Archive for December, 2013

Blessings to you, Black Witch. I am always searching for information as I have only been a seeker and practicing as as solitary for a little over a year. I want to ask you what the best way is to deal with my fear of the spirit world. When I was in high school and several years after, I had some very frightening experiences after playing with a Ouija board with some friends. Bad decision. Every since then my perspective of the spirit realm scares the hell out of me and I don’t know how to get past it especially because there is no way I can walk the path of a witch, yet be afraid of the spirit world. It is because of my bad experiences that I consider any spirits bad and out to get to me. It’s really becoming a serious problem that I need some advice on how to cope and release the fear. My fear is hindering my practice.

-Maria J.

Oooooh, I know this feeling, it can be really scary working with the spirit world! I understand wholeheartedly about wanting to get past the spooks of interacting with the spirit

world to feel like you’re a well-rounded witch, it really does feel like there’s no way around it. I also understand from personal experience how interacting with spirits and it goes awry can really leave you completely halted.

Best thing I can suggest is research. Research on magickal self-defense (things like amulets, herbal mixes, wards, etc etc) and research on spirits. Now I’m sure with the latter, you’re going “Wat? Lol, no,” but researching various entities and what they’re really like may help you. Most likely, what you summoned was some random spirit that felt like trolling humans (and this letter is why I usually tell people don’t diddle around with Ouija boards) and since it was your initial experiences with spirits, it left you scarred. First impressions really are everything, especially in magick. Knowledge is probably going to be your best bet here since there’s no other way around it unless you want to buy all the shrine bells, iron, holy water and blessing powders in the world to make you feel a teensy bit safe, which will fade over time. It’s best to research to allay your fears. And don’t research the scary spirits first, just get some basic knowledge on spirits and the spirit world (preferably in books and most preferably written by people who aren’t loopy new-age type folks). I think the book The Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Stiles is a good suggestion. Try not to be freaked out by it and know that just because you have a book on spirits in your home or you reading an entry on spirits ever does not mean the spirits you’re reading about will come crashing in. It will not automatically summon anything, trust me on that. I had the same fear with spirits due to bad experiences and being really knowledgeable on the subject really helped. I think it’s that not-knowing that ramps a person up because it leaves you feeling helpless and helplessness is a terrible feeling.

Also, you don’t have to be a pro with spirits to be good at magick. You can work strictly with energy until you get past the jitters about spirits. You can study alchemy, improve your herbal knowledge (which I would recommend because it would make you feel better and less defenseless), there’s plenty to do until you fully work out your phobia so you can continually progress while working on yourself, which is very important.

Do you ever have trouble finding others like yourself? I’m a black woman inclined towards esoteric teaching and occultism. Sigil magic is a part of my focus, though I’m new to the path. I’d love some advice. 🙂 Peace

– Venicia

Even with Tumblr and being on African American Wiccan Society’s group, I still have trouble finding other Black Pagans. A lot really don’t want to be out with their work and some are not really Pagans, just completely nuts and somehow floated over to Paganism. Or are just Afriboos that just so desperately want to remove any iota of Western influence (besides internalized racism, homophobia annnnnnnd Western-stemmed misogyny). It’s pretty difficult, especially if you want to interact with them physically, in the real world because they’re either scared someone is going to find out they’re Pagan/practice witchcraft/occultism or they don’t feel like dealing with White Pagans who think now that a Black person has arrived, it’s time to try out all their best racist jokes and passive-aggressive complaints about Black people in general. Or a combo. Even I have sat out of plenty of Pagan events because I get tired very frequently of being the only Black person there and for White Pagans to assume I’m somehow the Ambassador of Negroes. Yeah, for folks who claim to be colorblind (which is a big and harmful myth that actually upholds Whiteness, not dispel it), they seem to notice it pretty well.

Your best chance would just to be on Tumblr and wrack up Black Pagan friends that way. I would recommend following idanceitarotiart, who is pretty nice, and go from there. Also, check out the sigil tag on Tumblr, it’s really nice and you’ll learn lots of new stuff.

And that’s all the Ask Black Witch for not only this month but this year! W00t!

The Arts!: It’s the Holidays!

It’s the holidays and as per tradition, I always post these holiday favorites here on Black Witch. This year, we’re going to have some new ones with the traditional ones. But before we get started, did you know you can play with shelter kitties over a live feed? Yep! Thanks to Oregon Animal Shelter, you can play with shelter kitties using robotic toys and see over a real-time live feed. Check it out here! You can even snap a picture of the kitties you play with.

Using the internet to do some good in the world, awesomesauce.

Now on with the holiday vids!

We all know that I love Janelle Monae, she’s adorable! Check out this wonderful holiday ditty of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”

Following up with DMX’s really awesome rendition of “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer”

Now on to the Black Witch holiday classics!

Of course, the best holiday based rap battle I have ever heard. Santa and Blitzen are sounding off, as played by KRS-One (Santa) and Lupe Fiasco (Blitzen). The vids are out of order sadly this time. the order is this: 1,3,2. It’s still good tho.

And here’s this fantastic rendition of Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” by Princess Neptune. It’s really catching with her hauntingly beautiful voice

And this is a late add but I really liked this humorous holiday hip hop/pop parody created by 2-Cent:

And that’s The Arts! this month, yup yup.

Next week is Ask Black Witch, so if you haven’t sent in your questions, do so. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Here comes the holidays! I guess this is more of a “what to do if you know someone who is Pagan but isn’t out the broom closet yet” post with some bits of “what to do if you’re recently out of the broom closet” in it. Eh, we’ll find out as we go along.

For those who know that someone is Pagan but that Pagan has not opened up to family yet:

It is not your place to determine whether the Pagan you know should let everyone know that’s their faith now. It’s never your place to out them. It never will be your place to out them. It’s up to the Pagan person to out themselves. If the Pagan person that you know don’t want to open up to family yet, don’t spill the beans for them. They won’t appreciate it (I can definitely say that from experience and so can others, don’t do it) and, as I always remind, you could be shredding your own personal relationship with them because you pretty much disregarded their trust. Don’t risk it. Even if you think that things would be so much better if they just told everyone that they’re Pagan and got it over with, remember that life does not work out that way. If the Pagan person is still living with family, you could be risking them getting thrown out or treated extremely poorly. Also, no one likes to be surprised with having to deal with whatever fallout could occur – and yes, they’ll mainly be dealing with the fallout because it’s their problem, not yours – and trying to navigate temporarily rocked familial relationships on the fly. You can be for the Pagan person that you know as much as you like but it’s their move on the when and where when it comes to revealing to the family about being Pagan. And if the Pagan person explicitly asks you to tell the family for them, review it with them to make sure they’re actually okay with it and that you fully understand. Or better yet, tell them to say it themselves.

For those who have recently came out the broom closet to family:
You’re probably going to deal with some douchebaggery. Y’know, family members that think that your religion is a phase or a hobby you’ll grow out of. People who think that while their faith is valid, yours isn’t, which means it’s probably going to be derided or outright disrespected. Usually here I would say that you have to tell them that they’re going to have to choose between their bigotry and you but I understand that some Pagans live with their families. With that, I’m going to have to say you’re going to have to pick your battles but try not to let anyone walk all over you. The best you can do is keep religion a non-issue and don’t mention faith at all or try to inform people about being Pagan, including correcting their inaccurate assumptions.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be bright, merry and gay, it’s become a really stressful time if you’re new to opening up to family about being Pagan. No happiness at all. The best that you can do is to try to navigate it the best that you can.

If you’re not Pagan but know a family member that is, be nice and make them feel welcomed but don’t be annoying with a series of prying questions. No one likes spending the holidays feeling like they’re being interrogated, especially about their faith. If you’re that interested in it, that’s why libraries exist. And you don’t have to interject their faith into everything. If they want to get a glass of water, it’s probably so they can drink it, not summon some random ocean deity. Just treat them normal and if the person wants to talk about it, they will. It’s cool to ask a couple (non-prying) questions but keep it light and few unless they really wanna talk about it. Basically: try not to be a douche about it.

Next Week is The Arts!
– Holiday funsies!
– Play with Shelter Kitties

BW Sick Day: Let’s Game!

Ugh, sick again. Total dislike. I’ve been sick all this week so that means no column. Instead you can play Fear Less a flash game centered around a girl who always dreamed she was running from Death, but now it’s time for her to take up her sword and conquer the darkness in this fun game.


Click to play!

See you next week!

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