Whose Gods Do I Go To?

Recently I have seen a large movement particularly among Queer folk and women/femmes, returning to witchcraft practices. Which as almost a life time practitioner of witchcraft in some form or another is pretty exciting for me. Once not so long ago I simply referred to myself as “hokey” because I was worried about the stigmatization of being labelled “witch.” Now at the ripe old age of 23 I am becoming some what of a source among my friends and tumblr blog followers.

However a great differentiator of my witchcraft practice and others is that mine is an act of decolonization. My spiritual reattachment to my ancestors, and their gods and practices, is an act of defiance against a white supremacist society. Many White witches (and by that I mean white people) often times struggle to find their place in this world where spirituality is sold to them in aesthetics and through blatant disrespect of other cultures. Due to this gentrified commodification of spirituality many settlers have a hard time finding grounding in their own practice, reaching and grabbing at anything that they feel will help make them feel closer to the universe. This #NamaSlay culture often strips culture of it’s context, removing the sacred and creating a rebloggable religious experience. This to me is hollow, and visibly so. As a womanized and racialized Afro-Indigenous person, let me tell you now, do not look to my ancestors for answers, they aren’t here for you.

My advice to White people in witchcraft, or those seeking something outside of evangelical WASP culture is this.

Rid yourself of whiteness

That’s right, actualize outside yourself of the racialized class title. The idea of Whiteness itself was created in order to delineate who was allowed to own or be associated with certain statuses, creating a massive erasure of culture across the board. While those of you who are white are not effected in such a detrimental way as people of color have been, when it comes to your spiritual striving look to your actual ethnicity. Ask your parents and grandparents about your background, research the origin of your last name. Use that as a jumping point, some people may not be able to find specific regions in Europe where they are from, but you can probably find a country. Each of these places has their own history, saints, heroes, folk tales and such on.

Use those to create your practice, are you from a Slovakian background, cool, look up their old practices and origins, work them into your practice! And with that size yourself back, and with that you will find that type of kinship that may aid you in becoming a better ally to the colonized people who have our sacred stolen for consumption. For example I know a man from county Cork in Ireland, his whole family not only speaks Gaelic, but a pre Gaelic dialect, from several hundred years ago. While he remains a Celtic Christian, being able to integrate the practices and traditions from the age before the various troubles Ireland has faced gives him a sense of connection and real purpose. There are some non-European religions that are open religions, meaning once that welcome new members & if those are something you are interested in fine; do the research, footwork, visit temple/churches/gatherings. However Anglo witches, stop taking our shit for aesthetic, don’t blindly consume plastic shamanism, don’t conveniently pick pieces parts from others ancestral and inherited practices. Don’t go to Gods and Ancestors who don’t want you. Return to your roots and your people, your ancestors, they still hear even if you don’t know their names anymore.

See these sources:

https://sph.umd.edu/sites/default/files/files/Harris_Whiteness%20as%20Property_106HarvLRev-1.pdf  {Pdf Link to “Whiteness As Property”}

My prior piece “The Thing About Cultural Appropriation”

 

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