Archive for February, 2012

Not really any questions to answer, it’s been a slow month for Black Witch. But that’s kinda a good thing as the book version of this blog Black Witch: Life from the Black Pagan Perspective vol. 1 comes out tomorrow and the series “Comin Straight Outta Your Monolith” starts next Friday. Also that notes the last of the semi-annual series, the rest shall be yearly as I originally planned for this blog.

I only got one question for this month and it was kinda derpy at face value:

Hi I was wondering is it possible to be turned or turn someone from human into a dog or partly into a dog? iv wanted this to happen for 8 years but i can find a way for it to happen. i kow it may sound far feached but this is my most pressus dream. can you give me any advice or help?

– Jessie

This started an email exchange since I said that this pretty much sounded like someone who just wanted their furry dreams to come true – and what is it with people asking me about transformation spells? She responded:

well i would like to thank you for replying to my question as i actually thourght you wouldt reply as it seemed too silly i thourght. id like to know if this dose happen to someone what is the time range it would take to see the resolts of the change or dose it depend on the strength of the spell and the person casting it? 

its not somthing i would want to happen permently.

I try to respond to everything I can when I get a chance, hence why I have a tablet, laptop and smartphone with direct connect to the Black Witch email. And that does mean (just about) anything from really intelligent to really stupid. Honestly, do you hear some back-peddling and confusion or is this just me? First it’s her precious dream and now something that she wouldn’t want permanently. And what is it with people thinking that they’re cursed? Everyone, please remember that what you see on tv or in the movies are probably not real. Usually when people know tons of witches and occultists, they don’t really worry about hexes. When they don’t know anything about magick outside of Harry Potter, I get these kind of questions.

So I have this letter up here as a basic lesson to the readers: If you don’t mess around with magick, chances are stupidly good it won’t mess around with you. And even if you did, it’s still not entirely likely to get a hex. And if furridom is your kit, just buy a suit and pretend like everyone else.

Alright! On to some of the rejects I never before posted on Ask Black Witch! I don’t know why I didn’t do this last time but eh, I’m not sad.

Can u teleport me to :[2424 No House No Door, USA]. My aunt and i will get in contact with u if u succedd u will get alot of cash. I also want blue eyes, i want light skin as the rapper drake, i want a broad muscular body and new and neat teeth. I really need these. Please succedd and u will be paid. Teleport me first.

– Baker

I’ve been dying to use that .gif, lolz

Oh my god, are you serious? Lolololololololololololololololololololololo,lawlz

Ok, when I first got this, I was at dinner with a friend and flipped at how stupid the question was. I really hope I did not disturb the family nearby.

Alright, lemme break it down, I think I can probably stunt a few more questions like these if I get this out of the way.

Firstly, do you know the main difference between genies and witches? One you find and get to ask for whatever you want practically and the other simply don’t work that way. You could rub every lamp in my home (which would be much appreciated because I’m lazy and housecleaning day is looming closer and closer) and I still don’t grant wishes. This kid was writing from Jamaica and I am very aware of the magick culture that they have (I’m half-Jamaican) but this is clearly beyond that. This kid pretty much wants to be Drake with blue eyes and nice teeth (I don’t know what teeth Drake has, I’m not his dentist and I barely knew of his visual existence) and to be transported to America. I have no clue to as why all this is needed but I did tell the kiddo that even if I did do spells like this (they do exist but they’re more high magick than anything), it would prolly cost way more than what a plane ticket, gym membership, skin bleach and dentist visit would. The average big spell is worth about several thousand dollars, I’ve seen figures easily pop into the $25,000-$50,000 range because of how skilled the person doing it is, what they’re doing, the purpose of the spell and all that stuff. Pay-for-Pray (paid spellwork) is expensive. Besides, it sounds like this kid was a little skeevy and I certainly am not swayed by money like that – I have a job, folks.

And this is ignoring the very easy colorism/gender/self-perception debate that I could just have launched off of. Y’all discuss that among yourself or even post here if you like, it is an interesting debate.


I was looking for a way to contact a witch, would you be in any position to assist?


