Why is Detroit having its first conjure and folk magic festival?

Detroit is not like any other city in the world, and its magical residents can surely attest to this. We do things differently here. We do not keep our practices insulated and encapsulated like so many jars on an apothecary’s shelf.

Our energies and beliefs blur and move and merge in a dance that is both wonderful and terrible in its beauty. When we go to a shop, we are like a bohemian style magical band of hippies, taking what is needed, ignoring the rest, always willing to try something by chance and direction. So now we are trying something new.

Detroit is going to have a conjure and folk magic festival.

Detroit has its own spirits, its own legends, its own conjure and folk magic. We sit as an international port on the seas of fresh water. Our city of the strait is the gateway to foreign lands and immigrants have brought with them their traditions, their magics and their customs to merge with those of we who are here. The indigenous Peoples who ARE STILL HERE couple their narratives and spirits into the land with the folks who walk the centuries-old trails that are now covered in asphalt and bricks.

We practice Hoodoo here. We practice Vodou here. We practice Wicca here. We practice Ceremonial Magick here. We practice Ifa here. We practice Brujeria here. We practice Santeria here. We practice Lucumi here. We practice Candomble here. We practice Obeah here. We practice Espiritismo here. We practice Juju here. We practice Angel Magick here. We practice Necromancy here. We practice Spiritism here. We practice Hexencraft here (yes, we really do). We practice all types of renegade, wilding out Hedgewitchery here. We practice Demonolatry based magicks here.We practice Kemetic Mysteries here. We practice Palo here. We practice Lodge Teachings here. We practice Psalmistry here. We practice the teachings of the Aetherius Society here. We practice more than I can ever hope to name, and we do it all here in Detroit. We do it all in Michigan.

And we mix it together in ways that should not work, according to “authorities”. Our special brand of Detroit magick, conjure, and lore is our own. We have elements of the French, German, Greek, Polish, People of the Three Fires, and those who migrated here from all over the world cooked up in our own form of “City Chicken” style goodness. That is to say, we practice our own form of taking things and forming them into what we wish them to be for us, despite how they appear.

(City Chicken is made of pork, see what I mean?)

It was not uncommon for me to accompany my friends to a “candle shop” and get a stew of different magical traditions in one trip. In one case, my companion sought to increase her income for her exotic dance career. She purchased Honey of Love for her perfume and lotion, to add in. She picked up some love drops oil to add to her Pink Oil in her make up bag. She picked up some orris root powder to add to her baby powder.

Next, she bought a Money Candle and had it “dressed” with powder and glitter. Yep, I know. Glitter. Deal with it. This was added to the candle with an invocation, as the counter person carved a sigil into the wax. For an extra dollar, she lit it at the shop and left it to burn there in their “workings” room.

She then picked up a new tarot deck and some crystals. A candle to Oshun and some blessed oil was added to her purchase. She had a psalm paper blessed, bought a new Devil’s Trap seal, and a brass ring with runes inscribed along the inside. To finish her purchase, she grabbed some crushed shells and some Devil’s Shoestring “because of the scheming chicks” who were after her top spot.

This was normal. This was not a thing. This same girl gathered every full moon to worship Diana and to give an offering of cool water and wine to Aradia. She also petitioned Persephone that evening for a personal favor. And not a single damn was given. Not a single eye was rolled.

Because in Detroit, we do what we want. We embrace it all and tolerate whatever floats you boat, as long as it does not bump ours. What we do not do, however, is have any problem with recognizing that what we are doing is indeed a blended sort of thing, and is not “proper”. We just roll with it.

After so many generation of this mingling, it is bound to happen that folks forget where the dotted lines and boundaries on the magickal maps were located in our landscapes. We forgot how to not merge in some cases. Purists be damned, we got this. Innovation is what we are known for here.

However, this led to things being lost and pushed aside. Practices altered and then faded. Wording changed and sometimes completely disappeared. Our tradition mixing would soon give birth to new ones and so on.

Innovation and adaptation our forte. While this is all classically Detroit in its nature, it has its pitfalls. One of the main ones is that special nuanced flavor of each tradition and belief path being unique. Much is special about each “way” and religion and belief system. While we hold each as our baseline, many times they are so intermingled here that it is almost impossible to find strings in that tapestry.

This is why I decided to create the Detroit Conjure and Folk Magic Festival event this year. It happens on August 12, 2017. This will be held in Green Acres Park, in Hazel Park, Michigan. In years past, I was honored and blessed to be able to help run the Pagan Pride Detroit’s celebration of Pagan Pride Day Detroit there, so the place is familiar to many in the state.

The reason for this event is personal. I did not do it to make tons of money. I do like money, but that is not the primary goal of this event.

This festival was born in order to feature practitioners who are really part of the culture and “family” of the traditions and magics they are teaching. It is my sincere hope that by bringing forward folks who are bringing their unique flavor to this event, we will start dialogues about what is special about our bleedings, and what is special about appreciating what is different.

Image: Kenya Coviak

Appropriation as a habit is an ugly truth to post 70’s magic here in the United States. We take things, make them our own, and blend them into our practices without a thought as to why it is key to acknowledge the places form which we glean. We burn sage in shells at events in Pagan festivals with no thought as to why this is problematic, or why we should be talking about it.

That is not to say you cannot do this, but under what vibe? If you are doing it as part of your personal practice, yeah. But why that shell, why that plant? This is the kind of thing that I want to encourage folks to explore. We Sing the songs of others, yet silence their voices. Why?

In Detroit, I have been fortunate to see the resurgence and preservation of respect for the need to be mindful. I see folks who use the magicks, without regard for any of this, and make their lives better. They do not know, nor care, from where it came. That, too is acceptable. But when we speak of teaching and presenting, that is when we need to really make sure we are letting each path shine so that folks can ask questions of folks who KNOW for sure what is part, what is pilfered, and what is parrotted. To see the grace in which we have held another’s path in order to glimpse their walk in our own.

I have three goals for this event. They are my guiding principles. So I shall share them here.

  1. To present a spirit/magick based event for the region based on Detroit led interests. This includes people, paths, and practices from all over, not just in Michigan.
  2. To host, and hold space, for cultural topics that offer insights into the cultures that are the proving grounds and catalysts of the magicks that are part of our world today in an open zone.
  3. To provide a family friendly experience where attendees can learn; share ideas; and meet others of like and unfamiliar traditions and views, while having a good time in a safe environment.

 

We can have magic
But where did it vibe from
We can have culture
But what is it without magic
We can have family and friends
But what are they without spirituality and culture
All go together
At least in my f*cked up little vision
– Kenya Coviak
I invite you to come out to our city in the Fresh Water Seas this August 12, 2017 to experience some Detroit hospitality. The music and performances are free, as is general admission.We support Jit Culture as well, a special place in my heart beats for this hometown dance form. In featuring Jit Street, we hope to help spread the culture, and preserve it.
Rituals and classes for the public, young and old, will delight and intrigue those who make the choice to learn something new. Some may even reinforce what you know. A few will probably shock you by how much you thought you knew.
For those with a deeper need for practical applications and more in-depth knowledge, the Conjure College will provide opportunities to master new skills and concepts. This part is by paid admission only. Ticket holders get to get their hands and minds into a practitioner’s “kitchen” so to speak. Training by experts on what works is key.
Speakers from four states share their knowledge and expertise with our little city with the big roots. In picking Green Acres Park, I made a commitment to continue a tradition of magical festivals there. That is where I “cut my teeth” in holding them, so it is my home. It is a green space with beautiful trees made for sitting under, thinking, and celebrating. I could think of no better place to host this event when so many from around the Great Lakes area will set their feet here upon grounds that have been home to many years of magick …. and love.
I hope to see you there. I hope to see you, with your folding chairs, and your notebooks. I hope to see you in your floppy hats with your children in tow. I hope to hear from you if you cannot make it there.
But most of all, I hope. I hope to present to you why our city is like no place else. I hope to show you, in this little town just outside its border, why it is a shining beacon on the strait.
We do it our own way. I am Detroit born and bred, right off 7 Mile Road. 7, kind of a foreshadowing hunh (what’s up, numerology students)? I love folks on both sides of 8 Mile, there is magick everywhere. On this day, we are going to give you a piece of what makes us different.
Oh, and one more thing. Expect the unexpected. This is the Detroit, after all. We do things differently here, since 1701.
At the end of the day, I have to say that ultimately I give love, honor, and thanks to everyone who made my life the rich ride that it is.
I love all of you. No matter if you take your magick as a purist, blend it up, or shaken not stirred. It is all about respect.
What up, doe?

Conjure for the Holidays

Ah the holidays.  Its a time for joy and love.  Its a time that is meant to be full of happiness and good will towards others.  This time of year is as full of goodwill and love towards your fellow man as it is jealousy and fear.  From neighbors who are jealous of you to those troubling family issues that seem to come up around the holidays energy of jealousy and anger spread as rapidly as love and joy. A lot of the jealousy issues raised during this time are unconscious so it is important to keep up your protections.

In addition to what ever protections you typically have around your home this time of year you can add extra protections through your holiday decorations.  That’s right your wreaths, the bells, and the crystal balls on your holiday tree can be protections.  These protections are excellent in that they can be hidden in plain sight which makes them even more effective.  So lets take a look at a few of these decorations.

Lets start with the wreath.  Wreaths are in a circle which is unbroken.    Most wreaths are made out of evergreens.  Most evergreen trees have symbolism of prosperity and wealth or succsess.  So the wreath itself represents unbroken prosperity and succsess.  Many wreaths have tinsel or glittering ribbon as decorations.  Those glimmering ribbons distract any ill intent or spirit that is sent your way.  Add a pair of nails in a cross buried in the center of the wreath and you have excellent protection.

Christmas and Yule trees are very popular.  Tinsel is a common decoration like with wreaths the tinsel distracts the ill intent of any spirits that could be sent your way.  Many craft stores sell clear glass balls that can be decorated with symbols of protection (depending on your path which symbols are important to you) and filled with herbs protection, luck, prosperity, etc.  Adding bells to your tree will invite positive spirits and blessings and warn you if there are negative spirits or energy it will banish them from the area.

Finally cinnamon brooms can be hung to invite prosperity and succsess.  If you add red ribbons it will bring protection your way as well.  Hang it over your door or the door to your business or office to bring succsess and prosperity through the new year. Adding bells or chimes will add additional protection and blessings.

I hope that you will take this article and use it to spark some Yule or Christmas holiday traditions.  Let the decoration for the holiday and the setting of the decorations with the protections and blessings become a ritual in and out of itself.  By letting your family join in the setting of the decorations everyone adds their energy, their desires, and their will to the home.  The decorations and the magic within them will truly reflect the whole home.  Brining the whole family together is really what the holidays are all about.

May you have a blessed Holiday!

Happy Yule

Merry Christmas

~Loona Wynd~

Deals In The D!

 "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes" - Detroit City Moto
“We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes” – Detroit City Motto

Against all odds, The Renaissance City is truly living up to it’s name(most parts, but that’s a different post)These days!

From the University District at McNichols and Livernois to Riverside Park, Old Redford District to  the edge of Grosse Pointe, there is renewal and the Breath Of   Life flowing across my great city. As more and more people turn from Suburbanites to City Slickers, a Witch has to wonder: Where can I find great deals and support my new neighbors and City, while still getting quality service?

Well my friends, just in time for the Holidays, I have complied a list of Detroit’s Premier places to shop for all your Holistic, Metaphysical,Unique and Witchy needs! 

Now, what makes this list any different from the same old recommendations floating around, internet retailers, or your usual tried and trues? Well, EVERYONE on this list is a Detroiter and their businesses are based in DETROIT.Detroit Proper.

Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!
Detroit Proper, The land within the Highlights!

 

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  1. The MotownWitch – “Creative Magic” 

Now, what would Detroit be without its resident Witch? Everything offered is hand-crafted by The Motown Witch (aka High Priestess Yvette-Louise) using the highest quality ingredients.The Motown Witch is dedicated to supplying customers with the finest quality spiritual products and services. She is excellent at and offers oils, herbs, hand-crafted soaps, body butters, incense, jewelry, spiritual baths, waters, ritual powders and salts, ritual and spell work.

If you’re looking for an Authentic ATR worker that has dedicated herself to serving her community, Contact The Motown Witch at:  www.motownwitch.com  / https://www.etsy.com/shop/MotownWitch  Phone: 313-757-0689

 

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2. Sacred Stone Collections“Where Wellness and Transformation Can Ascend “

We Magickal People tend to have a rock addiction, as in stones and Crystals! This wonderful Proprietress, Fullmoon Ptah(Alisha Fullmoon Brown) is an expert in several healing modalities, one of which is Crystal healing. Sacred Stone Collections is your one stop shop. they have a vast variety of crystals in different forms. Her store consists of products that assist spiritually, mentally, physically as well as various supplies.

  • They have rough and polished crystals/gemstones in various selections such as: Yoni eggs, pendulums, stones, geometry sets, wands, merkabahs and more.
  • Spiritual products such as: White California Sage, Satya, Hem and other incense, resins, rocks, Palo Santo Wood Sticks and Florida Water.
  • Rejuvenate your body with raw Shea butter and black soap, Nubian Heritage’s Organic Soaps, Body Washes and Lotions, then anoint yourself other fine oils.
  • We also carry cast iron cauldrons, abalone shells, soapstone and wooden boxes, various velvet and silk bag for wands, crystals, Sacred Crystal eggs and pouches.
  • Other services Fullmoon provides are:
    • Crystal grid and body layouts
    • Back herbal nerve application
    • Magnetic Hematite spine realignment
    • personal and group crystal workshops
    • personal and family holistic coaching
    • Sacred Crystal Eggs Consultant and Affiliate Program(Make Money while you shop!!!)
    • gemstone consultant
    • Loctician
  • Fullmoon Ptah is also a distributor for Young Living High Therapeutic Essential Oils and Pure Herbs Herbal Extracts!

You can contact Fullmoon Ptah directly at 313-303-7765 and  www.ssccrystals.rocks

 

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3Blooming Lotus Wellness – “Because YOU ARE worth it!”

Eventually we all get to a point where we realize a need to reunite with the Divine Feminine for our healing and restoration. Blooming Lotus Wellness is a place where Women and Men can find peace, tranquility, healing and Love. Love of self and a whole being; Mind, body, soul and womb. Danyelle Claxton is skilled and trained to assist both  men and women along their wellness journey using the holistic tools of food, herbs, prayer, meditation, and exercise, to bring your mind, body and spirit back into alignment and into a state of balance and dis-eased free. The Blooming Lotus Offers:

  • Womb and Health Consultations
  • Yoni Womb Steam Consultations
  • Yoga Sessions
  • Belly Dance Session
  • Pre Natal Doula and Birth Services
  • Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Food Prep Services
  • Weight Loss Services
  • Pure Herbs Liquid Tenturs
  • Queen Afua Wellness Products

You can TEXT “BLWELLNESS” TO 28228, Call (313) 516-1789 or go to http://www.mybloominglotuswellness.com/

 

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4. Porter Bottle Company

So after you’ve gotten your Herbs, oils and rocks, you will most likely need something to package them in! Something no herbalist, Cunning person or Witch ever has enough of is bottles and jars. While you could go to a big box store, why not stay local and unique and checkout this detroit gem! While the website might not be fancy, I promise the quality and service can’t be beat. You can check them out at:

1941 West Fort Street

Detroit, Michigan 48216

Hours:8:00 am – 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday – Friday.

Phone: (866) 341-5172

Email: porter@porterbottle.com

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5. Mecca Aroma“Radiate Beauty From the Inside Out” 

Mecca Aroma® is part of a family business that has existed for the past 30 years. Mecca Aroma is importer and distributor of the finest grade “A” top quality oils. They have a huge selection of over 1,000 fragrances in stock and continuously growing each and everyday. 100% free from alcohol, we also carry burning oils, essential oils, punk sticks and natural beauty products. If you’re looking for a bulk supplier of incense and perfume supplies, or looking to get into retail yourself, all vendors are welcome. No customer is too small. They ship nationally and worldwide. Orders are usually  processed within 24 hours.  You can check them out at:

15370 Grand River Ave
Detroit,MI  48227
Email: MeccaAroma@yahoo.com
Tel: (313) 835-2295

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6. Crown’s Royalties – “Authentic To The Bone”

If you are looking for handmade, African jewelry with authentic free-trade beads and stones, check out this woman’s Facebook page! She has irresistible African Trade Bead jewelry with timeless beauty with affordable prices.CROWN’S ROYALTIES is not just a jewelry company. They also have handmade and organic body and skin products as well! You can also contact her via: http://www.crownsroyalties.weebly.com/

Phone: (313) 451 0297
email: crown7176@gmail.com

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7. Twisted Willow Soap Company – “Get Twisted”

YES, they ARE made in DETROIT. trust me, I’ve seen where the Magick happens!

This wonderful company is guided by 3 Powerhouse Women and are a favorite across all demographics. Not necessarily a Magickal company per se, however the deeply moisturizing soaps, lotions and balms work wonders on My family’s dry skin.

My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.
My Izzy gives her approval! Pictured with with LeAnn, one of the lovely Proprietors.

They have an array of wonderful scents (or, none!) and products that are great for those with special needs (Eczema, cancer, arthritis, etc) . Twisted Willow is an organic bath and body company that believes in creating a quality, luxury product that is good for the body, mind, soul, and planet. ALL of their products are hand-made in small batches, and fair trade. With the exception of a few scent oils, our products are also 100% organic. They even take some special orders!

You can find this wonderful company at:

Gibraltar Trade Center

http://www.twistedwillowsoap.com/

or Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/Twistedwillowsoap/

 

Okay people, this list is by no means exhaustive, so if you know of another little known Detroit Proper Gem of a Detroiter’s , caring is sharing so drop it in the comments!

Go Forth, Share, and SHOP SMALL!

 

 

 

A Day of Comforting: A Humaning Event

This past Saturday I attended an event at Pagan Pathways Temple which is in the city of Madison Heights, MI. They called their event “A Day of Comforting“. This was an event open to anyone that needed to have a safe space to share about their fears and emotional turmoil and pain. It was open to all peoples and we all made sure to wear a safety pin, so that folks could see a physical sign that this was a safe space, to be heard and supported and to be there for others.

We were encouraged to not only talk about our fears and such, but to also write them down or draw them on pieces of paper that was later burned. We were encouraged also to let our inner child have fun with sidewalk chalk. Drawing and writing loving affirmations, giving support , comfort and encouragement to those that passed by and read them. And a bonus thing of giving others smiles as they saw this sidewalk art and writing.

We also had opportunities to write loving, supportive words of wisdom on posters that has a word or phrase to get us started. These posters are to be placed in the front windows, so that these will be a more permanent display of love and support.

Here are a few of them. A couple are my own personal contribution to the posters.

  • Your body loves you!
  • This planet loves you!
  • All creation loves you!
  • Though I may not know you, I love you!
  • Now look in a mirror and love yourself!
  • No one is perfect.
  • We are all beautifully flawed.
  • We are all worthy of love.
  • Love yourself!
  • Face and listen to your fears, anger, pain and challenges. Its how you learn to love yourself and then also others. It’s how you learn what compassion and understanding is all about.
  • Never be afraid to be yourself! You are beautiful just the way you are! Never change for anyone!

These affirmations, and more, were shared. They will act as guiding lights of comfort, support and understanding. These words will awaken in us to be alright with ourselves and our lives. And it is this person’s hope that this will spread as far as it can go. That this will be a thing that we can practice each day. Treating ourselves and one another with compassion and understanding. They also help us while we express our more challenging feelings, to also then release and welcome healing , loving thoughts and deeds toward ourselves and others. For while we were releasing our fear and such we were also embracing love, compassion and understanding, making sure that  we were not staying trapped in the things that were causing us fear or turmoil.

So today I share this story with you. Let this story and what has been shared be a guiding light for you also!

A look at Princess Nokia’s “Bruja” by Sparro Kennedey

“The Craft” is a really good movie. Like all good things, it is best left alone. Unfortunately, “life is like a box of chocolates”. “Bruja“, by Princess Nokia boasts sequences that give a un-subtle references to 90’s pop-culture, while dropping a sick flow that is ruined by random cameos from other singers/rappers. The whole thing reminds me of the time Iggy Azalea made that song “Fancy“.

Princess Nokia is back with a song named “Bruja”. She brought her coven, and they take you on a LSD trip that starts in a lake, travels through the ghetto, wooded pathways and slow walks onto an interstate.The song is as confusing as the video. With exception of the poor harmony at beginning, the random hook that calls women bitches, the rap skills undeniable.

Princess Nokia is mixed so viewers from combined racial identity will immediately grasp the syncretization that occurs when multiple heritages combine to create a new idea. Part Orisha, part Santeria, part Shamanistic, the strongest sequence in the music video was visualization of a water invocation.

American Tribal Dance is an art form that combines elements ballet, hip-hop and jazz to create a unique fusion of movement. The style is most commonly seen performed by belly dancers in concert with middle eastern movements that recategorize the spiritual elements of the dance something commercial. The water invocation exemplifies the personality of a cultural tradition that is in danger of being swallowed.

The concept for “Bruja” was amazing, the song has great moments. It’s the kind of track that can be dropped into a playlist and be an easy listen if the use of foul language is not a concern. Princess Nokia means well with her “anthem”, but I would have liked to see a more streamlined effort. The narrative is lost because of lack of focus.

I hope I see you, America by Kyle Coviak

Whether you voted for Hillary, Trump, or went third-party, I think we can ALL agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with America today. Heck, even the people that didn’t vote did so because they feel that the system has failed them.

One good thing about Trump getting elected…. all those uncomfortable truths that we collectively swept under the rug about our society are now glaringly out in the spotlight for all to see. We are all angry and scared….but in reality, this is the true America we have been living in for years…. decades even. There is no more passively denying the reality of the situation. America is fucked up.

Today, our nation enters the dark night of the soul. It is up to us to REALLY examine ourselves and how we allowed this seething hatred to continue. It is up to us to state, without blame, what is REALLY making us as a nation soo angry and afraid that we blame everyone that is “other” instead of addressing the real issues.

I hope I see you, America, in the dawns early light… because it’s awfully dark right now in this night.

We can no longer carry on like business as usual because we as a nation are no longer willfully blinded to our uncomfortable truths. Do continue to do so would be a disgrace on everything this nation is supposed to be about.

We are America, champion of freedom, protector of the weak and weary, bastion of liberty. It’s about god-damned time we acted like it instead of blood thirsty savages who’ll kill their neighbor for looking at them wrong

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

 

WE Can Make America Great, Again

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I refuse to allow myself to think that we have voted for the worst parts of humanity. I refuse to believe that Xenophobia, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and Anti-Femimism,are the things that won yesterday.  I refuse to believe that I must now fear that my neighbors, friends, and allies and family members will be rounded up, snatched from their homes and livelihoods and sent to Conversion Therapy, “back” to Africa, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, India, etc. or killed. I refuse to believe that I or anyone in my community should be or must be afraid to wear headwraps,Pentacles, Afro-Centric attire, jilbabs, abayas, afros, braids, locs or anything else cultural or religious.  I refuse to believe that people who I know and care for; wonderful, loving, kind, accepting and beautiful people who I interact with everyday, that I have prayed with, manifested with, casted with…, hell shared beers with would “not care” for my and all those I share intersectionality with to elect someone who  could cost us health,  safety, and autonomy. I refuse to ever again comfort my children and dry their tears because they fear their friends will have to leave school because their families are from afar.

