most and worst out of everyone for the longest bout of time. This also makes the movement seem Whiter because it’s the blunt message of “We don’t really care about you, just make us look good and dynamic.” Bull, it’s as important as anything if not one of the most important. And to ignore it would continually send useful people who feel shunned away and we don’t need that. Plus, if the Declaration of Occupation was going to say that it was originally formed “As one people, formerly divided by the color of our skin, we acknowledge the reality: that there is only one race, the human race,” then we really need to have a race/privilege discussion because there’s no way in seven hells could someone who wasn’t White could write that and not be considered daft and dozy. The movement can’t afford to be colorblind because the system we’re fighting against certainly isn’t and even the 99% has some of its own prejudice it has to clean up before some serious change can go underway.

To scope out Occupy The Hood:
Occupy The Hood Facebook
Occupy The Hood Twitter

Anxiety Cat
I found this tumblr through AngelBopByeYa’s Tumblr, Virtuously Vindicated. It think it is a very cute meme (for those who don’t know what a meme is, it is “An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, esp. imitation.” – Wikipedia) and one I can relate to very well. A lot of the memes on the Anxiety Cat Tumblr paints me really well, ha!

This is how I feel when I am at functions attending under Black Witch

I know I've felt this way more than once, ha!

Me on Twitter (seriously)

Definitely see this for yourself! It’s user-submitted so definitely enjoy.

That’s all of The Arts! for now! Next week is Ask Black Witch. You know how to send ’em in – and if you don’t, About Me/Contact Me has all the details!

To my American readers, Happy T’anksgivin’!

* Hate that word. It’s better than People of Color because it always makes me think “Colored”.

I would like to start this column with a story. Why? ‘Cause I wanna and the story is an awesome lead-in.

When I was the president of the Pagan Student Union at my university, we had divination workshops. I and a couple other diviners in the club were teaching tarot and cartomancy* for beginners. We had a few people, none of them truly memorable except for one guy scared of touching a tarot card right after handling a cartomancy equivalent, a playing card.

But there was this one girl that a friend of mine brought. I’ma call her Patty, the friend that was brought. Oh geez, I could tell Patty was going to be a problem from her stern body language. She sat at the cartomancy table where I was teaching and she felt the sincere need to interject at every instance that she believed divination is a fraud. I remember trying to quell her and talk to the rest of the people but she was simply foaming at the mouth with a steady boil as she tried to quiz me about the history, background and validity of cartomancy. Good lord was she rampant in tuning out reason. I’m fairly used to dealing with skeptics of the moron kind (over-skeptics as I usually refer to them) so I explain she can borrow my cartomancy book as I instruct so she can read the history section and the bibliography. Newp, she wanted to know how, without aid of beakers and lab coats, can one see into the future because science said it can’t happen and gargle gargle foam foam.

To be honest, I was worried she was either going to give herself an aneurysm or her heart would give out. There’s less anger in the Middle East than what was on Patty’s face. Plenty of derp, to put it youthfully. She was not at all here to learn anything but clearly to disrupt, debate one-sidedly and foam. I probably could have told her her whole life story and everything she’s going to do for the next three months but she’d probably still call shenanigans and continue raging disproportionally for the situation at hand. Those people are awful annoying. Discussion is fine but going bonkers isn’t helpful because that doesn’t equal disagreement, it just equals going bonkers. I don’t mind helping out filling in the blanks for better discussion; I did offer Patty my book for her to read and fact-check. She can still be against it but at least she could understand the other side of the argument. Patty decided to bypass all that and just go nuts simply because it bothered her that much. Now, she didn’t have to come and she could have simply walked out, I wouldn’t have been at all bothered. I understand Patty was with one of my friends but even when I’m going to a place or an event I don’t like, I bail. Should I come with a friend, I just let them know that I’m not going home but I’ll be waiting somewhere else and they should call me when they are ready to go. I know this is my tactic because I employ it often when I go to an event that I won’t dig but my friend does. Even if that event is Bible Study – though I can usually get out of those.

To finish the story, Patty, after having a meltdown over people aren’t seeing it her way, she knocked it off long enough for the Student Events Board to have a chat with her over at the side. And I believe she left or kept quiet. Has Patty changed? Not sure but I still see her as uptight and mental. Her body language certainly haven’t changed.

Yes, skepticism is healthy. A good BS meter is nice, if not essential, when involving in metaphysics. Or anything else that require critical thought. To take anything at face value is asking to be hoodwinked. However, it’s not smart to act like Patty, when met with something they don’t agree with, all walls are up. Instead, pick your battles if you’re that passionate about it. Like I mentioned earlier, I will bail out on Bible Studies super fast. I don’t make up excuses often because there’s not always a need (the only exception is when offered by elderly women) but I don’t go because I know I’ll get into a debate quick.  I don’t debate at Bible Studies simply because that’s rude. The people studying aren’t hurting anyone and I don’t like debate, actually. Me and confrontation don’t go well. They’re minding their business, I’ll mind mine. It’s a different story if they bother me a la the lady from Mental Mentality but Bible Study? I rather walk around the church looking at the pretty architecture and art. Have I been trapped in Bible Studies? Yes. Dear God is it bothersome because there are just some things in the Bible I honestly don’t agree with. I try not to act like Patty because, while I  may understand the frustrating emotion of “Why don’t they get it?”, it can come off as how I described: metaphorically foaming at the mouth. It helps no one and is really embarrassing. To avoid foaming at the mouth for me, I try not to get roped into Bible Studies because they won’t change my mind and I won’t change theirs. And there’s no reason to.

So, in dealing with an over-skeptic, here are some rules of engagement that I notice works:

Pick your battles wisely: Sometimes stern skeptics are just closed-minded people who reject change. Not all, but some. They’re quite close to being an over skeptic but not nearly as rude when introduced to something they disagree with. Also, sometimes people have to learn and live a little before modifying or creating better critical reasoning for their skepticism. (Remember this if you argue against a teen or someone who is super sheltered.) Also some battles don’t need to be fought because there isn’t a battle there. Some people simply don’t need the argument.

Be fair: Don’t go off the deep end. No insults and if they are insulting, then let them know. If they’re going to that level unprovoked, they’re obviously not going to respect you any time soon. Call them out on their wackness and leave it at that.

Keep to facts: Don’t incite unfairly. For example, I’ve used picking apart the Bible as a useful tactic but I won’t sit there and come right off the bat with a (if Christian) “You believe in a zombie carpenter that even science say doesn’t exist!” or (if Atheist) “Science is your Jesus!” Knowledge by itself can be kryptonite for stupidity and it also garners respect from onlookers.

They’re Yelling? Don’t Match It: Over-Skeptics who are obstinate and tend to yell so you don’t. Let the screamer look outrageous and stupid. Coupled with what they’re probably going to say, it won’t be hard to depict them as the fool.

Dealing with those who are super skeptical is annoying, that’s fact. You feel like you have to prove all and everything just to shut them up. It’s not easy especially since major skeptics of the metaphysics are just so hard on to coin you’re a fraud and even crazy. A healthy skeptic is willing to keep an open mind, willing to learn something new – even if they don’t agree with it, they’ve learned a new perspective. A poor skeptic has a mind like the Iron Curtain: solid in their opinions, beliefs and are hard to help understand different points of view. A terrible skeptic is possibly a solid moron, simply refuses to see it any other way and any proof, no matter how good, is simply a trick. If the person is a terrible skeptic, then just don’t bother. They just want to flail and scream and foam at the mouth even at the slightest provocation.

Trust me, I know.

Next Week: The Arts!

Who’s featured:
– Occupy The Hood
– Bea Gaddy Thanksgiving Drive
– Anxiety Cat

* Cartomancy = playing card divination

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

Oh I love that poem. It stems back to Guy Fawkes, a British man that was part of a plot to blow up the Parliament in protest of King James I and to put a Catholic monarch back on the throne during a time when religion was very deeply intertwined with politics. Also, it is from a very favorite movie of mine which also harkens back to Guy Fawkes, V for Vendetta. I suggest you see it if you haven’t, it’s really wonderful.

Now, I try to keep it a bit on a low when parading as Black Witch but I’m a pretty political person. Always have been ever since I was a child because I believe in what is right and what is wrong (although my morals can be lax in some areas but that’s another discussion for another time). It is right to stand for what you believe in so long it benefits humanity. You’re also right to stand for what you believe in even if it harms humanity, just don’t be surprised when getting what comes to you or yours.

