It’s Ask Black Witch, where you ask me questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Let’s get started!

Hi, I am also a African American woman who practices witchcraft but I consider myself a Christian witch choosing to worship god in a feminine and masculine aspect as my only divine energy…. Do You think it’s possible to be a Christian witch?

- Janelle B.

I actually was a Christian witch when I was starting out. I pretty much went: Christian -> Christian Witch -> Christian Pagan Witch -> Pagan Witch. Christianity is a religion whereas witchcraft is a lifestyle. You don’t necessarily need a religion to practice magick (even though a lot of books are constructed in this fashion). I understand that some may find it confusing due to Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and figure that’s pretty clear cut but here’s the thing: that part was kind of mistranslated, partly for political reasons. Originally it was, “thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live” but then got re-edited to “witch” when King James felt like re-writing the Bible (who, I’m sure we all are aware, isn’t the first to give the holy text the Wikipedia treatment) which was also during a witch craze (it’s where the term “witch hunt” comes from). The word for “witch” as we know it didn’t exist back then and the word that did exist was mainly meant for “poisoner”. Also back then, what we consider were witches were also healers and doctors so to go with the old school idea of a witch, you would pretty much wind up with “thou shalt not suffer a doctor to live”, which is a unarguably bad idea.

Getting back on track, you’re still putting focus on the Christian deity (who I think is never really classified as Dude or Dudette even in the Bible unless consciously put in there so you’re still ok), you’re not letting other deities come before this one and this is just to improve your relationship with the Christian deity. You’re fine, it’s very possible to be a Christian Witch. You’re pretty much practicing magick with a strong emphasis on Christian texts, lore and ideas. This means you’re gonna have to do a lot of research (which I strongly advocate) but yep, it’s doable.

And I know some folks are thinking, “How can you be a Christian Pagan Witch?” Basically, that means you’re Pagan with Christian centered beliefs and you practice magick in line with those beliefs. So instead of the basic Lord and Lady or God and Goddess, you believe in and pray to the Holy Trinity, study the Bible (and all related texts) and other stuff Christians do but fuse it when your Pagan beliefs where appropriate.

Hello, I’m from Baltimore and I’m 22 & black. I’ve always been fond of pagan lifestyle and all things elemental, soul origins, starseeds etc. I’m very I tune with black history so I am thrilled to have found a page/source coming from a black, female, pagan. I was wondering could you give me some insight on how to start practicing magick the correct way. I also believe I have premonitions in my dreams. When I wake up I write my dreams down and they always happen either a week, month, or a year later.

- Tara

Yay! Baltimorean Pagans! Y’all need to show up when I do meet and greets so Black Pagans can meet each other -_- At least be at the Imbloc high rite at Cedar Light Grove tomorrow. I’ll be there!

I think the best way to practice magick “the correct way” is to really just read a lot. Since you’re in Baltimore, I would highly recommend going to the Central library on 400 Cathedral St. and you’ll find books on the second floor of the Business and Social Sciences section. It’s smart to not only read books explicitly for Pagans, Wiccans and neo-Pagans but also read books on history, religion (various religions, Paganism dates back to the Paleolithic period, there’s a lot to cover), cultures (again, Paganism dates back to the Paleolithic period, there’s a lot to cover), and whatever you plan to get into most definitely. Want to learn potions? Good, pick up a book on herbology, chemistry, medicine and biology. Trying to do sigils? Pick up a book on symbolism, history and sigil working. Think outside the box and don’t strictly depend on Pagan authors to tell you everything you need to know. What you need to know is proper information, that’s all. Want to focus on Pan-African magick? Research everything I just told you but take on some added books about the Black experience all over the world from children books to dusty, heavy tomes so you can thoroughly understand what you’re doing (and avoid becoming an Afriboo, you don’t want to be that). Check out some books that I have listed on this site, especially books in the “The Arts!: Samhain Edition” posts. Here are also some Afro-centric books that you shouldn’t overlook:

Encyclopedia Africana (This book is freakin heavy, I’m lettin you know now.)

The African-American Family Album (This is a great book, I strongly recommend it)

And Mythology Dictionary is your friend. Also, it’s not irregular to have precognitive dreams, but it is good you’re taking notice of them, however. Maybe you can notice a trend to tell the different between a pre-cog dream and a regular dream.

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the idea of noetics being used to investigate/explore the physics of witchcraft???

- Madstand

I actually researched noetics a little so I wouldn’t be answering incorrectly (I get rusty, too). Noetics, everyone, is “A multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences,” which is explained on the front page of Noetics.org.

I’m usually iffy with science trying to get into metaphysics of any sorts (and I mean by “metaphysics” is its stark meaning of “transcending the physical”) because science doesn’t really do a good job with anything that can’t be measured physically and thus even scientific tools and techniques can be lacking. It is possible, I’m not arguing that, but extremely difficult. I’ve seen this with science’s interaction with psionics and even with religion. And already with psychology as we currently know it, a science which is based on something as intangible as the human mind and, by extension, the human experience, has holes big enough to ramp a monster truck through because it’s so limited in its knowhow of the human mind and the human experience when it is not hegemonic. If psychology, which has a lot of difference organizations, money, people and schools of thought, can’t see past their own limitations to improve their work, I don’t expect anything better of noetics to explore witchcraft, which is really diverse and thus would require some serious thinking out the box, which I’m convinced science has a hard time doing usually. To explore witchcraft means you’d have to sooner or later explore the people behind them because magick doesn’t always simply pop up out of nowhere, it is created and brought forth. This isn’t to say magick doesn’t exist without people but people definitely add something to the mix, we don’t live in a vacuum separate from nature and life itself.

Basically, noetics to study the physics of witchcraft sounds great on paper but that’s it. Only on paper because it will be screwed up in practice, especially since there “subjective” inner knowledge will be strongly limited.

And that’s all of Ask Black Witch for this month!