Latest Entries »

The Arts!: Tech/Arduino Edition!

On my Instagram (@thisblackwitch, just like everywhere else), I have been posting pictures and videos of my tech projects. I think of the things I am making, the current pile is:

– A drum light kit that is sound reactive via switch control

– A heating pad for sleeping while injured (thus, it doesn’t turn off or anything, just keep emitting low heat for injuries)

– An updated kitty feeder, because I am indecisive and made a new design that hopefully doesn’t suck. Or can be broken by said kitty. Now I have to mod my code again.

 

This kitty

 

I don’t have a STEM* degree – nor would I ever want one. I consider myself firmly planted in the Arts, strictly. Some may consider that STEAM but I don’t, especially since STEM makes pretty strong efforts to minimize, if not ouster, the Fine Arts. STEM also makes pretty strong efforts to keep it pretty White and male – I consider practically everything they do diversity-wise as lip service and window dressing until it isn’t. Because it usually is, look at Google and Facebook, for example.

Since I don’t have a degree, that means I kinda taught myself for the most part. Granted, I did work for NIST so I had very good help at the start but the rest I procured myself. I want to say it wasn’t that hard but frankly, it is a little bit and not always for the obvious reasons.

When it comes to STEM, I actively seek out female instructors online to get the grasp of things. I have noticed in my experience, the women were better and more succinct at explaining complex details. Their beginner guides were actually made for beginners. Guys seemed to not know how to break things down or worse, just used the opportunity as an excuse to show off an ego because they’re relatively meh at telling the difference between a 1 and a 0. I have no idea how many times I would see pissing contests on help forums that because “for the lolz”. It kind of defeats the purpose of having those places. There are such things as hard teachers but there is a difference between a tough teacher and a person that just wants to be a douche.

Because of these behaviors, I don’t participate, I just take my info and go like a ghost. I just wanna build stuff, not talk to guys who probably think mass murderer Rodger Elliot had good ideas. I already know how male nerds, especially STEM ones, get. Nah thanks, bro.

However, I have found some sites that are very good at teaching the basics as well as some intermediate stuff. It doesn’t look intimidating, the information is pretty clear and it isn’t a bunch of verbal flexing.

I had mentioned Adafruit in the past but there are other sites that I have found that are pretty decent, mainly about Arduino.

 

Tweaking4All

This website gives pretty good info on getting started with Arduino and coding without sounding pretentious or “I dream of Tony Stark every night”.

There are many tutorials, all written to be easily understood by people who are genuinely new to the subject. The tutorials start from “What is an Arduino and how do you use it” to much more advanced topics.

Random Nerd Tutorials

This site has tons of info as well but for those who have a slightly better grasp at Arduino. Just skim through their blog on their homepage and find what suits you best. You don’t have to sign up for anything.

Programming Electronics 

This site really wants you to sign up for free courses but if you dink around on Google well enough, you can get access without putting in any info. Here’s one on having the Arduino give out an outcome based on what it experiences.

 

 

These sites are pretty decent in my experience, check them out! Next up is Ask Black Witch.

 

*Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine

Snow Trails

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wanna start this time with a sorta seasonal-style rhyme, just because:

T’was two nights after Christmas and all through the ice rink, I was skating and twirling – not too bad, but I could be way better, I think
Ice skates returned with their blades a-clatter, I checked my phone for new updates and pondered of ice cream in the flavor of cake batter
Upon the screen, as I could tell, was another random person asking for wishes to be granted, some kind of spell
They promise to pay – honestly, I thought to myself, it is always the same
I sigh and send a swift reply: I don’t do paid spellwork, can’t you read? I’m a witch not a genie. You big dummy.
But the pest didn’t like the result:
“I would not talk to me like that because I can kill you really fast so watch out who you insult”

But lo, I didn’t pout, I didn’t cry –
I simply took screenshots and contacted both his job and the FBI

Not my best poem evaaaaaar but felt suiting for the holidays

Yep, I got what can offically count as a death threat because some dude wanted to be a douche. Lolz.

Here are the screenshots

 

Everyone, I am remarkably clear about being asked for paid spellwork/pay-for-pray: I don’t do it, do not like being asked about it and will razz anyone who attempt to do so anyways. Hey, I like to line my boundries with electrified barbed wire, reduces the overall payload.

This dude is no different. Asking for three wishes? Is this Aladdin? 1001 Arabian Night? Dude, I don’t grant wishes but for this kind of behavior, I will grant miseries.

I looked into seeing who this dude is and here is the kicker:

“I am a very nice person”

Really? Really? Because nice people don’t say “I can kill you really fast so watch out who you insult.” Not-so-nice people, yes. Actual nice people, no.

This is most likely the first time I’ve gotten any semblance of a death threat – and this blog has been here for nearly 10 years. I didn’t feel scared, I actually chuckled at the absurdity of it all and just prepped this post, found his job to send them screenshots (we had a lovely phone conversation) and then buzzed the fuzz since the person is in another state, thus FBI jurisdiction, not local police.

The dude is all the way in South Dakota – roughly half of America away from me – and works a blue collar job, I am not crawling the walls in trepidation but I do want to make clear this behavior is not cool. At all. It is annoying, at minimum. At max, it is an actual threat, even if said in anger and not seriousness. I mean, if he was just futzing about, it’s on him now to convince his job and the feds that.

And this is what I end the year with. Time to play the popular Baltimore Club mix most suiting for this moment

The Arts!: The Holidays!

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

Now on to the Black Witch holiday classics!

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

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

 

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

 

Happy Yule!

 

And that’s The Arts! this month, yup yup.

Next week is Ask Black Witch, so if you haven’t sent in your questions, do so. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

I have had my questions pile up so I’m going to answer as many as I can today! Let’s get started. Some of these questions are from as far back as August so they are what I will start with first.

Do u take spell requests

– Yuna Y

Everyone, I write excessively about the fact I don’t do paid spellwork/pay for pray. It’s all over this site. All over it. Especially enough that the average person should and does understand that I don’t like them. And I said so. And here’s how the convo went:

Not at all

Can u make an acception for me please

That’s stupid. Fix your own problems. Plain and simple.

Your rude

I write about this on my blog over and over and over again. If that didn’t dissuade you, then I am not going to be nice.

First of all I didn’t know u had a blog and secondly u weren’t nice to begin with

Then how did you contact me to start? That’s why this address exist, because of that blog. If you failed to research, that is not my problem.

Ur evil I don’t have to explain myself to the like of you

Not evil, I’m stern because I generally hate spell requests, which I’m usually vocal about. Wherever you got my info from should have mentioned that.

I’m sorry I didn’t know u hated spell request

Now you do.

Wanna call it truth

That made no sense but here’s free advice: don’t bother with spell requests. You’ll probably get ripped off online

Ok thx and I was trying to ask if you want to be friends with me

No thanks

This is more of a post-mortem than anything. I don’t like to be asked for paid spellwork, as I have said. This person really seemed to very much not get it. I don’t make exceptions for anyone, ever. Because no one’s problems are so great that I, a total stranger, feel like I have to get involved and magickally at that. Go find the pop witches who spend their time hexing Donald Trump for that. (It’s not that he doesn’t deserved to be cursed, it’s just – you have honestly no idea if your spellwork even took hold because his life is very distant from the average person’s view, regardless of what he spews on Twitter. Plus, if you’re only just noticing that bad people existed starting with Trump, you’re a bit of a fool yourself). I don’t mind suggesting normal life problems fixes but that’s it.

It’s not evil to say “I said plenty times in the past I don’t do this. Still has not changed, so absolutely not.” If this kid thinks that’s evil, either they’re so sheltered they honestly don’t know what actual evil looks like, so terrible at being even remotely manipulative they couldn’t even guilt trip me into trying to help her issues or so dimwitted that they thought having a hissy fit would work. Also, I would like to remind everyone: she contacted me, not the other way around.

And the “want to be friends” thing? After acting like this? Are you cracked? Freakin’ no way! I don’t want to be friends with people who will bug me every twist and turn for spellwork because they are too lazy to fix their own problems and pitch a fit if I don’t. That’s not a friend, that’s an annoyance. Mosquitoes are less irritating.

 

My name is Cindy S. My fiance has been cheating on me. I have contacted different spell casters and paid for services and all of them have just taken my money. What can I do to make him stop cheating and to be faithful to me and love me like I love him. I have been good to him. I have never disrespected or cheated on him. I take care of his kids and him. Please can you help me

– Cindy S

Good thing she said “fiance” and not “husband”. Just call off the wedding and find someone more faithful. Much easier said than done but dumping the guy is generally the best solution. Burn his favorite thing, too? Just pack your bags and leave because you may love the guy but it is bleedingly obvious that he doesn’t love you. At all. Yeah, there are kids involved but they are his kids, not yours. Unless there is major abuse happening, you don’t have to stick around.

And it sounds about right when you’re looking for spell-casters online – you got ripped off. Just like I said in the last one, you’re gonna get ripped off if you try to find those who do paid spellwork online. I say this over and over. It’s the internet, anyone can say anything and when there is money to be made, the bs meter rises likes magma.

 

Hello I think I’m cursed by a dredge. Can you help.

– Beck N.

I will always think of a Beck song when I see anything “Beck”. That is because Beck is an amazing musician, I love “Nausea” and “E-pro”. This question, not so great. If it were a Beck lyric, I would be like, “Bro, this is so deep, maaaaaaaaan!” but this ain’t that. What in the Hogwarts is this person talking about? I have no idea. And the world of magick is far and wide, I’m not going to hit the books to figure it out.

Enjoy this Beck song instead, “Colors” from his newest album Colors:

 

Soceress women going get me
– Albert

What this reminds me of:

Here is the thing, usually people who do not engage in magick on average send me things like this. And on average, this is usually not the case. Especially when it is coming from a guy, then it is usually some normal issue that flies into the face of their misogyny and then imagination takes over and flutter straight into my inbox. Chances are quite good that it is not a case of actually evil, female witches out to wraith this poor soul but someone who just need to look at their problem from another, very normal perspective.

 

I DON’T KNOW IF YOU CAN HELP ME BUT I MYSELF AM NOT A WITCH AND I CAN NOT PAY BUT IS THERE A SPELL THAT I CAN DO TO MAKE SOME ONE HOPELESSLY INLOVE WITH ME JUST ASKING I’M DESPARATE I MISS HIM

– Juliet L

My response when I initially replied to the email:

A) STOP SHOUTING. I STILL WON’T CARE.
B) Read my site, this is a stupid question. It’s your problem

This didn’t turn out to be a long convo like the first person, I got a simple “ok” afterwards, which is fine. Here is the thing, I check my email a lot. No one has to post anything in all caps to get my attention at all. And shouting to get my attention for paid spellwork is beyond irritating, hence why I called it a “stupid question”. I favor research, not blind blundering.

Also, I don’t like the manipulative vibe of “make someone love me”. Notice this is second time I’ve gotten something like this? And I’m not cherry picking, I’m simply clearing out my inbox of backed up questions. It is creepy beyond reason to ask for someone to be hopelessly in love with you, especially through magick. You may as well ask for a stalker because that’s exactly what you’re gonna get. Free will can suck because that means the person has the very open option to use their free will to express not being with you but it is a thing you have to respect. It isn’t fun and it’s a good fraction of Kleenex tissues yearly income but it’s there for a reason.

i recently moved in an old house, pre civil war old. I felt something watching me. this is not a new feeling to me. The thing that is makeing me wonder is the odd things ive found around the house. Number one I was told recently that 4 years ago a man passed away at the home of an illness. His name is written on every tree surrounding the house. Their is a unique handmade broom above my cabinets in my kitchen. All things were taken out of the house but the deceased mans clothing and the broom… any idea if this could mean a spell of some kind?

– samantha b

Honestly, without more backstory, it could be something or it could be nothing. It’s pre-Civil War, that house saw a lot of death, destruction and illness. Also, it’s the lands of the Civil War, dead spirits are everywhere. I should know, I live in Maryland. Welcome to war in very prejudiced nations, everyone! Your house could be haunted from that alone. Note the “could” and the fact it is not an “is”.

Name being written on every tree surrounding the home while ill does sound spooky but also could be border marking as well (I have heard outrageous stories, some from my own homeowner friends, of people executing various ways to express “This is mine. And this. And this. And especially that.”).  It could also be some young person that watched waaaaay too much Charmed thinking that marking a name on every tree in sight could hold magickal purpose (not saying it can’t, but the type of tree does matter. Different trees mean different things. Scribbling something into an oak could mean something different than scribbling into an ironwood). It could be a load of things.

I wouldn’t think too much on why they left someone else’s clothing there outside the fact that the movers could have thought, “Dude, that’s a dead guy’s clothes. He died of illness, not old age. I’m not touching that. Ew.” The broom could be seen as part of the decor, just like the lamp shades and cabinets, and thus it stayed. The realtor could have looked at it and said, “Let’s keep it, it could justify me tacking three grand extra to the price.”

I would err on saying “not a spell” but feel free to do a top-to-bottom home cleaning with some good ol’ Lemon Pinesol to allay your concerns at least a little. Perhaps deep cleaning could help.

 

Am I going have this soldier boy Delane [redacted] to be my husband does he love me love me a lot

– Antonette A.

Dude, I get these questions a lot. I’m not a walking Magic 8 Ball, everyone. If you want to know if someone really cares about you or will marry you, try asking them. If they seem to beat around the bush for such a direct question, please remember that a non-answer is still an answer, just not a positive one. If you want to know if the person you’re dating will be your husband, go buy the ring and propose to him already. That’s probably the most surefire way to know (unless you have been dating for less than two years, then it’s moving much too fast and being far too hopeful).

hi im grace could i [p]lease be pregnant and could you make my water break

– Grace S.

Le grossssssss.

First of all, I hate children. That’s probably one of the few “witch stereotypes” I actually have. That and the fact I have a cat. Why would I, of all people on this planet, be asked to be any version of a midwife or obstetrician? I personally think there is already too many people on this planet anyways, why add more?

These are questions to ask a doctor. An actual obstetrician, not a random person on the internet. Visit your local Planned Parenthood and work the rest out yourself. And given the very poor show of smarts, I would strongly recommend holding off on having kids because dimwitted people should not risk creating more dimwitted people.  Child care is difficult. You don’t have to be a genius but you do want to have more than two brain cells to rub together.

 

Hello – i have been scared to talk about this and was wondering if you could help me personally,

I have been practicing the pagan faith for a few years now and I am very in touch with it and spirituality, I’m also empathic and have mediumship/psychic tendencies and abilities. For awhile now, I have been getting distressing nightmares except they’re not nightmares…more like visions. As time goes on they keep getting worse, I get visions and nightmares of things non-human and the world ending. I’m scared. There’s so much fear and death and horrible things/feelings. When I was little I used to see dark entities/shadows and felt like i’m being watched, and i had very bad night terrors,most of it went away as I got older but I have always had mediumship/psychic abilities/visions etc, The whole thing with feeling watched has never gone away and I get it to this day – although the darkness doesn’t feel threatening to me. I figured this was all me feeling this but other psychics/seers/gifted people that i’ve met have all said I carry a dark energy and aura, and all gave me cards to psychic friends or aura cleansers/psychic health people. It’s that type of darkness I feel again. I want it to stop, I don’t like these visions of the end of the world and the darkness. I don’t like feeling people’s pain.

Blessings,

Natasha

I would strongly recommend learning how to meditate. That’s is the best solution I can come up with. If you have an actual ability to foresee and sense, meditation is your best bet to keep it under control or it will easily become very distressing.

Try following this to get better at controlling breathing and getting started in meditation. Try not to think and stay focused on the image.

This is a great gif to look at to learn how to get started. Just do this 5 – 10 minutes a day and this should help calm things down bit by bit. It won’t be overnight but it is a start.

 

Hello. I am a young writer who wanted to connect to a writer god. I chose Anansi as African Deities always appealed to me the most. I am nervous and did not realize the urgency of contacting a god. I asked to become a student of his and for a favor involving love, as well promised to name my first born after him. I am a young gay author and I feel as if I jumped into this with only lite witch craft knowledge. What should I expect?

– Dakota S.

This is what I was referring to during the Alt-Black podcast. Let’s look at the whole convo and do a post-mortem.

