Archive for August, 2012

Ask Black Witch

It’s the end of another summer, and the end of another month. Here is this month’s Ask Black Witch. Now, there’s going to be an extra page on this website for Ask Black Witch submission questions because I feel that I get way too few. That’s later.

I do get one very common question however which is “How do I become a witch?”

Here are a couple variations on the question:

“How can I be a witch, I really want to.”

– Sara


“Will I became a witch” (I usually edit but the tense confusion made me laugh)

– Maalik

Now, first and foremost, if anyone wants to learn magick, please, for the love of the gods, please have better language skills. Both posters, though I am happy they read my blog, kinda had the writing skills that should be reserved for texting of a very young person (I edited the first one), if even that. When it comes to writing spells and performing them, something beyond a basic grasp of the English (or native) language is incredibly important. A lot of spell books and grimoires are written with very old English, French or simply in Latin due to various cultural perspectives of the times (for example, English was considered a lowly, commoner language so any script that was of any importance was written in Latin or French) so if you don’t have at least an intermediate grasp of the language you’re raised in, you’re pretty doomed in magick. This is for any form of magick because being a witch is a looooooot more than just the spells. You’ll be spending a lot of time reading so if your literacy is not up to par, it will be nothing but an uphill battle.

Of course, there are those who will possibly insinuate how a lot of folk magick was conducted by people who learned orally and did not read a book and, as a matter of fact, could not read themselves. That is very true, indeed. They didn’t need it very much however because those practitioners were already immersed the culture to pick it up as they lived, a culture that is very different from today. The average practitioner is not going to have access to someone that will pass on facts and information orally so books have come to replace that for the rudimentary information, which is a must to have. That also means putting oneself mentally in the shoes of the practitioners in the past so to better understand the information and practices done. Plus, poor writing usually makes me not take the scribbler seriously and I know I’m not the only one. You don’t have to be perfect in the King’s English, that’s not necessary, but at least get it somewhere past Squire so when you start running into other languages and dialects, they won’t be so challenging. Plus, don’t the gods and spirits you’ll be speaking to deserve more than shortened words, gravely mixed up tenses and misspellings?

Now that’s out the way, another way to be a Witch is to, well, be well read. There are so many different types of magick and cultures that breed them out there that it would be very wise to read up on as many things as possible. Better spells, stronger knowledge and more thorough workings come from being well read. You’ll be challenged a lot but it can be a good thing when taken with care. That does mean becoming well versed in the sciences both soft and hard (ex: psychology, biology, botany), as well as being versed in the humanities (social culture, history, literature, etc etc) because you do not want to be one without the other. Too much science and not enough humanities, you won’t understand magick at all in its cultural/human applications. Too much humanities and not enough science, you’ll not know how anything is done. You don’t want to be some know-it-all robot of a person and you don’t want to be some loopy tree hugger who likes to assume nature is always friendly. I’ve been around both types and geez are they equally useless on their own. And read good books, not dime-store drivel that promises you fame and fortune with the flick of a stick. There’s plenty listed here on Black Witch, click on the Resources category and some should pop up. Most of them are books, which mean you might have to go to the library or a university library, can’t trust the internet always.

Keep an open mind. Studying the occult does mean that you’re going to meet quite a variety of people from psions, psychics/diviners, magicians and of course your pseudo-intellectual posers, creepers and fluffy bunnies. That means you’re going to run into cultures that seem different, people that may sound crazy at first and just have experiences that just seem so wayward. No, studying the occult doesn’t mean you’re going to get kidnapped by some crazy Satanist out for a sacrifice – you might run into a Satanist, yes, just the worst thing about them is their over-inflated egos that could make Kanye West look like the picture definition of humility – you’re just going to start having interactions with people that are very much different from the norm sometimes. However, it is good to know when someone is bluffing, hence why it is good to be well read. That and keeping an open mind does not mean go completely stupid. If anyone has you trying to do unscrupulous things like doing drugs – regardless how “harmless” they think the drug is, just file that under “Druggie’s logic” -, committing crimes or simply doing things that you wouldn’t do otherwise, just get away as quickly as possible. You don’t have to become a stoner or a junkie to do magick, that is a big lie, and you don’t have to kill anything or anyone, nor do you have to commit undesired sexual acts. You can still be a normal, rational person that practices witchcraft and not do any of those things. Anyone who says otherwise is outright lying.

To be a Witch is to know and to know is to question – how else will you learn? Be inquisitive. Don’t be afraid to grill others who are trying to grill you unnecessarily and don’t lose a sense of wonder. Usually people with the best information and are the most helpful usually don’t try to pretend they are Garbanzo the Great, as if they have some deep secret the rest of the world does not know about. Unless they have some oral secret from a long ago forgotten tribe, culture or people (which, again, they wouldn’t exactly flag it as the main piece of their personality if it were true) whatever they know, you definitely can learn from someone else so keep that in mind when dealing with someone who is trying to play out their God complex. Question and wonder but know your limits too. That kind of leads to the next point which is this:

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Don’t let your mind or body go into tatters in pursuit in trying to communicate with the gods. There’s a difference in being clairaudient and simply hearing voices. Meditation is good and will keep you balanced but if you need to seek out help, go get it before it gets worse and puts a halt into everything, magickal or not. I have came across waaaaaaaay too many people who let their minds pretty much shatter because they confused their metaphysical practices with actual mental or emotional disturbances and thus refused to get help and their physical beings quickly followed. A person shouldn’t be getting into magick to serve as the band-aid to their personal problems because the root of those problems will still be there. Nothing is wrong with using magick to help manage personal problems such as being bullied or having a terrible run of misfortune but do not make the mistake in thinking that now you have magick on your side, life is going to be a total breeze. Actually, at times, it may increasingly complicate itself because of magick but that’s life, occasionally it works itself into tangles. No one said being a Witch would make life easier.

Remember, being a Witch doesn’t mean you have to be Pagan or Wiccan. You can be any religion you choose since witchcraft is a lifestyle, not a religion. And it’s up to you to decide who you share that fact with. And don’t do any spells for at least a year so you can learn all that you can and reduce any chance of major mistake. That’s pretty much it about becoming a Witch. If any readers think I missed anything, put it in the comments

Tomorrow is the Afro-Punk Festival! Huzzah! I haz excite!

Janelle Monae

Who I am most excited to see is of course Janelle Monae. I love her music, I can hang with my friends Kellindo and Nastassia, all is spiffy all around. And did you know she recently became the new spokesmodel for CoverGirl? Here’s the video for that:

Ain’t it neat? She is very adorbs! Also she is coming out with a new album called “Electric Lady”  Annnnd here is a performance of “Electric Lady”

Straight Line Stitch

Aw man, I automatically liked them because there’s a Black lead vocalist and they’re metal so it’s ultra rare. Their music is great! Alexis, the lead vocalist, is super nice and so is the rest of the band when I had the opportunity to interview them for Afro-Punk. This time I shall not be as derpy as all get out.

I really like their music video “Conversion”

“Black Veil” is ridiculously outstanding, and has been the best use of braids for headbanging, ever.

Erykah Badu

Dude. Dooooooooooooooooood. Everybody grew up to Badu on the radio. She a Black music staple and a legend. This is the first time in my life I’m really seeing her and it’s not through a medium such as the radio or a magazine cover. I still remember hearing the song “Tyrone” back in middle school.

Lupe Fiasco

Now, that’s outta the way I’mma feature Lupe Fiasco’s newest video, “B*tch Bad”.

Now, I have words about this. This vid is probably why Lupe will possibly be the only well-known emcee I actually like. Look at the site for the video! I’m very happy with the video, absolutely ecstatic. It’s no secret that Black Witch leans heavy towards womanism/feminism. I wouldn’t feature some of the works I have such as Busty Girl Comics or writing the piece I did about sexuality if I didn’t strongly feel that gender equality is important. I mean, Ida B. Wells is my hero, much more than Susan B. Anthony ever will – dude, Wells stunted heavy on Anthony when it came to race and women’s rights. To hear a rapper – a Black, well-known, male rapper who was raised in the hood – to speak actual womanism*, to actually go, “Eeeh, there’s something very wrong with this picture. Lemme illustrate,” and do a good job at that is exceedingly rare. Nas has tried but even he has dropped the ball through the floor a few times and occasionally left it there whereas Lupe has been rocking it like nothing at all. Lupe did show me that not all rappers are interested in being the 21st century Mantan after all with just his first album Food and Liquor (oh, and F&L II is due out in September) so I knew that this was going to be good. And it was.

Lupe is very much on the right track with this video because mainstream hip hop has this thing about women that is pretty degrading, which does in turn speak on itself. The video displays what can be easily described internalized racism that are traced from pretty bigoted theories that date back to the 1800s – wait, no further than that, 1600s – that does affect the freedom of sexuality and self perception that Black Women still don’t really have today. I mean, the video vixen is just the late 20th/21st century reboot of the Jezebel/Jungle Bunny stereotype.  Slave masters used that stereotype to justify raping their female slaves: that they’re already hypersexual creatures so it doesn’t count as rape and since they’re not really people, it’s not really cheating on the wife, who is going to unleash her own special hell on the Black female slave for being a “threat” even though she isn’t really a threat, more like a captive victim in a very jacked up situation. Colonizers did the same, believing it would render what they’re doing as having harmless fun. Internalized racism means that the Black woman is seen through a hypersexualized lens, regardless if she is Mrs. Obama, Gabby Douglas, the random lady walking down the street going to the market, etc etc. The assumption is that that the Black woman or girl in question is overly kinky, not really a person and her buxom body isn’t that way because of genetics but because she’s a natural slut (and if she doesn’t have one, just imagine it or say she’s not “Black enough”), she’s got to have it and she won’t be vanilla about it. This idea is mega amplified in mainstream hip hop through the video vixen, the woman who is supposed to represent a female body but objectified. She can be a teacher, doctor, nurse, politician, anything but operates on “rap music video logic” in that she’s somehow always horny and it’s usually due to the rapper, or simply because men exist period, even if the woman was gay (which is another trope, the lesbianism trope). According to this logic as well, a mini skirt or booty shorts means the woman is an avid kinkster and she’s giving automatic sexual consent – y’know, like how Travyon totally showed automatic racial consent to Zimmerman about being stalked and murdered through his hoodie.

