Archive for May, 2013


So, I usually don’t like to mix my real life with the Black Witch life but I think now would be the time.

Here it goes:

I currently am in a dire financial strait that could cost me my current apartment. Money has been reaaaaaally tight and it turns out, I can’t pay this month’s rent of $715. If I can’t get all this by May 31st, I’m out on the street, literally. I can barely cover the electricity for this month so the notice I got from the landlord is a real hit in the gut. I need your help.

I really could use donations right about now. Here is a donation link (now via Paypal), please share this everywhere because this is really important. I don’t know what I can do and if there are any organizations that can help me out, I would really appreciate it.

I’ll be posting this on the regular until all the money is collected or it is May 31st. Whichever comes first (I hope it’ll be the funds.) Please, please help. If I’m out on the street, Black Witch will cease to exist.

– Olivia H./Black W.

Wrong Room, Bad Idea

I’m feeling major low key so major low key column it is

This recent week there was a random poster in the African-American Wiccans Society FB group who turned out to be quite the poser. This is what they wrote:

annoying Christian

I didn’t blur out the name because lookin at the account, it’s probably a sock puppet. Plus, if you’re going to be oppressive in any way, shape or form, don’t expect respect from the people you’re bothering.

Now, this was a bit uncanny because the group has been around for over a year and this is the first time we’ve ever had someone slip in and go mad and it turns out we weren’t the only ones. The dude was going to all sorts of Pagan and Wiccan groups to most likely preach the same thing that he posted above.

As any reader could believe, I really don’t like this sort of thing. It’s disrespectful, to be simple about it all. There’s a reason that specialized groups like AAWS exist and it is to provide a safe space. I, just like any other Pagan, do not mind different faiths but there’s a difference between outshining the rest and attempting to knock out everyone else’s bulb with a sledgehammer.

If anyone is curious to as why it is disrespectful, I will try to explain.

It is disrespectful because the person is encroaching on a safe space that was bothering no one to proselytize: We understand that Christians have to spread the word of Christ but going the disruptive route definitely does not look good for the faith that constantly espouses “Live and let live”. We’re the Black Pagans group, that’s it. Everyone else who doesn’t fit those two requirements gotta stay out and there’s a reason for it: they already have open places for themselves. White Pagans have all the spaces for themselves, Christians have the whole Western world pretty much for themselves. There is seriously no need to try to gain ground here. Just get over the fact that not everyone is going to be a follower of Christ nor wants to be and it is most likely better this way than have a bunch of false believers.

It is disrespectful because this person came with the sole aim to convert as many people as possible: See, not everyone in the AAWS is fully comfy with being Pagan and still exploring their faith. They don’t need a random rude Christian storming in going, “This is wroooooooooooong [because my faith says so and I won’t learn yours]” to make things really murky. Already, Pagans do not proselytize so there’s no reason for Christian folks to come bother us. This dude didn’t come in and start backpedaling because oh noes, they’re not around Christians, how uncomfy it is to respect another faith. This dude just came out thinking, “Man, I’mma get work like I’m on commission, I’m doing such a good thing,” and decided to just come right out and puke all the verbal nonsense you read above. They didn’t want to learn about Paganism or even try to understand it, nah, this person was set on thinking that we were misguided and wrong and that he has to set us “right”. I’ve dealt with enough jacked up Christians to scare them off but not everyone has (nor should need to). If people want to explore a different faith, they should be able to do so safely. This is with any non-privileged group.

It is disrespectful because if you want people to learn about your faith (that everyone already knows plenty about), being rude is not the way: Here is why Christians get such a bad rep. Acts like these. And usually these acts are defended because folks want to ignore the difference between concern-trolling and actual expression of faith to others…unless it happens to them, of course. I can guarantee that everyone who lives in the Western world knows about Christianity, has heard of Christ and know His basic origin tale. It would be impossible not to. Christianity is heavily pumped throughout Western culture, it is the staple, the norm. If a Christian bombed or shot up a school or a theatre, no one would go “Oh you can’t trust those Christians. They follow some masochistic god!” nope. The faith wouldn’t be otherized and the second that it might, you can believe there will be mobs in place. Christianity is written into the laws, Christianity is written into the culture. The Christian God is referenced on American money. The average age of the people in AAWS is middle age on up and we’re Black, we’ve heard of Jesus before, time to take a pause for the cause already. Christians are commonly perceived to be close-minded and persistent to tell others about their faith but the second they have to be the listeners, here comes the defensiveness, dismissiveness or the sudden urgency to be anywhere but where they are standing at that time. That perception didn’t come from imagination. That pic up there isn’t made up, it’s a screen cap. The account might be ran by a fake name but there is a real person behind it. It would behoove Christians to get over that they deserve respect and diligence more than other faiths.

