Category: Pagan Life


I decided to pass on posting The Arts! today for this teeny saga. Let’s start from the top:

A person on Tumblr, Child-Priestess (now changed to “Boy-Priest” since our convo) asked me to look at a site called “Blacks for Satan” – despite the fact that:

A) I’m not a Satanist

B ) The vast majority of Satanists I have ever met, I never liked. I have only met one (1) that was agreeable. That dude is the walking definition of “outlier” and “anomaly”.

C) Again, I’m not Satanist, I’m Pagan. They’re not the same. One is related to Christianity and the other existed way before Christianity (that would be Paganism who existed before Christianity, for the stupid ones who can’t follow.)

The site looked pretty terrible and full of hatred. Like, for a site that is “supposed” to be for Black people, it sounds penned by a White person from all the vitrol spat at Jewish folks. This isn’t to say that Black and Jewish communities don’t have rifts but it’s not “Holocaust denying” levels. Black people tend to not side with Nazis since they murdered us as well in the Holocaust. All a Nazi is to the eyes of a Black American is just a German-flavored Klanner. Same M.O., different place and language.

Originally, I wrote in the first draft, “Here are some screenshots, because I’m not linking this site. If anything, it needs to be taken down because it feeds into hateful beliefs which, in turn, inspire people like Dylan Roof or Rodger Elliot to commit mass murder.”

I got the sites taken down, three of them. More on that later. But here are the screenshots taken because I need to really go into why this site is super abhorrent. (And why site server, Lycos, shouldn’t have dragged their feet to take action.)

Wait, before I do, let’s look at this site called the “Dangerous Speech Project“. It explains how vitriolic words eventually become vitriolic actions.

Be sure to watch the vid, references to it will show up later and throughout.

But let’s begin with the hate sites and why they are perceived as such.

Let’s Start!

The website seems to not really talk about “What is Satanism” or anything, just “These are the people we hate.” Though Anton LaVey is a total joke to me, the site should have mentioned him at some point since he kicked off Satanism.

“Foundation”, eh?

This is a diamond point if you ever have to wonder if you’re running a hate site: if you have to pen “is [site] racist?” to defend yourself from the start, you probably are. By the way, the “Joy” site they are mentioning is pretty much the same as you see here, eye-bleeding layout and all.

There is a lot of misinformation on this site, especially in this blurb

The stupid, it burns

I think just about every Satanist I have ever met always had a nasty bone to pick with Christianity but couldn’t think outside of the rigors of it. This site is no different, but it can’t tell the difference between Satanism and Paganism because, if you go by (very incorrect) Christian rhetoric, there is no difference. This is due to the Christian gaze, where every religion that is not Christianity is demonic, therefore Satanic. This erroneous belief tends to come from the same people who think that Catholicism is a separate religion from Christianity when really it is an incredibly obvious denomination of Christianity.

Satan was never a deity, not even in Christian rhetoric. Angel, yes, deity, no. Angels tend to blindly obey God, angels that didn’t were considered “fallen”. Lucifer happened to be one of them. Still not a god, though.

Pagan deities were never demons, every one of them. Yes, there were deities for good and bad but that’s because nature has both good and bad and neither side is absolute. Then you have the fact there are thousands of these varied deities from countless cultures, it is both erroneous and insulting to just call them daemons/demons. Which is a really Christian thing to do. For one, it puts the Pagan deities at a lower status because godhood is not recognized. For two, the gods are there to do their own thing, not guide humankind – there are countless mythologies out there where the story basically boils down to “a deity got bored/annoyed/whatever and decided to play kickball with mortal lives for the lolz.” Entities are more inclined to work with humans but even then, it’s not in a servitude way. You gotta do something to get the help and the second you rip them off, things get pretty crappy. And somehow the backblown attempted scammer finds their way into my inbox, demanding spellwork like I’m a candy machine.

This version of “Satan is god” thing sounds very LaVey on the surface, but really, it’s a blurb that preys on the weak and vulnerable-minded, those who feel pushed around and want power but don’t know how to obtain it. That’s a problem. Fear is a very strong motivator because fear creates want from insecurity. Insecure want creates a hole that craves to be filled and if the person doesn’t care how it’s done, that can walk them down a pretty destructive path. That seems to be what this whole site is pitching.

The parts that are really troublesome are the links. Here’s a snapshot:

Yikes – Exhibit A

Yikes – Exhibit B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much Yikes. All the Yikes

And there’s more I didn’t screen grab: “The Lie of Christianity and Islam”, “The One True Enemy” and most alarmingly “Blacks and the Jews” (wait a minute – anti-Black content on a site supposedly for Black people to brew anti-semitism? How unsurprising). Anything that “exposes lies” about some random religion – especially religions that commonly are misconstrued, such as Islam and Judaism – it’s a dog-whistle approach to scapegoat.

Now, I mentioned Dangerous Speech a bit, as a snippet/reminder, here is “what is Dangerous Speech”, pulled from the site:

Any form of expression (e.g. speech, text, or images) that can increase the risk that its audience will condone or commit violence against members of another group.

Importantly, the definition refers to increasing the risk of violence, not causing it.

In the Dangerous Speech Project guide, it outlines how dangerous ideas such as hatred towards historically marginalized people can go from web space to actual spaces.

