Category: Resources & Information


Good afternoon . My name is Jasmine. I’ve read your blog a few times and I love your self expression and openness . I have been interested in paganism for sometime ..I just don’t know where to start..I would like to become a witch but not a wiccan. I really like like idea of hoodoo but im not looking to conjure up anything. I really just want to feel connected to nature and in tune with myself. I also want to master meditation,  enhance my intiuation and maybe get a glimpse of the spirit world. I was raised in am extremely Christian household but those beliefs were never something that I could truly embrace. I basically felt nothing but fear to be honest.  Now that all of my fears are behind me I am so ready to learn and research but I really don’t know where to start. I’ve done tons of Googling . I am sorry if this sounds silly or offensive ..it is hard for me to explain myself through the internet. I appreciate your time.

-Jasmine

Hoodoo is nice, and you don’t have to summon anything. It can simply be ancestor work and still using the spirits and entities for basic and advanced magick work. Hoodoo, in short, is like any other traditional form of folk magick, use as appropriate.

To work with mediation, it can seem super easy but, in our fast-paced world, it can seem drastically difficult. I recommend learning breathing exercises to get a start on meditation. It’s great to learn to do and improve energy manipulation, which is great for magick work. Thankfully, there are now apps to help you learn meditation, as well as books. Starting with books, I always recommend Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy. As for apps, I recommend Intellicare’s free app called “Purple Chill”. It has a very effective bit for deep breathing, which is fantastic to learn to get a great start for meditation.

The main layout looks like this:

2015-12-23-12-27-21.png

The deep breathing has a small, lavender orb that expands slowly and retracts slowly, helping you maintain breathing at a steady pace. The rest is just as useful.

As for boosting intuition, that’s definitely work but I recommend Intuition Magick by Linda Keen and Everyday Magic by Vivianne Crowley. They’re great for helping learn how to better your intuitive sense and safely.

If you want to get a good look into the spirit world, you want to know what you’re doing so I would hold off on more advanced practices until you’re better at knowing yourself and your practice. Start off with doing ancestry work and build on that. Working with spirits means you never know what you’re going to get, even if you’re well practiced. I mistakenly summoned a Throne angel when I was 17. That was an experience I don’t want to experience twice, ha!

Once you do get a little further into spirit work, when you get a better hand in it, it’s best to get an encyclopedia on spirits and entities. I’ve suggested a number of books here, in The Arts: Samhain Edition, that can totally help you.

 

Alright, that’s really all I’m getting into today. However, I noticed I’m getting a lot of “body switching” spell requests. I’ll be writing on this at length but for now, I don’t do spell requests. I definitely don’t do body switches, I don’t even know why people bother me about it because I never ever talk about doing spells for others (or there would be a price list). Instead, anyone who asks is pretty much opening themselves up for absolute ridicule.

See y’all next year!

faceq1450907940325.png

 

It’s been a while! What we’re gonna focus on is a site that help you learn how to solder and code! That would be Adafruit. I was going to do SparkFun but then I had found AdaFruit, which is woman-owned and positioned in NYC (which is closer to me, who is on the Eastern coast).

What I like from Adafruit was the use of wearable technology that can be made, such as gloves that reacts to taps or whatever you want. They even have thin conductive thread that you can sew into clothes to make reactive. Same for rubber cords and LED sequins. There’s even an LED sewing kit for beginners. This is great for cosplayers, of course, but also, I just like the greater selection of items on their site than on SparkFun.

Interacting with Adafruit circuitboards, I really like how easy it is to program and code. Now, I already have a coding background (that is rusty but is still there), but the site has a fantastic “Learn”  section which includes cool projects such as wearable NFC, like unlocking your phone with a manicure via an NFC tag ring and a door detector where you get an email, tweet and/or text every time the door is opened! There’s so much to do and work with, it’s a lot of fun! And most importantly, once you get coding and circuit building, the ideas are endless. You can even make an audio player that is super teeny[link].

What I also like about Adafruit is how it has a wide range of projects, including projects that could easily be gendered “feminine” such as a UV manicure lamp. This is really great because it doesn’t make robotics and coding feel like it is only a “guy thing”, which is annoying and can easily kill interest because when you only have ideas for one end of a spectrum and neglect the rest, there’s not really a lot of ideas. Girls, just like guys, have lives and that means there are eventually going to be gadgets that reflect that. Why, I just featured an app not too long ago called Period Tracker, which basically uses technology to help women keep track of their periods. Works fantastically, is a great display of technology merging with life, makes life easier – which is why technology exists. This appeals very well to girls and women alike without ever having to use a revolting shade of pink: actually being inclusive with products, projects and tech that helps the inner lives of women, from super important (Period Tracker) to the frivolous (UV manicure lamp). This is really nice about Adafruit, it’s a comfortable site to have.

If you’re new to coding and soldering, I recommend finding cheaper soldering kits on Amazon or Ebay (like, $10 cheap) because you don’t want to be dismayed by the pricing on Adafruit (and SparkFun) over the basics. Thanks to the internet, you can do pretty much anything so go for it! Tech work is really cool to do.

Next week is Ask Black Witch. Usually I say “send in questions” but I’ve gotten quite a bit since I was gone so I’ll answer those instead. You can still send questions (remember: good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated) but it’s no promise I’ll get to it.

Firstly, sorry the blog was stagnant for two weeks, had to deal with real life stuff that also involves preparing to move. Annnnd the ads should be gone by now, usually I have a “no-ads” feature. Moving on with the rest of the column.

Recently, I was contacted by a person for a death spell. Basically, they wanted me to kill someone out the blue for literally no apparent reason. First of all: I don’t do spells for others. Second of all: I’m not a hitman, get a gun and do it yourself like practically everyone else does. Third of all: Please remember I have friends in the police, up to lieutenant rank. Fourth of all: Please just do your research so I don’t have to make fun of you and initially dismiss the severity of your situation.

After several emails of half information, basically what had happened was I got contacted by a teenager who decided to send nudes to a random person over Kik because person B said “here are poses/games to prove that you are bi” (which is a bs request, just saying) and now the teen is regretting this very decision a bit too late now that person B, also possibly a teen, is extorting for more explicit acts and so on and so forth. The thing here as well is that the teen is over around the Middle East/Fertile Crescent and Person B is in Illinois. This teen was really hard to help because, wow, they really wanted to be spoon-fed info (look, there’s “What’s the number to 911?” panicking and, “What will/does [FBI/Interpol/etc] do?” after being linked to info pages) so, here it is for everyone because I’m a firm believer in “Don’t put yourself in a situation you aren’t capable of getting out of” and “information is everything” (or I wouldn’t have a career in libraries and a high IQ).

Firstly: If you are a teenager, DO NOT send explicit pictures of yourself. If you are considered a minor in the eyes of the law (usually hovering around 18-ish, depending on national laws), it counts as child pornography automatically. The law is like your parents, they don’t care if you think you are an adult, you’re still a kid, comparatively. This is for your protection. Here’s a site with a fantastic rundown of sexting laws and punishments (for both sender and receiver) by state in the United States. For example, the person in Illinois, if they’re honest about being a teenager and receiving this stuff, they’ll get hit with being arrested and tried in juvie court where, if convicted, they have to do counselling, community service and be supervised by the court. If they lied and turns out they’re an adult they’re pretty much screwed because they will be prosecuted under the state pornography laws and, if convicted, required to register as a sex offender, as well as whatever else the court can happily pile on, which is 2 to 15 years, depending on the severity and how the judge feels. If the teen that contacted me was also in Illinois, they would have been punished as well for producing child pornography with the penalty of counselling, supervision and community service. Take a look at the site yourself, if isn’t worth it. Already, you can’t control what someone does with your picture (or if their phone gets hacked), risking the very serious penalties of producing child pornography as well as other charges because the courts haven’t fully caught up to the digital age? That small .02 second pic is seriously going to cost you. As in, it’ll be on your record for colleges and jobs to see and if you think trying to get work and get into school is hard enough, try having that mark on your record. Find other ways to bond with people that isn’t so risky.

