Category: Resources & Information


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!

Alright, it’s The Arts!: Samhain Edition! Here, I am posting more witchy based creative materials that you can use! Don’t forget, you can still submit to Samhain Pickers to win a chance for a free divination reading from me, Black Witch!

Want to send in an entry form? All info will be at the bottom of the post, three winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween.

Now for the Arts!

Mythology Dictionary.com
Want to use a great online dictionary that isn’t God Checker because you want something strictly factual, not overly snarky? Mythology Dictionary is for you! It is ahhhhhhh-mazing! I really love it, I found it looking up new deities dictionaries. Usually whenever I check out mythology, I look up entries on African deities because if you need a litmus test on how well an all-around mythology dictionary works, look up anything that isn’t dedicated to the European deities. If the book has pages on pages about Aphrodite but a thumb print size scribble about Yemeya and the book looks and feel like it could substitute a brick, put the book down … or just lob it at the author’s head. Just chuck it. If it’s an online dictionary, just chuck your online device at them instead. Or a rock.

What I love most about it is how thorough it is on everyone and if there are deities of different cultures that happened to have the same names, they’ll get referenced too so you can learn more about the world or maybe you got the name right but the culture wrong. It’s a fantastic resource that I would highly recommend to anyone, new or experienced, because it’s such an outstanding resource for learning about different deities. Actually, this site will be replacing God Checker in my “Links of Interest” now.

Angelology Dictionary
Ever since having that mention about angels and thrones and such, it kind of has gotten me back into the gear of looking up (good) information of angels because hey, never know when you need the info and I founds a nice, useful general use array to use for when I get back into sigil working (I’m a wee rusty). These books are it!

encyclopedia of angelsThe Encyclopedia of Angels (Rosemary Guiley)

encyclopedia-angels-richard-webster

Encyclopedia of Angels (Richard Webster)

Remember folks, angels are not exactly people with wings so take caution!

Gryphon’s Moon
Avalon Moon would have been here but they’ve gone offline with their shop but Gryphon’s Moon is still here with their fantastic cloaks, Pagan wall hooks (which is great for me because I forever misplace my keys) and fantastic stuffs for all your magickal needs.

Planetary Hours
I know I featured this before but it bears showing again! It is a fantastic site that is great for any magickal practitioner that wants to know the correct day and hour to cast whatever they want. It’s fantastic for anyone who doesn’t want to pick up an ephemeris. Annnnnnnd it is localized so you’ll never make the mistake of finding out the correct hour for casting and discovering that it’s for a town three time zones over. It totally simplifies magick working.

The Hermetic
For my more hermetic practitioners! Here is the Hermetic Library. Read in English and Latin noted and not-so-noted works regarding hermeticism, Thelma and occultism. I just am speechless at the thoroughness of the site. There are writings from William Butler Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Florence Farr, and Swami Vivekananda. Just so much information all in one place. Outstanding simply!

Alright, now that’s that for The Arts:! Samhain Edition. Next Friday is Ask Black Witch. Don’t forget to submit questions! And for those who want to submit an entry for Samhain Pickers , here’s how you do it:

Send in an email to thisblackwitch[at]hotmail.com with “Samhain Pickers” in the subject line. In the body of the email, type:

– Name
– Email
– Type of Divination want done (option: dream interpretation, tarot, cartomancy, natal chart reading):

And press “Send”! Winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween!

Also, I can’t believe I nearly forgot! Ustream chat on Halloween! It will be done at 9 PM EST on Halloween/Samhain. Be there! Ask me questions, interact with me, whatever. Let’s talk!

Alright, some of you probably have learned that the unemployment rate for Blacks is 13% (the national percentage is about 7.5%) and we also are aware that it is so difficult to find a good job nowadays. Simply finding a job isn’t enough, it has to be with substantial pay. So here are some sites I have come across that are really helpful!

Before we begin, we’re going to use an example career so you can see everything through and through so we’ll use my career: Library Science.

Now, when looking for jobs, everything is online nowadays. I don’t have an MLS or an MLA (Master degree) currently so I have to look for Library Technician/Assistant/Associate jobs and I have been working in libraries, both academic and public since I was in my mid-teens. That means I’ll put in Google: “Library Technician jobs – Maryland”. Find out the job name of what you want to get a job in, add your state or city name and click “Search”. Indeed and Simply Hired are good places to look but don’t be afraid to look in other spots but be cautious with Craigslist, the postings could be false.

Here are some other sites that are very useful:

SquawkFox: Resume and Cover Letter series
It is important to have a fantastic resume and cover letter. I was taught how to write one in high school but learned as I got older that not everyone got that built into their curriculum. SquawkFox is fantastic in explaining resumes and cover letter and how to write an effective one.

Here is her Resume Series

Here is her Cover Letter Series

I really like her action words list and her tips about it.

They’re really good, I highly recommend them. If you’re still stumped in writing resumes and cover letters, don’t worry this next site will help.

LiveCareer
This is a great site to help guide you to create your cover letter and resume by making you fill out a short questionnaire to see what you want to write for (Changing careers? Have gaps in your employment?) and even what career you’re tailoring your resume for (you wouldn’t apply for a library job with a resume you’d use to apply to an architecture position) and they let you pick out from a range of templates with easy-to-understand fill in guides so you are getting help in writing your resume and cover letters but you’re still reflected in your writing. It lets you tweak the writing in and mix and match until it is perfect and represents you in the best light for the position.

And you’ll be grateful for the free account you make there, you can save past resumes and cover letters, download them so you can put them in Microsoft Word or whatever you like. And here’s a quick tip – don’t send .doc to prospective job applications. Send .pdf instead because A) it looks more professional B) formatting can get screwy because people have different word processors C) it can’t be altered. And you can export word into .pdf easily, check on Google if you don’t know how.

O*Net
O*Net is great to find out job descriptions and the skills, tools and the educational requirements those positions need.

This is one for a Library Technician position

You can see the skills needed for the job, the tools, the knowledge that I would need and more. It also gives a bit of a look at the prospect projection for the job in the next few years (and, huzzah, it’s a growing field) and even the basic salary. If you really want to check the salary of a position, this next site will help you.

Salary.com
This site is really good if you want to find out the scope of how much a position is supposed to pay and the best part, it is localized to your area.

Here’s what it is for a Library Technician (here as “Technical Librarian I)

Lib tech Salary

And also you can look at another sheet that breaks down job statistics

This is great for you to research if you are underpaid or interviewing for a job where you negotiate your salary because remember, they may try to pay you less because of race and gender, make sure they stay fair.

Glassdoor
Glassdoor is great to find out if a company is as sterling as they present themselves to be. There’s salary information, interview information and reviews on office culture there. Of course, people with negative experiences are more likely to speak out than those with positive but when you see a business with too many complaining reviews, consider that a red flag.

About: Interviewing Questions
This is great to ready yourself for interview questions and also, there’s another page where there are specialized questions for jobs. This is really great for those who have jitters about interviewing because you never know what they’re going to ask.

And that’s The Arts! for this month. Next week is Ask Black Witch so send in questions! Submit using the submission forms on the right, email, comment, so many options. And remember: good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

First, before I start, are you aware of the Ustream chat that will be on June 9th at 6 PM EST celebrating Black Witch turning three? If you weren’t, now you are. See you there!

So, I have been working on some magick and me being my impatient self, I didn’t want to wait for the appropriate day to cast it. I prefer using planetary associations to help improve my magick workings but since each day represents a different planet and I’m not up for being patient, I felt a bit frustrated. And then a thought struck me, I had forgotten that I could use planetary hours since each hour also has a ruler as well.

Onward to le Google machine of happiness! From that, I have learned of this nifty nifty website provided by astrology.com.tr where they pinpoint whatever particular hour you need and a chart outlining the day’s lineup. It looks like this:

Planetary hours

This is entirely useful because it can add another level of energy to working. Say you want to prolong your career, you could cast on Saturday because that’s the planet of time and longevity and careers (in opposed to having a job) but you want it to be successful and lucky in the long run financially as well so you could cast in the hour of Jupiter, the planet of money, wealth and luck. You just put in your selected day of practice, the current hour it is and look at the chart. Since it uses military time, you can try to put in that time to make sure that you have the right hour. There are even little descriptions for each planet to help you understand which planet is good for what workings.

Now, it is important to note that you can just use the hour as a replacement for the day. That’s kind of what I did because, like I said, I’m really impatient. But also it’s important to not go overboard. It’s okay to point out the best hour and day for magick working using planetary hours and zodiacs but don’t fasten your whole life to them.

It is incredibly annoying to hear someone go, “Mars is in retrograde, don’t sign that contract!” or go “The Moon is in Scorpio and void of course, you should not start a relationship right now, try when it is in Cancer and aspecting Venus in a Trine.” That’s terribly ridiculous. Life is very random and you can’t really determine the future of someone or something based off of one thing only. That’s why it’s really ridiculous when someone tries to think they have a person figured out because they know their one and only sun sign. These planets and zodiacs definitely provide influence but in such a complex way that the average person would not be able to understand it. The best one can do is use the bit of influence they know of somehow in their favor through magick and/or action. So it’s fine to do a spell to promote action on the day of Mars (Tuesday) during the hour of Mars to really amplify the original intent but to wait around for Mars to be in Aries and in the first house all the while?  No way. Perhaps for ceremonial magick/high magick but those guys practically need a stage manager to get a simple spell out so they’re a whole ‘nother ball game. Just use the little bit that you’re aware of to curry favor but don’t fasten your life to it because unless you can keep mindful of all planets, asteroids and zodiacs like a walking expanded ephemeris and fully, deeply understand every possible complexity that those interactions can create, it’s best to simply live life and use what you can to edge it into your favor when you need to.

I am glad I found the planetary hours but will I apply it to every notion in my life? Good gods, no. That’s too much thinking to micromanage every nanosecond based on a range of planets. And it ignores the fact that there are things that happen out of my control. Life is not a television show (which is probably a good thing given that most tv shows in the West are Whitewashed, poorly written using tired tropes based on 19th century sexist and racist ideals and made mainly by White, older guys who have very slanted ideas about how the world works period) and it would be ridiculous to assume it as such. Life isn’t some perfect thing that just has some little, cute quirks in it, nope. It really is quite random and filled with gratuitous forms of nonsense that does not always make sense.

So, I highly recommend the Planetary hours to use for ritual and practice but remember, there is more to life than finding out you didn’t take an important phone call at Mercury o’clock but at half past Saturn instead.

See you Sunday!

Alright, the very final post of the Black Witch series, The Arts! This will have plenty of resources for sex and sexuality starting with books. And check out the end! Black Witch events!

Books
wanderingwombThe Wandering Womb: A Cultural History of Outrageous Beliefs about Woman
(Lana Thompson)
Western history has had a long stand about the body of woman and how society should perceive it, which has transformed over time. This book talks about those beliefs from the beginning and, as the title states, how outrageous and perverse they are. From the theory of the uterus and hysteria to medical theory about women and how their bodies work. Lighthearted, filled with imagery and informative, this book is quite something.

Virgin Virgin: The Untouched History
(Hanne Blank)
This book is incredibly awesome. It talks about the history of virginity. Did you know that our concept on virginity is a fairly recent thing? Also, it talks about the hymen, which was not always the determinate of virginity. In addition, there are wild misconceptions about hymens (there is no such thing as “destroying” or breaking/popping a hymen) and this book talks about it in detail the social obsession with virginity, hymens, culture and how the world interacts with the existence of women and their bodies. It’s a really cool book and fantastically written, I highly recommend reading it.

body drama Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers
(Nancy Amanda Redd)
This book. This book right here? Prepares you for life. Like, life, man. Life. This is the best book I had ever under-appreciated in my liiiiiiiiiiiiiife. Oh my gods. This book is a must read for all girls, especially if you are a minority because this book has it all and most importantly…it’s not a book that’s targeted at White girls with some tokens scattered throughout the pages like the vast majority of them are. It actually reflects girls and all their problems and backgrounds. It talks about more than just puberty but the body and how it works and develop from ashy skin to hair to embarrassing questions such as weird smells and skid marks. It’s a great book to learn that as a girl, your body is normal, no matter what the tv and the magazines and the ads tell you. So many girls, especially girls who aren’t White, have such concerns about their bodies and nowhere to go because welp, most books about girls bodies are directed at White girls pretty much exclusively and go to other sources which can provide misinformation such as “Coca cola is an effective spermicide”, “bleach is useful to stop pregnancies in the morning after”, “pulling out is 100% effective” and “can’t get preggers at all through anal sex”. It is body positive, sex positive, real life positive! It helps with all the body and emotional stuff that girls (and growing women) go through that if it had a section on how to write resumes and pay taxes, all bases would be covered and have to be re-titled Book o’ Life, How to Be Alive.

theteenguyguide The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide
(Jeremy Daldry)
This book is for the fellas. When I was growing up, I read books for both guys and girls because hey, if I wanted to learn real facts about boys, why not go to the source, right? I’ve discovered that this book is fantastic to explain bodies, puberty and girls to boys. It’s really a great book and I highly recommend it. It talks about masturbation, fantasies and relationships in a humorous, non-complicated way. Just like Body Drama, it tells guys about their bodies in an unabashed way and that it is okay to not match the depictions of masculinity in media today. It’s a great book for boys to learn about themselves, feel secure in who they are as boys and how to separate fact from fiction.

Videos!
These vids are fantastic for those who do want info now, now, now!

Chescaleigh is pretty nifty! I like her videos! She also has several that are on point with the theme of this series!

“How Slut Shaming Becomes Victim Blaming” is a great video for those who are still fuzzy on the first piece of the How Much Do You Love Me series where I talk about slut shaming and how harmful it is.

“Cat Called”, shows why it is never cool to do street harassment (yep, cat calling is one strong and definite example of street harassment. Don’t do it.)

“No Mo’ ‘No Homo’”, which is a fantastic example of why it’s really stupid to say “no homo”.

Although Laci Green can a bit iffy when it comes to discussions of race, she did make this informative video, found through Chescaleigh’s “How Slut Shaming Becomes Victim Blaming” video that does have good explanation of slut shaming and why it is bad for everyone.

And another video titled “You Can’t POP Your Cherry! (Hymen 101)” of hers that provide information on the reality of the hymen and how virginity is depicted around it.

“Our Hidden Culture” goes in depth with street harassment (such as cat calling) and rape culture

And “The Gender Box”! As explained by LinzerDinzer and Miles Jai, cramming yourself inside a gender box is not very fitting.

Sites
This is really great for those who may be impatient, a bit embarrassed to get the books (and that’s fine), lack access to the books or simply want all the information right then and there. Here are some great sites!

Condom Depot – Y’all should have seen this coming. Best safe sex product site I’ve ever come across. They have everything from condoms (with rating system, rolled out visuals, measurements and customer reviews). Ordering is discrete – it won’t say “Condom depot” anywhere on the box so it’s easy to fly under the radar – and very affordable! Also there are articles and other writings on sex health, politics and culture around the world. Even if sex makes you squeamish now, just keep this site in mind for later.

Bedsider – This site is fantastic for learning about different types of birth controls without the scary or inaccurate sex ed. lessons! It comes with insightful videos, interactive guides and even a guide on which birth control to choose from abstinence to IUDs. This is a great site, even for the squeamish and easily squicked out about sex and bodies.

Rape Is Not Your Fault – This is for those who have endured sexual assault and rape, both guys and girls. Remember, no matter what happened, it is not your fault. You didn’t lead them on, it wasn’t what you wore, nothing that you said, you are not at fault at your own demise. It is the rapist fault because they are the rapist, they attacked you, not the other way around, end of story. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying and blaming the wrong person, you, and not the person who committed an act of rape. It does not matter if you know the person, if you trusted them or how close you were to them, they had no right whatsoever to dupe you and then persuade you that you’re the criminal of your own crime when really it was them all along. They are the criminal and they should suffer the repercussions because of it and there is no excuse in the book that should save them from it. Again, it is not your fault. The site is meant to serve Baltimore City but can be used by anyone affected by rape and sexual assault. There is also an “Escape” and “Clear History” bar if you are triggered.

And that’s the finish of How Much Do You Love Me series! Normal posting resumes next week! (I promise, I have everything ready and all) And here are two events where you can hang out with me, Black Witch:

Black Witch Meet and Greet (April 14; Baltimore, MD):Let’s hang out and meet each other! This is the Black Witch Meet and Greet, where you can meet me, fellow readers and have fun. Located at the Washington Monument, (if it rains, we’ll be at the Central Library) this event is open to any and everyone. I’ll also be bringing my BW merch, especially the marimos (they’re so popular!) so if anyone wants to buy but duck the shipping, this is the best way to go. The meet and greet will be on April 14th starting at 1 PM EST and going to 4 PM. Be there! If this one is really successful, there will most likely be a monthly BW meet and greet.

Ka-ra-o-ke! Music Time With Black Witch! (May 5; Baltimore, MD): I love singing and I especially love karaoke! So let’s do some karaoke together! We will gather at Rainbow Music Studio on 2126 Maryland 2 and have a room to sing the night away! Rooms prices are $35/hour for up to six people and increases by $10 when up to six more people show up (Ex: $45/hour for 12, $55/hour for 18, so on and so forth) so depending on how many people come, the price could be really small ($5.83 per person if up to six, $3.75 per person for up to twelve, so on and so forth) or bigger than that so although I will keep everyone updated, be sure to bring at least $15.

Alrightee, folks time to continue the very last American election coverage on Black Witch and get something for Samhain underway. And don’t forget Samhain Pickers and the Ustream chat on Halloween, that’s at the bottom!

Let’s Take a Vote

Alright, American readers, things are going down to the fine line as the election is less than two weeks away and man, is it starting to show. The debates have really been something (as some of y’all could tell from my Twitter) though I don’t like how Third partiers like Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala have been locked out of the debates. They should be allowed the floor to talk about how they plan to fix America just like everybody else. Instead, they get arrested for something that should have been so basically granted to them:

Since creating such an election info dump the last time around, I notice the one I touted the most was Vote Smart. It’s their Vote Easy, simply stunning. I have used both their presidential and congressional election sections and suggest everyone to do the same. It is fantastic, if you haven’t used it, do so.

So to keep this one even more brief than the last, here’s what you need to know and use:

Vote Smart/Vote Easy: Best way to find how out who you stand with and who stands most for you.

The Debates: They are quite entertaining. Watch them here if you haven’t. There’s one more for the major parties on Monday and then there’s the Third partiers debate on Oct 23.

Samhain Edition

Woot, Samhain/Halloween is around the corner! I’m very excited. It’s my favorite holiday, I’s love it muches. So here are some books and sites for Pagans and those curious about joining the faith:

Where To Park Your Broomstick (Lauren Manoy): First book I ever started out with and will always recommend no matter what. Great with the basics and even teaches about other religions so you can make a sound choice in what faith you really want to follow.

Elements of Witchcraft (Ellen Dugan): Another book I started out with as a noob. The guided meditations are fantastic and everything is so thorough in the book with some writing exercises in there, too.

The Crystal Bible (Judy Hall): Great book for beginners in crystal work and other forms of Earth/Green magick. The visuals are stunning, the information is simple and easy to use, great for beginners.

The Watkins Dictionary of Magic (Nevill Drury): Great resource book for those trying to figure out the magickal world and simply curious alike. Very well written and I refer to it all the time.

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews (Scott Cunningham): This book is a late add but useful in its basics for those that want to get into potion making. The recipes are pretty nice, some entries are a little dated but this is a good book overall for noobs and experts alike,

Candle Magic for Beginners (Richard Webster): Great book for those getting into candle magick. It teaches how to work with colors, fragrances, different types of candles and with spiritual beings (even angels).

A Witch Alone (Marian Green): I’ve just picked this book up but it seems pretty decent so far. It’s very strong in information and for all Pagans, not simply Wiccans and great for solo practitioners.

The Temple of Witchcraft series (Christopher Penczak): There are several books in this series, such as The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, The Outer Temple of Witchcraft and more. I used these when I was new and they’re great and very thorough.

The Magickal Life (Vivianne Crowley): Great book for beginners that covers on just about everything Pagan from her beginnings to her discoveries and learnings. Very entertaining read, too.

Amulets & Talismans for Beginners (Richard Webster): Another flawless book from Mr. Webster, he’s just that great an author. This book is to teach you about, you guessed it, amulets and talismans. And it is spiffy.

Pagans & Christians (Gus Di Zerega): This book pretty much came from a roundtable discussion between Christians and Pagans in the comparisons and contrasts between our faiths. It’s a pretty good read to see where we’re the same and where we’re not.

Shades of Faith (Crystal Blanton): This book is about Blacks in Paganism and through various essays, explores those personal experiences in the Pagan faith and the cultures they lived in. I have written two pieces in the book, “Missing in the Picture” and “Why Don’t You Like Me?”

A couple sites that practitioners can use:

MysticWicks: This message board has it all and is great for noob Pagans and the experienced alike. They have a section for everyone.

Alabe: Natal chart drafting site, I use it all the time when I’m creating natal charts for anyone. Fantastic and free to use but their software is also stunning.

AAWiccan Society: This is for all Black Pagans, don’t let the name fool you. On this site is information about other Black Pagan blogs, the AAWS blog, twitter and Facebook group. Definitely check it out.

God Checker: Fantastic online checker of the different deities in the world with a hint of humor. Very much fantastic.

That it for this week, folks! Next week is Ask Black Witch! Send questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

Don’t forget though, I’m announcing the winners of Samhain Pickers next week! Be sure to submit! Send an e-mail to thisblackwitch@hotmail.com with “Samhain Pickers” in the subject line and in the message, provide:

Name

Email

Type of divination: (Tarot, cartomancy, basic natal chart, dream interpretation)

Click send and you’re done! Also, there will be an Ustream chat on Halloween at 4:30 PM EST with me, Black Witch! I want to interact with you guys so I’ll be taking questions through Ustream and Twitter (@thisblackwitch) so ask some good questions, okay?

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