the element of air stands out from the other elements.
all of the other elements; earth, fire, water, are all visible, and touchable (dont burn ya self lol)
air however, is only visible as it shakes the tree tops, and turns the leafs rustling into music
as such, people often have a harder time finding ways to incorporate the element of air into their craft.
here are a few easy and simple ideas for that;
🍃this can be done everywhere, on your way to work, or in the comfort of your garden;
notice the way your lungs expand with each breath. visualize the pure air, cleansing your body and mind of all troubles bothering you. this is very effective if you´ve had a particularly bad day at work or school, and have no way to leave the situation making you uncomfortable
🍃notice the sound the leafs and grass makes, as they are touched by the wind
really tune into the sound. hum along to the breeze (the little folk really enjoys this as well), if you want to, you can even make a little song out of the melody. i used to this a lot when i were a child. you really get in contact with your inner child.
🍃dancing. yes it sounds silly and it sure is! (this is also something the faery folk likes), but feeling the way the wind touches your body, and letting it sway you is both fun and a very good way of bonding.
🍃on car rides, particularly hot days, sticking you hand out the way and notice how the wind braids itself around your fingers, now try moving your hand and fingers in different ways, it is a really good calming method, if you´re feeling annoyed as well.
🍃opening your windows, and letting new air in. sit and notice how the atmosphere slowly changes.
🍃if it´s a stormy day out, i like to visualize the wind going trough me, encouraging bravery and strength, this always makes me feel very powerful, and witchy
🍃doing spells in stormy weather, particularly ones for strength, courage or curses is a super good way to get you in the mood, and gives an extra energy boost to the spell
Many poets, and all mystic and occult writers, in all ages and countries, have declared that behind the visible are chains on chains of conscious beings, who are not of heaven but of the earth, who have no inherent form but change according to their whim, or the mind that sees them. You cannot lift your hand without influencing and being influenced by hoards. The visible world is merely their skin. In dreams we go amongst them, and play with them, and combat with them. They are, perhaps, human souls in the crucible–these creatures of whim.
Can’t get enough of this album lately. I know Om started out as a stoner/doom band, but honestly I feel this category would be an insult to this album, since it features so many progressive, psychedelic and folk/world music elements!!!
It’s both relaxing and exciting at the same time. The drums are absolutely exquisite and I feel that every song has a good combination of atmosphere and attention to detail.
Plus, to all my fellow goths out there - some songs might remind you of earlier Sopor Aeternus, more the reason to give this album a listen!
Bolotnitsa (rus. болотница “the swamp maiden”) — an evil spirit of the swamps. Unlike rusalkas (russian water spirits, analog of mermaids) bolotnitsa was alomst indistinguishable from mortal women (in other words, she had, hmm, flesh. I just can’t come up with any English word describing an evil spirit, which is not exactly the spirit but some sort of zombie). She was traditionally pictured as an unbelievably beautiful dark-haired woman sitting on enormous water lily with her legs under her. In this way she was hiding her frog (or sometimes goose) legs. If any misfortunate soul dared walking near the swamp, bolotnitsa did her best to persuade the person to come near the water by cries for help, pleas, words of kindness. If person couldn’t resist bolotnitsa’s charm and stepped into the water, she strangled and drowned them immediately.
Would you happen to have any suggestions on books about witchcraft written by a black author?
Yes I do! Here are a few that I own and/or have read and loved. What makes me love all of them is that they all start with a preface/mention throughout the book that they know everyone will consume these books and try to practice these spells, but the knowledge is still and always will be BLACK AF, rooted deeply in Blackness, and will NEVER be divorced from Blackness:
Rootwork: Using the Folk Magick of Black America for Love, Money, and Success by Tayanna Lee McQuillar: This one is good for quick and dirty spells, which are my fave. I love rituals, too, but I never have time for that lol.
