So listen. I’m ecstatic Beyonce has everybody wanting to get in touch with their “inner bruja” and shit. That’s spectacular! No. REALLY, it is!
“And I’ma let y’all finish” but REAL TALK- there’s a certain amount of accountability and responsibility that comes with being a “witch” and I can assure you that it isn’t always pretty. Typically, witches were the first to be killed when Europeans invaded Africa.
For the past year or so, we have been immersed in what is known as “Yoruba mythology”. I hate that term. Understand that this is coming from a purely tendentious point of view as I am a devoted Lucumisa.
In laymen’s terms. IT’S REAL AS FUCK. These faiths were originally practiced in secret because the Spanish, French and the British forbade them due to their powerful nature. The best way to suppress a group is to remove their strength. Our ancestors and Orishas were just that.
“ It’s proper name is Lucumi not Santeria or Brujeria. It has many variations from the different tribes who wound up in various places over here like Voodoo (US), Candomble (Brazil), Lucumi (Cuba), Voudoun (Haiti), Division 21 (Dominican Republic), etc . These faiths worship orisha, eggun (ancestors), and nature. It is polytheistic which goes back to my initial warning if you are reading this with a monotheistic mind. It’s how the Haitians defeated the French. It’s how our ancestors survived the worst atrocities known to humanity.”
This awakening has offered the masses a pulchritudinous view of traditions which were practiced in secret for centuries. I am here for the learning aspect of it but there is a flagrant disregard to the years of work, knowledge, learning and understanding that goes into these faiths. This isn’t something that you can learn from the internet. There are ceremonies, consecrations, and processes involved which can’t be done by any charlatan on the block. You don’t choose which Orisha you want to represent. THEY CHOOSE YOU. Typically, there’s no handbook and most of the traditions and rezos (prayers) are passed down orally. Although in the digital age, you can find written versions and videos if you wanted to learn them.
You just don’t decide to be a bruja by changing your name to a moniker you found on Youtube or Google. That’s not how this works. Everybody isn’t magical no matter how many articles you read or times you chant. It’s also not that simple in most cases. Let’s just be honest. I know that it sounds sexy as fuck. There’s an air of mystery when it comes to astroplaning (dimension jumping), being an oracle, a clairvoyant, a spellmaster, an empath or a person who sees spirits. Even the potential of being possessed by the Orishas will make the biggest skeptic curious. All that said- this shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I get it. Rest assured that’s the only sexy thing about this. Nobody ever discusses the downside to this life. I am sure you all are thinking, “Where the hell is all of this going, chile?”
This may freak some of you out. Others may be complete skeptics while some will be perfectly comfortable hearing this. It’s all good.
I am an Oni Yemaya (Yemayá’s daughter). Yemaya’s children are known to be extremely intuitive and aside from that I am what they call a “bruja de nacimiento” (natural witch or born witch).The two are mutually exclusive and the combination of being both is remarkably puissant. The short version of this is I’m not the only bruja in my family. Some were/are stronger than others and our gifts varied/vary. As the elders would say, I was a “born with a veil”. I was born ALL SIX of the gifts I mentioned above. It’s a blessing and a curse. Real shit. My mami, sister and close friends and family can vouch for me.
True brujas will tell you. AS A BRUJA, I WILL TELL YOU. It can be a burden and pop culture will make you believe that you can click your heels 3 times and all will be right with the world. Hate to break it to you, homie. I wish it was that easy.
I am going to share some details of my life that few people know about.
I’ve always had visions ever since I can remember. I didn’t think they were odd as a youngster. In fact, I thought everybody could do it. Some were frightening and others were joyous. I found that my silence wasn’t protecting the people whom I loved so I made a conscious decision in my teens to say what I saw. NO MATTER WHAT.
In 2003, I taught a hip hop class at CMI Health and Swim Club in Southfield, Michigan. I had a pretty good following and a girl named Lauren started to take my class. She was a pretty, caramel girl with bright eyes and a super sweet disposition. She was a sophomore at Oak Park High School and worked at Dunkin Donuts on some evenings. One night after class, I saw her walking towards Southfield Road and upon looking at her, I felt a sense of impending doom. It was so heavy that I felt my eyes well up with tears. My sister watched my daughter while I taught classes so I asked her permission to pick Negrita With Tumbao up a little late. I explained to my feelings to her. She said, “Yes. Of course.”
My heart raced as I pulled up to her and asked if she needed a ride. Lauren smiled and hopped in my truck. As I was talking to her, I mentioned that it was dark and she shouldn’t walk alone. I, also, told her that I would take her home after EVERY class because she needed to be careful and I worried about her. She was grateful. I felt a slight sense of relief. JUST A SLIGHT SENSE.
About a month later, I go to my Daddy’s house to visit (Ibae Tonu) and he is watching the midday news on Channel 7. The volume was low but I see her picture with the caption- “Oak Park teen raped and strangled in Shepherd Park”. (I am trembling as I write this.) I was hysterical.
I just screamed, “I saw it, Daddy! And I couldn’t stop it!”
I was shaken. He was speechless. I called my sister and told her they found Lauren in the park. Apparently, she had worked the night before and walked home about 9:30 pm cutting through Shepherd Park. A neighbor had been watching and stalking her. He killed her because she recognized him. I felt her suffering and I heard her screams. She thanked me for attempting to care for her. And I still carry the guilt of not being able to do more.
Living in this skin has made me overprotective and guarded. Being a bruja makes you privy to the evils of the world. We see shit you don’t necessarily want to see and it can’t be erased. There are spirits who invade your space day and night and you may or may not be able to turn them off. I’ve had to barter with spirits to give me a break because mentally and physically- they were draining me. Let’s not mention the headaches. We carry EVERYBODY’S weight, energies and emotions. It’s a thankless job. However if we don’t do it, we run the risk of going mentally insane.
This is a matter of life or death for us.
Black girl magic is real but be careful what you ask for.
*In my Jigga voice* “It ain’t for everybody!”