Category: Spells & Potions


Negligence in Potion Making

Support Black Witch with Digital Coffee
Join the Black Witch Discord Server

Potions seem super spooky in media. They’re bubbling, odd colors and always made in a cauldron. Except that doesn’t really happen. Most are just some version of a tea. And not usually radioactive neon colors. Or fogging over the container holding it.

There also goes the practice of learning herbalism, biology and biochemistry. These things are pretty important, especially if you want to drink the potion. This also is the part most people who learn about magick on the internet seem to neglect. A lot.

Here’s the thing about nature: not every plant out there is meant to make a human happy and content. Nature doesn’t exist for humankind, firstly. Secondly, there are a lot of plants out there that do not want to be eaten or bothered, hence why they may have poisons, thorns or a combination. The poison ivy interacts with a person, person discovers it’s not a fun experience, the ivy gets steered clear of (unless the person has access to protective gear to get rid of it or the genetics to not be affected). Eucalyptus actually seeps poisons into the ground to kill other plants around it so they can grow and flourish. Nature is not some happy Disneyland that humans can frolic and take from, this definitely goes into teas and potion making.

There is a science in potion making, several of them, actually. Otherwise, you could risk killing someone or making them super sick. Measurements, historical background, parts of plants, chemical reactions, biochemical reactions, all these things are important.

Metaphysical properties of various plants and herbs are very important in spellwork but when it comes to eating, drinking or placing herbs on your skin, there is more to consider. Some herbs may seem great but could prove harmful, or illegal. In my experience, I’ve noticed the average potionworker is not very well learned and sort of have a “if it is natural, it’s good for you” motto. And then wonder why they are even sicker than they started – or worse, misread the sickness as a sign of proof the potion is working – or still have the ailment they started with. Or are now nursing an addiction problem they’re in constant denial about and still stuck with their illness – a super common one, now.

If interested in potion work, I always suggest to learn as much about health and medicine as an actual practicing doctor and layer on top the botany and mesh it cleanly. Meaning reading tomes and tomes of medical books, biology books, etc, and with years and years of study. Take classes in health, health history and herbalism, don’t rely on the internet to tell you what to do, things like that. Taking a “everything in nature is good for you” stance is a dangerous and possibly deadly stance. For example, mugwort can help with depression but too much of that can actually kill you. There are some species of aloe vera that can harm pets if eaten. Cramps bark refer to two different species of plants. The stem of one plant could be effective but the roots of that same plant are very poisonous or there is a particular stage of germination to use the plant.

Now, not all potions consist of plants, some have additional ingredients. Simply, be ethical about it. No murdering animals (there are very effective alternatives). No murdering people (again, very effective alternatives). Don’t feed other potions that have hazardous substances such as excrement or blood. Don’t feed it to yourself, ether – there are very effective alternatives. You can still be a potion maker without acting like you’re mimicking the life stages of a serial killer.

Mainly, research a lot. Take a long time researching. Don’t just hop on some website that most likely made up some concoction with no rhyme or reason, actually learn what you’re doing. Take some classes if possible. And most importantly – don’t think everything in nature is automatically good for you.

Support Black Witch with Digital Coffee
Join the Black Witch Discord Server

Sorry for the late post but here is the Ask Black Witch for August! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Lets get started.

I got a couple question from people who don’t seem to really like reading or researching my pretty general stance on spell help, doing spells for others and love spells, especially unethical ones. Here’s a quick rundown:

Spell help: Unless you know what you’re doing, I’m not gonna help. I have a “No assisting dabblers” rule. And the two generally stand out: the practiced person generally knows what they’re doing, they just need someone to bounce ideas off of. The dabbler wants to be spoon-fed and babied and waste another person’s time. Or just have someone else do it for them. Preferably that.

Doing spells for others: I don’t do pay-for-pray (paid spellwork). Never have, never will. If I don’t do paid spellwork for others, I certainly don’t do free spellwork for others either. If a screw-up occurs, it’s because you did it. I tend to make people do their own legwork. It keeps my workload light and way, way less people bother me about fixing their – not mine – problems. Which I like. I may suggest simple stuff like “Maybe you should get bay leaves” but if you don’t know how to use them, that’s your issue, unfortunately. This is why I prefer to field questions from practiced practitioners and am harsh to dabblers. I prefer people to research for themselves, especially since occult and metaphysics is 93% reading, reading and more reading – actual info, not new-agey nonsense. Now if only I got questions from practiced practitioners and not dabblers.

Love Spells: I don’t do them, not even the general “hey, universe, I would like a date” because they’re not really my thing. Those spells are fine and dandy, still in the world of “good ethics”. They don’t control a particular person, they’re super open-ended. The universe might give you a guy, they might give you a bike (because the universe likes to troll people). But it’s open ended. However, I still don’t do them.

Unethical love spells: I don’t support abusive acts or tactics so, yeah, I’m going to make fun of you for trying to control someone else and you wind up dejected. Because I’m talking to an abusive person, which is in the top 5 of my list of “people who justify my belief and support of the Death Penalty”. Love hurts and love sucks. For everyone. If you have to control someone, you don’t love them. At all. It’s not about love, it’s about controlling someone who you believe is weaker than you or is easy to control for whatever reason. Regardless how you do it: magickally, financially, physically, emotionally – it’s wrong and you deserve whatever happens to you, simple as that.

Hello my name is Yesenia, I had someone I know cast a love spell for me but nothing work actually things just got worse for me. This person send me a picture of the candles she turn on for me and I would like to know the real meaning to the color candles she used.

– Yesenia M.

My original response:

Was it to influence someone else or general “find a date”? I mean love spells come with chance of risk. That’s why they’re suggested against so much.

Their response:

I found out that my boyfriend or should I say ex boyfriend is in prison and I found out he was writing and talking to some other female. 

Oh joy, internalized misogyny. So on top of being a control freak in relationships, they have serious internalized misogyny. If not a scientist talking strictly about biological lifeforms, avoid using “female”. It’s “woman”.

This is also why I don’t do paid spellwork. Note the “I had someone…cast a love spell for me but nothing work[ed].” Like, I’m basically being used as IT Support for another person’s handiwork. Which is not why this blog exists. And why I don’t work with dabblers. They put themselves in a bind and they want someone else to get them out of it. No way.

Here are some additional information that looks into the motivation:

I just want her to fix my relationship with him and keep away the other female he was talking to.

We have two kids together that’s not what I wanted but whatever I guess he found love even if it’s not with me

These are the motivations. The top one is not very good, the bottom one means she really, really needed to focus less on the dude she was losing and more on the kids she has.

Here’s the kit and kaboodle about the top one: if the person found out her dude is talking to another woman, instead of running to a spellworker to make it stop, she should have told the dude that a) he’s been found out and b) what are the options she will give him: be faithful or be gone. If this dude has a tendency to romp about, then he’s not worth keeping nor doing any spellwork for. This seems less of a relationship of love and mutual understanding and more of two folks who sort of earned each other. You have the philanderous guy stuck in the clink and the girlfriend who doesn’t seem to understand that forcing a relationship to work doesn’t make relationships work.

The second bit: This is why I’m so pro-choice and pro-“note all red flags, even the pink ones”. Kids are involved. They need two parents, not one. Two kids are a handful. And most importantly, they need a mom who has their head screwed on straight. Here it sounds like a lady who is desperately trying to keep a family together but in all the wrong ways. If a relationship has to go south, it’s better things like that happen before kids get thrown in the mix because then it’s not a tale of two possible fools, it’s kids that are going to get mixed up and possibly messed up. Yes, life is messy but it seems this dude might have been trouble from start (I have a feeling he’s not in jail for snatching a confederate flag or socking a neo-nazi).

The new game plan for this chick is to work on being a mom instead. Once she works out that “likes to control others” thing, maybe she’ll find someone new and can be a suitable boyfriend-to-husband and father to her kids. Until that happens, she needs to focus on the kids and stop trying to control everything.

Hi, I would like to ask something about a black candle. Because I’ve searched about it and it signifies negativities in life, is it right?

I wanna if, it is okay to use black candle for love spell? Cause I asked an old woman (who does witchcraft) to put a love spell to the one I love (my ex bf), after she does it by tuesday, he came back to me. We came back to being sweet and having a strong relationship. But the old woman uses black candle, is it okay?

And one last thing. I’m just afraid because, it’s not true love.. Or is it? 

Thanks in advance.
– Rose B.

Again, being the IT Support for someone else’s handiwork because a dabbler didn’t want to fix their problem themselves.

Anybody who has been in spellwork for at least three months would get down the very basics of candle magick and color magick. Black is a simple one, depending on how it is used. It can make things go away. It can make things happen, it depends on how it is used…and that can vary with practitioner.

About true love: not only is it oneism (a word yinked from Dr. Nerdlove), where you think that there is only one, singular person for you – it is definitely not here. True love stays on its own, you don’t need spellwork to tack your true love down and make them stay.

If the ex-boyfriend (I kind of am seeing why he left) is gone, he’s probably not true love. Yes, he could come back but it would be more of an expression of true love if he came back on his own. To force him back via spellwork is no different than if you went to his house with a gun and said “We’re gonna be together – forever. I promise you.” It’s not true love, it’s scary. And would you want someone to do either of those things to you?

I remember responding to this and saying the relationship is going to eventually crash and burn, like it did for the first asker. I still stand by that. It may be great and amazing now but that trip is going to end pretty soon, especially when the usual bumps and scrapes of relationships (having disagreements, tiffs) happen. Restrict free will and you’re going to get problems. They always happen. Especially if the guy finds out that you don’t really love him, you’re just putting a fix on him simply because you don’t like being lonely. Because that’s seems to be the actual motivation, – not because he’s a genuine, amazing person. It beats spending Friday nights by yourself, which is lame.

Oils and Magick

Support Black Witch with Digital Coffee

Join the Black Witch Discord Server

I’m getting into more oil-based spellwork and candle work recently. I don’t really know why, I just am gravitating more to using oils in my practice extensively. Mainly in the form of using oil burners, which I’m currently in the market to look for. And I rather buy them from Pagan business since this is for Pagan work. I don’t want to use incense much anymore because while incense makes for wonderful makeshift wands that are hyper-specialized for spell work, regardless of what the spell is for, I just am sizzled out with them. That and there’s the smoke and ash issue, where I just am simply not a fan of it. Especially if I get incense that are a less purer quality than I thought I purchased. I still don’t mind having small sticks around if I need to quickly awash something in smoke but that’s pretty much it. And I rarely do that, at that.

I’ve been looking for proper oil burners, primarily from Pagan stores before going to more general purpose locations. I generally look in places such as Gryphon Moon, and search for other shops like Eclectic Artisans before going for general shops because I want to buy from Pagan business for the simple fact that I’m Pagan and the purpose of the item I’m getting is for a Pagan practice. It’s not that I think the burner will be more infused with more magickal energies than if I got it from some faceless entity on Amazon, it’s simply an economic choice. It’s no different from the reason why I buy only Black-owned hair products.

So far, I just been doing the rudimentary method of simply drawing the oil on the side of the pillar candle, two lines going towards the center for invoking, two lines going away from the center for evoking. Very basic, simple to do. I simply would like to combine whatever oils I have, or purchase oil combinations from trusted Pagan sellers, such as dragon’s blood oil and rose oil, throw it in the oil bowl, stick a candle underneath and call it a day. I always like to keep my rituals super, super simple and quick to do. This also means I can create whatever combinations I want and store them for whatever future use. Not to mention, I also like to easily put them out of the way when I’m done the ritual (unless I am doing one with a meditative bit in it, where I meditate until the oil/candle/incense runs out – which I need to get back into doing). I don’t mind drawing over the candle with oil but I also have to clean the candle holder out when the oil runs or worry the sigil/design is going to bleed together. I don’t mind making a special oil concoction, take some flash paper, write whatever I need to on it, infuse with a dip in the oil and put it on the candle with tweezers. This is very simplistic for me and I like simplistic.

Also, since we’re on the subject of oils, here are some must-knows:

Tweezers are awesome, not fingers: Please use tweezers, flash paper (especially oil soaked flash paper) will go up quickly. Do not use your fingers! It may break the “ooh, oh so magickal” feel of the ritual but it’s a lot better than getting 1st/2nd degree burns or trying to drop the flash paper accurately into the flame. The deities will not protect you from your own stupidity.

Burn only pure essential oil, nothing with carrier oils: You will quickly regret this if you burn oils that have carrier oils in them (jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, etc). The point of a carrier oil is that they are supposed to dilute the oil to make it safer to wear on the body. They smell absolutely awful if you burn them. If the oil is not pure essential oil, you’re going to be able to see it, smell it and it won’t smell very good. A great book to have is The Idiot’s Guide to Spells and Potions and, of course, Lauren Manoy’s Where to Park Your Broomstick, she has a fantastic section on burning oils.

Fire safety is good: Working with heating oil is great for spell work but oil has a flash point where it goes from liquid oil to raging inferno (ditto with candles that have too much stuff in its wax pool). Please have sand or baking soda – NOT Water – to extinguish the flame safely. Water and oil does not mix, water will make the oil (and the flame that exists on the oil) spread. Same thing if you blow on the conflagration. It will become a bigger mess because of basic fire chemistry. If you are the freak-out type, have a bag of sand or box of baking soda beside you so you can quickly dumpy the mass on the flame while you’re having a “Fire! Fire!” flailing session. If you’re the cool, calm, collected type (also known as the “firebug with experience” type), still have the sand or baking soda with you. Pour on flame and you’re done. You can also smother the flame using big enough cookware but sand/baking soda is very small and compact to carry with you.

Do not apply pure essential oil to body, always dilute: Essential oils can irritate the skin if applied by themselves. Some essential oils can’t ever be applied to skin. Always check if it is ok. Do not believe the extremely harmful myth of “everything in nature is good for you” because that’s not true – Hurricanes exist, hemlock exist, volcano exists. Nature is chaotic, some parts are good, some parts are not. Some oils are dangerous to wear, don’t do it and risk poisoning yourself. Wear an oil diffuser locket instead.

Do not drink essential oils: If essential oils can cause problems on the external parts of your body, they definitely will wreak havoc on your innards. Learn to get better with teas if you want to drink your concoctions.

Don’t have animals around or have them secured: Yes, there are familiars but this is not Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, your cat/dog/ferret/hamster/gecko/chinchilla will not calmly and idly sit by your side as you do spellwork. They will run around, knock things over, get into stuff and create a great fire risk. If you do not want to flambe your pet accidentally, keep them out of the room. You can hold them but keep a good hand on them and extinguish the flame if you’re about to let them go so, again, you don’t accidentally flambe your pet.

Store oils in dark bottles and at room temperature: Amber bottles, cobalt bottles, these are great for storing oils and preventing them from going rancid. Keep oils at room temperature, do not keep them in very hot or cold places.

If you burn yourself: Get an actual burn ointment, do not put butter on burns. That soothes nothing and can cause infection. You are a person, not a biscuit. At least have vaseline or pure aloe handy (if you have both, make a mixture!) but get a small packet of burn ointment.

Ok, moving on.

Oil work in magick is really great for me, I never really done it a lot because oil upkeep can suck when you have a crowded apartment or worse, you still live with your family that didn’t know you were Pagan and, thus, have to be stealth about it. If a bottle breaks or leaks, that’s most likely all your amount for whatever scent oil it was. Also, pure oil can be pricey because of the process that exist to make such oils. There’s so many reasons why having oils about can be annoying and a bit high maintenance. However, if there’s a spot to hold the oils and keep them contained properly, without risk of breaking or being in sunlight, it’s really a nice thing to have.

Support Black Witch with digital coffee
Join the Discord Server!

Last Ask Black Witch had a question from a person who said he was a witch of 17 years…and wanted a spell to bring back his cheating girlfriend. Part of my response was:

Regardless of whether you practice witchcraft or not, heartbreak is still possible. If someone’s going, “If you’re a witch, why can’t you make the person love you and never leave you?” Because that’s abuse and would you like someone to do that to you? Free will is still a thing. Practicing witchcraft doesn’t make you impervious to life’s problems.

Apparently, that wasn’t all! I got more from the dude after the post went up:

Breh.

Really?

Two things:

A) I seriously think this person has not spent even 17 months in Paganism, Witchcraft, nothing. Ethics gets covered in the first year, so there’s no excuses.

B) Even if the dude decided to forgo ethics over a broken heart this time, he still wouldn’t be begging someone else to handle his problem. He’d already know what to do.

Let’s talk love and ethics in magick because, holy crap, it’s a reoccurring topic. It’s amazing how folks think that because they’re not using guns and threats, it officially not abuse anymore so let’s start there.

What is Abuse?

There are various types of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, etc) but abuse is basically the act of impinging on someone else’s free will for destructive means. Mundane examples of abuse:

– Restricting contact with others

– Treating person as if property, not as an individual

Gaslighting

This guy here is hurt that his ex-girlfriend (let’s face it, she’s gone), cheated and left…and given his “she’s mine” approach, it makes me wonder if it was actually a cheating. She could have simply have broken up with him and found someone new. It’s not uncommon for abusive significant others to see a clear-cut break up and moving on as “cheating” because, in their head, the person never left or broke up, they’re just playing about – but now they’re being “unfaithful” since there’s a new person involved.

There’s also the thing that this type of behavior doesn’t magically pop up during immense stress, such as a big break up. Oh, certainly, emotions can drive someone to act in ways that are odd to their regular personality but there are such things as red flags. There’s a difference between sobbing “don’t leave me!” on the floor (and via text…and on social media), and declaring “leave me and I’ll kill you and the dog!” The latter behavior shows a more abusive streak that was most likely present throughout the entire relationship (and probably the reason why the person left). This dude is showing the latter.

What points this out is, first, the dude is initially asking about how to get his “cheating” girlfriend back, as if I have a history of just giving out spells and for any request – which I don’t. Then there’s the fact I already suggested moving on and therapy to get over the break up, the dude still asks about spellwork. Being dismissive of the initial answer is not a good look if you don’t want to look like a controlling ex-boyfriend. Listening is a crucial skill in relationships – and when interacting with other humans.

Finally, there’s the phrase of “I’ve been trying to do this without hurting the other guy”.

Usually, I would say, “it’s possible to blame the significant other for straying because they knew they were in a relationship, a fact they could have consciously withheld from the person they were cheating with”, but here? Why put care into not hurting the other guy, which means the ex-girlfriend is 100% fair game? I mean, it takes two to cheat, the significant other and the person they’re cheating with. It sounds like the dude just wants the girlfriend back to simply punish her. Not work things out, just mete out punishment. Which is shifty.

There’s feeling hurt and angry, those are legit feelings, but this is not the route to go down. At all. This is no different if the dude walked into a gun shop and was trying out glocks, saying to the shop owner, “I don’t want to hurt the other guy, I just want my cheating girlfriend back.”

If she’s a cheating piece of sh*t, then just ditch her. Be angry but let her go. Take time to heal and work on yourself.

In general, this is part of why I don’t do pay for pray (paid spellwork), bother with love spells or anything of that nature. Add in human ego and things can go south ridiculously fast.

Ethics is a very boring topic in magick, certainly. It can take the fun out of the whole “Ooooh, I’m a witch!” thing. But it’s important, because it’s better to set the lines clearly before you mistakenly cross them. Ethics is important especially in topics such as love and war because, that’s where they’re most needed.

People make rash decisions. There are pages and pages of history that proves this. People, regardless of gender, are emotive. Incredibly emotive. “Long wars have been fought over small differences” emotive. This can be really, really bad for so many reasons if left unchecked, thus why ethics exist. Ethics are the defined rules a person should follow, regardless what their emotions dictate. No matter how it feels at the time, emotions are not always right. Emotions may feel right, during that moment, but ethics help give a fairly defined “what is right/what is wrong, what is good/what is bad” line to decide with.

This is why I mentioned “what about ethics?” because that should be a go-to. It’s why ethics exist. If you wind up dismissing the ethics, that can be a super downhill slide.

Small Magick

Support Black Witch with digital coffee!

Magick is usually depicted as grand gestures and actions. Sitting in a circle, in front of a loaded spread of all sorts of magickal tools and accessories. Taking up space and having major clean up. Sometimes simple is best. Small and simple is better.

I like to keep things to one container. A tupperware full of sand for me to position stones and small, birthday candles. I can stick incense in the sand and the ash mixes with the sand when I’m done. The sand absorbs the wax, I have something I can reuse over and over.

Also, there are big jar candles that can store small stones, dried herb and other accessories like small seashells and dried honey combs. This is great for one-off spells and spells that need multiple days to perform, such as 7 day spells. These candles can be bought for cheap at any general store or market, in any color and with a variety of scents. Three wick candles are really nice.

It’s important to use small stones, the kind that would be stringed on a necklace (these can be bought by the string on Ebay, usually). The reason is because they would be hard to clean and reuse afterwards, especially with non-smooth stones. Also, small stones can be moved about and let space for other items in the candle jar.

Be mindful! Use flash paper, not regular paper, if you plan to burn anything written in these candles. Regular paper will absorb the wax and practically double as a second wick, which will eventually heat the wax and turn into a big conflagration. If not put out in time, it will break and shatter the glass, especially if you blow on it or put water on it. If the flame does start to be out of control, use baking soda. An alternative is a metal cooking lid or pan to cover and suffocate the flames. Do not use water.

Not a smart idea, use baking soda instead.

Do not overload the candle jar. The flame does need space and wax to burn. It’s fine to cover the wax thinly but not to stuff the mouth of the candle jar full. That means no stuffing in regular sized pine cones, big sticks, etc. This could also create a big fire. If you want to burn notebook paper, crumple it up first and tightly. Light it on the flame of the candle and hold it with a small pinch until it is burned away enough over the jar and place the rest of it in the jar and watch it intensely. If you don’t want to do that, transfer everything to flash paper. If you’re using a metal candle jar, you don’t have to worry about the jar breaking from heat but you should place it on a surface that can handle intense heat, like stone.

Once the candle goes out, what you do with the remaining container is up to you. You can throw it away, you can put soil in it and grow flowers, whatever works best for the spell. Do not throw it away in a natural place like in the woods or in a river. While it is quaint and idyllic, it is also pollution. The sun can shine through the glass onto dry grass and cause a wildfire. The glass could shatter somehow and an animal could cut their foot or body on it.

This method of magick is cheap, small and very useful. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, nor a lot of work. It may not be a full layout of a circle but it does what is needed.

Support Black Witch with digital coffee!

It’s Ask Black Witch! Let’s get into it!

Hey. I’m black and new to Wicca and I am a bit scared. I read some stuff about it being good and just recognizing that everything we need is already provided for us. I’ve also read some not so good stuff that said it’s the devil trying to lure you away from Jesus and how they went back to Christ after bad experiences. I set up an altar but I don’t know what to do with it. Who am I praying to? You know? I was wondering if you can help me? …I guess I’m scared of like opening doors for things that aren’t good. Like I said… who am I praying to exactly in Wicca? I’m def not praying to a horned God… I get a bad feeling about that.

– Alie B.

Oi, you practically sound like me when I was a teenager getting started into Paganism. (It’s not Wicca but Wicca falls under Paganism the same way Catholicism and Baptist fall under Christianity). Growing up Christian, you get that thinking of if you step one toe outside of the Bible, God and Christ will both hate you and come down from the Heavens to strike you down.

“How dare you be nice to gay and trans people! Jesus didn’t die for you not to have guns and never vote Republican!”

Yay dealing with religious social doctrine and the fear it can induce. I remember when I would go through the “Am I saved? Does God hate me? Maybe I should be saved” go-about. I still remember reading a small Christian tract via the light under my door when I was a young teenager, fearful that I wasn’t somehow saved…despite doing it several times prior. I remember being scared to even touch books about witchcraft and divination because it was supposed to be demonic and so on and so forth.

I’ve heard the “Wicca/[other religion] is just the devil tempting you away from Jesus” shtick soooooo many times. So many times. That it will cause life issues, that your life will fall apart, you’ll never have material wealth, your credit will be bad, your pet hamster will set the house on fire with pipe bombs and attempt to assassinate the mayor, everything terrible will happen.

I know from experience how scary it sounds because you don’t want to make the wrong life choices and piss off a jealous god. Thing is, there’s really no right or wrong answer and there’s definitely no right or only religion. I mean, think about it like this: there are tons of religions that existed waaaaaaaay before Christianity and a good chunk of them said the same thing: “Hey, we’re the one true way, anyone else is wrong!” It’s a great way to keep believers but it’s a pretty crappy way to keep everyone else in the religion.

Even if you stayed Christian, you’re going to have crappy life experiences. Everyone, regardless if they practice any faith or not, is going to have life experiences that are horrid. Your life is not going to take a turn for the worse by itself because you switched faiths.

Granted, while the world does not care what religion you practice, the people around you might. I learned that when I became Pagan, the life issues I had were mainly people-related because, well, they didn’t like the fact I still converted away from Christianity despite their fear-mongering…so they decided to try to make my life very hard. Just so they could artificially prove their point that if I left Christianity, my life would get harder. The game plan was that I would go “geez, you’re right” and go back to Christianity. Instead I went, “wow, you’re doing all the terrible things. That’s not an act of God, it’s an act of discrimination. Glad I’m not part of that religion anymore.”

Now, you don’t have to pray to anyone in particular. That includes the Horned God as well. (I had the same squicked out response you did when I started. I still don’t pray to the Horned God and I’ve been Pagan for practically half my life.) You don’t have to pray to any particular god or goddess, frankly. You can just be general about your prayers to nature or the universe itself, especially if you’re new. You can pray to a general God and Goddess/Lord and Lady, not to a specific deity. Or to a goddess in general, instead of a god. These methods are probably a good place to start until you learn more about various deities as time goes on, anyways. That way, you don’t scrunch yourself into a corner.

The altar you have can be decorated with whatever you want. There is no must for set up. Do you like the sea a lot and really relate to the water element? Seashells, sands and more seashells! Have a little enhydro agate (a rock that naturally has water inside) in the middle of the altar. There you go. Prefer air? Feathers and wind chimes are the direction you should go in. Don’t care for any of that stuff? Stay super general and put some nifty rocks and candles in that space. There’s no rule that says you have to have an alter, either. I actually don’t. I never did because I was hiding my faith when living with my parents but now, it stuck. One less surface to clean and tidy up.

In Wicca, there a lot you can do. Partially because it is a religion that was created in 1957 so it doesn’t have a lot of mileage like other faiths do. Doesn’t make it less valid, it just means you shouldn’t put yourself under a bunch of pressure.

As long as you’re not trying to summon spirits or leap straight into astral projection, you’re fine. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself. Just read a lot of books (stay away from Raven Silverwolf, good gods, she sucks) and take it easy.

(For everyone reading, if rape is a trigger for you, this is the end of the column. See you next week!)

Hi…. The  great witch i am aashu i am 26 i  always wants a succubus for me many of times i tried retuals and everything but  didn’t get one many of times i written letter to the great Lilith but didnt get responce i was trying  in last one year can you help me to summon succubus as my partner and my lover i love succubus can you help me 

-Aashu T

Firstly, my initial response to this email:

This is an incredibly stupid question for many reasons. Why do you think I do spellwork for others? Succubi are not fun romps nor do they love, they rape, which is not fun (ask any rape victim. Any. Guy, gal, doesn’t matter). Lilith isn’t a succubus, idiot, she’s supposed to be the first wife of Adam that is cast away because “she’s too independent” (which is stupid on it’s own). 
Maybe you should just buy a fleshlight and stay out of magick. I’d suggest dating but you probably shouldn’t interact with other humans since thinking of some sort  is a quality most look for. At least I’ll have a question to mince on ABW. This is definitely a stupid question.
Okay, let me break down why this is a really, really, really stupid question. 
Firstly, let’s break down rape itself because the Succubus part is going to be super simple after that. Then the gender part because, holy crap, that’s super evident.
Rape, in short, is non-consensual sexual acts. It does not matter if the non-consent takes form of fighting back, arguing, being frozen as a statue, looking terrified, attempting to leave, being asleep or unconscious, resisting (even super slightly), being drunk or simply any other act that does not scream “consent/yes”. If it isn’t consent, it’s rape. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if the person didn’t scream “no” and starting beating the rapist head in with a brick because that rapist happened to be someone the person knew (which is roughly around 75-80% of rapes in total). Here’s how the FBI defines rape:
Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Attempts or assaults to commit rape are also included.
I want to focus on the “without the consent of the victim” part, because that’s what instantly turns any sex act on earth into rape. Instantly. Consent is a big deal because of how many people bypass it due to bullsh*t social constructs that usually hinges on toxic masculinity worldwide. (Think of the alpha/beta and red pill/blue pill arguments that are frequent on Reddit and 4chan. And why the 14th/15th century term “cuckholding” is getting a resurgence centuries later.) While there are widely circulated ideas that a “real man” takes sex (rapes) instead of waiting for it to be offered (waiting for consent), it makes for a lot of terrible experiences for the person it happens to. Traumatic experiences. Much, much more traumatic than the childish worry of “I can’t get laid”. So traumatic that you have to warn people of the topic ahead of time so they can prepare themselves in case they get flashbacks from their own person experience with it.
Oh, and it’s illegal. FBI changed the definition back in 2013 because they wanted better accuracy because better accuracy means longer prison sentencing, which I strongly support.
Now, remember the “no consent = rape” bit, it’s going to be important now that we’re about to talk about the succubus part.
A succubus, as defined by Mythology Dictionary:
A demon in the form of a female which attacks sleeping men and has intercourse with them. [BW note: A male version is called an “incubus”]
Now, if a guy thinks that this sounds fantastic, a woman – well a demon – always down to have sex kinda forgets that the words “attack” and “sleeping” are used. It’s rape. If guys thought that rape was awesome, they wouldn’t use rape jokes and rape threats so much or get intensely emo when accused of it. It’s also part of why summoning a succubus is difficult because…if it’s consent, it’s not rape. They rape, which implies non-consent. If there’s consent, it’s a sex act. If there’s no consent, it’s rape. It’s like saying, “I want people to rob me so I just started giving my stuff away to random people on the street.” That’s not getting robbed (the act of having your things taken away from you without consent), that’s donation (willfully giving your stuff away).
In a nutshell, if you’re willing, they’re not showing up. And if they did, it would not be while you’re willing. And it would definitely not be the stuff of dreams but the fuel of nightmares. Example: if you’re a dude not into pegging or stressed limbs, the succubus would make the whole experience 100% pegging and stressed limbs. Because it would be rape due to the absence of consent and crossing of established boundary. Because succubus only rape.
Alright, now onto Lilith, who is not a succubus. Granted, I may have screwed up my Liliths. I was thinking of the first wife of Adam. There’s a different one, as defined by Mythology Dictionary:
A Babylonian goddess. She is envisaged as a winged demon woman attacking sleeping men. Also called Lilith.
Actually, reading what the God Checker link and Mythology Dictionary has, this goddess has most likely seen some historical retrofitting. Either way, this is probably more of what the guy thought he was summoning. Still not a succubus. That would be a regular demon. This is a goddess which is almost more facepalming. If demons are hard to control, deities are absolutely worse. And all to get laid? Oh geez, here’s Oh Joy, Sex Toy’s review on various fleshlights. They’re all in easy-to-read comic form and have discount codes.
This guy wanted Lilith, a goddess that has also been depicted being a vampire and eating babies and raping men, for a partner. As if she would be entertained in a worthless human guy when she already had options of otherworldly demons. It’s a little funny because if this dude thought he could control Lilith, which other deities were having issues doing, it really shows this guy has room temperature IQ, Celsius.
Alright, we got the Lilith bit out of the way. Let’s focus on the gender stuff.
I don’t think I have heard of women wanting an incubus. Wait, no. I remember literally one time a woman said that to me and what stood out to me was how other women stared at her. No high-fives. No jovial agreement, just plain “what the fu-” stares. Y’see, rape is already a horrible and very real threat held over women heads constantly all around the world so it doesn’t sound like a fun sex romp but like the terrible action it is.
Note, this is different from force-laden BDSM acts, which are discussed prior in a non-sexually charged and sober setting to iron out the details. This is a form of consent because all participants are comfortably planning in advance what is ok, what is not ok, where the boundaries are, how to do aftercare, safewords, etc. This is consent in action.
Frankly, this question is the kind of question I definitely want to see less of. There’s being lonely but read Dr. Nerdlove to sort that out.

Support Black Witch with Ko-Fi!

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.

%d bloggers like this: