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.