The hypersexualizedtrope is problematic because of the basic saying, “You can’t be it if you don’t see it” and if your image and self-perception is related to your sexuality constantly and not within your control at all (the Jezebel stereotype wasn’t created by Black women), it forces Black men and women who simply just wanted to watch media that featured them and not White people for once to consume and believe these hateful and minstrel stereotypes. And trust me, they are minstrelsy at their finest, hence why Lupe Fiasco put it in the video.

Ah, the minstrel show. White readers, this is one of the reasons why minorities get rightfully pissed, rightfully fast when your folks think slathering tanning lotion or motor oil on their face and a curly wig on their head is a good idea. Everyone else, this is why we ought to be rightfully pissed, rightfully fast when Whites think Brown/Black/Yellow/Redface is a good idea, especially for movies. The Spike Lee movie Bamboozled is about minstrelsy and how the effects still live on today, it’s similar to “B*tch Bad” so if Lupe got you scratching your head, I highly recommend that movie.  For those who are familiar with the minstrel show, you can see it soooooooooooo vividly in mainstream rap. Good god, it’s so vivid. Even Nas pointed that out in a parody rap video starring rap duo Shuck and Jive.

So, you could see it coming heavy in “B*tch Bad”. Why, the chain the rapper is wearing, if you look closely, is a minstrel blackface character. It’s all so similar to how the mainstream rapper and the women around it are depicted. How they pose is similar, act is similar, dress (in accordance to the times) is similar, everything is so similar, you sometimes wonder if a Klansman is running all this. At least see a little “Paid by Mitt Romney for President” stamped on there somewhere. I mean, geez. And this is for a genre of music that is so strongly defined as “Black Music”, like rock is supposed to be “White music” though Blacks created that genre too.  You could google “Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers” – man, just trace the history of Rock back and you’re going to run into us. This also shows the racial alignment of musical genre is problematic in itself.

Music is a pretty big deal because you can learn about different cultures and perspectives that way. Hip hop was supposed to be the verbal newspaper of the people, so to speak. It was the only way to talk about what was actually going on in the hood because our voices are so heavily marginalized in media. We’re not all fatherless gang bangers on the fast track to the jailhouse because we don’t know no better due to not listening to White folk. Nope, that’s not the case at all, I can attest that from personal experience and so can Lupe. We’re living proof, if anything. Hip hop gave us a voice, theeeeeeeen record execs got to the genre. Rough on their White cultured ears, they figured they could package all that Black rage, shine it up pretty , insert Black stereotypical plots so it can be “crossover friendly” like drug wars and broken homes and all they have to do is sit back, collect checks. Granted, that’s pretty different from what usually happens, which is when Black folks create a genre of music, White folks like it but know they’d like it better without the negroes in it, apply White-Out and out comes a genre that looks removed from its roots. Examples: Rock, blues, jazz, pretty much whatever we get our hands on and sounds good. With hip hop, it’s too strongly Black. Very hard to White-Out, the Blackness would still bleed through. Since kids in the hood are already looking like the bad kids that America was so busy telling everyone about, why not just make them stereotypical so it would be easier to sell to the wider (and Whiter) audience? White kids don’t want to hear about how they’re oppressing and ruining lives of children in the hood through their privilege, nah, they want something like The Arabian Nights where in some off distant place is the Hood, where there’s fast money, fast women, fast living. To feel so “gangsta” though having zero idea what that means and that it’s not a very cheery thing to experience while growing up. At all. And this is hip hop, which rap is a part of, displaying a fragment of Black culture and that fragment wrought through every super racist idea that the Western world has about us and then displayed as if this is all the culture is and has to offer, not just hip hop itself. In turn, this is consumed by everyone, Black, White, Latin, Asian, everyone, and creates a cycle where people, namely Blacks, become what they see because it’s almost they only thing they can see which stars them and thus consume it. The cycle for everyone else is that it fuels their culturally-induced belief that this is actually how Black people are and thus justifies their racism and fear. So here you have a race acting out because someone who looked like them for once was doing it and all these other races who are believing they are not at all wayward in their thinking because look! They really are like that! Wow, what porch monkeys, the other races think and express.

Yeah, you can see how problematic that is. I mean, a 17 year old armed with only snack foods is dead because of this cycle. Zimmerman was fed all his life through media and his experience that Black is evil so even a harmless kid with snack foods seemed like a King Kong threat. And that’s ignoring the fact Trayvon also consumed some of the same media and thus showed that while he was alive. No ,Trayvon wasn’t thinking of being a thug but I can bet that he has acted out some of what he has seen simply because that’s the media he watched, no conscious thinking. So both have experienced pretty racist media painted as general entertainment, consumed it roughly the same but interpreted it differently because of their racial and cultural backgrounds and boom, one is dead and the other is awaiting trial after a chance meeting.

Also, it’s problematic because “Black” music seem so limited in subject matter where as “White” music seems to be about as broad as the ocean when you judge what plays on the radio. “Black” music/mainstream radio stations just talks about guns, drugs, phony oppression and misogyny whereas “White” music/mainstream radio stations seem to be able to talk about that too but among other subjects and is looked on pretty favorably. That pushes the stereotype that Blacks are sub-humans that don’t know anything except how to rape/have sex with everything in sight, how to only be violent about base matters and not have significant thought forms whereas Whites are simply well-rounded and fully developed human beings perfectly capable of complex thought and theory.

Lupe Fiasco’s video “B*tch Bad” is a video very sorely needed because honestly, this kind of nonsense needs to stop. I left hip hop a long time ago because of it, it’s simply offensive when it says it’s the voice of the Black people when really it’s just the voice of straight Black misogynists. Misogyny, and hypermasculinity as a whole, is bad for everyone all around because how can there be solidarity if I can’t even be respected as a human being? It makes the concept of Black solidarity seem incredibly fake and an absolute joke. I mean, it sounds like a good idea, can’t wait to see it applied but it never will if Black women aren’t seen as equals and if we keep practicing the same tropes just to save media execs money on the burnt cork.


Next week is Ask Black Witch! If you have questions, please send them in!

Ask Black Witch Submission Form

There are various ways to ask a question besides the submission form, just send them before next Friday. Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. See you at the Festival!

*Womanism is feminism with the more realistic intersections of race and class included.

I remember on a discussion forum I was on at Heavenly Hair, a hairfall forum, that had the discussion of religion as a mental illness. The basic gist is that religion, when seen from a different perspective, can be seen as a widespread mental illness, near schizophrenia. I mean, to have religious faith, you have to believe in something that you can’t see, feel, hear or justify the existence of the same way you can with anyone else. All that one knows about that mythical being – emphasis on the “mythical” – is either based on elevated hearsay or books that feature elevated hearsay with miscalculations and possible logic gaps – and that’s ignoring the modifications due to political and/or cultural gains. This is regardless of religion.

It is interesting to read such discussions, especially since I wonder about the notion a lot. It kinda came from all the brain picking I would get from Christians when they tried pretty hard to pick apart my religious beliefs in opposed to just going “She believes something different from me, meh.” Y’know, all the “But your god doesn’t exist”, “You believe God is expressed through the earth? You can’t even prove that” and “You just talk over a candle/wear that necklace and expect that does something?” questions. It lead me to wonder where faith comes in and how it survives as well as how it is expressed – which is a bit lol-worthy in that I’m certain the Christians just picked apart my faith to try to guilt-trip me back into Christianity, not to figure out how to nitpick theirs and others. It also came from when I was looking for a therapist to help me handle some of my issues. It was important to find a therapist that is Pagan-friendly. Since there are not a lot of Pagan therapists and affordable ones at that, I have to think of how to best express my experiences, spiritual and mundane, without the shrink thinking I’m an absolute nutter for no reason at all. There are many stories I have come across of Pagans expressing their beliefs as normal as anyone else and wound up misdiagnosed, wrongfully medicated and even put away in a mental asylum.

I think that it is viable to see religion as something of a mental deficiency but not. In a way, it kind of is because if one is totally swept up in the fervor, there’s no telling what one may do. They could go on to do great things like help people or they could go on a complete genocidal killing spree, both of which has happened within the past 100 years and at multiple instances. If a person is truly fixated by the religion, it can be as crippling as a mental disease. How it is opposite of a mental deficiency is that it gives a person hope and something to mentally rely on while help making sense of the world. It’s even been proven in stats that those who believe in a higher being live longer so it definitely serves some good. This does make sense since if there is some greater force out there that is supposedly omnipresent and can handle anything human, it would cause some overall reassurance within temperament. It’s best captured in the saying, “Relax, God/dess is in control”.

However, there’s the saying I do remember considerably: “When you talk to God, they call you religious. When God talks back, they call you crazy.” I don’t think there’s a truer statement. Regardless how overzealous people appear about their faith, it seems if their deity started talking to them, all of a sudden that’s nutty. As if it’s okay to believe in something but if that something started communicating, something is totally out of line. Hey, if some Middle Eastern guy walked up and said that he was Christ, walked across a swimming pool, could create a buffet from a bag of bread and a bowl of fish, turn a clear pitcher of water into red wine, it would cause some serious panic. Even if a guy simply walked up and said that he was Christ but didn’t do the party tricks, saying that he was indeed the son of God, people would still think the guy needs to be carted off. If someone claimed they were the prophet Mohammed, again the person would be considered stark raving mad. It just seems that almost everyone is a little Atheist at their core. Even when I have explained divination as how I and many Pagans communicate with the gods, I have been looked at as if I told them that we all live underwater and those puddly things we call oceans are just rip currents. I think it’s little mental in and of itself because it means when things get down to the fine line, a lot of people are going to look like the bullsh*tters they probably were. Of course there’s factoring in that a lot of people who are usually pretty fervent of their faith never really had it tested to its limits such as living in a heavily violent and traumatizing place or going through a horrible situation such as having someone wage war on their homeland and every man, woman and child for themselves. I’ve been in situations with others where things weren’t even that bad, not even close, and all of a sudden people who were once staunch Christians or Muslims or other faiths were thinking about trying their hand at Voodoo and asking me how my religion works. So much for that little mustard seed.

Now, I suppose that all this thinking does seem like it could resolve religion moot. I mean, if religion and the whole thing of faith is to have blind confidence in some version of an imaginary friend hanging in the sky and there’s science to explain many things and there’s theory to help explain complex ideas, it would seem that to believe in a higher being should be treated with the same respect as believing anime characters are real. I believe that though science knows many things, it doesn’t know everything. It most certainly is not perfect and is mostly useful for the physical, not metaphysical. The history of science is littered with human error, even today. Look at women’s health and mental health from the 19th century to today for a brief overview. Or just look at race and medicine for the past 300 years, it’s amazing what culturally embedded prejudice can do to otherwise sound and stable medical practitioners. Besides, it’s not like religion and belief in the supernatural doesn’t produce anything useful. Islam is responsible for the creation of math, alchemy is the start of chemistry and potions started off medicine as we know it. Nothing is wrong to have faith in a higher being, the problem seems to come when people think “Welp, we’ve got science. No need for fairytales anymore, we know how the world works.” Yeah, that’s pretty wrong. As aforementioned, just like religion has had its cock ups, so has science (*koffeugenicskoff*) and both had shown their logic fail multiple times on a variety of scales within the last 100 years, easy. Too have blind faith in religion is not considered smart but neither is having blind faith in science since the practitioners of both have held something of importance up and went, “Whoops. Totally didn’t see that one coming.”

There is a difference in having a religious/metaphysical experience and outright losing your mind but sometimes it does seem to cut close. I mean, there is a difference in speaking with deities or spirits and hearing voices but without sufficient training, one can fade into the other because the practitioner can’t discern the boundaries of what they can do. That’s where studying and taking it slow is strongly advised. This is for metaphysics and psionics definitely so one doesn’t drive themselves up a wall because they wanted so badly to be something phenomenal. That and knowing how to handle personal issues so those don’t bleed wantonly into practice. Knowing how to move a cup with your mind or make water freeze the same way is not worth handing the stability of your mind over. Same for being creative, you don’t need to let yourself crack up to create something.

Is religion a culturally green-lighted form of psychological derangement? Nah, not really. If it is a psychological thing, I would file it under “coping mechanism” since it indeed can be a coping mechanism, whether a healthy one or not. To have faith in something greater helping you in your personal worries and troubles, it helps greatly. If it gives you something to grip your sanity on, that’s fine but don’t grip it only on religion, give room for logic – just have it at half and half. Both to keep you grounded so neither drives you insane.

Next week is the Afro-Punk Festival! I will be there and I am excited! So The Arts! is going to simply be a feature of people I’m excited to see:

– Straight Line Stitch
– Janelle Monae
– Erykah Badu

Huzzah! I’ll be wearing lolita both days, thus easy to spot. Punk lolita the first day, kuro lolita the second day (well, with a hint of white due to the AP badge so mostly kuro I supposed). I am feeling better too so I can interact with people. Just know that I am quite introverted so if I don’t wanna chat, don’t worry about it, just say hi and try again later.

Blacked Out Blind

Alright. I’m Black. It’s the reason why this column/blog is called Black Witch. My ma is Black, my dad is Black (from Jamaica, actually), my nana is Black, grandpappy is Black, we’re a pretty Black family. Even my cat has black spots on her (dark-greyish? Close enough). Grandpops on my dad side was friends with Bob Marley, my grandma on my dad side knew Colin Powell when they were teens. My family on my mom side up to now pretty much took part in history via fighting in wars from WWII to the Korean War and ‘Nam to Afghanistan. I’m born on Thurgood Marshall’s birthday. I’ve gotten a Walking While Black at my college when I was leaving to go home. I’m gonna be at the Afro-Punk festival in a couple weeks, most likely fangirling horribly over Janelle Monae. As far as having a regular, Black experience goes, it’s pretty much there.

Despite all this, for overzealous Afro-centrists – we’ll call them Afriboos* – it’s never good enough. Being Black and Pagan, these folks are on par with fluffy bunnies and increase the more Black folks you have in your area. These folks are beyond the quarterback pushback from the centuries of racism that has been forced on the race and simply are All Black Everything gone all awry. They reject anything remotely White, they believe that Africa has the first human (which is true) and believe that they hence are above and beyond all races. They don’t like how racist White people can get but may feel perfectly free to practice it towards other races (they reject Whites calling them the N-word but calling Asians and Latins their respective slurs? “Eh, they’re cool with it; they never had it like us.”). Usually frothing at the mouth about conspiracies, their favorite being how the Illuminati is funding Jay-Z’s career and Nicki Minaj is possibly a confused woman wishing to be White or a symbol of all that is wrong with Black America. (If you heard the sound of a car crash, that was the logic in the previous sentence.) Or the conspiracy that the White House is trying to kill them, Obama is in on the Kill-All-Negroes plan and Blacks have had it the worst of all races, hands down, no contest. Usually, they know everything there is to know about Egypt and think if the world enforced African culture instead of Western culture, the whole world would clean up its problems from Global Warming to economic meltdown and Black people would be rich and all the problems of Black America would fade away in a flash. Perms are evil and anyone who has one clearly want to be White. Modern medicine is to be distrusted in favor of strictly natural medicine. Their opinions on homosexuality and gender equality sound like a blast from the past, circa White Americans in the 50’s. They preach that woman is the goddess and other fluffy fluff but these folks slut-shame like there is no tomorrow if the woman doesn’t dress like she came from a Kwanzaa card. These guys can be pretty militant (which isn’t always a bad thing but militancy + misinformed = problems very, very fast) and more suspicious and paranoid of Whites than is considered regular for the average Black person.** Oh! And they wanna return to the Motherland as soon as possible.