In case you haven’t heard, there have been a series of global protests which stem from the Occupy Wall St protest, its short name being “Occupy”. Today would be a lovely day for this event:

Bank Transfer Day

banktransferday.org

Don’t know where to switch or even how? That’s okay, I know the feeling too. Here’s the difference between a bank and a credit union from How Stuff Works and a very concise guide from Wisconsin’s Department of Finance. After educating yourself on the difference and choosing which one you want, here is an article listing 9 really good tips to keep in mind when switching and if you don’t know any credit unions in your area, here is the CUlookup. Wanna stick with a bank still? Go with a community bank. This site Move Your Money Project will give you all the facts and even a search for both credit unions and community banks! Remember, do your research! I’ve been with a credit union since 2008, I was with Wachovia prior and I’m super happy that I switched.

Besides, I’m sure many of you have heard of the new fees imposed by banks for you to merely access your money or is upset about the bailouts they have gotten, only for you to be sold out by your own Congress. We could blame Obama but that’s partly misdirected anger, go for Bush, Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, etc etc etc.

Or…you could contact the CEO’s directly. They live in homes, just like us. They use phones, just like us. They check emails, just like us. They’re people, just like us – and they should hear what we have to say.

And you can – I recommend you Occupy the Boardroom, tell them how you feel about the fees and the crappy job market and drowning in debt. But do you still feel useless? As if the act is only cathartic and it would never get to the CEOs at all? I feel you. And so does a particular group.

The Cab!n Cr3w, a group of anons, have been putting up d0x’s of corrupt CEOs. Listed are home numbers, home addresses, work addresses, alternate home addresses, legal documents, etc etc etc etc. You could write the CEO a letter, shoot him a personal email, call him up, show up even. Go for it, it’s not a crime to speak. Just remember not to threaten or thoroughly berate. Be honest, not have your letter be from start-to-finish cursing.

There are other forms of “armchair” protests if you don’t want to go to your local occupation (I can understand why, they have had a few cultural, racial and gender issues there and not every Black person is built to put up with it) or can’t. This video below shows you how!

Another is to support the bill H. Res. 365: This bill wants to cancel the student loan debt. It the blurb for it reads:

“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should cut the United States’ true debt burden by reducing home mortgage balances, forgiving student loans, and bringing down overall personal debt.”

Now, you can read the whole bill here and even get links to contact your congressperson about it because right now, I think the bill is being forced to die in congressional committee. (Watch this old school Schoolhouse Rock vid if you would like to know the basic life cycle of a bill). Now, this is great for those who want to participate in the Occupy protests or think that the only way to solve a problem in America is to contact a Congressman about it. Either way, here you go! And if they ask how on earth are they going to eat the debt, tell them to make the rich foot the bill this time.

Track the bill and more:
Open Congress (Allows you to contact your representative, read the official text, and more)
GovTrack (Maintains a closer look in where the bill is now, cosponsors and the committees it has been suggested to)

Yes, there has been some response from the White House to modify (federal) student loans but it is not enough. Check out this debt clock for financial aid, we’re speeding towards another bubble and the economy is probably going to continue to drag if we keep along the track that we’re going. It is not easy today so say “Go out and get a job, problem solved”. Not really, most jobs out and about today do not pay enough – and that implies if there is a job to give in the first place. Plus, when paying back student loans, you’re paying waaaay more than what you’re borrowing thanks to interest. Check out Occupy Student Debt for some examples. Things are changing and they have to change for the better or continue to deal with the same old bull.

Now, if you do want to participate in the protest, the best site to go to for all-around information is Occupy Together. If you wanna simply keep to helping out minorities (we seriously need a new word), look at Occupy The Hood.

How Romantic

The Establishment (Afro-Punk) Version

I talk about a lot of things here on Black Witch, and believe you and me I have more up my sleeve, but ever notice I’m not very flowery in my talking? As in, I don’t talk about the positive energies that are in rivers and how I would love to wash my clothes in said river because it connects me to mother earth and how I wish I could fetch wood from a forest to heat my simple home out in the empty but lush wilderness?

No doubt these are beautiful notions that harken back to a “simpler” time but it’s an over-romanticized notion. To romanticize something means to see a perspective with rose colored glasses on, even to the point of glorifying it. Think about modern hip hop and how most of its listeners are White, Suburban and dream of being the gangstas they hear so much vomiting from their speakers but would never fully trust a Black person near their iPod nor would dare live in the hood lest they find a very real reason to picket and shout “We are the 99%”.

The depiction I very commonly hear is that living in nature is simple and that mother earth would always provide and life would be happy. Wroooooong. It was not easy living among nature pre-modern technology. The days were long, winters were brutal and there’s a reason tech exists today from refrigerators to cell phones. Living with nature was not at all fancy and cute, where all you have to do is hunt, farm and amass. Try “not get eaten, killed, suffer a bad crop and struggle”. Walking miles to access water, having to hunt while not become the hunted, make sure nothing is poisonous and God/dess help you if the crops catch a terrible virus or infection. Make your own clothes, churn your own butter (given that you have cows to milk (which if you live in the woods, you don’t)), make your own food from scratch, build your own house from the actual trees around you, etc etc etc. Shucks, the game Oregon Trail is more accurate than the average Pagan writer who spouts that getting back to nature is as easy as sitting on a rock listening to the wind while waiting for the cauliflowers to come in.  

The whole life-would-be-better-living-among-the-wolves-and-trees isn’t for everyone. The average person (especially the average Pagan) would not have the skills to survive in the woods because those skills aren’t instinctual, they’re taught from centuries of trial and error (otherwise known as “natural selection”) and Google can’t bail you out of everything. Yes, life was simpler back then because of the lack of cell phones, laptops, Mp3 players and 9-5 jobs buuuuuut harder than today because of the lack of cell phones, laptops, Mp3 players and 9-5 jobs. There was a different set of skills and expectations living among nature than it is today. “Different” doesn’t mean “easier”, just “different”. And it doesn’t differ regardless if Pagan A wants to live in the woods and Pagan B wants to manage a farm. Again, it isn’t for everyone and the knowledge isn’t instinctual but learned.

While some people could totally and realistically adapt to such environments, it isn’t because they judge on how well they camp. Some Pagans I have met said that they could fare well in the lush forests of North America because they know how to camp and living out in the wilderness is simply one big camping excursion. Not really. Y’see, when you camp, I bet that the supplies taken are meant to last the duration of the trip. Stuff like food, cooking instruments, water, etc etc. And depending on where you are, there may be an outhouse already constructed for use nearby. Not the same as living by your own wits and for those who have camped, there are notations of realistic difficulties, which are totally acceptable.

What usually set off my alarm whenever the discussion of being close with the earth comes up is usually the implication that once out in nature, there will be nothing but them and the universe, that they will have plenty of time to ruminate and absorb the vast wilderness of nature or always and forever be in sync with nature and all of its beautiful, glorious ways. That’s nauseatingly cute but I do doubt that everyone out in the wilderness saw their living in such a manner, as 24/7 nature worship than a means to survive. While there was incredible reverence for the divine members of nature and the universe, there was still the undertone of “Pleeeeeeez don’t destroy my crops/house/family/life.”

Now, I’m sure some reader is going to be moody about the whole column, probably say that nature is beautiful and I simply don’t recognize it and things like that. That when they went to go be among nature, they never felt a sense of serenity quite like it before. I’m not going to discredit them, their feelings are legit but I’m not going to sit there and believe that living in nature is as easy as some would like to believe. It isn’t easy and as I said before, most Pagans couldn’t hack it. Having a romanticized perception of the task is just as dangerous as simply wandering into the woods one day and trying to start your new life from there – actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the two actions were related. To see the arduous task as if it was built into your DNA could get someone killed.

Instead of dreaming that living among the bears, wolves and poisonous berries is ideal or wanting to wash your clothes in the river enable to connect with the positive energy in such river – start a little garden, learn botany, get into worthwhile environmental activism (keyword: worthwhile) and go camping from time to time. Unless you can actually survive in the woods and know how to keep that going, just invite nature into your life and learn that not everything is all about the energy. Some things are just about living.

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