And it’s annoying to use the guilt trip method to convince people to convert to Christianity, as if that has any staying power. Firstly, saying “He died a shameful death” just sounds like Christ was the one who made the bad choice to get pinned up on a cross or did something to earn His death. Remember, this was a follower of this deity (demi-god?) saying this. I know the guy was trying to mean “It sucks how he died” but with a bad choice of wording. This is then being led up with a clear attempt to guilt trip as if the Pagan reading this is supposed to go, “Aw man, you’re right. He did die for me. Even though I wasn’t completely convinced of practicing the faith and feel practically nothing for it in my heart, I feel moved enough to convert back to a faith  because a practitioner that didn’t even try to take the time to learn mine said so.” If belief in any deity (or demi-god) is sincere, then you won’t have to guilt (or threaten, or combo) to make people come to the faith. Guilt tripped Christians generally are among the least intelligent about their faith because they’re doing everything they think they can to avoid going to hell and to keep their god from hating them in opposed to simply living out their faith and living the lives they do as it pleases their god and fulfills them, the followers, as well. In a nutshell, if you have to use emotional or psychological tactics to make someone join your faith, it’s a bad idea. Stop it or stop complaining about how people see Christians in such a bad light.

As I have said before, there are other religions on this earth besides Paganism and Christianity. Christians should really take great pains to learn that, at least as much pains as they take to be actively ignorant of other faiths. If people want to be Christian, there are so many avenues that they could go. Just an immense amount of them that other faiths don’t get, especially in the Western world. There would still be problems in the world even if everyone was Christian (Look up the Real IRA or Northern Ireland if you don’t believe me). It is not cool to neglect the basic idea that people might think differently than you. If you’re going to be in a safe space for a non-privileged group and you happen to be part of that privileged group, sit down, shut up and only ask reasonable questions when appropriate.  If you’re there to troll for new believers, you deserve all the blowback you get.

 

Snake Oil Magick

So, I was checking the Black Witch email’s junk pile because, hey, I like keeping the inbox orderly and you never know when a random Ask Black Witch question or important email winds up there.

This time, I got a lol’ler coaster.

So this email was titled “Gain the Ability to Create Your Own Destiny!‏” so I knew it was gonna be good. Could always use a chuckle. And chuckled, I did.

The email begins:

“That’s Right!

Get the Ability to Create Your Own Destiny and Get
What You Want Instantly!

All will be explained here”

And links to a site called “Magick Power” that would be better off selling Cirque du Soleil tickets or D&D games, judging from the layout. People, this is how you can tell someone is selling snake oil, wolf tickets. It’s a con and not the fun kind where you dress up, eat too much pocky and risk running into Stan Lee. We’re gonna get into how it so apparent later, now we stick with the email.

“The BEST thing is that You will be able to Bring
Anything You Desire into Your Life without Needing
to Do ANY Ritual, Nor Worship Any Strange Entity Nor
Study ANY Occult System for Years…!”

Can you smeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell the nonsense here? Dude, you can’t apply a fast food concept to metaphysics, it just makes for high failure rates, your magick would be a complete dud not to mention you’ll look crazy and stupid, even among occultists and magick practitioners. Not to mention, nice try in attempt to othering alternative deities, that’s smart. You don’t exactly need to worship other deities, magick doesn’t really need that so it wasn’t necessary to bring up. Really bad start.

“I’m talking about the Power to Create or Destroy What
Ever You Want to…As You See Fit!

Simply Visit Here”

Someone is channeling their inner Vishnu. Sounds like some kid that used to get beat up a lot in school, played too much Infamous or God of War and now thinks they could be a powerful force themselves. Look, I am a firm believer that nothing is impossible (improbable but not impossible) but you have to put some work into it. Metaphysics does not work like an instant dinner, there is a lot of work, a lot of reading, a lot of brain strain to see any success. There are no elevators or escalators, only stairs. Lots and lots o’ stairs.

“There is no other course out there like it. In fact,
there has never been a similar course available to the public.

I have to warn you though, mystics have tried to have
this course banned…

I’m talking about some of the most powerful men and
women of the world, that can literally take the site
down any minute without warning.

