Today we continue our interview with Moma Sarah. In this segment, we cover advice and the importance of education for aspiring practitioners, ethics, and professionalism. She also lays down some heavy reality regarding the roots of the traditions she practices. Let us continue.
What would you suggest novices start with if they feel called to take up these studies?
I have a recommended reading list on my site in the “About” section and there are links to my blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel on my site as well. I post a ton of educational content on my Facebook page. Reading and beginning to make offerings is where to begin.
What teachers would you recommend? And do you teach?
I don’t know of any other teachers, personally. I’ve taken a hiatus from teaching simply due to my workload but plan to return to it this fall by teaching at our local cultural and healing center, Rootead.
What would you like to see more of in regards to the level of scholarship among the current generations of aspiring workers today?
I can not emphasize enough how important it is to educate the self on the history of a practice or religion. One can not understand WHY they are doing what they are doing without the history and traditions behind it. The traditions and esoteric science are why it works and that base knowledge and respect must be obtained. Learn the theories and science and you will be able to formulate a successful practice.
Any views you would like to share in the way that Hoodoo is being marketed right now?
It’s obviously becomes very popular over the last 10 years. As an American, I think it’s wonderful so long as people are willing to look at why it’s here and where it originated, which was with the Middle Passage, slavery and the Great Migration.
What do you say to the folks who feel that the practices should be less racially inclusive?
I can only speak for my practice which is hoodoo and New Orleans Vodou. I am a devotee of Marie Laveau who was an”octaroon”, meaning she was seven parts “white” and one part “black”. Our entire religion is based on creole people like me. This includes Spanish, American Indian, African, Jewish, Irish, Romany among many other races and cultures. I can only speak for my practice and religion and my practice and religion is a vivid tapestry of the people who came to this country, voluntarily or involuntarily.
Each one, and every mix in between, is valid and has a right to educate themselves on whatever religion they choose. Whether or not someone thinks I am qualified to speak on these issues because of my race is irrelevant. My race has nothing to do with my qualifications in African diaspora, Comparative Religion, Theology and Africana studies which are far more important than my genetics.
How do you address discrimination? Is there still a large amount of it?
I get a good amount of “hate mail”. Mostly due to the fact that I present as a “white” woman. This really goes back to the last question. My race has nothing to do with the fact that I have devoted my life to qualifications in these areas of education and study. The fact is that anyone is free to pay for an education in whatever subject they choose, mine is religion.
I address it by not addressing it. I have no need nor desire to correspond or involve myself with presumption, narcissism or racism. I’ve learned a great deal of diplomacy in this line of work. The best path is not to respond to the discriminator directly but to address everyone else, through venues like this, in order to dispel further discrimination and racism.
Do you feel there is an unfair amount of backlash against people who work with both hands? In other words, people who are not limited in their practice to only what can be best described as “white light mysteries”?
Fortunately, I don’t run into this. Personally, I don’t believe in the whole “black” versus “white”. When one performs a working, they set a new goal in motion, they embark on carving a new path to reach the objective. Every decision and action we make sets off a series of events. Even a positive decision on our end, let’s say to dump a caustic friend, will cause both positive and negative effects on others and ourselves.
We will feel upset at first about the decision and confrontation-a negative. The friend will also be angry, feel betrayed and alone-another negative. Even though the end result will be positive, EVERY change, no matter how subtle, sets a ripple into effect through our lives. This means that all magic is both negative and positive.
As a professional spiritual worker, I work between these negative and positives. I evaluate each scenario that could potentially happen and then work to navigate through these to discover the most calm and successful path to reach my client’s goal. All magic is grey. There is good and bad and light and dark in everything and
everyone on this earth.
Do you feel that we are losing something when we don’t embrace full knowledge of all practices?
Absolutely. I have made it my life’s work to trace the formulas and recipes I grew up with back to their roots, literally and figuratively. I have done many videos and blog entries on the mass marketing of “hoodoo” “conjure” and ” condition” formulas. Many are nothing but dyed water or oil with synthetic fragrances added. Those were once a real recipe that someone harvested the herbs for, dried them, prepared them and mixed the formula. Without going back to discover these recipes, we are fooling ourselves and loosing our own
history. A person without their roots can not grow.
When you craft your products, how does it make you feel to know that you are the sole worker of intent and focus on this?
I feel that I am delivering a small portion of history and ashe’ to
my client. They have a tool that is in its finest form. The proper
tool for the work, delivers easier and better results.
Do you feel that people are short-changing themselves when they buy mass marketed items?
Completely. I think I’ve already addressed this in a previous question but if there are no actual herbs or essential oils in the products you are buying, then you are paying for nothing. The herbs are what the ashe’ comes from to create the tool. The herbs are what are chosen and combined to deliver the desired result, along with your devotion and focus.
You give many instructional blog posts and videos to assist people in their studies. What drives you to do this?
I want to empower and educate people. I want people to know that just as you address you health with nutrition and exercise, just as you address your mind with meditation or yoga, you can address your spirit
and spiritual avenues with spiritual work. We are complex and multi-layered and many of us have been neglecting a vital part of our body, experience and existence; our spirit.
When marketing your business, do these lessons give you a boost?
Yes, people seem to really enjoy my blog entries and videos. They often get shared which, naturally, leads to more views of my site.
You also offer spiritual consultation and divination. How important is this service?
100% vital. About 99% of my clients pursue a consultation before choosing a service. Over 15 years of doing this professionally, I have developed an approach that is successful for most clients. Just as anything else, you learn what works best over time and investment in your career. Clients often do not know were to begin or do not see the root of the issue and only want to put a band-aid over the symptoms. I don’t do that. We address and resolve the root of the issue or they are free find another worker.
What issues have you run across insofar as clients coming to you after a bad experience with other readers or workers?
I don’t get it a lot but I do have a few clients a year who claim to have paid thousands of dollars to a worker with no evidence of any work being performed at all.
Any advice for people on what to watch out for on that level?
Research is important! While no worker can help every single person. A professional worker should have a website, NOT payment through Paypal or Western Union only, testimonials or reviews you can read, actual photos of their work which are watermarked or copyrighted (not stock photos taken from the internet) and public profiles and social media sites.
The key to your success for the past 7 years would be what, if you had to narrow it down to one thing?
Keeping it real and not doing it for the money. I started Conjured Cardea on a whim so I could share my interest and hobby of making spiritual items. I was certain I’d never sell anything. I just wanted to create and share authentic items.
If you were to choose a person, real or fictional, that would be your inspiration when it comes to your life, who would it be?
Nelson Mandela. To pursue your beliefs, people, liberation, peace and justice over all else. There is nothing else in life.
For people who would like to follow you on social media, where can
they find you?
We here at PBN News Network, and the Pagan Business Network, really want to thank Moma Sarah for taking the time to really talk to us and speak from the heart. A truly inspiring business person, she is the epitome of what a Pagan business person can accomplish. Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams.