Posted in Rootwork

Be the Vessel: No Jar Required

You should be the vessel for your self-work. Why in the unlucky hojo hell is everyone putting themselves in sweetening jars? Even a sweeting jar is best used for the control/binding/banishment of a target.  Yes, you can banish haters from your life by sweetening them. I’ve done it.

You only use containers like that when your target is unaccessible. You could even live with someone and not desire/be able to work on their person directly.

But when you have the opportunity to apply the work DIRECTLY to the target, it makes the work that much more powerful. The reason we have to use Personal Concerns in Magic in things like jar spells is to empower it with things that can stand in place of someone.

When you have access to the target (in this case being YOU), why would you put yourself in a jar???

Posted in Rootwork

Shungite – Crystal of the Week


I’ve been saying for about a year now that I was going to increase my knowledge of crystals by writing about them. So, welcome to a new feature in my blog, Crystal of the Week!

One of my new favorites is Shungite. It is an ancient stone that is found in the earth’s crust. Most of these stones are harvested in Russia.

When Shadow told me Shungite was great for protection from EMF (Electronic Magnetic Frequencies), I immediately snatched one up. I spend many hours a day at the computer, and I’d like to reduce my exposure as much as I reasonably can without wrapping myself in foil!

If you are a healer, reader, or empath, it is a good stone for you to have because it absorbs negative energies. When I am performing divinations, I keep it next to me along with Rhodonite (another excellent healing stone that I will write about in a future post.

This stone is excellent for your spiritual/emotional balance, evolution, and healing. It is a powerful protector, helps you with your personal growth, is grounding, promotes positivity, and it will enhance your psychic abilities.

I am currently searching for a wholesale supplier. It will be the next crystal added to my store!


Posted in African American, Black, Conjure, Culture, History, Hoodoo, magical, Religion and Spirituality, Rootwork, spell, Spirituality, system, teach, traditional, West African, work

It’s Called WORK for a Reason!

While the Internet is full of foolishness (anyone can post a web page), you HAVE to do research before jumping into magic. This includes reading TONS of things online and going past page 1 of Google. This also means reading the books people refer to online as well. Read OLD books. Read old journal articles, dissertations, and other research projects. Talk to workers in the tradition young and old. Ask/research the same questions. Like my mentors told me, LOOK FOR THE CONSISTENCIES! Use your discernment. Don’t be so anxious to do spellwork or take clients until you know what you are doing!

There is nothing worse than seeing someone running a Conjure group (or any other topic for that matter), and they have no idea what the hell they are doing. Contrary to what you see on TV, magic is NOT FUCKING ABOUT INSTANT GRATIFICATION! You ain’t gonna twitch your nose like Tabitha and BOOM shit happens. If that was the case, I’d be the fuck out of here post haste and on the beach somewhere with a big ass spliff in my mouth!


As you read, talk to people. Ask questions. If you want to know about the magic of your culture, the logical thing to do is to ask LOTS of people from your culture. If you are not from the culture, or you ask someone from outside your culture, the odds that you will be lied to or ignored are way higher.

People don’t understand that this stuff is considered OCCULT (e.g., hidden) for a reason. If someone will not share information with you, it may be for a very good reason. Maybe you ain’t got no business doing the work.

Maybe you have to be part of someone’s family/culture to have access to such knowledge.

Ain’t everything for everybody, and while being an American conditions many to think they can take whatever they want without close attention to what they are pinching off of in the first place, you will fuck yourself up if you follow this train of thought.

There is nothing respectful about coming into a tradition (white, Black, or whatever) and trying to make it fit what YOU want it to be. You don’t like a tradition/religion’s rules and history? FIND ANOTHER ONE! Ain’t nobody got yo ass tied up! You are not a hostage. Don’t try paint something white and still say it is Black. Don’t try to paint something that was originally Black and say that it has always been white. FOH sell that shit to someone else!

Grown ass people with a world of knowledge at their disposal will not get a pass from me.

Do you pass your classes if you don’t study? How about science classes that have labs? If you don’t PRACTICE in a lab, do you learn? Do you pass? Magic is SCIENCE AND SPIRIT! KNOW this first and foremost. Magic helped build western medicine. It was the only medicine we had when we got here.

It’s funny that people can research whatever the hell else they want, but “have problems finding someone Black who is reputable” when it comes to their spiritual life. People spend more time researching a car or home purchase than spiritual teachers.

Hell no. This needs to stop. It needs to stop now. If you cannot tell this shit ain’t legit by their name or their “butter” workings, you need to work on your sense of discernment. It is too soon for you to consider magical workings.

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.




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

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.