Category: Pagan Life


Know Your Facts

I did Huffington Post yesterday about Paganism in regards to sex and sexuality. To be frank, it was a pretty crappy experience given that despite the fact I explicitly asked for a diverse panel, I still wound up being the only minority there (hate that) and I barely got any airtime at that. Due to that, I’m not really sure I wanna post the link because I barely showed in it and it really wasn’t what I thought it would be, to be frank. I thought I would be talking in general about the concept of sex and sexuality in Paganism and probably give an opinion about 50 Shades of Gray and how Paganism have a take on BDSM, so on and so forth. Not some near hyperfocus on polyamory and the Great Rite.  And I have nooooooo idea how Valentine’s came from Lupercalia. I was told of St. Valentine and that was it. This is almost like when the Boondocks had that super mental depiction of the Pagan history of Christmas, y’know, the wildly inaccurate version. Valentine’s wasn’t even associated with romance until Chaucer in 14th century. With these thoughts in mind, I’m just not gonna post the link because I definitely didn’t like the experience so I don’t see much point in promoting it.

Without fail, people write to me asking for spellwork, usually asking specifically for “black magick” because the fact they couldn’t read my site for longer than the title shows the illiteracy and idiocy these people bear. Pro tip: When writing to me, research is your best friend. Otherwise, I’m just going to be snarky because, hey, not like I’ve got anything better to do when dealing with the seemingly intellectually incapacitated. Thanks to the internet and the invention of search engines (including the one on my website), the average person has little to no excuse for not being at least marginally informed before talking to me.

The thing is, I strongly dislike being asked to do stuff with the assumption that I’ll do them. For instance, I just had a person who wanted some “black magic” to help a friend with a physical ailment that rendered them to a child-like mental capacity after an episode. Already, I’m not too keen to help because as I’ll say a million times – I don’t practice black magick (well, what is considered “black magick” since magick, much like electricity is neutral). I ask about what the doctor says and the person completely sidesteps that pretty important question and gets into begging mode and said that she was recommended to my site by someone else. Too bad that recommending person forgot to explicitly tell her to read my site so she knew exactly what to ask for and why the site is called Black Witch. (Free hint: it has something to do with my race. Shocking, I know.) Since even her most rudimentary schooling failed her (they still do teach investigative skills, critical thinking and research skills in school, right? I know the American education system is horrendous but wow.), I explained that even if I was the spell-casting-for-others type (I’m not.), she wouldn’t be advanced enough handle any spellwork/witchy stuff that would be useful to her situation. At all. And she still didn’t explain why she thought I did black magick exclusively despite me never saying that I have.

Person gets upset and says the classic: I know more about magick than you think and maybe you’re not a real witch.

Yep, every emo kiddo who doesn’t get what they want says this without fail or pause. Firstly, if she knew anything about magick, she would have known that usually “Black magick” is in reference to causing harm. Which, if she’s being honest about her request, that she wants her friend to return back to normal, then asking specifically for “black magick” isn’t exactly what she wants, is it? More importantly, she had no clue to that witchcraft comes with various branches, it’s not all muttering stuff at a stick of incense and a candle. Like, herbology. Since friend has a physical ailment, not a mental or psychosomatic ailment, it needs a more physical branch of witchcraft. Balance is everything: Physical/tangible problems should be met with physical/tangible solutions, metaphysical (which means “beyond/transcends the physical”, mind you) problems should be met with metaphysical solutions. It would have been very different if the person just emailed and said something along the lines of “My friend went through [abc issue] and now she [has reduced mental capacity]. I don’t know but I think herbs or some potion would help. Do you have any suggestion?” That would have shown a) a cursory knowledge of witchcraft b) exactly what the potential solution could be but still foggy on the details thus why asking. Notice the lack of mention of whatever color magick, therefore the lack of me wanting to snark. Because, hey, here’s an honest question. I don’t expect Ph. D-level questions but I do expect people do their homework before parking their letters into my inbox. At least I could give say, “sounds like you need an herbologist, here are the cautions of doing it all by yourself and here’s how to find an herbologist and how to talk to the doctor and family about it.”

A reduced mental capacity that resulted from a physical ailments would need the herbology branch of witchcraft…which is why I initially asked what the doctor said about the friend’s condition in the first response. There’s no way in hades I’m pointing this person to herbs or whatever for her to play doctor/herbologist by herself because she could potentially kill said friend. Nature is not a loving creature nor is inherently safe. Eat nightshade or hemlock if you don’t believe me. To be a great herbologist, you have to know biology, chemistry, biochem, modern medicine, botany. They have to know as much as a doctor does and herbal uses on top of that. That’s years of training because which is crucial for something like the person asked about because a reduced mental capacity refers to a cerebral condition. This is way beyond taking ginger or lavender to soothe an achy stomach or rose hips for cramps. A condition like this means that something is damaged inside the brain and thus needs to heal, which takes time and due diligence, regardless of whatever method taken because everything from the affected person’s diet to what med they’re taking, age, weight and more counts. Crucial information that the person decided to acutely sidestep because she didn’t know that medicine has roots in potions and herbology.

It’s remarkably annoying when dealing with random people who feel they have to put on an act. I really don’t care what Llewelyn books you read or if you bought the mini tarot kit from Barnes and Nobles, if you don’t talk like you have sense, I’m probably not going to be the most helpful or kindest person you’ve met this week by far. As I say a million times over: Do your research. With the internet, you have practically no excuse – there’s even a search engine on my website. Research why I refer to myself as “Black Witch” (that’s not really “research” as “gleaning from the glaringly obvious from the subtitle of ‘life from the Black Pagan perspective’ and the picture in the About Me section”), my general stances on whatever you’re about to ask me about to see if it’s even worth penning to me, make sure that your writing skills are somewhere beyond “drunkly made ransom note” and “pre-school grammar knowledge”.  So know your facts because I’m not going to care otherwise. But I will be snippy.

Next week is The Arts!:

– There She Is!
– Skip
– Power Rangers (Parody short film)

The week after that is Ask Black Witch. Send in your questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Ah, love. Also known as “Why Cupid would never want to visit the physical realm even if he wanted to”

Actually, he would probably say, “Hey, I’m just responsible for people falling in love. Y’know there are other gods, right? Like, for lust. And greed. And indecision. And bad decision. And…do you really want me to run down my family tree?”

Dating is not easy. Quite taxing, actually. It’s hard to find someone who is a compliment to your personality and experience and a great friend and is romantically compatible. Odds vary by race but being Pagan shrinks the dating pool even further.

Eurgh.

Ye gods. This sucks.

Ye gods. This sucks.

When you study in the metaphysics and esoteric, you start to normalize your experience from all the time you spend. This can make it tough because of media representation of magick and metaphysics colors the opinion of many so you have to talk with a heavy filter or be very good at gauging personalities and potential reactions. And it sucks when you get questions that basically boil down to “Sooooo…you don’t actually believe this stuff, do you? Oh geez, I’m talking to a crazy person.” Yeah, folks are pretty judgmental. And this is talking to people in person.

It seems the common solution often given to folks with unusual backgrounds (and/or social tendencies such as being introverted) is to do online dating. Dr. Nerdlove writes plenty about online dating, however it can be reminded that isn’t a guaranteed cure-all. While with online dating sites like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, you can pinpoint select race and religion so you can find another Black Pagan to hopefully gel well with…or at least a Black Buddhist or Agnostic, they’re still people. It’s just this time they are behind screens and with avatars. But, also screening out who you don’t want to talk to gets a bit easier, especially if you pay a small fee to help boost your filters – something women should definitely know to handle the harassing dudes that will inevitably roll into their inbox. More on that later.

There are group specific dating sites such Black dating sites and Pagan dating sites. Pagan dating site are the absolute crappiest if you’re not White because that’s pretty much all that shows on the site. If someone goes, “That’s not automatically a drag,” how these folks talk in terms of opinions and life experience show you would probably be the first Black person they would meet or at least the first they didn’t receive a service from. Pretty much, you’re risking going out on a date with some possible Darren Wilson supporter that claims they know voodoo because of some Llewelyn book and swear up and down they’re not racist but Ferguson is overrated and SNL is brilliant multicultural comedy. Not worth the potential risk. And that’s from the folks who are not super creepy/all screws way loose. Remember, really predatory and abusive people like alt-lifestyle dating sites because they think they can hide their problematic ways under “being eccentric” or behind the “live and let live” thinking with little blowback. And they’re not that wrong, sadly, because some Pagans still believe that any cultural policing is bad policing as if it automatically brings harsh vibes when really active policing to ensure little to no infiltration of bad folks is great policing. Not everyone needs to be welcomed.

Black dating sites aren’t really great for Black folks well outside the mainstream Black experience. If you’re not Christian – or at least Muslim – and most definitely if you’re part of any alternative culture such as goth or punk, you might as well pass. (As for goth dating sites: same problem as Pagan ones, just add bats and black clothes.)

For the most part, that leaves you with online dating sites like OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. However, still you’ll see guys like this:

Why? For his "Most secret thing I'm willing to admit", I'm sure it's "Where I buried my past girlfriends, dates and denied crushes. And you next."

Whhhhy? For his “Most secret thing I’m willing to admit”, I’m sure it’s “Where I buried my past girlfriends, dates and denied crushes. And you next.”

And speaking of nutters like these because feminism/womanism can’t move fast enough, let’s talk filters. This is specifically with OkCupid, bear in mind. Using the settings in the messages section, you can set filters up so that guys who use less than 20 characters (throwing a random number out there, you can choose various character counts) and/or rank less than 70% match go straight into the digital bin. Pay the site 5 smackers ($5) and you can up the filters to be more sensitive, even filter out messages that include specific wordings of your choice like “beautiful”, “sexy” and slurs, whatever you want. This will help you find folks you actually want to talk to. If dudes are going, “How do we talk to you?!” Like we’re human beings: read the profile and start genuine, respectful conversation on their interests and not how they look, genius.

On online profiles, make sure to be upfront about your religious practices so people can choose for themselves if they want to continue to talk to you. If they don’t, try not to take it so hard. Yes, not easy but a must. And try not to settle, if the person is squicked out by your religion or your practices, move on. Ditto to if you’re talking to folks outside your race if they seem to hyper focus on race issues…or just the fact that you’re Black and they still find you attractive. Remember, even if you think they’re great except for this ooooone thing, know that they really don’t like people like you – including you. Just because they’ll take you to a Janelle Monae concert and give you daily hugs, that don’t mean you won’t eventually wind up in their crosshairs. It’s not very hard to drop from “good Negro” to “worthless n***er” in a nanosecond. All you have to do is keep breathing and be a multifaceted human. That’s it. Might as well pass on folks like that but you really gotta develop an ear to really screen them out. That comes from experience by dealing with people.

Also, if they are Black just like you but still say internalized racist stuff like how you’re somehow not Black because you listen to Rock and like UFO pants or that how Black people would be murdered less if they just pulled up their pants – leave them behind. No need to hear from people to talk like they’re possessed by Strom Thurmond. Seriously, if they rag you with, “Maaaan, Black people don’t read,” or “how you Black and you don’t like RnB?” just give them directions back to whatever plantation they stumbled from. Don’t matter if they served in the house or on the field, they still wanna be trapped on the land. There is a whole world out there. Find someone better.

If you’re a guy, please read Dr. Nerdlove. Seriously. Too many dudes with really screwed up opinions about women (and some masculinity issues with homophobia that also stem from misogyny) are super common on dating sites. Too common. Can’t date a woman (especially longterm) if you pretty much learned about them through one sided songs, repetitive movies and near forever tropes in video games. Eventually, the dude spouting this stuff comes off as really rapey/creepy/dudebro/combo. Can’t express how much a bummer it is to see a guy that has diverse interests, a great personality…but is anti-choice, thinks less of women after they sleep with them (brah. Why be upset at the woman for sleeping with you? You slept around, too.), that any sex partner count the woman had above 1 is skanky and think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved and wouldn’t date them even if they were a liiiittle pudgy…while the dude clearly isn’t virginal, quite hairy and could make Rick Ross look healthy weight. Thinking and sounding less like an MRA/”meninist” would vastly improve dating experience, even get approached. And remember, if a girl approaches with actual romantic interest, don’t freak out by saying she’s intimidating or by loudly humiliating her and most of all: don’t hit her. And not every girl that acknowledges your existence wants to get with you. If she asks for the time or makes small talk, she is simply being marginally social to another, locally placed human being (that’s you). If you wouldn’t want to imagine gay guys treating you like this (protip: they most likely never will), don’t treat women like this. Really simple. Not so simple? Read Dr. Nerdlove, he makes it simple. And entertaining.

Dating is super tough, that’s fact. Finding someone isn’t promised to anyone. There are, thankfully, spells to help attract potential suitors but here’s the part where I have to do the Pagan blogger thing about love spells:

 Don't cast spells on other people!

Don’t cast spells on other people!

Intangible things (relationships and dating (in general)) are good things to cast love spells on. Tangible entities … such as, y’know, people, not so good. It’s the metaphysical version of the chloroform cloth and tying them to your boiler in the basement. It wouldn’t be cool if they did it to you, it’s not cool to do it to anyone else, plain and simple. Don’t do it.

And if you don’t have anyone, try not to sweat it. While our society puts a lot of onus on finding someone  no matter what it takes, know that being single isn’t the worst thing to happen to you. Yeah, it’s cold comfort but true. Make sure that if you are trying to find someone, it’s not because you want someone to “complete you” or as a bandaid over your personal issues or to seek external validation of your existence and/or experience. Using other people as an emotional crutch and/or a therapist is never a good idea. It’s different from being emotionally supportive and present, two qualities to gun for instead.

Remember, all a relationship is, is simply a friendship with a romantic component.

Swap of Thinking

Before getting into this post, I would like to say check out the new hand bound hardback Lightning Bolt journal in the Black Witch Shoppe. The bolt glows in the dark and the journal has 120 pgs. Check it out!

Onwards and forwards to the post.

Seems like I get body swap requests way too often, especially from people who are pretty neglectful to read that:

  1. a) I don’t do spell requests/pay-for-pray. Period.
  2. b) I really don’t like being asked for body swaps

Mainly people who ask me for body swaps don’t get a really nice response from me because I’m a fan of research before asking. And I have a search engine on my website, one that works pretty well. Anyone who did would have probably have seen that I don’t do body swap spells and they would save themselves being insulted thoroughly if they just looked elsewhere. Or just talked to a doctor if they want to be transgendered.

The reason I don’t like body swap spells is because usually the people who ask are pretty full of themselves to assume that I’m just going to do this one, teeny weeny, major spell for them. For free. Which, considering what they’re asking for, is the most idiotic thing to assume ever. It’s like expecting to get a Maybach for free because you asked the dealer. Pesteringly. Even I did paid spellwork, it would be so insanely expensive because A) spells are expensive, particularly bigger ones and B) bigger, high risk spells are expensive enough to make college look dollar-store cheap. No one who is asking me is most likely capable to afford it or they would have gone a different route. Trust me, if they’re not smart enough to understand when I say “I don’t do paid spellwork for anyone, at all”, they probably are not sitting in jobs or positions that would pay them enough money to afford it. Those jobs at least would require a shred of intelligence, at least an IQ that hovers some spaces above “paint-drinker”, regardless of field. It would just be cheaper to consult a doctor for being transgendered – if that’s their aim. Though, judging what people write to me, that definitely seems to not be the case.

The askers tend to be selfish about the person they want to swap with, because that person has no idea this is even going on. The asker is completely disregarding with a friend or stranger’s emotions and opinions on the subject. Wow, that’s really…inconsiderate. And they paint themselves as in such a rush, they even say it’s urgent. Dude, there’s nothing urgent about body swapping that you have to nag a person who says they don’t do them at all. There’s mundane solutions for whatever problem they think they have. It would bear a lot more fruit than simply annoying me, a person who doesn’t do any body swapping anything.

If they just want to see the world through someone else’s perspective, maybe they should just learn empathy. That would pose a lot less potential for screw ups (spells sometimes do go wrong. Not often but there is a degree of error. Nothing is infallible). If they want to see what it’s like as a different gender, parade online and on gaming forums as the opposite gender. If you’re a dude, parade as a girl. If you’re a girl, parade as a dude. That should be an experience. The dude is probably going to find reason to as why gender studies and feminism exist, the girl is probably going to see that borrowing male privilege can be useful…but guys are really sexist and rapey-sounding in how they talk and the jokes they make. So she learns nothing entirely new, just got new examples to back them.

I just strongly dislike when people ask me “I want a body swap spell. Now,” because they refuse to do the most basic research to discern if I would even do this for starters (I won’t) and assuming that nagging me will work. Even trying to say “Oh, I have money!” that they don’t have as if my stance on “I don’t do paid spell work” will magically change if one tried to pay me. Seriously, I find it pretty daft and irritating because it could be very easily avoided.

So, no I don’t do body swap spells. Never have, never did. No reason for me to do them, nor do I care. Especially not for others. I don’t do paid spellwork, I don’t like to. I don’t even do spellwork for others. Keeps my load light and less people bother me with their problems. I help people will their spellwork, oh sure, but do it for them? Nope.

Next week is The Arts! Since I didn’t do the language one last month, I’ll do it this month!

Veering Out of Lane

I saw this random letter well in the morning, titled “Peganism” in the subject line. Either it’s a reality show head hunter or a concern-trolling Christian.

“Hi, how are you? Im not emailing you to judge or look down upon, just emailing you to spread the gospel of truth. I see that you are a pegan and are likely involved in witchcraft, spells, astrology etc. Those things are of the devil and are very evil. Don’t be the way this ants you to believe but be the way God wants you to be. There are a lot fo ways the devil can get to ones mind and spirit. He likes to deceive with lies and people that are not aware of the truth. In those instances he takes the vulnerable and leads them downs paths of unrighteousness. Everything of  that is not of God is of the devil and that’s exactly what the majority of the people of this world likes. Smoking drinking, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are among those things that this world loves but God hates. I would like to talk to you one on one about this issue because this is a very serious topic for me and i want people to know the truth about what’s really going on in this world. If you made it this far i thank you for reading and hope to hear a response from you”

My response:

“Firstly, spell my religion right. It’s five letters, not a challenge. Secondly, at least folks in my religion don’t drive people to kill themselves because they aren’t loved and instead treated super poorly. Nor is it widely common or as accepted for people in my religion to active harm or murder gay and/or trans people, unlike Christianity. Seems like we got the whole “love thy neighbor” thing down better down better than you guys. At least kids and teens don’t wind up dead in our care, you guys look like y’all holding a lowkey massacre. 

Speaking of massacres, for a bunch of “loving” and “righteous”, y’all tend to work commonly with the “join me or die” method when getting international with spreading your faith. What bothers you guys so much about the fact other religions – including some older than yours (such as mine) – because it not like a world full of nothing but Christians would get along, y’all still whinge about Catholics and slag off other denominations like y’all don’t pray to the same god or read the same religious texts.

Dude, stop front loading, you do mean to judge and look down upon. Even I know lying is a sin so stop playing pretend, you’re doing your god no favors being fake and therefore devious to spread whatever He has to say. 

I’m “likely involved”? Dude, skim just the front page of my website, I am very much involved with witchcraft and spells. It’s a huuuuuge part of why I call myself Black Witch, because I’m a Black person who practices witchcraft. And just because your religion finds them “demonic” (and even that’s not fully true once you consider Christianity’s background in the esoteric and, y’know Jesus Christ and supernatural powered self) doesn’t mean it actually is. I mean even though the Bible is toted as homophobic (however that is debated since the bible was penned by man, not by god), where does it say there that you guys gotta brutally murder them. Or drive trans people into throwing themselves into oncoming traffic? Or that women should be actively oppressed to the point of mental breakdown and/or death? Like, as a Christian, you probably should pipe down on the whole “you’re doing something bad because - I mean my god – says so” thing for a little while. Stop throwing stones when you don’t even have a pebble’s worth of reason. 

And notice, I am spelling your religion’s name correctly and “Christianity” is a lot longer than “Pagan”. Maybe your god pulled back on the blessings in intelligence for a reason. So you would pen such foolish emails such as this one.

Dude, stop being a homophobic, sex negative, hyper hypocritical piece of trash. Get over the fact that my religion is different from yours and stop driving people to kill themselves because they can’t stand your hateful ways. 

You wanna do god’s work, then stay out of my inbox and start ripping on Christians who harm others, be it actively or passively. Starting with yourself. You’re the reason why Christianity looks so backwards and barbaric to everyone else! Seriously, shut the hell up!”

Ok, see with this letter, this kind of letter I get ever so rarely. Some nutbag Christian wants to come to my website and share their nonsense as if every religion in this world has to abide by Christian doctrine for some foolish reason. And, yeah, I’m not nice to these kind of letters. I don’t see a reason why since they didn’t start out nice to me.

However, admittedly, I had to look up the word “fornication”, I’m not Christian so I don’t hear the word used much (usually by Christians foaming at the mouth or in reference to a nifty Red Hot Chilli Peppers song). According to the dictionary, “voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.”

Wait. That’s a bad thing?

Yeeeaaaaaaaaah, Paganism has starkly opposite feelings about sex. We’re not as negative about it. Y’know, since it’s 100% totally natural and the concept of virginity and marriage are man-made and institutionalized concepts. Sex is only a problem when used as a weapon:

– threats to make people (usually women) quiet, such as rape threats/rape jokes

– forced upon others as an act of dominance (such as thinking to “teach that b*tch some respect” or that a lesbian needs to sleep with a guy to “like men again”…by forcing it on her*)

– be forced upon others, be it through passive reference (cat calling) or actively (trying to make a woman drunk so she’s too bleary to consent, cornering her)

– forced upon others via using religious and/or cultural beliefs (such as thinking your wife has to sleep with you because marriage and therefore she can’t refuse)

Remember, everyone: if there’s no clear, willing, enthusiastic consent, it’s rape. And cat calling is not a compliment, ever. There is a difference.

Back to religious differences. My religion greenlights what Christianity calls “fornication” – I mean, with the all the gods and goddess we have that has screwed everything on the gender spectrum (and off of it), it would be incredibly irrational to be sex-negative (and homophobic and transphobic). Even Pagans who pray to more virginal deities have (or should have) a basic understanding of not being as sex-negative on average. Marriage doesn’t make sex holy or anything. Nor better. Stop sounding like a White Republican.

There’s a reason why I have Bedsider.org in my Links of Interest. Having sex isn’t bad as long as if it safe and consensual. Who cares about marriage? Fuss about marital rape and theeeeeen you’ll have a point.

And why would I want to agree with some homophobic person? Dude, you guys convince people to kill themselves, how is that Christian? How is hating someone to the point you drove them to murder themselves a good thing? That is so confusing. You’re supposed to be loving individuals but you are some of the most hateful, prejudiced things walking the planet. And you guys talk an awful lot of crap about Islam for folks who are worse by further than a simple stretch. Y’all thought slavery was ok! “Civilizing the savages”? Seriously? Y’all tend to believe women are beneath men for some stupid reason, how is that showing you’re civilized? Y’all wanna complain about ISIS as if they’re a major threat but won’t say anything about the Ku Klux Klan, especially since they’re on the comeback. Y’all wanna “preserve life” by forcing women to go through with unsafe or unwanted pregnancies but then pull all warmth and care when that child happens to be Black, gay, trans, woman or combo! Or, better yet, want to put a gun in their hand and tell them to join the army. For what? Certainly not to pass out flowers to the depressed and in need!

If you’re going to use being homophobic and sex negativity as your selling points, you may need to hope God kills off your internet connection and render you mute because you’re not making Christianity look good by a long shot. You’re just making folks go, “Yup, still hateful as ever. Still want to oppress people like usual.” Might as well have thrown in, “Christianity also supported slavery, do you want to pick cotton? Kinda counts as frolicking in the fields, if you ignore the blatant refusal of your human rights.”

‘Ey, Christian folks who read this blog, you better come collect your “Brother in Christ” because he’s being reaaaaaaal loopy right now. Don’t pull any of that “Not All Christians” crap to me, tell him that. NEW: Now you really can collect him because his info (including Skype and email) is below, thanks to refusing to leave me alone, click here to jump to bottom ->[☆]

What is with all the concern trolling about how I practice witchcraft and that I’m Pagan? That’s not demonic in and of itself. At least people from different backgrounds aren’t worried I’ll try to murder or oppress them because some book told me so.

“Oh, it’s so eeeeeeevil.” How? The occult is not automatically demonic or wicked.

The response I got later on:

“i would like to speak to you face to face or atleast by voice, as i can explain my view better in my opinion. Do you have skype or if not do you think we can talk by phone?”

My response:

“Uh, why can’t you type? It’s going to be the same hateful, concern trolling bullsh*t regardless of whether you say it or type it. You’re view isn’t unique, I’ve heard it maaaaaaaaany times in the 10+ years I’ve been Pagan.”

Maybe, if this was years ago, I wouldn’t mind giving a live chat but dude, now? Nah, it’s not like the guy is going to magically drop the “I’m a crappy person” act over the phone and all of a sudden start sounding super accepting of people from different backgrounds (which is how Christians are supposed to act. Not drive people to the grave). He’s just going to keep going “But what about JESUS?! What about JESUS?!” as if, eventually, I’m supposed to feel bad and then come back to Christianity, rebuking all the chicanery (and fun) I had for the past 12 or so years. To other Christians maybe, this is a fantastic controlling tactic because of the reminder that God is angry and how he’ll hate them and ruin their lives if they don’t get back in line. I’m not Christian. Going, “You should go to church” is going to sound stupid to me. Because I have no interest or even religious reason to go.

Dude responds:

“im not like that, every person is different. I don’t hate you. I don’t hate anyone, thats not what being a Christian is about. You have many that claim to be true Christians but don’t act the part. If a person is not going to be 100% percent dedicated then that person is not a true Christian. A person cant live the lifestyle of unrighteous and then on sunday think they are ok just because they go to church and don’t even pray or ask for forgiveness. You may have met some Christians that are this way but im not.”

He said in his first message that gay people existing is a bad thing. How is that not hating anyone? Seriously?! And why do I care about what hypocritical things Christians do? I already know that happens, it’s actually rare to see Christians be the kind and loving individuals they’re supposed to be. He’s being actively hypocritical here, how is that not like acting like nearly every Christian I have ran into? Does this guy think I’m as stupid as he is?

“You’re homophobic, sex-negative, trying to act high and mighty, sound like nearly every other usual Christian to me. Dude, seriously you’re just like pretty much alllllllllll the other Christians I’ve met. Isn’t there some gay kid you have to bully to death or some pregnant woman to shame for considering getting an abortion? 

Stop pretending you’re a good person when you said plainly that you’re against gay people, how is that a good person? You don’t even know anything about the occult, just a bunch of fearmongering crap that always get said. Get over the fact I’m from a different religion. If I wanted to convince people to throw themselves in front of an 18 wheeler, I’ll be sure to contact you. Ok?”

“I just want the chance to talk about this face to face or by voice. True righteousness doesn’t involve those things in which you said. Why would i want to bully someone, i would never do anything like that. And you may not think i dont know things but i may know more than you know about what you follow.”

Why does this dude care about wanting to talk on a more personal level so freaking much? Besides, this guy must not know what true righteousness is himself because, again, he talks badly about people who are gay, have sex outside of wedlock and harmlessly practice the occult. And I doubt he knows much, he couldn’t even spell my religion’s name right, repeatedly. I’ve spelled names to entities and faiths much more complex than five simple letters and I still get it right. And just about all Christians say “Why would I bully someone?” but they still do it anyways. Ask all the dead LGBTQ folks. And women folk. And folk who isn’t Christian.

“You can type, you can’t be that dumb, can you? Over the phone, you’re not going to suddenly go, “Oh my god, gay people are fantastic! Trans people are god’s creation, just like cis people! You obviously have a different religion so I’m not going to bother trying to sell mine to you. Women have complete rights to their own bodies, even to have abortions if they’re feeling shaky about the pregnancy.” That and I don’t really use foul language in print, but I do verbally. And I would just talk over you the whole time, you’re not going to say anything respectful anyway.

Again, you couldn’t even spell my religion correctly. You proved without a doubt you don’t know anything. You’re homophobic. You proved you don’t know anything. You think occultism is automatically demonic. You proved you don’t know anything. 

Are don’t you have some scientist to argue with about evolution? Stop trying to sell Christianity to me, I’m not interested in terrorizing innocent people. Notice how you’re being super pushy even though I said I am not interested in what you have to say? Why would I want to join a religion that facilitates that. My faith may have gay people, people with active sex lives and spells but at least we don’t have over-pushy people.”

“f course i can type thats not the point the point is i would like to talk to you rather than type as i think i can express myself better that way. im not afraid to talk to a person with another religion as i know who i am and who iam guided by. I don’t down people and talk bad to them, no matter what they do to me. Im not asking for your adress all i want to do is talk. I like meeting new people and this topic is number one in my life.”

This guy is not going to express himself better verbally. Trust me. If his typing and my decade plus experience is an indication, he’s not going to express himself verbally. It’s going to be the same nattering annoyance, just with a voice attached. And I’m not really that respectful verbally when I don’t feel respected so it’s not like he would get a word in edgewise. Simply not my thing.

In addition, this dude downed people in his initial email! Unless he doesn’t consider gay people as, y’know, people. And why bring up fear? This isn’t a mental game of chicken.

“You’re doing a terrible job expressing yourself (and your religion) now over print. I highly doubt you’d be better by voice. I don’t care about whether you’re scared or not, it’s nothing to do with fear. It’s the blatant fact you’re not RESPECTFUL talking to a person from another religion. You’re just trying to shove your religion down their throat as if your faith is the right one and theirs isn’t. You don’t respect the fact I’m from a different religion. You don’t respect the fact that I’m not interested in hearing Christian opinions about my faith. You don’t respect anything. 

Why should I talk to you? You’re not respectful. You’re pushy. You do down people. You slagged off gay people and those who have sex out of wedlock in your very first message. How is that not downing anyone? I don’t care about how you feel about this topic, you’re not really interested in talking to people in honest conversation or meeting new people.  Just shoving your religion down their throat unnecessarily out of the clear blue. That’s not getting to know people.

Are you sure you’re not stupid? Why can’t you get that you’re not talking to me? Or better yet, if you do, I’ll just tell you what a hypocritical piece of sh*t person you are because of how rude and disrespectful you are. You’re really making your religion look as terrible as usual.”

Look, I already have Christian friends and how did they become my friend? By not being prejudiced, terrible sacks of crap as people. I don’t mind talking to them about religion because they’re not shoving theirs down my throat. They already know I have a faith of my own that is separate from theirs, and that is ok. I don’t appreciate – no one does, frankly – having someone peel into my inbox going, “What you’re doing is wrooooooooooooong, so sayeth my religion. That you don’t follow. But you should.”

There’s hundreds of Christian blogs and writings out there, I don’t go and seek them out and go “Sooooo, what you’re doing is wrong. You should be Pagan.” We just don’t proselytize in Paganism. The few who do should get that memo because if we don’t like it when Christians do it, it’s because it’s not a good thing to do. Ever. That’s not the norm. It’s rude and terrible.

Yeah, proselytizing Christians should miss me with that “Let me tell you why you’re wrong” nonsense. I don’t care for how Christians feel about my religion, it’s a different faith. Not every Pagan is perfect (I regularly point that out throughout this blog) but at least we’re not acting this bad on the regular.

And if you’re going to try to talk up your religion, learn to spell mine right.

*This is the same thinking police officers have about minorities respecting them. Ironically, harassing, beating and killing them on sight isn’t doing such a hot job portraying the “Officer Friendly” look.

———

☆ And this is where the post would have ended if the guy didn’t continue contacting me. Look, I was upfront about not wanting to talk to him and not wanting to listen to anything he had to say. That pushiness doesn’t get you anywhere. Well, except on the path of getting his info put out there, which – after I told dude to knock it off several more times – is what’s happening. I made a post about it on Tumblr since it’s a little pointless to regurgitate all the info and additional evidence since apparently he’s been at this for three to six years. He’s been messing with people for this long and across social media.

Name: Jared B. Tunstall
Blog: Live By the Gospel (Blogger)
Email: livebythegospel@yahoo.com
Skype: livebythegospel@yahoo.com (Jared Tunstall; Philadelphia, United States)
Twitter: @Livebythegospel (rarely used, active since 2010, last tweet was 2012)
Youtube: Prudent221 (shows his face via several videos he’s made)
Facebook: Jared Tunstall (incorrectly lists the actual founding father Benjamin Franklin in “Education”)

I also found the dude’s home address and home phone number but I’ll keep that as my nuke button if he decides to contact again…unless he wants to thoughtfully and thoroughly apologize for his behavior.

It is nearly banana’s how logic bending happens.

Just on absolute random, I saw this picture via my FB feed, it was from the African American Wiccan Society FB group

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That’s not deep, that’s stupid and misogynoir race policing as all get out using internalized racism methodologies. Also known as the Afriboo* calling card because if it ain’t stupid and backwards, they’re not toting it. I only censored the commenter and not the original poster because it the OP that introduced the stupid that is this picture.

We all know that I’m not a fan of these folks and let me break down the picture of why these bullsh*t ideas is not helpful to anyone.

Pseudo-scientific jargon: Before I go on, whenever an Afriboo talks, they sound almost effortlessly like the Booked on Phonics skit from In Living Color, also known as “One of Black Witch’s favorite running skits on the show.” Here’s a vid, surely you’ll see the similarities:

The skit cracks me up because it’s idiocy trying to parade as intelligence – pseudo-intelligence, is the definitive term – which is what this guy is trying to do by saying the “the highest level of Neanderthal gene is related to straight hair, which is in Asia and India”. Here’s why that is a stupid thing to say:

– It’s a nonsense feature: the relation of the Neanderthal to straight hair is most irrational because the Neanderthal, being on the human family tree, had a diversity of hair types. Because evolution.

– Asian folks are diverse: Someone from Cambodia is going to look different from someone on the faaaaaaar western end of China, who is going to look different from someone on the faaaaaar eastern end of China, who is going to look different from someone in Sri Lanka, who is going … you get the picture. Lumping them all together is insulting. And racist. They have different genetic histories. End of story.

– It’s a sneak diss: Possibly fueled by the usual dimwitted idea Afriboos have about Asian folks being held in better regard to White people and therefore should be treated with the same disdain because…we’re not in as high favor to White people comparatively? These folks tend to grade in relation to Whiteness, which upholds the “Whiteness is standard/White opinions have highest value” idea that the Afriboos claim they don’t like to support. But treat them as their main measuring stick anyways. Referencing someone as a Neanderthal is also another way to call someone knuckle-dragging stupid, which is more akin to the OP than the people he’s comparing the poster child of the caveman to (I wonder if he grow that 35″ Ombre out his scalp if that’s the case). It’s like he’s trying to say, “Oh this group of people is beneath us, we must demonize them. For ‘da Bwack womminz folk. Powwa to the Black [male] people.”

All this from that one line alone. The dude goes on to identify that – oh noes – this hair from teh Yellow Peril is in fake hair such as Remi and Yaki (which also can come in non-human hair varieties but I guess he wouldn’t know because he probably would think that knowing secretly would make him gay and then oh noes, gay pplz). And that – le gasp – Black women wear it! Everyone stop the presses! Here’s a really interesting fact about fake hair and history – It’s been worn since the dawn of human kind. It doesn’t take a genius to see a horse or another animal with long hair, lop that off and go “Look at me! So pwetty. I’ma strut and stunt on the other village folk” Both men and women wore hair extensions and wigs since forever and in countless cultures. Besides, this dude didn’t write on what to say about toupees, hair plugs or the slick, black stuff guys use to fill in their hairlines or really make their hair pop. I wonder why? That stuff can’t possibly be organic or be 100% coming from materials that originally stemmed from Africa. I mean, why not be equal opportunity douchin’ on folks? At least I would have given him more leeway with that and just focused on the racist stuff.

I still can’t get over about how racist that line “The highest level of the Neanderthal gene is in …the Asian[,] which would include some [of] [I]ndia.” Brah, go join the Klan. Seriously, be like the blind dude in Chappelle’s skit or don’t complain when White folks say the same about you. They got openings and trying to recruit minorities, just don’t be surprised if they ask you if you’re good at tying ropes on yourself, preferably around the neck area.

Now for the fake magic dude was trying to preach. Seriously, folk magick and stupid people don’t go well together. No one who is even remotely intelligent would say, “If you can take off the Neanderthal hair for sixty days, then we can overturn slavery.”

Lol, wut?

macrocat

First of all, again, Asian folks aren’t Neanderthal, that’s really heartless to say. And again, if you want to spew this, don’t ever whinge or complain for even a second when you catch White folks or any anti-Black minority saying the saaaaaaaaaaaaame thing about you. I am so dead serious. There’s not even a picometer of room to complain because you can’t say jank stuff like this and then get upset when others say jank stuff about you because ‘ey, not like you were being that fair to start with. Secondly, why sixty days? Even if you thought that the hair worked like the one short on The Simpsons where hardened criminal Snake’s hair was turned into a toupee for Homer Simpson, it still wouldn’t make sense. Sixty days for what? The hair follicles aren’t prickling into the scalp and again, why sixty days? That sounds like a number pulled out from the air just to sound remotely (and I mean very remotely) scientific as if this is tried and proven. It’s idiotic. Thirdly, “overturn slavery”? That sounds super dramatic. Dude, enslavement from what? From fake hair? From hyper-Eurocentric standards of beauty? Making girls and women not wear tracks and wigs anymore wouldn’t solve a siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiingle thing. Not one. Their lives won’t get magically better, their existences won’t be all of a sudden validated. Changing a hairstyle won’t change the world. At all. You can have your hair a myriad of ways, still going to be the same person underneath it. Won’t get magically smarter, won’t run magically faster. Nothing. So again, what is being overturned? Also, why just preach to women, why not guys as well about what they should do with their hair. There’s a lot missing on the stance for beard cutting. Like, is it ok or are the ancestors somehow going to get pissed?

There isn’t any slavery that could be fixed abstaining from wearing fake hair can fix. Try starting with inner city school systems, media and jails.

“You can beat the beast wearing beast hair”

Sooooooooooooooooooooo, my natural hair is much akin to being beast-like? What is with Afriboos and always lowkey upholding Whiteness? Beast hair? Might as well just say “gorilla” or something, pretty much there. I don’t really know – or care – exactly for what beast you are referring to in terms of beating but yeah, way to talk down to your own people – Black women in particular because, to mention again, nothing for guys is being mentioned. At all.

“It destroys your power.”

Is this Star Wars or Harry Potter? This makes no sense. Just from wearing fake hair? That’s really stupid. Look, even if the fake hair came from another person, you probably don’t complain about leather clothing, ivory pendants (Afriboos tend to own at least one or have thought about it) or eating meat. Or organ transplants, is dude against that as well? Blood transfusions? Skin grafts? I’m sure if he was in an accident or situation that requires a new kidney, he wouldn’t just go, “No way, I’d lose my power with another person’s organ in me,” or reject a blood transfusion the same way? This logic makes little sense. Hair is dead protein, that’s why it doesn’t hurt to cut it. However, even if someone was suspect of the energy the hair they bought had, there are herbal shampoos and waters they can wash the hair in. Dude, you could dunk the hair in a mixture of Florida water and Rose water to get the best effect. Throw in a few orange oil drops as extra if so. Totally solvable. This is just scare tactics for dummies as well as gender policing of Black women.

“It makes you into a human voodoo doll[,] which is an American invention using associative magic”

So, first we were slagging off Asia and how they’re so evil and controlling everyone with their hair…to Black diasporic folk culture and magick? Woooooooooow, for someone who wants to uplift his people, he sure don’t like his people. Or at least the female sector of it, which is roughly half if not a wee bit over. And more importantly, why rip on voodoo and magic and post this in a facebook group called the African American Wiccan Society?  That’s ridiculously stupid. Not even short sighted, just stupid. Voodoo isn’t even bad in and of itself, it’s characterized as bad in media because it’s African associated annnnnnnd Western movies and media has never really given Black folks or their heritage a positive spin if they can help it. It’s partially why Africa is seen as an all-over poor country when really it’s a diverse continent filled with a multitude of people. Or a Black person can point at something or throw up the peace sign and everyone screams “GANG SIGN”. And why Exodus was casted with White folks but District 9 and Blackhawk Down was happy to throw in as many Black faces as possible (let’s not forget the movie with the Somali pirates, either). Positive depiction: show a White person, negative depiction: show a Black person. So, again, this dimwit is trying to police Black women by upholding White standards – one more time, exactly how does that help Black people? And Voodoo is not just American, it is also Haitian, Columbian, Dominican and more.  And it’s not an invention. It’s folk magick, not a steam engine. Do your research instead of trying to sound scientifically aware. At least he could spell “associative” right, didn’t think he could pull that off. But then again, internet browsers can correct spelling as well.

And fake hair won’t turn you into a freakin poppet by itself. That makes no sense. And besides, what would it control the wearer to do? Kill and murder? Glorify Whiteness? This guy already lowkey does that so no need to have the hair to help. And what about hair that was stolen from someone’s head (because that does happen), what would that make the wearer do? Get a plane ticket and try to get justice on the thieves? And again, this all demonizes magick and Voodoo, whhhhhhhhhhhhy post it on a Facebook group that actively works with magick, some practitioners with actual Voodoo? Why try to use “Oooooooh spoooooOOOooOOoOopy magic, take over your miiiiiIIiIIIiind,” as a way to try to scare women into not wearing fake hair (again, nothing is being said about guys and how they should do their hair. At all.)

“Sixty days. No more slaves”

Are you trying to run for president? I almost wondered if he thought about adding a “Yes, We Can” at the end. Again, sixty days makes no sense and “enslavement” doesn’t come from spooooooky Voodoo/Asian magic. (I really stopped trying to make the connection long ago, how are the Asians doing voodoo to control people again? Like, that’s an African belief, why are folks in Asia – with their own rich history in folk magick, ceremonial magick and all things esoteric – doing voodoo to control unwitting individuals?) Why call Black folks slaves? Nice try going for the emotional angle but everyone tries that angle, how about just saying, “Upholding Whiteness is bad, I mean…look at me. It’s made me sound like an idiot while talking down to half of all the people who share my heritage. Upholding Whiteness turns you stupid, for real. Don’t be like me.” Besides, have you seen how people get human hair from scalp to store? If they could control someone, I’m sure it would be to notify UN officals and Human Rights watchdog groups because skeevy stuff and trafficking. (For UN officals and Human Rights watchdog groups, a footnote**). This is ridiculous.

This guy is just insulting beyond a doubt. Afriboo nonsense like this simply shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s outright respectability policing (as if that’s done anything for Black folks – wearing suits didn’t stop Malcom X or Dr. King from getting murdered for their beliefs) and race policing using internalized racism as guideline. Seriously, how is this supposed to uplift Black people anywhere by just chewing out Black women…and by being racist to other races almost as bad as White people are. Basically, all who are spared from this whinging are basically Black guys who staunchly uphold Western hypermasculinity (y’know, the narrow-sighted, toxic, usually self-destructive kind). The rest of the world apparently has to change evvvvvvvverything about themselves. Starting with the Black women, as if that will fix anything.

Frankly, this guy is a racist, misogynist idiot that only pretends to care for the concerns of women he shares his race with. Maybe focus on real Black women problems such as cat calling, the greatly limited spectrum of emotion Black women are allowed in media and culture to express, the social silence when we’re killed by police or via domestic partners (or in general), the disrespectful framing of Black women in even Black media, the limited resources for Black women (well, Black people in general) who are in need of competent mental health care, Black women who are in Women healthcare deserts – including childcare, abortion services and birth control – and are surrounded with rampant misinformation about their personhood and bodies, which creates cyclical and rampant issues.

Those subjects would be of better use than going, “Wearing fake hair brings down the race. Because oriental people who practice Voodoo. Somehow. Totes scientific.” At least the guy is gone.

*Afriboos: They’re like weaboos but for Africa and Black folks, usually Black themselves, their logic much resembles a dead hamster on a spinning wheel

**If there are any UN officials and Human Rights watchdog groups – firstly, hiiii, I heard there’s a great burger joint in Ferguson, it’s Black owned and everything. A bakery, too. The names slip me but they were featured, I’m sure google can help. Can’t take down structural and institutionalized racism and murderers on an empty stomach. Second, there’s skeevy stuff happening in hair trafficking, please look into it (though I’m sure you’re all aware). Third, you’re welcomed to the Library of Congress for info, Gov Docs is in the basement of the Madison building, Blue core (or look for the big globe, can’t miss it) , new stuff comes daily :3 And pulp bins are across the hall, in case some get mistakenly chucked in, those don’t really get emptied out but once in a while. And visit the Library gift shop in Jefferson! We have Sojourner Truth and Obama finger puppets! And blue, eighth note tea infusers. And book motif infinity scarves that are stylish and super soft.

White Gaze and Race Problems

I had a chance to read the Cracked article “Ferguson, Eric Garner and Why Death Should Outrage Us”. I was hesitant because usually Cracked, albeit a fairly funny publication, tends to show in more ways than it thinks that its target audience is White and middle class (and usually male. Only recently have they started featuring pieces that acknowledge women exist as people and not walking trophies). Then I thought, “Eh, I might as well read this article so I can figure out if I need to delete the app and reject the site rather than play yet another game of Schrodinger’s Racist.”

The article wasn’t thaaaaaaaat bad (it was penned by a White author, I’m not expecting greatness when they write on race. I’m relatively placated if they just avoid using the n-word and don’t try to validate stereotypes since that seems such so herculean a task, humanizing people as people) but the part that struck me was “Until this month, I had no idea that black moms teach their sons how to survive police encounters. It’s called ‘The Talk,’ and black boys get it as soon as they start hitting puberty….” It only struck me because A) Black kids of both genders start getting the Race talk when they’re usually in elementary school, no need to play it off like Black women and girls are so safe in the hands of cops and society. At least Black boys don’t have to worry about rape and murder at the hands of law enforcement. Or from White individuals in general. B) Boys do get more of the “how to act around cops” talk because they are targeted by officers more but both genders are reminded heavily that people are going to treat them differently, and for the worse, just because of their skintone and absolutely nothing else. You’re explained to that you’ll be followed in stores, passed up for jobs, pulled over a lot more, treated unnecessarily meaner and instantly distrusted the second you’re seen all because of your skin color. And that even if the person says, “I don’t see color”, it really means, “I don’t see you  as a person, acknowledging your different heritage makes me uncomfortable so I’ll blatantly ignore it.”  And that despite all this special behavior just to avoid death, White folks are supposed to tell us whenever it suits them that “racism is over” and then act surprised when they find it isn’t and start squawking to everyone else… who already knew and forever said so. Come to think of it, it shouldn’t be too surprising that now Cracked saw race and current events as relevant and therefore want to hyper focus on it.

In the race talk, you’re also taught how to navigate those experiences so you can at least reduce your chances of turning up missing and/or dead: What neighborhoods you can be in and which are sundown towns, who to trust, how to dress, what and how to eat, what speed to run at, how to never wear a hoodie (I have walked through rain with my head uncovered despite having a hood on both my shirt and coat since I was younger, kinda don’t want to end up dead. My umbrella collection is bananas, though), how to talk (and be reminded that you could talk better than the person judging you, you’re still subjected to JAN* syndrome), how to tell when the White folks are going from “Normal, level-headed” to “you scare me, you’re going to die” or “We’re not letting you leave. Not effortlessly breathing, anyway”.

When I was a kid, my mom showed me this picture from the Civil Rights movement from a dark blue textbook to help illustrate her point:

image

White feminists, you’re probably staring at your auntie, grandmother and/or mom. So nice most of y’all kept up the tradition and with persistence! #AllWomenMatter, amiright? Or nah?

I remember being confused by the picture because I didn’t know why the lady in the back was so upset at the lady holding the schoolbooks and looking like a fellow student. This was the during the “Little Rock Nine” integration and the White woman was screaming “B*TCH!” at the Elizabeth Eckford. Kinda like what happens now, but on Twitter and Tumblr. And the foul screaming chick would probably have on a “This is what a Feminist looks like” shirt on in her selfies and avi. Mom took this moment to explain how racism works and that the woman in the back was yelling because she didn’t want Eckford going to her school purely because she was Black and nothing else. This was her springboard into explaining how we don’t live in a society that is very fair and that I could be treated really badly – even though I was an elementary school child – because I’m Black. She explained that nothing was wrong with me, this is just how White people are and always have been, seemingly. She framed it as, “They’re just mean because they think they’re better than us.” Of course, she also mentioned how sometimes other minorities who aren’t Black may treat us bad but that’s learned behavior from Whiteness being seen as value and we’re the opposite of Whiteness. She continued that while not all of them are bad, you have to be cautious of the majority of them because they could hurt you and even the ones who say they’re the “good guys” will just let it happen.

Just to pause for a moment: For White allies that are probably whinging right now and sobbing into their Stephen Colbert books, this is why White allies are – and should always be until vastly proven otherwise – under intense scrutiny. You may not have thrown a slur at a Black person for just existing but making excuses for the person who did or keeping quiet while it happens is no better. Also, you don’t have to be a card carrying member of the Klan to crack an Ebola, “That’s so ghetto” or welfare queen joke. Notice you don’t have one. Alright, moving on.

Mom continued teaching about slavery and how our family traveled up the South and rested in Maryland as well as what job folks in my family had, such as dayworkers**. Also, she talked about the many successes of Black individuals such as Benjamin Banneker and Rosa Parks as well as what it was like growing up in during the Civil Rights movement (My mom was 10 when Dr. King was shot). She explained to me how the riots and protests happened and how, pretty much, everything repeats itself.

So, yeah, it must be nice to be so oblivious to the “A whole group of people wanna ruin or kill you so bad for something so superficial, you feel like you live in a disturbing version of The Twilight Zone,” up until a month ago.  I wish I could say that. And remember, I’m not a boy. Nor was I close to even being a tween, I think I was around the second grade or so. I had to have this talk because if you didn’t have the talk, you could act wrong in a future encounter and wind up dead because you didn’t know that being Black meant “walking threat”. None of my White friends know what having the Race Talk was, I discovered that in college from talking to a group of my friends. All the minority kids – the Indian kids, the Black kids, the Mid-East kids, we were all talking about when we got the Race talk and all my White friends were looking around, completely lost but wanting to participate. They had no clue that we gotta get the “So, this is what it means when a White person follows you in a store or on the street and/or start saying crazy things out of the clear blue and how to navigate” chat. They were surprised because they thought, “But, Dr. King,” and how his actions (which resulted in him getting shot in the throat on a second story balcony in a murder supported by the US government) should have magically solved everything. Newp. Or else I wouldn’t have been stopped by that cop who defensively stood behind his open car door with a hand on his pistol when he stopped me while I was waiting for the bus on college campus, heavy bookbag in tow because “I might try to case that warehouse over there.” All this, despite being dressed in casual cybergoth, complete with the red and white hairfalls.

These exact same falls. Yep. I totes look like a criminal, blending in effortlessly.

These exact same falls. Yep. I totes look like a criminal, blending in effortlessly.

They don’t get told “Here’s how you act so a group of people don’t see you as a threat, regardless of how much you accomplish, your clothes, mannerism or your cultural status.” The kicker: they don’t even mind mouthing off to cops or reciting various amendments because no one had to tell them that their skintone made all that Constitutional stuff null and void.  Some still couldn’t buy into the fact that the government would actively hurt American people. Talk about living in a fantasy world.

I get the Cracked post is supposed to be a “For White People, By White People” type post, which is nice in some respects because White folks are supposed to some heavy lifting in dismantling their own prejudices and the institutions they framed around them but it still is irritating. Part of me wants to go, “Oh, c’mon, no1currs. Can you go back to your other funny stuffs?” It’s like this stuff is inescapable. Again, on one hand, this is good because everyone needs to know that racism has never left, they just stopped being willfully and actively oblivious. On the other hand, I just want a break. White folks may love to discuss this stuff like it’s NFL fantasy football but that’s because they’re not at all affected. They don’t get reports of White people being murdered after being harassed by cops, complete with HD pictures and video, and people telling them that they’re delusional for thinking there may be a trend. There’s no loss in hyper examining things, even if they get it super wrong. Nothing in these string of deaths is scary to them, just fascinating and something else they can go Kony 2012 about. It’s like watching a new soldier dumped in a warzone, completely enthused and alert because he’s played so much Call of Duty and Modern Warfare, he still thinks he’s still inside a video game.

Basically, it is not to questionable to wonder if White people are talking about these grievances mainly because of either White saviorism (which is what fueled Kony 2012 and currently many universities’ Alternative Spring Break and trips to Africa and Asia) or because right now it’s the hip thing to walk around with a #BlackLivesMatter placard, possibly because nothing better is on TV. It’s reasonable to wonder if it will be a “Won’t someone please think of the White people,” moment because for actual change to occur, everyone has to be on board and that includes White folks actually taking a critical eye to the systems they uphold, the privileges, how it all functions in overt and subvert ways (usually subvert, such as micro-aggressions and “playful” jokes)  annnnnnd that is probably never going to happen. At least not for the longest of times. It’s like telling a rich person to give up their Bugatti for a Ford, simply out of the goodness of their own heart. Not happening. It’s hard to want to give up a system that actively benefits and rewards  you…but being really kumbayah and whingy about that system is good enough because feel-good lip service. That doesn’t require any mental heavy lifting or even a real sense of caring. It’s like that aforementioned rich man,  he won’t want to give up his Bugatti but he’ll fuss about how it’s so terrible that economic inequality is awful and how everyone should be able to own a Bugatti and how brands like Ford and Chevy are so humble and the icons of the hard working American…while getting into his Bugatti and driving away. After all is said and done, White folks tend to resume business as usual because, again, this is probably horseplay for them until the weather finally warms up and then the conversation can move to beach-related subjects.

At least the writer for the Cracked article, Kristi Harrison, didn’t act like the Covenant of the Goddess  because they made a pretty bad statement that is much more predictable of what White folks say in racial issues.

image

I don’t care of doing a close reading since what they wrote is totally expected. I had a feeling they would pull this, so glad I never joined. However, you guys can and here’s the Culture Bingo Board so you can play at home. Great for outings, parties and single players, ages 5 and up:

image

CoG most likely will backpedal like crazy so just keep this handy when they start with the fake apologies and the flame wars that will most assuredly be in their Facebook fan page’s comments.

Next week is The Arts!: Language!
– Hello Talk
– Live Mocha
– Talking translator
– and more! (that will be language specific)

After that is Ask Black Witch, send in your questions. Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

*JAN syndrome: “Just Another N***er” syndrome is when you could be greatly accomplished and even be as non-stereotypical as possible but you’re still seen as just another porch-monkey, you just know how to talk better than the rest, therefore, must be ultimately distrusted and taken down a few pegs at all cost.

** Day workers are Black (or just any minority woman) who work as mammies/nannies/maids in White women homes to help them take care of their kids…y’know, while White women were clamoring about how they are treated so poorly because they have to stay at home and raise kids because women don’t have the right to work. They were half right. White women had to stay home, but Black women always had to work…usually in their homes.

How New

Such a spike in followers and readers! I know partly this is from the PACO event I did, which you can view the video below, it’s an hour and a half long (for younger readers, I swear twice by mistake, that is a no-no):

However, I think this is a good time to remind everyone the basics of Black Witch. Believe it or not, I get skeptical when I get spikes in followers and readers (except on Tumblr, I’m on there pretty regularly so it doesn’t surprise me). Especially when I get too many new White readers – history shows that usually for minority/people o’ pigment* (PoP), this is a bad sign of the calm before a sh*tstorm. So, let’s review:

Black Pagan blog, strictly
This blog is open to be viewed by all but that is the exact target audience. PoP but Pagan (or not Pagan)? Feel free to stick around and interact, but remember, this is mainly going to reflect upon the Black/Pagan intersection of identity. Black and Christian? You can stick around but this is not your blog to throw your weight around. White and Pagan? Really not your blog to throw your weight around, go bug Pagan Soccer Mom. None of those? Then it’s best to keep quiet unless you have a really good question that serves the blog and primary readership than it does yourself. Otherwise, use google.

Black blog
This blog is primarily for Black readers. Not a slice-of-life blog for clueless White folks who want to know the mind of the Negro…besides, it’s not like the extreme vast majority** of you guys are that interested in the more humanizing aspects of Blackness or Black people anywhere, ever. That means I’ll use lingo and references that are deep in Black culture. Feel like an outsider? Go to practically any other media form ever and you’ll be fine. This is not your space and you will be reminded of that at every twist and turn. So you can hang about but don’t get upset if you feel hanged. So that means no: “But I’m a White ally! Why won’t you be nice to White people? Not all of us are bad.” You’re partially right but you might want to raise the question to your fellow White person why they act in a way that makes everyone else see them as a walking problem, not to me.

For Black readers, I’m going to deconstruct the not-so-fun parts of our culture. Blackness shouldn’t equate: “poor, happily stupid, forever struggling, accomplishes nothing”. I participate in alternative culture so if that isn’t your vibe, get lost. I’m sure Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden don’t mind new readers. I’m not bending over backwards for a mainstream Black culture that made sure to express it didn’t like me or anyone else “too” different. Nor am I going to lowkey uphold the very false value of Whiteness as if that’s a ticket card I can redeem later to avoid greater acts of life-threatening racism. I’d like for y’all to know that don’t work. Ever. Doesn’t exist. You could play all the respectability politics and push all the internalized racism all you want, it won’t buy you out of racism’s wrath. Go ask President Obama and Wayne Brady if you don’t believe me. Blackness is dynamic and non-monolithic, go pick up a book and get over it. I’m no nicer to Black folks that seriously don’t know their own history but wanna race police.

Pagan blog
Don’t like that I’m not super pro-Abrahamic and focus a lot on “heathen” stuff? I really don’t care. This Black faith blog has no desire to project Christian ideals since, y’know, I’m not Christian. At all. Go find one if that’s what you want. They’re eeeeeeeeverywhere. Like, everywhere. I don’t mind discussing how Christian privilege works in the West or things of that nature, but there’s not going to be reams of scripture here or lack of deconstruction here. This is a Pagan blog so it is centered on the Pagan experience in and of itself, not simply how it relates to Abrahamic beliefs.

Black Feminist/womanist blog
Yeah, not interested in Afriboo nonsense or supporting sexist ideas, especially internalized racist versions of sexist ideals. So no, “All Black men are kings, all Black women are queen” crap here. It’s nice to have high self esteem but frankly, we’re not all kings and queens, just people with a dynamic history that is forever downplayed and copied. And usually folks who think within the slave/Nubian royalty dichotomy are also misogynistic (particularly misogynoir), homophobic and transphobic so I really don’t care for any of that. We’re people, even kingdoms needed more than just kings and queens to be a kingdom. Think you’ve been laid low by the matriarchy or that only certain types of women deserve protection and validation of existence while others don’t? Go onto another blog, it is possible you can find friendship in the comment section of Until I Get Married. I prefer to deconstruct male privilege and gender roles with the delicate sensitivity of a White kid on Halloween. Basically, if you think Steve Harvey is a great relationship expert and/or that cat calling is just women taking undue offensive to “complements”***, this is not the site for you.

White feminists, this ain’t much your site either. It just wouldn’t be anti-Black enough. I like Ida B. Wells, not Susan B. Anthony. And if you don’t know who Wells is but you know about Anthony, just drop out of Feminism altogether. Being racist is divisive, not being inclusive. You can’t say you fight for all of a group when you demonize the majority of it to make yourself look better.

So, that’s the basics. My website is faaaar from perfect, that is for sure, but it is important to know where this site stands. Yeah, as this site (and I) get older, some parts may change but this is pretty much the core of the website that is Black Witch. I don’t run this site so that White people, Pagan or not, can wreak havoc in the comments. I don’t run this site so that Christians – particularly homophobic and bigoted ones – can roll into the comments about how this is all devilish by their standards and why don’t I adhere to their religion’s ideas of faith…despite the fact I follow a perfectly different one. I don’t run this site so that Afriboos and “conscious” Black folks can pop up in the comments about how Black women this and Black women that or Black people this and Black people that but know extremely little about their own heritage’s history outside of Boondocks episodes, Egypt and Christianity/Islam. This site is much like other sites but still unique in its own way and I would like to retain what makes the site effective.

Ohh! I should add, albeit post-script, what to do and what not to do when writing to me. I reaaaaaaally don’t like bad questions so don’t ask for:

Spells – I don’t do pay-for-pray/paid spellwork. I don’t do spellwork for free. I actually don’t do spellwork for others. At all. Ever. This site is a witchcraft service. If you want to turn into another person, get revenge on someone or simply are too crappy a person to get a relationship on your own (not at all there) merits, use the mundane ways for those. Bothering me just mean you’ll get insulted and possibly made fun of because you should have read first or you would have known I don’t do spellwork for others.

Divination (outside of Samhain Pickers) – I don’t have a divination service either. I like to stem the flow of “can you read my palm/cards/chart/etc” so that is why I have Samhain Pickers, which is only on Halloween. That, I do for free. Any other time I announce it (keyword: announce, meaning “I tell you when”, not “You tell me when”), it will be a paid service and only because I spotted a new art toy or Storm statue and I’m not patient. Those are rare. Very rare.

And while I like to talk about race here, I don’t feel like being asked “Hey, some Black kid in a Southern state was found hanging from a tree recently, can you do divination to determine if it is a hate crime?” That’s really insulting because a) you must obviously be a White person, and one that decided to pretty much go “So, here’s a new dead Black kid, I just wondered if you would like to be super involved in it because I can’t tell if an obvious hate crime is a hate crime.” b) can’t tell that it’s an OBVIOUS HATE CRIME TO HANG BLACK FOLKS FROM TREES, especially in racially charged areas, you don’t have to be a Klansman/Klanswoman to hate minorities or most White folks would be card carrying members. Believe it or not, I actually don’t like to engage myself with this stuff when I don’t have to and it’s insulting to ask for divination when something is so clear, it’s an overwhelmingly redundant question. That’s like saying “I dunno, he has bullet holes and there’s a gun nearby and everyone heard pops and dude’s not breathing but can you do a tarot reading to see if he was shot? I mean, there’s footage the crime scene and all but I’m too lazy to do the work.” That’s being a sh*tty and super careless ally.

Poorly written letters – So here’s a fun fact: I have a degree in English, can communicate in several languages and work in libraries for a living. So you can probably guess from all that, that I don’t like getting messages or letters that look like you smeared your face across a keyboard and then pressed “send”. I can tell when poor writing deviates from having English as a second language and when poor writing deviates from poor literary skills, period. I really don’t like badly written letters because why would you want to present yourself like that to anyone in that fashion? It connotes stupidity and worthlessness. I don’t expect the king’s English but write like you understand how a keyboard works and how basic English sentence structures function. Plus, I can’t help if I don’t understand and I really don’t like to decipher what should be written so plainly. If it is a really poorly penned question, I’m going to be super snarky about it.

Bigoted (sexist, homophobic, racist, etc) questions: Dude, my site is not the training grounds for you to get life lessons of “don’t be a bigot”. Don’t like gay folks or are scared of them (never) attacking you? Take two cyanide pills, it’ll clear that fear right up. Don’t like to think of women as people but still somehow want to date them? A half cup of bleach, mixed with 1/4 cup of water and 2/3 cup vinegar should fix whatever loneliness woes you have. Ditto with racist folks, just dip your nose underwater until fully submerged and breath through said nose to help flush out brain of subvert and overt tendencies such as supporting gentrification and White washing or complaining that there is too much diversity. Same for wannabe allies. Go flex on Tumblr. If you have to wonder, “is my question bigoted?”, it probably is and you probably should keep it to yourself. Again, Black Witch is NOT a service to help the clueless in social matters. I’ll just make fun of you instead.

* Still not very partial to term “Person of Color” but “Person of Pigment” is a good working term until something better comes along
** To the major minority: Hi, Mark. How you is? I expect an e-card of a cactus done up like a Christmas tree. :3
*** “Complements” that if a gay guy gave you, you’d be ready to put holmes in a hospital.

Bitter Nails

So, I collect rusted nails.

I live near a funeral home so there’s a bounty of coffin nails laying around but I prefer the naturally rusted ones. Reason? I’m not really the jinxing or binding type but it is nice to have in storage in the Magick cabinet. I horde stuff, it’s a thing.

Using magick to stop or punish wrongdoing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keyword: “Necessarily”. It’s easy to be overruled by emotions and to think that you’re right and they’re wrong and with the aid of some black salt and rusted nails, all will be right with the world again. Even if you’re in the wrong. Face it, everyone thinks they’re the hero in their own story, even the villain so it can all be a matter of perspective. This is why I prefer more karmic magick, even if it has a bit of a punishing lean to it. And this is also why I don’t do pay-for-pray/paid spellwork, it’s really amazing what crucial info people leave out when they want to hire out revenge. I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible, seriously, you almost want to advocate people buy guns instead.

Rusted nails are useful in binding and karmic spells still because they still can represent a problem or a problem person. However, it’s best to go with “problem” in oppose to “problem person” unless you are 184% sure it is them, irrefutable proof included (as in, you saw with your own eyes, pretty much) because red herrings and fall guys exist. A lot. The rusted nail can be hammered down, isolated, bound up in twine or wire, submerged in mixture, whatever is needed as it houses the representational energy of whatever is the problem.

Now, a word for why I prefer karmic spells over hexes and jinxes (in most cases) is because the universe (or whichever judge-like deity or entity you’re summoning) becomes the judge and they see/know all. At least to an extent greater than mortals do, we still can’t get over the fact we come in darker shades and that’s a pretty basic non-problem. There is a myriad of reasons why whatever happened to you did happen, some may be more obvious than others, even if the reason is “no reason/luck ran out”. Life isn’t perfect or fair. Also, no one is 100% innocent, there’s a chance you’re getting retribution for something you did, even if it is unrelated. That’s what karmic spells are good for. So the actual bad guy can be punished, even if the bad guy is you.

Does this mean that I’m anti-hex? Nah, not entirely. Jinxing can be used as protection in terms of self defense (and being upset someone forgot to put cheese on your cheeseburger doesn’t count as self defense but jinxing a street harasser or creeper is perfectly fine, if not encouraged) but mainly in self defense. Anything else is not necessary and better for just a karmic spell because for all that bears out in reality, they may not have really wronged you, you just might see it that way. Which isn’t fair.

So, I’ll keep collecting rusted nails. Maybe one day I’ll have to use them. Y’know, again.

Ok, that’s all for the BW for today but did you know that I will participating on the online “Activism Among Pagans of Color” panel for PACO, Pagan Activism Conference Online. The panel will be on November 22nd starting at 12 PM PST. Learn more about it here. The whole online conference costs $40 but the panel is $10 and if you can’t pay, PACO can help. Click the link for more info.

Alright, I have some quick news! I will be part of PACO – the Pagan Activism Conference Online – for the “Activism Among Pagans of Color” panel. I’ll be speaking alongside Shades of Faith and Shades of Ritual author Crystal Blanton, hoodoo conjurer Khi Armand and blogger Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir on November 22, 12-1:30 PM (PST). Now, as you could gather from the title, it will all be online so you can listen in. However, entry is paid:

$40 for the whole online conference
$10 per individual panel

If you still are having difficulty paying, it’s fine. Contact the Pantheon Foundation here and they’ll work with you. If you can pay, go for it – it supports the panelists! Woo!

See you there!

Pagan Dress Up

Usually when someone mentions they’re a witch or Pagan or whatever, the dress that commonly comes to mind is be raggedy black dress with striped stockings, and pointy hat or uber goth kids wearing all black and silver jewelry, or people walking about as if they’re on winter break from Hogwarts. Now while it’s cool and funky to have robes and fancy things, remember: There’s no dress code in Paganism.

We’re not like certain sects in Judaism, Islam, Christianity or Buddhism where there is an important piece of clothing to wear enable to confer your faith. You don’t have to plunder through Hot Topic or dress as if you’re going to a funeral everyday. Now, if you want to wear a particular clothing to best connect with whatever main pantheon you work with (say you work with the Islamic pantheon and entities and want to wear a head-covering as respect to the faith and beliefs) that’s fine but in general. There isn’t a particular thing you have to wear. Most Pagans looks like normal people…mainly because we are.

Take me for example. Even though I dress in alternative fashion pretty regularly, this is me on a regular day:

"Sup, brah?"

      “Sup, brah?”

Nothing unusual. I don’t look obviously Pagan nor do I look like I shop out of Diagon Alley on the regular. I look really normal. Because there’s nothing there special for me to wear. Commonly, people believe Pagans and Witches dress odd like mountain hags or as if their fashion sense never went past 1683 mainly thanks to movies (a lot of things people believe about how Pagans look and act are thanks to movies and tv shows, ergh) but the reality is, is that we are pretty incognito.

"So incognito, brah"

“So incognito, brah”

Pagans come from many backgrounds and can take on any job such as nurses, lawyers, doctors, teachers and more, there’s nothing that say you have to change your clothes to reflect your faith when it comes to Paganism. It’s appreciated but not necessary. Now granted, many Pagans also wear stone jewelry, I’m no exception because I wear a tourmalated quartz necklace that I’ve had for a loooooooooooooooong time.

"Brah."

    “Brah.”

You don’t have to go out and buy one or find one, if you don’t want to wear rocks around your neck, wrist, fingers or whatever, it’s perfectly fine and up to the practitioner of what they wanna do and how they wanna do it. Some Pagans and Witches charm their jewelry for whatever reason or another. Some don’t . Some wear it as an abstract expression of  faith, like when a Christian wears a cross necklace. I kinda of wear my stone necklace for this reason but also partly because it’s my favorite stone (that temporarily got lost for a day). But remember, not every person who wears any stone jewelry is automatically Pagan or a witch. So please, don’t approach people who are wearing a rose quartz and declare “THEY’RE A WITCH. STOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE THEM!” because you could be way off the mark – not to mention give someone a heart attack with the sudden declaration for mob assembly. That scares anyone.

"Not cool, brah"

“Not cool, brah.”

So remember, you can wear normal clothes, you don’t have to wear black every single day. Being Pagan/Witch is who you are and doesn’t require clothing expression of dedication. You’re still Pagan/Witch even if you look the furthest away from a granola-munching environmentalist or as if you stumbled off the set from The Craft. Even if you don’t have a single thing that has a pentacle or pentagram on it. Even if you don’t own a single robe or fancy (and highly flammable) ritual clothing. You’re still you and you still strongly practice, even without the visual signifiers.

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