The Village of the Water Spirits: The Dreams of African Americans by Michael Ortiz Hill with Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa: This book is a perfect example of how spirituality is a major theme of Black lives and how “witchcraft” as a term does such a poor job of describing or defining what we do. Like this book is not directly about witchcraft, but it is tho. Very well done, sourced, and researched.
Sticks, Stones, Roots, & Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo, & Conjuring with Herbs by Stephanie Rose Bird: This one is a really good hoodoo source. The spells in here are a little more advanced and she really knows her stuff.
from books, articles, tumblr posts, videos, sermons, podcasts…
about nature, yourself, life, dreams…
work through spiritual questions
what do you believe about: divinity, death, your purpose, your values, nature….
create chants, spells, songs…
plan your garden or yard
use it like a diary - write about your personal life
draw, doodle, paint, collage…
make goals & track progress
record family/friend stories
describe spiritual experiences or places
There is no wrong way to do this!
I know many folk aim towards One Finished Book of Knowledge, but… I am partial towards a messy, developing, work-in-progress sort of journal. A place where I work-out and record thoughts and questions, where I can see my own developing search for answers and understanding evolve in messy words, jotted thoughts, doodled-drawings and lengthy notes. My way may not be yours, but I wish you well with whatever style of spiritual journal you begin.
I have found the practice of journaling incredibly helpful in all areas of my life - and I reckon spiritual journals are helpful to other folk too.
Alright, you guys. I am going to be moving again in a few months, am going back to Haiti to get married to my spirits, and am going to be changing up packaging in the future, so that means…
Time for a sale! I’m clearing out my stock of condition oils and dressed candles, which means good deals for you on handmade materials for your own spiritual work.
All condition oils are handmade by me with natural and/or organic materials, and have ‘cooked’ and worked for at least a year, if not longer. Natural preservatives give it a long shelf life, and all color and fragrance are naturally occurring as a result of the ingredients and process. Oils can be used to dress candles or objects, added to your own work, applied on the skin (patch test first, please), or however seems best for your goals.
Candles are dressed, pressed, and prayed over in preparation for your work, with all natural and/or organic materials. Candles can be be burned with petitions for work, on altars, on jars, or for larger work.
Here’s what’s left:
All oils are bottled at roughly 1 1/3 oz, so you’re getting quite a bit. Oils are $7 each, plus $3 shipping.
Glass candles are $12, plus $5 shipping.
Chime candles are $20/set of 4, plus $5 shipping.
I combine shipping for multiple items.
FIERY WALL OF PROTECTION OIL: Potent oil suitable for heavy duty protection work. I have used this oil on walls/windows/doorways of my homes, and to lock down mirrors. Contains irritants. 7 bottles left.
INFLAMMATORY CONFUSION OIL: Heat your target up, make their head spin, and leave them disoriented and confused. Good for revenge work and to make someone squirm. Contains irritants. 4 bottles left.
CROSSING OIL: Fuck'em up. Tie up their luck, turn opportunities against them, and make them wonder how they ended up being the toilet of the universe. Dark and murky, a little goes a long way. Contains irritants. 5 bottles left.
PEACEFUL WAY OIL: A gentle road opener for when things need to change and obstacles need to move, but you’re not looking for explosions or earthquakes. Contains blessed palms. 4 bottles left.
SWEET DREAMS OIL: Creates a state more conducive for vivid and prophetic dreaming, and can aid in the remembering of dreams. 3 bottles left.
FEMININE PROTECTION OIL: Geared towards feminine folks of any gender, limited batch was made at the request of a friend who was being harassed because of their feminine gender expression. 1 bottle left.
JUGGERNAUT OIL: This was made as a joke, except it really does it’s damn job, really REALLY well. It is an oil that was designed to open stubborn spiritual ears to hear what the divinities were saying, especially when one is doing divination. SOLD.
LUCKY IN LOVE CHIME CANDLES: Set of 4 chime candles dressed with suitable love-drawing herbs, curios, and oils. Suitable for any gender. 2 sets left.
I have quite a few glass 7 and 14 day candles dressed for clarity/spiritual discernment, luck and/or money drawing, protection, love and/or lust, and I have materials to custom dress for your cause/condition. Pick your poison, all priced the same.
Strega Babe was founded by Dakota Hendrix, a Brooklyn based queer, non binary witch who’s practice is based at the crossroads of their heritage.
Their mother’s line was steeped in Southern Folk Magic, Hoodoo, Conjure. Their father’s line was made up of Strega, practitioners of Italian Catholic Folk Magic/Witchcraft.
Both of these traditions are of “the lower class” - poor people, peasants, folk who survive. This is practical magic at its most creative and it’s most effective. No fancy, frivolous, lavish words, rituals, tools or ingredients needed.
Please take a moment to check out our Etsy shop to learn more about our StregaBaths and if you’re so inclined, Favorite us. We would also appreciate any boosting of this post.
All of our baths are made with high quality, organic, ethically sourced herbs.
There have been a series of messages in my ask box hitting the same point in several different ways, based on a bunch of things I’ve posted recently regarding the participation of white folks in vodou.
It’s not a lie or even a stretch of the imagination that white folks, in general, are fucking AWFUL when it comes to anything that has to do with minority anything. We generally kick down the door, grab what we want, head home, and then repackage and sell it at a profit, which inevitably robs the original owners of life and livelihood. It happens ALL THE TIME with Haitian vodou (looking at you, purveyors of random objects covered in veve, so-called paket kongo, lwa ‘elekes’, lwa ‘conjure oils’, ‘voodoo dolls’, and on and on and onnnn) and it has for a long, LONG time. Entire religious movements have been made on the backs of a white kidnapping of aesthetic ideas of Haitian vodou, and they thrive in parts of the US, with so-called places of worship filled with only white folks, the wrong drums, a so-called priye ginen crammed with Kabbalah and other white people babble, and plastic maraca stand-ins for asson.
It’s not okay, but that’s an unpopular opinion in the US because the idea of easy-access spirituality is kind of the flavor of the moment and folks who have learned traditionally get shit flung at them for speaking up. Another topic for another time.
None of that, though, precludes a white person being legitimately involved in Haitian vodou in an appropriate way, which involves going to the actual community of practitioners–real live Haitian folks practicing a Haitian religion–and presenting oneself in the hopes that the spirits and the community will find a place for you. It’s not easy, and it requires a LOT of work–not only are there practical considerations like actually traveling to that community, learning the language/songs/prayers/dances, ways of interaction, and more, but there is the work of decolonizing yourself and the way you move in the world. Coming into Haitian vodou as a white and/or non-Haitian person is voluntarily entering into cultural deprogramming. Whiteness is not the center of the universe and it’s not a consideration in the flow and function of the religion, beyond if you can be trusted as a white person, since white people exploit Haiti all the time.
These are tasks white vodouwizan can tackle right off the bat in the US, where that is a hard enough task. Confronting our inherent in-grown racism is a large task and it is solely on our shoulders–it is not the responsibility of the Haitians that may welcome us to participate. Haitian sosyetes that welcome white folks often go out of their way to bring in outsiders–white or not–as softly as possible, since they are well aware that white folks don’t have a culturally-based religious upbringing, nor have most white folks seen anything like vodou before. That doesn’t mean they are holding our hands while we sort of blink in the sunlight of being in a place where we are the minority, the outsider, the one who gets looked at sideways. That increases thousandfold if you go to Haiti, where distrust can be blatant and where there is largely no cushioning available–Haiti is a hard place and vodou is a hard religion.
The central function of vodou in terms of who is welcome is two-part–the community/people and the spirits. No one can make their way into the djevo without the support and approval of the community who in turn supports that djevo and the support and approval of the spirits who own that djevo and the community that supports it. If the community won’t have you, the spirits can’t overrule that. If the spirits won’t have you, the community should not overrule that (and it will go terribly for them if they do–think initiatory chamber on fire, people dying during kanzo etc). That extends to who is welcome at public ceremonies, too. Reactions range from the spirits having shown up, looked at a person, and literally asked them ‘what are you doing here’ (mild side) to a spirit literally chasing someone out of the temple while screaming and attempting to stab them with a knife (the hole are still in the door that the spirit stabbed instead). I have been at fetes that have ground to a halt when someone showed up who was not welcome by the community showed up and had to be dealt with.
If all of those musters are passed, there are still layers of approval from the spirits that come via divination and direct interaction–NOTHING is done without approval from the spirits, and their approval is sought after frequently. It’s not a matter of just showing up and, bam, you’re in. It’s layers and layers of commitment, work, and approval. The community watches and the spirits watch, and things develop.
Most criticism of white folks in the religion comes from people outside of religion, who carry a Western view of religion and community where showing up means tacit approval and where things are simple and clear cut. This leads to pronouncements of ‘no, only Type Of Person can join vodou’ or ‘it’s closed except for Black folks’, which disregard the actual cultural function of vodou and show a lack of understanding of how skin color is conceived of in Haiti.
From where I sit, this has three main causes:
1. Lack of perceived agency for Haitian vodouwizan and the spirits of vodou. Either Haitian vodouwizan can open their mouths and declare who is welcome in their religion, or they cannot. Either the spirits have agency to decide who they will bring into the religion, or they don’t. Speaking for or over Haitians has a simple root cause–racism and bigotry. Since Haiti is a country that has a long and complicated relationship with poverty, this often translates outside of Haiti to Haitians being simple or unintelligent, which is misplaced. And, of course, many Haitians are people of color, which leaves a lot of people feeling like they can speak over them.
Declaring who a spirit will call is super interesting, because it makes me wonder why someone is seeking out a religion while discarding a core tenet of the religion (the lwa are act of their own volition, to satisfy their will and desires and to serve the will and desire of the master of the universe). If you can’t support how a religion functions, then perhaps seeking out a community that doesn’t have that tenet is a better choice.
2. Haitian vodou is not an African religion, it is a HAITIAN religion. While vodou has roots in Africa and the Middle Passage, it is a distinctly Haitian religion that is deeply, DEEPLY rooted in Haiti and Haitian culture. Bwa Kayiman–the rite that both started the Haitian revolution and really codified what Haitian vodou is today–held at it’s core a realization by those enslaved Africans who would become the first Haitians that they would never be able to return to Africa and that Haiti was now their home and their children’s birthright, so things had to change to account for that. Lumping Haitian vodou into a pan-African worldview erases what makes the religion vodou–it cannot be separated from Haitian culture, at all, without losing what vodou is.
Pushing Haitian vodou into a pan-African paradigm sets up Black folks who are interested in vodou for a really hard time because it communicates a unifying ideal that is just not present. While non-Haitian Black folks may blend well in a religion where most of the adherents would be assigned Black/African-American by a US census taker, the same cultural challenges will be present them as a white person would face–language, cultural understandings, etc. If anything, non-Haitian Black folks can face bigger scrutiny in the religion than white folks do. It is understood that white folks generally won’t know their ass from their head when they show up but someone who can visually be mistaken to be Haitian? Why don’t they know what is going on? How come they can’t turn? Don’t they know any Kreyol?
Birthright CAN exist for Haitians in vodou, but it doesn’t really extend past that.
3. There is a deep and growing need for religious and spiritual spaces for Black folks and other people of color that are only available for Black folks and other people of color. I don’t have a lot to say about this because it’s not my place, beyond that I think that’s a vital and important thing and should be supported by any person who wants to step under the ally umbrella. Vodou as a religion, though, has been open to non-Haitians and white folks for long, long time, and so cannot and does not provide that. I know that there is a lot happening in various corners of pagan and witchcraft communities for Black folks and people of color in general, and I am happy to amplify anything I see about that for folks who might be interested.
So, there’s that. I welcome more discussion and questions on vodou in general and vodou and race in specific if people have them!