No. I refuse to think or do any of this. Because I know better, I am better, and I know WE are better.

What I believe is that Fear has created a Servitor, and fear won, on both sides.  From the Tweets, Facebook posts, News pundits, family fights, unfriendings, hate crimes, hashtags and conflicts that both fan and foe of President-Elect Trump are guilty of, if nothing else is clear, what is, is that we have been operating in fear and have manifested exactly what we have focused on.

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Fear drives hate; hate is just fear unchecked. One side is fearful of nuclear war, marginalization, further loss of jobs and industries, and moral decay. The other is fearful of social justice setbacks, loss of economic safety nets, mobilization of the worst members of society,  theocracy, and, well, conservatism. Mix all of this with the fact that a lot of people have a “my way is the right way” attitude( yes, even we Pagans) and you have a recipe for mayhem.

At any rate, what’s done is done. President-Elect Trump,  while not having the majority of the popular vote, fairly won the needed number of Electoral votes. His party has the majority seating in both House and Senate. If his acceptance speech is any indication, the times of division, rancor and stalemate in Washington, D.C. are over and he seems set up to succeed. May Justice, Fairness, and Truth guide him as he leads this country.

Where our focus should lie now, is with being and molding the best humans that we can be. We can kill the Servitor that we have created by intentionally chosing to operate in an opposing energy.  That energy, Friends, is Love.

I choose to believe that we can make this country great again by choosing to be great people. I choose to believe that we all want what is just and best for humanity.  I choose to believe that everything will be well and will get better.  I choose to believe that we all know and recognize the Divine/ Ultimate Potential in each other and ourselves, and will treat each other accordingly. I believe that we ALL abhor the evils of Racism, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Sexism, Homophobia, and the like. I also chose to believe that we as people will band together and fight these monsters wherever they may appear. I chose to believe that all that was wished to succeed is a change in politics as usual and to give an outsider a chance. I chose to believe that the hope for Change won over a promise of the same. I choose to believe that we all will protect them those whom injustice targets with all we have.

I choose to stop contributing to this Servitor by feeding it with hate, vengeance and division. I acknowledge that I have contributed to and been influenced by It. But I know I am better, and you are better. I know my coworkers are better,my neighbors are better. I know that by you and I treating ALL humans with Love,Kindness, Friendship, and Respect we can defeat the Hate that Hatred has produced.  I believe that we can disagree and still be civil.  I know we will not let our great society devolve into Nazi Germany or 1950’s America as so many fear. We are too great for that. And only by us remembering this, and committing to make our society better one interaction at a time, with all that we come across can we achieve the goals laid out in President-Elect Trump’s acceptance speech:

Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me…
I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families. It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.

I know we as people, as Humans can do this. only by suspending the fear mongering that has consumed the last 2 years and acting out of love towards all from love of ourselves can we defeat this evil that has infiltrated society.  We know better, we are better,  we can do better, and as Magickal Practitioners and Earth lovers we must do better. Espouse the Good, reprimand the evil, Love all and always love.

i-destroy-my-enemy

Secrets of High Priestess Kathie

There are people who are magick users, who find their spell work only through the pages of a book, and they can be competent in one offs. There are those who study the traditions and spirits of magick who create a space in the fabric of reality that allows them to change and bend reality to their wills after a fashion. They are successful to varying degrees, and are worthy of respect. But today, we are going to talk with a woman whose very flesh, fire, and spiritual bloodline is magick. Today, we are going to interview the Priestess of Secrets of Conjure Coven.

High Priestess Kathie, used with Permission
High Priestess Kathie, used with Permission

For those of our readers who may not know you, who is High Priestess Kathie?

I would like people to know that I come from a long line of spiritualist and spiritual people in my family.
I have done readings, been a lending ear to family and friends since I can remember. Professionally, I started doing readings almost 15 years ago(time flies) and I started doing spells and hoodoo around that same time professionally as well. Before that it was just for myself or a friend.

Where does your spark, your passion for magick have as its source?

I would say that it comes from a sense of me knowing that magic has been practiced in my family. It’s in my bloodline, even though some of them may not call it magic, or called it that back then. I remember my grandmother would call it power but to me its the same thing.

Was there a pivotal experience in your life that led you to this path?

Well I was raised up in this path so I saw a lot growing up as a child. But I will say that I started working with the dark arts, or black magic, more when I was attacked by an aunt that was in the church and I had to protect myself from her.

How long have you studied?

I would say really all my life. My grandmother taught me how to protect myself and how to help heal people and my voice is a tool in aiding that.

I can remember being a teenager even and getting occult books, thirsty for knowledge because I knew there was so much more than what I was being taught, being raised up in the bible belt a lot of hidden from me as well.

 

Who would you say have been your most helpful influences?

My grandmother was the most helpful in my life hands down! Rest her memory. My mother and father were supportive of me, but my mother didn’t want me to do this. She wanted a different life for me.
What folks have been there along the way as you grew as a practitioner?

I would say now as an adult my partner he is very supportive of me, friends and a couple of family members
also my brother and sister witches in my coven. The Secrets of Conjure Coven, my spiritual family, is amazing!

Secrets of Conjure Coven
Secrets of Conjure Coven

How would you define your style of magick when compared to what many are publicly teaching today?

I would say my style of magic or practicing is “non conventional” for sure. Definitely unorthodox in many ways lol.  I am known to be very controversial in my practice.

Do you feel there is a disconnect with traditional teachings and skill development when compared to the older generations? Or do you feel that since times have changed, the magicks have changed as well?

I really do feel that there is, and that is because more people are starting to practice magic, hoodoo, voodoo, Santeria, witchcraft than ever before and because of that you have people that did not have the “traditional” teachings from family and certain traditions that was passed down. So you will find a lot of spiritualist and spiritual people combining practices or making it their own way.

You are known to be a leader, not a follower, why do you think that is?

I believe it’s a combination of things. For one, I believe my title has a lot to do with it. Being a High Priestess and also because of my age.

I am a “seasoned witch” and getting ready to get into my Crone years soon and with that comes a lot of experience in life and dealing with clients, other witches who are priests and priestesses, and people in general. I feel the younger people look up  to me because of the wisdom bestowed upon me from living life.

Do you feel that it is tied in with your identity as a spiritual person?

Yes, because all I have ever been around in my life are women and men who were leaders. Most of the women in my family always had their own business, I had a great-aunt that ran a homeless shelter, she had a radio show, and had a street named after her. Then of course my grandmother was a minister, healer, and reader in her community.

They wouldn’t call it readings back then but they would come to her to get a “word from God” which people came from everywhere around the world for her help. So with me being her grand-daughter and her taking me under her wing this is the only way I know how to be. My mother was also a dancer, musician and entrepreneur.

What are your thoughts about the Black Witch Convention happening in October?

I think it’s awesome to have and that Black witches can come together and do something positive. I am in full support of it. I believe it will be a success.

Do you think that gatherings such as that one might be something you might be hosting as your practice grows?

I think that is possible but it’s not anything I have on my agenda anytime soon. But I do fully support those that do it.

When it comes to community, do you feel that we are losing the ability to be supportive of each other without competition?

Yes, some things do need to change and go back to the old ways I suppose. I can say that it is extremely competitive and I have not had a lot of positive experiences with other spiritualist in the business. Insecurities and people just aren’t friendly like they once were and really want to help others and sadly I see this in the African-American spiritualist community. It’s more cut throat. A lot of men don’t have respect for the women and visa versa. It’s become more about business and getting money it seems like, instead of being civilized.

How do you teach and learn from your peers when it comes to dealing with common issues?

Well, for an example I handle social media like I do in real life. I ask questions and also allow people to voice their opinions or contribute. As long as there is no line drawn with being disrespectful. I am open to all sorts of feedback and teach that to others so that they can either improve or add to their own lives.

You are a studious and creative person, how does this come through in your works?

I truly believe that this motivates me to give it all I got and to pay attention to details. I have always been creative and strive to do the very best I can. I was taught to be that way and I believe it shows in my workings. Especially in my readings.

Has there ever been a time when you just relied on the book?

I would say there was a period where I just relied on book instructions for spellwork and beliefs, but it was only for a short time cause I love to think outside the box. That is why I practice more than just hoodoo.

What do you feel is the most important thing about walking the path you walk?

I would say it’s very important to be true to yourself. I listen to people and decide if I want to really apply what they say to my life and if it really would benefit me. For example, I had a few Haitian voodoo people that didn’t like the fact that I worked with Damballah and my offerings I gave. I knew the truth is that it was because I was not initiated. I don’t feel that its in me or in my path at the moment to be consecrated or initiated into a religion.

Is it for everyone?

No, this walk or path is not for everyone. Some people are just to afraid or they have been so brainwashed by western religions(especially Christianity) that they shouldn’t be practicing because they have to much fear, doubt and worried about it backfiring on them.

If you had to speak to a younger you about what to expect in this life, what would you say?

Don’t dwell off life’s rough stuff just know you will always have challenges but learn from your mistakes, don’t be so hard on yourself, and take care of you more. Your hard work will pay off over and over again.

What would you most like to see happen in your own life in the next 10 years in regards to your studies and business?

Oh, I am an information sponge! I love to read, study and share information even if its YouTube videos. I really want to take the time to get more into the Egyptian studies later on. I am just so busy that when I do that I want to devote time to seriously learning and taking some of the practices and adding it to my work.

I only see my business booming. I currently am getting ready to put out my own brand of oils. I have my graphic designer doing my labels as we speak. I will have available for the public, my own organically blended oils that can be used for spellwork, rootwork, spiritual baths and protection.

What kind of clientele would you say most represents your practice?

EVERY WALK OF LIFE. Every race, ethnicity, gender that you can think of. I do not discriminate against clients either. I welcome everyone.

And of these, are there any moments that you would like to share that stand out particularly strongly in your memory?

I remember when I first started doing readings professionally and there was a gentleman that came to me and he told me his name was “Vu Vo”, and of course I was like “Vu Vo who”? He kept telling me his name was Vi Vo not Vi Vo Who lolol. So anyway that let me know that this was my destiny cause I had people seeking me out from Vietnam and around the world on a regular basis.

Do you remember the first time you charged for services?

Yes! What was that like? I was excited the first time I got paid from someone that was not family or a friend was when I first started doing contract work with this online company called Kasamba. I think it’s still around. I just couldn’t believe that I actually got paid great money for doing a reading and giving advice
to someone I didn’t know. I just knew this was for me.

Looking back,would you have charged more?

First starting out, I wouldn’t have charged more, but I would say that I would have eventually started to do this for myself instead of contracting with different psychic companies like circle of stars, keen, bitwine etc. earlier and that would have allowed me to cut out the middle man and save money for me and my clients pockets.

Here we go, how do you feel about the misapplication of the Wiccan Rede to your craft ethics and beliefs?

I respect those who are Wiccan but that rede doesn’t apply to me of course. That is not my belief so when people tell me that it applies to me, I do not listen to that because people are going to want to believe what they want and this is my life to live.

There is a phrase going around, “get your Wicca out of my conjure”. How do you feel about that?

I can understand how the traditionalist feel about that. There are those that want to keep the old practices “strick” but if you really look at it, every house that practiced hoodoo back then did things differently. These days people practice more than one system of magic. I, myself, do hoodoo and witchcraft.  I actually also incorporate some of the voodoo elements into my workings. I find that works for me.  Does it resonate? No, I can honestly say that it doesn’t resonate with me.

What is the main thing that you think keeps people from growing as practitioners today?

Keeping an open mind, which is what I have been trying to do with my own self lately and really try to accept people as they practice. Everyone knows I am against Christianity in Hoodoo and when it comes to African religions but that is just my own opinion and it’s not to be forced on people. What works for one person may not work for the next and like I said, I don’t discriminate. Some of my clients are Christian, also Islamic.

If you could open a school tomorrow, what would be lesson number one?

Leave your fear behind you. If you are afraid of this path you do not need to get in it. You are not ready or it may not be for you.

How do people get in touch with you?

People can find me on Facebook. I would prefer it being through my fan page. Also they can message me at highpriestesskathie@yahoo.com or highpriestesskathie@gmail.com for now. I also will have a brand new website up and running by December of 2016.

Do you ever find that you also get clients through YouTube?

Yes! YouTube had opened another door for me. I do appreciate that. It still feels funny to me when people tell me that they are a fan of my videos or love to watch them. I appreciate that sooo much.

My YouTube channel is less that 3 months old right now and already have almost 600 subscribers. That may not mean a lot to some people but it means the world to me. I am so thankful for my people, supporters and my coven.

And what is the name of your channel, for those who do not know.

It is HighPriestess Kathie on YouTube.

If you were to choose a stone to represent you, what would it be and why?

Black Tourmaline and that is because I have a lot of them I have some on my altar. I use it for grounding me and protection from all enemies against me that are seen and unseen.

Is there anything that you would say that we may not have had an opportunity to talk about here?

Yes….

Something you would like folks to know about you?

I have heard that many people maybe intimidated by me or afraid to approach me because I do work with the dark arts. The thing is that I am approachable and will do the work that you hire me to do for you. I just ask for respect when you come to me and you will get it back in return.

I know I have somewhat of a controversial reputation online and that comes from having problems with people that are in the same business as me. I do not have issues with clients, it’s always someone from the spirituality business and we already talked about how we need to improve that as a community and believe it can be done.I made a video about it and bringing awareness to it will help for future readers, spellcasters, and rootworkers. Social media has a way of making people say things online that they would not dare say in person and that applies to everyone.

PBN Blues Series: “Detroit Moan” – Victoria Spivey

Hello PBN Blues Series readers, today we return with another segment in our series. Brick and mortar businesses become a stable part of the business landscape in any area. The family grocery store, the local dry cleaners, the deli,  the corner ice cream stand, a Pagan or Holistic shop, and the church,  many of these serve as the favorite go to places for townies. So when it is time to leave, it can present special challenges.

People become accustomed to seeing your storefront as part of their neighborhood pillars. Whether they patronize your establishment or not, they still begin to use it as a landmark. In the mind of the masses, you have become a touchstone for their travels and how they describe where they live. The days pass, and you become part of the cyclic flow of commerce. People begin to count you as fictive kin.

Given this much momentum of group energy, it works to the advantage of an established business to capitalize on it. However, when the owner decides to move the business, they may run into an unexplained set of barriers. Deals fall through, calamities befall finances needed for the move, and other issues arise that become a pattern.  That momentum of acceptance now takes a form of anchorage that seeks to compel one to stay put despite the need for progress.

At Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal
At Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal

When the keys to the future don’t fit the locks

Zenobia S. has a small herb and spice market in a local farmer’s market. She maintains a booth that she opened 3 years ago. Success has blossomed for her to the degree that she tries to move into a brick and mortar of her own. The shop she wants is on the other side of town. It is precisely the right size, a better neighborhood, and great location for foot traffic.

Zenobia S. let her regular clients know that she intends to move by the end of the year. Most of them do not have transportation to the area where she plans to relocate. They have grown accustomed to purchasing her unusual herbs and spices at her reasonable prices. The only other shop carries poorer quality wares at double the prices. Also, the customer service is very poor, especially when compared to the wit and sparkle of Zenobia S. and her employees.

All was proceeding normally, until recently. For the last three weeks, a string of issues visited upon her plans. First, all records of the proposed contract with the new location were mysteriously deleted and paper copies lost. Second, a larger vendor at the farmer’s market has made an offer on the same property, 2 days after the loss of the paperwork. Third, her bank account was frozen by error, and the institution has her funds on hold until a full investigation concludes. This is anticipated to take 30 days, just after the offer for the property will expire. Lastly, her shipments  held up in customs due to bill of lading and letter of credit problems plaguing her wholesaler.

She comes to you for help. You decide, upon hearing the situation, that the vendor in the market is to blame. You sell her a I Can You Can’t candle and have her set up an altar. Together, you gather components for a trick and advise her to lay it under the west corner of that vendor’s booth. She leaves determined to avenge this wrong doing.

perhaps - lian xiaoxiao
perhaps
lian xiaoxiao

A week later, things have gotten worse for her when she returns to you. She suffered being caught red-handed laying the trick, and now the market has the two vendors in mediation. She stands accused of sabotaging the other business by trying to place a foul odor there (the bag contained asafoetida) to take over her spot. She has to pay restitution to the building association to show good faith, again impairing her ability to move. What now?

Shaking the dust off the traveling shoes

Zenobia S. has a small herb and spice market in a local farmer’s market. She maintains a booth that she opened 3 years ago. Success has blossomed for her to the degree that she tries to move into a brick and mortar of her own. The shop she wants is on the other side of town. It is precisely the right size, a better neighborhood, and great location for foot traffic.

Zenobia S. let her regular clients know that she intends to move by the end of the year. Most of them do not have transportation to the area where she plans to relocate. They have grown accustomed to purchasing her unusual herbs and spices at her reasonable prices. The only other shop carries poorer quality wares at double the prices. Also, the customer service is very poor, especially when compared to the wit and sparkle of Zenobia S. and her employees.

All was proceeding normally, until recently. For the last three weeks, a string of issues visited upon her plans. First, all records of the proposed contract with the new location were mysteriously deleted and paper copies lost. Second, a larger vendor at the farmer’s market has made an offer on the same property, 2 days after the loss of the paperwork. Third, her bank account was frozen by error, and the institution has her funds on hold until a full investigation concludes. This is anticipated to take 30 days, just after the offer for the property will expire. Lastly, her shipments  held up in customs due to bill of lading and letter of credit problems plaguing her wholesaler.

She comes to you for help. You do a reading before proceeding with any work here. After delving into the situation, you realize that what is actually happening is surprising. A group of has decided that they cannot afford to have Zenobia S. move away from the area. The strength of their conviction is such that they are doing active work to prevent her from relocating. The string of events is not about competition, but a result of self-interest and selfishness.

This will take more than simple uncrossing work. Blockbuster work, combined with road opener will follow a directed and focused addressing of the group’s workings. The group will be nullified.

Altar work, incorporating candles, oils, and incenses,  are in order. You also tell her to add boneset herb to her working, just to add some boost. This is mixed equally with benzoin.

You also recommend your client to keep her further plans for progress to herself. Loose tongues often serve as the rods for our backs. She is to discuss her business plans with no one. You then give sell her a floor wash to clean out her booth area.

 Image by 2015 Nathan Miller

Image by
2015 Nathan Miller

 

After two weeks, Zenobia S. returns to report her situation improved. Coincidentally, several of her regular customers reduced their number of visits. As an aside, she mentions they all go bowling together and often bring her donuts. This cements her confidence that they are “in cahoots” on this. She has known them all her life, even been taught by one of them in Sunday School.

She has no true ill will, however, and laughs. She takes it as a complement that a group of older men in their 60’s, think so highly of her. They often dote on her and swear that no one takes as much care of their special orders as she does.

A month later, she returns to your shop with news of a successful move to her now store. She buys a blend of pine/basil/cedar floor wash from you for good business for her opening month. Your client is happy and you look forward to increased commerce from her in the future.

 

2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day Spiritual Transformations

The folks at Lansing Pagan Pride Day sent us a great press release about their event on August 27, 2016. We are going to present it here so we can spread the word. Thank you, Tanya the PR Queen, for getting it to our writers so quickly. This is their event as a local chapter of the Pagan Pride Project.

 

The Pagan Pride Project
The Pagan Pride Project

It is with great pleasure that the Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is announcing the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day Event.  The event will be filled with vendors, classes, rituals, music, kid’s activities, swag and a food tent.  The event will be held at the Valhalla Park in Holt, MI from 10am to 6pm. Free to attend which also includes classes and rituals!

Each year the Mid-Michigan Pagan Council adopts a theme that guides the climate of the event.  This year the theme is Spiritual Transformation. This theme was inspired by the Elder Futhark rune Eihwaz. Eihwaz, pounced “Yew-was”, dates back to proto Norse.  The meaning translates to “the axis or process of spiritual becoming.”   This rune indicates change, transformation, confrontation of fears and assertive powers.

As part of this theme a public ritual will be performed by the Mystics of Rhea Lur coven.  Mystics of Rhea Lur is based in Corunna – Owosso area.  They are an eclectic based coven that has been practicing for approximately ten years. The coven is non-high priest/ priestess basis and is led by two elders – Helen Griffus and Cathy McQuillin. This will be their first public ritual. This is a participatory ritual and is open to anyone.

Education will be offered through several classes throughout the day.  These classes are open to anyone seeking information, change or out of sheer curiosity.  The classes will be taught by highly-regarded Michigan pagan community members such as: Helen Griffus from the Mystics of Rhea Lur coven, Stan Nunn and Geralyn Mystic from Pagan Pathway(s) Temple in Detroit, Melissa Hill from Cedarsong Grove and LeAnn Crouch a local solitary practitioner.  These experienced teachers will provide the skills, tools and advices to achieve higher spiritual functioning.

Offering many wonderfully hand-crafted products and other goods to help create the Spiritual Transformation in your life, is our local vendors. The Lansing Pagan Pride Day open-air market vendors will offer a variety of goods that range from baked goods, oils, jewelry, altar supplies, books, divination tools to natural health and beauty products, home décor and clothing. Just some of our vendors are:

  • GothicMoms DarkCharms
  •  Cedarsong Grove
  • Living Roots Creations
  • Moonlight Magic & More
  • Tarot by Roz
  • Archaic Circle
  • The Enchanted Oak
  • Body Hart and Soul
  • Momento Mori
  • Mother Moon
  • Brady Street Bakery and Confectionery
  • Copper Bear Creations
  • Alex and Jayde Kids
  • Children’s Activities Tent.

No event would be complete without food!  Spending the entire day at this fun-filled community event will surely work up an appetite. Stop by the food court for a bit to eat.  Reasonable prices with a wide range of foods to choose from that is friendly to most diets – including homemade five-star vegan veggie burgers!

While you’re there don’t forget to pick up some swag to let everyone know that you participated in the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day!  Show off your pagan pride by purchasing your very own official 2016 LPPD Spiritual Transformation tee-shirt! Shirts are available for pre-order – see the website listed for details.

And finally – stop by and say “hi” to the proud sponsors of the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day: Dark Candles •. Universal Society of Ancient Ministries • Pagans In Need-Lansing.  Their generous donations helped to make this event possible.

The Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is committed to the strength and growth of our Pagan community. We value all pagans, from the individual to the family, the solitaire to the coven, and the merchant to the store owner. The Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is without tradition, as we celebrate spiritual freedom, fellowship, and personal beliefs. We support an individual’s right to believe and practice what is true and right for them. We will strive to build a strong pagan community in the Mid-Michigan area that is supportive, and a topic of pride for all persons involved.

Having attended this event once, I can honestly say that I had a really good time and highly recommend it. They have been around for a few years now, and the staff are committed and have a lot of heart. The park is spacious and there if plenty of time for learning, contemplation, and family fun.

For more information about the Lansing Pagan Pride Day, you  can contact Carrie Zay or Nichole Ellwagner at 517.402.1026 or 517.331.0771 or email info@lansingppd.org.