All I can guess is if you can still get to the
website you may have a chance…”

Actually, there are lots of courses out there like this. It’s the internet, there’s tons of skeevy sites filled with false promises and especially with magick because people don’t know enough about magick besides what they see in media (which is heavily misrepresented) and go with that. So, this guy is relying on someone being really, really gullible.

Dude also should not pull an infomercial move and simply use a blanket statement such as “mystics have tried to have this course banned” and “the most powerful men and women of the world”. Back your accusations up with facts or don’t say it at all. Even with the occultists I know, no one cares that much over this kid so I doubt very much that other important people would either. And does anyone else imagines some modern day Gandalf/Once Upon a Time imagery when they read that too? Unless this kid is pissing off some hacker group, I doubt people care about these fakers nearly as much as they think they do. This site might get taken down by the BBB or some other business entity tho for being a scam but that’s pretty much it.

And the email ends. Lolz. This email wouldn’t have fooled me when I was younger and it doesn’t fool me now. Here’s a rule of thumb, if the person is not up front, they’re probably hiding something. Using blanket statements is not being up front, trying to create an air of mystery that isn’t there is not being up front, promising big things with little work is definitely not being up front and all those things are all red flags. The simple fact that this letter is unsolicited is already telling! I’m a practiced Witch, why would I want anything like what this email offers when I can see straight through the phoniness?

And now the site, which is filled with so much fluff, they should be selling pillows and comforters.

Again, the blanket accusations of mystics trying to get the course getting shut down and that they could get anyone any massive power…for some money.

KNEW IT, Y’ALL! The dude is selling something and it is expensive, worthless and waste of paper. You could tell from the email but this seals the deal.

The why about unnamed mystics trying to “shut down the site” is apparently this:

“Simply, because they don’t want you to have
the power to INSTANTLY Create Your Own Reality, they
have and have used over and over again for
centuries to control, manipulate and literally take
advantage of you like a puppet.”

This is a total joke. Again, unless you are really skilled in magick and the occult, the idea to create your own reality in an instant is laughable. And even then it is A) really rare and B) barely worth it because once you’re that skilled, you learn a few things about ethics that really kills the enticement of the idea. And no occultist is controlling people like a puppet, get your pseudo-secret societies ideas outta my occult. It’s stuff like this that makes people think the Illuminati control everything and somehow everything points to it. After this massively stupid reason is the shot of the book, which is about as bland as anything as far as any book in the occult is supposed to be. The title “Magick Power” is very general because magick has so many different subcategories and types and cultures and ideas, it’s not this one thing and couldn’t be because that’s not how the occult works.

And o hai! Something that totally doesn’t sound like it came out of the X-Men:

“From the desk of: Mystic X.
Dear Friend,

Are you absolutely sick of being left in the hands of someone else who couldn’t care less about YOU?”

That’s life

“Does it seem you’re just stuck in the mud-spinning wheels, going nowhere?”

We do currently have a crappy economy and people generally suck at running their lives

“Do you totally hate the fact that Your Life can go nowhere?”

“Can” implies choice, which, like I said, sounds like life. Life really isn’t fair.

“I bet you do!”

Life sucks, then you die.

“I often receive emails from people just like you who are struggling to make their spells & magick work. You’ve bought books and courses but you just can’t seem to make it work. You’ve dropped $100s-$1,000s into witches, spells, and metaphysical items but haven’t seen any real results, yet.”

Trolololo, that’s because they want to put no real work in it, just want answers with the flick of a wand.

“Maybe you’ve spent days trying to cast each spell to the finest detail, only to find out later that the results were not what you wished for, if any.”

Magick can be derpy like that because it goes the path of least resistance and noobs will always have a hard time with spells because they are new and thus have little practice.

“When I hear these stories I often write back…”

“I want to write back…”

“It’s NOT Your Fault!”

“I am so gonna fleece ya!”

“You see, most of the information you read online and offline now are either incomplete or just total garbage.”

“I’m just like them. Remember, it takes one to know one.”

“It gets me angry that people are wasting their hard earned money on useless stuff in the slight hope things will work out. The cold truth is that… It Won’t!”

It doesn’t anger this dude about that, he’s upset he ain’t making money off of these people. And again, a lot of people want a quick fix, which is not exactly how things work in magick.

“Most of the spells and magick systems the so-called experts push you, don’t work.”

Here’s an accusation that the dude won’t back up. One of many baseless accusations. It’s a tell tale sign because good art, good work speaks for itself. Bad work has to work hard to make others look bad.

