Posted in Rootwork

Still Taking the High Road

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved. But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God. ~ John 3:20-21

I was sent a video of a “Worker” who is a known fraud by someone who has insulted my character and badmouthed me as a worker to anyone who will listen online. This was done to slow down and prevent my studies and spiritual growth. There are more than few people who used to be my friends who have made it their personal mission to discredit me with other Workers and fellow merchants. I tried to take the high road and not specifically address it online. Because of this, lies and slander quickly raged out of control, and I had to finally address the situation. When I first saw this video, I thought, “leave it alone. People will see it for what it is.” But sometimes folks get me twisted, and I have to just say my peace and move on. I actually hate having to devote time to this, but I just want to post my record of where I stand regarding all this hate that has been thrown my way. I am sure it will not end. As they say, “when you have haters, it means that you are doing something right.” I don’t plan to stop the Work, so I need to let people know where I stand with all of this and who I am.

For the record, I have never claimed to be an “expert” Conjurer with years of experience. I never said my family was Conjure Workers, and I have never defrauded a person in my life. I have worked with experienced mentors who recognized my gift, and they help me to cultivate it by guiding me to the proper learning tools and teaching me from their experience. My clients have experienced positive results from their consultations with me, and I will not allow the ratings of a known anti-Semitic, racist, chauvinist to deter me from my calling. That being said, here is the email I sent as my reply.

“Dear Former Friend,

I thought about this last night. I also went and read the string from Lucky Mojo that Docteur replied to you with concerning this man. (Please see: Upon watching this man’s vile attempt to discredit me, something really stuck me as funny. A man who does not know me at all knows the month (which he was a little off on) that I started practicing Conjure. (I think he shortened it to use his “not enough time to have a baby” insult.) He also knows what my first deck of Tarot cards looked like when I was learning (and NOT charging clients) how to read them.

(Author’s Note that was not part of my original reply to her email: These cards have the basic meanings of the cards on each one. I used them when I first started studying Tarot used them to learn the cards. My former friends have used this knowledge to mock me and discredit me as a reader. Because of my studies, I know how to read Tarot cards, and my clients tell me my readings are spot on. The cards are simply the medium for the message. Before I read a single card, I have a consultation with my clients. I tell them what I think about the situation, and the cards back up what I’ve assessed and advised. Sometimes people need a more tangible explanation that comes directly from our Ancestors, Spirits and our God(s), and cards are just one divination tool that Workers use to do that. People also know that your cards become an extension of you. Do I still use them at times? Yes? Does that change what the cards mean or how they fell? No. They are my cards, my first deck, I love them, and I have never had a client complain because I used them.)

Every insult and lie (I have NEVER said I was an expert among other things.) he threw at me were identical to the ones you spread about me when you were angry with me. (His insults about my product were all his own.) So, even though you said you do not know him, you gave him the ammunition for the assault. This man is an anti-Semite who says the Holocaust never occurred. He hates homosexuals, women, and Black people (see the Lucky Mojo link above). This is the type of person who took your words and mocked me. I am not going to sit here and thank you for sharing this information with me. Trust, I’ve had more than one email in my inbox about this video.

Please think about that the next time you cannot contain your anger, and you feel the need to discredit someone to anyone who will listen. His lies about my “racial” posts shows that he knows nothing about me (I work with an Irishman and a Peruvian for goodness sake!) and that he has very little reading comprehension. He obviously has not read my blog. But the fact is, you don’t need any of those things to be a Worker. You don’t even need to be Black. All you have to do is be called to do the Work, love God, and have the faith that what you do can make a difference in someone’s life.

After that, it is just learning to use the tools at your disposal. Conjure is a life-long learning process, but I have been a “Worker” for people all of my adult life. I have always been the one my friends turn to for advice, prayer and assistance. Now I just have a bigger tool-set. The day you say you are an “expert,” means that you are an expert on God and His will. I doubt very seriously anyone could say that. Bigger than that, this is not a Mojo Hand. It is a Bosom Sachet. It does not need to be pinned. I am yet to see an example where you are instructed to do so.

There are so many things that I could say about this video, but I know I have never lied about my background. I never said I came from a long line of Conjurers, and I have never made myself out to be more than I am. I am who I am, and who I am is a woman who has been called to do my God’s work. If you told me this time last year that I would be doing this right now, I would look amazed. I did not jump up one day and decide I was going to be a Worker.

People who I trust (not just Docteur and Hellfurrian [my mentors at The Vodou Store], although they said it too), advised me that this is what I was being called to do. I never planned to make money or be famous. That is not my desire. My desire has always been just to make this life better for the people I connect with. Witnessing this constant internet Conjure “thugging” by so-called Workers who claim they are working in the traditional ways and in the will God can be disheartening, but it will not deter me from what my God has called me to do.

People act like Workers need a college degree to practice Conjure these days. If that were the case, I can show them my degrees (Bachelors and Masters) with concentrations in African American Studies (that include culture, literature, and religion). (And I do happen to be Black you know. I might have got some of these traditions just from my growing up in the culture attributed to Hoodoo, ya know.) But the reality is, you don’t even need roots. All you really need are the gifts that Spiritual Workers must possess and prayer.

Rootwork and any other form of worship adds power and is a demonstration of your faith. True, not everyone can, or should be a Rootworker, just as I will never be a ballet dancer. I simply do not have that talent. So, I’ve asked you before not to email me at my work address. I have also requested that you go your way, and I go mine. I don’t know, maybe you thought you were being helpful in sharing this with me. But, remember, you are the one who put all this nonsense out there about me to begin with, and therefore, you are partially responsible for what people have to say as a result of it. The owners of The Vodou Store have to protect their brand and their integrity. Feel free to communicate with them, but I am respectfully asking you not to email me anymore.”

So yeah y’all here it is. When this all started months ago, I thought I was taking the high road by only consult with my mentors and my Mambo about what to do. I have found when you do not address lies and ignorance, they can continue to swell and grow. So, I am putting this, as Hellfurian says, “to bed.” I love being a Worker, I love being a lifelong student of religion and Conjure. If you come to me for help, I will never attempt to lie to you, ask for ridiculous amounts of money for rituals, or take on work that is not within my path or knowledge base. I stay in my lane, and it would be nice if others started to do so too. I started this in my mid-40s. I am not a child. I am hoping I can live 40 more years, grow in the Lord, and keep helping to heal the people who come to me. I know that there are lots of workers my clients could go to. I understand my tremendous responsibility to them when I do, and I am humbled by the service I provide.

Posted in Rootwork

Today, I Cried

We were in the altar room at The Vodou Store preparing for PantheaCon when we got the news. Docteur Cæli D’Anto is the trickster of our establishment. He’s always good for scaring me silly when I am in the stockroom, throwing things at me, or handing me something that scares the wits out of me. Strangely, my daughter was in the altar room the evening of July 14. She’s usually hiding somewhere trying to get out of work. But that night, she was there with Hellfurian Liontari and I when we got the news.

“Eddy is dead.”

Radio silence. Disbelief. I looked at him and said, “I am waiting for you to tell me that you are joking.”

To which he replied, “have you ever heard me joke about death?”

And then the shock set in. When your brain cannot reconcile reality. When something hurts you so badly, and you cannot manage the words or the rationalization to make things right. I’ve been like this since we found out, but today…today I cried. I just watched a slideshow Catherine Yronwode shared that demonstrates just who Eddy Gutiérrez was, how much he meant to so many people, and how much of an influence he will continue to be in our lives.

It is true that people will talk any old way about someone when they were alive, but when they die? Well, sometimes that is what it takes for a lot of people to appreciate someone.

I am relieved to say that I admired and liked Eddy when he was alive. That is not to say that I never disagreed or received any level of correction from him. I did, and I was glad he did so. He cared enough to tell me when I was mistaken. We are foolish to rebuff instruction.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
~ Proverbs 8:33-35 King James Version (KJV) ~

Sometimes Eddy would school someone when they were incorrect, and go in hard. I actually talked to him about that. But what I can say is that Eddy was fair, he was knowledgeable, and he always took the time to help someone in need and to teach those who were willing to learn. We have lost a valuable teacher, guide, and friend. It is up to all of us to honor his memory and be responsible in our actions and deeds.

As an online community, often we have seen examples where there is no community. Back biting and bitterness seems to be the soup du jour now. But Eddy was different. He told it like it was, but he also supported legitimate practitioners with the same tenacity that he sought to expose illegitimate ones. Eddy leaves a loving legacy and huge shoes to fill.

Eddy, I have no words to describe how much you will be missed. God’s love and light to you, brother. See you on the other side.