Shetan Noir is a Michigan based award winning belly dancer and Pagan writer. She is an active member of the Great Lakes Witches Council and Motor City Belly Dance Show. She has written many books and is working on several new book projects. She also writes articles for various magazines and websites such as Circle magazine and examiner.com.
Please tell us how you got started on your spiritual journey.
There were too many things in the bible that didn’t make sense to me and I found I had intolerance for it. So I decided to go on my own path which led me to the path of the Pagan. I studied ceremonial magic but it is really complex compared to hoodoo and folk magic. The folk and the hoodoo magic really appealed to me with their simplicity and effectiveness, a candle to carve, herbs, intention and done. This really resonated with me so I embraced these systems.
At what age did you realize that you were a Witch?
At 16, my father’s mother came to me and let me know she had passed on. When my family came to give me the news, I shocked them by telling them she had died before they had a chance to tell me. Throughout my life, I have had dreams that let me know someone has passed. Once my phone rang and woke me up and I heard a message being left saying, “Tell your mom I will meet her at the cemetary for the burial.” When I went to tell my Mom, she said, “Oh that was my mother.” Now my grandmother was already dead. Both me and my mother heard the phone ring and so did my dogs but there was no trace of the message on the answering machine. So at around 16 I realized that there is more to what we do than we are doing and that there are greater powers out there.
Please tell us about your book, Intro to Hood magic: Modern Magic for the Urban Pagan.
About 5 years ago at Convocation, a four day event where I have taught for many years. I had friends within my circle that kept coming up to me and asking about hood magic because they didn’t comprehend it. It wasn’t until the Friday before the event that I actually looked at my bio on the program and saw that instead of putting that I practice hoodoo, they put down that I practice and teach hood magic! So I was showing it to my friends not knowing what to do and my friend David Smith said to just own it and go with it. What’s funny is that I used to always wear a black hoodie and so people were wondering if when I pull my hood it’s a sign that I am casting against them. I decided that I would write a book and create a workshop on hood magic for the following year.
There are people who felt that the term “hood” means an inner city war zone type of place but this book encompasses what you have to work with in any type of neighborhood, from rural to inner city. Some people live in condos and apartments and want to know how to grow their own plants on their balcony or how to do a fire ceremony without a yard and a place to create a fire. I did catch quite a bit of flak for it when it first came out because of the assumed meaning of the term hood. I might be from the country but I have also experienced the mean streets of inner city Detroit and no matter where you live, you can use this book.
I like the sound of the chapter, “Making Your Own Luck”. Please tell us about that chapter.
This goes along with what the whole book Hood Magic stands for. It’s about using what you have to turn things towards your favor. When you are asking your Gods and Goddesses for what you want, it often boils down to your mental state. If you are coming from a place of gratitude, things come more quickly but if you come from a place of feeling low or inundated with bad luck, you might get something but what you get might not be in line with what you want. This can also happen if you are not being specific about what you want.
I have a great story to share about this. I had been doing a petition spell each week for good fortune and abundance and everything was going great. Then I was at a jazz festival doing tarot readings but it wasn’t going very well. Apparently psychic readings don’t go over very well at these types of events. One person looked at me and said, “You’re one of those spell casters, do something.” So I got up and took the $2 that I made in tips and went outside to give them to the people who would most benefit from the money while asking that it be returned to me tenfold. I saw some street performers and gave one of the dollars to them. Then I found a homeless man that I gave the other dollar to. As I was walking back down the street, there was a man there handing out sample containers of a well named brand of hummus. As I walked by, the man turned around and gave me a big box of hummus samples. It had like 500 small samples. Then a man who was handing out pita chip samples handed me a box of those samples to go with my hummus so I got the “abundance” I asked for but hummus was not exactly I had in mind and I was eating hummus and chips for months. The event had to end early due to the weather and I said, “Well, I didn’t make much money today but I have lots of hummus to eat”.
Please tell us about your book, The Other Side of the Coin: Spells to Enrich your Bank Account and Life (Volume 1).
I took quite a bit of time researching that one because everyone was coming out with prosperity books but their books weren’t doing any better than mine. So I decided to research prosperity magic through hoodoo. I found a wealth of information and tried to put as much into it as I could. It’s not just about hoodoo but contains information from various cultures all over the world. Each culture has its own group of deities and you can always find at least one or two of them that are dedicated to prosperity and happiness. I didn’t want to leave any out in order to show respect to all of them.
What is your favorite prosperity herb/stone combination?
I like pyrite and emeralds for stones. For herbs, I love to grow orange mint, cinnamon basil for its dual action. I also like St. Michael’s holy basil. If you plant it at the front door of your house it will ward off evil and promote prosperity. This year I have orange mint, apple mint, peppermint, white sage, hyssop, anise and lemon verbena.
Please tell us about your book, To Fight Fire with Fire: Protection Magic.
Here is a little secret about the book. I do a lot of paranormal ghost hunting and things like that. My friends and family know that so they will call me to get rid of the spirits that are partying in their homes. So To Fight Fire with Fire is about protection magic but also includes ways to get rid of entities. People don’t realize that when they buy things from antique and garage sales, these things can have spiritual attachments that can wreak havoc in the home. So if people are dealing with the paranormal, this is a great book to have.
What is your favorite herb and stone protection combination?
I’m a huge lover of mixing sea salt with red brick dust. I ground down the bricks myself. I like peppermint and hyssop for protection herbs. Anytime I have come from a Pagan event or have been dealing with people who have questionable intentions, I take a bath in these to clear the gunk off of me. I also love magnetic hematite. I carry them in my jeep and keep them on me if I am going to places where people may be casting against each other. Magnetic hematite will neutralize bad energy.
Please tell us about your book, Sticks and Stones: A Book of Curious Spells and Unique Information.
This was my first leap into self-publishing. I took the things that I have learned throughout my life and put it in one book. It’s more about folk magic and hoodoo and is a good starting book for people who just want to see how it works and what to work with. A candle, an herb, an intention, a petition or psalm and sending it out into the world for fulfillment.
What’s your favorite spell in that book?
My favorite spell is the bloodhound spell. Many people do return to sender spells but the only problem with that is that unless you add that you want it made known who has cast against them then unless the target is very public about their woes, you’ll never know if it worked. When a bloodhound gets on a trail, they make all kinds of sounds. They have one of the loudest bays that you will ever hear and love the sound of their own voice so they are vocal the whole time. That’s what the bloodhound spell basically does. No matter how much this person tries to hide what they did, there is something coming along behind them making a ruckus. This way there is no way they can hide it. I come from a long history of working with dogs and bloodhounds are loud, they work with law enforcement and are almost impossible to escape.
As an amateur belly dancer, I want to hear about your book, Sequins+Hot glue gun=Belly Dance Costumes (Volume 1).
I’ve been belly dancing for over 15 years and the hard thing for us plus size dancers is the costuming, finding ones that fit us well and looks nice on us. I was doing tons of performing and started performing with a variety and burlesque group and one of the dancers was showing the other girls how to make pasties. So I was watching and I was thinking that I can use that same concept to make my own appliques and I could make my own costumes. I was able to create pretty much any kind of outfit I wanted as well as in any color. They all fit really nice and I am only limited by my imagination when creating them.
Does it help large breasted women to create their own dance bras using the bras they already have?
Yes, you can find a bra that works for you and shows your boobage at its best to use. I like the Lane Bryant CACIQUE line. When they have the buy 2 get one free, I would save up my pennies to get them or you can get them from the clearance wrack to save more money. You want a firm cup with underwire to support you. Then you pick the color and shape of the appliques and create your bra. The book has templates that you can copy and cut out. Just be sure to find a bra that supports and enhances you. Naturally how much you can apply depends on the size of the bra. You can fit a lot more on larger bras than smaller ones.
I am working on an online course through Craft U and once it’s done, I will post it on social media. I am going to show how to create an entire belly dance costume including pointing out what kind of skirt enhances your figure, how to make cover ups from just a tee-shirt, etc. It’s a step by step course that will help you to create a complete costume custom made for you. There will also be videos on how to make Shisha mirrors and hip medallions which will be very helpful for people who have never done embroidery. Teaching this through video will be much more helpful to give people a visual to follow step by step.
You also recently went through a personal tragedy at the hands of a drunk driver. Please tell us about that.
It was actually about a year ago. My Mom and I were on our way to get something to eat and go to the store in my Jeep Wrangler. We were coming to the end of the road and were about 20 feet from the stop sign. A Jeep Grand Cherokee came flying around the corner and slid in the gravel right into my car, knocking it 4 feet to the side. I knew he wanted to run and I told him I would chase him down if he did. I had my Mom call my Dad who was just down the road and the police. I could smell the alcohol on his breath as he made up all kinds of excuses. He offered to just give me his phone number and let his friends fix the fender but I refused because I knew there was more damage than just the fender. My father came and we both blocked him in so he couldn’t leave the scene. He gave us a fake phone number which I told him was not going to work so I took a picture of his license plate. My Dad informed him that the police had been called. As soon as he heard that, he jumped back into his truck and drove over the embankment to get away. The police arrived a few minutes later and recognized the description that I gave of him. Apparently this same man had done this 3 times previously and the police knew where he lived so they had a car waiting for him when he got home. He blew twice the legal limit when they gave him the breathalyzer and the worse part was he had no license and no insurance.
What made me even angrier is that this accident caused me to have a miscarriage. When we went to court, his wife who was pregnant was there which made the blow even worse. He ruined my vehicle and took something that was irreplaceable to me, especially now that I am in my forties. It’s been a huge struggle and a yearlong process trying to keep tabs on him. The court ordered him to pay me $3800 just to make the repairs and he didn’t pay it. He didn’t show to his parole meetings and had a bench warrant placed against him. I knew the trailer park that he lived in and had to do my own investigative work to see when he was there and called the police to go pick him up when he was. He went to jail for 30 days and was ordered again to pay me by a certain date which of course he didn’t do. So they issued another bench warrant but he fled the state. When I told the police they said there was nothing they can do until he comes back into our state. Drunk driving should be considered to more of a huge offense than it is and they really let people slide on it. This man has done this repeatedly and next time he may kill someone. Now I have to do all of my own detective work to seek justice.
What would you like to see happen to this man?
I would like for him to pay me what he owes and also to pay restitution to everyone he has done this too. I want to see him punished. He should sit in jail and have the knowledge that he cost someone the life of a loved one eat away at him for the rest of his time on earth.
Aside from the physical and emotional trauma, how has this impacted you financially?
My medical bills were taken care of through my health insurance but my jeep is still damaged. The windshield is cracked thanks to being showered with gravel, broke my lights, there’s structural damage to my tire that could cause a blow-out. The tire alone was $400. The fender is a $1500-2000 part. He also damaged the gear assembly box because of the way his vehicle pushed mine sideways. He made the decision to drink and drive without a license or insurance but he had enough money to move his family out of state and fix the damages to his own vehicle and not pay me a cent.
He lived in the same trailer park as my cousin and aunt and I went to visit them. As I came out, I caught his wife letting the air out of the tires of my jeep. I confronted her and she started screaming obscenities at me and took off. I had to file a police report against her too. Thankfully I had witnesses because she tried to file a report against me saying I was harassing her.
You’re a travel writer, aren’t you?
Yes, that’s one of the reasons why I have my fingers crossed for my jeep until I can get the money to repair it so I can keep doing what I love which is being a travel writer. I also am working on books on cryptozoology and the paranormal as well as my Pagan series of books.
I would really love to go to this convention that’s 3-5 hours away but I have to make sure that at least somebody I know will be home in case my car breaks down. It makes it hard because you want to be mobile and get your job done and earn your income but now I have to worry if my jeep can make it there and back or if I have to cry myself to sleep about it.
I understand that you have contributed to many charity events, would you please tell us about them?
One of my biggest things I did was when I was running belly dance shows within the local communities was I would pay it forward by giving local new dancers a chance to have stage time. We did monthly shows and we would accept donations each month for different charities. We did this for three years under the name Motor City Belly Dance. We donated to the Humane Society, Make a Wish, Toys for Tots and other local charities. We also donated to Space Walk which is for the homeless and did shows to raise money for both animal and human based charities.
Since you have helped so many with the knowledge you share in your books and charitable contributions, how can others now help you through this crisis?
I do have a crowd funding site set up through YOUCARING that I created with the hope of receiving enough donations to fix my car so I can continue to move forward despite what has happened to me. I really do need to have my jeep repaired and am reaching out for help to cover the considerable cost to fix it. Anyone who wants to make a donation can do it by clicking here:
Despite what happened to you, you have exhibited inspiring strength. Please tell us how you stay so strong?
I try to keep that positive outlook on life because it’s very hard to go to that dark, negative place and only dark and negative comes back to you when you do. I study the law of attraction and try to keep my ranting and ravings to a close circle of friends who know what I am going through. I attribute my strength mostly to my belief system and knowing how strong my parents are. My Mom is the bear curator for the North American Bear Center and works with live bears three times her size and my Dad is the main caregiver for my younger brother who has a head injury. Just seeing how they deal with life and how strong they are really propels me forward.
What final words would you like to share with our audience?
If you want to get to know me better, FaceBook is great and you can also find me on twitter. My books are available to purchase on Amazon. I am also working on a couple of different sites including a podcast and blog on the paranormal called Into the Liminal Abyss. Liminal means between spaces where you find most paranormal activities and the abyss is this vastness where everything comes from. I am hoping to launch them in October. I am also working on a book project that documents the stories and legends of the water monsters in the Great Lakes. There are so many different stories surrounding them. Anyone who has any stories they would like to share, please contact me. I’m going to spotlight each of the Great Lakes, their depths and what’s currently living them. I am going to include the Native American tribes of the Great Lake’s stories of water monsters and spirits and document any sightings of these creatures. One in particular is a snake being with a moose head. I’m going to go on a mission to talk to park rangers to see if moose actually swim in the Great Lakes. They may be swimming from one of the small islands to Lake Superior. I’m also documenting the aquatic fossil records of the Great Lakes to see what actually lived in them millions of years ago and examine the possibility that some of these creatures still exist. So I’ve got quite the interesting summer coming up and I’m really looking forward to it.
To contact Shetan to teach workshops and seminars or learn more, you can contact her through FaceBook.
Please visit her Amazon page to purchase her books.
Don’t forget to check out her blogs, Fingers in the Pie, and Into the Liminal Abyss
You can also follow her on Twitter.