Archive for March, 2016

EEOC Update: Surprisingly quiet for once. Last time everything was getting this quiet, my apartment got raided and trashed by the Baltimore City Police.

Onwards to the column!

It’s Ask Black Witch, where readers send me questions. Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated, let’s get started:

Hey, I have dreamed before about an old lady who gave me the book of shadows and told me to read it and I remember me doing a lot of spells and go through the book, and I have never ever seen the book or even touched it and on every page of the book there were a lot of pentagrams, and till now I still don’t remember the face of the old lady, So what is that supposed to mean?

– ­Amira A.

Alright, unfortunately, I didn’t get more info than just this sole letter (it’s semi my fault because I didn’t do the usual “write back to person to get more info”, I just replied to her comment where she first posted this question) so I can’t really make any major definites. For example:

  • Have you ever had a background in studying Paganism and/or witchcraft?
  • Did you watch a scary movie or such before sleeping?
  • What culture are you from?

Etc, etc, stuff like that. Otherwise, I would just simply rule it as the mind just putting a movie on as you sleep, so to speak. Not everything in dreams mean some big and major thing. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

The fact the book didn’t have any writing, just pentagrams, kind of means your brain was trying to scare you a bit, it doesn’t 100% have to mean the unknown because while the pentagram is an occultic symbol, it isn’t inherently spooky and evil. Just seen that way due to Abrahamic (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) cultural beliefs we all live with.

Basically, it could be an anxiety dream with a fear of the unknown buuuuuuut it could also just be a regular dream that’s really, really weird…because brains are weird.

EEOC Update : I talked with Internal Affairs yesterday about the raid. That’s all I can really say right now.

Due to my EEOC issue, this means I wasn’t able to get a bunch of full fledge writing done. Instead, I’m just going to highlight two youtubers who I always keep up with.

Kat Blaque
I forgot how I started watching her videos but I really do like them. She vlogs about her life as a trans Black woman. She has definitely been getting a lot of attention for her works as of late and mainly because they are nifty.

Recently, she has been doing a series called “True Tea” where viewers send in questions and she answers. Usually, they’re about race or gender (or a combination).

Here’s a “True Tea” video below:

I really like her videos and her frankness. It’s really great. Check her out!

Miles Jai
I have featured his videos here a few times. I really like his comedy, I like how well rounded his topics are (it’s not just on one thing, such as it’s only on race or only on makeup, etc) and how I really enjoy his videos, regardless how many times I’ve seen them.

Here are one of his videos:

I really like his looks as well. He’s female presenting (he talks about this at length, I’ll post the vid below) but he considers himself a guy. Long story short, he’s a cis dude, not a trans woman. Either way, I really like his makeup videos because they’re well done, his wig videos and it’s simply great to watch his personality, which isn’t grating or annoying.

Here’s his video about him talking about gender:

W00t, and that’s all for this week! Next week is Ask Black Witch, send in questions! Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

Brains Swapped Out

I get a lot of “Body Swap” requests. And I mean a lot. Here’s a recent sample of what I’ve gotten:

Seriously, this is why Youtubers don't like to be close with their fans, creepy stuff like this

Seriously, this is why Youtubers don’t like to be close with their fans, creepy stuff like this


"Mrs."? Seriously? What's with the automatic assumption? Or that I'll help?

“Mrs.”? Seriously? What’s with the automatic assumption? Or that I’ll help? (Click pic if too small)


Thiiiiiiiiis is pretty revolting (Click pic if too small)

Thiiiiiiiiis is pretty revolting (Click pic if too small)

Here’s a snap from one foolish person who asked decided to send me the same question a number of times.

Everyone, I see every email I get, no need to mass send it

Everyone, I see every email I get, no need to mass send it (Click pic if too small)


And what was it about? Each and every one?

This sounds like something borderline "Call FBI's children protections unit"

This sounds like something borderline “Call FBI’s children protections unit”

And here is the very most recent request. Complete with my response, numbered to follow flow of convo:


I try to be a trans ally but this is not it at all. Not at all. Not even in the least. (Click if pic is too small)

Ok, time to go into why I don’t like these letters. At all. A second time.

Reason, the first: I don’t do spells/spell requests for others. And never have.

I believe I make myself quite clear, I don’t do spells for others and never have. It’s actually one of the things I tell people not to ask because I don’t do paid spellwork/pay-for-pray. If I did, I wouldn’t have to worry about finances ever again, this is really advanced spellwork, therefore would cost at the very least $5,000 USD. As the starting fee, nothing added on (as in, the price can more than easily grow, based on circumstance of the who, what and when). Up front.

Hey, I believe strongly in socialism but I am American, after all. Capitalism can sometimes be useful.

I don’t do paid spellwork at all because that’s simply how I am. I really don’t care nor want to hear “I’ll pay you” because we all know that’s not going to happen. Also, the initial messages almost always think I will do it for free, they never ever discuss cost. Just “Here, I want this and, despite your many remarks – mainly negative and dissuading – on what I am asking about, give it to me anyways.” Thaaaaaaat’s ridiculously rude, I really don’t care what you’re asking about.

This is why I tell people to research. Actually, that’s my second point:

Reason, the second: Shows lack of research/absolute show of duncery:

It doesn’t take much search to see if I do pay-for-pray or anything. It also doesn’t take much searching to see how I handle other folks who ask about body switching questions – none of them nicely. I’ve minced and lacerated every question I’ve published on the subject.

Everyone, I have a google search bar on my site. It works really well. That and I have a category section to split up all my columns. I use them all for each and every post.

This and maybe people should notice that they’re writing to a librarian, I’m really quite the stickler on research. It’s always a good thing to study and research a blog or anything, especially if they have a search bar about. That way, you can see if your question had already been answered and if it haven’t, if it is ok to ask. It’s one thing if I’ve never wrote about the subject, in remote reference to the subject or whatever have you but body swapping? Just a quick search in the Ask Black Witch category should clue anyone in. If people don’t want to search but want to ask me all the same, that’s their misfortune. I’m pro-learning, not pro-coddling.

Reason the third: Consent and agency, anyone?:

It really seems that when people ask me to switch bodies. It’s usually with someone else. For example, the dude above wanted to switch with their nephew, for whatever reason. I never ever hear anything about consent, agency, whatever. Nothing about how that person is ok with it, and accompanying proof, they’re basically the person as target. And it’s usually desperate sounding, like if they don’t switch bodies, someone will die. Which tilts to something fetish-sounding.

Reason the fourth: Eh, sounds fetish-y:

Even when it is not with someone else, that’s better off for a doctor or it sounds like a right ol’ fetish. And it’s usually guys! I never have really gotten many women asking for a body swap. It’s usually guys and they usually want to be a girl, which is rather uncanny. Some guys, they make it sound like a clear fetish and I’ve read enough Dan Savage and been on Tumblr long enough to know it when I see it.

I doubt these guys want to become women because they’re actually trans or that they genuinely want to experience the world through the perspective of a woman – dude! Here’s this one that sounds super fetishy, even the email sounds odd. I didn’t know it at the time but with some thought and time, that is my theory. I’ll showcase the whole thing down the line, eventually.

It seems a fetish rather than an actual concern because one thing people think is, even if they go “oh, this is permanent, I wouldn’t want to change back”, that this is magick, not science so there must be a reversal spell somewhere. Trust, if these guys wanted to be women because they want to act out a, frankly, misogynistic fetish (it’s based on being helplessly weak and dominated, enforced by gendered social roles), they’ll want to change back once they had their fill of catcalling, intelligence dismissed, lack of job opportunities/decent pay and periods, they’re going to want to be a guy again. The real world isn’t so glamourous. So, yeah, asking a woman – who’s a womanist/feminist (talk about being stupid in pickings) – about this is going to bring insults and sharp jabs in response. Again, research is key. If these folks didn’t want people to give them such a hard time, they should have guessed that I wasn’t the right person to ask. These folks aren’t “I’m trans and I’m scared of the medical process and transitioning is pricy, can you help with a spell”, just “I wanna be a girl [because of fetish reasons]!” Um, no.


These are all the reasons why I don’t like body swaping questions. Honestly, I really don’t like any spell requests because I don’t do any spell requests. Period. At all. But it seems those who ask about body swapping are particularly moronic about it. For people so desperate, maaaaaybe they should research and skim a bit before asking me, a person who won’t be giving any too kind an answer.

Given the nature of these folks, obviously I’ll get more letters like these, which means I’ll never run out of people to skewer. I rather have much more competent asks and questions, honestly, however. I like answering more thoughtful questions, not lapses of thought and judgement.

Next Week is The Arts: (Unfortunately, I’m still frazzled so the list is meager)

  • Kat Blaque
  • Miles Jai

Finding Somewhere to Belong


Now, usually March is when I have guest writers and suches happening, because I like to break the monotony once in a while but ehhhhh, with what has happened recently, it simply can’t happen this year. Sorry!

Being Pagan, it is important to note that you don’t have to be a social know-it-all. Since starting Black Witch, I have noticed that I don’t really know the who’s-who of popular Western Pagan culture. Sometimes, it would surprise people that I didn’t know so-and-so and such-and-such. It didn’t really irk me, but surprised me instead. All I really knew were my books and my info on cultures, religions and other beliefs.

I think this was a good thing because I have avoided a lot of unnecessary drama that pops up in the Pagan community. Very much a good thing. It’s a good thing because I get annoyed very easily and when I’m annoyed I’m very irritated and I just want to bow out of the socializing. Just participating in the non-alternative Black community on Tumblr has already shown me this. From what I understand, the Pagan tag on Tumblr is full of people who want to culturally appropriate, people who don’t understand Paganism but just want attention, that the tag is just a playground for people to act as stupid as they want. Although I try not to be, I feel that I’m a very serious person, especially when it’s in regards to faith and religion so to have people abuse the tag, to have people run amok with racist nonsense tends to irritate me and make me not want to socialize with other Pagans. And if I interacted with this type of nonsense earlier when I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have learned at all or gotten as far as I did in knowing about Paganism because I would have been convinced that it was a “Whites Only” kind of religion, which is one of Paganism’s major problem in the PR department.

Now, I know some are going to think, “Well if they can’t get past that, then this is not for them. Anybody who truly wanted to learn and participate with the religion would do so, no matter the obstacle. We all have a hard time somewhere.” Thing is, that ignores most defiantly that some need a safe space to learn about themselves and the faith. And that the safe space has to be safe for them, not simply for White Pagans. Basically, the safe space has to actually be safe. To be barraged with Whiteness and the othering it can cause, that brings an additional and unique stress that a Black Pagan has to unfairly encounter because it brings about a sense of being constantly embattled. That you can’t, metaphorically, really get any sleep anywhere, not even where you’re searching for a peace of mind.

And for Black Pagans, it is particularly difficult because they also have to encounter anti-Blackness, which other minority Pagans will express. Never fun having to explain to people about how they’re lightening up African deities – or just making them White – just to be argued with about how they were somehow always White or light and how to challenge this is somehow offensive to the person doing the White-washing. And how pointing out that African deities shouldn’t be lighter than plywood is somehow a display of being racist, not the actual act of lightening itself.

This is just one example of a massive slew. Pervasive racism makes learning effectively very tricky. It can be a myriad of ways, from the “I can’t be racist – I’m voting for Bernie Sanders!” White liberal thinking to the “Trump is right! It’s not racist to tell the truth! It’s called ‘being honest’!” White conservative thinking. There’s a myriad of ways prejudice can seep up, like bedbugs.

Granted, I’m more the solitary type but I know other Black Pagans who really would like some camaraderie, to be able to fellowship with other Black Pagans the same way a good chunk of them probably did before when they were Christian. I can totally see why: it’s nice to belong, to be in a group that reflects you and have your best interests at heart, that can support you and build community with, so on and so forth.

Most, if not nearly all Pagan communities lack this type of support for Black Pagans, as well as other minority Pagans. They’re all so pervasively White-centered, even when not based on Euro-centric deities, that it’s near difficult to feel comfortable in those communities because of the multitudes of micro-aggressions that will eventually stack up on each other, driving whatever diversity that visits very far away.

Even without cemented cultural ideologies of prejudice, making and keeping a group going is very hard work. There’s amassing a space, amassing people, amassing time, etc etc etc. It’s herding cats…with a very loose fishnet bag. But it’s not necessary for practice. Strongly desired for very justifiable reasons but not just mandatory.

If anything, I would recommend a newbie to kind of stick to the books and readings first before super seeking out people. The reason being is because, while you do want to find people to connect with and that is indeed important, the most important thing is figuring out where you stand when it comes to Paganism, metaphysics and magick. If you’re not careful, you’re going to invite some very predatory people into your life. Or pick up some really wayward beliefs that will be pitched as Paganism but isn’t at all like the faith. It’s ok to chat and find some nifty Tumblr but Paganism as a religious and spiritual practice, can only be done alone. It’s best to build a foundation first and go from there.

And don’t worry if you don’t know any big names in Paganism, they’re not that important. They’re not deities, just people with a lot of visibility.

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