Secondly: If someone is pressuring you to do it, they actually don’t care about you or love you or else they wouldn’t risk your safety and well-being. Period. Sending a nude is not a testament of how in control you are or how much you love them, and they actually know that – even when they’re saying otherwise. Don’t do it. And if they’re a stranger on the internet, just assume they have nefarious reasons to ask a young person they practically just met to send pornographic material of themselves. Good people don’t do that, only pedo, ephebophiles (pedos but targeting teens), and other very destructive, abusive people do that. I would say “hey, here is how to report” buuuuut honestly, most – if not all – social media sites mainly do lip service but nothing constructive to thwart this from happening and to resolve occurrences that actually have happened. Actually, I researched all the ways to report to FBI, Interpol*, and Kik but then looked a little deeper and saw that, for the people perpetrated against, they really aren’t anything but painted plywood fronts of security theatre unless the victim screencaps everything, is quick to alert authorities and the social sites and basically speak up for themselves.

Thirdly: If this already happened, tell your parents and the feds. Yeah, they’re going to freak out on you because they care and they’re perfectly in their right to go Pompeii about it at the start. The teen that talked to me said her dad didn’t care, just to ignore it. This means either she didn’t actually tell him because, wow, talk about tone deaf, or he seriously doesn’t care about his daughter at all. Most parents would be hitting the roof if they found out that a) their child has been sending nude pictures of themselves to strangers on the internet and b) the stranger they sent it to is extorting them for more.

Basically, practice safe texting, the repercussions aren’t worth it.

*How are things on the West coast? – I had to do it, I’m sorry 😄

Firstly, join me and Tamara Winfrey Harris on Sunday at Exittheapple on 2334 Guilford Ave between 11AM-3PM in Baltimore City, MD for a discussion of the recent book The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America. I believe there will be light refreshments. Alright, onward with the column.

Posted recently on the African American Wiccans Society FB group page was an article titled “Beware of Fake Crystals on Ebay (How to Know the Difference)” penned by aLoverOfLife. This article is actually really good about how to spot fakes when buying crystals online.

I usually buy my rocks from physical places but I definitely have bought gems online. Sometimes stores will over-price on something that you will eventually think, “This is a rock. I am about to spend $25 on a semi-common rock smaller than a phalange on my finger” in regards to so you want to have a more acceptable price. However, the thing about buying online is that you can wind up with fakes. Surprisingly, it never truly dawned on me that folks would sell fake stones because I thought it would stand out but I’ve been staring at rocks speculatively since I was a kid (and had a rock growing kit using chemicals) so there’s probably that. However, give folks an inch, they’ll take up half the coastline of California: I’m good at identifying a fake but the average person isn’t and especially not the noob who really just want to get any stone to start their witchy practice. And while there are those who would say, “Why don’t the person just go outside and dig in the dirt? There you go, rocks galore,” you’re not likely to find a Herkimer diamond or phantom quartz or sodalite in your backyard in the middle of Detroit. Hence why folks like me buy stones in physical and digital places.

The information the writer got was from an Ebay seller that recently closed shop that finally decided to share the tricks of the trade of how to spot a fake versus a real rock.

The starting information is about Azeztulite/Satyaloka (I’m not going to quote the whole article since clearly it has been written but merely give my own experiences), which is simply not real. It’s just a milky quartz with the price hiked up way high up. Also, here’s a rule of thumb since this is probably going to come up a lot: if the seller mentions that the rock (or any item of question) comes from a “secret” or “old” pocket or space of any US state or country (the more otherized, the better), it’s probably a fake. It’s very rare this is actually the case. If the orgin story sounds too glamourous to be true, it probably is. For example, I could find really good stones under the Middle River Bridge in Baltimore City, my hometown, buuuut that orgin story wouldn’t sell as well as “found from a secret pocket among the Appalachian mountains region”, which is basically the same thing, jazzed up.

Also, the piece says that rough white quartz is pretty much worthless in price. That’s actually quite true. Remember, not everything that comes from the earth warrants a high price and also remember that high prices are man-made, no rock comes out the ground with a price tag. Usually prices (fair ones) are based on established value delved from location (is it somewhere remote or easy to get to?), ease of acquiring (can you just pick it up off the ground or have to scale a mountain?) usage (can it power something or just be a pretty paperweight?) and rarity (are there a bunch of these scattered around like gravel or is this the only rock you’ve seen like this?). This is why some metaphysical shops will gouge the price of a gem you could purchase from a science-y rock store for less.

Next mentioned are glass crystal points from China. I don’t like the hyper focus on China because geez, it’s becoming yellow scare shorthand for “cheap, worthless, comes a hundred a penny”. Yes, a lot comes from China (it’s a big country, in case no one has noticed) but still, it bugs me. Moving on, buying glass when you thought you were getting crystal certainly sucks. The tell-tale sign, as noted on the piece, is that they’re perfectly clear and quite big but quite cheap. A crystal like that would sell for hundreds, possibly thousands, not ten dollars. If they have fractures, they look odd because they were made with a cloth and a ball peen hammer.

There’s also a common man-made fracture made, as illustrated by the article, by heating the glass and dipping it in room temp water (or cold water), which makes these odd fractures. I think I gotten one myself because it was thrown in when a purchase was made at the Maryland State Fair. It was a clear fake because there was glue on top to keep the “stone” fastened to the holder. Remember, I got it for free, mainly because it wouldn’t sell and the seller wanted to make their payload lighter when it was time to pack up shop.

Here is another “[fake crystal] from China” entry. Y’know, I know China is seen as the king of fakes, partially because of Western orientalism but ummmm, China produces authentic stones as well. Like jade. Not everything in China is fake and other folks in different nations can make dupes as well. It’s not like China (and to a further extent, Nigeria) holds the world population of scammers and frauds. Cons exist everywhere. As for stones, I’ve seen fakies coming straight from New York and LA. Yes, China can make passing fakes but the hyperfocus on them is a bit irksome.

This entry was about colored crystal points. This reminds me of being told once that sapphire is not actually a brilliant blue unless scientifically doctored. Given the picture on the article, it can show how the “quartz” actually is colored glass. If the quartz can remind you of a kitschy glass kitchen bowl, it’s probably fake. That and if you take a close look at the surface, the surface is probably perfect. Crystals, given their creation, are not perfect, especially at a close look. There are teeny ridges and if you look super close, indentures and fragments. And no bubbles.

Finally a fake gem not from China. Here we have fake smoky quartz from the United States, namely Arkansas (and noticed for the US, a state or location gets made. It doesn’t care what region the fakie came from in China, just the fact that it did, which creates the illusion that all of China pumps out fake stuff when really it’s just certain parts). As pictured on the article, it’s a clear quartz that went through a radiation treatment to give the stark black smoky color. If the color is claimed to come from a heat treatment, it’s a lie. On the article, there is a side-by-side analysis of a man made smoky quartz and a real one as well as a short list of how to tell the difference, which is pretty on point.

Afterwards, you have polished quartz being sold as natural. Goodness, here’s the thing about natural, raw quartz: it doesn’t look “perfect”. Natural quartz have sharp, clean lines instead of dull edges and polished crystals are often cut flat on the base. There is also a short list of how to tell the difference between the two, also very good.

There are certainly more features of false stones and how to tell on the article, I would recommend reading, this is pretty much a very cohesive article for when you buy online but also when you purchase in person. Crystals are bought for their qualities as created by their formation, it is not the same to use false stones or materials such as glass. Metaphysics is a lot more than simply the “power of thought”, authentic materials are important.

I’ve been ridiculously busy so no actual article for this prev week but I do have news. The book The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative on Black Women is coming out. It is an academic book written by Tami Winfrey Harris about the intersections of experiences of Black women, stereotypes and society. I had a chance to participate with this book as one of the interviewed guests. Now that the book is nearly out (you can purchase it on Amazon here, and it will be released July 7th but it is in stores now), it’s promotion time!

On July 7th, Tuesday, at 9PM EST there will be a one hour discussion under the hashtag #TheSistersAreAlright on Twitter. I’ll be participating under my usual @thisblackwitch handle, make sure you check it out!

So, the month focusing on a special subject went down in flames. No writer submissions, I missed my publish dates as well, nothing really went well. That’s not cool. I’ll probably do it again next year, with better preparations.

Instead, I’m just going to direct your attention to a recent interview I just did from ACTION Mag. It was actually a good experience, I recommend reading it.

I’ll also post this call for diverse writers for an upcoming Pagan publication. I was one of the (incredibly) few asked and I said that I wasn’t going to write unless there were at least 6 minority Pagan writers, at least three of them Black. The anthology curator didn’t even bother to ask four in total. Meaning the anthology is geared to becoming nearly all White with some measly token thrown in as if it is just as good as actual diversity. Here are the submission guidelines.  You can also email tara.miller21[at]gmail.com.

Since normal content resumes in April, which is soon, just watch this short film, titled “Cupidon”. It’s about a day in the life of Cupid as he does his job, but makes a mistake with his arrows that turned one person in a potential couple into a total megalomaniac as he tried to make a match.

Nothing New

Now, it’s October, so that means it’s time for me to start thinking about what witchy books to suggest for The Arts!: Samhain Edition. However, there’s one problem: I haven’t been reading any magick books as of recent. It’s just that the books on metaphysics I have come across aren’t really good. They’re too new agey, not really well rounded, not super worth reading. I noticed that when I would come across new books on metaphysics and it would only take me less than thirty seconds to go from “Wow! What’s this?” to “…Meh.” All the books I have been looking at or referencing are books I already have.

So far, new books on metaphysics and magick are mainly following after trends. It isn’t that they never have followed trends (publishing is a business, after all) but now, it’s gotten really sappy. Like, there’s more focus on vampires and paranormal than anything. And really bad sex magick (I seriously saw a book based on 50 Shades of Gray, it was sad), that should never make it to print. Ever. This is a problem because quality books aren’t getting printed out. Or if they are, they’re hiding way too far underneath all the crap books.

Another problem is that, for me, there’s but so much new information I’m going to find on the shelves of book stores and metaphysics section of libraries. A lot of books that are in regular circulation are pretty much the basics to the intermediate of magick and metaphysics. I already know the basics and the intermediates. It doesn’t mean I know everything but it does mean that I need to move on to something a little more challenging.

Or, for now, I can move to online.

I have found better information online than I have in some of the books I have read. This is astonishing to me because usually I would rather go to books for ideas and learning but it seems as of recent, I have found Tumblrs that presented interesting and more dynamic information than the newer books I have come across. One that I can think of is TheLivingWiccan Tumblr. On this Tumblr, there is not only spell information, there is active discussion of Paganism (Yes, I know that the blog is titled with Wiccan but it is still good for Pagan stuff), and with the active imput, there’s much more to learn or at least to engage with. A couple more are kemetduasekhem and TrueRiptide. Those Tumblrs are more about Kemet Paganism, which isn’t my denomination* but is still really informative. Also there’s the Magick tag on my Tumblr.

However, I still find books crucial to learning metaphysics and magick because, frankly, it’s all been done before. We’re mostly using symbology and ideas that have already been established, some for centuries. I think, when reaching to this level, it’s good to try to examine various parts of metaphysics as separate fields such as herbalism or specific sigils traditions. That means, the more advanced the knowledge, the more extra learning is needed. That means learning old languages, reading old source material, things of that nature. This means that knowing ample research skills are a must, especially since some texts are very dated and possibly will show incredible bias (much like some texts of today).

It’s important to know how to discern what is good information and what is not. These skills can be transferable to also researching online because it is important to not take on terrible information that was painted as useful.

The basics of research is that the main game is to be objective as possible, and so does the material. While it can be true that everything has a bias, you have to find the least biased one of them all or at least material that is most biased towards what is actually the truth or reality of a concept.

For example, if there is a site that talks about Chinese mythology but the site does not seem go beyond pop topics that are Westernized (such as Feng Shui, the Chinese horoscope wheel and I Ching) and their mention of China does not reflect the vast diversity of China but instead paints the Chinese as a strongly monolithic and nearly elf-like people, then the material is not worth reading. Also, if the sources are mainly filtered through the West (that the writer got info from a British university, an American research book, a German “expert/scholar” on China, etc), then it is possibly not good since they’re not letting creators speak for themselves. It’s one thing to read a translation (although, it would be good to learn some basic Mandarin Chinese to help determine whether or not the translation is accurate). It’s important to note when orientalism and yellow peril is occurring when researching Chinese mythology because those can kill the validity of any research quickly as it is not based at all on logic but on low-intelligence concepts. Also, here’s a big one: If the writer is trying to make it sound like the material is similar to Christianity, uses Christian concepts to describe beliefs or even so much as brings in another, different cultural idea (such as chakras, which is from India, not China), the book/site is absolutely worthless.

There’s a lot to doing research but it is most important to note that there will be a lot of supplemental reading for even the supplemental reading so try to start from the basics (not Wikipedia, an actual encyclopedia) and use the bibliographies or their reference material as a jump off point.

Also, if the text is even slightly:

  • Homophobic (the text seems strongly heteronormative, erases gay people, depicts them as bad)
  • Misogynist (women are not really present in the text except as example of male existence)
  • Too binary/sexist (uses strict gender stereotypes to discuss actions of the past, does not allow people to depict themselves, puts them in gender boxes that don’t fit.)
  • Racist (a group of people are seen as magical or lowly in comparison to Western ideas of Whiteness. Consistently dehumanized and seen through both popular and subtle stereotypes)

Then the text is problematic and not worth reading or if you still would like to read, be sure to be as hypercritical as possible so you don’t mistaken bigotry for distributed fact.

However, a text is not bigoted if it talks in earnest about what happens to oppressed groups. If the text talks about how women are abused and in what ways, it’s not inherently misogynistic since that is the reality for women throughout the ages (it’s why Feminism/Womanism exists, after all). It is only seen as problematic when the women are framed as mainly objects that are acted upon and that’s it, the text doesn’t talk about women as people, reference women scholars, spotlight important women activists/leaders at the time, or use texts and quotes said/written by women in addition to men or in greater amount than men. If women are absent except as cold research subjects, the material is possibly biased because mainly men are doing the talking and that’s problematic.

Same with other oppressed groups. Even in metaphysics, there are still people involved. And people are still people, even if they don’t have the privilege to be seen or depicted as such.

Also, if a person tries to make up a new word that just sounds new agey or is a clear attempt to replace an already established thought and ideas (such as energy manipulation, chakras, meditation, etc). It’s probably not accurate or worth looking at unless you want to conduct a popcorn gallery.

And finally, if they want your money and say that they have the power of the universe, all here in a book or a downloadable file, that person is a phony, a fraud and a fake. Bar none. If it was that important to humankind, it wouldn’t be so restricted.

That’s all for this week! And since it is October, that means the start of Samhain Pickers! The rules are simple: Submit your entry to me via email (thisblackwitch[at]hotmail.com**). Make sure you have “Samhain Pickers” in the subject of the email. Winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween to get a free divination reading from me! Make sure to include this information in the body of the email:

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Type of Divination (dream interpretation, tarot, cartomancy, natal chart):

And the Samhain Ustream Chat is on, yep, Halloween/Samhain. It will be at 9 PM EST. Be there!

Also, did you remember to click “get notifications” on the Black Witch Fan Page? Do so enable to stay up to date with new Black Witch happenings on Facebook.

keep up with BW on FB

* Since White folks magically become illiterate and their comprehension skills drops straight to “severely mentally challenged” when it comes to these things, I’m going to say it again: I’m not part of any African Pagan tradition. I’m fairly general with my faith, I’m not strictly part of any African Pagan tradition.

**Written out in a fashion so bots don’t stuff my inbox. It’s aggravating.

This post is part of the “Stuck in my Head” series. Normal posting resumes in April.

This is the last post of the “Stuck in my Head” series. This post will be about how to find a therapist and to help you issues. I can’t promise it’ll solve your problems but it’s best of have some resource somewhere.

When I was looking for a therapist. I actually first went through Google because I didn’t really know what was out there. I searched on Google for “Therapist” and my state and basically called up whatever I saw on the maps. Here are some sites that can help you:

Psychology Today “Find a Therapist”

Network Therapy

Good Therapy

You just have to put in your zip code or your address and they’ll pull up some people that are in your area. When looking for a therapist, it’s important to find one on a sliding scale (my therapy is currently $2USD a session) and will listen to you. A therapist should be on your side, not just treating you like a helpless lunatic. No need to waste your money going to someone you feel is not going to listen to you or make you feel uncomfortable.

When I looked for a therapist, I pretty much would unload and see how they take it. Since I was looking for therapists while being really suicidal, I pretty much picked the therapist that I felt actually listened to me. It should be easy going for the most part at the start as they’re getting to know you. If they do anything, no matter how slight, that raises red flags and create unnecessary friction such as not trying to listen to you or make you feel under the gun.

Now, here’s something that is pretty basic but needs to be said anyways: There’s going to be parts that are going to be right uncomfortable. If you have suffered a lot of trauma, it’s a big ball of twine that is going to take lot of work unraveling. Actually, more like a big tangled box of Christmas lights but you get the drift. That means there’s going to be parts where you don’t want to go and will be very difficult. Just try to get through them the best that you can.

Alright, for those who are dealing with being triggered, I have mobile apps (sidenote: I have Android and Kakao Talk) you can use. See, I tried playing Tetris but after a while, I not only got bored but also started to associate the game with the triggers so I didn’t want to play it because it became a negative feedback loop for me. Here are some games that are really useful when being triggered. These games are on the Korean social media app Kakao Talk but I’m sure there are Western equivalents:

AniPang (I and II) – This game is very similar to Bejeweled and possibly Candy Crush (never played Candy Crush so I’m going off of what everyone else says). You try to switch around the little animal faces and match them up at least three in a row to get points. The music and themes are very cute and helpful to deal with triggers. I like using the little power-up that quickly identifies combos so you don’t additionally stress yourself out more than you are.

AniSachun – This game is a match game where you match two food items against a clock. It’s quick and fun.

It’s important to find a game that uses quick memory skills like Tetris so your mind can better process the triggering event and make it easier to cope with and reduces flashbacks.

Here are also some websites that can help you recover and deal with your mental illness:

WOC Recovery – This is mainly for Women minorities, there’s a lot of great resources and they post regularly.

Imastrugglingpoc – This is for minorities in general to create the safe space that is not provided for us in regular mental health fields

And that’s all for this month! Normal posting resumes.

It’s Ask Black Witch, where you ask me questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Let’s get started!

Hi, I am also a African American woman who practices witchcraft but I consider myself a Christian witch choosing to worship god in a feminine and masculine aspect as my only divine energy…. Do You think it’s possible to be a Christian witch?

– Janelle B.

I actually was a Christian witch when I was starting out. I pretty much went: Christian -> Christian Witch -> Christian Pagan Witch -> Pagan Witch. Christianity is a religion whereas witchcraft is a lifestyle. You don’t necessarily need a religion to practice magick (even though a lot of books are constructed in this fashion). I understand that some may find it confusing due to Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and figure that’s pretty clear cut but here’s the thing: that part was kind of mistranslated, partly for political reasons. Originally it was, “thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live” but then got re-edited to “witch” when King James felt like re-writing the Bible (who, I’m sure we all are aware, isn’t the first to give the holy text the Wikipedia treatment) which was also during a witch craze (it’s where the term “witch hunt” comes from). The word for “witch” as we know it didn’t exist back then and the word that did exist was mainly meant for “poisoner”. Also back then, what we consider were witches were also healers and doctors so to go with the old school idea of a witch, you would pretty much wind up with “thou shalt not suffer a doctor to live”, which is a unarguably bad idea.

Getting back on track, you’re still putting focus on the Christian deity (who I think is never really classified as Dude or Dudette even in the Bible unless consciously put in there so you’re still ok), you’re not letting other deities come before this one and this is just to improve your relationship with the Christian deity. You’re fine, it’s very possible to be a Christian Witch. You’re pretty much practicing magick with a strong emphasis on Christian texts, lore and ideas. This means you’re gonna have to do a lot of research (which I strongly advocate) but yep, it’s doable.

And I know some folks are thinking, “How can you be a Christian Pagan Witch?” Basically, that means you’re Pagan with Christian centered beliefs and you practice magick in line with those beliefs. So instead of the basic Lord and Lady or God and Goddess, you believe in and pray to the Holy Trinity, study the Bible (and all related texts) and other stuff Christians do but fuse it when your Pagan beliefs where appropriate.

Hello, I’m from Baltimore and I’m 22 & black. I’ve always been fond of pagan lifestyle and all things elemental, soul origins, starseeds etc. I’m very I tune with black history so I am thrilled to have found a page/source coming from a black, female, pagan. I was wondering could you give me some insight on how to start practicing magick the correct way. I also believe I have premonitions in my dreams. When I wake up I write my dreams down and they always happen either a week, month, or a year later.

– Tara

Yay! Baltimorean Pagans! Y’all need to show up when I do meet and greets so Black Pagans can meet each other -_- At least be at the Imbloc high rite at Cedar Light Grove tomorrow. I’ll be there!

I think the best way to practice magick “the correct way” is to really just read a lot. Since you’re in Baltimore, I would highly recommend going to the Central library on 400 Cathedral St. and you’ll find books on the second floor of the Business and Social Sciences section. It’s smart to not only read books explicitly for Pagans, Wiccans and neo-Pagans but also read books on history, religion (various religions, Paganism dates back to the Paleolithic period, there’s a lot to cover), cultures (again, Paganism dates back to the Paleolithic period, there’s a lot to cover), and whatever you plan to get into most definitely. Want to learn potions? Good, pick up a book on herbology, chemistry, medicine and biology. Trying to do sigils? Pick up a book on symbolism, history and sigil working. Think outside the box and don’t strictly depend on Pagan authors to tell you everything you need to know. What you need to know is proper information, that’s all. Want to focus on Pan-African magick? Research everything I just told you but take on some added books about the Black experience all over the world from children books to dusty, heavy tomes so you can thoroughly understand what you’re doing (and avoid becoming an Afriboo, you don’t want to be that). Check out some books that I have listed on this site, especially books in the “The Arts!: Samhain Edition” posts. Here are also some Afro-centric books that you shouldn’t overlook:

Encyclopedia Africana (This book is freakin heavy, I’m lettin you know now.)

The African-American Family Album (This is a great book, I strongly recommend it)

And Mythology Dictionary is your friend. Also, it’s not irregular to have precognitive dreams, but it is good you’re taking notice of them, however. Maybe you can notice a trend to tell the different between a pre-cog dream and a regular dream.

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the idea of noetics being used to investigate/explore the physics of witchcraft???

– Madstand

I actually researched noetics a little so I wouldn’t be answering incorrectly (I get rusty, too). Noetics, everyone, is “A multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences,” which is explained on the front page of Noetics.org.

I’m usually iffy with science trying to get into metaphysics of any sorts (and I mean by “metaphysics” is its stark meaning of “transcending the physical”) because science doesn’t really do a good job with anything that can’t be measured physically and thus even scientific tools and techniques can be lacking. It is possible, I’m not arguing that, but extremely difficult. I’ve seen this with science’s interaction with psionics and even with religion. And already with psychology as we currently know it, a science which is based on something as intangible as the human mind and, by extension, the human experience, has holes big enough to ramp a monster truck through because it’s so limited in its knowhow of the human mind and the human experience when it is not hegemonic. If psychology, which has a lot of difference organizations, money, people and schools of thought, can’t see past their own limitations to improve their work, I don’t expect anything better of noetics to explore witchcraft, which is really diverse and thus would require some serious thinking out the box, which I’m convinced science has a hard time doing usually. To explore witchcraft means you’d have to sooner or later explore the people behind them because magick doesn’t always simply pop up out of nowhere, it is created and brought forth. This isn’t to say magick doesn’t exist without people but people definitely add something to the mix, we don’t live in a vacuum separate from nature and life itself.

Basically, noetics to study the physics of witchcraft sounds great on paper but that’s it. Only on paper because it will be screwed up in practice, especially since there “subjective” inner knowledge will be strongly limited.

And that’s all of Ask Black Witch for this month!

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

-Maria J.

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

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

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

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

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

– Venicia

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: