Archive for September, 2013

It’s this month’s Ask Black Witch, where you ask me questions and I answer them. You can send in questions in a myriad of ways, on site, via Tumblr, tweet, email, comment or send a message on the BW Facebook Fan Page. Remember, good questions appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Hello My question is about spell-casting and being specific about minute details. I have a clear idea of what I want my spell to manifest, but I’m wondering how much detail is just too much. For example I want to manifest a house. I want to it have 3 bedrooms, a large yard, a garage and it has to be blue with Queen Elizabeth rose bushes in the front. Will being so specific help or hinder my spell?

– Mint

Being specific in spells is a really good thing. However, there is such thing as being too specific because the spell may not work out exactly how you want or take waaaaaaaaaaaay longer than you would want to. It seems you have your dream house in mind, which is good that you know what you want now but it may be too specific for your spell because you may change your mind about, say, the flowers or you want to nix a bedroom It’s good to instead find a middle ground with your specifications by having the goal house in mind but casting a spell for just getting a comfortable and happy home because you could get the house you want but it’s wrapped up in red tape, predatory lending or a relationship gone bad. It’s more than just a house that makes a home. So find a middle ground because your idea of a dream home may change over the years and if it does, your spell (which won’t manifest overnight if that’s what you’re hoping for) can still keep chugging along, unabated. Which is what you want.

Okay, Im confused. How does repeating song lyrics constitute a spell?

Black Witch, could you please educate me?

– Vicki V.

The reader is referring to a spell I reblogged on Tumblr (this is probably the closest y’all will get me to actually posting full length spells on here*, ha!) which uses a spell inspired by Yoko Kanno’s song “Call Me, Call Me”.

Music is a pretty useful way to raise energy, which is necessary for every spell you do. If a song resonates strongly with your intentions, then it can be used in a spell. Since the spell was about getting back in touch with people you haven’t heard from in a while and the song was about the same, the song would work well in the spell as a tool to send out intent. Already in music there is rhythm, rhyming (not all spells need to rhyme, in case someone was thinking that), movement and more which can aid in spellworking. Music is magic and can definitely be magickal.

And that concludes Ask Black Witch for this week! Try to spot me at the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend! I’ll be running around pretending I’m social. If you’re into Jfashion (Lolita, Gyaru, Vis Kei, Shinori, Yanki, etc etc etc), there’s going to be an Afr-Am Jfashion walk in DC on Oct 6. Get in touch for details if interested! I’ll be there. And next month is October, which means that the Samhain Pickers Giveaway is around the corner!

*I barely reblog spells on the Tumblr so don’t think you’ll get a stockpile there, either.

First of all, sorry for the lateness! Here to bring you comics and superhero goodness. Let’s get into it!

I really liked this superhero because there aren’t really any Muslim superheroes and especially girl ones. What I really like the most is that she defends women from street harassment all the while sufficiently showing exactly what street harassment looks like (derogatory comments, grabbing people, etc.) and how scary it can be to experience. And she’ll also show the flaws in “White Feminism/White Saviorism” (*cough*Femen*cough*). However, what I find that is most appealing is that the creator clearly took time to flesh out this character, not just go “She’s going to be the sock puppet/cardboard cutout of Feminism”, which happens to a lot of social issues girl characters, which can be frustrating.

Here’s two samples of the work:

Qahera sample

Sample 1 (Click for full size)

Qahera sample2

Sample 2 (Click for full size)

You can only wish for a superhero like that to exist in real life. This comic is in both Arabic and English and you can check it out here

Static Shock
Static Shock is a favorite superhero of mine, that’s for fact. There is such a dearth of good Black superhero movies (we all know why*, despite Spawn and Blade showed it can happen) so it’s fantastic to see with the advent of accessible media, people can make these stories come to life.

Princess Princess
I noticed Princess Princess around the same time I saw Princeless (This almost makes me want to do an “All Black Everything comics giveaway”) but didn’t get into it immediately until I noticed it was a series. Here’s a page:

Princess Princess sample

Click for full size

What I find really cool is that it’s two princesses that are the main leads in the story with two different backgrounds (one is trapped in a tower, one wants to be a tomboy) that by themselves, could make for a usual princess story but instead are intertwined in a fashion that is intriguing and entertaining. They adopt the roles and traits of rescuer and damsel in distress but not in the same, boring, classic fashion, the girls actually are dynamic and challenge the cookie cutter idea that girls can’t be complex or round characters.

And that’s all. Ask Black Witch is on Friday (I promise it’ll be on time). Send in your questions here, via email, using the submission form, on Tumblr or on Twitter. (Don’t know any of the handles? Just go to the Black Witch Network page and you’ll find all that you need)

*If you feel out of the loop: it’s racism. Look up Green Lantern and Whitewashing in superhero movies. Then look up Black Panther movie.

I’ve been super tired this weekend (I know, I’m always tired. New life happenings that require a lot of energy and I’m still getting adjusted). So instead of doing my usual chatter, I’m going to post this lecture by a previous professor of mine, Stephen Braude, titled “The Photographs of Ted Serios”. Ted Serios was a person who could imprint on photographs with his mind and also there’s a mini lecture on psychokinesis. I was there when my teacher did this talk, it was pretty good.

Next week for The Arts:

Comics and Superheroes!

Talk to Me Through the TV

So, I was contacted again by another TV head hunter, some casting director that, although got my name wrong (It’s not Crystal, it’s Black Witch. Crystal Blanton is a different person), didn’t write out nearly as poorly a letter as a casting person from VH1 did. As usual, I always check out the website because I prefer to run a tight ship when it comes to Black Witch and the image of it. If it doesn’t pass my pretty decent standards of:

– Actually educational
– Informative
– Lack of proliferating stereotypes/authentically progressive, not “lip service progressive”
– Non-existent to near non-existent track record of playing Spin Doctor
– Matter taken seriously/Not a baiting attempt

Then I pass almost immediately. I have worked with media a little too much to be over naive about how it works, especially when it comes to portraying someone who is Black and Pagan. Already I know for fact that media doesn’t exactly like giving an honest spotlight on anything that doesn’t really benefit White, middle-class guys and gals (pref. guys, this is media after all) so to be an intersection is just going to bring me trouble.

I do not believe at all in the saying “Good press, bad press, any press is good press” because if people are going to pay attention to me, I rather it be for what I say and not how otherized I can be displayed. Bad press is bad press, period. Think about it: have you ever been the butt of a rumor? Even people who didn’t know you existed learned about you but it probably was more trouble than it was worth and if you had the choice, you possibly would have preferred if people didn’t focus on the bad (regardless of whether it is true or not). While I would like for BW to do bigger and better things, I’m not that desperate for attention to work with people who will just try to drag my name through the dirt.

A reason I’m not teaming up with these tv people is because I already know how they would portray me, which, given what they’ve shown me they have made in the past, would most certainly be negative for me. I am not even going to think about “Well, maybe I could use this as an opportunity to educate.” A person can be bright but people, in general, are pretty stupid and take things at face value. If the face value of BW is going to be displayed as some “crazy Black girl who think she has magical powers”, then I don’t care for that because I already know how much damage that would cause and no one would listen to me. Not down for that. Already seeing how these show creators and the channels usually depict Pagans and usually depict Black people and particularly depict Black women, I really don’t want to work with them because I won’t be treated any different. If anything, I’ll be treated worse because I’m a combination.

Would I never want to work with media? Of course I would! I don’t mind doing radio and visual appearances but they have to be worth my while. I already said on Twitter that as far as TV is concerned, the lowest I’ll consider is PBS. I mean, Al Jazeera is pretty good and at least I view media from PBS and Al Jazeera – so far, of all the networks that have contacted me, I don’t watch their channels or their shows. I don’t mind doing talks about being Pagan but also talks about mental health, talks about gender, talks about race, talks about the intersection and deconstruction of those concepts/realities. That’s perfectly fine. But whatever these current people are writing to me about, I already know the last thing on their mind is anything that is thought provoking.

This stuff reminds me of the prowling show producers would do on message boards for alternative culture, psionics and cosplay years ago and even now. Always on the look out to grab some random kid who is doing something “weird”, tell them something earnest and honest sounding just to bait them to get on the show, only so the show can rag on them in the final product. I’m incredibly familiar with this because always some senior member would try to tell the star struck noobs what really was gonna happen and to not fall for it and off the show producers and casting directors would go in hopes to find that very special dingbat floating about somewhere else online. Totally not worth all the trouble one will get put through and it is usually a bait and switch.

I rather if someone contacts me, it’s worth it. I like talking to small media start-ups, especially if they are minority-ran and focused with a track record of being dynamic. I especially like talking to them if that minority-ran media is women-ran or led and have that dynamic track record. I rather have people who can show they can handle touchy topics with sensitivity and sincerity and without framing the topic as “Hey, look at these whiners/weirdos here.” I of course, wouldn’t mind Pagan media contacting me either but I strongly feel they probably wouldn’t want to, given my criticisms on the intersection of race and Paganism. Black Witch has been around for three years and I still hear the “but I can’t find any Black Pagan blogs, they’re just not out there or defunct!” excuse. And Black media is still pretty terrified to talk to me because of the whole “witch” and “Pagan” thing.

It’s Just… I rather someone besides the dimwits who make terrible and stereotypical shows that exemplify how stupid Americans are getting contact me because rejecting offers is getting boring. Fast.

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