Posted in Rootwork

What is Hoodoo? – A Complete 180°

This is an article completely revised to reflect my new understanding of Hoodoo is. For full transparency, the original article is here, Traditional Conjure – What it IS and what it is NOT, and I will be the first to admit that I was shoveled a whole pile of bullshit. This blog post is an attempt to reflect my current views on the subject (and has removed the opinions of cultural appropriators on this subject). 

Please also keep this in mind when reading blog posts from my past. We all change and evolve, thank the gods.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Hoodoo as:

A body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among Blacks in the southern United States.1

The first and foremost thing to understand about Hoodoo is that it is an African American magical system that evolved from African Traditional Religions (ATRs), and over time it has been influenced by some Native American and European practices and folklore. However, it is important to restate that Hoodoo is an African American traditional magic practice.

It is also important to note that Hoodoo is a direct descendent of Western and Central African magical practices brought to the United States with the slave trade (several hundred years prior). Often, my enslaved ancestors had to keep these practices secret or risk death. We were forced to convert to Christianity after our forced arrival in the United States, and when we were finally allowed to make religious choices, many of us stayed in the Christian faith.

Some of us continued the magical practices of our African ancestors in conjunction with Christianity. As a result, Hoodoo became aligned with the Christian faith. Due to cultural appropriation, and the lack of knowledge by whites about the magical secrets of ATRs, we’ve been pigeonholed into this box of Christianity that is not, at its inception, aligned with Hoodoo at all.

The opinion that I was fed in the past was that non-Christians could not practice Hoodoo. I was told that the spellwork (that Christians call “The Work” in order to distance it from witchcraft) had to involve the use of the Psalms and the rest of the Bible, the Saints (introduced by Catholic practitioners), and the prayers. I was even told that even many of the roots/herbs in Hoodoo are based in Christian tradition. I now find this ludicrous because these plants predate Christianity by thousands (maybe millions) of years. It only takes one look at the Evolutionary Tree of Religion v. 2.02 (pictured below)  to see that Christianity is a very distant relation to the Yoruba religions from which this magical practice sprang. The line clearly moves from Yoruba, goes through many iterations and philosophies to African Polytheism (circa 1550), and moves directly to Hoodoo.

I find it amusing that Catholicism and Christianity never intersect with Hoodoo at all. The melding of Hoodoo and Christianity at first was simply syncretism by African slaves in order not to be beaten, or even flayed. As time went on, we were convinced by whites that this powerful work was evil so that we would not practice it against them. When whites discovered that Black folks abandoned this magic and drank the toxic Kool Aid of the Black church. If you do not believe me, there are countless articles (and even books) on the commercialism of Black Folks magic.

The ruse of Catholicism/Christianity made this commercial venture less threatening to the general public and Black people who still believed in the power of the work. The problem was, out went the Ancestors, and in came a white god, his son, and all the saints. To this day, you see Black patrons flock to white occult stores on Saturday and be in church pews on Sunday. When I began to practice, I still held onto Christian beliefs, but in time, things began to contradict themselves in a major way.

For example, I was told if you used other sacred texts, prayers, and god(s) in your work, Hoodoo may influence it, but you could not really call it Hoodoo because you were not using the Bible. I now believe that I was sold a crock of shit. Once again, our ancient magical practices, that predate the Bible and Christianity, never stopped being co-opted, lied about, and altered by people not from the bloodline from where the magic originated in the first place!

I knew I had a problem when I could not find a passage in the Bible that could be used for a gambling or lust/sex spell. That is when I had to take a hard look at my belief system, shake off Christian guilt and cognitive dissonance and step into the sunshine of being the Hoodoo witch I really am.

The Black people who continue to perpetuate these lies (I was once one of those people.) are selling out the traditions of their Ancestors to make money and make their practices acceptable to their oppressor. I just giggled because slaver racist oppressors are the reason our magic survived in the first place. They separated nations (not tribes – Africa is a continent not a country) to confuse us so that we would forget about the very gods and spirits who kept us alive during chattel slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and currently the “alt-right” movement. They shot themselves in the foot, because the practice grew and evolved rather than disappearing into the night.

So, practitioners like myself, read mainstream magical books and accepted the new narrative that Hoodoo has a direct line to Christianity.

It simply does not.

In fact, Hoodoo goes against the grain of many things that Christianity teaches. This duality, and the fact that I found out very interesting things about the Bible and its origins, made me renounce Christianity and convert fully to Vodou. Vodou, and other ATRs, are seeing major changes as priestesses and priests begin to remove Christian trappings in the religion. Even now, I am debating whether or not to remove saint statues from my practice. I guess it is easier for me because I always viewed them as Black, as Lwa, and never as Catholic saints. It may be a bit harder for those who were raised practicing both Catholicism and Vodou.

That is not to say that Hoodoo does not have a system. There are rules and principles in the practice just like any magical practice. I continue to encounter people who have not been properly informed, or choose not to take heed when informed, and do what they want to do as “the Spirit(s) lead them.” That is a personal choice, but it should be understood that Hoodoo is NOT Wicca, Traditional Witchcraft, or a New Age practice.

I am only scratching the surface with Hoodoo, and I am finding the links to ATRs such as Haitian Vodou, Ifa, and Santeria, every day. That is why many who start off practicing Hoodoo evolve and initiate into a (or multiple) ATRs. I often joke with my students and call Hoodoo “the gateway drug,” because its limitations and alterations send us in search of a more defined, traditional connection to our Ancestors, Spirits, and Gods. I also call Hoodoo “spiritual work lite,” because once you learn the secrets from being initiated into an ATR, your magic will change drastically.

So please let me reiterate and take back words of someone who was a foolish, newbie practitioner several years ago.

Hoodoo is NOT just a practice within the African American Christian tradition. It spans the diaspora and its descendants. I still contend that it is important for people to understand this before diving into this work too deeply. You may find yourself in a completely different reality (and religion) than what you originally thought was the (pardon the pun) gospel truth.

I also still believe that this will be a deciding factor as to whether or not people wish to pursue this path, and it is an extremely personal decision. In my community (the Black community), the word “Hoodoo” was rarely used. I see that now one of the reasons was the cultural appropriation surrounding it made it feel like a drugstore hoax.

Often the syncretism required in a certain location (e.g., the deep south versus the north) made us not use the term. Many of us recognized Hoodoo as just something that we do. In the past, if we referred to it at all, we said “throwing a root” on someone, or simply referred to it as “throwing.” Traditionally, it was not taught in classroom or online. Often, you observed your elders practicing it in the home to remedy life’s situations. You were (especially if you were a child) to quietly observe and learn the practice. Often, the elders would figure you would pick it up by watching.

Following a reading, one my clients expressed her dismay to her mother because she did not “teach” her how to practice Hoodoo. Her mother’s reply? “Well you were there watching me, weren’t you?” As more Black people became formally educated, they did not see this informal observance as teaching, and many of us lost the lessons of Hoodoo and how it relates to everyday Black life.

That is not to say that Folk Magic did not and does not exist in white culture. That is not to say that Folk Magic did not and does not exist in white culture. Even old school workers considered white had grandparents who taught them The Work. It’s funny because so many people mixed and passed for white, that we never know who we are until we take a DNA test. I was one of those people. I actually feared that the results of my DNA test (whew 76% African and 24% European and some other stuff) would say I was whiter than I thought I was. Even Starr Cassas, a worker who is culturally identified as a white woman, has often said, “it was just what my mama did. We did not know it was Conjure.”3 She has also advised that it is a way of life. It is also of interest that not all of Starr’s ancestors were white.

Once you are familiar with the rituals in the practice, you will see that Hoodoo finds its way into your housekeeping, cooking, how you treat illness, deal with relationships, and entertain people in your home. Before the days of websites and online groups, there was Hoodoo. Most people heard about local workers via word of mouth, and if you employed the services of a worker, it was deeply personal and kept private. It is not a surprise that within the tradition, workings are not put on public display, and if they are, their meanings are not freely discussed.

It has been so integrated into the lives of my people so much, that it has assimilated into the culture, whether we are consciously practicing Hoodoo or not. Many Blacks are still surprised that there is scholarly study devoted to the subject and online groups and classes devoted to this practice. Many of them also continue to think that it is the evil work of the devil.

The following provides the two basic magical principles that guide the practice of Hoodoo.

The Law of Contagion is a folk belief described axiom found in magical thinking which suggests that once two people or objects have been in contact, that a magical link persists between unless or until a formal exorcism or other act of banishing breaks the non-material bond.4

In Hoodoo, you see this in the use of Personal Concerns in spellwork. When you have something like a person’s hair, fingernails, spit, dirt from foot tracks, name, picture, etc., employed and included in your spellwork, your spell for or against your target is much more powerful. It may happen faster, last longer, or have more intense effects on the subject.

There is a hierarchy in The Law of Contagion. Spellwork with someone’s hair is most likely to be more powerful than spellwork with simply a person’s name written on petition paper. This is because it is a physical part of your target. The spellwork becomes an extension of the person who is the originator of the personal concern. This, while most likely the case, is not always the case. Remember a practitioner’s connection to their Ancestors, Spirits, and Gods, their intent, and their magical abilities are also highly influential in the results. Based on this principle, when spellwork is practiced on a person, it takes uncrossing magic to undo the spell.

The Doctrine of Signatures is a philosophy shared by herbalists from the time of Dioscurides and Galen. This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body. Although the Doctrine of Signatures was formalized in early modern times, the theme of natural objects’ shapes having significance is a very old one and is not confined to Western thought.5

That’s the basic definition of The Doctrine of Signatures, as indicated in the above quote, it is older and deeper in Hoodoo. This practice employs the belief system that every root/herb has a spirit and a purpose. Remember, these herbs, roots, and curios were used in our mundane life (e.g., cleaning with lemons or pine), they were/are our medicine when we could not go to the doctor (White Willow Bark is an ingredient in aspirin to relieve pain), and they are the magic that continues to rule our very existence.

It is the way the root/herb looks, smells, tastes, or the traditional use of it (e.g., roses for love, salt for cleansing) that creates its definition for use in Hoodoo. This practice also is not limited to roots/herbs. There are many curios used in Hoodoo that remain in the practice, that are not roots or herbs, that have found their way into popular culture (e.g. the lucky rabbit’s foot or penny). The common names (or Latin translations) and planetary alignments of the roots and herbs also have a big influence on how The Doctrine of Signatures was applied and implemented in Hoodoo.

Often the common names of a root/herb had something to do with the smell or appearance of that root/herb. It is not hard to see how Wormwood, Devil’s Dung, and Vandal Root are often used in jinxing workings in Hoodoo. It is VERY important that you apply The Doctrine of Signatures in your workings. You want to avoid using roots, herbs, and curios in ways in which they were NOT INTENDED in the practice.

For example, Van Van (condition) Oil is used for luck, blessings, and to remove negative energy/evil from a space. Many people use it in candle work, mojo hands/bags, and floor washes. The most important herb in Van Van Oil is Lemon Verbena, a cleansing herb. You should NOT add something like Black Dog’s Hair (used in jinxing) to Van Van Oil. If things unrelated with luck and blessings are added, it is no longer Van Van Oil. Without Lemon Verbena, it is not Van Van Oil. I have no idea if another practice finds these examples of what not to do useful for blessing, but these things are not so in Hoodoo.

What you will find is that this makes Hoodoo easier to understand at its simplest level. As you delve into spiritual work, you will find that it gets a bit more complicated. That is why it is called work. Some baths take days and days. Some rituals require you to do things at sunrise or midnight. You may have to go to the graveyard to work with an Ancestor. When you work with Ancestors/Spirits/Gods, you will set up altars as the tradition dictates. There are many things about Hoodoo that cannot be condensed into a simple definition, but we are still learning and uncovering truths. Those truths continue to make us more powerful and a magical force to contend with.

I am encouraged by Black practitioners everywhere who are reclaiming the word Hoodoo. I never liked to use it in relation to my practice because of its appropriation, but as we come to the truth about our own practices, I no longer have an issue using the word. No longer is Hoodoo seen as a drugstore sideshow full of snake oil. We are embracing it as our power, and now many of us realize it is key to our longevity as we fight our way back home to our roots, to Africa.

References
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoodoo

2 http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/christianity/evolutionary-tree-religion-map-simon-e-davies

http://www.oldstyleconjure.com/what-is-hoodoo-conjure-rootwork.php

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_contagion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_signatures

Posted in Rootwork

Stay in Your Lane: Not Everything is for Everybody

When I first started practicing Rootwork and Vodou, I was very “we are the world.” I’d never been one to make sweeping generalizations about race. (One example is, Don’t Believe the Hoodoo Hype written back in December 2014)

Time and experience have changed my mindset in many ways. Where I once believed that there was hope in changing the minds of hearts of ignorant people, I now see that the vast majority of ignorance cannot be changed.

Often, I see it in whites who try to join African practices/traditions/religions, and often I see it in Black folks who have been brainwashed by the extreme religious right or Black militant thought processes that are damaging to the very people they are trying to help (especially damaging to Black women). Most of these people, Black and white, cannot change, nor do they want to.

What I find to be incredulous, however, is that many white people fail to understand that our practices were used to this country, and others that were part of the transatlantic slave trade, for us to SURVIVE. Our magic, and our religions, are STILL required for our survival today.

Judika llles, a white practitioner who I also call a friend, wrote that “magic levels the playing field.” I believe that is the case, but I often wonder when in the history of EVER have white people needed African magic, African spirits, and African gods to level anything? Please don’t open your mouths to say otherwise because that shows you have no concept of white privilege.

Our practices were taken from us by white people so that when they were finished working us to death we would not be able to survive. Removing our spiritual practices from us was part of the bigger plan for the genocide of our people once they thought we were no longer needed. Our culture is not a joke, nor is it a fad.

So this is why white people don’t need to be initiated into our practices. This is why it is even a bigger offense when they take it and use it out of context/incorrectly because they didn’t take the time to respectfully learn with somebody who actually knows what they were talking about. Most of them do not care. They like it because it is “Black and Spooky.” It is exotic to them, and often it feeds their need of conquest of something that was not theirs to have in the first place.

What white people need to understand is when they go and try to get initiations into the ATRs they are getting NOTHING. I’ve been around, and received information from, enough white initiates to know that they did not receive real initiations into ATRs. They need to know that their money was taken, and they were simply LIED TO.

This is not to say that you don’t have whites who have Folk Magic practices of their own. I have tremendous respect for those workers who work out of their own cultural context and within their ancestry.

There are people out there who are legitimate, but this proliferation of white practitioners who take an online course, and now want to tell us what to do and what not to do in our magical practices is too much.

I also do not care for whites who have no education, and cultural experience, whatsoever in these practices who want to mix and mash incompatible traditions/systems and then want to clutch their pearls when someone tells them, “hey you’re doing it wrong.” Why do people try to become part of an ancestral practice where they have no ancestors in said practice? What do you gain from this?

If you are white and you are not from people (e.g., Appalachian people, etc.) who practiced some form of folk magic, what ancestors are you working with anyway?!?!? Where is the power in your work? What emotional, cultural, and bloodline connections do you have?

Please remember that a hit dog will holler. If you are not a person of color, you are practicing these traditions with respect, and you stay in your lane, this really is not for you. Don’t get all in your feelings about what I’m trying to convey here. I shouldn’t have to tell you this because if you knew how to stay in your lane, you would not be feeling some kind way and want to tell me where I need to go with my assertions.

But I still have no idea why you wanted to do it in the first place.

The purpose of white people taking our magic from us in the first place was to render of powerless. When they could not do that, they tried to learn it to render us powerless.

The problem with white people is they don’t want to be told no. They don’t want to be told that they can’t do something. Especially if it’s something that belongs to a marginalized group.

While there is Root/Herb magic that spans many traditions, you will do a practice an injustice by insisting that they are the same. I don’t mind teaching root magic to people from all races, but it is up to the individual to weave that into their ancestry. Otherwise the practices you are dabbling in, based on ancestor veneration for their power, are worthless and a waste of your time and money.

But what I ain’t gonna do is encourage anyone to initiate into an ATR that is not part of their cultural birthright that is often abused by people who are guests to that tradition and descendants of oppressed ancestors. I would do my ancestors a disservice in doing so.

I know this is going to ruffle feathers and piss people off. That is not my concern. Often the person who tells the truth has very few friends.

Posted in Rootwork

It Ain’t Real Magic if you Found it on the Internet?

I bet you when people tell you it ain’t real magic if you find it on the internet, you believe them. Well you do know that PEOPLE put things on the internet. Before books or the internet people learned from people. These are other modes of disbursing information. In the past, books full of falsehoods were published, just not as many because books cost money. Now, lots of people can put up incorrect, or downright false, information.

There are not that many teachers out there. If your desire to be a witch or worker is strong, you should have the passion to devote to years of study. I don’t read fiction anymore, (and I was never a non-fiction reader) I don’t watch TV anymore (aside from HGTV and Food Network when I am in the kitchen and in bed), and I have about 100 magazines that I bought with airline points that I’ll “get to” this winter. I even stopped working on our beloved dollhouse for YEARS!

I’ve spent all of my spare time in the past few years studying the Occult with teachers/mentors, through books, and yes, online. You have to research, research, and PRACTICE magic. Once you find lots of resources saying the same thing, and it resonates with your soul, do it. It’s OK to come to me if you want me to do the work for you, but I think work is always more powerful if you participate. But before you ask anyone how to do a spell, do your homework.

Posted in Abandoned, African American, Black, Christianity, Conjure, Control, Culture, Divination, faith, forgotten, God, History, Hoodoo, magical, origin, Prayer, Readings, Religion and Spirituality, Rootwork, spell, Spirituality

You Simply Were Not Paying Attention

People are always asking about “learning Rootwork the ‘Old School’ way” from someone who grew up in the tradition. You are going to be hard pressed to find those people. The problem is that our generation (I am 47.) missed out because of the abundance of Black people who became hard core Christians. These people were primarily in the generation before us. The early Black church was full of Rootwork/Conjure in the North and South, but when the Great Migration occurred, you saw Black people abandon the “Old Ways” which were considered country.

One way to really tap into the history and the culture is to read narratives, folk tales, almanacs, and believe it or not, works of fiction/literature (e.g. Charles Chestnut’s “The Conjure Woman” and “The Book of Negro Folklore” by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps.) They were collecting stories when people were still actively practicing and only a generation out of slavery. My masters degree is in literature with a concentration in Black Literature. None of the works I studied (with the exception of Hurston) dwell on the word “Hoodoo.” Instead, they present Rootwork as a way of LIFE. Gloria Naylor’s “Mama Day” is a prime example. So, finding someone who learned old school is a challenge, but reading the works of our own artists and historians is not. They will lead you to information that you never imagined, and Spirit will do the rest.

That is another thing, from the people who grew up in Rootwork, it was not something that was “taught.” For example, I throw down in the kitchen, but nobody ever “taught” me to cook. I watched my grandmother and mother, and I eventually assisted them in the kitchen. From the people I speak to who’ve grown up in the tradition, it was the same way for them when they learned Rootwork.

Rootwork was part of LIFE, and it should be if you are a worker today. You learned through observation. Remember, in the old days, children should be “seen and not heard,” so we picked up a lot of things by observation. My grandmother was not a worker, but she went to one. I sat quietly while she got readings and things to take home with her. Other than a candle or some incense, I never saw what she did with the things she was given by her worker, and I knew better than to ask about them. One thing is for sure, my grandparents NEVER went to church.

I had a client bring her mother for a reading. The mother and I got to chatting, and she knew about EVERYTHING I was talking to her about. (I felt kinda good too because she did not have to correct me about any of it.) Her daughter asked, “how come you didn’t teach me any of this?”

The mother said, “you simply were not paying attention.”

Posted in Rootwork

Why We NEED a Black Witch Conference

I was asked about a week ago why Black witches had to have their own convention. I explained that we all need our safe sacred spaces, and it is high time that we have them.

Don’t believe the hype despite what you read in a pagan blog. I have spoken to the organizers of the Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention, and their statement is as follows:

My exact answer that I submitted in writing was as follows: “Since we are having the event in a public space, I cannot say that they cannot come. However, they need to understand that if they make a choice to come they need to recognize that they are in OUR sacred space.” When I hosted the Enter the Womb event, we were on private property which gave me the opening to say no non-women of color and with me renting a public venue, I was not quite sure of how I would be able to carry that for legal reasons. So I used the wording I felt would cover that. However, after doing further research and realizing that we are an organization with specific memberships I am in my full right to say that if you are not a women of color, do not waste your money because I will not refund it.”

So to reiterate…..If you are not a Women of Color, do not come. If you buy a ticket we will dismiss you without refunds because you were told in advance that this event is not for you. If you are a brother…wish us well and send us your love. Make sure your wife, sister, dawta, mother have all their needs met so they can attend this event. ~ Mama Omi of Dawtas of the Moon

So if you have any questions, there is your answer.

You see, I don’t want to spend time trying to explain to non-POC women the intricacies of my life. When the topic of this conference came up, I had to take the time to explain things to them that were exasperating, and ones that I really think they should know.

Part of the lesson I had to teach was that Black Witches/Workers/Healers get it from BOTH ends. Our own people shun us because they have been brainwashed by the church. Even though our practices and beliefs are thousands of years older than theirs (and well documented), they believe and judge us based on a book that was written 300 years after Christ died, and they only believe it because someone told them that they were going to hell of they didn’t.

Incidentally, I keep looking for the physical evidence of my former religion, but I can’t find any. If you can, let me know because I can find plenty of evidence of the religions I follow.

I had to take the time to exaplain how disappointing it is that I’ve been told by Black people that those who practice the ways of our Ancestors are savage devil worshipers. I’ve had family and friends (who I believed had better sense) tell me that they were not comfortable staying in my home anymore, much less having a conversation about my religious beliefs. They change the conversation, walk away, hang up on you, and leave Facebook group conversations without so much as a goodbye.

Now ain’t that a bitch considering I’ve spent my life having theirs shoved down my throat whether I wanted to hear it or not?

This is not to say whites don’t experience that as well, but because of our culture’s deep entrenchment in Abrahamic religions, and our values of keeping families intact that have been ripped apart for so long, these things add extra pain to this kind of ostracization.

So do you think I want whole day of that shit when what I really want is to be around women who get me?

In my Bey voice, “HELL NAW.”

Bey Fuck You.gif
When I began to study Vodou, other ATRs, and aspects of the Occult (which by definition means “hidden” for nothing more than the above stated reasons), I thought I was entering a place where people had open minds and were welcomed. I found out very quickly how wrong I was. There were few places where I felt welcome, and often I was asked questions like I was the only Black occultist on this planet.

The funny thing is, life is the same for Black people in the occult as it is anywhere else in the world. You get to be the spokesperson for all Black people. Racism doesn’t disappear because someone no longer worships an Abrahamic religion. The venue of this treatment simply changes. It doesn’t go away.

To say I was disappointed is an massive understatement.

There is still a portion of the Pagan population who are racist as the day as long, and to add insult to injury, we have cultural appropriators running roughshod through our religions and traditions trying to change things about them that make them uncomfortable.

When the writer of the blog referenced above was uncomfortable with Mama Omi’s words, she CHANGED THEM.

When we call them on it, we are accused of being segregationists, and even racists. It only shows me than many don’t even KNOW what the sociological definition of racist is. You do know have to have the ability to systematically oppress people, don’t you? Ask any Black person the last time we were able to do that.

Please, I’ll wait.

We have not been able (or really tried that hard for that matter) to keep non-POCs out of ATRs, so please, please, please tell me how we have oppressed whites by simply saying, “you can’t sit with us” for ONE FUCKING DAY???  Oh, I know what is at play here.

They realize that we might actually like it and start doing it MORE OFTEN.

(You do know that is why there are loitering laws that are always directed at Black people. If you cannot gather, you cannot plan anything.)

Can non-POC still sit “other” places? Yes. Isn’t that what we were always told? How is that “separate but equal” sitting with you now that the shoe is on the other foot? It hurts like your ass has bunions, doesn’t it?

And no, men of ANY COLOR  will be in attendance at the conference. I don’t care if you are Black, Brown, and down. The fact that a brother has to point out the fact how we are continuously ignored in the movement on national TV is shameful.

We want, no we FUCKING NEED, a safe place to go to be with women who experience the same things and face the same struggles. And it is not because Black women are not diverse, it is because our oppressors treat us THE SAME!

We have a need to gather, to love, to commune, to bemoan our condition, to find SOLUTIONS, and just to fucking BE!

No, I don’t need “Becky with the Good Hair” or “Mister/Hotep” looking over my shoulder and writing everything down/recording it on an iPhone while I do it.

It just ain’t gonna happen.

So now, I am delighted to see that there is a place for US where we can discuss the strange dualities of the church and Paganism. Where we can be Black and Brown women of all types. Where we can see our diversity even if no one else can. Where we can share, love, support, and grow. I hope that all sista witches support this. To register, please purchase your tickets here:

Dawtas of the Moon: Black Witch Convention

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dawtas-of-the-moon-black-witch-convention-tickets-25518355087

I’ll see you in October.

Posted in Rootwork

Everyone Wants to be Black Until It’s Time to REALLY be Black

I originally wrote this as a Facebook post a year ago today. I thought it was worth repeating…

Let me explain something to y’all. Maybe those who say, what is the big deal with this Rachel chick? Why are people more than a little bit irritated with this imposter? I think it would help if someone like me took the time to explain why I say I am Black, and why I take exception to someone who is saying they are when they are not. (Don’t worry boo boo, I feel the same when Blacks pass for white, but we can discuss it in another thread.)

I would like to explain why I know with my soul and my entire being that I am BLACK. In fact, I am unapologetically BLACK. I believed that I am wonderfully made, and I come from an amazing culture that has had a tremendous impact in the land of my birth. I believe that EVERYONE should be proud of the culture they are from, but I am not “African American” in the true sense.

I am not an African that came here as an immigrant and willfully became an American. I am not the daughter of African and an American. I am a sum of my parts, a combination that is unique to the American experience. Because of my history, the enslavement of some (not all) of my ancestors, my unique struggles in the home of my birth, I have a completely different reality than someone of direct African descent. While my blood is 74% from the motherland, my culture, my family ties, what I have always been from BIRTH, no matter whether if I lived around mostly Blacks or mostly whites, is BLACK.

Am I upset about this? Absolutely not. I would never change who I am for any reason. I would not co-opt another culture because I have never been, nor will I ever be, ashamed of my background. “Race” is a man made construct made to divide and hate. They’ve tried to use biology, evolution, anthropology, and genetics to make us look like we are not quite human. I do not play into the pseudo science of race. We are all of the same species.

When you talk about someone and who they are, however, you are talking about their cultural lens. I am not talking about a culture that you just adopted because you like it. It is how you were raised. What shaped your formative years. What your family and community gave as your foundation. The mentality that shaped your mind. Just like Italians, Greeks, and the French. You may have been born African, but if you are raised as a French person (say you were adopted by French parents), you identify as French. But because of RACISM, there will ALWAYS be some asshole who will come around and NEVER let you forget you are African, and not in a complimentary way. (Ask Sonya Bonaly, the skater who had “too much strength” to win a gold medal in skating.)

BUT CULTURE is cultivated, treasured, and often appropriated in the most disrespectful of ways. From my personal experience, Africans do not see us as the same as they are. We are Americans to them. Some are cool and nice about it, and still treat you well. However, many distance themselves from us for many reasons that are too multiple to get into here.

Is there a possibility that a racially white person can have a Black cultural lens? I’ve seen it a few times in my life, but usually I’ve seen the opposite. I’ve (also) watched Blacks, for whatever reason, see things from white cultural lens. But I digress. I’ll talk about how well that works for them later in this post.

I have witnessed whites who are culturally Black while visiting my cousins in the projects near my high school. I was standing in front of two sistas having a heated discussion. I was more than a little surprised (when I turned around) to see there were two white girls (twins at that) standing there. BUT the difference was, I never ONCE heard them say (or talk of) that they considered themselves Black.

I never saw them put in weave, tan their skin, or exaggerate Ebonics to the point where you could sense fuckery. Even when the Black people around them considered them to be Black, they never tried it. Do you want to know why? Because they knew that if they wanted to, they could change their diction, lie about where they lived, and most importantly, leave that first impression that they were white with anyone they pleased. That is the difference between living through a Black cultural lens and pretending to be Black.

The scary thing is this. You DO have people who are the descendants of Black folks walking around here thinking they are white. That is their cultural lens. Its really sad because we live in a country where they are told that they should be a certain way for acceptance and recognition, but that recognition never really comes. They are just just mocked and laughed at by whites and Blacks alike. Even when they tried (Allan Keys, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Tiger Woods and his “Caucublasian’ – I could go on forever), there is someone always there to tell you that you are not (white). (Remember Fuzzy Zeller after Tiger won the Masters?)

Don’t hate the player, though. Hate the game. Somewhere along the line, someone taught them that it was in their best interests. Don’t ask Black folks to fix it either. How can we fix something we did not create?

People want to blame Black people because we WANT cherish our culture. We make every effort to hold on to the last few shards of the religion and culture of our ancestors, not just from Africa, but who were here already! This was stripped from us to reduce our power, destroy our cultures, enslave us mentally, and destroy our families. This, people, was done by design. No one EVER questions why there is a Swedish, Greek, or Jewish museum (unless they are a shitty bigot), but they sure wanna know why there are museums devoted to our culture.

Then you get coon opportunists like Jesse Jackson (who should have KNOWN BETTER), who decide give us a label that we did not need. Did Jesse forget Africa is a CONTINENT? How in the hell can we ALL come from there? You came from a NATION or a COUNTRY in Africa. We have a right to define specifically who we are culturally, as well as geographically, if we wish. No one has the right to make you GENERIC!

When Rachel Dolezal claimed she was Black, she did lay claim to this from a cultural lens. Her formative years were not shaped by the struggle of actually being a Black person in this country. She could look at her siblings (who incidentally were being raised in a white cultural lens like she was, and THIS is why her parents do not get what she has done AT ALL.), and empathize, but because she was not raised through this cultural lens, she cannot sympathize. I mean really. The woman had to write herself hate mail in order to feign legitimacy as an “oppressed” Black woman.

Just stop now. I CAN’T.

Look at people like Eminem. Like him or love him, he came from a hard life. He raps about what he knows. That is why most people would/will not diss him or his experience. They have tried, but his staying power with all races should give you a clue as to what I am talking about. He’s been legit to the best of my knowledge, even when the media made efforts to discredit him. He never claimed to be anything other than what he was.

And I’ll leave you to make your own comparisons with that one-hit-wonder, Vanilla Ice, who stole his words from the men of Alpha-Phi-Alpha and his beats from Queen. He lied about who he was and where he came from for street cred. He gets no props from either side of the fence, and now he flips homes because nobody will pay him to be on any stage.

Maybe Rachel and Vanilla should get together and have some imaginary Black babies.

Posted in African American, Black, Conjure, Control, Divination, Hoodoo, magical, Readings, Religion and Spirituality, Rootwork, spell, Spirituality, Tarot, traditional, work

In Defense of Online Stores

Since my journey back into the land of Tumblr, I’ve seen a lot of bashing of people who sell magical items online. If someone is NOT scamming people, charging outrageous amounts of money for an item that does not merit the price, or attributes illegitimate items to practice, I just don’t get it.

While I am a Diviner/Rootworker, and I do take clients, most of my Rootworking clients are people with whom I have a face-to-face relationship. The only exception to this is Light Setting/Candle Divination. There is something intimate about doing spiritual work for people that I often find real physical contact necessary.  Other workers feel differently, and that is their option.

But often, I find that most of my Divination clients don’t need a working at all, or they need the combination of a mundane and spiritual solution. I also encourage people to do work for themselves. If they don’t have a stockpile of products, they have to get them from somewhere.

As a merchant of these types of products, I strive to create natural products that are true to the tradition. I also infuse my own creativity with names from the Black vernacular and new ingredients, but I never would use an herb/root/curio that does not work for the condition.

I’ve actually seen people say they use Goofer Dust for “healing,” and I have seen products advertised as “Wicca/Hoodoo/Voodoo.” That is a big no.

Yes, as much as people would like to have storefront locations, often the demand for these products does not merit the risk of going into that type of debt. What I hate to see are people discounting what we do who do not know us, or people who never tried our products.

The lesson is, stay away from the scam artists, get a divination to see what you need, see if you can do it yourself, and work with people with solid reputations for their work and their products.

Posted in Rootwork

Until I Walk Mile in Your Moccasins…

I learned a HUGE lesson about privilege this weekend from my sister, Lakeesha.

She is Walk A Milemoving from the apartment where I used to live and first started practicing Magick. She rented it when I moved to Ohio. I left some important items in her care, and I went back this weekend to get them so I can complete my new Altar/Root Room.

At first, I was ELATED that she was moving into my old spot. I looked forward to coming “home” and having occult gatherings in the home that brought me so much contentment and joy for the last five years.

The place is AMAZING for altars, spiritual work, and clients. There was even a woman named Sojourner who LIVED there a long time ago. It was PERFECT for my friend and spiritual sister! I am telling you, that flat is a spiritual portal, and it was the first place my personal spirits showed themselves in a very long time. Making their presence known is the reason I am a worker today. I started trying to protect myself from them, and then I ended up working with them.

I was sad to leave it, and I felt blessed that another witch/healer was taking it over. I did, however, warn her that the neighbors below me were older white people, moved into the place below mine after being in a standalone house their entire lives, complained all the time, and were crazy as bat shit. I thought that maybe they just hated me, and that things would work out. Her kids are quiet, older, and well behaved. There should not have been a problem with it at all.

But I did not mention that they were racist as fuck. Hell, I didn’t know it because I refused to tolerate their foolishness. Looking back, I should have known better. They were a constant pain in the ass when I lived there. I am the queen, however, of giving no fucks. Then my landlords moved right before I did, and two very racist, gay men replaced them in their old place on the first floor.

(I must note that it REALLY pisses me off when gay people are racists. I look at them and think, “you on the wrong side player!”)

When I lived there, I snapped on the neighbors below me when they came upstairs to bother me or complained to my landlord. I called out the new neighbors for leaving over 50 used moving boxes out in the rain when they KNEW I was moving. Now I know that they did that shit on purpose, and now I am glad none of my belongings were placed in those boxes.

Keesha sat down with these fools, and they REALLY exposed their ugly. She called them on their microaggressions and racism, and they have clowned the fool ever since. They questioned her BROTHER as to what he was doing in the building, left all kinds of bullshit notes, complained constantly, and the LAST straw was when they put up video cameras (and signs indicating they’d been installed) WITHOUT the landlord’s permission.

Spirit compelled me to tell her to leave (more like GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE), and after great contemplation, that is what she is doing. Nobody is running from these racists, but damn, if you are paying your hard earned money to live somewhere, you need to be able to live in PEACE without someone micromanaging every step you take across the floor in a house where shoes are removed at the door.

Sometimes “you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” The Universe is calling her to a new location that is going to reach more people in our community so she can build them up. I have a feeling that the folks who remain on that property are gonna be broken down because of their actions. The Ancestors will see to it. Spirit is not going to let them rest (especially if my circle of witches has anything to do with it).

I also have a feeling that without a witch/healer there keeping things in control, those racists are going to hear a lot more than bumps in the night when she leaves. They should have been glad to have us there. Their silly mirrors, gimmick crosses, and Go Away Root are not going to stop the spirits in that building. I almost feel sorry for them.

ALMOST

But I digress. This is supposed to be a blog post about privilege…

In the past, she mentioned that they really were really messing with her because she had Black sons. On that much I agreed with her wholeheartedly. When we were talking this weekend, I repeated that because she actually sat down with them, and tried to be nice to them, they mistook her kindness for weakness. I advised her that I waved my crazy flag on the daily so they would be scared to come within a few feet of me.

Then she touched on something that made me bristle.

She said that that they did not fuck with me as much because she was darker than I was.

At first, I began to argue her down. I am Black, and I cannot tell you how many white people have told me I was being “aggressive” or “yelling” at them when I was speaking to them calmly and professionally. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been called an “angry Black woman” for not taking the shit the world was shoveling. I’ve suffered from the intangible as well as tangible effects of racism for as long as I can remember in both Black and white environments.

It is as though the timbre of my voice irks racists. (Well, I am sorry I cannot sound white even if I wanted to. The tenor in, and cadence of, my voice gives me away. I’ve never been able to pass, although in my family, the generation before me could at times.) As a Black woman, I explained that I go through it all the time. I told her that I also feel the same pain and suffering she does when we are mistreated, discriminated against, assaulted/brutalized, brainwashed by education/society/the church, unfairly imprisoned, and killed. My cousin (and new apprentice) jumped into the conversation saying that she never experienced privilege because we are lighter either.

And then, I was horrified.

My mind started replaying what we just said to someone I love so much. I realized how we invalidated what she was saying just because WE never experienced it. I always tell people that something is not automatically untrue simply because you have not you experienced (or had knowledge of) it. That is a real fucked up, myopic mindset to have.

My mind also started replaying the many, many non-POC friends and business associates I’ve distanced myself from (and at times severed all ties with) in the past few years when their “white sheets started to show.”

The nail in the coffin was when they would add salt to the wound by saying they NEVER experienced privilege, did not have it because they were not rich, had been mistreated by society too, etc.

I never blew up at them – at first. I tried to educate them. I’d give them example after example. For some, the light came on immediately. Those are the people I did not walk away from. The ones who continued to display hostility over the matter, I walked away from and severed relationships with them for my own sanity and self-respect.

My biggest example was, “when you have privilege you have NO IDEA you have it because you ARE privileged!!!

Imagine how my heart sank in my chest when I realized that I was doing the SAME thing to one of my best friends and sister in the craft.

Just because YOU cannot see your privilege does not mean it does not exist!!!

I experienced the immediate brain implosion that happens when you have an epiphany. Next, I felt a wave of humility pass over me, then shame. What followed was huge apology to my sista and an explanation to my cousin that we were no better than the non-POC people who said the same thing.

I owned my shit and ate it in a humble pie. I was dead fucking wrong.

I have never been in her shoes to see the disadvantage of being dark in a society that tells us “white is right.” And although I’ve experienced my own levels or marginalization as a woman of color, I NEVER shared HER personal experience. Now some will say that sometimes being dark has an advantage, and dark people will immediately (and rightfully so) tell them to go fuck themselves.

I was picked on for being “too white” as a child when I attended majority Black schools. But, let’s be honest here, I can truthfully say that out here in the world, I have not faced certain disadvantages because of my complexion. I am sure there have been times where my appearance has made non-POC more “comfortable” than my darker brothers and sisters.

Now, please, do not comment and tell me that I am ashamed of my light skin, or that I am no better than others who are trying to divide Black folk further. That is simply not true. What I do know is when I am the only Black person in an environment, I will receive the “treatment” from non-POC. What I also know, however (and have witnessed first hand), is when a darker person is on the scene, I get a bit of a buffer (a BIT).

I never used that to my advantage, but I was subconsciously (and at times consciously) aware of it. I also know my darker brothers and sisters are aware of this too, and sometimes it causes them to mistreat me as well because the object of their anger is an oppressor who could fire, maim, or even kill them. So, yes, I get it.

I also know that my DNA is 76% African whether people can see it or not. I know who I am. I know that when the shit hits the bricks (as it has increasingly done in this country) that before anything else, I am Black in my eyes, my people’s eyes, and in the eyes of society.

But I what I CANNOT do, refuse to do, is lie to myself about variations in the way we are treated in this country. There have been countless studies and scholarly research on whites’ efforts to breed with us in order to (at some point) completely remove all traces of Black from the population. It was done in Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, and Australia as a rule of law. Of course it didn’t work due to genetics, but they were too uneducated to know that.

“Negro blood is sure powerful, because just one drop of black blood makes a colored man. One drop, you are a Negro! . . . Black is powerful.”

Langston Hughes

Then, other countries, like the United States, prohibited racial mixing and figured they would just annihilate us with lynching, poverty, drugs, and other forms of overt and institutional racism. No matter what has been done to us, we are HERE, and we WILL continue to exist. This is ALL due to the magical practices of our people, our Ancestors, and our close bond with The Creator. Most brainwashed Black folks out here are still marveling why we still exist, but I don’t.

The difference is, when I saw what I was doing, I checked myself and apologized.

You don’t have to feel guilty about your skin color, or the advantages that your Ancestors had over others, because of this privilege. All you have to do is acknowledge it, and become part of the solution rather than being part of the problem.

I am good when someone apologizes to me. I can either move on, or we can work together to repair the damaged/severed relationship. It may never be the same, but there can be resolution, closure, and peace.

The only problem is, most of the people I’ve severed ties with because of this have not apologized and jumped in to help.

I think if I asked them if they felt the same way, their answer would still be yes.

Posted in Rootwork

Why I No Longer Identify as a Christian

BlackJesusWhen I became a Christian as an adult, I did not know why my mother would not attend church. She never really did. Of course she was called a heathen and seen as a Black sheep in our family. Come to think of it, her parents did not either. They all, however, made sure I received a religious education that included Awana at the white Baptist church, holidays at the Black Baptist Church, a brother from The Nation delivering “The Final Call” each weekend and letting us listen while they discussed the movement and Black Power, oh and yeah that JW she let come give us weekly Bible lessons for a hot minute.

Conversely, Hotei was in several places in my home. Dream Books, “Love Signs,” and other astrology books could be seen more than the King James (or any other version) of the Bible. My mother honored my decision to become a Christian, watched my mega church on TV, and she even attended my baptism. One day, however, out of nowhere she said, “I love God, but this whole Jesus thing? Yeah I don’t know about that.”

I was CONFUSED. I am happy to say after years of my own exploration, I am no longer confused. In my quest to become closer to God, and to be more like Jesus, I learned so much about the history of the Bible, what it was really telling us, how much was stripped away to remove the individual divinity of people, and how people (white AND Black) use religion to control and oppress others, I now realize that I can no longer profess to be a Christian. I simply cannot do it, and honestly, I think Jesus is pissed that people label themselves after Him in such a way. He came here to bring us closer to God, not to push us away like today’s church does to the people who will not bow down to their dogma.

Through reading the Bible, I’ve had what they call “The Tower” experience. The Tower card in the Tarot (filled with Christian imagery – not Satanic by the way) speaks to all of your illusions being stripped away. Things you were so sure of are no longer really true, and the cognitive dissonance of it all is earth shattering.

I found out (simply by reading the Bible) that Adam STOOD WITH Eve and ate that apple (Genesis 3:6). She did not use her feminine wiles to convince him to. In short, Eve was framed, Adam was a punk, and our punishment was to submit to someone who really was not fit to be the head of anything in the first place.

Then I found out how much of the Bible was taken from scared texts that proceeded Christianity. To top it all off, I found out that the Gospels were written 300 YEARS after the death and Resurrection of Christ. They were NOT written by the Apostles. Talking about having the rug pulled out from under you! That makes all that oppressive propaganda Paul wrote simply BULLSHIT. NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that it is the infallible word of The Most High. NOWHERE.

So, what people fail to realize is that most Christians simply claim this religion because they were told to do so. Not because they really understand what it means. If you challenge any of this with your own research, you will have to prove that it is more valid than mine. If you know me, I am all about digging deeper and citing sources, so let’s research away. If you cannot, and you want to hold on to your beliefs and walk on faith, that is your RIGHT. Just as it is my right not to stand on “sinking sand.”

To me, this does not mean I am going to Hell. This is FREEDOM. I can no longer align myself to sheeple who refuse to study the Holy text that rules their existence. They ignore the council of the GODS (that’s plural for you all that cannot read) that told Yahweh to check His people because they were wilding out (Psalm 82), or they read a translation that said He went among a council of FALSE gods, the congregation of the mighty, “gods” in quotes, just anything to say that there are no other gods.

Seriously, would God do that? If they were lesser beings, would they be able to counsel Him? Just stop it. And don’t tell me I am cherry picking while you shave, eat pork chops, wear polyester, and go to Church on your period. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

Oh I believe in Christ. I love Him with all my heart and soul. I also know that he was called MAGI long before He was declared Savior by the church. His birth was PREDICTED by DIVINATION. And who went looking for Him to protect him? THE THREE MAGI. They used ASTROLOGY and DIVINATION to find him in that manger. They brought Him Frankincense and Myrrh to PROTECT HIM!

Now, if I use it, I am a witch, a sorcerer. I’d love to be called Magi, but I ain’t there yet. Your prayers (petitions to a supernatural being to manifest things for you) are prayers. Somehow my prayers are “spells.”

You know what? I’ll take it if will set me apart from the oppressors of the world. We are labeled crazy, but no one judges you when you dance around church possessed by a spirit you no longer recognize and cannot even name.

I also know Christianity is NOT the “white man’s religion.” Look at a damn map, why don’t ya? Bethlehem is in the ass crack of Africa, so do you think Europeans got it first?!?!? Nope. Stop all the Hotep lies. The problem is that oppressors stripped the religion of the things you need to know to empower the God in YOU, and you DRANK the Kool Aid just like a follower of Jim Jones. Read the book of Enoch and get back to me.

So, I am a God/Goddess lover of Christ. I believe He was and IS the Magi’s Magi. If someone came to earth and made dead people rise up and blind people see, you’d call them a witch and burn them at the stake. Sound familiar?

Yeah, just like they did to Jesus. Except the fire He received was on that trip to Hell he took before He came back from the dead! You will watch a horror movie and call it fantasy. You will read the stories of other religions and call them mythology, yet the story of Jesus is the ONLY truth? Don’t be so simple! They taught you there is one TRUE church so you would bring your money to THEIR storehouses and not go to another. They told you Pagan holidays were Christian, and now are ranting that they are being persecuted when the YULE tree is taken off a damn COFFEE CUP. MISS ME WITH THIS MADNESS PLEASE!

Black folks are messed up today because we have been taught a watered down version of worshiping of The Almighty Creator, His Spirits/Angels/Saints/Lwa and healing that strips people of their personal divinity. Those same people are the witches you NEED to be scared of.

They have taken your divinity, the power God gave you, and continue to try to eliminate you by using it against you. They’ve tried to kill us all by stripping us and calling our worship evil. In churches all over the world, people continue to let them.

Missionaries have infiltrated cultures for imperialists, destroyed them, stolen resources, turned people in compliant zombies, and paid off corrupt “leaders” to make us submit to them. Look at what happened to Haiti. If there was someone to blame for natural phenomena, I’d look to the traitors who sold Haiti out, not the Vodouisants who tried to keep it alive. Here is the one country where a slave rebellion succeeded, and their own people helped to sell them out. They killed Mambos and Houngans in the name of the almighty dollar while hiding behind a big old statue of Jesus.

We are not supposed to submit to anyone but The Most High. They told you that honoring your Ancestors was evil. But if you don’t venerate your Ancestors, someone else will, and the effects of what happens to you when this occurs are not pretty. Forget about your Ancestors, the reasons why you are here today, and they will surely forget about you.

This torture of humans goes on to this very day, and we are told to submit forgive, and turn the other cheek. Just keep taking the beating because the “meek will inherit the earth.” How has that working out for you? What does it taste like? My mother in law says it tastes like a shit sandwich. I don’t want this earth. They’ve ruined it so much that it looks like Hell to me. No thanks. I’ll work towards a future existence. This is just my testing ground. The place to prove who I really am and the potential for what I will be.

So everyone, believe what you want to, but when that time of Divine Judgement comes (and OH IT WILL come) make sure you lived your life according to your own faith, beliefs, and research, not what Reverend Deacon Doctor Doug spoon fed to you.

You mad? Delete me. But that ain’t Christian. I am not about to argue with you. Christ did not argue. He went into temple, flipped tables, kicked ass, and took names. The Christ I know and read about strove to relate and understand the people who He surrounded Himself with. Often, they were the worst people society had to offer who were not one bit religious at all. Other ancient accounts describe His travels and studies all of the religion and mysticism in the world. How else do you account for the years of his life that the Bible does not cover? This ain’t a soap opera. He just didn’t go away for years and come back as if nothing ever happened. Don’t be lazy. Be committed. Find out the mysteries of Christ for yourself.

If anything people, just read the RED words! They are your best standard for living, and there is no real way to verify them either. But they are GOOD. They have value. The rest is just HIStory that is free to interpretation and misinterpretation by anyone who reads and cherry picks it daily. ‪#‎freeyourmindtherestwillcome‬

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Posted in Rootwork

Removed and Miseducated

I was in the store this morning, and the Black woman at the register asked me what I was going to do with all that Epsom Salt, I told her that I was a Rootworker, and that I made Spritual Baths. She said, “oh you practice Voodoo.” I explained that there were aspects of Rootwork in Voodoo, but I was a Haitian Vodouisant and a Christian.

She almost FELL OUT. “Oh no. Ain’t no Vodou have nothing to do with being a Christian.”

Hahahahaha! I WENT IN. I asked her if she knew about God’s wife and the stories of the Bible that were either removed or the stories that are blatantly ripped off from other religions. I told her that Joseph was a diviner and Moses was a Conjureman. I asked her, “didn’t Moses make the rivers run blood and got water from a rock?”

Her response, “well God did that through him!”

I asked her, “well who do you think I am working for?” I asked her about all those people hopping around the church with the “Holy Spirit.”

She said, “what you don’t believe in the Holy Spirit?”

I told her of course I did. The Holy Spirit is THE GOD IN ME. It’s what gives me the ability to do God’s work, AND those people who are dancing “in the spirit,” were possessed with a spirit alright.

They just don’t know which one mounted them.

She said, “you make that sound like a bad thing.”

I told her, “sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Isn’t it funny though that no one is translating what these people are saying? At a Vodou Fet, someone can always translate what a spirit says.”

Then I came home and began my workday. I was compelled to write this blog post after Facebook friend tagged me in comment in a video this morning. I believe there are no coincidences in life. I was asking Sprint if it was a good idea to share this morning’s experiences with you. I believe I got my answer in this video. (Author’s Note: I’ve asked the poster for a YouTube link so I can embed it here in case Facebook takes it down.)

You can watch it here:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=949107848457166&fref=nf

A great deal of the things in the video I know about, and some points here merit further research. Remember, no matter how accurate something is, just a little bit of bias can destroy credibility. However, I can research every single part of this video piece by piece. I have a feeling that the majority of it can be validated. I do this because am fascinated with the religions of the world, their similarities, and their differences. But what I know is this.

Most people, not just Black people, are willing to take their religion as it is spoon-fed to them. They are willing to listen to the preacher every Sunday, read the most revised, missing books versions of the Bible, and make judgments on people like me, who identify as Christians who don’t worship like them.

I’ve even had family members tell me that they would not come to my house because I have altars. OH WELL, stay home then! Bye, Felicia! I mean really, I am NOT going to compromise my spiritual beliefs and enlightenment for you any more than you will do it for me.

But we are LOST when it comes to religion all over the world. Religion has been used as a killing and slavery machine. It is used to judge and persecute people. None of the so-called Christians who vilify African Diasporic Religion, and the people who follow them, are listening to Jesus because I swore that he told us…

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:7

With a whole world of information at the tip of our fingers, people are content to live in their ignorance and judgment. The world and its gods are much bigger than anyone can imagine. And that is just Earth. Let’s not even try to contemplate the universe.

Y’all better tell somebody.

Liz