They outline the five ways this works, all cited in brief from Dangerous Speech Project:

Dehumanization: By describing other groups of people as something other than human, or less than human, speakers can persuade their audiences to deny other people some of the moral consideration they give to those who are “fully” human (Leader Maynard and Benesch, 2016, pp. 80-81). Dehumanizing targets prepares audiences to condone or commit violence, by making their targets’ death and suffering seem less significant, or even by making it seem useful or necessary

Accusation in a Mirror: The term comes from an anonymous manual for propaganda and recruitment found in Butare, Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. The document advises attributing to one’s enemies the very acts of violence the speaker hopes to commit against them. “In this way,” the author writes, “the party which is using terror will accuse the enemy of using terror” …. To believe that you, your family, your group, or even your culture faces an existential threat from another group makes violence to fend off that threat seem not only acceptable (as dehumanization does), but necessary. …. In Nazi Germany, for example, anti-Semitic propaganda repeatedly and relentlessly accused Jewish people of hatching a Mordplot (murderous plan) to eliminate all non-Jews (Streicher, 1934, p. 1). This assertion was especially preposterous since the Jews had no military or guerrilla force at all, yet it was apparently convincing.

Threat to Group Integrity or Purity: By portraying members of the target group as a threat to the audience group, this type of message reinforces fear. Moreover, these messages indirectly (and sometimes directly) instruct people to rid their group of the supposed contaminant, to preserve the health of their own group.

Assertion of Attack Against Women and Girls: Related to the previous hallmark is the suggestion that women or girls of the in-group have been or will be threatened, harassed, or defiled by members of an out-group. In many cases, the purity of women symbolizes the purity, identity, or way of life of the group itself…[I]t is difficult to ignore a warning of violence against members of a group who are traditionally viewed as vulnerable and needing protection. For most societies, this includes children (especially girls) and women; almost universally, men are instructed to protect women and children at all costs, up to and including killing an attacker.

(BW Note: Good ol’ racist strawman “feminism”, about as authentic as the concerns bigots actually have about women and girls – not at all)

Questioning In-Group Loyalty: Though Dangerous Speech usually describes members of the out-group or target group, some of it never mentions them, instead characterizing members of the in-group as insufficiently loyal, or even traitorous, for being sympathetic to the out-group.

Under all the links I mentioned, they all put sole blame on Jewish people. If it isn’t Jewish people, it’s Muslim people. Also, a thought struck me – a lot of Black folks are Muslim and Islam has benefited Black culture and identity several times in our history from politics to music. It’s deep-rooted, why did the webmaster think the average Black person is going to just super willingly walk that away? But they’re not looking for the average, they want the unhappy and downtrodden.

And here is this doozy:

My reaction:

Not gonna lie, I legit blue-screened when I saw that

That’s a problem. A major problem. Like, “Nazi Detected” problem. There is so much falsehood here I almost don’t know where to begin. Let’s try from the top and work our way down.

Christianity and Islam are not “evil” and “horrific” and they certainly are not “programs”. Yes, bad things happen in the name of these religions but it’s usually because some guy wants power and will twist the words of a holy text a la Man-behind-the-Curtain/Wizard of Oz style to get it. The same religion that gave the world Hitler also gave us Dr. Martin Luther King. The same religion that gave the world Osama bin Ladin also gave us Malcolm X. It’s not the religion that is the problem, it’s how it is used by people with power. To destroy or to help. And they’re religions, not “programs”. To call them “programs” implies that these religions are not real, it’s all a clever ruse. Here’s the thing: if they are “programs”, so is this site’s Satanism. Satanism is connected to Christianity so if Christianity is a fabricated program, then Satanism is a fabricated program, too. Otherwise, the logic would fall apart. I may have negative feelings about Satanism but I’m not going to start calling it fake. However, this site low-key did in a roundabout way. Religions aren’t programs, everyone.

Jewish people are the enemies of no one. They don’t hurt others. As a lot, they’re relatively decent. This whole, “Jewish people are eeeeeevil” is really getting old, it’s wrong to paint with a really wide brush like that. Are there bad Jewish people? Yes, because being a bad person is a pretty general trait. There are good ones as well – because it is a general human trait. You’re going to find bad and good people in every religion, that’s a fact of life, whether you like it or not. And how it is obvious this is Christian-based anti-semitism? They use the same tired lines of “they wanna take the world’s money, they wanna take over the world, etc etc”. Jewish people are not trying to become God, heck, they censor the name of God for the same reason Muslims do not portray the face of Allah: because they consider themselves under the purview of God, not on the same level. It is an act of showing respect to their divine creator and to not upset said divine creator. Duh.

The rest of that site is complete bull – and gone – so let’s jump to the next part.

Remember when I said in the beginning that I was pitched this site by Child-Priestess/Boy-Priest on Tumblr?

I tried to talk with the person and that went over pretty poorly. I’m not going to showcase the whole convo but there are some very glaring parts that I would like to talk about.

Blurred out the link, but I also notified the website’s abuse team about it. That’s ongoing.

Yeaaaaaaaah, this is considered minimizing, as if A) What they preach does not induce deadly real world actions and B ) as if it is just … venting? Here’s the thing: content like this is how you get mass murderers like Dylan Roof (hated Black people thanks to bunk he read on the internet) and Elliot Rodgers (hated women and minorities (including himself, who is biracial) thanks to bunk he read on the internet). Then there is the synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh, PA that happened in October 2018, six months ago. That left eleven dead and many more wounded. This guy was posting Anti-Jewish dribble on the internet and then went, “Gonna do the thing.” And if he was posting it, you bet he was definitely reading it. Oh, and let’s add the recent New Zealand mosque mass shooting. How did he get radicalized? Reading bunk like this on the internet. The dude even referenced American hate politics in his manifesto, he’s Australian.

How this type of speech works is that they just about never explicitly say “kill/murder this group of people” but they heavily imply it from saying things that carry the emphasis of “wouldn’t be nicer if [this group] wasn’t around?” That’s a problem.