Afriboos wouldn’t be such a trouble if they admired Africa for all that it is, how unique its 54 nations are and how those nations have provided for the world and feel rightfully outraged on how the continent has been pretty much robbed blind, carved up and still reeling from the effects of colonialism and internalized racism. Nah, like weaboos, Afriboos have a pretty narrow view of Africa fueled by all the Alex Haley, Black Panther Party memories and dime store books they could get their hands on. They have Erykah Badu’s discography memorized and it’s either Islam all day every day because that’s the “First religion of the Black people” or a full scale new-agey overload filled with feather earrings, stone jewelry, Egyptian musk and basing everything on vibrations. And if you’re natural, they come like flies, just like weaboos do to anyone who looks Japanese. Afriboos learned about Africa from either White culture-sanctioned/White washed information (National Geographic, History Channel perhaps some WorldStarHipHop) or poorly written and biased books on the Black condition from misguided Black authors who mean well but mentions poorly. And if it ain’t Black, it’s White.

The thing about Afriboos is that they police Blackness (and Black gender/heteronormativity) harder than anything. If you’re permed, you hate yourself. If you don’t know a single whole Miles Davis song, you’re misguided and don’t know your musical history. May the mercy of the God and Goddess be bestowed upon you if you listen to rock or do anything non-monolithic. Hell, you could be listening to Slash while wearing cyber goggles made by a Black crafter and reading a Black-written fan fic of Static Shock tag-teaming with Spiderman Miles Morales before lighting Deadpool up like a Christmas tree after Storm flung the assassin straight from Wakanda, and still your Black card has disappeared in the eyes of the Afriboos. If you’re gay, these folks are convinced you’ve been around White people for too long because homosexuality is “unnatural”. If you believe in Feminism/Womanism, off they will be preaching about how that’s White people stuff, that Feminism/Womanism is destructive of the “natural order of things” and in magical world of Africa, there are no problems like these except for whatever White folks cook up. If you live in the suburbs, you’re desperately ignoring your roots and don’t want to be Black at all. If you went to college, you drank the White man’s kool-aid even though the Afriboos believe that knowledge is power – but your Black self better not become an academic or scholar, that’s turning your back on the hood. The Blackness they police isn’t really Blackness but a lot of misguided stereotypes, wishful misinformation and frightened thinking.

When they do see a Black person doing something non-monolithic and aren’t frightened of it somehow like a bunny around loud noise, they treat this person like they are either the first Negro to ever do it oooooor go off into their slanted history knowledge and talk about how this Black person totally isn’t the first one to do it and the Afriboo has no idea what all the hubbub is about. An example:

Person: Gabby Douglas got two gold medals in gymnastics! Rockin! She’s really accomplished something!

Afriboos: Really? Ain’t nothing but White girls in there! Black people doing it for themselves! That’s new, ain’t ever seen that before. This gonna scare those White folks, watch them change the rules up now that she’s in. They don’t ever wanna give us a medal in anything, you know that, right? Especially not a gold medal.


Person: Gabby Douglas got two gold medals in gymnastics! Rockin! She’s really accomplished something!

Afriboos: Oh, please, Black people been in the Olympics! Don’t you know about how Jesse Owens made Hitler mad? We’re the first humans, of course we’re in the Olympics! Those Europeans don’t wanna give us our shine! You talkin’ about Gabby Douglas, like she the first Black girl with a gold medal. I mean, it’s something but she got Dominique Dawes to thank. And she probably had to be all around White people to know what she doin right now – why is she with a Chinese? What, she don’t think a Black coach ain’t good enough? And look at her hair, she ain’t natural! She ain’t really doing for us Africans***, who fought and died for her to be where she’s at right now. Hmph, she ain’t no different from Beyonce and her Black-hating self. How about that Usain Bolt boy? Runs like he’s straight from the Motherland. That’s us right there. He’s from Jamaica, you know they respect Africa. They Rasta. He probably Rasta, too.

Yeap. There’s nothing wrong in being proud of being Black or having your lineage trace back to Africa and there is certainly nothing wrong with acknowledging that prejudice is alive and well but it is a problem when there is a lot of misinformation fueling this info to the point it shoots blindly. The Afriboo simply fire their lasers at any and everything, pretty much like weaboos do. To weaboos, Japan is king and anything Japanese is royalty. If the Japanese don’t dominate in something, the game must’ve been rigged or people are just that racist. Weaboos have limited knowledge of the history and culture of Japan but apply it to everything and assume the rest of the world is inferior, just like Afriboos. Instead of it being a single nation, it’s a narrow, generalized knowledge of the history and culture of all of Africa, a whole, entire continent. Reality is, not Africa or the Africana diaspora move in lockstep. The cultures and history that we have is woven from our collective experiences and situations, just like the country of Japan doesn’t move in lockstep, its history and cultures became what it is today from various instances and individuals being what they are. That means there are perks but there are also flaws. Africa isn’t perfect, Japan isn’t perfect.

