Category: Spells & Potions


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There’s a lot of concepts and ideas floating about that, frankly, don’t add up. Thanks to the New Age movement, which started in the ’60s of pretty much acts of hyper Orientalism and Whitewashing by White yuppies who confused being active and incessant drug addicts for “transcendentalism” – basically the average concert goer at Coachella or White liberal kid living in gentrified areas now. Frankly, there’s a lot of bunk out there. And it usually floats its way to my shores because, hey, I’m Pagan, people must think that, therefore, I’m pro-bullsh*t.

Not really.

There are so many things out there that are either problematic, dead wrong or just plain Whitewashing and cultural jacking. For example:

Not too long ago, I got a comment on my BW Fan Page on Facebook and it was from someone talking about angels and masters, which confused me. For several reasons: I’m not a Christian Witch (used to buuuuut switched over to Paganism a long time ago) and it sounded a bit “hokey” for my tastes (humans controlling Angels? Especially archangels ones? Doesn’t sound right). It was a collision course of archangels and mermaids, which was interesting but outrageous all the same given these two entities have separate backgrounds and histories. I was then suggested to look up Doreen Virtue, which lead me to a site that just seemed like a Sylvia Browne mimic, but with more dodgy ideas for sale!

Throughout the site, it was absolutely absurd. It pretty much was a general mashup of all sorts of metaphysical concepts washed through the American Christian gaze, very little facts and all tied up neatly with a hefty price tag. For a small sum, you too, dear random person, can learn what angel or mermaid you are.

The problem here is not angelology or treating the existence of metaphysical entities as real. This is a Pagan blog, after all, it’s pretty well within the scope. The problem is not helping people finding balance and purpose in their life, even for a small fee. The issue pops up when someone takes cultural concepts and ideas that have centuries of history behind them, ignore all of it, slap it together and pitch it to susceptible others. This isn’t the only site like this, there are several.

There are so many ways this is dodgy – and a good way to understand when something is a bit off:

Very Westernized, even when East meets West
Skimming through the site, I could not imagine how someone on the other side of the planet could relate to any of this. Everything is very US Midwestern White and heavily Christian leaning. Obviously being Christian leaning and talking about angels is fine and goes hand in hand but mermaids? And White angels from a religion that started in the Middle East? That’s just plain ahistorical. Unicorns? This eventually sounds like Christianity through the lens of Lisa Frank. Everything is very White washed and hyper simplified because the point of the site is not actually helping people learn who helps them out when the going gets tough but to lull susceptible people into doling out tons of money just for some guidance. I would guess that the average person buying the products of this site is White, female, middle class, between the ages of 34-55 and believes all lives matter (except Black ones).

This site co-opts anything not Christian (such as mermaids, unicorns, leprechauns and deities from other religions). This site even brings up the concept of “Ascended Masters” – enlightened people in history. Thing is, this title paints with a brush broader than a paint roller. It is almost like people such as Aristotle and Buddha were of the same train of thought. Which was very much not true. It’s kind of no different when a yuppie would swear up and down they’re worldly and totally open minded …but have a severed Buddha head statue in their bathroom and butchers Dr. King quotes to support their racial micro-aggression to anyone that corrects them.

One site, Light Ascension, has an extensive list called “The Spiritual Hierarchy” that really sounds like it was thrown together to sound otherworldly. Notice that no matter who is mentioned, it all comes back to Christian line of thought, even when entities and people such as Qwan Yin and His Holiness the Dali Lama is mentioned. Honestly, in a way, it kind of affirms the “One True Way” concept that Christians commonly tout. Like the whole universe works toward helping Jesus, even if they’re deities in their own religions, predate Christianity, or doesn’t care about the existence of Christian belief. Which makes no sense.

When the going gets tough, make sh*t up
This is a good saying when folks are trying to sell you the moon and have nothing to offer. This is that moment. The sites are not about learning facts and deep info (even if they pay for it), it mainly plays on the average layperson’s knowledge of angels (hence why no talks about the different choirs of angels, the fact they blindly serve the Abrahamic god* and only that god, never humans, annnnnnnd they’re only depicted as “people with wings”) and pretty much how they, the average layperson, can somehow benefit from this. You could replace the angels on the site with pretty, knitted octopus and it would probably still stick. Just get a concept, make it seem more magical than magical, pitch that you can make that magic happen for others for a price and wait for the money to roll in.

If you think that no one would totally fall for this, I’d agree with you …then look at my email inbox continually filled with random people constantly asking me for spells, even offering money, despite the fact that I say pretty regularly on this site that A) I don’t do paid spellwork for others and B ) I don’t do paid spellwork for others (it’s a pretty important point so I thought it was worth mentioning twice).

Too complex? Just add water
The study of angels in culture and history is really cool and interesting. It also gets pretty scary at some points because angels are a lot more than sweet cherubs out to keep people from bring crappy to each other. However, that doesn’t really help people feel like they’re getting a grip on life. This means everything gets watered down to the point that nothing is really related but everything is centered on somehow improving the reader’s lot. That’s why you can find things about mermaids (which does not show up exclusively in any of the Abrahamic texts (Bible, Torah, Qu’ran)) and random stone associations with Archangels that can some how be roped into being your spiritual bff.

There’s a lot of product but no substance. The archangel profiles have absolutely no mental heavy lifting. No theory, no actual history, nothing. However, the joining thread between all the information is that it’s all here to help you…for a fee, of course.

One prime example of the mish-mash nature of this site and concept is best shown through the post “How a Protective Mother Goddess Helped Me to Overcome Anxiety“. It’s not troublesome to use spirituality to quell anxiety. It’s even healthy, as a matter of fact. Faith can really pull people through hard times. It’s the fact that in the tags on this heavily Christian site is “Xochiquetzal, Sweat Lodge, Native-American Ceremonies, Anxiety, Past-Life Regression”.

Xochiquetzal is, according to Mythology Dictionary, an Aztec fertility goddess that stems from Central America. She resembles childbirth, crafting and flowers. She also has her own origin stories that are no way related to Christian belief. She is an Aztec goddess, thus holds her own. But on Virtue’s site, here she is knocked down to “Goddess Angel”, which is nearly an oxymoron because deity control angels, not are part of the ranks of angels. And as an Aztec goddess, she’s going to be lumped in with the general label of “Native American”, which generally covers Indigenous people who lived in America en masse, folks like Blackfoot, Lumbee, Lakota and Sioux. This does not cover Indigenous folks who lived in other areas such as Central America. Which means Xochiquetzal is getting misappropriated because in the White gaze, all native indians are the same.

This experience that is being recounted is at a sweat lodge, which is explained as a “Native American-based ceremonies held within the confines of a small building or tent”. Talk about hyper generalization. It’s almost like all Indigenous tribes are exactly the same. The group (I’m going to bet this group probably had the diversity of a Klan meeting) started chanting “So-she-ket-zel” as additional water is poured on the rocks, which makes no sense because I doubt Aztecs sat in sweat houses in effort to reach their goddess. There’s just no relation for this particular deity.

The kicker was when Virtue described the Aztec goddess who was the queen of paradise for warriors killed in battle: “She was clearly Native American, with long silky black hair, a youthful 30-something-looking face, and a white animal-skin dress with fringe and red beads. She was beautiful, loving and compassionate….[I]t was her angelic energy that calmed me with its enveloping love.” Eventually, Virtue finds how who it was she “saw” and wrote “‘She is like an angel,’ I said. ‘Who is she?’ I learned that Xochiquetzal is an Aztec and Toltec goddess also known as “flower feather.” She’s an earth- and fire-element fertility goddess who inspires love and passion. She’s also a protective Mother goddess, which she certainly had been for me during the sweat-lodge ceremony.”

The reason this is the kicker for me is because it’s such a blatant disregard for the history of the Aztecs and their beliefs. I did some research and happened upon Mexicolore, an informative site about Central American Indigenous tribes such as Aztecs, Mayans and Tocuaro. Here, Xochiquetzal has her own info page, which described her much better than Virtue did:

Xochiquetzal, the goddess who seduced a priest and then turned him into a scorpion as a mark of her power, was no soft touch She incarnated youth, love and beauty and was amorously pursued by several Aztec gods. Emblemised [characterised] by flowers and colourful feathers, Xochiquetzal was patroness of lovers and prostitutes. Unlike other fertility goddesses, she encouraged love-making as a means of pleasure, not reproduction, yet she had the power to absolve humans of sins that weren’t necessarily of a sexual nature. Wife of the water god, Tlaloc, and consort to the creator deity, Tezcatlipoca, Xochiquetzal lived in the Aztec paradise of Tamoanchan. She was widely worshipped and many great rituals were made in her honour; from incredible acts of sacrifice to sombre confessions.

Hey, waitaminute. Xochiquetzal encouraged sex as a way to have fun? And she was the matron of lovers and sex workers. Ohhhhh, that doesn’t sound very Christian. Christian rhetoric believes that one is only to have sex just to procreate, that sex for fun is disgusting and sin-laden act. And that sex workers are lowly people because, ugh, women capitalizing off of sex, what is the world coming to? They’re untouchables, amirite? And she’s used to be widely worshipped, too. Like a god. Because she is one.

Funny Virtue left alllllllll this out. And got the image of the goddess way off. Such as how the goddess has a noseplug ornament in the shape of a half moon, usually dons many gold ornaments and wears a quechquémitl (a short woven poncho-like garment) and cuéiti of various colors. That she has a headdress that either is a Quetzal bird or a crown of flowers.

All this just sounds so radically different from what what described originally, the white animal-skin dress with fringe and red beads. If anything, it just sounds like what the White gaze would imagine a friendly, non-specific indian. Then again,Virtue thinks Jesus looks like a White guy with gently wavy brunette hair so there’s that. Mexicolore, on the other hand, has this interesting picture describing how Xochiquetzal looks, according to cultural depictions:

It’s also noteworthy that in the story, no one bothered to tell Virtue that the Xochiquetzal is not an angel but a goddess from her own religion. And a widely revered one, at that.

Now, this isn’t the only place on the world wide web that uses the allurement of new age ideas for personal betterment to make money.

In my inbox, I received an email asking about paid advertisement on Black Witch. I tend to keep Black Witch ad-free because I hate ads, especially since most aren’t worth watching or looking at. Plus, with the subject of my website, you’re going to see more “have your fortune told” and “spells to make you powerful” ads everywhere. That’s awful. However, I don’t mind promoting what I think is nifty or something that helps Black Witch (such as Ko-Fi!) Actually, those promotions are done for free, as in, I took it upon myself to post it and make reference to it. No fiscal plying required.

The paid advertisement request I got was for the Transmutation Club, which wanted to pay me to promote their business. Their business was, judging by their site, suckering people out of money in hopes they’ll learn how to use their sexual powers to do better in life and business. The huge red flag of the whole site? This:

Doesn’t it sound incredibly infomerical-y? “We have this great big secret that we’re dying to tell you but we can’t! Not for free, anyways.” And it’s a bit odd that women are reaching out to me but men are writing all the content. Which is concerning, especially since it’s the same exact method that sex traffickers use to get more girls because of the idea that seeing a woman will set off less alarm bells. I’d rather continue promoting Bedsider instead. Way less skeevy, much more informative.

Also, the Transmutation Club site has articles titled “Happiness Hack”…because the human brain is a computer that can be tricked and modified like a rooted android phone. Anything with “hack” in the name and is not talking about computer is automatically iffy at worst, lame at best.

I brought all of this up to the woman writing to me and she responded that one of the faculty members is the founder of WITCH magazine and her readership loves the course. She also tried to sweeten the load by saying that I would get a 30% commissions on any sales made from the their live webinar. Unfortunately, I don’t like commission jobs and I’d rather be an affiliate with those who aren’t shifty in what they’re pitching. If it were a Black-owned metaphysical shop having interesting and sensible workshops that offered me an affiliate commission, I would seriously think of taking that up because it really resonates with what I want to have on Black Witch and to show my readers. The key point is how useful it is for the participant, not how lucrative it is for the business.

As for WITCH magazine, I looked it up. I don’t read any Pagan magazines but I am familiar with a couple. Such as Witches & Pagans and Modern Witch. Truthfully, I think the only magazines I read consistently are Black Belt Magazine and GosuRori because I’m also a martial artist and part of lolita fashion.

WITCH magazine seems to be mainly about hype, not information. I mean, the web address is “badwitch.es”, kinda makes me think the site is loaded with snowblindingly White feminism. And it sort of is: there is some diversity but it appears tokenized, and the same guy who wrote nearly all the posts on Transmutation Club is also writing here. The columns read more like they borrow from Cosmopolitan and Seventeen and less like something with substance. I nearly half expected a column to say, “What wine goes best with moon in Gemini – Getting your groove back for the full moon.”

It’s super American centralist, too. One post about the new moon in Cancer says “The New Moon in Cancer will be born Monday morning on the 4th of July. As an expression of the sign of Cancer, this day will be sensitive, emotional and revelatory. To heighten the sense of significance, take note that this is the day that America’s Independence from Great Britain is celebrated, a moment in history for the whole world to reflect on.”

The whole world. As if America becoming a country was such a cataclysmic event that just took the world by storm. Like we’re the center of the world, center of the Universe, even.

Look, 4th of July is only important to Americans. Literally no one else cares. They have their own national holidays to pay attention to.

Both WITCH and Transmutation Club share a lot of the same trends that I don’t really care for but certainly find pretty problematic, especially if they’re going to ask me to promote their works and products. It’s not very diverse, it’s incredibly cis-het, it does not decentralize gender stereotypes and it glosses over actual information. This, I don’t see being useful for womanists, sex trauma survivors, or trans people trying to be comfortable in their bodies. It doesn’t even have the basics, such as safe sex methods (something Bedsider does). It’s just pretty images and baseless words, with a non-minuscule price tag.

The thing about these sites is that they clog up actual information streams. Y’see, the average person seeing these sites is not going to think “Hey, these sites are probably false and just out to get my money”. They’re going to see the scant, repeated info and think that this is accurate. Especially since these sites play on common held beliefs, insecurities and illusion of access. If you target the emotions, you generally don’t have to provide a bevy of facts, just keep poking at the person’s emotions. That’s where the problems begin, not to mention, reduces the legitimacy of those who actually practice metaphysics and occult and doesn’t shell out cheap gimmicks.

*Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all Abrahamic faiths that basically share the same god.

Gimme Gimme

First and foremost, check the web address! thisblackwitch.wordpress.com became thisblackwitch.com! Hooray!

I get a lot of messages from my Black Witch FB Fan Page. A close second would be my email. This isn’t bothersome. I appreciate reading from readers. However, when I first started Black Witch back in 2011, I thought I would get some derpy letters but most would be pretty substantial.

Wow, was I wrong.

wpid-faceq1432469228838.png

Whyyyyyyy? How did this happen?

I get some but most are usually from someone who wants paid spellwork, want to switch bodies, want spells done for them…basically, folks who are very “Gimme gimme”.

Firstly, whenever I’m asked these inquiries, I tend to snark “you should have read my site on paid spellwork instead of writing to me”. This is because I always mention that I do not do paid spell work, that I do not do pay-for-pray, that I am very clear about it and will ream anyone who asks. Regardless if you show up at a blog or fan page for said blog, please read about for a little bit. It isn’t going to hurt to do research.

Secondly, inquiries like these are usually from the most dense of people who can not see past their own wants, even when thoroughly explained to them. Even when going over the ethical ramifications (after explaining that I’m not doing spellwork for others, either), they still generally go, “but can you do this for me?” Which is annoying because it shows how dedicated these folks are to not listening…and possibly where their problems started.

I don’t mind giving life advice, it is nice to do. But I think the simple fact that folks are writing to a Witch, they think I’m all spells and potions and get disappointed that I’m not doing exactly that. Here’s the thing, not everything needs a spell. That and if the person does not practice anything in the metaphysics, I’m not going to talk to them about it anyways. Why? Because they’re not practicing, it’s pointless. Oh and I’m not the Wal-Mart of spells and magick.

When practitioners write to me, I try to be as helpful as possible. Mainly because, for once, a real question was asked. It’s not a “gimme gimme” question, it’s a “hey, I was working on something but I got stumped” question. Bouncing ideas off of someone is not a bad thing. They know what they’re talking about, they’ve done some research, great to help! It’s better than, “I don’t like that my ex is happy with his new girlfriend, how do I hex him?” or “I didn’t get into med school, I want to reverse time” or “I want to switch bodies, how do I do it?” Those are “gimme, gimme” questions.

Here’s what makes them “gimme, gimme” questions: even when some claim to be interested in magick, it’s pretty obvious they only want to get what they want and then off they go. No concern for anyone or anything. Frankly, no one – me included- wants to take time out their day to go through the time, effort and energy to handle someone else’s problem. It could blossom up worse, they keep coming back instead of learning life lessons (it always does with these sort of people, they never stop needing something “fixed”), etc etc. No practitioner would – with exception to those who actually do paid spellwork, of course. And even they themselves won’t do any spell simply because money gets mentioned. Speaking of which…

Folks who ask “gimme gimme” questions always act that money moves the world around them. That if they bring up money, that I’m magically going to do whatever they ask. Even if I explicitly say continually that I don’t do paid spellwork. It’s a pretty selfish perspective, actually. I don’t accept money for spellwork because of my personal ethics. However, it’s pretty hyper evident that these folks seriously don’t care about my ethics or anything, I’m just a candy machine that dispenses spells, the solutions to their problems. It doesn’t matter how much money they’re offering, it’s not happening.

I’m certain there’s probably a couple readers out there thinking, “Sheesh, if an idiot offers me a blank check to fix their dilemma, I’d tell them to brush their hair with a fish for ten nights and accept the money. Who cares if it does or doesn’t work? It’s money!” Yeah but it certainly isn’t worth it. For one, my reputation would sink like a rock. Two, regardless of whether the spells work or not, these folks will keep coming back. Three, these people are usually asking for spells because they’re myopic megalomaniacs that can’t think of anyone but themselves. I can’t stress that part enough.

Sometimes, a person writes to me about wanting a spell but because they’re feeling cornered about an actual problem. They’re in an abusive household, they’re trans and we live in a transphobic world, etc etc. I usually try to offer some real world solutions. Again, they’re not practitioners so I’m still not offering spells. Instead, they need resources to contact. If they were a practitioner in the same boat and they were asking for spells, I would still provide resources and perhaps a teeny small spell so they don’t put more focus on the spellwork than they should on the resources offered to them.

Frankly, I really rather get letters and messages from people who actually practice metaphysics or simply have good questions rather than “gimme gimme” questions. When I find a new blog, instead of bugging the writer, I just read through the blog end over end. Usually what questions I have are probably answered in some article written over three or four years ago. I wouldn’t mind the same for here. I wouldn’t mind if someone read a column and asked questions derived from the writing. I just mind when it’s pretty glaringly obvious that the person didn’t decide to read anything at all or did read a bit, they just thought that they could ask for the same thing.

Tech Witch

One day, I was on my way to Sally’s Beauty Supply store and discovered next door, the Radio Shack was closing, thus had a 60-90% off sale on everything in the store. So, instead of buying blue hair dye like I was going to, I beelined for the tech stuff I could get for uber cheap. Like, buying a pack of capacitors for .45 cents. Though I should have totally gone for the 555 Timers. I like to fiddle with electronics and build/construct things – I’m currently working on an automatic cat feeder because my cat is fat and I have mini-amnesias due to having trauma disorders. My cat will wharf down her food and pretend she’s hungry in hopes that I forgot I fed her ten minutes ago and give her another dish.

My cat, who is fat

My cat, who is fat

I also repair electrical problems in drones and mechanical problems in 3D printers. Basically, I’m very techy.

Given that we live in a world of tech and technology, I do wonder how it can be applied to magick. Granted, I don’t think it is very seamless (I doubt you can do a smoke cleansing with your phone and I still side-eye “rebloggable spells” a bit) but am definitely sure parts can be integrated.

Alright, I’m not much a tech witch, I don’t include tech much into my practice, if at all. I write down things and use natural stuff like sticks, stones and incense. If anything, I would probably be concerned of energy waves from the phone messing with the energy trying to be created in the circle so I just curve around all that and keep it analog. This doesn’t mean that folks who put protection sigils on their phones or cast an anti-theft spell on their computer is silly, I just don’t do the same. That and the idea of using magick on your stuff – including your tech stuff – is normal to me. Using your tech in magick, that feels a bit different to me, if not foreign.

I guess part of it is because technology is comprised of so many different parts and things, it would drive me into a finicky mode. There are so many things that make our tech that has various individual properties that makes up our tech. This is kind of why I’m not much of a tech witch. Simply isn’t my kit. That and I’m still trying to wrap my head around things like tumblr spells that are mostly emoticons/emojis and basically are suppose to work with every reblog. I understand the “gathering energy” part (the many people passing the post around), the “intention” part and how it’s kinda supposed to work but I would imagine the energy is a bit mottled through the tech. That’s just my perception, though.

However, this doesn’t mean that tech isn’t starting to really becoming useful for Pagans. For example: 3D printing, sky maps and moon phase apps

Many weather apps, like WeatherUnderground and AccuWeather will tell you the moon phases. I use WeatherUnderground, which shows me not only the moon phase and fullness of the moon, but also how much daylight I have.

wp-1480277560797.png   wp-1480277564885.png

 

This is really great for determining fullness, when to perform rituals or whatever have you. I think most, if not all, weather apps show you the moon. Even on smart watches, such as the Apple Watch, you can track the moon phases and travels.

Then there are sky maps, which let you see constellations, planets and stars through your phone. You can even use it to help spot planets in the night sky, look for conjunctions and more. I use Google Sky Map but there are plenty about.

Then there’s 3D Printing. Granted, it still isn’t accessible to quite a lot of people – they’re mainly found in libraries and on college campuses, in regards to mass use – but can be very useful when it is. For example, the most common filament (“ink” for 3D printers) used is PLA, which stands for Polyactic acid (not actually acidic in nature) , which actually is completely biodegradable and comes from sugars and starch. Even smells a bit like caramel when printing. Yes, it is plastic, but it is nature-derived plastic, which can make it useful for personal practice or even group practice. PLA is one of the many materials a 3D printer can print in. There’s also wood, metal and ceramic.

This means that a Pagan person could print a chalice in the very color they need it in. Or create a specialized holder, tool or anything that is needed in whatever color, material or design. They could create beads or a stylus with their chosen sigils. They could create boxes, statues and more; if they can think it, they can print it. It really would be very nice for practice to implement hyper specialized materials and items into Pagan practices. A practitioner could either charge a whole spool of filament to print a variety of things or they could print something and charge that instead. Hyper customized holders, runes, candle plates, wands and more! Talk about endless bouts of ideas.

New forays into technology can be useful for old practices, which is really interesting as well as potentially ground breaking for Pagan practice. However, this has always been the case, if one would think about it. I mean, when glass, silver and steel could be used to create items, I wouldn’t be surprised if the question of “can this be implemented into ritualistic practice” came into play. With that thought in mind, it probably is redundant to ask, “hey, is this new tech good for Pagan practice?” because as long as the source of the practice is the same, why wouldn’t implementing new devices and tech be a problem?