There is an article online titled “The Online Radicalization We’re Not Talking About” where it discusses the ongoing instances of extremist radicalization in the Western world of White supremacist beliefs. The article hits on some very good points but my disagreement:

It’s been talked about for decades. White Supremacist extremism has long been a topic … in PoC/non-White spaces. From Nazis to the Klan to beyond and prior, it’s been a discussion topic. Just because you willingly had your head in the sand, doesn’t mean everyone else did. If anything, it’s like purchasing a bomb because it had pretty colors and everyone said “it’s a bomb!” but you waved it off with “Oh, everyone is so sensitive. It’s called decor,” and became awestruck when it exploded. Because you bought a bomb.

That aside, again, the article hits on some salient points, even though it is a bit clonky at times – the article referenced “NEET”, which is a Japanese concept. Japan doesn’t have mass shootings from NEETs, these mass shootings are a Western issue. Either way, it does point out how this stuff is pervasive:

These disillusioned men are perfect targets for radicalization, and it’s a surprisingly short leap from rejecting political correctness to blaming women, immigrants, or Muslims for their problems.

It appears here that Boy-Priest is under radicalization and thus spreading stuff that they think is true. They feel disenfranchised so this is what they think is apt.

They’re not White, they say they are biracial and that somehow, Nazis were/are cool with that. That history is way off kilter, but guess what? It is all learned from these sites and displayed as truth. Despite the fact that it’s not true or incredibly slanted, this kid (and many others) ate it up anyways. If anyone thinks Nazis were okay with people of different backgrounds if it was under the same cause, here’s some real history: Japanese soldiers were also sent to the camps if caught behind German war lines, tattooed with numbers and all – by the way, Japan was one of the nations tag-teaming with Germany during World War II. It’s really saying something when you yink your own allies because you’re that dedicated to nationalism. I’m no military strategist but you probably shouldn’t kill off your allies, at the bare minimum.

So, when I took down the first site “Blacks for Satan”, that took a phone call to the server host. I still remember telling the dude the web site name and how he remarked, “Welp, sounds like we’re off to a bad start.” He looked it over while I was on the phone and said, “Let’s get this trash off the internet.” And lo, it was done.

*cackles*

And I told Boy-Priest so:

Boy-Priest was not too happy about this and even told me that the webmaster was a Black woman – which I don’t care about. If you’re preaching the same hateful stuff I hear from White folks, we’re not on the same team. Not all my skinfolk is my kinfolk and that definitely applies in this situation. Besides, I piss off bigots pretty regularly, what’s one more to add to the pile?

Boy-Priest then started giving me all these links as a show of “ha, we’re still around.” Everyone, that was a bad idea, because it saved me so much time for curating. Like, I didn’t even know about the “Blacks for Satan” site until they showed me and then I got it shut down because of what I saw. Thanks for the assist?

Like, I said, I’m not posting the whole convo (the kid didn’t piss me off that bad, they’re just brainwashed) but here is how it ended before they blocked me and changed their name from “Child-Priestess” to “Boy-Priest”

Yah, not surprised

Exit Boy-Priest, Enter Lycos, because they actually tried to defend this drivel.

A little backstory about Lycos: they are a former internet giant, older than Google, I think. I remember when they first started and they were where you went to for lyrics, web searching, and music. Their logo is a black dog, a reference to the RCA dog, I believe. Their downfall is probably what Google and Facebook listens to when they want to hear a scary story. Now, Lycos is down to a teeny staff and owned by Korean company Daum/Kakao (which surprised me – I use Kakao, they have great games.) Though small again, this still is no excuse for their behavior.

It took me three weeks just about to shut down all three sites, the Lycos/Angelfire sites being hardest. I sent an email to Lycos Support and Lycos Abuse on Feb 24. I think they never check the Abuse inbox because no one got back to me, despite the fact the auto email said I would hear from someone in “24 to 48 hours”. Never happened. I sent another email to Support stating that I’m being ignored on March 5. In less than a day, I got this response from Lycos:

O rly?

My reply:

 

And I proceeded doing exactly that, including citing their ToS, which says:

Plainly says so on their site. Also, nothing in the ToS states the rules don’t apply if you’re a paid member. Their lawyers should probably check that.

It was about several pages of quotes and links I pulled from the sites, as well as remarks of my own. I ended it with:

This is just a smattering. If I get another “Eh, this doesn’t break the rules”, I’m just going to send even more of this to you guys…. Also, if this doesn’t count as “hate content”, what does? I’d like to know (heck, you can have one of the lawyers explain it to me) so I can point it out on these sites exactly.

And I got ignored by Lycos, again. I contacted on Twitter, nothing. Contacted on Facebook, nothing.

Then the New Zealand mass shooting happened. I saw the news and then I sent the same lengthy email again – this time emailing every single department Lycos had, from Abuse to Legal to Media to Permissions. I even included departments who have no part whatsoever in website content. If you worked at Lycos, you were getting this email.

On March 18, I got this email:

Sick Backpedal, Lycos!

Either way, the sites are down thanks to Lycos unbelievably shabby and obstinate team:

Isn’t there a saying about houses without foundations can’t stand?

Oh, and it didn’t take “A moment”, it took several days and several tries for Lycos to actually apply their Terms of Service as appropriate.

It blows my mind genuinely when companies, businesses, universities and jobs side with very problematic people. No one is perfect, sure, but there is a difference between someone who makes mistakes and someone who is just awful. Just like there is a difference between “We genuinely didn’t know” and “We genuinely didn’t care”. The latter of both cause more headaches, lawsuits and problems than fixes. Because enabling doesn’t make problematic people less harmful, it gives them a pass. Many websites wouldn’t have to go “Is the news gonna mention us?” every mass shooting if they handled the problem like a problem. These sites radicalize folks (usually White, usually male folk – which is partly why the problem is not effectively addressed) into committing grand atrocities. These sites infect minds with blatant hate as salves for their personal problems. It turns harmless individuals into living threats.

And that’s a problem.

Grave Foundations

I’m in a PoC writer group and in the group, a person, who shall be named “Bops”, posted that they were writing and heard a knock on their bedroom door.  No one is home but them.

One of the mods commented that either a family member is home, Bops’ imagination or a ghost. Bops mentioned a) she is truly home alone and b ) the knock sounded real. The mod suggested that maybe Bops had a wooden home, they do settle and make noises.

Bops has a cement house…and this isn’t the first time it happened; lights turn on by themselves in the middle of the night, and a water bottle once flung itself across the room. Oh, and when her parents bought the house, her dad thought dirt from the cemetery would be awesome to coat the house grounds with – because free dirt. Hey, the dead got six feet of it and aren’t using it, why not?

Everyone, cue the music!

The mod suggested sage because that what she hears get suggested everywhere (thanks to the “witch/’brujeria'” fad), I suggested she clean her floors with lemon water and cinnamon oil. But since it is house grounds, the “easiest” option is scoop up the offending dirt and put it back – most people don’t like their final resting place to be treated like Home Depot so that’s most likely why the spirit(s) is(are) mad.  Since that is most likely not doable, I suggested a bevy of other things for in and outside the house.

I generally get “omgz, mah house iz haunteeeeeed” letters in my inbox that sound less like hauntings and more like they may just have mice or bad pipes. This sounds like an actual haunting, clear cause (yinked graveyard dirt) and everything.

Moral of the story: If you want free dirt, get a compost bin and leave the dead alone.

I have talked a fair amount about having Dissociative Identity Disorder in the past. Several times. It is still a pretty commonly stigmatized disorder – how many times have you heard of “multiple personalities” in online jokes and media (the most recent one being “Split”/”Glass”)? Though I want to say “Despite aplenty resources on the disorder…” there is a lot of distracting bunk out there that still calls DID “Multiple Personality Disorder” (at term that got retired in 1994 because it is not a personality disorder, it is a trauma disorder (the different identities are dissociated identities from trauma, hence, “dissociative identity disorder”)) and even the bunk that doesn’t call it MPD still have nonsense in their writings.

I have seen everything from “magical beings” to “new race of human evolution”.  To the former, I think that’s ridiculous even for an occult practitioner such as myself. To the latter, nice to know to “evolve” a person, just add R. Kelly/ Michael Jackson/your local serial child abuser – like a horrific pokémon evolution stone. I don’t think that’s how evolution or magick works, everyone.

Then, overlapping that big problem is the fact that DID also has the same problem the depiction of mental illness has: it’s seen as very exclusively White. Outside of a Korean/Chinese drama with the exact same plot (Korean: “Kill Me, Heal Me”/ “킬미힐미”, Chinese: “Seven of Me”/ “柒个我”) annnnd the Nigerian penned book Freshwater, DID is usually seen as something only White people have. Only recently have there been another non-White DID character in media, Crazy Jane in Doom Patrol. After that, it’s a bounty of snow all across the screens and pages. Also, in regards to Doom Patrol, the creators of the show as well as the actress, Diane Guerrero, really did their research and both the show and the character portrays the mechanics of how DID works very well.

Not only does these issues make getting a proper diagnosis harder because racial barriers and deep cultural ignorance in Western psychology but it also makes it difficult for a non-White person with DID to find material and people to relate to. This also causes rifts in the DID community because it appears no one really wants to “talk” about racism because it’s a trigger (it isn’t in this sense ) but are fine with engaging in it – which renders the “racism is my trigger” argument moot. That and neurotypical (individuals without disorders or mental disabilities) White people have the exact same problem – the slightest discussion of racism makes them fall to pieces but doing it is perfectly fine.

There are unique traumas and issues for people of color/minorities who have dissociative disorders (DID, D-PTSD, OSDD, etc) such as structural racism, racism in general, police violence, being forced to be raised in violent, neglected communities, the list goes on and on. If DID centers itself on Whiteness, that ignores a lot of traumas that can also create dissociative trauma disorders like DID. That means there are a lot of people walking around with the disorder, don’t know that they have it, don’t know how to deal with it and no idea where to begin because “Well, I’m not White”.

I recently made a facebook group called “PoC w/ DID” for this very reason. It is currently small but it is there.

Looks like this

 

When I announced the group in a DID FB group I’m in (Not Alternation, I got booted out of that group and its respective Discord server for the exact subject of this post. So now I’m in a different DID group) it went about poorly as could be expected. I got some new members but here came the bevy of “you’re being divisive”, “this is [somehow] racism”, “Why can’t I join?” and other pretty frail and agitating reasons. Y’know, all the reasons why the group exists.

As for the PoC w/ DID group, it’s pretty simple to join: just be a person of color who has a dissociative trauma disorder.

Unhappy Answers

It appears I am running into a lot of people who don’t seem to get that there is a difference between getting “no answer” and getting “answer they don’t like”. Recently, it’s been about race (who would be surprised, White folks use the “huh? This is rocket science” – sometimes by actual STEM people – defense a lot) but it reminds me of when I would do palmistry and other forms of divination (which is part of why I tend not to do it as much) because it’s really astounding how people turn their brains off when they’re emotionally rapt within a situation.

Before we go further, let’s look at the difference. “No answer” means exactly that. In divination, this is a near impossible to me because you always get output but “no answer” is exactly that: there is zero answer. When discussing issues of race, it’s someone not replying and Google coming up with zero results. “Answer you don’t like” means you got an answer but it isn’t one that gives you fuzzy feelings. In divination, this was pretty common. I seriously don’t know how many times I’ve made folk go from “this is faaaaaaaaaaake, I’mma get my hand read and she’ll be wrong” to shouting at me because I zeroed in on a major issue or secret with disturbing accuracy or straight up crying. Then they want their reading done again because they didn’t like the answer they got, there must be another way. It’s why I adopted the adage, “if you didn’t want to know, don’t ask.” I still remember one person actually disturbed my class while I was taking a final because they wanted their palm read again. My college professor was none too happy. In race discussion, it’s basically the form of a White person going, “why does this situation make me the bad guy? I do not want to understand, please make this not make me sound bad. I am White, I am not supposed to be the bad guy.” They don’t like that reality isn’t not so pretty and want to ignore it. It’s not that they didn’t get an answer, they just got one they didn’t like.

Here’s the thing, if you get an answer, even one you don’t like, you got an answer. No need to badger the person or pretend to play “devil’s advocate” or “what if” scenarios. If you gotta do the two latters, do it by yourself. You asked, they answered, end of story.

I find it both annoying and stupid when I have to do merry-go-round discussions. I get why they happen, folks don’t like the fact that life is not a fun festival of joy and abundance. However, it is agitating when you have to be on the informing end of this. It’s actually to the point that when I get asked the same question again, I tell them I already answered it. If they go “wait, this thing you said? I don’t like that answer,” I just say that it’s an answer.

Everyone, doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different is not the definition of insanity, far from it. It’s the definition of stupidity.

Late as heck but ABW is here, yay!

Hi my name is Jonte and I am reaching out to you on a very serious situation I have been dealing with for the last 3 years straight.  I am getting harassed by spirits 24/7 and I can actually feel them attaching to me.  They enter my ear and through my feet and I can actually feel something on my lower back by the tailbone area.  I also get pin pricks all over my body and if feels like they are watching me all the time.  When they latch onto me (which is often) they make noises wherever I am at and cause all types of disturbances.  I now have company staying with me and they make the noises around him also.  I really want to put a end to this and I have been searching for help so long I am getting harassed by physical people and by spirits..  It’s a phenomenon going on that some people call gang-stalking but I call it demonic harassment.  I know that witch craft is involved and I was wondering if you could maybe help me understand what might be going on?  Thanks.

– Jonte

With little info, I can’t tell if this is a simple medical/body problem or not. Given my experience, though, I have noticed things are usually less mystical than they originally appear. I always hear from people who say “I know witchcraft was involved” but usually it boils into nothing serious. Does it mean that folks don’t wind up haunted? No. Is it common, though? Absolutely not. And this is the second or so person I have heard use the term “gang-stalking”. “Gang Stalking” is considered a concerted effort from a group of people to ruin the target individual completely and totally – and sometimes considered an offshoot paranoia delusion by the psychological field. I could always say “this is a poltergeist just being annoying” but poltergeists don’t tend to bring real, physical people into the mix.

Another thing that tells me this is not a psychic/psionic thing because of the specifics – which make not a lot of sense: “they enter my ear and through my feet and I can actually feel something on my lower back by the tailbone area”. Reminds me of people who say they can hear the CIA through the microwaves and fillings in their teeth. Possessions and things of that nature are usually not so pointed, from what I know.

All in all, I don’t think this is a “magick” thing, and will little info, I can’t call it much else.

 

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I feel like being a douche because I abhor these emails. Money-grubbers were never my favorite kind of people. Ever. Never heard of them or Paperless Post but since both websites are not diverse enough (I’m not into tokenization, guys. Be diverse or be honest, pick one) I officially think they suck, greatly. The letter is so bland, they name people I don’t care about and it’s so pathetic, right down to the tepid compliment.

So what I think? These folks should peddle their annoying bullsh*t elsewhere. Come back when you’re Black owned or something remotely interesting.

 

Is it possible to become a immortal vempire? I will do whatever it takes.

– Unknown 2.0

Why do I get annoying questions like these? Stop reading Twilight.

 

I have a friend, I am trying to help him. his parents are very controlling and manipulative towards him. He has a disability and his parents try to control his life because his disability. he cant have friends come over to his house and he cant leave the house to see anyone unless his parents approve of it. I recently found out he went to a lawyer with parents to supposedly help him get a disability check from the government. when he showed me the website for the lawyer, it said they dont give disability rights but they give arrangements for people to get money after the person dies and went on to say they help prove incompetency. I am really scared for my friend and really worried about him. please help me find a spell on can on his parents that will help break the control and manipulation and stop the madness that goes on inside his house hold, HELP please i need a spell to help him stop his parents

-Trista N

As always, I DON’T do spell help/paid spellwork or ANYTHING of that matter. This sounds like disability abuse, they should contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline under their Disability Abuse section.

 

Hello,

My name is Corie. I’ve been interested in wicca and paganism for awhile now. I feel overwhelmed with the conflicting information and practices. Can you suggest a good book for a general foundation?

– Corie

Where to Park your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy annnnnnnd all the other books I have ever mentioned on my site. And the Resources & Information tag.

 

My name is Abigail Rabi and I work for the content team in a legal firm in California, HoganInjury. We came across your article about mental health at https://thisblackwitch.com/category/pagan-life/mental-healthmental-illness/

I wanted to ask if you might be interested in sharing with your audience an article of ours that is related with the topic mentioned above.

[Link redacted]

We hope that our article can provide value and a unique perspective for your readers. You can syndicate this article or use it as an additional resource for your content. In return, my team and I will be happy to promote your content on Twitter.

Let me know if you are able to share our article and if there’s anything we can do for you on our end.

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Kind regards,
Abigail Rabi

Another pandering email. Again, I abhor these. And I doubt the ambulance chasers didn’t even read anything in the Mental Health category, just blindly copied and pasted it because fake bonding. They linked the category not a particular article/post. Proof of not reading anything to me.

The article is not valuable or unique, if you have read fear-mongering articles penned by old people scared of the internet for your local news station to regurgitate, then you already read what these folks have supplied, but sans anything mean about Millennials. It’s actually an ad for the firm that looks like an article because fake Lionel Hutz up there probably is running out of poor people to rinse and fleece in California – by the way, I live in Maryland. (Also known as “On the other side of the United States of America”.)  So they bother folks like me to hopefully and blindly peddle their bullsh*t.

My own lawyer, who I would be much more inclined to recommend, thankfully isn’t this much of an attention whore.

Here’s the thing, you’re a lawyer who wants to do stuff with mentally ill folks? Here’s some tips if you don’t want a nasty email from me:

  • MUST be pro-bono work only – not interested in folks who just wanna fleece the feeble and defenseless because they want the newest Zonda or Bugatti. You actually do have to help the people. I know, the horror.
  • Doesn’t talk to me like a corporate shill -I can’t stand people like that because they don’t care about the people they serve, they just want money
  • Actually builds rapport – See prev. point
  • Don’t be White – I’m a Black blog, guess which types of lawyers I’d rather hear from? The fact you wanted old dumb coot Bernie Sanders in office isn’t good enough (if you wanted that guy, seriously never talk to me)
  • Again, MUST be pro-bono or go rinse someone else.

I wouldn’t want to be tied to these people at all. They seem terrible trash to me. Why do folks think I’m Buzzfeed or something?

What they can do for me is to screw off and stop pestering anyone else.

 

I am from india…i am in love with a boy..but my parents are forcing me to marry some one else…can u help to stop this marriage??

– Lovestruck and Silly

Forced marriage is still a major problem in India, hence why I used a fake name for the person. However, in our really long back-and-forth, it seems they seriously didn’t really want any of the sites I dug up to help them, just more “Genie, grant my wishes” nonsense. She even tried to say “Your website said you give free readings” and when I asked where did I state that, she clammed up. So for anyone who is in such a dire situation, here’s some info for you:

National Human Rights Commission, India

National Commission for Women, India

Love Commandos

All three websites are in both English and Hindi. Please use these sites. I do NOT offer magick anything so this is the best you got if there is nothing else.

Snow Trails

Recently, I have noticed an influx of White … readers? I have no idea if they are, but what I do know are the stats my FB fan page gives me and that’s one thing I have notice. And that’s a touch concerning for me.

I do have some longtime readers who aren’t Black. They’ve been pretty nice and supportive. They’re not problems and that is nifty. It’s the recent influx that has me more concerned. I’ve been on the internet long enough to know that good people trickle in, they don’t arrive in droves. However, problematic people come in swarms and when it comes to issues like race, it gets potentially agitating.

Here’s the thing: this blog’s primary audience is Black Pagans. I wouldn’t be surprised if it skewed more female than male but Black Pagans are who this blog is for. The thing about getting White attention is the problems that it brings. For one, there is stronger likelihood of content theft. It’s a pretty prominent problem where Black creatives make something and it gets whitewashed for profitability purposes. (See: Fortnite dances and HuffPost “Black Voices”, those are two glowing examples of something Black centered but Whitewashed as soon as there was money to be made). I’m not at all a fan of the idea that I post something, some White kid sees it, rips it and doesn’t really credit at all. It may sound absurd, especially since I don’t think I pen super ground-breaking material… but it does happen to others and I don’t think of myself so special that it wouldn’t happen to me.

Then there’s the annoying questions because reading is not as fundamental as I thought. I get questions from people thinking I do hexes and curses because they didn’t bother to read that this blog is called “Black Witch” because I’m a Black person. As in, from the African diaspora. And the fact I just about never mention jinxes or hexes doesn’t deter the stupidity that winds up in my inbox. At all. And I have a search bar on the top of the site, it is not a case of “how was I supposed to know?”

Thing is, I have learned from my experience with the White Pagan community is that, in many ways, it pretty much resembles Klannish ideals, just with a lot more sage and dream catchers involved. They still think Paganism should be as White as possible, even if the practices the use aren’t. They still think PoC/minorities in Paganism are better off as tokens and not equals – and tokens that can be put to use, either to deflect accusations of racism or to mine more spiritual practices to crudely hijack. And that’s White folks in Paganism. In general, same thing, just remove the sage and dream catchers.

Annoying race questions or comments, I don’t get them as much as other Black blogs (yay for that) but they still happen. Here’s the thing: this blog isn’t intended for really anyone outside the primary audience. That’s why I don’t waste a whole lot of time explaining slang/aave I use (I’m about to bring up the AAVE I get in a sec), cultural ideals or anything like that because I assume the person reading should already have enough knowledge to know what I am saying or referring to. If they can’t translate it, then it probably isn’t for them.

I don’t get a lot of mushmouth-pretend AAVE (also known as “How White people think Black people – even ones with degrees – talk…because they still go with 1880 vaudeville ideas”) but I have gotten enough to know that it is a pretty quick way to make me get pretty caustic in my responses because while the person saying it may not think so, a neon “Racist” sign is blinking over their head. If you’re not a Black kid from the hood, I expect you not to talk like a terrible mimic of one. I already get enough nonsense in my inbox, I would prefer to not have to deal with someone who sounds like they watched too much Family Guy or as if they were Donald Trump’s liberal nephew or niece, complete with a Bernie Sanders’ shirt.

So far, I haven’t gotten too many problems – outside of the dude who tried to give me a death threat (despite being half the US away from me, blue collar beyond belief and – if his HR took my complaint seriously – jobless). There’s also the smarmy lawyer in California who thought I would post a trash article they penned on their site. It’s supposed to look like it’s a concerning article about social media and mental health, it’s just an ad for the lawyer. But it always makes me cock an eyebrow anytime I get an influx. Because it means annoyances and issues are soon to come, normally in the form of some White “ally” commenting how they personally aren’t racist and should totes get a pat on the head for it. Or some person who confuses me for a genie or their personal druid simply because I have an email address and FB messenger.

As I peruse the net for clothing and creative things, one thing I seem to run into most is “fake witchery”: clothing and other items that feature an overabundance of moons/moonphases, pentacles (preferably upside down), crosses (also preferably upside down) and always on black fabric.

I call this “fake witchery” because, while it carries the look of “oooh, spookeh. She’s very much a witch!”, the person wearing most likely is not one in actual practice – just because someone likes to burn sage and call it brujería doesn’t make them a witch, it makes them a tryhard that is attempting to be edgy. And doesn’t get that they are just saying “witchcraft” in Spanish, because what would magick be without the “dark otherness” appeal?

Here’s the thing for me: it is aggravating because it is very much a fad. As an actual practicing witch, it just bolsters stereotype: witches are broody women that wear black and are quite possibly nefarious. Basically, whatever American Horror Story was pitching in its PR run. Then you have the pseudo-feminism atop it, similar to when the movie Suckerpunch came out.

Pseudo-feminism is a mimic of feminism that looks like actual feminism on the surface but actually does not support most of the core beliefs of feminism once you so much as smear the surface. Usually, pseudo-feminism is structured to make various forms of misogyny appear “okay” or even “empowering” and make toxic masculinity pretty much untouched or bolstered because “that’s just how men are”. Many of the tropes that degrade or minimize women are modified to look appealing, especially to girls and women who don’t know much about what actual feminism is. Pseudo-feminism is the belief that bras were burned in the sixties (that never happened, male journalists thought that one up to paint feminists as crazy and wild. Yellow journalism at its finest) and that to be a “fierce” or “empowered” woman, you still have to look sexy and appealing to the male gaze – or else you’re letting misogyny win (somehow). Pseudo-feminism says that everything is feminism, including engaging in internalized misogyny, as long as a woman is doing it because “empowerment”. It ignores deep thought and history, frankly. It ignores various beliefs (and schools of thought) because that is not as cute or easy as listening to a single Beyonce album and buying a bunch of Killstar clothing.

Pseudo-feminism also has a somewhat close relative: pop feminism. This is the place of “I listened to a single Beyonce album and bought a bunch of showy Killstar clothing.” Pop feminism is condensed to very, very bite sized ideas (“hitting women is bad – but women hitting others (including women) is empowerment!”, “women should be seen and heard – preferably making sexy noises”, “women + guns/power = very empowering”). These bite-sized ideas makes feminism appear sexy and appealing – and does not disturb the male gaze very much. Nor does it really deconstruct toxic masculinity or misogyny. Pop feminism is whenever there is a modern depiction of Frida Kahlo, she has on make up, her unibrow is gone and there’s no lip fuzz – but will be raved about for “being herself” and a “woman painter” (instead of just a “painter”). Does not disrupt misogyny, just makes room for it while telling the world that “this is what feminism looks like” when really it isn’t. Pop feminism is based in Whiteness – it is pretty much White Feminism on a glitzy stage and injected all over media. It is BuffyCharmed (both reboot and original), American Horror StoryScream Queens, Suckerpunch, the list could go on and on. The White woman/girl is still centered in everything and if she isn’t, her beliefs certainly are. If the story centers anyone not White, she is pretty light and you can tell the writers are White because the character conducts herself like a White person: tone deaf to prejudice (unless to make White viewers feel some emotion), engages in culture vulture ideas like misusing AAVE to appear kitsch and “woke”(an AAVE term historically used to describe hoteps and their outlandishness), and cares about issues that are mainly marketed to White viewers.

The witch in Western pop culture tends to be female and somehow a cultural outcast. She’s usually White and “not human”. She is supposed to be fearsome, wearing expensive dark clothing that looks ripped from the runway and a face full of pricey makeup. She blandly and completely Hates All Men but in a “what if the SCUM manifesto was insultingly hyper-sexualized for male consumption” kind of way. If anything, the pop culture depicted witch is just another sexualized idea that looks feminist and empowering but isn’t. And that problematic idea is catching.

To those who don’t know better, the witch in pop culture looks completely appealing and empowering. Especially to those who feel helpless because of the current political climate. The act of spellcasting appears cathartic – a psychological placebo effect to make the person feel better – to them and thus they flock to the look and style of “witchiness”. That’s possibly why it seems I see so much “oh, I’m a bad witch”, “I’m a bruja”, or “we cast hexes on [awful men]”, “I only care for my coven”. Oh! Speaking of covens!

It appears the “coven” concept, which has been around authentically for a few centuries but is now watered down for pop culture, has almost completely replaced the “girl gang” concept. It seemed to have been born on Tumblr, honestly, but the “girl gang” concept is pretty much the “witch” concept but with false envisioning of intimidation and violence dreamed up by people who have never interacted with an actual gang in their life. Basically, the middle class on upward. I’m personally from the inner city so I find this concept completely ridiculous when carried out by women and girls who never even been in a fight before or are scared of even non-bladed weapons (or just as bad, simply don’t know how to use them, only have them for “cool” factor). As a rule of thumb, please don’t consider yourself a gang if you’re not actually one.

Back to what I was talking about: while caring for others is a valuable ability, calling your friend group a “coven” both cheapens the word and expresses the lack of understanding the woman or girl that uses it. You can have a group of female friends that you are close to and not call it a “coven” or a “girl gang” or whatever pop feminism phrase will be next. Adding such words can create a veneer of intimidation but it is a weak veneer that is unnecessary. It may be cathartic to the person who is saying it but phony all the same.

Again, what we are all seeing here is a fad. As soon as the political climates changes again, as soon as many of these women and girls get older, a lot of this “bruja” nonsense will most likely drop with many. There’s a reason why doing magick is seen as a fad and not an authentic practice. And that’s a problem for those who actually practice.

The Arts!: The Holidays!

It’s the holidays so that means it’s time for the good ol’ holiday post! And as a reminder for Yule/Solstice cheer, you can play with shelter kitties over a live feed with robotic toys, even snap a pic of the kitties you play with. Check it out here!

Now on to the Black Witch holiday classics!

This is pretty much going to be tradition here on Black Witch: The KRS-One x Lupe Fiasco Christmas Battle! It’s adorable seeing Lupe and KRS battling as Blitzen and Santa.

The next selection is from Wong Fu Productions: “The End of Wong-Fu: A Christmas Story” The old tale of being careful what you wish for, you may get it.

 

I nearly forgot! My Chemical Romance did an amazing cover of “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

 

Happy Yule!

 

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!

Around Halloween, I was sent a book by the author, Melanie Marquis to review. It is titled Carl Llewellyn Weschcke: The Magickal Life of the Man Behind Llewellyn Publications. I had just reviewed another book so I spaced this one out a bit.

My experiences with Llewellyn publications are so-so. They have books I used aplenty such as Richard Webster’s book on Cartomancy Playing Card Divination but they also have came out with a loooooooot of not-so-good, such as Silver Ravenwolf and Edain McCoy. (Silver is a post all on her own so I’ll save it for that. Ditto with Scott Cunningham) As far as Llewellyn goes in terms of “are they good to recommend?”, I usually try not to steer new people towards them because there’s a lot of fluff among the diamonds in the rough. They definitely cornered the metaphysical market and certainly gave it a major dose of capitalism, that is certain. Llewellyn is probably a strong part of the reason why I have to explain “I’m not Wiccan, I’m Pagan” to almost everyone I meet.

I’m not the only Pagan who feels this way, here’s a chatter thread from Non-Fluffy Pagans on Livejournal and an essay titled “Green Witchcraft: The Llewellyn Complaint“. Heck, the book I always recommend Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy isn’t published by them but by someone else entirely.

Now, back to the book.

It pretty much is a memorial book to the founder Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, published by Llewellyn (I almost want to say “obviously”.) It’s his life story, charming quotes from people who knew him or interacted with him, pictures from his life, things like that.

At least this book, unlike the last one I reviewed, has a bibliography in the back. That’s good.

The book starts with his early life, which I guess you could say was a semi-charmed kind of life. Private school kid from fairly well off and very atomic family in Minnesota that seems very Leave it to Beaver with a touch of occultism here and there. Very pampered and with no need to want, basically. Though framed as the “average American upbringing”, it really isn’t. Not every American kid goes to private school and their dad buys land for a new summer house – during the Great Depression and World War II, two instances in American history that weren’t exactly economic upticks. Maybe it is because I’m a Millennial – and a Black Millennial, at that – but it sounds like Weschcke came from wealth. His family wasn’t Warren Buffett but they definitely were pretty rich. Not average.

In Weschcke’s later life, he went to college, got a degree in business, joined his dad’s pharmaceutical company where he eventually became an executive, so on and so forth. Nothing inspiring, all bland. I’m not a White guy from a prosperous family that’s so wealthy, it could deftly deflect one of the worst economic downturns in American history. I’m a Black woman that was raised in the inner city from with a half immigrant family that constantly had fiscal turmoil (and still does). Hearing’s Weschcke’s life story really does not make me well up with “wows” and awe. It kind of irritates me.

There is a chapter on Weschcke’s involvement of the Civil Rights Movement. My prediction is: feels impassioned of the maltreatment of Negro folk and decides to go front and center, a bit Liberal White Savior/I’m-Totes-An-Ally style.

I had to laugh at the statement “It was a time when racism was common.” Uhhh, when wasn’t it? Like, there are lynchings going on now. I think the most recent one was a few weeks ago, if not this month. I actually have to check NAACP’s website for travel restrictions when I think of going to music shows out of state. I literally carry a hot shot and tool box, spare oil, an electric tire pumper and a funnel in my car in case I breakdown in sundown towns. Segregation still exist, it is more de facto and very much prominent. This was well before Trump got in, the hatred never left.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I was right. Granddad started a St. Paul NAACP chapter in St. Paul in 1919, even was unanimously elected to board of directors. Weschcke hosted the 51st NAACP national convention. Hm, I wonder how many Black people worked at his companies – and of that number, how many of them were in lofty positions or was it the usual “Apply bleach the further you go up” thing companies regularly do, where it’s diverse at the bottom but not at the top? This chapter annoyed me. When it comes to Black history and the Civil Rights Movement, I enormously discount the actions of White people in it because the problem of prejudice in this instance is one that they created. You don’t get a cookie for “Mostly abstains from being awful”. That and it’s the NAACP, who has had missteps (backing Rachel Dolezal and the fact they tried to ice out Black Lives Matter, to name two). And how many Black authors has Llewellyn had? (Hint: Goose egg.) And the Llewellyn staff group picture seems pretty snowdrift to me. I think of all the pictures posted in the book, I only spotted exactly one (1) Black person. Uno. Ichi. Han-nah. Une. Yi. One. Classic White Savior, basically. Being a Black Pagan, I literally never saw any diverse representation from Llewellyn books. Ever.

The rest of the book is informative if you really want to learn about the person who created Llewellyn Books but it simply isn’t for me. If anything, learning about the man behind the books made me more annoyed than anything positive.

It is nice I was sent this book but, honestly, I would much rather appreciate more diverse books on much more diverse people. Y’know, books not centered on the White gaze. Especially in Paganism.

 

 

 

 

I was featured earlier this week on a podcast called Alt-Black Podcast! I talked how music got me into my faith, why I think dabbling is annoying, my experience with Afro-Punk and more! Give it a listen! I like that they gave me Baltimore Club bumper music!

 

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