“Why?”

“I don’t know either”

“Simply, because most psychics, so-called witches, warlocks
and metaphysical sellers are either lying to you, or just plain
don’t know what they’re talking about!”

So sayeth the person with no credentials, knowledge and has said nothing factual yet, just playing on emotions instead of logic.

“Want PROOF?”

This dude doesn’t have any

“That’s pretty easy! – Just look around you as more and more books, systems, magick rings, talismans, spiritual items, haunted items, witches, and spells are available supposedly to help you fulfill your desires and materialize your wishes, but people are nevertheless getting LESS SUCCESSFUL and LESS HAPPY with their Lives!!”

It’s so easy the dude conveniently forgets to tell you. And decides to pull on heartstrings further with inaccuracies and blatant disregard to social trends that are making people unhappy – not magick – such as use of social media, living sedentary lives and a terrible economy which hasn’t really recovered since 9/11.

“Have you ever wanted something so much you were willing to do almost anything…to obtain it?”

“Have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry? Have you ever -” I like Brandy, that was a good song. Very pretty, highly recommend it… unlike this site.

“Are you tired of being controlled by circumstances and events over which you have little to no control over?”

That’s prolly got more to do with politics, economic policy than anything. Unless you plan on hypnotizing the whole Congress to tax the rich at least 70%, it’s not much to it.

“Are you annoyed how the same few people seem to get all the great things in life when you keep on living in misery or a mediocre lifestyle?”

That’s called “comparing someone’s highlight reel with your behind-the-scenes”.

“You’re not alone…It seems the only people that get lucky these days are the ones who know something you don’t.”

Or are one of the 400 richest people in America. Or networks. Or combo. And again, highlight reel vs. behind-the-scenes.

“Those REAL Mystics and Occultists Possess the Power to Master the Forces of the Universe Itself…to Quickly Bring into their Lives WHATEVER THEY Most Want and Desire!”

That’s false. Even occultists and witches still gotta find a job and put work towards things that we want or need.

“The Biggest MYTH is that You Have to Be Gifted,
Chosen, or Practice an Occult System for Years to
Have the Power of the Magick, the Ability to
Define Your Own Destiny!”

Nah, you just gotta play FedEx and deliver a ring to Mordor.

“THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!”

“IT IZN’T!!11!11!11111!1eleven!1!!!1!111!1!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!1”

“It does NOT matter if You are just a Regular Person with No Special Gift!”

It doesn’t?!?!?!?!

“It does NOT matter if You have NEVER read a Single Page of a Magick Book!”

General literacy would be useful, though. Never reading a single page of any book could be a bit of a wall to success.

“It does NOT matter if You have ZERO Experience in the Occult!”

EMT is probably gonna die laughing over whatever they’ll have to save you from so good job, you’ll be cheering up people at random

“You find this hard to believe right?”

Yep.

“Most people do, but let me tell you this…”

“…I don’t know anything.”

“Whatever your abilities, knowledge and experience of Magick is, I can transform You into a Powerful Magickal Wizard with the Power to literally Create Your Own Reality Instantly at Will!”

Without a big ol’ giant storming through your front door saying, “You’re a wizard, Harry!”? How nice.

“I must first warn you, though…”

“This is some bullsh*t I’m about to sell you on”

“This is not a Method for Weak Minded or Easily Intimidated Individuals!!”

“Actually, I’m hoping that’s what you are because I don’t make a sale otherwise. A sucker is born every minute, I need you to be that sucker.”

“This is a Method of ABSOLUTE POWER…”

“POWWAAAAAAAAAAA”

“The Power to Create or
Destroy WHAT EVER YOU WANT TO…As YOU See Fit!!!”

BIG red flag that this is a scam, the baiting of universe crushing power but with no effort to get it at all? Faaaaaaaake.

“Think about How Much Would You Enjoy Possessing the Power to Master the Forces of the Universe Itself…to Quickly Bring Into Your Life WHATEVER YOU Most Want and Desire!!”

It ain’t gonna happen.

“Imagine Having Absolute Supreme Power and Total Mastery Over Life Itself with…”

Seriously, stop playing so much Heavenly Sword.

“THE REAL MAGICK FORCE!!”

If “real” means “fake”, then yes, this is very, very “real” indeed. And for someone who has disdain for witches and magick, they sure don’t mind using our spelling for it (with a “k” at the end).

“YES…You will be able to Bring Anything You Desire into Your Life without Needing to Do ANY Ritual, Nor Worship Any Strange Entity Nor Study ANY Occult System for Years…!!”

Nah you won’t. And to do real, authentic magick, you actually do have to be practiced. And again, knock off the othering of legit deities. Besides, like I said, Fast Food logic does not work nor bode well in metaphysics.        

“Forget about Witchcraft, Wicca, Natural Magick, Candle
Magick, Black Magick, White Magick…and the rest of them!”

How you really know that A) this guy is a scammer B) an idiot and C) knows absolutely nothing: this dude is supposed to teach you some worldly magick but says “We’re not doing witchcraft or any other form of magick”. It doesn’t make any sense. He just wants your money but don’t want to do any homework to get it.

“I’m talking about REAL Magick, that will Give You the Ability to Possess Amazing Power of Control and Influence in Every Area of Reality, and bring all the things You Desire into Your Life…Simply By Willing It to Be So!!”

This dude just disregarded actual real magick about a sentence ago, what does he know? This dude is a total jip. And he don’t understand the metaphysics at all, yet again, but wants to bait people’s money with promise of having the world in the palm of your hands.

“Discover How You Can SUMMON and INFLUENCE Universal
Energy Forces which Will Give You ALL THE POWER!!”

You’re just gonna discover how broke this dude is going to make you. Then the power you’ll need is power of an attorney.

“Through the Power of the Magick, You can Secretly Influence and Dominate EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY…Control Every Aspect of Your Life, with Ease…soon after You Begin Applying this Mystical Method in Your Own Life!!!”

Someone’s selfish…and most likely has an inferiority complex that they have to work double time to mask up. Besides, the magickal life is not easier than the non-magickal life. Ease, there will be nearly none of that. And it isn’t possible to control every aspect of your life and think about it, you really wouldn’t want to.

“Are You Prepared to Have this Much
Control and Mastery Over Your Own
Destiny…And LIFE ITSELF?”

“Who’s ready to get scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammed?”

“YOU Will be able to Wield Supreme Mystical Power…

Magically Drawing Everything You Want Directly to YOU!!”

Nah, you won’t.

“How?”

“’Cause I don’t know either.”

“Simply, because the very Nature of Reality is within the Mind Itself…This is where the POWER of the MAGICK can easily be transmitted into YOUR LIFE…Through Your Un-Conscious Mind!!!”

That’s over simplifying magick by a lot. There’s a lot more to magick than just willing things about. Even psionics has more to it than simply willing things with your mind.

“Would YOU Like To Gain Complete Control Over Your Social &
Professional Environment???”

You could gain that with some classes in interpersonal skills. Though, no one likes a control freak.

“Now You CAN with the Magick Power course!!”

This kid is a joke, I’m almost running out of snarky things to say, there’s so much fail in this phony open letter. Good thing it’s over.

Okay, here’s something stupid, the site badges:

snake oil pic - BW

Notice something missing from these badges? Like the companies that are establishing that this site is supposed to be safe and with 100% satisfaction? Generally when you see site badges like these, there is supposed to be an “awarded by [so and so]” bit on it somewhere so you know it’s vetted, even if you researched it. This doesn’t have any of that so how do you know that they didn’t simply find these badges on Google images and slapped them on their site? Which is most likely what happened.

But wait, for $50, you can buy these books that are supposed to be valued at $1000 (I strongly doubt that’s the actual MSRP) and you too can afford such bogus titles as:

Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage – Complete with inaccuracies, fakery and all things misinforming!

Transcendental Magic – Which, although described as rare books on a very secret type of magic (how you can tell it’s fake because it uses the word “secret” and “rare” to bait you in)
The Arbatel of Magic – A book that is neither classic or rare

The 4 Books of Occult Philosophy – Not at all sought after and wouldn’t have a single magical secret.

This site is just oozing with scamming and con work. It’s sad folks fall for these all the time but they kind of have no one else but themselves to blame for being such a sucker. And you think this dude is gonna stop at sucking up your $50? Nah way, holmes, chances are you’d get emails to buy more and more “secrets” and other things because guess what? What this guy is gonna sell you ain’t going to work and never will because it is complete snake oil in book form.

Now, if you’re bummed because you thought “Oh man, this was the break I was looking for!”, check out these books that are in the resources and information category or just look at the different Samhain Editions here on Black Witch. At least these books aren’t total crap. They won’t promise instant power in an hour but to be honest, nothing could provide that, ever. Metaphysics requires time, dedication and work.

%d bloggers like this: