Archive for November, 2012

Ask Black Witch

Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very technical but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? With thanks

– London C.

I totally don’t mind blog management questions! I think they’re nice and they make me happy!

It’s not that hard to get a blog started. You just pick a blog provider like Blogspot, WordPress or others and remember, they’re not all the same. I like WordPress  because I have the ability to mess with the HTML so if you know any basic web coding, it’s pretty nice to use.

The best place to start is to figure out what you want your blog to be about, how often do you want to post and how personal you want the blog to be. These three are going to determine the longevity of your blog because if it’s too much, you’ll burn yourself out and/or run out of topics. If it’s too little, you’re going to become mega forgetful about it. If it’s a topic you don’t care about, you won’t want to write, so on and so forth.

Audience is important but they will come if they like what you write. You can’t 100% write for the crowd, you’ll never be happy with what you create if your goal is to dredge as many readers as possible. Know what the purpose of your blog is. If it’s to get people to pay attention to you, it’s gonna show. If it’s to actually express some sort of thought or opinion, that will show as well. Also, know what distance you’re going to keep with your audience. Are you going to be super personal and let everyone into your life, talk to you anon, things like that? Or are you going to have a separate email and everything for your blog? It’s important to know where you stand because you want a manageable fandom should you get one and to keep mean folks to a minimum. In my experience, not having anything anon keeps away nasty people, which is fantastic. I’m a pretty introverted person so it’s great having readers streamlined thanks to apps.

Apps are very important if you get very serious about your blog. I use Android everything for mobile devices so the apps I use that are really helpful is DataViz’s Documents to Go to write posts on the go. I also use the WordPress app (because that’s my provider). And don’t be surprised if you start looking at smartphones and tablets, they do make life easier if you’re on the go a lot but think about that after your blog has been around for longer than a year.

Ooh! Know how to write! Your letter was very well written, that’s a good sign. Having fantastic spelling and grammar (tho the rule is lax if English is not your first language) is great and will keep readers. That and people will take you more seriously if you’re not writing like you’re dragging your face along a keyboard. Regardless where you write your material, run it through Microsoft Word to catch your mistakes! It won’t catch all of them but at least a good amount.

And I think thaaaaaaaaat’s pretty much it. Just don’t overload yourself, stay away from gimmicks, don’t do more than you can actually handle and write well, even when you don’t have a big audience. Yep yep.

“Here the magik sex or magik masturbation begins. At the moment of orgasm get`s the best visualization of the penis being possessed that witches can. Visualize the following: Her demonic possession shoots into the penis turning into a phantom like creature. Your new body races toward the possession of where your chosen target sleeps . Her fantasies race into mind as you use this new body to embrace the demonic pleasure. The visualization should be seen when the effects of the possession cease. Having witches cast her satanic magik and then you see the penis possession who was the target of her fantasies,
“Here now I drink the life blood of Satan. Through this indulgence He gives me the power to call forth the Minions of the Infernal Pit. My flesh burns in ecstasy. Riding upon the energies of my venomous possession are the demons now cast into the penis and the witches are absent of thoughts of the obscenities I now crave her fantasies!”


Hello , I like to know about sex magik demonic penis possession I know its out there just have a hard time finding a witch that will help me out here ? Would you know anyone ?

– Douglas O.

When I first looked at this, I thought it was a derp question. Prolly is thus the lolz. I shown this to countless friends, one mentioned this very fitting macro:

As a reminder to the world: This spot is called “Black Witch” (Not “This Black Witch”, that’s just the url. Please use your context clues, they’re nifty) because I’m of the African-diaspora (African-American) and I practice Witchcraft, hence “Black Witch”. I don’t practice evil magick or Satanism. I’m not egotistical enough or angry enough at Christianity for Satanism. Even Kanye West is not egotistical enough for Satanism.

I googled the first part and learned that this was a quote from some random Satanism site, I dunno if they were even legit. I do know that this is as lol-worthy as the question. How stupid/high was the person when they wrote the quote? They sound like they’re a really lonely and angry guy, probably very annoyed by women always calling them “creepy” and doesn’t understand what women mean when they say, “I don’t like you, please stop talking to me.” I think this passage would even offend Satanists.

Now the actual question: What. The Hell. Is wrong with you? This is so magnificently stupid a question,  it’s unbelievable. Dude, seriously, are you gonna seriously go around and go “’Ey, mah peen is controlled by a demon, woooooo!” That sounds like a problem waiting to happen. Now, I’m a firm believer that anything is possible in magick but there is such thing as “bad ideas”, “stupid ideas” and “This idea should only seem like even a decent idea only if you ate lead paint chips growing up.”

I’m gonna assume that you’re inspired somehow by the text above the question and wonder if you’re somehow under the age of 15. That quote is complete bullsh*t beyond belief, okay? Already at a glance – okay, a few reads, whoever wrote the quote wasn’t the best writer – , it’s remarkably sexist and practically mainstream-rapper grade of sex-negative. And most, if not all Witches (part of the reason being most of them are women), would never help you. At all. Geez, I think I’m being the random nice one for not outright deleting your questions like others told me that’s what they would have done.

In case you’re asking, “Why is this sexist/sex-negative? Oh my god, you’re making things up and complaining.” Here’s a basic break down:

Sex-negative: Dude, this quote is teeming with “Oh man, pleasure of the fleeeeeesh, that’s so naughty.” Yeah, no. It’s pretty much the photo-negative depiction of Christianity’s overall view on sex: it’s bad, it’s taboo and if you do it, you’re bad, you’re taboo. This is magnified when the object (called the “target” (wtf?)) is a female because of the Western perception of virginity and how women are supposed to be all chaste in the name of spirituality or she is a mega-whore otherwise and other really stupid ideas. “The demonic pleasure”? “Obscenities?” Ridiculous. It’s sex. Sex is natural. Get over it.

Sexist: Holy crap is the quote full of nonsense. Already you have gender-based manipulation and manipulation as a whole is always a bad idea, especially for sex magick (which, by the way, the passage is doing wrong. Sex magick shouldn’t sound rapey). Then you have the whole thing about sex when gender is involved and I just covered this, if you’re a girl, it’s really sucky because you’re not even considered a person or active agent in the discussion of sex. That’s why this is sexist, the girl is not an active agent of any sort, just an object and in sex magick, that’s super problematic.

The quote sounds like really wack pseudo-magick made for lonely, really frustrated guys that possibly don’t like women as people very much. And no witch worth their salt and/or with that kind of skill is gonna help out with that. Laugh at you, oh sure. Help you, not so much.

If it isn’t a derp question: Just buy a specialized fleshlight. I doubt you’d want an actual demon to control your penis. It most likely would not end as fun as you wish it did. I heard there were even mechanized fleshlights, which is far less embarrassing than your question.

And that’s all the Ask Black Witch for this month, folks! You can send in questions at any time but remember: good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Bea Gaddy
Every year I feature Bea Gaddy because she is such a great woman and around this time of year is the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and poor which she started.

Although known as the Mother Teresa of Baltimore, Bea Gaddy is originally from Wake Forest, North Carolina. Born in 1933, she and her family suffered from the strains of the Great Depression and domestic violence. Her alcoholic father would toss her and her brother out of the house consistently, leaving them to scrounge for food in garbage bins behind various grocery stores, and her mother lived in fear of being beaten.

Bea Gaddy couldn’t really escape her bleak reality until she married her first husband simply so she could leave home. Gaddy remarked that he was “good but without means or dreams” and though this man was a way out, it also became a trap for worse living. They moved up to New York City where they lived on welfare and move monthly because they could not make rent payments. Sadly, Gaddy’s husband was killed by an acquaintance and this left her in a further dark situation. Once, she simply abandoned an apartment because she knew the sheriff was going to throw her out and cast her belongings onto the street.

By her mid-twenties, Gaddy had already been married twice and was a single mom to her five kids. She came to Baltimore through finding a longtime friend from North Carolina who lived there. Working countless jobs to keep her children fed, she would come across Bernard Potts, a local attorney and business and wait in his office to warm up in the chilly weather. Potts saw potential in Gaddy and wanted her to finish her high school education so she could get a college degree and do more for herself, which she did. She enrolled at Catonsville Community College taking in mental health classes and finished up with a Bachelors of Arts in Human Services from Antioch University.

In the 1980s, Bea Gaddy used the pain she endured all her life and the recent successes to help those around her. Though she was very poor still, she would try to feed her neighbors as well as her own family. She started with simply asking store owners for leftover food and due to the overwhelming success, she started to use a garbage can to collect food from local vendors. Things truly took a turn for the better when Bea Gaddy used fifty cents she found to buy a lottery ticket that turned out to be be a winner for $290. She used this money to feed 39 of her neighbors, which started her emergency relief work in Baltimore.

Bea Gaddy chose to help the homeless and poor because of her own personal experiences of the feelings of humiliation and self-worthlessness that accompanies poverty and homelessness. “Hunger was my constant childhood companion,” she remarked. In 1981, Bea Gaddy opened the Patterson Park Emergency Food Center, which feeds between 50-150 people and since 1981, over 100,000 families have been fed.

The most outstanding event that Bea Gaddy would be remembered for is her Thanksgiving dinners. Just like her other works, the Thanksgiving Dinners rely on donations and volunteers and once was carried out in her home. Once it got bigger, the event had to be moved to Dunbar Middle School. It still continues to this very day.

Besides creating the Emergency Food Center and the yearly Thanksgiving dinners, Bea Gaddy also was involved in running a furniture bank, renovating and refurbishing abandoned row homes, running summer youth programs and was a vocal supporter of voter education. Shortly before her death, Bea Gaddy became an ordained minister so that she could marry and bury the poor at no cost to them. Her home, which ran all these operations, worked under the name of the “Bea Gaddy Center for Women and Children”.

Bea Gaddy has done so much to aid the people of Baltimore , even far more than the people who run it. She is a stunning person, simply who selflessly gave. If you want to read more about Bea Gaddy’s story, click here. If you would like to visit or donate to the Bea Gaddy Center, click here. Here is her listing in the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

Straight Line Stitch
Yay, SLS! It’s always great to feature Straight Line Stitch, a metal band that I first learned about on Afro-Punk. Although Straight Line Stitch has been around since 2000, we’re mainly focusing on SLS since lead vocalist Alexis Brown, which is around 2003.

I really like this band, it’s perhaps one of the only other metal band that I have taken a strong liking to, besides Blindside. There’s a Black female lead vocalist, their sound doesn’t hinge on that as a gimmick and their music videos are fantastic.

Check out the video, “Black Veil”. I love the headbanging, the braids Alexis wears just adds a fiery look to it all.

The first video that I saw them in was “Conversion”, I really like the video, especially the imagery of the child watching the television and the dynamic with the riot officer.

An older video that I have recently seen, “What You Do To Me” which is very good, I highly recommend you see it.

If you want to see more SLS:

Straight Line Stitch Facebook (/straightlinestitch)
Straight Line Stitch Twitter (@SLSBand1)
Straight Line Stitch MySpace (/straightlinestitch)

Zen Writer
November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. Through Tumblr I have learned of a text editor called Zen Writer. It allows the writer to be immersed in a creative world filled with simple, soothing backgrounds, gentle music and even the sound of the typed letters can be customized. Check out the sample below:

Using it myself, I found it to be very relaxing and easy to write creative works on because the customizable atmosphere that can fit pretty much any writer. There’s no annoying squiggle lines of spell check (it’s a button on the side), the fonts are engaging and all that is presented is a blank slate with a stunning background.

Check it out for yourself here

Welp, that’s all the Black Witch for this week. Next week is Ask Black Witch, get your questions sent in using the “Contact Me” page or ABW Submission Forum on the side of the site. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Next week in America is Thanksgiving, where everyone celebrates by stuffing their face (including me), watching parades and the coming advertising onslaught of All Christmas Everything. This is a time to deal with family and friends, fending the turkey from the pets and dealing with the emotional punji pits that can be at an all-time high around this time of year.

It can be tough being Black and Pagan during the holidays. There’s the usual emotional punji pit that comes with relatives being relatives and their billion questions, some of them that pose outdated beliefs or simply make you want to endure waterboarding instead of spend another minute with them. Then there’s being Pagan on top of that and if whether you’re in or out the broom closet, it’s really tough to navigate what to say and do and not result in some nuclear meltdown. Families are like countries, everyone has their own rules, customs and taboos. And just like countries, some don’t get along with others, some have more in-fighting than others, some are just simply peaceful or with a weird past.

If you’re out the broom closet to your folks, congrats! Prepare to experience questions and remarks that will make you wish you didn’t. Given that Black culture is heavily influenced by Christianity to the point that it is part of the African-American/African diasporic gaze (how Black culture sees and interprets stuff), expect a lot of churchy questions to spike around this time of year. You know, the usual accusations of devil worshipping, blatant misuse and cherry picking of the Bible to back up those accusations as attempts to scare you back into Christianity, crazy conspiracy stories that somehow explains how Witchcraft (or a real humdinger, Christianity) is truly evil, folks talking about Indigo children or complaining about how fluoride in the water is somehow killing people and the government practices witchcraft and somehow the connection between them makes sense. Yaaaay, the fun world of interacting with people while practicing the occult or metaphysics.

These questions are probably going to be stupid, some very fear-mongering and don’t feel bad if you’re new to being Pagan or out of the broom closet. It’s more them than you, to be honest. Paganism/Wicca/Witchcraft has had quite the nasty slandering of reputations for a very long time and then you layer on the historical forced practice of Christianity on Blacks when we were slaves as a method to make them more dependent on the new culture they’ve been dragged into and then have that same religious institution be instrumental to important movements once those slaves take back the right to be human, you’re going to get a WTF salad a good bit of the time. Being Pagan, practicing magick, simply not adhering to the Abrahamic faiths, none of those are bad things in and of themselves and you have to remind yourself that. Chances are, when you got started in the practice, you had a lot of the same notions and beliefs as well until you finally picked up a book so try to be understanding from that perspective. This does not mean you should proselytize and be annoying, this means that you can’t always get frustrated at your uncle if he doesn’t understand why you left Christianity and erroneously claim you suffered from “church hurt” because it’s not 100% his fault. It’s the culture.

The best way you can go about this is being as factual as possible and, if you can, set your boundaries. This is supposed to be a family holiday, not an interrogation. Unless you’re running about on a broomstick or a mop screaming, “I’M PAAAAAAAAAGAAAAAAAAN! I DO WIIIIIIIIIIITCHCRAAAAAAAAFT! I PLAY JAY-Z TO DO MONEY SPELLS AND KANYE WEST TO SUMMON NARCISSUS! I’MA WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH!” it’s pretty certain that the questions you’ll get will be from others that are curious (to put it nicely) that you’re somehow not practicing their faith and why. Be as factual as possible, even about the Bible, and if you don’t want to talk about it anymore, you should be able to establish that. Being part of a different faith does not give anyone the right to be an absolute jerk. If anyone says, “You shouldn’t have became a Pagan if you didn’t want people grilling you with questions about it,” bring up the fact that there are people who think if Blacks didn’t want to experience racism, they should somehow become lighter, stop talking about racism, ignore history and drop the culture. Again, something that is your identity is not anyone’s greenlight to be a nuisance. That is very stupid thinking, remember that.

Now, dealing with others is going to differ depending on if you live with your folks or not. If you live at home, any faux pas during the holidays will not end after the last guest has closed the door so pick your battles wisely. You don’t want the act of telling off your cousin about how you don’t even believe in Satan to continue well into the new year because your parents think that your new religion has made you a tetchy hothead. If you live away from home, you can have a little bit more freedom in standing your ground and expressing how you want to be respected. The only weighing factor is how much you want your faith to be respected and how much would it mean to you if they expressed disappointment or threatened to go as far as disowning you but weigh carefully.

If someone wants to genuinely have an actual conversation – not a one-sided blame game, an actual dialogue – then talk to them. You don’t have to do it in front of everyone, you can do it in private if you or they want and actually listen to them. They may have just as stupid questions as the ones as you possibly fielded but remember, this person simply wants to learn about what it is you’re doing and all they have to go on is what they picked up growing up. They’re trying to understand you and your faith so help them out. You don’t have to lecture them or anything like that, just answer questions as plainly as possible and with bite sized information so in case they tell others, they’re going to recite the correct facts.

Staying in the broom closet? That’s a perfectly fine place to be. And it should be your choice on how long you wanna stay there. There are many reason to why a person should not reveal themselves until the time is right: there’s the possibility of financial issues, not being able to handle the emotional strain just yet, worried of fallout and/or wanting to make sure that Paganism is the faith they’re going to choose so if they take heat for it, at least it’s worth it. The holidays can be a stressful time, you don’t have to out yourself if you don’t want to. Yeah, everyone is all together thus it can look like it’s ripping off a bandaid when broadly announcing your faith but it can create a perfect storm of stress because everyone is all together to drill you about being Pagan. Don’t feel ashamed about keeping your faith to yourself, it’s a waiting game but one that is for your safety and wellbeing.

Know someone in the broom closet? Let them stay there. As you probably saw from the last post, “Busted”, it’s not really appreciated to drag someone out of the broom closet. Yes, you may think, “The truth will set you free,” and that’s really nice but in some instances, the truth can also leave you broke, alone, homeless or outright killed. Ignorance (in very small doses) can be bliss. That means your job is simply to play ally, not spokesperson. What this means is that if you’re cool with the relative being Pagan, then be there for them. Be the sounding board, listen to their stories and ideas, be there for them when they vent. Heck, be their alibi or distraction when the heat is starting to come down. Being an ally means that you’re cool with the relative being Pagan but you have to remember when they finally come out the broom closet is their choice alone. They’re probably going to talk to you about it but that’s not your cue to out them. Help them weigh their options but don’t pick it for them because that is most likely going to cause an irreparable rip in your relationship. You’ll be identified not as an “ally” but a “backstabber” instead and you don’t want that.

So! Now that everyone knows what to do, go out there and have fun. Navigate the emotional punji pits, try not to fall in any of them and have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

Next week is TheArts!, let’s see how is getting featured:

– Bea Gaddy

– Straight Line Stitch

– Zen Writer

Don’t forget, Ask Black Witch is at the end of the month! Don’t forget to send your questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!


So, now my mom knows that I’m Pagan.

It wasn’t through my choice or this would be waaaaaaay down the line. Newp. I got outed by my sister out of some kind of show of concern trolling. None too happy about this because this is something I tote very often on the column: If you know someone who is of some kind of alignment that is not readily socially favorable such as gay or Pagan, you leave the battle alone. It’s not your choice to decide whether the person wants to have that big discussion (or argument), it’s theirs and it doesn’t matter what your opinion is on the matter about the person closeting themselves, it’s up to them to decide on when to say something about it. Unless you plan to 150% care for the person and the possible ensuing problems, don’t bother.

So, I had a surprise conversation about my faith with my mom. She asked me if I had anything against the Bible and I had no clue what she was going on but I knew that it would probably be better for me to fluff like usual because while I don’t mind challenging churches and closed minded Christians about my faith, it’s a little different when the person I could be debating with is my mom. Granted, as much as I would love to express my faith to her, we don’t live in a perfect world and I’m more than aware of that. My mom isn’t some rabid Christian but she’s still strongly Christian enough for me to have concern about going “I’m Pagan! I haven’t prayed to Jesus since Bush was trying to explain exactly what happened in New York and why this somehow justifies invading Iraq.” She never seemed the type to have a liking towards metaphysics and things like that so yeah, I was doing just fine keeping my mouth shut and pretty much living a double life where around her, I don’t bring up anything that has anything to do with religion and if so, I try to end the convo as fast and seamless as possible. Friends have asked me in the past when do I plan to tell her but my response has usually been, “Somewhere between the future and never. Maybe waaaaaay in the future or just not at all.” See, if I can avoid an argument that’s not really necessary, then I do because I’m not a very confrontational person, believe it or not. I mainly only push when shoved.

Continuing where I left off, my mom asked me if I had anything against the Bible and I was hemming and hawing, completely surprised. Apparently my sister thought my mom kicked me out a year ago due to religious differences and said that I had a faith that was opposite of mom’s. Here’s the bullsh*t in the sentence: I moved out because I’m getting older, simple as that. Also, Paganism is not the opposite of Christianity. If anything, that would be Satanism. I’m not a Satanist, I’m Pagan. Paganism is different from Christianity in a few ways but we’re not their opposite.

After hemming and hawing (I already thought about running but figured that was pointless and senseless), my mom asked me what was my faith’s name and so I told her, totally concerned that she would flip out. She didn’t, thankfully, and pretty much told me how she was younger and she was into things like astrology and such. Some of the stories were interesting and it pretty much was a good hour or so of me being quiet and trying to keep things from going nuclear. So far things were fine but I didn’t want push it.

After her talk it seems that she’s most convinced that just like it was a phase for her, it’s one for me. Usually hearing that makes me pretty miffed because I’ve been practicing Paganism for the past ten years, far beyond “phase period” but since I pretty much didn’t talk about how long I actually practiced, I let it go. I already was dealing with the fact that she knows about I’m Pagan, I didn’t feel I needed to go into specifics.

Though the conversation went much better than I thought it would (mainly because I let her do the talking), I’m still quite pissed at not having the choice to decide when was the right time for myself. Though my mom said she’s okay with me being Pagan, now things are awkward because hey hey, she found out her kiddo’s Pagan. What fun.

It is a good thing that I live on my own and not under my parent’s roof because this would be very tricky because I don’t feel like answering questions on my faith and why I’m not Christian anymore when I’m not in the mood to do so. It is a good thing I can pay my own bills and do not have to worry about being disconnected financially. I can buy or borrow tons of books on magick and Paganism and not worry about my things getting rifled through or those books getting thrown away just because. I can run Black Witch a whole lot better when not hiding my business cards and business papers. I’m lucky that I’m pretty independent with my living and finances (and Black Witch always takes donations) because others usually aren’t so fortunate when someone opens their mouth at the wrong time.

This changes a lot of things for me and as you could see in the writing, it’s pretty hard to talk about. It definitely sets me back emotionally because I totally didn’t think I would have to deal with this so soon. A lot of thinkin has to go into how to go forward and I didn’t exactly plan for this.

So again, to those who know someone who is Pagan and also know their family doesn’t know: Please keep silent because it’s not your fight and not your problem. The Pagan in question knows what’s best for them, not you so let them choose. Unless you really want to have a nice, heavy rip in your relationship with this person (because they’re not going to be grateful), just stay silent.


Alright, all the Samhain Pickers have been read for and the Ustream chat went fairly well despite me derping on camera a lot (I need to learn better public speaking skills). The musical acts I did mention since someone asked for a list:

– Straight Line Stitch

– Femi/Dri Fish

– Blindside

– Polysics

– Janelle Monae

– Saul Williams

– Lupe Fiasco

– Big Bang

– 2ne1

– 4minute

– Psy

– Nikki Lynette

– Gackt

I mentioned a lot! Which is great because it gives me a new starter master list for The Arts! features. And businesses I’ve mentioned

-RA Sushi


-Boullibase Café

-Yolly Molly

-Rams Head Live (music)

-Soundstage (music)

Onward with the column for this week!

I’ve been reading this book as of recent, The Witches’ Book of the Dead by Christian Day. I’ve got to admit, it’s really good and I would highly recommend it. It’s great as an introductory book into death magick/necromantic magick. If anyone wants to learn about how to work with the dead, this is the book for you. No, it won’t have you killing animals or people – I would have put this book back on the shelf if so, I’m quite against that stuff and so is the author apparently – but some of the rituals, it will require blood work. Don’t freak, I’ll touch on that a little later.

This book is so well written! I normally am not interested in death magick of any sort and I was way too spooked to when I was younger but I’ve just thought this would be an interesting topic now that I’m older and boy, is this book great! Again, I recommend it to anyone who is interested! It covers everything such as rituals to commune with the dead, working with spirits, ghost hunting, Ouija boards (finally a good book on that), so on and so forth.

What I am so keen on is how Day reflects upon and interprets skulls. I usually would never use skulls in my works because I am a little superstitious about skulls inviting death, misfortune and illness into the one who wears it and dotes on it aplenty. Day goes in an enlightening way about skulls and the different types and purposes in magic of skulls. Of course I know that skulls are very powerful, death is natural, and bone is a pretty strong material, magickally. I just grew up with reservations about skulls and that stuck with me, especially growing up in a violent area and thus not wanting something that could attract more problems. Day’s entry though made me see skulls in a different way that is pretty positive and to the point that I don’t mind introducing at least skull candles into my own works when appropriate. I don’t think I’ll get up to human bone because it simply isn’t my thing but I think skull candles are fine enough since I usually use candles in my works anyways.

The author is very balanced ethics-wise, always a big thing to me. Even with hexing, Day takes a very fair approach about it such as mentioning that hexing in the past was not always bad, it’s was usually used as a form of justified retribution but if you’re doing nothing but hexing and jinxing, you might have problems that only a therapist could solve. I couldn’t agree more. There is no savage killing or maiming in this book, a point I feel needs to be mentioned a ton of times, trust on that. Besides the teeny weeny blood work from the practitioner done and skulls that (aren’t a must) can be bought from, there’s absolutely nothing human derived. Hey, even the skull can be made from crystal instead of a legit human skull.

Alright, as I mentioned at the start, there is some blood magick involved. Nothing that could paint the walls and put you into shock, you’ll be pricking your finger with a medical lancelet and it’ll just be you who gives up the blood, no one else.* If that squicks you out, don’t worry, there’s other rituals in this book to do without bloodletting of any sort. Me, personally, I’m not against blood work in magick as long as it is done smartly (e.g., not draining your body of blood, not killing/maiming other living things). Blood is a pretty strong force in magick – I mean, it is a life force in and of itself – and is perfectly natural to use. However! I am gonna put on the responsible columnist hat and say if you’re a teenager or younger, I would say hold off until you get older. This is to keep your parents from freaking out, me getting justified hate mail from freaked out parents and you guys from doing something that you may not fully understand the impact of until you get older. Understand it first, you’re not trying to recreate a scene from The Craft.

The mention of the Ouija board is great! I usually tell everyone to beware of them – not because they’re bad but because you could be inviting some serious astral nasties to come bother you – but Day’s section on them is fantastic! It goes into the history behind them, the mainstream mania that involves them, how to use them well and what do to if things go wrong. It’s simply well written and makes the Ouija board look like a normal tool in opposed to some thing of mystery and foolishness.

When it comes to working with death magick, it is important to remember that it’s not the insta-answer if you want to bring back someone from the dead. It is very sad and depressing to say but you can’t bring anyone back from the dead. Although I am a firm believer that anything can happen in magick, when it comes to the dead, I think it’s better to keep them there and to commemorate their spirit instead. I mean, think about it, even if you did bring back a loved one, you guys wouldn’t simply pick up where you left off. Oh no. First there would be the body; either it would need a serious ritual that is way advanced for practically anyone to get the body to a successful living state or something to replace that if the person was turned to ashes. Then there’s fact someone is about to experience being dragged back into the land of the living, where there’s suffering, poverty, corruption, injustice, the restriction of a physical shell, stuff like that. The person may not appreciate being alive again if the afterlife was better. And it’s not like there’s anyone really that they could talk to about the experience and the experience would most likely leave them changed any ol’ ways, definitely not just resuming life as they just left it. It simply would be better to honor and work with their spirit now that they moved on. I understand the desire to want to bring back a loved one but trust, it’s better to work with their spirit.

I think it’s fantastic to work with spirit because your ancestors and other spirits are usually willing to help you out in some way or another. They’ll always be there for you and the spirit world is quite boundless. This is not to replace god worship necessarily but amplify working with those who have passed on and, in turn, are part of the collective knowledge of the universe – the Death Current, as Day calls it.

So if you want to get into working with the dead, this book is an absolute must. There’s no chattering about like a goth that’s trying too hard to be scary, the writing is refreshing, and it has a sense of humor and realism that occasionally is absent from magick books. The Witches’ Book of the Dead is a fantastic introductory book to get someone comfortable with working with the dead and with full immersion at that.

Welp, that’s all the Black Witch for this week! I hope you liked the Ustream chat, it was very enjoyable. All the winners of Samhain Pickers should have their readings by now and if you don’t, contact me immediately.

*At all. Just you. No killing. No maiming. Simply doing the same act diabetics do just to check their blood sugar. Just want to make that crystal clear.

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