To the grieving: you have every right to be angry. You have every right to be sad. You have every right to the space required to navigate your pain.We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We ask them to hold us close. We ask them to keep our spirits strong and our hearts cradled. We ask for their assistance in the pursuit of justice for our peoples. Keep safe our indigenous, black, migrant, muslim, queer, trans and femme family. Watch over the womyn; they are our greatest warriors. May we be present for each other, but most importantly, present for ourselves. Ase.
We do not deserve the emotional, mental and physical assault that our communities are facing. We do not deserve the leadership we are being given. We do not deserve leadership that does not believe in the inherent and equal value of our black and brown lives. We do not deserve a leader who ignores us and lies to our faces with ignorant condescension. We deserve accountability. We, in fact, should be combatting the structures that have allowed patriarchal and white supremacist ideology to thrive. We should prioritize protecting the sacred. We should be dismantling the systems that continue to seek our obliteration. We have every right to a safe and fruitful existence on this earth, in each of our lives. You deserve breath. You deserve time to grieve. You deserve respite. You deserve justice. You have every right to be angry. You have every right to be sad. You have every right to the space required to navigate your pain. You have every right to retreat into self. You have every right to retreat to other folks of color, specifically. You have every right to define your spaces of safety and stay there. You have the right to each and every emotion flowing through your body right now.
The upcoming lunar eclipse on August 7th offers us this beginning point. It’s a good time to reset, ground & charge up for the months ahead.We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We offer gratitude for the knowledge they want to offer us. We thank them for supporting us in developing the tools necessary to draw boundaries and step into our power. We thank them for the opportunity to release. Give thanks for our healing. Ase.
Cleansing was my first bit of magick. From being given ‘spirit baths’ to learning to clean my space(s) in order to accommodate my guides, my first lesson with all of my teachers was how to cleanse. Though each instructor carried a slight variation, the end result was the same: removing the sludge and the static to reveal to yourself where you are at, to open your space to your guides to inform you of what you should be doing and to offer tools to keep clear and aware of where you are going. When embarking on any new journey, it is always most liberating to clear away anything that you may carry that no longer serves you and clear space for new learning, claiming your power and holding new capabilities/gifts. The upcoming lunar eclipse on August 7th offers us this beginning point. It’s a good time to reset, ground & charge up for the months ahead. This is when we gather our energy and give ourselves something sacred, reflect on where we are at and expand into our next steps; clear the unnecessary and prepare space to welcome those who will guide us to our purpose and keep away those who eat off of our fear. The shadow of mercury stationed retrograde is already being felt, so quieting and clearing space and mind to organize these thoughts and sort through how to maintain healthy connection with the relationships that will nourish, develop and sustain us, is ideal.
Witches and workers of color deal with the realities of existing in today’s world and speak from a place that uses healing practices as a way to combat oppression while reclaiming heritage.By Donyae Coles The world of online witchcraft and paganism can be very white-centric. Thankfully, online spaces have increased the visibility of practitioners and healers of color who are coming out from the shadows to embrace their magickal heritage on their own terms. For POC practitioners, the focus tends to be on healing and processing energy to increase protection and self-care. Witches and workers of color deal with the realities of existing in today’s world and speak from a place that uses healing practices as a way to combat oppression while reclaiming heritage. Here are eight healers of color you can follow online: 1. Brianna Suslovic: Brianna is a writer who is focused on racial and reproductive justice and LGBTQIA+ rights. Her work is often very topical and deals with what is happening the world today while also examining the practices of the past and how we can heal those injuries. For people who are new to the path, she is a good, slow introduction into the reality that this work is not all moonbeams and flower cuttings. She keeps her own blog here and Medium page. 2. Madame Omi Kongo: Madame Omi is a rootworker, she uses hoodoo practices to heal and help those who call on her. She comes from a long line of women who were in touch with their spiritual gifts and is carrying on the tradition. She uses and speaks on a brand of magickal traditions that have influenced her practice. Her Tumblr is full of bits of poetry and information for those who are interested in learning more about hoodoo and Black spirituality. She also has a personal site here and a Facebook here. 3. This Black Witch: The Black Witch deals with social issues and calls out mainstream paganism for its white bias. This blog addresses culture with craft which is very important for people who are just getting started on their journey. Reading the work here can help people see that issues with racism and sexism are valid and real. She also conducts question and answer sessions. You can follow Black Witch on their blog, Facebook, and Twitter. 4. Traci Medeiros-Bagan: Traci is a therapist and educator who incorporates spiritual practices into her work. She is a QPOC and works with the LGBTQIA+ community to help them find healing and support. She writes about using tarot as a tool for self-care. You can read her blog here and she’ll be writing for the Little Red Tarot later this summer. 5. The Hoodwitch: Bri Luna is one of the first names to pop up when you’re looking for healers and magick folx of color online. She works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and sells supplies for cleansing and other spells through her online shop. She is also very vocally encourages POC to claim their roots and display their practices with pride. You can follow here at her blog here, on Facebook, or on Instagram.
“I do not need to be amongst other people for validation, I am magic(k)al in my existence, solely.” -Princess NokiaWe pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We pay gratitude for their continued communicative efforts with us, for their guidance through our spiritual discipline and their acts to ensure our return to them; our return to ourselves. Give thanks for our remembering. Ase.
There have been clips popping up on Instagram and Facebook of an interview Princess Nokia did at Brown University recently. The interview runs over an hour-long, with Destiny Frasqueri (Nokia) speaking on her childhood, the major influences for her live performances and most poignantly, her spirituality and how she came into her magick. Princess Nokia has become recognized as putting brujx and conjure culture on the mainstream music map, reminding black and brown femmes, bois and queerdos to be unafraid of our whole selves and not give a fuck who likes it, but us. There’s a moment in the interview where the interviewer asks Destiny about solitude – or “spiritual solitude,” as Destiny calls it – and why she stresses its necessity. Often a hard state to conceptualize, our highly connected and web-space savvy generation is often not allowed that time for solitude. Between notifications and emails and text messages and calls, the threat of turning off your phone to only incur an anxiety about disappointing others, often doesn’t feel worth the true quiet and mindful time we might otherwise have had.
"I want our presence, our voices, and our herbal gifts to be a reassurance for protestors that the Ancestors are watching, our Spirit Guides are with us, and we can win our collective liberation."
Queer Magic for the Resistance (QM4R) is a collective and political affinity group based in Oakland, California. Since its inception in early 2017, QM4R has trained and mobilized street medics, energy healers, and artists to show up for local demonstrations against fascism and police violence. Among its many goals is the reclaiming of magic and healing (both physical and spiritual) as central tools in the fight against systemic oppression. I spoke with Vanessa, a white genderqueer person and founder of QM4R, and Iman, a Black queer femme who has worked closely with QM4R since its inception, about how they envision the role of magic and healing in militant resistance movements.
WYV: What inspired you to create Queer Magic for the Resistance? Under what conditions did it come about, and what role did you envision it playing within other types of resistance work?
Vanessa: Queer Magic for the Resistance began as an offshoot of another project I had been engaged in, called the Queer EcoJustice Project, which connects with queer folks in rural areas, including those creating community in queer autonomous land projects, as well as those living on the front lines of environmental harm; queer folks who have been displaced from land-based livelihoods due to homophobia and other intersecting violences, including homeless and incarcerated queer youth; and queer folks who work within environmental, climate, or food justice organizations, and those whose work builds a queer ecological future.
Queer Magic for the Resistance began in early 2017 out of a pressing need we saw for a contingent of queer medics, artists, and healers who could, for example, provide supplies for and treat stab wounds during street demonstrations; hold space for emotional first aid during confrontations with police; and weave and paint and sing and dance a powerful healing resistance.