– Kemp

Yeah, there’s no special yellowbook for witches. I mean, there’s WitchVox but nothing with numbers and addresses and stuff like a yellowbook. WV is kinda like a pre-Facebook spot for Witches and Pagans. But I can guarantee you it’s nothing like in the book So, You Want to be a Wizard?, which I loved. We use Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Skype and other social media sites like anybody else. I don’t have an owl delivering me my mail (I wish) and I dredge through my email just like everybody else. If you want to contact a witch, just go to where Witches hang out.

D’accord, I respond with this pretty much and that started a long and tedious email exchange that pretty much boiled down to this:

K:You laughed at me, I am hurt.

Me:You were being derpy.

K: Fine, can I get to know you?

Me: No.

K: Why not?

Me: You bug me and I don’t generally make friends with readers, blurs the reader/writer dynamic

K: But you could get something out of knowing me

Me: Nothing that I probably couldn’t find in someone else more tolerable

K: This is a disservice to your readership

Me: No it’s not.

K: Yes it is.

Me: I can be tweeted, emailed, commented, written to and PM’d (if on Afro-Punk), I’m very available but that’s it.

K: But I want to learn more about you

Me: Then read my LJ and be satisfied

K: Meanie

Me: It is what it is, deal with it

Yep. At least he wrote with some knowledge of the English language, unlike the previous two. Please, should you write to me, write legibly, especially if you want me to take the question seriously.

Alright, that’s all for ABW. Next week starts the series “Comin’ Straight Outta Your Monolith”, which looks at Blackness, Black culture and Blacks who participate in alternative culture and how it is all perceived. And remember, Black Witch the book/e-book comes out tomorrow! Cop dat, cop dat.

Hey! Hey listen! Hey! Hey listen! I did an 8 min video on Ustream about a mini update on the book, go and watch it!

Usually I don’t have academic stuff because I hate putting people to sleep but I thought this video was very interesting. Done by Sut Jhally and titled “Why America Can’t Think Straight about Race (Even With a Black President)”

Now onward and forward

10th Hour

I was at my friend’s Femi the DriFish performance last month and this was one of the better performances of the night. For a fairly new band, they have some pretty strong sound.

Listen to their music, it’s pretty good.

They’re starting out and already hit it rather lucky as they’re about to tour [with who?] so if you liked what you heard, seek them out.

The Witch and the Babe

I was shown quite a funny host of videos over the month so it won’t be just the video that I allude to. This video was shown to me by my friend, Harle. It’s a joke about how Beyonce had struck up an agreement with a witch a long time ago for her voice. Just watch, it’s hilarious.

Then another video I was shown was about how to get a boyfriend. Amber had posted this to her FB and I thought it was amazing:

And Winona shown me this video that I think is so funny. It’s how I feel sometimes when reviewing Black history (actual Black history, not White-washed nonsense), having someone try to overlook my race in race discussion – or pretend it’s a non-issue (*cough*plennyo’whitepagans*cough*) – or sometimes how I see racial solidarity overkill.

And that’s The Arts! Next week is Ask Black Witch! Send in questions! And remember, a series is coming up “Comin’ Straight Outta Your Monolith”

Being a Witch can be buckets of fun. You got magick, you got faeries jacking your house keys at random times (or that’s just me), nothing can get in your way – you’re a Witch! But what about when your hands are morally tied?

As a witch, you can do anything you want – as long as it does not infringe on the free will of others and if you do spellwork for others, you have to ask first. This can create a problem because what if the person you want to work magick for may be squicked out by the prospect of magick, think you’ll “mistakenly” hex them, or plain think that magick is a notion thought by crazy people?

What about if you just want to make it better?

An example:

More than once I have had a friend who is really cool and nice and wouldn’t hurt anyone (or wouldn’t hurt people who didn’t deserve it) but life still delivers a rippling body slam of problems such as health issues, financial problems, storm after storm of problems that never seem to go away but roll up one after another. And it sucks just seeing them either pretend everything is fine or become stressed from the pressure. It just seems so unfair all the crap they’re getting and all the wrong they’re not doing to deserve such short straws.

Surely it would seem simple to the average person what the solution would be: Just cast whatever appropriate spell and poof, problem gone, everyone is happy and teddy bears are dancing in the street with matching marching band, ticker tape and flag dancers in tow. Nope. Some issues are likely to arise in magick:

You did what?: The response to witchery varies from person to person and they vary especially when someone finds out they were the subject of a spell. You could mean well but here’s how they see it: Someone just casted a spell on them. One reason why magick is seen as bad is because it is commonly associated with being shrouded in secrecy and being hidden, something that doesn’t exactly breed trust in people. Even my Witch friends would like some forewarning, especially if they attempt to cast something themselves and it clashes.

Can’t Always Be Superman: Hey, even Superman has had things slip through his fingers, can’t save everyone. It hurts but it’s true. And it hurts more when you think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten involved”, “Was it me?” It’s natural to want to help and save your friends but be smart, it may take more than one whisk of a wand and some clever wording to save the day.  

Misery Loves Company/Quicksand Dilemma: The issue about caring too much and wanting to help everyone who looks like they don’t deserve the pain they’ve got is that sooner or later, you’re no longer a side participant but now thoroughly wound up in the same situation. It’s like spending so much time trying to pull someone out of a hole that you lose footing and wind up falling in yourself.

Bad to Worse in 60 Seconds: There are several sides to a situation – There’s what your friend knows, what your friend told you, what you know (totaling friend’s personality, type of situation, the supposed worst case scenario, etc.) what your friend didn’t tell you, what they didn’t know about the situation and every possible side to the situation. Magick could help but it can also backfire and with missing consent, it could backfire badly.  I’ve been there, the clean-up is not pretty.

Yep, rely on the human experience to complicate matters. So what is there to do? The smart move varies. Certainly I don’t suggest the Silver Ravenwolf method where she says you ask them if you could “pray” for them and take that as a yes for spellwork – people think very differently of prayer and spellwork, even if the concepts are strikingly similar. I think that if you can’t work up the guts to ask them for whatever reason, make the safe bet and don’t do it. If you feel strongly about it and don’t want to sit on your hands, at least do some divination for guidance on what to do. Some people are not for that and would not like that suggestion I made but guess what? Life is not so cut and dry like that. You can’t make everyone stand to the side as they watch life kicking the crap out of someone they care about, it’s simply not fair and not natural. And at least with divination, you know what’s going to happen down the line so even if it say ”No”, there’s usually a story of why and results.

A good suggestion if you go with such spellwork is to use spells that have more of a guiding impact rather than try to make direct change. If the issues are money problems, try to cast something that open up opportunities for improved finances and to make sure they’re not touched by the financial difficulty at hand and to make those difficulties clearer so to be more solvable.  If the issue is with people, then make sure that you cast a protection spell. You could cast a binding spell but you might wind up binding the wrong person – or you could cast a “sticky binding” spell which binds only the people who try to make the situation worse or are trying to keep the drama flowing. As long as the person is not trying to make things worse or is actually trying to help the situation, or are just plain neutral, the binding won’t stick to them. Just go with protection and things of the like, don’t try to solve the problem for them, just aid.

Then there are times when your hands are just plain tied. There, you try to help out the best you can without magick. Give them information, be a soundboard, give ideas and try to help out however you can. But remember, not every problem you come across is your problem.

Next week is The Arts! Who’s being featured:

– Sut Jhally, “Why America Can’t Think Straight about Race (Even With a Black President)”
– The 10th Hour
– The Witch and the Babe

And remember, March is coming up, that means new series titled “Comin’ Straight Outta Yo’ Monolith”

A Different View

Alright, some news on the book Black Witch: Life from a Black Pagan Perspective, Vol. 1: It’s coming out on Feb 25, 2012. No more pussyfooting or anything, it will come out on that day and that’s that. I will be posting pictures in the near future of the book as it is further and further in progress, possibly updating every Saturday to the Black Witch FB Fan Page. The book will be in hardbound and handmade by me. There will be extra content, a surprise at the back of the book. The price of the book will be $26.50 but for now, the price of $18 stands as it is the pre-order price. Yup yup.

Continuing on with this week’s column:

Did any of you read the feature in the New York Times or even on The Root where they interview Black Atheists? So far the interviews are pretty good. There are occasionally some bitter atheists but that’s bound to happen from time to time. The responses to the interviews, at least on the Root, are mildly predictable: People were miffed, mainly the Black Christians.

They said the usual stuff: “Oh we know the truth [that Christ is real and this person is really crazy].” “This is nonsense.”, “This person doesn’t have morals”, etc etc etc. Everything you can pretty much imagine a staunch Black Christian would say.

Now, why is this so important that a Black Atheist was interviewed noteworthy on a Pagan site? Because it shows that Black culture is starting to expand even just a little bit to start including more Blacks. Black culture, thanks to poor representation in media and to important historical periods, work in a pretty narrow scope. Blackness is supposed to be urban, Christian, conservative, preferably male and self-aware accurate cultural history optional. This is not actual Blackness because I’m Black and while I was raised in the inner city, I am not Christian, I am fairly alternative, I am not male and I am very big on actually accurate (read: not gender-wiped, white-washed or wrapped in nonsense) cultural history. I don’t think that displayed Blackness is the definition of true Blackness and it needs to be widened beyond the Christian foundation of Black culture. It is indeed useful in that the history of Black religious culture and the role Christianity has played in it, that goes without saying, but to assume that all Blacks are either Christians or “confused about who they are (code: They think they’re White)” is pretty damaging to the racial “solidarity” I hear so much about but don’t see much of.

Racial solidarity is pretty important. It establishes a basic culture that everyone can relate to and learn from because America certainly won’t do it. In a country that is not at all post-racial and just as prejudiced as always, just without the overt displays such as lynching, it is important that culture of any minority is preserved to the best of its abilities. The average American culture is pretty much White culture on a loudspeaker with little dashes and stirs of minorities just so people can say “Oh, it’s not bigoted; I can see an Asian person!” There’s very little room to express any other culture without some random White person squealing about how this isn’t needed, we have a Black president, they have a Black friend and there has been at least one Black person on their TV (that was most likely a secondary character or an extra), Will Smith has starred in a movie in the past two years and Tyler Perry makes movies so all is spiffy, right?

Wroooooooong. So dead wrong.

There’s so many issues within Black Culture that never gets covered in mainstream media because it is considered “not important”. That’s nonsense because I think if the TV was more diverse, that would probably help out a few issues in this country. The issues in Black culture are important and unique to our culture just like any culture because of our history and how we have interacted with it. Every culture does have its issues but the only way we can solve them is by not ignoring them and catering only to the center, the mainstream within that culture. Just like it is important for mainstream American culture to portray true diverse American culture (and fails to), it is important for Black culture – and any minority culture – to portray true Black culture in all of its vastness.

It shouldn’t have to be said, Black culture is not monolithic. Black People are not monolithic. We are way more than the minstrel depictions and plot hinges on television, in games and in movies. And not only should American culture acknowledge and welcome that, so should Black culture itself.

I think that for the safety of everyone and for the expansion of the race, I think that we should move away from the religiosity of Christianity. I’m not saying bomb Churches and institute a new religion to shape our culture around. No, instead just allow more freedom for Blacks of different religions to have an equal place at the table. Something that, if the Black Christians would have felt it, there would be no end to the discussion of it and it probably would look a little something like this: “Attack on Christianity”, “Have Black People Lost Their Way”, radio shows, talk segments on BET or WorldStar Hip Hop, etc etc etc. It would be everywhere.

It’s okay to have Black Christians but it is important that the culture that they, me and other Blacks reside in doesn’t cater to only them. Just like Paganism, Islam, Judaism, Atheism and other belief systems (would have said religion but atheism doesn’t count), Christianity should be open to criticism. Right now, in Black culture, the idea of Christianity, unlike any other religion, enjoys the ability of being impervious. Black Christians will attack each other all day, all week, assuming every Black Christian they meet is breaking every rule in the Bible at breakneck speed or they themselves will flag out what sins they’re committing while saying “Jesus loves me and forgives me” in the same breath but no one dare attack the religion. The religion is considered gold; the Bible is taken as law and above critique supposedly. But every other religion (or lack thereof) that a Black person could follow isn’t. Christianity should be allowed to be picked apart and its own cultural relations again and again just like any other religion. My religion gets picked apart, my Muslim friends’ religion gets picked apart, Black Christians should not be so invulnerable. I’m not saying destroy the religion but examine it.

Christianity, in Black culture, serves as a security blanket, I am sure. It’s the most unifying thing the culture relies on to connect to others with to the point every Black person is pretty much raised as cultural Christians: even if a Black person doesn’t practice Christianity and never has, it does not mean they don’t know what Christianity is, what the basic stories are from the Bible, the different psalms and spirituals, etc etc. Take Lupe Fiasco for example. To strip him down to a normal person so readers can fully understand and relate: Wasalu Jaco.

Okay then. Wasalu was a born and raised Muslim. However, even growing up, his dad took him to various houses of worship besides the mosque and churches were one of them. It does show because once when spoken to via phone interview some odd years ago, he was talking about death or infallibility, I forgot which, but he referenced Christ and he said, “oh, but He’s coming back.” This stuck out to me because some people didn’t know that this person was Muslim. Ask any of the listeners of that interview and they would have sworn up and down that Wasalu was Christian. The only religious mention that he made was of the Christian rhetoric and sounds as if he was beyond a casual observer of the religion but an actual believer of it because he acknowledged that Christ was coming back and sounded certain about it. It would take a close look at Wasalu to find his actual religious practice (in other words, you’d have to be a fan or read a thorough bio) but so long Wasalu made no mention of it, everyone assumed he was Christian just like everyone else. It didn’t even have to be the interview to solidify those beliefs. There’s the mention of Lord several time in his music, which people would assume it is a reference to Jesus Christ. Plus, there’s little no overt mention of Allah or anything of the Muslim faith, nada, until recent.

Now, returning Wasalu back to Lupe Fiasco and him telling people that he’s Muslim, here comes the surprise – and disdain. Some people don’t mind, Lupe is simply joining the ranks with Busta Rhymes, Mos Def and other emcees that are Muslim. Some were completely surprised because, hey, this is a trick! There were actual responses of people whose disbelief ran along the lines of “This Muslim tricked me into buying an album and making me think he was a normal rapper! Why isn’t he Christian! Now he’s going to talk about Allah and crap!” Yep. Thankfully, since Lupe actually knows how to rap and make sense at the same time, he doesn’t have to worry of his fan base deflating much because some people want to now call him a terrorist. Plus, he has a solid Muslim fan base, always good to have a niche to keep you up and going.

I know that this probably was a little confusing so here’s another: Janelle Monae’s The Archandroid. Apparently, some people believe that it is a gospel album (despite very little reference to Christian ideology – unless the Androids are assumed to be Christian, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense). That’s great and a complement for Janelle Monae, she certainly took it as one and rightfully so, but to anyone who wanted to enjoy The Archandroid for what it is, it certainly douses it because it’s as if Black Christians are going “Firsts!” and trying to stamp their beliefs on it, even when there is barely a hinge to hang from. I took it as a story of star-crossed lovers and an android being persecuted for it because it’s against the rules for humans and androids to date and even more illegal for androids to have human-like emotions so double whammy for Cindy Mayweather. Where you can stamp the album as Christian, I don’t really know but hey, since someone stamped it as Christian, can I stamp it as Pagan? I’m pretty sure with an hour and a couple world mythology books, I can spin some connection together instead of, y’know, taking the story for what it is and letting it stand on its own merit. If The Archandroid was a gospel, an honest gospel, I would become a cautious listener. I wanted to hear a cool story, not another revamp of the Bible incarnate. I’m a big P.O.D. fan I am but even they know how to ease up on the Bible-thumping and just express themselves in earnest, and their music has overt Christian expressions! I understand that Janelle Monae definitely is hard to pin down genre-wise, I like to think of her as genre-less, simply as “good music” and “one of the few remaining signs of real Black music remaining”, but gospel? Just buy a Mary Mary cd and don’t ruin the fun for everyone.

Black culture should be able to exist without Christianity as the home base (at least I can enjoy a Wondaland album in peace) and on a more equal footing instead one religion being the pinnacle and the rest are subordinates.

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