Then there’s the desire to return to Africa. Yeah, here’s the thing: You can’t return to something you didn’t originate from. Yes, you’re Black, you have African genes in your bloodstream, there’s no denying that. I do too and it’s spiffy. However, no Black person raised in the Western or Eastern world is going to magically assimilate into Africa. You’ll be with your race but culturally, you’ll still be an American, a European, an Asian, a South American, etc etc etc. I could not be randomly dropped off in Africa and expect to get along fine just because I’ll be somewhere where most of the folks look like me. Newp. I couldn’t even be like that in Jamaica and half my whole bloodline is from there. My aunt is from Ghana, I remember her talks of how America and Ghana are different and how being a Black person in the Western world is different from being a Black person in the African world. Those conversations were refreshed in college by my African friends and Caribbean friends every time the subject of Blackness popped up and they felt the sincere need to set the record straight because Blackness in America is not Blackness everywhere you go. And it’s usually with such insight that usually stun Afriboos into silence…or balking that the friends who chimed in must not really be from Africa/the Caribbeans/been around White people too long. Now, there’s nothing wrong with visiting there or wanting to live there, just don’t expect to magically fit in like a missing puzzle piece.

When on the Pagan lean, these guys usually are the ones in the metaphysical shops waxing poetic, sharing psuedo-intellegent quips, expressing their super limited knowledge of Black history and when it comes to the esoteric, oh man. If you show even the slightest interest in the esoteric and are remotely familiar with things like Indigo children and Eastern Star, they latch on quickly. They treat you as if they have found their lost brethren and converse with you as if you both know some grand secret that the rest of the world is sleeping on. They talk to you as if they are going to teach you something and always mention, “I’m learning so much from you,” despite the conversation is usually pretty one-sided and shallower than a teardrop on a hot plate. Most of their “facts” come from biased sources that usually are based in Christian dogma and rhetoric. If you have to quote the Bible to prove an objective fact, there is a problem. And for some odd reason, they have this thing about Jews. I really don’t fully understand it but either they herald Jews as the all-knowing race/ethnicity/religion but kinda are disgusted by them all the same. They believe that any and everything esoteric has made its way through Judaism somewhere at some point in history. The notion is best displayed when they ask, “Ask a Jewish person what year it is,” expressing that the Jews know some great secret or knowledge, hence why everyone has tried to eradicate them from the earth. Anti-Semitism, how does that work?

And let’s not forget the vibrations and earthy stuff. They seem to experience everything in the wavelengths that they feel. Instead of saying, “Oh, I feel like I can trust you,” it’s “I can sense your aura tells me you’re a good person,” or “I’m not getting bad vibrations from you, you probably have good chi,” or, “You’re a Cancer, I know I can trust you with my things.” Good lord. There’s being clairsentient and then there’s being a New Age airhead. Usually when dealing with people who actually are psychic and are fairly well-grounded mentally, they don’t talk about vibrations as if everyone is emitting some sort of shimmer but just say something along the lines of “Oh, I feel like I can trust you.” And it seems Afriboos desire so strongly to be one with the earth short of actually burying themselves in it for good, they’ll wear more stones than you’ll find in a cave, enough cowrie shells to wonder if there is a factory pumping them out and so many ankhs they probably have a bigger collection than the ancient Egyptians all together as they chatter about being Nubian kings and queens. Organic seems to be what they crave and thus think if it came from the earth, it is automatically healthy and good for humans because Mother Nature would never hurt her little children. Ever. At all. Lolz.

Like weaboos, the weird infatuation Afriboos have with sex and sexuality is a bit unsettling. Sex and sexuality is natural and totally part of nature buuuuuut hear an Afriboo tell the story, you would think that sex was this magical, mystical thing that can cure everything from a bad mood to an unsavory personality trait to a cold to cancer itself – het sex only, tho. Bring up the various sexualities in their absolute normalcy such as homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, demisexuality, etc etc and watch the Afriboo turn into a 12 year old as they scan their brain for something to say, either something creeptastic or about how it’s unnatural – maybe a combo of the two. The kicker is that both weaboos and Afriboos usually claim that since they love/have knowledge of a “niche” subject (Japan/Africa), they are thus more open-minded than the average person.

Now, does this mean anyone who likes Africa, natural things, has interest in the continent and the pan-African culture is an Afriboo? Not at all. Just like simply liking Japan and its culture doesn’t make you an instant weaboo or even otaku. What makes you an Afriboo, just like what makes you a weaboo, is thinking that Africa and the race that stemmed from Africa is superior to all. To learn about Africa and the diaspora through poorly designed sites or books and ignore that Africa is not a singular country but a continent with a long history and thus not 100% perfect is intensely problematic. Learn about the history, learn about what makes the culture and what it means to you as a heritage is fine and completely healthy but to act as if you could stunt on both Sistah Soldier and Assata Shakur? Don’t bother. Afriboos, like weaboos, have their heart in the right place but their minds are miles elsewhere. There’s a whole world out there, it ain’t just black and white.

*Afriboos: I’m deriving this from the term “weaboos”, which are overzealous, and usually ignorant, admirers of Japan. Instead, Afriboos are simply over-infatuated/obsessed with the continent Africa instead of a single country and bear much of the same personal qualities as weebs. Another example of derivation: Koreaboos are those who are obsessed with Korea, usually South Korea.

**Apparently, I have White readers. Hiiiiiiiii. If you’re confused about that statement, please do a quick search on racial interactions (political, economical, cultural, societal, social interactions, pick one) between Blacks and Whites in the last 300-700 years. It’s the stuff they base horror movies on. Still confused? Submit something to Ask Black Witch for clarification.

***Afriboos consider anyone Black, regardless where they were born or raised, as an African and anyone who is White, regardless where they were born or raised, as a European. If you’re half Black/half White, you’re an “I don’t know” or occasionally considered a race traitor/tragic mulatto

Oh, How Divine

I really don’t know why but I’ve been catching what seems to be a spike in people yammering about astrology. Y’know, if their sun signs are compatible (and ignoring the rest of the solar system), talking about how astrology is demonic and a mockery of God* and even being asked for my sign, which, despite being an amateur astrologer, kinda irritates me. And this is just one form of divination. I really don’t know why the sudden interest, popping up like daisies.

Firstly, the love/disdain relationship with divination: Now I understand that the Bible says something about how divination is bad and unless you’re a prophet or such, it’s an act fueled by Satan and other stuff along those lines. I understand that visions are supposed to be okay but only if deemed by the Christian god (how people check how the power source is from good or evil, I never really was too concerned in learning) but divination such as astrology is bad for you. Let’s focus on the astrology and spread out if I stay on track.

Alright, here’s the section of the Bible that says “No Divination, ever”:

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)

Okay, there’s a lot of sections about not doing divination, must have been a hot topic back then. The basic gist is that astrologers and diviners in general are agents of the Devil and lead the weak straight to Hell.

Here’s the basics about divination, given that the root word of divination is “divine”, which means words like “deity” and “god”, it is a practice of communicating with, well, the divine. When Moses saw the flaming bush, that can be considered divination because a medium was used (a flaming bush) for God (a deity) to connect and communicate with a mortal being. Divination was used – and still is – to communicate with the gods, regardless of faith system. Alright, back on the astrology, I’m veering off track.

Astrology is not a demonic or a mockery of God. If you acknowledge that you are an Aries, you’re not an amoral person. If you put too much stock in having a sun sign in Aries, you may be a derpy person, perhaps a little gullible, but not amoral. Astrology was and is still used by some for more than just subjecting people to pointless small talk but to determine when is the best time to plant, to fish, to execute a task, to even determine long term weather patterns. Nothing problematic with that.

Given the monotheistic focus of Christianity, I can see why they would feel pretty sniffy about it since everything is supposed to come from God but I really have to wonder, especially since astrology was most likely used back then to predict the best times to garden and have children, when exactly was this particular scripture made. Just about every time I hear something overtly Biblical mentioned and look up where the mention came from (I can’t exactly develop an opinion on another religion’s teachings whether good or bad if I don’t know where it came from or if it is even correct), I always wonder when the scripture was made. Since the Bible didn’t drop from the clouds and bink someone on the head in one whole form, that means all the writings – omitted, kept and lost – were written over a long period of time and by various authors which could have influenced by various perspectives. Since astrology was pretty embedded in the culture of the time, I wondered how it was culturally regulated. Y’know, outside of socio-political takeover and things like that.

Now, for astrology to be demonic, that kind of means you would have to summon Satan or someone from the fallen angels’ club. Not using another deity – note: that’s not demonic, that’s just simply using a different god/dess – but using a demonic entity of some shape or form to accomplish a goal. In all the years I have been studying astrology, I don’t remember having to give Beelzebub a ring just to do a natal chart. All I did was pour over various books, calculations and psychology textbooks. Astrology, in and of itself, have nothing to do with demons or other astral baddies.

A mockery of God? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah. I don’t see how God would be moody over a function that’s based on the heavens. Granted the Western astrology is based on the Greco-Roman mythologies – hm, wait, maybe that’s what’s it. Maybe if it were based on Judeo-Christian mythos, perhaps it would be received differently. I dunno, but it still isn’t a mockery of God, not even the Christian one because it’s just a method to interpret the heavens, not to replace or diminish anyone in the heavens.

In case I was way all over the place this post, here’s the basics:

– Astrology isn’t demonic in and of itself. Kinda impossible considering the background of astrology

– Astrology isn’t a mockery of God; it’s a form of interpretation, not a dig at a deity’s might. Besides, it’s used in agriculture and farming, that can’t be a mockery as well.

– If you don’t like astrology, that’s spiffy…actually, that makes you more bearable than those who make small talk using their threadbare understanding of it.

– Christianity may have its reasons for not liking divination but that doesn’t mean divination in and of itself is evil. If you have to summon a demon just to figure out what the next three months is going to look like, you’re doing it wrong.

Huzzah! So if you’re a Christian looking at horoscopes, I’m pretty sure you’re not earning yourself a speedway pass to God’s crap list. You’re technically not supposed to do it, yes, but you’re also not supposed to wear mixed fibers and eat shellfish so pick and choose, I guess. Just try to stay away from the bigger no-no’s such as committing mass genocide or doing/saying wrongful things in the Lord’s name. If you’re just a regular person who thinks that people can sync up naturally just based on which 30 day span they’re born under, maaaaaaaybe you should pick up a new pastime.

*If you’re living in the Western world, it kinda goes without saying that the god I’m referring to is from the Christian faith and Christian-infused general culture (example: mainstream American culture)

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