I have a tarot deck that was gifted to me made entirely of leather and just the major arcana. It has an extremely powerful energy to it, and I knew right away this was a tarot deck to be used in spell work, not divination. So I started meditating and looking into the cards and really thinking about what they could be used for/associations. So here’s what I came up with!
(Note: I mention curses in here because some of the cards do lend themselves really well to that. If you don’t curse personally, feel free to disregard those parts. This is based on my personal relationship with the cards, so your personal associations and meanings for your deck may be very different. Be sure to understand the nuances of your cards before using them in a spell.)
🗝0 The Fool: Wiping the slate clean, a fresh start. Opening oneself to new experiences and knowledge.
🗝I The Magician: Manifestation and invocation. Energy work. Personal capability. Utilizing the power already within you and bringing it to the surface.
🗝II The High Priestess: Secrets. Hide and obscure knowledge to others. Increased intuition. Knowledge of the occult. Learn other people’s hidden knowledge while keeping yours under wraps.
🗝III The Empress: Fertility and abundance. Vibrancy, nurturing. Also to some degree, sensuality and sexiness.
🗝IV The Emperor: Strength and stability. Generic masculine power. Traditionalism.
🗝V The Hierophant: Jobs, mentorship and other positions that require some level of conformity. Traditional knowledge, coming more from a dogma or set path rather than a personal experience.
🗝VI The Lovers: Love (obviously,) union, harmony between two people. But mostly love.
🗝VII The Chariot: Success, motivation, overcoming any nasty obstacle. Personal power working with outside powers for your benefit.
🗝VIII Justice: Pretty self explanatory. Justice, getting what one deserves for better or worse. Could also be used as an aid to help guide you to the best decision when stuck at a crossroads.
🗝IX The Hermit: Knowledge latent within oneself that you want to bring to the surface. Cutting ties between yourself and people/groups that no longer benefit you. Any spell designed to get people to stay away from you (but warning here, the Hermit doesn’t discriminate between the people you still want to see and those you don’t!)
🗝X Wheel of Fortune: Luck, a change of fate. Finding one’s true calling/destiny. A request of a long-term type of success.
🗝XI Strength: Emotional strength, mastery of emotions, self-control. Resilience and courage.
🗝XII The Hanged Man: Release of unwanted emotions, new perspectives. In a curse or hex setting, it can also be used to represent someone who has been traitorous, especially in decks with a more traditional art style.
🗝XIII Death: Can be used to represent death during rituals such as a dumb supper. Important endings, rebirth, shedding the skin of the past. Hard cutoffs.
🗝XIV Temperance: Balance, cleansing, a restoration of energies as they should be. Healing.
🗝XV The Devil: Addictive negativity. All things bad in life that can be avoided, but are easy to slip into. Can be used to sic this on someone else in a powerful hex, or can be used as a representation of your own demons as you break free from them.
🗝XVI The Tower: Another card that’s particularly good for offense magic. Sudden, unexpected crisis. A destruction of what one has been working for. Upheaval. Could also be used to try and protect oneself as much as possible from this before it happens, if you sense trouble ahead.
🗝XVII The Star: Hope, guidance, generosity. Can be used when searching for a sign for something or for a pathway to be illuminated.
🗝XVIII The Moon: Mystery, emotional/spiritual fog, being stuck in a grey area. Illusion, hiding/obscuring yourself or something else. Could be used as a more gentle hex to weaken somebody without wrecking them like some of the other cards. Alternatively, it could be used to represent the literal moon, as either a replacement (if you can’t access the moon) or as a way to draw down the moon’s power.
🗝XIX The Sun: Recharging, success, vitality and enlightenment. Celebration. A powerful source of positive and productive energies, but without a lot of direction on its own. Similarly to The Moon, it could also be used as a representation of the literal Sun.
🗝XX Judgement: Guidance in making tough decisions. Luck or good fortune in the final stages of something important. Reaping the benefits (or punishments, so be careful) of our work up to this point.
🗝XXI The World: Harmony, tying up loose ends. Completeness and wholeness. Resolution of all conflict.
I didn’t figure out that Elsewhere University was anything other than a place filled with shivery-but-ultimately-harmless traditions until I’d already started my second year.
It wasn’t anything too exciting - I stumbled into the wrong part of the library, came out and realized I hadn’t missed my afternoon classes after all. I went to class, came back to my dorm room, had a panic attack, and went on with my life. Oh, and I changed my safename. I think I ended up going through half a dozen in the next few weeks, trying to find one that didn’t actually mean anything to me. (I remember Toucan was one of them, though I think I got anxious over what if it somehow offended the crows.) Sunny was the one I stuck with that year, mostly because my TA for Intro to Statistics sat me down and told me to just pick one so he’d know who to give the assignments back to.
I already knew most of the lore by then. I’d thought it was just fun bits of knowledge, traditions and legend-building, but I’ve always collected that kind of thing. After that initial panic (having made sure the horseshoe was securely over my doorway, and stuffed salt packets in all my pockets, and turned my underwear inside-out, and written and deleted several emails to my parents) I remembered that according to everything I heard, Bio majors didn’t usually interact much with the Fae. I’d actually been disappointed by that, back when it was just a story not quite close enough to touch, but it was a comfort now. So once I’d settled on my new safename (and stopped side-eying my poor roommate), I caught up with my assignments and moved on, just a little bit more careful than before.
I fell in love with lab work that year, and on the advice of a professor shifted into the tiny Molecular Biology concentration. Elsewhere University doesn’t do much research, but there’s lab space available for fourth years doing a thesis, and you can use it earlier if you have a Prof willing to supervise and sign off for you. The Molecular Genetics professor was full of ideas for what I could do with the reagents left behind in the fridge and one big freezer, and between us we managed to get me an internship the next summer, to stay and start on my own project.
I spent those months sharing a tiny apartment in the next town over with an English major going into her fourth year. (I don’t know why she was staying for the summer. I asked, but she gave me a different answer every time - she needed to hang teardrops on the rainbow, or count crow’s teeth, or find the door out of the laundry room. After a while, I stopped asking). In the mornings she’d drive us both into the university, and in the evenings I’d either wait for her in the library (always near the front) or I’d take the single late-night bus that ran from the university to the middle of town.
but honestly … mandalorian food is described, again and again, to be incredibly flavorful. mandalorians have more than one word for tea, and are shown to be drinking tea, even having tea on occasion used medicinally
you can’t tell me that Mandalorian diasporic markets don’t have dedicated blocks for just tea, and just spices. and just dried roots and herbs.
you can’t tell me that mandalorians don’t have their own “traditional remedies” — and they’re remedies that work.
but every. single. galactic citizen might take one look, or smell, or taste, of these remedies and immediately reject/turn their noses up at them, because they’re not “acceptable” inasmuch as what a “normal” galactic citizen might consider acceptable.
mandalorian diasporic markets that have oils and ointments and creams that burn and hurt (and … lmao, that metal coin that hurts like hell to be rubbed on your back, but it helps to relieve all kinds of illnesses. some of you might know what I’m talking about, others are prob like “wtf lmao?”) among other remedies.
ingredients that can be combined by a trained and thoroughly capable mandalorian doctor who’s also knowledgeable in traditional mandalorian healing practices and combines the best of both worlds to make a remedy specific to the issue at hand. healers who have family-specific specialties and recipes that differ from shakraan to shakraan.
give me family-specific recipes that have been altered, changed, modified based on the new area they’re now in — this new area that is “Little Mandalore” on a planet in a sector that has nothing to do with mandalorians.
give me mandalorian ethnic enclaves on coruscant, or nar shaddaa, or naboo, or similar. unique customs that celebrate the rise and fall of the stars, the rises and falls of mandalore in history. unique cakes and pastries and foods only made during mandalorian festivals once a year. foods with meaning.
Alright magicians and witches, I am currently developing a system of spellwork which draws from a couple of fictional sources and some older traditional methods of spellcraft. However, as this system, it is in a fairly experimental stage right now, and I need to be sure that these spells work the way I intend them to work. After discussing it with a few people, I’ve decided to open this up to some volunteers.
An overview: this system takes traditional knowledge of correspondences, energy manipulation, and spiritual planes, and combines those things with hand movements similar to those described in Lev Grossman’s series “The Magicians” and the recent film adaptation of “Doctor Strange”. Volunteers will learn a set of magical wards to be used on their own home, and will be asked to place those wards daily for a period of a week, and describe any noticeable affects or experiences for the purposes of feedback.
Things required of volunteers:
•tactile motion is important to these spells, as your hands shape and move the power that you are utilizing. That being said, I am moderately clumsy with my hands, so you don’t have to be a seasoned tut master to volunteer.
•the ability to memorize Latin phrases. These particular wards are all in Latin (and are mostly ripped from Harry Potter, if we’re being honest), and as both hands will be occupied in the casting of the wards, it is imperative that one be capable of rote memorization.
•I need detailed descriptions of each casting (where in your house you cast, what time of day, any alterations made to the fingers to account for differences in hand or finger size/mobility) as well as detailed descriptions of the effects (feelings, durability of the wards, duration of the wards, confidence in the placement, etc). Remember that this is experimental, and due to the enigmatic subject matter, complete transparency is a must.
•Skype would help, because of the need to actually teach each person the hand motions, however I will be making a detailed tutorial video for everyone to use, so it is not a necessity if you are uncomfortable video chatting.
•ingenuity: I need to test these wards for the benefit of the system. This means that if you’re skilled in energy manipulation or know friends who are as well, casting minor hexes against the ward to check for weaknesses will be particularly useful information to gather.
I will provide each volunteer with a worksheet outlining notes that I need taken, and a general outline of how each particular piece of the ward is meant to function. As stated above, I will be making a tutorial video for the wards themselves.
Message me privately for more details if you are interested. Witches and magicians alike are welcome.
Introverted Intuition (Ni): Dumbledore often acts like an intelligent but scatterbrained old man. But while he may look like Ne at first glance, later books show a more calculating, farseeing nature. Dumbledore never acts without a clear purpose, as proven by his innumerable actions that seem random at the time but turn out to be integral, and intentional, later. He grooms Harry from day one, seeing the role he must play in the coming conflict. Dumbledore plays the long game expertly, withholding information from Harry until he needs it. He has no doubts that Harry will sacrifice himself in the end, counting on what others would think of as a long shot. While Dumbledore understands Fudge’s fear of the coming battle, he has little patience for those who cannot look at the big picture, especially since he has such a clear and unwavering conviction in what he has foreseen. Dumbledore has such confidence in the plans that he has set in place that he will even die for them, letting Snape kill him after planning it out in advance.
Extroverted Feeling (Fe): When dealing with other people, especially children, Dumbledore has a way of putting them at ease. Part of his scattered old man act is designed to make people more comfortable with him, when in reality he is a ridiculously powerful and intimidating wizard. Dumbledore presides over Hogwarts fairly, doing his best to keep his students safe and happy, even when he works in subtle, unseen ways. His choice in staff reflects his sense of compassion and willingness to people a second chance. Hagrid, Mr Filch and Professor Trelawney. are all not especially qualified for their jobs, but Dumbledore keeps them on out of a desire to let them show their good qualities. Dumbledore’s past is a perfect example of Fe’s dark side. Paired with his visionary Ni, his Fe led him to consider extreme actions like taking over the muggle world, “for the greater good.” Dumbledore puts an immense amount of trust in others, first trusting Snape to kill him as promised, then trusting Harry to go to his “death.”
Introverted Thinking (Ti): Dumbledore has a brilliantly inquisitive mind. He is prone to questioning traditional knowledge, encouraging his students to pursue unconventional and original solutions. He is an inventor (He discovered the twelve uses of dragon’s blood) and loves to keep interesting gadgets and doodads in his office. In teaching, At Hogwarts Dumbledore is lax to the point of being negligent, because he values independent thinking in his students and thinks that they can learn more if their environment is less structured.
Extroverted Sensing (Se): Dumbledore hesitates to get involved directly and tends to act on the framework of a greater plan than his immediate perceptions. He prefers to work subtly rather than out in the open, although when pushed he is capable of immense feats of wizardry, as seen in his duel against Voldemort. Dumbledore wishes the world to be seen for what it truly is, doing his best to cut through misconceptions about the first war, the coming war, racial equality and misunderstood individuals.
I’m not expecting this to click with everyone, but I’m as confident about this typing as I am about any other profile I’ve written. Dumbledore simply doesn’t use Ne. He uses Ni and gives a shallow Ne impression in order to put people at ease and let others underestimate him.
This post focuses on stones that not only align one with the energies of the heavens but also assist in learning.
This stone carries astrological energy, particularly the Moon’s,
within it and can impart that energy to the holder. It facilitates
the transition of intuition into intellect and allows for this new
knowledge to be utilized immediately. It brings clarity to the mind
by clearing out dark or unwanted thoughts. Labradorite is
particularly useful in that it unites logic and traditional knowledge
with intuition and supernatural and psychic knowledge. It is used to
sharpen the mind in every way. Birthstone of Sagittarius,
Scorpio, and Leo
Again, this is a stone that carries the energy of the Moon and grants
it to the holder. It is capable of uniting the holder’s physical,
emotional, and intellectual bodies, making learning and development
more natural. Moonstone is particularly useful to those who learn and
develop in an emotional way rather than a purely logical, detached
one. Its energy is extremely “motherly” in that it supports the
holder, easing them through times of growth and making their lessons
painless. It both calms and awakes the mind, bringing the holder
confidence and composure. Birthstone of Cancer, Libra,
Plancheite: Used in activities that connect the body to higher levels of thought and energy, plancheite is a popular tool for those seeking to understand the influences of the heavenly bodies. While this stone is associated with Leo, no matter what the position of the planets it is able to connect the holder to the heavenly bodies, channeling the energy of each into the holder. It assists in preparing the holder through the retention and processing of large quantities of information. Birthstone of Leo
Samarskite: By connecting the intuitive and logical methods of thought, Samarskite is able to promote problem solving in all areas of life: mental, physical, emotional, etc. It inspires the holder to work hard and aim high in their intellectual pursuits, particularly when that pursuit is astrological in nature. Birthstone of Scorpio
This stone is a specific variety of garnet which assists in
contemplation by connecting the holder to their higher intellect. Birthstons of Scorpio and
This stone, particularly Cassiterite of the yellow variety, has been
used for intellectual actuation. It is used to provide the holder
with a very precise insight into encountered issues or situations. Birthstone of Sagittarius
Chalcosiderite: It is often used to assist astrologers as it promotes
concentration and persistence, stimulates an understanding of
information presented in order to understand the big picture, and it
stimulates the third eye. Birthstone of Scorpio
initiator, Gibbsite drives the holder to work independently and do
their very best in their intellectual pursuits. It allows one to see
the big picture in all situations and opens the mind to new
information. Birthstone of Aries
Because life is movement, it is not a dead,
static thing, and I must therefore approach it with a mind that is
capable of looking at it without translating it in certain terms -as a
Hindu, a Christian, or whatever it is I happen to be. So, before I can
look at the whole picture, I must be aware of how my mind is burdened
with knowledge, tradition, which prevents it from looking afresh at that
which is moving, living. Knowledge, however wide, however necessary at
one level, does not bring comprehension of life, which is a constant
movement. If my mind is burdened with technique, training, so that it
can understand only that which is static, dead, then I can have no
comprehension of life as a whole. To comprehend the totality of life, I
must understand the process of knowledge, and how knowledge interferes
with that comprehension.
Hey, I was just wondering if you know why sacred geometry is associated with Hermes?
Okay, before I start I want to say this is entirely UPG from my experiences, meditation, and overall perspective of faith and spirituality. I’m very much a “oneness” and “everything is connected” type of person. If anyone is knowledgeable in traditional Hellenic practices regarding sacred geometry, I’d love for you to share some info with us!
Stripped down to the very core, sacred geometry is a mathematical language and form of communication. That is the main reason why I associate sacred geometry with Hermes, God of communication.
Sacred geometry creates the ley lines (aka Earth’s grid system, invisible thread or web, energy grid, etc.) that connects us all through intuition, synchronicity, and telepathy.
It’s the dimension that Hermes does his beautiful work; where He sends us messages and signs!
It’s also the grid that connects the pyramids, henges, megaliths, energy vortexes, etc.
To avoid falling into the rut of writing/playing/”reading” all of my Sims in similar ways based on their Aspirations, I brainstormed some different archetypes that could fall under the broader TS2 Aspirations. There could even be sub-types within these archetypes but I wanted to keep it flexible. Feel free to add your own! (Warning: Incredibly long post.)
Magical Cleaning Methods: The Non-Oppressive Edition!
I have decided to compile this list amid unending
conversations about the varied ways to purify or exorcise a space. My strongest
message over and over, which needs support, is to NOT STEAL TRADITIONS OF
OPPRESSED PEOPLE; traditions that as a generalization need protecting from
oppressors, colonizers, and willy-nilly internet appropriators.
Most adamantly I will ask that no one burn
sage, cedar, tobacco, or sweetgrass as these are traditions stolen from many
indigenous American tribes.
While some tribes and individuals are neutral
about whether or not settlers use or abuse these traditions, many still
practice these rituals and are vehemently opposed to their mistreatment. It
doesn’t matter if you have some “native American blood” or your great, great
Grandpa says he was half Cherokee. Unless you are taught how to honor,
cultivate, and engage with the spirits of these plants you have no business
using them. I promise you that your people have their very own ways to do all
these things. Perhaps this post will help you to find them.
The tools written about below are to the
best of my knowledge traditional to groups of people within Europe that
have either been colonizers (such as England or the ancient Roman Empire) and
intentionally spread their culture, or are not socially oppressed by the
majority of English-speaking white liberal internet users, which compose the
larger part of witches and magicians that might encounter this post. So perhaps
you will find a spark of ethnic, cultural, or magical connection in the
practices below and can stop buying ‘smudge sticks’ from Urban Outfitters. Also
there’s been much contention about the use of the English word “smudge” in
relation to cleansing rituals, but there is little or no documentation about
its origins or early use. I therefor won’t vouch for or against its use in this
post. However, it always seems to carry the connotation of burning sage whenever
it is spoken, so perhaps one could more intentionally utilize “fumigate” in
reference to burning magical substances in ritual.
Never should one underestimate the power of physically
cleaning a space. Dust it, sweep it, wipe it, shine it
– the first step in many ceremonies should be a thorough tidying of the physical
space itself. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good broom. While
you should definitely scrub your surfaces, I will not advise using the newly
popular magical floor scrubs and floor washes. I have only found references to ritual
floor washing in hoodoo, which being a practice predominantly belonging to black communities in America I will not recommend to anybody who is
not indoctrinated into those practices. Wanna learn hoodoo? Find a two-headed
Salt is still very popular, and its
use has been widespread for centuries. It can purify people, places, and things
by sprinkling, rubbing, or throwing it. It also has some more forceful banishing
power, and I knew an old woman in Italy whose friend used to subtly throw salt
after people she didn’t like to push them far away or prevent their return. She
always carried a little pouch of salt on her for this purpose. You can line
your sills, fire pits, and thresholds with bands of salt to protect your home
after purifying it.
Sprinkling salt water
in the corners, entranceways, walls, and ceilings of a place will clean it of
malicious spirits or spells, particularly if charms, prayers, or blessings are
uttered throughout the procession. You can use sacred objects and/or sprigs of sacred
plants to fling the water where it should go. The above two methods are
If you have any alignment with the Catholic faith holy water can work the same magic as
salt water. If not, your tradition may have its own way for blessing water or
gathering water that holds some power for this purpose.
The smoke of frankincense
resin is holy enough to exorcise evil spirits and malicious powers. You can
carry it around in a censor to fumigate the various nooks of a place. If you
leave it stationary, a trick for getting a purer scent is to suspend aluminum
foil above a candle flame (you can punch holes with a pen or pin if your flame
starts to suffocate) and place the frankincense on the foil so that the resin
doesn’t char but lightly simmers. Holy water and frankincense are broadly Abrahamic
Boughs from the juniper
tree have been burned in Ireland and Britain for a long time to cast
protection and chase out malign spirits. It was commonly believed during the
early modern period that if a changeling fairy took the place of a human who
was stolen away into Elfland, often impersonating them in a sickbed, then a
powerful fumigation of juniper would force the spirit back to the Otherworld
and entice the good-folk to bring back the stolen mortal.
Rosemary may be
burned to purify a place, and hung or planted to protect it. It is also a
wonderful aid in studying, memory, and concentration.
Thyme is associated with courage,
became linked with fairy lore, love, protected from nightmares, aided the
passage to the underworld, and was said to drive out serpents, venom, and
worms. Though at some times considered an extremely lucky plant, by the 19th
century in Britain it was considered dangerously unlucky to bring wild thyme
into the home. This may have been due to the dangers of the good-people, who
were said to dance upon it. Gifting it, placing it, and strewing it all have
their own power, however burning bundles of it will purify a space, drive out serpents,
and bring courage to all those present. This lore comes mostly from Greece and
Banging bronze potsand pans around the house was said to drive
away evil spirits in Rome, and was specially noted within Ovid’s writings on
the festival of Lemuralia, when the heads of houses would appease the more
dangerous spirits of death with black beans in a barefoot procession around the
home. The rough noise of the kitchenware probably paired with the nature of
their metal to drive away harmful beings.
Despite the casual marketing of common cleansing rituals,
and the ease that capitalist witchcraft encourages in magical undertakings, I
beg you not to forget that rituals like cleansing are work. You should always
be thorough. Pick up your rugs, move your furniture, don’t forget the closet,
under the bed, in the pantries, under the porch. If you aren’t a teensy bit out
of breath toward the last room, your cardio must be on point. And make sure you
toss out your trash. After you have finished cleaning, always remember to
protect the newly cleansed space – most spirits move easily through clean
places, so please be careful to choose who you’re inviting with strong
wards and thorough gates.
Just please never, ever,
by any means burn sage, cedar, sweetgrass, or tobacco as these are stolen
traditions and knowledge of those beings must be taught. Keep learning where
your traditions come from so that you are respecting their history, bearers,
and community of spirits.
From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.
Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
At the time of the witch trials, capital and the State were particularly concerned with birth rates. They wanted labour and they saw large populations as the sign of a wealthy nation. The population was low due to the plagues and wars, and the authorities were worried about demographic collapse. Therefore they were anti-abortion and anti-contraception (the fairy tales of witches killing children and babies stem from this campaign). Many of the first witches burned were engaged in contraception and abortion work, and there is plenty of evidence that women were indeed controlling the birth rates within their communities during the middle ages. They authorities didn’t want to leave the control of reproduction in the hands of lower class women, and the witch trials were partly a battle to snatch control of this knowledge, which had previously been a ‘female mystery’. Women’s ability to control their own reproduction was hugely diminished; and as midwives and groups of women were excluded from the birth process, the communities were robbed of their traditions of knowledge. In so far as children are the products of women’s labour, control over reproduction meant alienating women from their own bodies and controlling how many children women had, and when and where they had them.
In fact it would be another hundred years or more before the male doctors truly had a monopoly on attending births. In the seventeenth century, the surgeons started delivering babies using forceps, and women were banned from practicing surgery. By the eighteenth century most births were attended by physicians, and when female midwives in England organised and charged the male intruders with commercialism and dangerous misuse of the forceps, they were easily put down as ignorant ‘old wives’ clinging to the superstitions of the past. It was the process of the witch trials that had sown the seeds of this attitude.
In the sixteenth century, midwives in France and Germany became obliged to report all births to the State, including concealed births. Today, it is illegal not to register births in most of Europe, while across the world there is currently significant control of reproduction by the authorities ranging from the Catholic prohibition on contraception and pregnancy terminations, to the state-run birth control programmes in China; and from enforced sterilisation in some export processing zones to the aborting of female foetuses in the patriarchal society of India. The extent to which birth is medicalised and seen in terms of risk, and the faith we have in the magic-seeming powers of the doctor and hospital (despite our frequent disappointments in the medical establishment) is still testimony to this battle.
Lady Stardust, Burning Women: The European Witch Hunts, Enclosure, and the Rise of Capitalism
I guess I'm confused as to how people belonging to a religion that massacred thousands for not sharing their faith and completely overrode the long-standing other spiritual practices of the areas its followers conquered can take practices that were a part of those spiritual paths, but not of their own, and merge them together without any thought as to the fact that them having access to that practice was paid for in blood. Isn't that a rather gross form of appropriation and kind of insulting?
First, I am glad you chose to ask me this question and start a dialogue. I’m going to break this down into pieces because it’s a lot to tackle at once.
I guess I’m confused as to how people belonging to a religion that massacred thousands for not sharing their faith […]
Yes. Christianity had many violent episodes throughout history that were unnecessary and cost many many people their lives. Most faiths and nations have also went through these periods and they are always sad occurrences that hopefully knowledge and discourse can prevent from happening in the future.
and completely overrode the long-standing other spiritual practices of the areas its followers conquered can take practices that were a part of those spiritual paths, but not of their own, and merge them together without any thought as to the fact that them having access to that practice was paid for in blood.
Forced conversions have happened to make people Christians as well as happened to Christians to make them follow the religions of the leaders of an area. Think the Romans here.
Many people who convert to a different religion, either through coercion or choice, carry with them traditions and symbolism they do not want to leave behind. Think of the Christian who becomes Jewish and continues with a Christmas tree. But remember, not all conversions are forced or coerced. Should we be mad at them for choosing to carry on things that meant so much to them? For passing them down to future generations?
Isn’t that a rather gross form of appropriation and kind of insulting?
Any time a group conquers another and turns their traditions, their clothing, their faith, their defining characteristics into a gross character, a costume, a joke, it is beyond appalling and should be called out as such!
However, that is not what we are talking about here. You seem to be conflating the secular practice of witchcraft with some defined religion or nation that was forcibly overthrown and it’s defining characteristics made into a mockery.
Witchcraft is a secular practice. There is no centuries old religion of it. There is no defined handing down of knowledge. Some traditional folk magic/witchcraft/knowledge is handed down in some families; however, most of those still followed a religion as well. There are people attempting to reconstruct religions lost to time that happen to use magic or practice witchcraft. A lot of new beginners conflate witchcraft with Wicca. Wicca is a fairly young initiatory religion started in the 1950′s and has become the problematic favorite of so many people that it has spun off into so many flavors of solitary, non-initiatory NeoWicca that I cannot keep them straight.
Perhaps the less anger-driven question you were meaning to ask was “How can I be a Christian who practices witchcraft?” Simple! I am a Christian, actually a Catholic, who tries my best to follow the teachings of Christ & the Church, while embracing the practices I have been led to during my journey to find Him.
I spent many, many years searching for my faith, the gods that were right for me. I never found any that called to me in all the pantheons I researched, except for the Abrahamic God. He was always calling me.
For so many years of this journey, I spent identifying myself only as a witch. A witch without a god. I fine tuned my spell work, studied herbs & crystals, practiced my divination, and everything else a witch dives into. I am a witch first and foremost!
I started identifying as a Christian late in life, and even later decided to join the Catholic Church and went through the year long, initiatory process to become a full member. I’ve prayed and talked about my practices with my priests. I choose to avoid necromancy, divining the future, and attempting to figure out God’s plan through my love for Him.
What is so different between me, a witch called to be a Catholic, and thus a Christian, by a God who wants me, and a witch called to follow any other god or goddess?
It seems you have built up anger inside of you and I completely understand. Too many horrible people parade around full of hate and ‘my way is the only way’ venom and claim to be Christians. Anyone who acts in such a manner winds up tarnishing the thing they are trying to uphold for others to see. Dirty hearts, heads, and hands…
It’s the exact reason I refused to be a Christian for so many years and, heaven help me, the reason I refused to even explore Catholicism. I wasted so much of my life fighting against it.
I hope this helps you understand. I apologize for rambling. Rambling happens when one is passionate about something. Please feel free to come ask more questions or chat. I would love for you to completely understand. If you (or anyone) would like to chat privately, just start your message with a “P” and I will respond privately.
Set your eyes to the horizon. Focus on that which is to come. Length of days. Warmth of the summer sun. All the good that is to come. Friendship and laughter. The witches’ craft. Seek to build your coven upon unbreakable tenets. Gnostic tradition. Ritual mysticism. Esoteric knowledge.
Revolutionary Feminist Bruja Consciousness in the 21st century requires a commitment to both cultural and economic radical theory and praxis.
Urban patriarchal culture and modern capitalism work in tandem to repress all youth. It isn’t difficult to identify the ways in which urban culture has developed patriarchy, yet the way in which it also advances capitalist ideology is both grotesque, ironic, and rarely addressed. Skateboarding, Music, Visual Arts, mediums the underground have dominated and used to incite critical consciousness, are indisputably dominated by men. Women are still seen and used as props and imagery by men. Meanwhile women who are participating artists are subject to harassment, tokenization, fetishization, and disrespect at the margins. What effects does this create on the labor and economic reality of urban women? Brujas, as revolutionary feminists seek to combat the subordinate and overly sexualized positioning of women by producing and representing ourselves authentically in media, however our goals as a collective should and do stretch beyond asserting our right to representation in urban culture. Representation in many ways connotes “buying in” to a system already designed to exploit the laborers that sustain it. Economic disruption is thus the most important element of our vision of social progress.
Despite living in an abundantly wealthy imperial center, we recognize that the post-industrial economic reality of urban working class youth is bleak. Repression as severe as pre-mature death and incarceration threaten our community on a daily basis while also leaving those “free and alive” trapped in the seemingly unavoidable monotony of the service industry.
It is our belief that male artists athletes intellectuals and entrepreneurs form cultural solidarity driven historically and often unconsciously by economic strategy. So while the seemingly endless number of groups of male friends may seem like a benign social phenomenon, these groups actually create channels for their own economic survival together, making their exclusivity more violent and dangerous for women creatives. Excluding women principally through cultural patriarchy ultimately deprives women of creative livelihoods, relegating working class women to a new kind of “domesticity.” Women’s recent participation in the workforce and democratic process has defined a new age of economic progress and independence for women. Yet, women in the global south comprise the overwhelming majority of factory and sweatshop workers. Meanwhile, young women working in the first world service industry clean cook organize and care-take for wages. Women may no longer be housewives but they are still performing predominantly servile labor. Every missing woman from your roster (from skate brands to record labels and lineups) is a missing participant in the creative economy.
We, as Brujas, encourage women’s participation in the creative economy. Yet we also draw from Marxist-Feminist, Anti-Racist, and Anarchist knowledge traditions to challenge our community to think more critically about scarcity and competition. There is no winning in a system designed to reward some and fail others. We reject Capitalism and the current state of reliance on scarcity and competition to produce everything from art to basic life necessities. Given the fact that it is the system that has simultaneously excluded and exploited us for its success we choose to build and imagine alternatives instead of obsessing over wealth, fame and success.
Obsession with success is in itself a dangerous form of materialism driven by capitalism. Everyday we wake up asking ourselves am I doing enough, am I killing it, am I doing something? We are inflicting pressure on ourselves to succeed in an economic system designed to fail us, and “doing something” usually means making some sort of art and getting recognition for it. It is unfortunate and sad to see young people in the process of rejecting the monotony of work under capitalism only to obsess over producing and selling art and cultural services. (Its like y’all want out of this shit, yet the avenues your taking still involve even more complex, self involved forms of commodification).
Marxism to the conscious revolutionary is one of the most important forms of political thought because it problematizes the commodification of labor, i.e. selling your labor. Have you ever thought to yourself, is it wrong that in order to survive I have to sell my time to somebody else who is making more value off of it than I am receiving in return? The gap between the value of what laborers produce and what compensation they receive (surplus value) is what drives capitalism. You know its weird and wrong to produce value for somebody else, You, I, and everybody else want to produce things themselves, and these things we self-produce usually take the form of cultural artifacts, or art. This is how fundamentally anti-capitalist sentiments bring us to artistry, the drive to self produce comes from an aversion to the exploitative structure of capitalism. However these sentiments are rarely given the space to breathe and manifest into full formed anti-capitalist ideas. These usually non-realized anti-capitalist urban youth start racing to be involved in the market of selling art. They start drowning in it, loosing sight of the quest for autonomy over their work and time and obsessing over market success. The market asks its merchants to compete with one another, and this competition drives artists to not only commodify their products, but now they must commodify themselves. In the context of the post-industrial service economy in the U.S, the rise of the personal brand can thus be seen as a phenomenon by which generational sentiments that reject traditional and exploitative labor relations are channeled back into capitalist valuing and commodification. The anti-capitalist sentiment driven by the desire to self-produce is almost completely lost in the whirlwind of competing in the market for success. Brujas is not this. We believe that Audre Lorde’s words are as relevant as ever, she reminds us that “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” And with this reminder the revolutionary feminist bruja rises above the games by remembering that their goal is not success but autonomy. Brujas are harnessing the radical potential of lifestyle and personal branding to organize youth in a way that is culturally relevant and familiar, yet explicitly anti-capitalist. We are searching for a new popular model that is going to bring agency empowerment, material and emotional support to our community. All power to the people.
Our basic principles are informed by the movement for queer and transgender liberation, the movement for universal basic income, prison abolition, workers sovereignty, de-colonial and indigenous power, black power, third world liberation, environmentalism, holistic healing, and curanderismo, radical feminism and centuries of anti-capitalist resistance… to be continued.
What's the worst shitty art advice (in your opinion) given on tumblr?
For a moment, I was honestly trying to think of something but I then realised that there is this one art post that gets circulated every once in a while AND EVERY TIME I SEE IT, IT FILLS ME WITH SUCH OVERWHELMING AND SEETHING RAGE I CAN ALMOST FEEL HEART PALPITATIONS.
It’s this one in which the OP states how the primary colours are not Blue, Red and Yellow but rather Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Completely forgetting the fact that printer ink and the process by which printers ‘mix’ colours is much MUCH different to how colours are mixed through traditional mediums (this partially why when you print an image that has used RGB values for colour vs. CMYK values looks like kind of crappy — stick to CMYK when printing).
Red, blue and yellow being the primary colours for mixing paints and other traditional media is common knowledge in artjust as using rgb values for strictly digital pieces and cmyk for printed pieces is common knowledge for graphic designers and illustrators. OP’s post is horribly misleading.
It is not easy for the photographer to compete with the clever originality of mindless, mechanized cameras, but the photographer can add intelligence. By means of photography one can in a minute reject as unsatisfactory ninety-nine configurations of facts and elect as right the hundredth. The choice is based on tradition and intuition – knowledge and ego – as it is in any art, but the ease of execution and the richness of the possibilities in photography both serve to put a premium on good intuition. The photographer’s problem is perhaps too complex to be dealt with rationally. This is why photographers prowl with such restless uncertainty about their motif…Robert Adams has written about this process of prowling, and its purpose: “Over and over again the photographer walks a few steps and peers, rather comically, into the camera; to the exasperation of family and friends, he inventories what seems an endless number of angles; he explains, if asked, that he is trying for effective composition, but hesitates to define it. What he means is that a photographer wants form, an unarguably right relationship of shapes, a visual stability in which all components are equally important. The photographer hopes, in brief, to discover a tension so exact that it is peace.
Introduction to William Eggleston’s Guide, 1976, John Szarkowski