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Tonight, I’ll be on Pagan Musings podcast in promotion of the new Shades of Ritual book. Come and join me or simply listen in. It starts at 7 PM CST (8PM EST)

And remember, 9 slots are still open for the Summer Divination Special. It ends on Aug 1st (this Friday).

Dunno why but I feel like doing divination. Usually if folks want divination from me, they have to wait for Halloween/Samhain to come around for Samhain Pickers giveaway to start and then be randomly picked (if picked at all, I only pick three people). Now, the only difference between that and this is that the divination won on Samhain Pickers is totally free. This comes with a price list and here are the rates:

- Cartomancy (playing card divination) : $5

- Tarot: $7

- Natal Charts: $20 (5 pg)

- Dream Interpretation: $4

Want in? Use this handy dandy contact form and remember to fill in your paypal address so I can invoice properly. Remember, there are ten slots and they stay open until Aug. 1.

When someone makes a purchase, a slot will say “Filled” so everyone can keep track of what availability is left.

Filled!

2 Empty

3 Empty

4 Empty

5 Empty

6 Empty

7 Empty

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10 Empty

Interested? Fill out the contact sheet below!

What’s your question?: do you practice black magic? is it evil? would my soul be like damed if I started…. do I have to like sell my soul to satain? ino these questions sound blunt and stupid but I really no nothing about black magic only white… it jst kinder seems… uno… pointless to me

- Katie M.

Everyone, this is what a dumb question looks like. Remember, I’m a Black person that happens to practice magick. A little bit of reading would have done this person plenty good. Or just looking at my picture on my About Me page. And so would some better spelling and grammar skills.

Sell your soul to “satain”. It almost looks like you wrote “satin” there. Which would be then very odd if you sold your soul to a fabric. It keeps hair from breaking when you sleep and has many other uses besides that but it isn’t “sell your soul” worthy.

At least this person had the self-awareness to know that the question indeed sounds blunt and stupid. I don’t practice the left hand path, everyone. How many times do I have to say that? To practice any sort of magick, it is important to at least have reading comprehension skills. At least strong enough to tell the difference between a Black person and a person that practices black (read: left hand path) magick.

im Leshelle work for me and i will work for you prove to me that you work so that we can keep contact because i like you, prove to me that you work please come though for me alright i just want a handsome spanish man to be my sex partner to just go steady with sex and i want to act permantly like a rich womam.

basicaly i need to have sex.
my birthday is 0*-0*-19**

- Leshelle

Are you serious? Are you really freakin serious? What is with people wanting me to prove my worth to them and they couldn’t even write me a half way decently punctuated letter? And how vain could this person be? Vain, selfish and petty beyond belief. And thirsty like stuck on the planet mercury.

Look, if you need sex that bad, just buy a vibrator. Or find a sex worker. And you can already act like a rich person, you just have to dive deep into debt to keep up appearances. Seriously, don’t bother me. And I don’t need your birthday, that was redundant info.

That’s all of Ask Black Witch for this month! Catch me on Sunday between 5-7 PM PST on the Pagan Musings podcast! I and other writers are teaming up with Crystal Blanton to promote the new book Shades of Ritual and we want you to listen!

The Arts!: Period Tracker, Hello Flo, Everyday Sexism Project

Alright, this is The Arts!

Period Tracker
For those who think even the faintest discussion of menstruation is somehow disgusting or revolting, this is probably not the post for you. Or site.

Alright for those who have to deal with this totally natural (yet annoying, painful and aggravating) occurrence, it’s really useful to keep track of when it will be coming around so you don’t get caught off guard. This tracker is fantastic because it is very low tech and low maintenance. Not to mention, there is a discrete counter that you can put on your mobile device’s home screen for easier tracking as it just gives off a number which counts down to zero and that’s it.

period tracker1

You can have the app do more, however. It can inform you with pop up notification that you’re close or on your expected first day. Also you can fill out a little chart that helps you track your symptoms such as food cravings, fatigue, cramps, nausea, and acne. You can also track your moods, temperature, weight and pills (if you take medication regularly). Also, you can add notes if you need to and view your period log to spot any trends that goes into predicting your next cycle. In addition, it will mark ovulation and fertility on the app’s calendar and you can also keep track of when you’ve been intimate since all these things affect menstruation. There is also an “abstinence mode” setting, which removes the ovulation and intimate notifications. I think this is nice that the app makers tried to be as all inclusive as possible.

period tracker2

 

If you’re late, it shows a negative number. And remember, for all this to work, you have to actually use the app. If you want accurate foretelling of your next period, you’re going to have to inform the app of when you’re on and when you’re off. It will predict a end date as well but if you know or notice your period is longer or shorter, you can put in that information.

This app is very much no fuss and it’s free to use – except if you want to upgrade to deluxe, which gives you various skins, super detailed charts and graphs, pregnancy mode, and fertility notes. You can back up your information in the free version but also you can port the information in the deluxe version ($1.99).

Android

Apple

Hello Flo
This is a fantastic care package, especially for girls who are just starting to get their periods and are still a little too squicked out going to the store or asking for pads or tampons or have limited access. There’s even something for girls who are going to camp and even new mothers going through postpartum.

This care package has pads and tampons (or you could choose all pads or all tampons) and it also includes panty liners, snacks and treats like cute lip balm and hair ties.

The prices aren’t too bad, they vary for different packages. For example, the Period Starter Kit is $29.95 and in the kit is a Get Ready guide for girls and a version for parents, a box of Radiant Infinity Always pads (I highly recommend them, they’re the best! Anything Infinity Always is fantastic!), a box of Dailies liners, canvas pouch for carrying supplies, a bracelet and surprise gifts and goodies that help make the period a little easier. It doesn’t state if it has anything for cramps like heating pads (they possibly can’t send out pain killers like Midol for sensible legal reasons). However, this is great for those who are soon to be starting on their period or will be in places where period products are not easily accessible. (If you are in a place where period products are not accessible but have the kit yet are still dealing with cramps, I suggest trying to bum some advil or motrin from someone with the excuse of having a headache).

Website

Everyday Sexism Project
I learned of this site through the Chvches’ post in the Guardian. The lead vocalist of Chvrches, Lauren Mayberry, wrote a piece titled “I Will Not Accept Online Misogyny”,which she explains the sexism that she has experienced while being in a band. The part that is annoying is how frequent this is from women musicians, they almost all say the same thing and as per usual, they’re met with a “Meh, probably not a big deal. It couldn’t happen here.” The Everyday Sexism Project contains submissions from countless women who have encountered sexism in all forms of everyday walking life.

And folks, if you’re getting tired of hearing me talk about this, imagine how I feel living through it. Check out the site here.

And that’s all for The Arts! for this month. Next is Ask Black Witch. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in!

Only Negro Syndrome

So, being at the present Summer Solstice ritual prep, I am starting to feel what I think I can sufficiently label the “Only Negro Syndrome”, where you are the only Black person in a sea of White faces and slowly, but most definitely, this starts to irk you.

It. Is. Tiresome.

Only Negro Syndrome is when you have to act differently than you usually would, much less relaxed than usual, because you’re thinking with double consciousness of “Hey, I’m trying to engage myself with the activities at hand,” and “I am probably going to hear a racist joke or experience a microagression before all this is over.” Or the ever popular but occasional “Am I going to die?” To avoid racially-focused comments and microaggressions (even if it is near inevitable sometimes):

- You try to avoid any and every known stereotype you know about Blackness. This means you remove most slang or you’ll be dealing with the White folks around you echoing as if severely mentally challenged and completely hinged on that particular slang. They will think that you’re the living version of the creatures they’ve seen on such wildlife documentaries such as The Wire, The Corner, The 12 O’Clock Boys. In their minds, it is perfectly fine to live out their poverty porn fantasies since to them, you somehow consented to getting boiled down from a multifaceted human being to a modernized minstrel character just because you didn’t feel like talking as if making a formal speech. You change your clothes, anything that could look like it didn’t come from Lands’ End catalogue could be seen as “threatening” and all of a sudden, people don’t trust you being alone. Ever. If you have natural hair, you’re going to be on edge because they want to touch you and you want to hit them out of surprise because grabbing and stroking random people is not cool.

- You avoid “stereotypical” foods such as anything that could possibly come from a chicken, regardless if it is fried, baked, roasted, salad-ed, whatever. If it is watermelon, gotta avoid it, even if everyone else is getting a slice. It doesn’t matter if it is the only fruit you see, it’s only a plain fruit, a healthy summer treat when they eat it, but get seen eating it while Black, here comes the Black jokes. If it is soda, you avoid purple (grape) and if there are sweets, avoid apple flavored (but somehow apples themselves are perfectly fine). If it is greens (kale, collard greens), either stay away from it (it will taste disgusting, I can assure you) or risk race jokes or just stomach all the “We just discovered this! Let me tell you about kale!” from the White folks who are baldly and awfully appropriating foods you grew up with. And if you so much mention “cultural appropriation” or “culture vultures” or “no, you didn’t because Black folks have been eating this ever since we were dragged to this country” expect hurt feelings. To them, being called a racist is faaaar, far worse than experiencing racism.

- You try to be agreeable because apparently any form of protest or amplified emotion is “angry”. Like, you could be jumping up and down in joy and it’s “anger/violence”. Or again, you’re going to be mockingly mimicked because oh hey, the Black person is doing something! We should do it too! That and you don’t want to risk getting chucked out because someone was upset you didn’t find their Trayvon Martin/twerk joke funny. Even if the White person (or people) want you to painstakingly educate them on the history of racism, it’s not because they genuinely want to learn, it is so they can get into a hissy fit and try to derail by making it about them personally.

- You’re going to have your English corrected. Even if you have a degree in English literature (*cough cough*) and can not only explain the structure of a sentence down to the disjunct, adjuct or conjunct but the history of the progression of English from its start to now, someone is going to think it is smugly funny to correct your English. Again, using any relaxed speech while Black somehow effortlessly communicates “uneducated”. Even if the person you’re talking to talks as if their cerebral speech center is controlled by a convulsing, rabid raccoon and a careless teenager.

- Dumb down and sanitize your culture and heritage…a lot. Again, it’s like everyone drank lead paint growing up because your culture apparently isn’t valid to anyone but you. Instead, it’s is a cornucopia of mocking jokes, memes and broad but negative depiction of “otherness”. You’re going to hear the word “ghetto” a lot, especially from people who A) have never lived in one a day in their lives and B) are terrified to simply drive down one. The people who live and exist there aren’t people, they’re things, objects, npc zombies and criminals. Don’t ask for or reference anything that is too embedded in your culture because if the White folks feel as otherized as they’re making you, someone is going to get their feelings hurt and you’re going to have to deal with being the bad guy. Or it’s going to get mocked incessantly because, well, I already explained above, your culture and heritage is discount bin fodder to them. A suburban school shooting is a national tragedy, a drive by shooting is hilarious. Black history is barely secondary trivia, White history is mandatory and primary.

- Get thanked. A lot. Oh my gods, you would have thought you discovered world peace or the cure to hunger or cancer or something. As the only non-White person there, you’re thanked for showing up as if you being there saved the event from going snow-blindingly White. Now it is snow-blindingly White with a speck of peppercorn chucked in for good measure. They don’t want to change the culture they have which keeps minorities away like a repellent, nor do they want to talk about how they’re creating a culture that keeps minorities away like a repellent, nor do they actively want to do anything besides bump their gums about why it is so difficult to keep/attract minorities that are staying away because the culture is such a repellent. Nope, it’s much easier to pretend nothing is wrong and that minorities just don’t want anything to do with them because those finicky minorities are so close-minded. (Yes, this is the black hole calling the kettle and the pot “black”.) It would just be easier to thank the random Black person who wandered in (and is probably planning to wander away now) and stayed for longer than a couple minutes while marveling to them – a lot – why they can’t attract a more diverse set of people. And then go promptly deaf or enraged when informed that the problem probably lies within them and not in the people they’re trying to bring in.

Even if you started with the intention of “Going along to get along”, it’s going to wear on you eventually and you’ll start to feel irritated more and more as time goes on. Or you just want to engage less and less with whatever is going on. You want to be yourself but know that if you tried, it’s going to be a lot of headache. It doesn’t take much to go from “Friendly Negro” to “Militant/Scary Negro”. It’s just that you see everyone not having to really put on a mask to reduce dealing with something as sucky as racially charged aggression (especially since that can turn fatal) but you do and it’ll begin to wear on you that it isn’t fair. It is frustrating to say the least.

It is frustrating because you don’t get to have as much fun. Instead, you have to be on the cautious look out or awareness that someone is going to make a race joke (because it always happens, no matter how faint), starts droning on and on about whatever White Savorism expedition they’ve been on (“I’ve been to the ghetto! Did you know they wear shoes there? I helped one brush her hair, it was like brushing cotton. The little girl’s hair was soft as a sheep, I wish I could stuff it in a pillow.”), and of course, how not racist they are by being completely and totally racist. You’ve got to be on guard because, honestly, you don’t want to get sideswiped with someone’s cultural bigotry.

If there were a Black Pagans group or one for minority Pagans, I’d join quick. It would be nice being in a place where people don’t grab my hair like I’m a petting zoo, make really object comments about race while thinking they’re so enlightened and expressions of Whiteness everywhere. I don’t expect for White Pagans to be progressive that much when it comes to race given my and other Black Pagans personal experiences as well as just dealing with Whiteness while minority as a whole. I rather avoid the trouble and just fellowship with others I don’t have to be that skeptical around.

When it comes to Pagan spaces that are White dominated, basically, they don’t want to solve the cultural problem which creates Only Negro Syndrome because they feel that they are not the problem and that such a problem doesn’t exist where they are. Whereas I am strongly deciding to just remove myself from going to these events altogether. They’re nice and I like the theatric of high rites but it’s getting to really not be worth it, plain and simple.

BW Sick Day!

So…I’m sick. Woke up sick yesterday, I must have caught something during my birthday the day before yesterday. So that means I’m inside with a stuffy nose, a killer headache and a sore throat. Sore throat I think is gone but everything else remains.

Therefore, here is some Red Dwarf

Alright, it’s this month’s Ask Black Witch, where readers send me questions and I answer them. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Let’s get started.

Where can I get a book of shadows?

- Soni

You can create your own book of shadows to record all your findings, books, spells, thoughts, whatever. I think the best way you can go about this is read the book Where To Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy. I always recommend this book because it is really nice to get the basics as you start.

Wish to be an international famous artist

and to live in my dream home..

Thank you.

- Jo

I am seriously wondering why you are telling me this. I’m not a wishing fountain. All that stuff takes work and luck (you’re not the only one who wants this exact thing). Here are some basic questions:

Are you good at music? (As in, you actually know how to play an instrument and well in a complex manner or can sing phenomenally well)

Are you creative? (Can you think up new ideas on your own and regularly enough to create new material consistently)

Do you actually have a talent? (It takes a lot more than simply knowing how to sing a song and play an instrument)

Do you have a lot of charisma? (Can’t be popular if you don’t like people, or at the very least, don’t like support)

Are you willing to work with some unsavory people? (The music industry has loads of them, you won’t be able to pick and choose, especially at the start)

Do you have a brain for business? (Going to need that especially)

And if you maybe – just maybe (you’ve got a better chance at getting struck by lightning, possibly) – do well in the music industry (which is not as common as you think), maybe you could buy a nice house. And work your way up to a dream house – depending on if your contract doesn’t screw you (i.e. 360 deals).

Basically, you’re going to have to do a lot of work for something that maybe, possibly, won’t happen. There are scores of people who have tried and many more who didn’t make it. Try becoming an astrophysicist or psychologist or a teacher or something that we as a society need more of.

It’s The Arts!!!!

Well, The Arts! should have been last week but in the non-Black Witch world, I had a new job to begin and that took all my time (and energy). So today is a double feature. The Arts! now and Ask Black Witch a little later in the day (noon)

First, here is the Black Witch anniversary video (wow, took a whole month just about to just put this up. Never good)

Now, that is out of the way!

The TV Show
Directed by Sugimoto Kousuke, short film The TV Show is a fantastic and trippy film that looks into a series of events via various screens. It looks random at first but there really is a story that starts to create.

Johnny Express
This short film is amazing and funny. It’s about an intergalactic delivery man that is quite lazy but gets the job done. However, the recipient is a bit hard to find. Very hard to find.

High Tide
This mystical short, made by Kristin Kemper is about a stuck merboy that was discovered by a schoolgirl on her class trip to the ocean. Turns out, he would like more than to simply return to the sea. There’s an amazing surprise ending.

And that’s all for The Arts! for this month, Ask Black Witch is later today.

[BW PSA] Black Witch is back online!

Yay, I have my internet back! Still no new post but huzzah at the ability of being able to do so.

And don’t forget to donate to keep Black Witch up and running. Getting a new modem is not cheap.

Due to my internet being down, this means no new post tommorrow. Sorry everyone.

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