Archive for May, 2012

Ask Black Witch

Keepin this one short because Black Witch isn’t feelin too good. :<

I’ve been studying paganism off and on since ‘01. Throughout the years I’ve been through things and it has made me a very angry person and I believe my quick temper is effecting my relationship with my girlfriend. Do you have any advice on cleansing myself from negative energy? I haven’t self-dedicated myself but my god of worship is pan. Thank you and I appreciate your time

– Robbie Y.

I had responded to him and he clarified that he wanted meditation exercises to best cope with anger, which is good because I thought he was going to ask for spells. (You’d be surprised how often that happens.)

I have anger issues myself from past personal experiences and bottling it up so I understand totally how that can make a person feel. Left unchecked, it’s like playing musical chairs with a more destructive version of yourself. You may pass up on experiences because of worrying you’re going to explode, lash out or do something regrettable. The version people see of you is more of a captive of trying to keep your own fury down instead of your actual self and that can suck when it comes to personal relationships because the third wheel is the anger which can very easily shoot everything to Hades in a hand basket if not appeased as soon as possible.

The best you can do is get some counseling. Meditation will help you control your anger but if that anger is derived from something, which is what you mentioned, then it’s best to extinguish the core instead of simply go after the emotional run-off it created, otherwise you’ll be in the same song and dance with your anger until you can’t take it anymore. Think of it like a fire, you can’t just fan away the heat if you want to get rid of the conflagration. It may keep a couple things from burning or burn a little slower but it doesn’t truly help the fact that there’s still a fire going. So try to extinguish the fire and find someone to talk to and can help you.

As for meditation, you can use the fire metaphor and visualize water being forced into the core of the flames, dousing it.  You can also visualize the fire in a tightly sealed flameproof jar burning off the sticks or whatever best symbolizes your triggering experiences with either rain coming down from the top or water coming up from the bottom taking out the fire bit by bit. Just like a real fire, it’s going to take time to beat down the flames so do that meditation but also try to see someone you can talk out your problems with.

Don’t want to discourage you but there aren’t a lot of counselors for Pagans practitioners (which is necessary because once you step outside the norm of better known religions, it can put you at risk for incorrect treatments and diagnoses). However, this site Pagan Therapy can help narrow it down and don’t let it keep you from looking because there are some good therapists out there to help you untangle your problems and keep them from getting worse.

Okies that’s all the Black Witch for this week! Remember the Black Witch meet and greet is a couple Saturdays from now so keep your eyes peeled on the Black Witch Fan Page for info! Here are the basics:

Where: At the Washington Monument in Baltimore, MD
When: June 9 @ 12 PM
Why: Meet Black Witch and socialize with other Black Pagans
What: Meet and greet. If it is not too far a walk, to a metaphysical shop and library. There will be cupcakes.

It’s The Arts!, huzzah! This one is going to be very video filled so get your popcorn and candies!

“Mister Rococo”

This was short film from back in the summer I believe which featured a Lolita that loved all things cute and adorable. Then she met the apple of her eyes, who sadly only liked tough wrestler girls so the Lolita is off to prove that she can be cute and tough! Watch:

Sh*t Lolitas Say

Yep, same meme, different application and by two members of the Lolita community.

The first is by gitsforfits (did you think “gitsfortits” too?)

Sh*t Lolitas Say 1

Sh*t Lolitas Say 2

Sh*t Lolitas Say 3

This one is by a brolilta (a guy dressing in Lolita), Basil, who is part of deerstalkerpictures

Sh*t Lolitas Say 1

Sh*t Lolitas Say 2

Sh*t People Say to Lolitas

This was very much enjoyed by the Lolita community. I loved it myself because the least favorite part of dressing the way that I do is the attention that I get. I practically loathe it to be honest but it is funny to see the satire of what people actually say to us on the regular.

Sh*t People Say to Lolitas 1

Sh*t People Say to Lolitas 2

Alright! That’s all for this week. Next week is Ask Black Witch so send in your questions! Visit the Black Witch Network/Contact Me page to see how.

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you most likely saw my first (and only?) mention of secret societies on BW: “Okay, Mr. Illuminati”. I still think that is among one of my favorite posts.

This is a revisit since I have heard so much since then since Beyonce had birth (even if you’re not a fan or don’t even really like her, such as myself, you learn this stuff anyways whether you want to or not.), Nicki Minaj’s meh performance on the Grammys and just people passing along hearsay. I find it absolutely stunning, honestly stunning. The stunning part is that all my friends who are part of the occult and even a few who are part of societies such as Freemasons and O.T.O., an offshoot of Golden Dawn don’t spew any of this – we all saw Minaj’s performance and laughed at how the Illuminati would probably destroy whatever screen they were viewing if they A) saw the same or B) Saw “Stupid Hoe” – and the people who I know that knows absolutely nothing about the occult are the ones screaming about how the world is about to end and Illuminati Illuminati Illuminati. Actually, if the Illuminati saw the “Stupid Hoe” video, they would have probably have assumed it was a very colorful minstrel show. Yep, definitely that.

I’m sure you have seen many different videos about this on the internet. A friend of mine had posted one about Kat Williams being punished by the Illuminati for “letting out its secrets” or something like that, as described by Professor Griff of Public Enemy. Let us watch, don’t forget your popcorn and snacks:

Let us review:

First and foremost, if you see a vid that says it has the “truth” in all caps and won’t tell you about what, it’s probably going to be a joke going in.

Illuminati Rituals: Mansion parties sound nice, a bit vain though so not my thing. Two guys kissing as an Illuminati Ritual? Wow, if that were true, then a small secret society from the 18th century is more progressive than over half of the U.S. states in the 21st century. Lol, I wish. Orrrrrr it could just be Prof. Griff’s homophobia shining through. It’s the latter, I bet. It was blowing Kat William’s mind because let’s face it, there’s no normal, lackadaisical way to get out of the awkward moment of walking in on a couple making out. No, “Oh hai, I was looking for the bathroom, is it on this floor or do I have to go back downstairs?” And the drugs, that would stun just about anyone. It’s not an Illuminati ritual, dude, it’s a coke head being a coke head.

Illuminati Global Police: Okay. Remove “Illuminati” and keep “global police” and you have a pretty basic depiction of America and its very centralist stance towards the world (“We’ll keep the order here folks, don’t worry. We’re America, we know what’s good for the world – it’s whatever’s good for us!”) What Williams described is the same stuff you’d hear if you listened to NPR, Democracy Now! or even Stephen Colbert. Add “Illuminati” and you might as well just say “’Foreign policy’? ‘Neo-colonialism’? ‘Imperialism’? What are these words?”

Williams being arrested: He’s a Black guy in America, this does happen pretty often. That and running into super sheisty people. Some people just bring drama with them that can ripple onto others, sounds like Williams just got hit with a wave. Nothing to do with Illuminati, just having crappy fortune.

Usually the videos are poorly done, with wack job editing – this one we all saw just had wack job reasoning – and have more fluff than a pillow factory. Usually the videos pick on the quirky and famous such as Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, etc etc etc. These videos fuel the imaginations of the paranoid and easily duped. However, it was kinda funny that one time when Lupe Fiasco called Mtv part of the Illuminati once in a tweet – all the while people were calling him part of the Illuminati. Illumin-ception!

What is remarkable is the stunning lack of facts that these videos spew and loosely link together. I ought to make it more of a habit but it is wise to ask people who cry wolf how do they know it’s Illuminati and what history of the Illuminati do they know to back up those facts. Usually it’s either more jibberish or they clam up quick as someone has hit the emergency brake on their lol’lercoster of lacked logic.

A small revisit from my favorite book Watkin’s Dictionary of Magic

Illuminati: A term used by occultists from the late fifteenth century onwards to describe spiritual adepts who had received mystical insights or “illumination” from a transcendent source. The Order of the Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian law professor, in 1776, but this was hardly esoteric in any mystical sense and based most of its “secrets” on the work of Voltaire and the French Encyclopedists. Weishaupt and another enthusiast, Baron Adolf Knigge. later adapted the order’s teachings in order to infiltrate Freemasonry. A decree in Bavaria in 1784 banned all secret societies – including Freemasonry – and the order declined. However, it was revived around the turn of the 20th century by the occultists Leopold Engel and Theodor Reuss. In recent times the idea of a secret brotherhood of adepts or Illuminati has been popularized by fantasy occult writer Robert Anton Wilson and New Age spokesman Stuart Wilde.

Alrightie then. I decided to look up Volitare and the French Encyclopedists. For some secret people, there are lots of Wikis and sites out on them and that’s just for basic information. There’s one for Volitare, les encyclopédistes (caution, it’s been flagged for missing citations so here’s some stuff from University of Chicago and another site to buy the books), and le (“la”?) Encyclopédie. You can springboard from that and go even deeper but that’s up to you, readers. I’m just throwing out the basics. You can look up Leopold and Theodor yourselves.

I have this very strong feeling that most people who rant on and on about Illuminati don’t know about these texts or even how the Illuminati got started. It’s already false that they are believed to be devil-worshippers, what other nonsense could be out there? I understand the need to have some understanding in this crazy world we’re living in but blaming normal things for abnormal stuff? Nah, man. People fear what they don’t understand, true fact, but what they’re fearing is more something within themselves than in the world. I can (and already have in the first post) explain away fame in the music industry in a way that makes perfect sense and not at all loony. Granted, Prof. Griff should have known better than what he said but just because you’re in the music industry doesn’t mean you’re 100% bright about it.

I honestly think that if people put this much energy into more proactive issues, such as investigating and bringing to light why Black culture has such a jaw dropping rape culture that supersedes even American culture’s obsession with it, the general fixing of the education system, so on and so forth, I feel that tons of positive change might have happened right now – or at least create less negative change. And less derpy videos.

And that’s Black Witch for this week. Next week is The Arts! and we’re featuring videos!:

– Mr. Rococo
– Sh*t Lolitas Say
– Sh*t People Say to Lolitas

Don’t forget, Black Witch meet and greet in Baltimore, MD on June 9. Meet other Black Pagans and socialize.

Who Do You Believe?

It’s not every day I read Very Smart Brothas but occasionally I do when referenced by someone else or another blog. The Root referred to their “Just Out of a Relationship” piece but the poor linking instead took me to the front of their blog and I saw an eye-catching piece titled “My Problem with Church”. It was eye-catching for me because a lot of what the writer Damon Young wrote, reminded me of when I was Christian and trying to go to church.

This is the part that struck me most:

“…the main thing limiting my appearances to one per every three months is the fact that I just don’t feel anything when I go.

I understand that everyone isn’t going to catch the Holy Ghost whenever they attend service, and I also get the fact that even in church, your personal relationship with God — not your connection to the parishioners — is what really matters.

But while I do always enjoy myself when I’m there, I never seem to actually be doing what I’m supposed to be doing. While we’re supposed to be praying, I’m thinking about how many calls and texts I’ve missed since I’ve been there. While we’re supposed to be paying attention to the word, I’m scanning the crowd to spot familiar faces (and thinking some, um “unChristian” things about some of them). While we’re supposed to be standing and singing, I’m wondering if the people behind me notice that it’s been a month since I took the suit I’m wearing to the cleaners.

This isn’t a new development, btw. Even as a child, I was never able to immerse myself into church the same way some of my classmates and family members seemed to. And yes, I realize that a good percentage of that was probably an act — many of the kids were likely just going through the motions to appease their parents and teachers — but I didn’t even care/feel enough to fake it.”

I totally remember feeling and doing all of this. Since childhood I had banged into my head that church was part of the well-balanced breakfast for your soul and that a good person/Christian goes to church – though my family didn’t commonly go, but there were family ministers and my mother side was faithful and religious enough I guess. I still remember once when I went to the church that owns my apartment and I sat in the pew. I felt like an anthropologist surveying the crowd than an active participant. I didn’t know where anything was in the Bible so I would flip random pages until my book looked almost just like the person beside me and read whatever was on the page. I did it so many times and even was corrected occasionally, I’m surprised no one thought I was illiterate. I would watch people praise and get up and jump around, clearly catching the spirit and me sitting there wondering what that feels like. While bowing my head and attempting to pray, I felt like I was just doing nothing, only mimicking everyone else and curious of what was wrong with me.

Just like Young stated, I could not immerse myself into it ever since I was a wee young lass. I could pray, read the Bible and read all the mini-comic tracts (which I still like to do, they are entertaining) as I liked. I’ve even been saved about three times at the most because I was concerned about the state of my soul, did the confessing of Christ being my Lord and saviour, everything but get baptized. Still, nothing and I don’t think dunking me would have had any additional effect. When I watched others getting immersed in the spirit, I would wonder how they do it, when they start screaming and crying and talking in tongues. I didn’t think anyone was acting like Young did – well, no, it did cross my mind these folks could very well be acting but if so, it was Oscar-winning acting. I just felt like a square peg in a round hole. Yeah, I could have faked it but with no passion? Nah. And what’s the point if God is omnipotent, meaning “He can see straight through the bulls**t”. That’s worse than simply displaying no feeling at all to me.

This however, is where Young and I split. When Young asked his friend about the disconnect, this is what she said:

“’Your problem is that you expect your relationship with church and God to be easy. It’s not. You have to work at it and want it to be successful. It’s actually like any other relationship with friends or even a romantic partner. Things aren’t just going to magically work. You have to put in the work for it to work, and the basis of this effort is the love you have for your friend. You want things to work because you love them and you know your life is better with them in it. You’re not connecting with church and God the way you think you should be able to because you’re just not trying hard enough to keep a consistent dialogue. As close as I am to my best friend, if I went two years without calling her, we definitely wouldn’t be as close anymore.’”  

I’ve heard the same myself. That the relationship with church and God isn’t going to be easy, that it will always need work to become something plentiful and consistent dialogue would be needed. Where Young is trying to stay and willing to make things work for himself and his faith, I bounced to a new religion that made me feel the work I put into it was worthwhile. Faith, regardless whether you believe in God, Goddess, both or plurals, is a relationship but some relationships simply don’t work out for various reasons. Does this mean that Young should consider a new faith? Nah, not necessarily. If he’s not pulled to anything else, then nope. If he honestly wants to be Christian and fully believe in the Bible, nope. Some of the best Christians I know don’t act like frothy-mouthed Bible thumpers and don’t start rolling around on the floor for the slightest things but are simply steady, gentle and firm in their practice, truly happy with their religious choice. It’s just a commitment thing overall and if you, the practitioner, is willing to make such a commitment to have the best relationship with the Divine as possible.

There’s various reasons why I left Christianity and have absolutely zero intentions to come back but hey, I, too, tried. I think most who are Black Pagans now have tried to make it work with Christianity but simply couldn’t because it doesn’t work out for everyone. I couldn’t get with the basics of the faith – I don’t agree with everything in the Bible – and the people in the religion didn’t exactly make me want to stay either. When I was studying the Bible like a minister in training thanks to getting into P.O.D. heavy, I learned that there were some parts that I simply did not believe deep down in my core and what parts were modified thanks to politics and history. (“Thou shalt not suffer a Witch/poisoner to live” I’m lookin at you) Since I am a bit of a history buff as well, seeing how the Bible has been wrangled time and time again from a book that is supposed to be about love and peace to pretty much the bottom line of reasoning for some of the greatest travesties this world has seen. Yes, that’s the people taking the Bible and ripping it apart for their own gains and not the Bible itself, I understand that. However, the god of the Bible seems too bipolar to me and even flawed some: “I am a jealous and wrathful God” – jealously and rage is technically supposed to be big on the sin-o-meter so it sometimes baffles me how a “perfect” god could have such issues. If I want to have a relationship with God, I don’t want to fear him nor should I; we should be able to work together. If I don’t want that kinda relationship with a human, I don’t think deities should get a pass. The various gods of Paganism aren’t perfect either but at least you come in knowing that. I just couldn’t buy the idea of Jesus being my Lord and savior and wanting to invest my time, energy and passion into helping build an already fractured relationship with Him and His pops.

Then there’s the fact that Christians can be their own exit sign. With Black Christianity, it can be suffocating and even downright scary, like dealing with the brainwashed sometimes. I’m grateful for my friends such as Amani and Nastassia to remind me not all Christians are one misinterpreted scripture away from picking up a gun or bomb and committing terrorism but when I’m around the average Black Christian, I do tend to be on my toes depending on how much chicanery I care to deal with at that moment. I still imagine meeting Wondaland Arts Society and it turning into something from the Valley of the Voodoo Dolls or Children of the Corn and I’m on decent terms with them, it’s just most of them are strongly Christian and when you’re not, trouble could be afoot. When it is Christianity in general, I just hope I’m not dealing with a nutjob who have incredibly transparent and short-sighted concerns about me not running to Jesus and attempting to convert me like they’re working on commission. Now, this is not to say that Pagans are perfect in every way, I can just deal with the bull better because I genuinely want to be part of the religion. I never felt the same for Christianity, practicing simply felt like a chore.

The one idea that does haunt me, though: If I did come back to Christianity, how much bashing would my stint in Paganism receive? Considering the average Christian, it would be free-for-all potshots probably, telling me that I made the right choice, I’ve turned away from wickedness, I’ll no longer risk burning for all eternity (lol, right), and how I’ve turned to the light…which is full of hypocrisy, crassness, blatant sinning – even Young admits to it when he says “and thinking some, um ‘unChristian’ things about some of [the parishioners]” – and other modifications of the Bible that absolutely drives me up a wall. I don’t think that’s positive, anyone railing on the previous religion they had because it means no one learned a single thing, regardless if the person who is doing the bashing is the person who converted or the Christian hearing this. I may pick on Christians and admit to disagreeing with parts of the Bible but when I do meet with new Pagans who came from Christianity with a salty attitude about it, I try to remind them that they didn’t just leave Mordor – Christianity is not evil in itself, just some of the applications of it.

At the end of the day, religion and faith is what you make of it. It sometimes requires working harder at it or simply moving to another faith.

That’s all the Black Witch for today! I would like to announce a first ever Black Witch Meet and Greet in Baltimore, MD on June 9. We’ll meet up at the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon and get to interact with one another and visit a metaphysical shop, Grandma Candles Too. So come and meet other Black Pagans!

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