Ok, this is not a bright idea. At all. Don’t do it. At all. Anansi will *not* help how you want him do and DON’T OFFER A KID, even just to name them. I’ll go in detail on Ask Black Witch.

Don’t do it.

Like is there a way to reverse this? I didn’t mean to ask him for the love favor, I was invoking a story of love and absentmindedly said “Bring my love back to me,” and I want to take it BACK SO BAD! I did not mean to let is slip at all, but I was getting into the story. I had left him treats, beer, and cigarettes, and he was telling me he was there by flicker of a candle. Again, I wish to be a student but DONT WANT THE LOVE PART! I feel so bad for asking it, I just want to be a student of story telling!

I don’t provide spell help, sorry.

Shit. I’m sorry to bother you with all this. I didn’t even mean to let it slip, this was supposed to be way different with other story tellers and as a way to become better writers. I’m so sorry.

One last thing…. all this started from a dream where I met Anansi. Do you think he deliberately reached out to me knowing this would happen?

I left out some stuff to keep this bare-bones but this is a “yikes” situation.

Here is Anansi, as defined by Mythology Dictionary:

A trickster-god of the Yoruba. Father of Ntikuma. He was originally a creator-god but was changed into a spider when a king kicked him for killing his huge ram, which had eaten Anansi’s crops. Others say that he was defeated in a shape-changing contest by the chameleon and came down to earth on a rope. He now appears both as a spider and a man. He begged a single cob of corn from God, promising to provide him with 100 slaves. By pretending the cob had been stolen, he tricked a chief into giving him a basketful of cobs to keep him quiet. He swapped the cobs for a hen, the hen for some sheep and the sheep for a corpse. Pretending that this was a son of God who had been killed by the sons of a chief, he persuaded the chief to give him 100 young men whom he presented to God as slaves. To prove that he was as clever as God himself, he captured the sun, the moon and darkness in a bag. When he produced the sun from the bag some people were blinded. On one occasion he got stuck to the Gum Girl, on another an antelope carried him to safety from a bush fire. To repay this kindness he wove a web around the antelope’s baby, so hiding it from the hunters. When he asked the sky-gods to sell him some stories he was told that the price would be a fairy, a hornet, a leopard and a python. The gods were so impressed when Anansi produced all these items that they gave him all their stories, which they called Anansesem. In one story he owned a pot that was always full of food, and when his children broke the pot he punished them with a whip. The inquisitive children examined the whip, which then started to beat them and would not stop. On another occasion he boasted that he could ride a tiger but the king asked the tiger, who said that this was a lie and tried to get Anansi to retract in the king’s presence. By pretending to be ill the spider induced the tiger to carry him on his back and, of course, he needed a bridle, a saddle and a whip. When the king saw the spider riding the tiger, he welcomed him to the royal palace.

Yah, that guy. That’s who this person summoned with beer and cigs and a child. That is not a good idea. Like, my instinctive, initial reaction was this:

 

Anansi is a great and wonderful deity – as in, he’s clever and will always leave you with something to learn. Problem is, is literally everything that was penned above about him. Especially if you are a young queer writer that just wants to dole out a story. I also would like to mention that Anansi, though a very creative and clever deity, is not a griot-type deity. He had tales made of him by other gods the same way a king asks a painter to depict them. It’s just…augh, of all the deities to ask for writing help, Anansi wouldn’t even have been in my top twenty!

What is there to do here? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, hope Anansi literally doesn’t care, especially about the kid part. Maybe he’ll think “I can do nothing with these people, I’m bored,” and leave. That’s about it. Or dig an even deeper hole for yourself and ask another deity to help you out. Or entity. Or anything. This spider fools tigers and kings, steals the sun and moon to prove a point and did one (1) person one (1) solid simply out of “eh, you helped me, so I’ll help you. Consider debt repaid.” The best I could suggest is hope for the best and try to correct things with Anansi – and don’t offer him anything else! This is why I don’t work with deities much and I do research before I do with the ones I plan to. This is also why I say don’t dabble.

Like, other African deities for writing and creativity, your best bet would probably be MawuLiza (Sometimes spelled as “Lisa”), and Seshat (Egyptian but still, Egypt is in Africa). GodChecker and Mythology Dictionary has a lot of African deities so give those lists a gander because Anansi is not some super evil deity, it’s just tricksters are difficult to work with and be on the straight and narrow with. Nothing is ever clear with those guys.

 

so this event happened when i was 14 or 15 i was home alone with my uncle … he has seizures , for my luck he got one that day while u was alone with him . i called my parents screaming in panic they rushed home and called 911 for my uncle in that time they didn’t know i was having a panic attack my first one yet. after that day i didn’t feel like my self i felt as if i was floating as if my body was on earth and my mind wasn’t. my parents took me to a “warlock” this guy was legit as soon as you would sit down he’d predict your future stuff like that. so i sat down and he asked which one of us (my dad mom and me) was a witch. we sat in shock and he said you (me) you’re a natural born witch. i told him everything as i was telling him this the energy in the room was thick only me and him felt it. i felt as if i were flying . he told me it took me so long to realize i was a witch because something traumatizing had to happen he said he realized he was a warlock when he saw his best friend get murdered he said it feels as if a part of you has been taking which is how i felt. he told me “you have such an amazing gift your could either use for good or bad, you’re going to do big things when you learn how to control your gift” . after leaving my mom told me when i was just 7 months old another warlock told her i was a witch as well. can someone help me cope with this,should i believe him? what should i do?

-Yajaira C.

This is gonna take a while to unpack, get a cup of hot cocoa.

Okies, let’s start with the lingo. Warlocks are usually shorthand for “bad (usually male) witches”. The word is middle English, warloghe, from before year 900. In ye olde English, it stems from “waerloga”, which mean “oathbreaker” because “waer” means “covenant” and “loga” means “betrayer” (and that word comes from “leogan”: to lie). Yay, dictionaries!

Note that there is nothing about gender in there. Just “liar, deceiver”. Outside of D&D and World of Warcraft, no one I have ever come across has ever called themselves a “warlock”. Male witches are just “witches”. Because they are practicing witchcraft.

Now, it sounds like what you experienced after your uncle’s health episode was dissociation, not a mark of being a witch. You just went through something traumatic, it makes sense you would feel this way. You don’t have to experience something traumatizing to become a witch. At all. Maybe in the movies and on television to speed up the plot but not in real life. Which is a good thing, trauma is awful.

The thing about witchcraft is, with practice, research and time, anyone can do it. It’s only considered “occult” (which means “hidden”) because people from other faiths (usually the Christian one) considered it such and did everything they could to make it so. Does this mean some people are not more inclined than others with abilities such as clairaudience and such? Nah, talents can be anything. I recommend the same thing I suggested for the other person above: learn meditation and start from there. I always recommend Lauren Manoy’s book Where to Park your Broomstick and anything by Ellen Dugan because they are wonderful writers for beginners.

So, I realize that you don’t do these, that is not what I am asking. Honestly, I prefer to perform my own spells, and you don’t do “pay-for-pray” as you call it, which is great. But anyways, this is my question. And yes, I know you hate these questions but you seem to be the only person I have found that seems even somewhat legitimately knowledgeable on the topic. Is body swapping possible? I am not asking you to do, it, just if it is possible, and if so, how would tat be performed. And 2, if possible, would it be possible for me to perform that for two friends of mine who willingly want to do so (as in, not myself involved in the swap, just casting for them with them in my presence)? And what are the possible side effects, if known? Thank you, and I apologize for bothering you.

– clmcgowan

Person notes that I hates this question. Basically asks it anyway in a very roundabout manner because somehow they have not thoroughly read through all the other times I have talked about it.

Here’s the thing: I don’t just dislike being asked to do body-switching. I dislike dabblers asking about it even when they want to do it by themselves because, guess what? It eventually winds up in my inbox. When daft people do daft things in magick, it tends to wind up in my inbox. Because they are dabblers. I dislike dabblers in general.

The person also seems to deftly ignore the “I don’t provide spell help” that I bring up also on my site. They clearly do not know what they are doing, hence why they are bugging me. Because somehow books magically stopped existing and the concept of research has never happened. The internet doesn’t know everything, even if it is vast and wide.

How do I know they’re pretty much asking for a spell? The tell-tale “I am not asking you to do, it, just if it is possible, and if so, how would [that] be performed?” That is asking for a spell. If you knew what you were doing, this wouldn’t be a question at all. You would also know that upper forms of magick are difficult and have more cons than pros, hence why they are called “advanced”. It’s witchcraft, even with the best intentions and handiwork, it can blow up in your face quite brilliantly. And the less learned you are, the more likely it becomes a case of “when” than “if”. And when it happens, back into my inbox will I see this person again, with a brand new problem they’re not apt to solve.

This is why I find such a question annoying. It’s not teaching someone anything, it’s just adding to stupidity and dabbling. This is why I tell people to not dabble.

The Arts!: Holland, Dom & Hyo

Welcome to The Arts! My cat and I are loaded from Thanksgiving eating (dislike the history of the holiday, I just like the food part. Ditto with July 4th). Before I go into The Arts officially, I would like to mentioned that my shop, BW Shoppe, is having free shipping from now to Cyber Monday. It appears that my 3D Printed bookbinding stuff is selling a lot but there is plenty more, such as Black superhero symbol stuff and gender symbol stuff. Now, onwards and forwards!

Holland

I was recommended to listen to this Korean vocalist by a friend of mine. Usually, I’m not big on K-pop (the most I know is Big Bang (mostly G-Dragon), Psy, and that BTS is very popular) but what makes this vocalist stand out is the fact that he is a queer idol, which is quite rare to see in Korean popular music. Just like in America, it is difficult to be any part under the LGBT+ flag and in music because general prejudice against people who simply aren’t straight. Add in the strict dating rules idols have to keep an appealing and very straight image and it can be stifling. However, being gay is this part of Holland’s identity, which he puts front and center. It actually adds dynamic to his music, especially his love songs, which revitalizes an oft-plowed and over-picked subject. Take a gander on his music video “Neverland/네버랜드”

He also has a twin single, titled “I’m not Afraid” and “I’m so Afraid”

He has an upcoming mini project as well! Follow him for more information:

Instagram

Twitter

Music Videos

Dom & Hyo

I’m always trying to improve my language skills but it is difficult to learn languages. Especially when you know a lot of them. One day, you feel confident. The next, you feel like you only know three words. Korean is a language I’m still working on and sometimes the grammar still eludes me. Or crashes into my Japanese. Or French. Or Chinese.

Dom & Hyo is a site that helps with Korean learning through easy-to-understand info-graphics.

 

 

Also, there are webcomics about the creators of the site, Dom and Hyo.

The comic is entertaining and a pleasant read! Check them out on WebToons!

You can also check out their channel, which also features great how-to’s for navigating Korean.

That’s all for today. Next week will be a big Ask Black Witch because I skipped a few! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated, send them in!

It’s getting to be that time of year again! Gift procurement for the holidays. My shop, BW Shoppe, will be having a free shipping sale between the dates November 20 and November 26). All free shipping is domestic, except on November 26 – that day will include international free shipping.

Here are the wares available on the site:

Bookbinding Supplies
These have sold surprisingly well! There are awl guides, sewing cradles and corner cutter guides. I designed each of these items myself.

Gender Signs
The BW Shoppe has a vast array of gender symbols that can be turned into keychains, key charms, whatever. There are four versions: one with a hole at the top for keychains and phone charms; one with no hole at all; one with a pentacle in the middle; one with no pentacle at all.

 

These took forever to design but they look wonderful!

Black Superhero Symbols
I’m a fan of comics and there isn’t enough product with Black superhero symbols or visuals on them (when was the last time you saw a Static Shock mug or a Moon Girl stuffed toy?) I 3D printed some small ones to be used as keychains and trinkets (why so many key charms? Because repairing a 3D printer in the middle of a long print sucks).

Right now, I have Black Panther and Static Shock available. I would like to add more in the coming days, however.

Handbound Books
As I am a bookbinder, I also have journals I have bound sold online. They vary in their styles so give them a gander

That’s the snippet of stuff I have available on the site, please visit!

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

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

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

Now, back to the book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

%d bloggers like this: