Something exciting is happening this October, something that has never happened before now. A Black Witch Convention dawns on October 29, 2016 at the Wisdom Book Store Reception Hall, located at 5116 Liberty Heights Avenue, Gwynn Oaks in Maryland. And they are calling forth to Shamans, Healers, Priestess, Witches, of color to be a part of this space where the Diaspora shall hold court among its own.
A place free from the gaze of those who might exploit, derail, or otherwise interfere with a “family meeting”, this convention is set to be a place of exhalation, exhilaration, and illumination. They granted an interview with PBN News Radio in June, and now they have been exceptionally generous in also being our guests in print in this space.
KC: Let us start with the best thing first. Who are the Dawtas of the Moon?
We are a collective of Witches of Color coming together ringing the bell to alert our sisters “the time is now, it is time.
KC: Can you tell us a little about each of you?
Mama Omi is the owner of Divine Waters and founder of Dawtas of the Moon. She is an aborisha (worshiper of the Orisa) in the spiritual tradition of Ifa from the Yoruba people of West Africa. She is the daughter of Yemonja and Obatala and is on the path to becoming a priestess of Yemonja. Mama Omi is a womb healer, diviner, doula, meditation teacher,Reiki Master, massage therapist and herbalist.
An L Kenion aka MoonLight Star of MoonLit Journeys. A woman. mother. daughter. sister. healer. shaman. diviner. seer. oracle. wellness seeker. crystal finder. intuitive. lover. sage. star traveler. time bender. galaxy resident. Mystic. MoonLight a spiritually led woman whom straddles the realms of light and dark. She gazes through the blinding light and see clearly through the shadows of darkness. Through her own spiritual healing she has been able to pull from all sources to assist others on their designated path. She is born from a long line of spiritual workers: seers, sages, medicine women, oracles, diviners, hoodoo practitioners.
Magic Moja is an initiative created by three women through the guidance of our ancestors. Moja (pronounced “Moy-ya)” is Swahili for ONE. We are here to assist in the reawakening of the Divine Feminine in melanated women. By doing so this also helps to heal and uplift our melanated men to the Divine Masculine. They want our people to be balanced on an emotional, mental, social, physical and spiritual level through the restoration and practice of ancient African principles. We don’t want to just merely survive. In this world it is our birthright to thrive. They are one with the ancestors and our men and women must be one with each other.
Ayanna Barmore of Sahu 2 Suns is a Flower Child & Passionate Wild Child. As a Free Spirit, she greets the World with an Open Heart & do as she pleases. She is an Ancestral Led Healer & Doula specializing in Ritual Practices.
Shirleta McKann of Yoni DReMs and Desires is a holistic sensual healer whose mission is to bring women back in balance with their feminine energy.
What would you say is the thread that connects most of you to the tapestry of this vision?
MS: The unyielding yearn to be in a collective of women of color who are witches. The sheer strength to be able to connect and unite.
Are all of you in the same Traditions?
MS: No, we are from many; Ifa, Pagan, Spiritual, Hoodoo
Are most of you hereditary?
MS: Magic Moja is a family unit of two sisters and a mother daughter. They are magical coven of creating balance from the feminine perspective.
What would you say is the general set of commonalities in practice that you have as an organization?
MO: We are nature based. We all feel the calling to practice. We are following ancestral traditions.
What enriching differences do your members bring to the mix here?
MO: We have a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Some of us have been practicing from a young age with the encouragement of our elders while others are just coming into their own.
A phenomenal event you have made, how did it come about into fruition?
MO: I had a dream. My dream had me surrounded by a group of elder women. Some were familiar to me while others were not. I was approached by one who let me know “It is time!” After sharing the information and divining on it, we moved forward.
I hear many echoes saying that this is convention that has found its time. Do you hear this as well?
MO: Yes we have. So many of our sisters are excited and supportive. They have been calling for this for a long time.
Tell us about the response you have received. Has it all been positive?
MO: We have received a tremendous amount of positive response. Sisters from all over the country are excited and making plans to come. We even have whole covens making travel arrangements.
MS: Excitement. That has been the overall responses. There has been some misrepresentation, however that is to be expected when you have.
What ways has word spread about this event?
MS: We sent a call of action, placed a flier and set up a page and through word of mouth the vision has grown.
The convention is set for one day, but it seems to be growing. Can you expound on this?
MS: Stay tuned we have exciting news coming in the months to come. All exciting news will be addressed on Dawtas of the Moon Radio on blogtalk premiering 7/22.
Demand is high. Did you anticipate this?
MS: Yes and No. We knew this was something we as a community needed. The responses are exciting and great because seeing the responses and excitement is a step in the right direction.
What presenters are names we may recognize?
MO: Two of our major presenters are Iyalosa Osunyemi Akalatunde, of Got 2 B Oshun. She is an Osun priestess and author.
We also have Queen Mother Imakhu who is an artist and a Khametic Priestess.
We also have Magic Moja which is a family consisting of mother, daughter and aunt who are from the Baltimore Area.
We also have Iyanifa Alase Olori Oyadele of Ile Oya Botanica a high priestess of Oya, Ifa and the EgunEgun society.
We also have a number of applicants who are interested in providing workshops. We are announcing those in August.
Can you tell us a little about them and why they were tapped for this event?
MO: Iya Osunyemi was a great inspiration for the event. She has youtube videos and classes dedicated to the awareness of black witchcraft and the metaphysics of the black woman. The same for Queen Mother Imakhu. She has been speaking, writing, and teaching on the African Origins of the word as well as the practice.
The sisters of Magic Moja are special because they are part of the planning, from the Baltimore area and we thought it would be wonderful for people to see a family consisting of elders and the next generation openly practicing together.
Finally, Iyanifa Alase is also a Baltimore native who has been doing healing work in the Baltimore area for 20 years. I often say she is Baltimore’s best kept secret.
Who else will be presenting?
MS: That’s a surprise. We have to keep people in suspense. LOL. Seriously though we are still in the submissions process for other presenters who would love to share their expertise. We will be announcing those presenters around August 15th.
I heard that the Diasporic meaning of the word Witch will be addressed. Is there any information you can give us on how this will be done?
MO: Yes, that will be address by the Queen Mother. In the meantime, you can read her article in Ashe!
Does your attendee base seem more to be group based or solitary?
MO: There is a good mix. We have whole covens coming as well as those who practice privately.
What do you hope to accomplish with this gathering? I mean, what do you hope people will come away with from this experience?
MO: We hope they will come away with the understanding that despite what the conventional religions may tell us, we are not doing anything wrong. We are practicing our ancestral traditions.
For those in groups, do you feel this will be a way to network?
MS: Definitely. To see that you aren’t alone and that their are other women who look like you. This is the best way to network.
For those who are solitary, do you think this will be a way to help them find others who have that spark in them?
MS: That is the intention to bring together solitary witches who would love a coven of sisters to really do magic and ritual work together. Having a community is the heart of our people and this is one of the places we are lacking.
Will this be a Tradition?
MS: That is the plan. We would like to keep this going throughout different avenues besides a once a year event. We have radio, newsletters, groups and private membership in the works to keep us united and informed.
Is this event an exclusive one only for women?
MS: Yes this event is for Women Only.
Is this event one that allows those of magickal lineages from European lines to be spiritually fed as well?
This event is for Women of Color. Throughout history we have not had an event specifically for us. Now is the time to have a sacred space made available to us. – MS
Where do you see this going in ten years?
MO: We see this growing into a solid spiritual organization with yearly conventions. Our goal is to create something we can pass down to our daughters.
How did you choose the location?
MS: We were looking for black owned businesses in which we could support.
MO: There are also those who are in MD who feel that we need more events for those who are not part of the mainstream religious practice.
Is there a hotel nearby that is preferred?
MS: Yes we have rooms reserved at the Quality Inn & Suites, 1806 Belmont Ave, Windsor Mills, MD. The room block is under Dawtas of the Moon from 10/28-10/30 for $89 a night. So room sharing is available. Once a person has purchased their event ticket(s), they will be added to a private group on Facebook so they can get acquainted with other attendees. Room or Ride sharing can be discussed here as well.
Where can people register and buy tickets to reserve their space?
I heard in an interview that you would like to keep it in the D.C. area. Do you think that maybe the event will grow to the extent that it will be a pilgrimage point for Sister Witches?
MS: The inaugural event is to be in Maryland, however we are not limiting future events to one place. We will decide after this years event of where to hold the following conventions.
We have spoken a lot about the convention, but let us get back to the people. What dreams do you have for the women who attend this event? What would you like for them to look back and remember this moment to be?
MS: Embracing their witchy selves 100% through and through. Taking these connections back home and building a coven or group to continue the love. This is just the spark the beginning of coming together as one.
Are there any points you would like to cover that we may not have touched upon yet?
MO: It is our hope that this year’s event is a launching ground for much more. We are bringing these sisters together so that they can be on the ground floor of creating a sacred space and help to plan for future events.
If people want to sponsor you, can they do so without being on site? Many vendors love to help events that are of an uplifting nature.
If you had a theme song for this event, what would it be?
MO: “We Are Family” Sister Sledge!
If there are people who have more questions regarding specifics of attendance, who should they contact?
MO: Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mama Omi at 240-750-6890.