Sorry I’ve been so terribly afk* this month. With my EEOC issues and the fact that it’s a pretty not fun month to be Black, I really haven’t been writing much. And there’s also the fact I’ve been playing Pokemon Go a lot. And just discovered My Chemical Romance has an update for September 23rd, I have to get in adequate spazzing time for that. Very important.

Anywhoodle, I’m always active on my social media (mostly on Tumblr, then Facebook fan page, then Twitter), especially if you message me. I do like hearing from people, just not stupid people.

What counts as stupid people? Enter this kiddo, Star Ikky:

Caption: It is! “Life from the Black Pagan Perspective” *jazz hands*

It is! “Life from the Black Pagan Perspective” *jazz hands*

Everyone, I usually do not like when people ask me about curses or spells that sound an awful lot like you’re about to ask me for a curse or spell. Anyone who has skimmed this site should know that. (Anyone who have briefly skimmed Ask Black Witch[link] should know that). Why? Because I mention a ton of times here that I don’t talk about spellwork that in depth for a bevy of reasons. It’s cool to ask, “hey, I want to do a serenity spell, to calm down about the police shootings, what should I do?” Because you’re just asking for suggestions, not a full out order. And if you want a full out order, I recommend books. Because they exist. Books are like an extended FAQ for me to share with others. Keeps life simple.

This simpleton is not a fan of simple, evidently.

I always check my google search feature on my site and I religiously put columns into categories. I like making searching easy. I’ve tried tags but they’ve never stuck

I always check my google search feature on my site and I religiously put columns into categories. I like making searching easy. I’ve tried tags but they’ve never stuck

Folks, never just ask about curses like this. It makes you look suspicious. Like “I heard you worked at the Library of Congress and know about 3d printers. If someone wanted to shoot, say, a political figure head, from a really high place with undetectable materials, how would it be done? Asking for a friend” – type suspicious. If people want to curse others, I rather figure out the motive before anything. That and seriously, why curse when guns exist**? Or there’s talking out the problem, a decent alternative.

People hex and jinx for their own reasons. I can’t fault them. However, I’m not just gonna tell any random dink how to do it. I barely tell people how to do spells that help folks (Sorry, it’s a strict no-spell policy), like I’m going to divulge more for the opposite.

Also, it seems this dude keeps thinking that when I say I’m a Black Witch, it means I practice the Left Hand Path. This is poor reading skills at work. I’m “Black Witch” because I’m a Black person (as in, part of the African diaspora. I’ve got the police harassment records to prove it, too, ha! Ok, that’s depressing. Black lives matter, y’all) and I practice witchcraft. Therefore, “Black Witch”. Pretty simple. Especially if you’ve seen all the writings I’ve penned (typed?) about race.

Now, I’m going to spare everyone the many, many, many times the dude asked the same two questions: “If you wanted to curse me, what do you need” and “can you curse me over the internet”? Everyone, I like questions but please don’t say the same ones over and over and over and over and over and …you get the point. I may have amnesia issues but trust, it’s not that bad. If I say, “hey, read the columns,” it means, “hey, read the columns”. Not “If you ask me a million times, I’ll eventually tell you what’s in the columns.” Nope, I’ll just eventually make fun of your poor intelligence. I have to deal with a computer at work that I’m certain thinks it’s an ice cube aspiring to be a bonfire a good 60% of the time. Please don’t be dumber than that computer. *** At least the computer has an excuse.

This dude didn’t seem to dig that I wasn’t *gasp* spoonfeeding him information about hexes and jinxes and how I do it. I mean, if I’m pointing you to my columns, I’m still telling you what I said and how I feel, just not in “txt” form.

Everyone, I tend to dislike those who dislike research. I’m like a Republican when it comes to spoonfeeding: no handouts

Everyone, I tend to dislike those who dislike research. I’m like a Republican when it comes to spoonfeeding: no handouts

I guess I have to remind everyone but if folks are going, “Black Witch, why do you suggest we read so much? Reading is lame! Just tell us everything we need to know so we can be witches already,” these are all the things that is me:

– English Degree

– Getting ready to pursue a Master’s in Library Science for Preservation

– A Librarian (tech/assistant, but that’s because of lack o’ degree, I still am paid to tell people to zip it)

– A daughter of a teacher

– Published in academic books (one just won an award, “The Sisters are Alright” by Tamara Winfrey Harris)

– Worked in the Library of Congress

Lolz. Not much in there that says, “I’m pro-stupid”, “pro-coddling”, “pro-‘tell you the answers’”. Because that’s not learning, that’s being lazy. It’s one thing to get stumped, it’s another to just not want to learn. Being stumped is fine, that means the little hamster in your head is whirring away the best it can. Being lazy in ignorance just means that little hamster is totally vegged out with a bag of doritos and soda, struggling to breathe under its own weight.

Eventually, the dude goes full-on emo and does the classics everyone else does when they’re upset I don’t do parlor tricks: try their hand at reverse psychology and attempt to do the “I guess you’re not real because you won’t prove it to me” route:

Seriously? This makes for crap logic. By this logic, if he thinks that I refuse to tell him my bank pin, that would mean I didn’t know it. Not that I simply didn’t want to share. Also, the columns are the reasons why I don’t try to answer the same dunce question twice.

Seriously? This makes for crap logic. By this logic, if he thinks that I refuse to tell him my bank pin, that would mean I didn’t know it. Not that I simply didn’t want to share. Also, the columns are the reasons why I don’t try to answer the same dunce question twice.

The dude even tries to tell me that this site is somehow a fraud.

Seriously? I don’t think my info is that valuable to dupe to such an extent

Seriously? I don’t think my info is that valuable to dupe to such an extent

I really don’t like when folks go the “you’re a fake and phony” route because it’s annoying. Look, you’re upset I’m not jumping through hoops, I get it. No need to get lame about it. I think just about everyone who I didn’t act like Sabrina the Teenage Witch towards considered me a fraudster. This dude isn’t even that smart in how he applies it:

You didn’t think I was gonna talk about cursing folks, right?

You didn’t think I was gonna talk about cursing folks, right?

Folks, I find folks like this annoying. Very annoying. If you don’t like reading, I will always tell you up front that metaphysics is, therefore, not for you. There’s a metric crapton of reading, most of it very dense and university level.

This guy eventually goes “Oh, you hide behind your books and research” because he doesn’t want to read anything himself. He just wants to be fed information. If I were hiding behind books, then this column wouldn’t exist. Because that’s what “hiding behind books” mean: That I pretend I’m so lofty that no one else could get to my level. I also wouldn’t cite books or feature them on my site (check my The Arts: Samhain Edition picks). I’ve met folks like that. Telling people to research and think for themselves is hardly hiding behind anything. Not to mention, I’ve directly told him to visit this website, if I were hiding this site behind a pay wall or selling some crummy book with “secrets of magick”, then this dude would have a case. Instead, it’s just whining. I don’t like pointless whining. I work in a library. They exist for a reason. Use one.

If the dude said, “hey, I read somewhere [book here] about jinxing. What is your take on [author’s take on subject of jinxing]?” that would have been remotely better. At least it shows some level of thinking. This guy is just showing serious laziness.

 

This is Donald Trump-level of being childish. All because he wanted to avoid reading. He asked a columnist for a suggestion and got upset when the columnist suggested reading.

This is Donald Trump-level of being childish. All because he wanted to avoid reading. He asked a columnist for a suggestion and got upset when the columnist suggested reading.

Really, now? All this to avoid cracking open a book? Not even cracking open a book, just using an already supplied search engine on a website. Man, this dude must have had horrendous grades. I’ve definitely had my days in school where I was 100% “I dun wanna!” from pre-K to university but never this bad. You can’t ask for help and get upset that it’s not neatly packaged for you. That’s not how asking for help works. And this is coming from someone who would spend whole days hanging in a metaphysical shop as a teenager – however, I think those folks didn’t mind because they figured I was around Black elders and not running the street so they didn’t mind me milling about.

This whole conversation was fail and I could tell from the start. I just didn’t know how much fail.

Folks, I like getting your questions. Just make sure they’re good ones. Because as I always say, “good questions are appreciated. Bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in.”

 

*”Away from keyboard” for you dinos out there

** If you’re in America. Other nations kinda have done away with the “angry person with a gun” problem. We should probably get on that.

*** Ok, not entirely all the computer’s fault, I guess. But whoever had it last really jacked up the AI, I think it has mood swings. This is what happens when you work with futuristic technology. It’s better than the holographic keyboard that kept writing spam messages on government computers when it saw sunlight, though. That little dude was a rebel. And possibly a smidge evil.

I have dipped and dabbled in Wicca for the past two years. Then, I fell off the planet for a while due to life changes. I am intending to do a love spell or one that will bring me a long-term relationship. Basically, I’m ready to ask for the One, but am a little conflicted on how to go about this. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

My response:

I’ll touch on this during Ask Black Witch but here’s the short answer to tide you over: love spells like those are waaaay more trouble than they’re worth. Nothing wrong with a “I want a date” spell but “I want a long term relationship” spell is major sticky.

So, just use pink candles and ask for a hot, sexy date–one that I can live with?

I put out two love spells last year, and a wave of guys from my past came back. Mostly unavailable men and I was fearful that i had done something wrong. Mind you, I did not ask for these specific men.

But, appreciate your feedback. 

Yeeeeah, the result you got is usually the result you’ll get. The universe likes to troll. I’ll go more in depth on ABW. I’d put the candles aside ’til then.

i know you wrote you would go more in depth on abw, but do you have any date spell resources?

Newp.

I take that as a no. 

Just for clarification, I am not seeking to mooch like a Salem witch, or trying to get something for nothing here. There isn’t a community of Black witches where I live and often i’m at the mercy of whites who run metaphysical shops in my city. I get mixed messages from them on how to do love spells and with what tools–hence i thought i’d ask you.

Another thing that I thought i’d mention is that the last love spell with a seven day candle that i did–a “magikal” thing happened, or more likely just a coincidence. The very evening it finished burning, I got a text message from this really hot guy i had met a month before that i didn’t think we were really compatible. Needless to say, I never heard from him again and my wicked Quija board (that i have since grown out of and tossed) kept spelling that I should marry him. Sometimes things get a bit wacky.

Anyhoo, I look forward to hanging out at your blog more if you don’t mind that.

Thank you.

– Keisha M

Alright then, here’s the short part: love spells are a loooooooooot more trouble than it is worth.

Lot more.

Liiiiiiiiike, there are exponentially more things that could go wrong than right.

Because the universe likes to troll people.

Exhibit A to ∞

Pictured: Exhibit A to ∞

I guess it’s because humans think quite highly of themselves and it’s the universe’s way of saying “Lolz, nah. Lemme show you how.”

Either way, you ask the universe for a long term relationship, it may plink a chinchilla with an anxiety disorder right in your lap because, there ya go, long term relationship. It’s cute, it’s fluffy, it has abandonment issues like a jack-in-the-box loaded with fireworks and can be clingy. And a long life expectancy, bonus! Give it a twitter account and it’s practically a person!

You could literally tell the universe, “No chinchilla with baggage, human male. Human male for me to have a loving, long term relationship with. No tricks, no gags. Just someone who suits me fine.”

The universe could send you this dude…and they’ll be on the other side of the earth. Everything you ever wanted, just very faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away.

If you’re feeling conflicted, it’s probably the universe hitting you with a clue-by-four going “It’s probably feeling a little like a bad idea because it is.” And they’re right. I can tell you from experience, you’re really gonna be spending the majority of your time keeping Kleenex’s finance stocks good and buoyant rather than be with the guy of your dreams. (If you go “yeah, that won’t happen to me”, there’s a lot of stories of where love spells, prayers and rituals go from “well-intentioned” to “Pearl Harbor”). Nothing is wrong with a small spell using a pink candle and rose oil to get a date but doing extensive, full-on spells for a long term relationship? That could easily blow up in your face royally.

How could this go passionately wrong? Let’s break down the ways:

Your life will always be in change
The person you are now is not going to be the person you will be a month from now, or a year. To ask for a person to be by your side in the here and now doesn’t mean that the person brilliant for you now will be just the right type for you in six months. (Lordt, I sound like a parent.) Using magick to bring someone to you so acutely is going to have flaws that you couldn’t imagine. You want someone who will grow with you, not someone who will be for the “now” you.

You’ll get what you’ll ask for, just not what you want
You already said you’ve tried your hand at love spells and gotten a lot of duds. Yeeeeeeeap. Sounds about right. Actually, the story you mentioned, it would usually have a “stalker” part so if you didn’t get that kind of guy, hooray because stalkers are scary. Remember, universe likes to troll. Or you do meet the One and he’s already unhappily married with kids and a dog. (Also, for the love of the gods, do not be an adultress. The universe may troll but if you play sidechick, you’re just trolling yourself.)

You’re gonna be biased and miss the shot
Say the universe goes, “Ok, here, no strings. This dude is yours.” But you somehow miss on this because either he’s not what you consider attractive or interesting. The dude is very much the kind of person you need but, honestly, you have no reason in your head why you’re staring at this guy. Your own biases could get in the way.

Control
Kinda bringing “the One” to you because you want it is a bit one-sided, don’t you think? I mean, you may be ready but what about the dude? Maybe you have it together but what if this guy still is attempting to get at least 1/34th of his sh*t together? The dude is a heck of a catch, just got his life everywhere in a way that could be off-putting. Even if you think “Oh that won’t matter, we all have our problems”, you should be reminded that when you finally meet “the One”, he’s not going to have a neon sign blinking over his head saying, “This One, Stupid.” Maaaaaaaaaan, would life be easy if that were the case. But it’s not. So instead, you wouldn’t really have a way of knowing that you just met the One, versus meeting Just Another Frog.

I’m sure the dude you’re supposed to be with is just as eager to meet you as you are him. However, the best way to do it, right now, is to keep working on yourself, keep putting yourself out there and getting to know yourself more so you can figure out what kind of guy would really suit you. Feel free to do spells to get nice dates but remember, it takes more than magick to find love.

 

Tips for newbies? Blog is lovely btw.
– Hoodblipster

Read academic books as well as metaphysics books. Don’t buy every little thing in sight…also, you’re going to buy every little thing in sight, even if you didn’t need it.

Stay away from dimestore books and if you can’t, just distance yourself from the rhetoric. Like, you’re gonna hear nonsense about Illuminati, Egypt, and a loooot of bad, junk science. Try not to buy into that. If it seems to rag on one group of people, such as Jews or Black folks, then it’s probably best to avoid.

Speaking of science: metaphysics and science does not always get along. However, as you look up metaphyics, science is very useful but don’t take every little thing science thinks as automatic law. Seriously, remember that most of science has a looooot of biases (*koff*look at their hiring by race and gender*koff*) so be sure to be mindful. Just be open minded.

Basically, read up on your history, your science and try to keep up with your BoS or DoS as you learn.

Also, doing magick is going to take work. Keep up on meditation and energy manipulation.

I was just perusing my social media and I came across this:

2016-05-31-20-54-30.png

This was me:

Nonono_cat

Alright, here’s why you shouldn’t be turning your punami into a humidifier. Actually, no, let’s start from the basics: what is vaginal steaming? Well, according to website naturalnews.com, penned by Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D:

“For those not familiar with what vaginal steaming is, think of it like a medicinal, herbal, steam facial for the vagina.

Typically, they are done a day or two after a woman has had her period in order to detox and heal any imbalances in the vagina, cervix and uterus. Vaginal steaming has also been known to ease anxiety in women as well as tackle several other health issues-

• Irregular and painful periods
• Vaginal cysts
• Infertility
• Bladder and yeast infections
• Hemorrhoids
• Uterine fibroids
• Scarring from childbirth, hysterectomies and laparoscopies”

You don’t have to go far in this entry to find the Orientalism in the article:

“Vaginal steaming in Chinese medicine is used to relieve stagnation and coldness in the body, and in Eastern medicine in general it is used to dilate the blood vessels, increase blood circulation, provide oxygenation and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Other ways it improves health depends on the herbs that are used and the healing properties each herb brings to the table. The most commonly used herbs for vaginal steaming are mugwort, basil, calendula, oregano, marshmallow root, wormwood and rosemary.”

Ah, there it is! And notice, those are primarily Western herbs you see that are being used with a Chinese (funny, there’s no ethnic pinpoint because China’s a pretty big nation with a pretty extensive history and various groups, can’t lump them all together) method…that eventually switches to “Korean” later. Because somehow that’s not a recipe for disaster. This is why stealing cultural ideas is bad, women’s health addition. Especially if it didn’t come from the Far East…more like “Los Angeles in 2010” and as a bastardization of moxibustion, which is an authentic healing method.

Alright, we got the basics, now let’s get back to why you shouldn’t be turning your punami into a humidifier.

The vagina is self-cleaning
Doctors (smart ones) would usually tell women to not shove, spurt or steam anything up main street for cleaning purposes because the vaginal canal is actually self cleaning. Douching is bad. Very bad. Like, “there’s a reason why it’s an insult” bad. The vagina naturally regulates itself and pushes out any bad bacteria, germs, dead cells, etc etc. What douching of any sort does is forces all that back in. It’s like the natural fluids in the vagina are showing bad elements the door, and the human it’s connected to just wants to shove everyone back in the house. Which causes infections.
Actually, let me let a real doctor talk, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. She was interviewed by Women’s Health magazine and this is what she had to say:

1. It Burns

“My first concern is that someone would burn themselves because steam is hot,” says Minkin. “And I certainly wouldn’t want someone to get a burn in their vagina.” Fun fact: Your hoo­ha sits right next to the bladder and rectum, so a bad burn could damage the lining between the two of them and cause a lot of issues. “That would be a worst­case scenario,” says Minkin”

Remember, if you’re getting worked done on the vaginal region by steaming it, it is most likely not being done by a someone with a medicinal background. And with so many how-to home guides floating around on the internet, it’s a recipe for trouble. During steaming, the whole area (the vulva) is getting steamed, the major and minor labias, the urethral entrance, the vaginal opening. That means the herbal concoction is going to affect everywhere. Then there’s the rectum, as the doctor has mentioned. Basically, these are sensitive parts that you do not want to damage through poor research and misguided health suggestions.

2. It Can Mess With Your Vagina’s Good Bacteria

Just like regular douching, trying to “cleanse” your vag with steam can be drying and disrupt the natural bacteria that lives up in there, says Minkin. And since the vagina is a self ­cleaning machine, you don’t need to take any action to keep it that way, she says. However, one thing you could do to boost your vagina’s natural cleaning abilities is to eat more yogurt, which contains the good bacteria that keep your vag fresh yeast infection ­free.

The doctor also wonders in the article if the steam can even go up that far. The vaginal canal isn’t Route 66 but it’s not a cavernous hall, either. Either way, steaming could mess with your body’s natural ability to keep and maintain its own defenses because it’s a super delicate ecosystem down there. I mean, if you’re not wearing the right underoos and if you under enough stress, then you may risk getting a yeast infection. It already has an ability to get rid of the germs that grow in and around the body, the vagina. There’s no need to modify that.

3. It Won’t Balance Any Hormones

First off, Minkin says, there are no hormones produced by the uterus or the vagina. “The hormone factory is in the ovaries, and there’s no reason why steam would affect the hormones produced there,” she says. And again, it’s hard to say if the steam even makes it that far.

Welp, usually I would add something here but there you have it. And no, you can directly inject steam into your vaginal canal (please don’t do that) and still, it probably won’t even slip past the cervix, at best.

Frankly, steam cleaning is great for drapes and clothing. Steamers are great for when you’re suffering from head colds. Saunas are nice. Herbal saunas are nice. Steam can be used to power machines. These are all nice things. Steam treatments on the body can be great, up the vaginal canal is not one of them.

Basically, don’t do it.

And it’s almost a week away from the Black Witch live stream, June 9th. I think I should update the time to 7 PM EST if I haven’t already. The reason for this livestream is because Black Witch will be in its sixth year, it’s the Black Witch 6th Anniversary. W00t. The livestream will be via the Black Witch Fan Page on Facebook, so get in on that.

Hi so I met this guy called Guy McGee* through a Youtube channel, I know bad and he only has like 10 videos and they are all Music because he is in a band and he plays the drums but the first time I saw him I couldn’t take my eyes off him so we then became friends on Snapchat and then Facebook.
But we spoke once and I felt a real connection to him and I don’t wanna tell him coz he’ll think I’m weird but also he lives in a different country as well and I really wanna know there is anyway that he feels the same???? Plus if there is anyway that we will talk more??? and if there is anyway that we will become friends or more????

This has been playing on my mind for a long time and it has been driving me crazy I didn’t wanna it was past life even though it could be and I know this a lot but I would really love it if you could answer them. So thank you for reading it even if you do think Im crazy. 🙂

Hi so long story short I met this guy Called Dude McGee* he’s 18 and lives in America and I’m 17 and l live in the UK we have spoken once before. And I have had the odd message every now and then but I really like him and I don’t think he feels the same. I have had fights with friends and over this and lost my bested friend because of it. The main reason because I didn’t tell her. But he’s on my mind nearly every second of the day and I don’t know what to do. So if you could help I’d really appreciate it. 🙂

I forgot to say that he’s a lead singer in a band and I know it sounds bad and its meant to be that way but I feel like I met him before as well like in a past life and I feel in way drawn to him it’s probably my mind playing tricks bit that’s how I feel and I find it hard to explain

Hello I have a development to my concern he has started to talking to my friend a lot and he was the first one to pop up. So maybe he wasn’t for me but I have liked him for ages but she had a boyfriend but I have no clue what to do

– Genni M.

Firstly, the (*) is to imply that I’ve changed the name. Granted, the guy in reference had two different first names but the same last name so I replicated that. Also, this was a series of emails that basically tell a bigger story, thus I lumped them all together.

Alright, the basics of the story is that the person writing in likes a dude(we’re assuming it’s just one guy) who she has a crush on despite being far, far away. It really eats at her and even gets in the way of her friendships. Now it seems the apple of her eye has been chatting with her friend, who also has a boyfriend.

Now, I wasn’t really willing to do divination because I only do that around Halloween for the Samhain Pickers sweepstakes winners. Besides, this situation didn’t seem to need it.

One thing kiddo has to keep in mind is that just because you get to chat with musicians on the internet, they’re there to promote so of course, they’re gonna bring the charm because it’s good for business. However, this doesn’t mean they’re not people.

Granted, I said maybe she should have a sit-down talk with the guy she has a very apparent crush on but it can also been said this way as well: she’s reading too much into their interactions. Which isn’t insanity, it’s simply having a crush. That’s completely normal and natural, even if it makes you feel absolutely mental. Everyone goes through that.

However, if your infatuation is starting to dent your friendships, it’s time to pump the breaks. Firstly, it appears that you don’t seem to know where you stand with the guy you like. It’s important to discuss that and get on the same page with the guy so you know how each other feels. That should precede everything because it will determine all future interactions, good or bad. Just because the friend is talking to the guy doesn’t mean they’re hitching up…especially if they’re separated by a whole ocean.

I think the infatuation is coloring your perspective. It’s time to find some stable ground and have a chit chat to find out what is happening. Talk with not only him but talk with your friends as well because I’m sure they probably are fussing with you because of how much your crush is blinding you and your better sensibilities and they want the pre-crush you back.

I’m really interested in witchcraft but idk where to start. how did you start?

– reinadelaslesbianas

I started with books, really. My first book is Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy. I thoroughly enjoy and always suggest because of how well-rounded it is. That will give you a great starting place of what to do, what not to do and why.

I was wondering are you familiar with black witch’s b/c I have some questions about it if you could help me……I tried asking the church of god and they said to stop doing witchcraft and I laughed and hung up the phone…..I tried asking the church of satan hq in America and I guessed they were mad when I said demonic spirits…lol….they preached satan and said to join their church…..so can you maybe answer some of my questions…….jim

 ok here’s my question but it’s a story….I can provide details of everything if you want them……I’m a black witch….I used a spell to have someone die and he did in 1 week….since I was 4 I have seen demonic spirits and ghosts….I have been seeing spirits of dead people,animals,insects all my life….I want to know why I can see them…..also when I practice withcraft outside between 9 and 9:30pm a glowing white ring appears in the sky(kinda far away too) while I’m doing my chanting…the ring goes away when I stop chanting….also I tried spells between 7 and 7:30pm and a gray ring appears in the sky and goes away when I stop chanting…..I want to know what this means…do I have a special gift spiritually….please help me or know someone that can help me…..

– James C.

Goodness, why do people write as if they are breathless? Fantastic for stories, not so much for letters.

As a reminder to people, I call myself “Black Witch” because I’m a Black person that practices witchcraft. Not, “I practice left-hand magick” so I’m not a pro in that field if that’s what the question is in reference to. Continuing on, it seems you just simply are clairvoyant and really intuitive to sense and interact with entities around you. Not really a big deal, no great significance in my consideration. You just can do these things, hurray. I’d say “don’t kill people” but I don’t know the circumstances so I’ll just say instead that it’s primarily frowned upon ethically so use very strong discretion. I also don’t know if the magick killed the person and it isn’t coincidence but this letter isn’t really to contest that.

You gave me times but without timezones, so I haven’t much of a clue what the phenomena you’re describing is in reference to. It could be raised energy, it could be a better second sight, that I don’t know. Either way, you seem relatively gifted. I would recommend reading some decent theory books on energy manipulation. That could help as well.

I haven’t touched a book on magick for a while for a while. I think the last actual books on magick I’ve handled was a variety of books on metaphysics (including magick & alchemy) at the Library of Congress. The most I remember from the LoC was handling Rosicrucian journals. They were nifty reading. Surprisingly, I didn’t find a lot of super good stuff in that section of the Library of Congress, but the better stuff is scattered around the LoC. I should write a “How to find stuff/research at the Library of Congress” post one day.

The reason? I just don’t think there’s a lot of really good books out there that are entering my stratosphere. Like, I feel like I have advanced well past the beginner books and all the others books that I would want right now I already have. And what books are out there are really Western perspective, I kinda am done with having books from White authors, I think I have enough of those and there is more than enough out there. I just want more diversely written books.

To be honest, I lean towards academic books now because they have way more information than the newbie and Pagan books. That and I can find way more information that is really useful for knowing and to help me with my practices. Things like history, symbolization and culture. Otherwise, I will feel lost and hesitant, going “Whyyyyyyy does pomegranates mean ‘good dreams’ in this spell and what the heck is blue salt and why do I need it? Has this always been a thing?” Even if I still know a fraction of the info, I’ll still be unsure because welcome to academia and intellectualism: just because you think you know something doesn’t mean you can’t still be astoundingly wrong because you were too dumb to check.

I usually find good materials in libraries (it’s my career, of course I’m going to use the resources that I’m paid to provide for others) but mainly, I’ve been finding things via Tumblr through the meantime. I follow a number of Pagan and Witchcraft blogs and anything I find of note or of usefulness, I slap into my “magick” tag. Some of the blogs I follow are:

None of the witchy blogs that I follow or find major stuff from are White ran, I think. I think the only ones that potentially could be White-ran is just the catch-all blog, Low Budget Witches, which is really informative.

It’s just that Paganism is very diverse. Western Paganism pulls from a bevy of cultures, I rather follow people from those cultures or at least just looking at those cultures through a non-White lens. For me, I get more history, information and usefulness this way. It isn’t White-washed, dumbed down information usually and there’s a lot more background to the info because there’s just some things that reading dry academic books can’t tell you but someone related to the culture can.

The info I find is really cool but I’ve read enough to know to take things with a grain of salt and to fact-check everything. I like the info I find but I also know that I’m going to run it through several books to make sure I understand everything I’m reading. Witchcraft isn’t all random nonsense with candles, bells and whistles. Neither is Paganism, there’s a rhyme and reason to everything. It may look nonsensical to folks who never researched Paganism and learned about Witchcraft from television and movies but there’s a lot of background on it. I just need to know what it is before I proceed with anything new.

Honestly, I thought I wasn’t looking at anything new in Paganism and thought I was a kinda sucky Pagan because of it until it dawned on me that I was, I just wasn’t doing my usual: reading a cavalcade of books to get the information. Instead, I was taking the digital route, which is uncommon for me because books are a little more fact-checked than what someone can slap on a website. Yes, I am painfully aware that books can have really crappy information, I’m just use to the mental connection of “book=factual information, internet=potential brain fart” and it takes a while to change that thinking.

Huzzah, progress.

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:

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

Huzzah, it is Ask Black Witch, where you ask me questions and I answer ‘em! Basic rule is “good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated”. Since I was gone for a super long time, that means a lot of questions piled up. I’m going to start with the most recent and work my way back. That way, I keep up with questions. These questions are mainly coming from Tumblr and the Ask Black Witch submission box.

Also, it’s the holidays, I really am probably gonna derp on a few questions.

Do you have any suggested reading material?

– MartianKid

Recently and for the metaphysics? No. To be honest, I’ve been scoping out books and materials but in physical form, it’s really, really lacking. Either it’s basically the same info regurgitated over and over with a new shiny book cover or it’s some lame 101 book that’s clearly directed either toward White teens or their housewife moms. Or a combo. And usually with some cultural appropriation (chakras, smudging, voodoo) thrown in for good measure.

Honestly, it would be best to look at the more academic books about these subjects because Pagan writers simply are lacking. Although, academic writers are not perfect either, there’s a lot of biased information in academic writing due to the field and the publishing houses that function in it pretty much holding the same gatekeeping standards as the Ku Klux Klan – White gaze, Male gaze, Western standards always at the center somehow and everyone else goes under a microscope to be coldly examined into bits. This would take a lot of study to make sure you’re getting an objective learning that benefits you versus just learning a lot of academeized prejudices displayed as inarguable fact.

The issue is, because these fields have next to no diversity in voice and perspective (5 White, male writers on the subject of Native American smudging is not diversity & tokenization is not diversity, either) due to how they constructed themselves, there’s a lot of research that will be needed on your part. I know, I know, for a field that claims to be overflowing with smarties, eggheads and geniuses, they’re pretty freaking stupid about getting tripped up over basic and small things like race and gender. Make sure the books you read have diverse authors as well.

I already have books I have referenced a few times in the past in the Resources and Information category. They’re very decent, especially for spell work and the groundwork of such. Academic books are really sucky about that, obviously.

I’m a teen interested in Wicca, especially Dianic Wicca. What god or goddess do we worship and I’m afraid to tell my parents that I’m interested in Wicca since they’re Christians.

– Nicole M.

First thing first, it wouldn’t be “we”, it would be “they” because I’m neither Dianic or Wiccan. The Dianic Wiccans pray to, well, Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon, childbirth and the hunt.

It would be best to gauge your parents’ reactions. I didn’t really tell my parents for a long time and, frankly, I got outed (after I moved out, but still, got outed). If they are severely “Anyone who doesn’t believe what I believe is going straight to Hell”, I wouldn’t expect they would have a sudden turnaround when their own child needs them to.

This means you may have to warm them up to the idea of the fact that different religions exist and are still just as valid as theirs. However, if you still live with them underneath their roof, you’re going to have to be very cautious because the last you need is to be kicked out and forced homeless as a result of your parents showing “Christian love and mercy”. Remember, religious privilege, like any privilege, is very good at making people bend logic and go Pompeii over little things. This means you can still test the waters but be safe about it such as talk about people with different faiths (not all the time or they’ll pick up) and hear how they feel. If they think Christianity is the only way or that Pagans are just crazy White people just being crazy, that means you may have to practice in secret until you move out.

If you don’t live with them, you can still warm it up to them with time. The upshot is that you don’t have to worry about homelessness, just people being potentially upset. Remind them that A) this is not a dig at your family history or heritage, you still appreciate it B) it’s not a phase no more than them being Christian is a phase C) This doesn’t mean you hate Christians now, the religion simply didn’t work for you because of your own individual feelings and beliefs and D) they can either have you or their bigotry, but they can’t have both, so choose. (And bigotry won’t take care of them when they’re old and decrepit. Nor send them family pictures. Nor help them carve the turkey during the holidays). Without the risks of your livelihood and safety being diminished, it’s up to you on how to warm up your folks to Dianic Wicca but don’t expect any overnight changes. I would suggest easing them into it with passive mentions to it (“I’m going to be doing something for Yule, I hope it doesn’t snow badly this year like last time”) and bringing them back to center calmly if they start to be dismissive of the religion.

Even if they want to put in work to get to know and understand your religious faith, still don’t expect any overnight changes. Learning takes time. They’re going to be super uncomfortable that so many changes are happening all at once, it may take a while that you changing religions is not a person diss against them as parents and that you’re not an evil person now that you left Christianity. Actually, if they do believe that non-Christian=evil, feel free to present a picture of Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan, Adolf Hitler, the US Congress and the Bush Administration as proof that you can be wicked in any religion.

I’m looking to start practicing again but I don’t know to any circles or covens around me. It been such a long time since I practiced, and so much has changed since then. I’m not sure where to start.

– Vivian K.

This can be a really hard thing to do because not only do you want a circle or coven that meets your spiritual needs but also your mundane needs as well, such as, “Will I get along with them?” I would best recommend to see via google or local Pagan groups on Facebook to see what is available and go from there. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier to find circles and covens but thanks to the internet, it can sometimes be harder because people worry of being found.

You can look on WitchVox, that also would be a really good place to start.

Is it possible to be A Christian and A witch?

– Albert M.

Short answer: Yes.

Drawn out answer: Yes, there is “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” but actually, that’s not in the original writings of the Bible, which was “Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner” to live. The word “witch” as we all know and understand it in modern day context actually was not in existence then. The closest back then would have been “doctor” not “poisoner” given witches – also can be considered witch doctors – were giving out remedies and helping the community, not hurting it. The “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” bit mainly came to be around the King James Version and was moreso a result from the witch hunts and panics of the times.

Christian witches very much are a thing, they simply use the Holy Trinity as replacement for the god/dess figure that is prominent in Paganism, tend to study angel magick and mainly Christian or Abrahamic occultic works. Basically, Christianity is the focus of their practice and magick, that’s it. They still go to church, they still follow Christian doctrine, they’re still Christian, they just add metaphysical practice with their faith.

Hi! From what I’ve read, it seems like the practice of using graveyard dirt in spells, etc. originated exclusively from Hoodoo. Do you know if this is accurate, and if so, as a white witch should I avoid this practice?

– Alice

Graveyard dirt is mainly a feature in Hoodoo (and Voodun, I believe?) The best writing I have seen on this side of the world wide web is Amethjera’s writing titled “Graveyard Dirt – History, Purchase and Uses”, which smartly broaches the topic and confirms that, yep, you’re right, graveyard dirt has origins in Hoodoo.

Now, if you mean “white witch” as in “person who practices ‘good’ magic”, I would say that Hoodoo is not inherently evil – neither is Voodoo – and that magick like electricity: neither inherently good or bad, it’s all in how you use it.

If you mean “white witch” as in, “white person who practices witchcraft”, then I would say just tread verrrrry carefully because it’s a short walk from just borrowing culture to outright stealing it. If anything, if you’re super interested in using it, I highly recommend doing some deep study on the history of Hoodoo, why it exists, why graveyard dirt is a thing and so on and so forth. Graveyard dirt can be really strong in magick and while no faith or cultural practice has a copyright on dirt sitting in a cemetery/burial ground, it is better to be aware and respectful of its background instead of going, “I have a jar a diiiiiirt and it’s miiiiine. I’m so original.”

Just don’t start using overtly Hoodoo things with the dirt such as prayers, deities and more, especially not without heavy and extensive research and understanding of the importance of Hoodoo and how it came about. That’s appropriating/stealing/being disrespectful. Using the dirt by itself – as just dirt that came from a burial ground, any burial ground -, that can be fine. Adding more cultural effects, then it starts to become an issue. But still, read up on the history before proceeding. That’s a must.

Right now I am at my lowest, I feel like there is something negative on me. being I am interested in becoming a witch. But I don’t know if I have to give up being a Christian.

 

– Sherri J.

This question came right at the very end of Aug so I don’t know if it still stands but ‘ey, I’ll give it a shot.

If you’re depressed, that does not mean that there is a fix on you, it could just mean you’re going through a lot of bad things right about now. If you think it is as a result of you starting to think about joining witchcraft, that’s merely confirmation bias and instilled Christian fear/guilt working as a tag team. Also, if you’re really depressed, make sure to talk to someone or keep a journal to get out your feelings.

Now, usually when people come to me and they say “I feel like crap, I’m part of [insert faith here] but it isn’t working out for me, maybe I should try [witchcraft/Paganism/Wicca/etc]”, I remind them that if the issue is belief-wise, maaaaaaaaaaaybe they should consider, but after a lot of introspection and research. But if it is life-wise (job is crappy, life is crappy because of life stuff, etc), then maybe they should be visiting their church/mosque/synagogue/ etc, more because this is where faith is tested the most. Not during the good times, during the bad times. I’m Pagan but I still have crappy days. I practice witchcraft, still have crappy days.

If you don’t want to give up on being Christian, don’t. Nothing says you have to. Only you know if being Christian is working out for you but know that there’s no religion you can go to, no spell that can be casted that is simply the silver bullet for all of life’s problems and woes. Faith isn’t easy, that’s certain.

Today I found a jar with urine and a picture inside of me, What can this mean? A love spell? it was an old picture of me inside and I’m sure it was 5 years or more back since the picture was old and it also had some type of things on the bottom of the jar. Is this any type of spell?

– Emily B.

(Today for this letter would be also the tail end of Aug.) I’m no pro on Hoodoo or Voodun (which is what this reminds me of but it can also be folk magick) buuuuuut one thing I do know is that any time body excrement such as feces or urine is used, it’s not for positive things usually. I simply cannot recall any love spell (not “non-controlling” ones, certainly) that involves what you describe.

If you found nails or anything at the bottom of the jar, this further would make me believe that this isn’t a love spell…it’s more like a fix, a jinx. I would think back to 4-5 years ago if you had any major hardships that seemed very hard to resolve and as if it came out the blue. I don’t believe I got another email describing what’s inside the jar but I can guess that this wasn’t a good thing to trip across. Empty, destroy and bury as soon as possible.

That’s all for today!

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