A Multicultural Witch’s Practice 101

Disponible en castellano

I spoke about language not so long ago. However, when it comes to Witchcraft practice, it’s not just the language that matters. It’s the techniques we use, the tools we get, the points of view we work with, and even the people we meet and learn from. Being in Venezuela forced me to work with limited resources, sometimes even limited information, but since I came to the United States, a door opened for more of all of this.

A limited practice?

Although my resources were limited in Venezuela, I don’t think my practice was, and I don’t mean that anyone’s practice is in any way (unless they decide to describe it as such). I always try to remember that Witches in other times didn’t have fancy tools or exotic materials to work with; there were no ancient formulas or great discoveries. They worked with what they had.

The Wheel of Fortune and several other Rider-Waite-Colman Smith tarot cards near a candle [subarasikiai, Pixabay]

While in Venezuela, I started developing a practice that was highly based on tarot cards, sigils, and I used paper more than anything else. That’s what I had at hand, and I made it work the best I could for whatever it was that I needed. I also became very good at visualizing, meditation, using music in my Witchcraft, and trusting my intuition.

Practice makes perfect, and I became good with those techniques. I didn’t practice with stones or herbs because I couldn’t find them or they were expensive, and I also didn’t use a lot of tools because they were also expensive (and I didn’t like the ones I found). And I never felt that I was being limited, but more like a challenge to see how creative I could be, how flexible my practice could be.

However, being here means that I can try new things. And that’s what I started doing when I had the chance.

Trying, exploring, and learning

I started with something I was familiar with but still curious about: stones. I am lucky to have several metaphysical shops close to me, and I started getting different stones whenever I could to try working with them, getting more familiar with them, trying new combinations, and so on. I did this until I was satisfied with what I had so I could focus on the next thing: Hoodoo dolls.

A crystal [ha11ok, Pixabay]

As I grew up, I was always told that “Voodoo” and “Hoodoo” dolls were used for ill intentions, hexes, black magic, curses, and the such, but I wasn’t sure about it. I started thinking that maybe there were instances where they could be used for good, so when I saw a class about Hoodoo dolls close to where I am I enrolled right away. For those unfamiliar with the topic, Hoodoo seems to be a practice very similar to Voodoo, but without the religious component. I tried it as well, this time with a gris-gris bag that also includes my Syrian culture, and so far, it’s given me great results.

The next one to try was the (perhaps infamous) Ouija board. After a bad experience when I was 15-16 years old, I decided not to try that tool again. But as I grew up and learned more about Witchcraft, I found that spirit boards are not dangerous if you use them correctly. I attended another class and lost whatever fear I had left.

What does it all mean? That with more tools I was able to try different things that included my background, my ancestry, and my present.

Combining, but not appropriating

I’ve done this with a lot of caution so I wouldn’t appropriate a culture. After learning more about smudging and palo santo, I decided to leave those two out of my practice. There were several other options for cleansing, anyway, so what’s two out of the picture? However, practices like keeping a two-dollar bill that are popular here in the US seemed more correct in this sense.

I also started supporting more independents and local artists to give back to the community I’m living in, and I recognize Salt Lake as the traditional land of several Native American Nations, including the Ute, the Paiute, the Goshute, the Shoshone Nations, among others.

As I build my identity as a multicultural, immigrant Witch, I try to remain respectful to myself but also that that’s around me. Living here has helped me work more often with a genderless divine energy, something I started in Venezuela, and understand it better, explore new ideas for incantations, visualizations, and stay curious.

There have some ideas I’ve been pondering about and that I’ll be capable of putting to test only now that I found some stability, both economic and mental. I’m equally nervous and excited about it!

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