black witch: love potion no. 9

February 18, 2011

Ah, oui, l’amour. Such a wonderful thing love is. Whether you get it from your kitty, your fish, your kids or your loved ones, love is a pretty nice thing. The world would probably be a happier place if the nasty people in it got a hug once in a while (some of them, preferably from a strait jacket). Everyone wants it and works hard to get it: go to the gyms, ask advice columnists what went wrong, wonder what that special gal or guy is like and will they ever meet The One. Valentine’s Day is a day to show that love or it just stands out as Single Awareness Day where you want to shoot down all the heart shaped balloons, ship Cupid to a war zone and be the Grinch that hates Valentine’s. A lovely – albeit incredibly commercialized – holiday, it’s a day that everyone is a little more dreamy – or miserable.

Black Witch: Love Potion No. 9

A Witch’s Guide to Navigating Love in February

Words Black Witch How do Witches and Pagans celebrate Valentine’s Day? Meh, just like everyone else. Either we’re happy in love or sneering at those who are. While we cherish or suffer, we just get more people asking us if there’s any way they could get a love reading or even spell to see what their luck’s like in the world of hearts and cuddles. Ugh, walking reminders of whether you’re dating or not.

Love readings are sometimes a pain to do but mainly because they have a high chance of opening a can of worms (I learned that the hard way). Everyone, me included, wanna get the details on the who, how, when and where of the one person they are bound to spend the rest of their life with. Divination being such a fickle thing when it comes to love, it can be easy to be unsatisfied with what you get. It may not be the right time to know about who you’re going to end up with, you could wind up missing your chance by avidly looking for it, you may learn that it’s going to be a pretty long ways off before meeting anyone worthwhile. Having a particular idea of what kind of person you want (not always the kind of person that will work well with you) and then learning about your true love can prove vexing.

Before I go on, I would like to clarify that I believe true love is different from soul mate. A true love is someone who you are bound to spend your life with as a love partner for the rest of your life that you live and grow with in sync whereas a soul mate is just that, a mate for your soul to advance itself. That can be anything from a stray cat to the one co-worker that seems to always get you to the best friend you have. Since I believe in reincarnation (a lot of Pagans believe in reincarnation but not all do), I believe that a true love is constant throughout the lives you live but it’s not a promise that you’ll meet them in every life because not every life has the goal or room for the pursuit of true love. Plus, it may not be right or the perfect time for them themselves to meet you.


Continuing on, I used to do this reading I would call the “true love” spread. In reality it was not one spread but a series and I used to do them for anyone that would ask. I didn’t really think much of it because, hey, everyone wants to know when that special someone is coming, why not? Yeah there was the chance that the person could find out that there’s no one for them this life but, hey, they asked. I have faith that my divination is pretty on point (I’m very rarely wrong) so I didn’t see much wrong with it. I would do a yes/no spread just to get it out of the way, a signification spread to find out what kind of person the guy or girl will be and then a spread for the timing.

Y’know, it seemed not so bad at first – until people got really antsy about these readings. You see, when I first started doing divination for others, I thought that I would get a plethora of divination requests from jobs to life to love to general questions. I would set up my tarot spread request page on Mystic Wicks and wait for the diverse requests to come sliding in. What did I get? A bunch of love spread requests. Does so-and-so like me? Should I stay with this one guy who totally doesn’t make me happy but buys me lots of stuff? Will this random guy I keep seeing in the gym and I have a future together though I haven’t even said hi to him yet? All these love spread requests and they were my least favorite requests because I’m not really super lovey dovey and some, if not a lot, of the questions were a bit no-brainers. I guess I fell into creating my own love spread series because I wanted to kinda shut these people up in the first round if I needed it. I would of course do the spread they asked (I have a series of questions to ask when I do spreads just to get most of the trouble out of the way first) but if they would press on, hey! Why not do the true love spread! I would get it out the way and the end result would be a happy (or unhappy) person. I was in my late teens and impatience is a visible personality trait of mine so that didn’t bug me in the least bit. I didn’t do it super often though, plenty people were happy with the readings they got, not often did I need to go further. The True Love spread mainly came from trial and error instead of a perfectly polished product from the start.

The problem with love readings (spells and pretty much anything to do with matters of the heart ) is that people are very fixed on finding The One and have pretty idealistic views about who that person is supposed to be. If it isn’t what they imagined, something must be amiss or if there isn’t one at all, someone is not happy because let’s face it, everyone wants to be loved by someone. That means if they know someone who can give them the details (or close enough details), the requester sticks to the diviner like glue. That’s no fun. Consistent contacts, asking for a new reading every few days or couple of weeks, etc etc. That’s one reason why I don’t do True Love Spreads anymore, I like my breathing room and my inbox not flooding full with people who think I’m a genie or something.

Then I got kicked in the derriere myself with these readings. I always said I would never want one or get one but I guess I got wrapped up in doing so many love readings, I thought I should do one myself. Extremely long story very short, that was a total doozy and an experience I never want to relive. Like I said, I was impatient so I made all the mistakes that folks who asked me for love readings made: did my cards over and over again, wonder way too much what kind of guy my true love would be, where would I meet him and when. It got me into a lot of trouble, embarrassment, agony and serious heartache stretched over a few years that I really could have avoided. It was a Pandora’s Box – one of the biggest reasons of all why I don’t do the readings anymore. I got to sit in the recipient’s seat and saw it really was a nasty piece of work to be thrown in.

As for spells – if readings were tricky, spells certainly are. They’re one of the few kinds of spells that get a solid “Don’t Do It” from practically everyone in the Witch and Pagan community. No one minds spells casted for self-love or to heal from a break-up, not many find issue with casting a spell just to get a nice date for Saturday night but just about every Witch, Pagan and Wiccan I have met are staunchly against the stereotypical “make him/her come back to me” love spells. Why? It plants itself firmly in the field of manipulation, a big no-no regardless who you talk to.

Any Witch with sense wouldn’t do so but the average person doesn’t always see the harm. I just had to talk to someone who wanted to cast a spell to bring their ex-boyfriend back. There’s even a search term someone used to find my blog “I want a spiritual witch doctor to bring back my ex-boyfriend.” I believe I joked on Twitter in response, “Bring back an ex-boyfriend from the dead or bring him back into a dead relationship?” because while I understand how grave it must be to the inquirer, it’s a little silly and concerning to me. The reason being is that if the relationship is dead, it’s dead. There’s always a possibly for a relationship to bounce back but not for everyone. To cast a spell to make a lover come back even if they don’t want to and much rather move on is the exact equivalent of being an controlling spouse that will physically, emotionally and/or psychologically bar someone from leaving the relationship, no matter how much that tired partner wants to. A little Witchy rule of thumb: if it’s wrong through mundane means, it’s probably (read: 98%, leaving room for potential exceptions) wrong through magickal means. The same goes for casting spells on people that you like and want to make them love you back. Love has to happen on its own, not when you pretty much zombie someone’s will. That’s not love, that’s really scary.

Love is a beautiful thing but it can just as easily drive someone up and down the wall frustrated with the idea that in a world of six billion plus people, there’s got to be their perfect match out there…right? It sometimes seems like a sporting event for the gods: how many times can you bark up the wrong tree/date the wrong person/have enough broken hearts before you say “Forget it?” and become a spinster or hold out hope as long as you can ’til you find the right one who will make your heart sing – and for how long? It isn’t fair and no one is really alone in the matter, the idea of finding true love is a timeless topic. If only there was simply one database that everyone in the world could subscribe themselves to and find eternal matches that way, maybe lots of people would be happier. Finding love is important but what I think is often lost is the idea that the perfect person should be perfect for you and your quirks and shortcomings. Someone to grow and consistently modify yourself with and vice versa. I believe many forget that relationships are supposed to be balanced somehow and not in the 60/40 or 90/10 or 100/0 or 150/-50 way because that’s not a good relationship but one doomed to fail because both sides can’t grow together and possibly not individually either. No one is perfect so it would be foolish to assume that the perfect person that comes into your life will be too. It just means they’ll be perfect for you: know just the right way to work your nerves to finally clean up after yourself or know exactly how to piss you off in less than a minute over absolutely nothing – but also know how to make you happy and feel like all the time you spent on them is totally worthwhile. Relationships aren’t perfect, just like the people in them. All anyone can do is be honest, meet people, figure out what works versus what doesn’t and hope that someday you may have someone to spend the rest of your life with.

But if you need love that bad, visit your local animal shelter and adopt. You’re not the only one who wants to be loved.

This week on the Black Witch wordpress: The Arts!
Who is featuring:
– Savage Love
– Shihan
– Museum of Black Superheroes/Black Comic Book Convention

Don’t forget to send in Ask Black Witch questions! You know how to get them in: email (thisblackwitch@hotmail.com), tweet (@thisblackwitch), fill out the Ask Black Witch submission form, ask on the Black Witch fan page or simply comment.

Now, in case anyone is wondering why I don’t have up any special posts for Black History month, my answer is fairly simple: There’s no need. To explain for those who are probably making a frown or a look of horror, I feel that albeit Black History Month is something indeed important to highlight the multitudes of greatness for the Black race, I don’t believe that the expression of Blackness should ever reside in one month but all year round, Black is forever. I already am Black, I mean – even the column’s name is titled Black Witch, I shouldn’t have to necessarily dig out anything incredibly Black for the month of February when it already has a high likelihood of getting posted up here anyways because of that very fact, this is a Black blog after all. For this very reason, that is why there isn’t a special Black history month column up here on Black Witch. There’s a whole year and the rest of time to dedicate to the pursuit, successes and tribulations of the worldwide Black race. However, if there is someone special that you, my readers, want me to highlight or even consider, let me know.

There will be a series dedicated to not exactly or not only Black history but also modern day Black culture and society in March 2012 called “Comin’ Straight Outta Your Monolith”. The month-long series will discuss what it is and isn’t to be Black, the narrowness of the Black monolith and mainly the outsides of the Black monolith such as Blacks who are into cybergoth or simply those who do not want to become a stereotype. In addition, there will be a series in September 2011 titled “Black Diamonds and Pearls” which highlights Black girls (and guys) in Lolita fashion. These two are very exciting for me because these series allow me and others (a main feature of my series is that there will be guest writers and other voices besides my own) to examine the different sides of Black culture, Blackness, how do we perceive it, what are the flaws in our current perceptions, how we validate or don’t validate particular ideas of Blackness and what is it truly to be Black. This is why I’m not putting up anything particular for Black history month; we have all year ‘round.

Oh, and next month will start a series I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time called “Fandom and the Fan”, which looks at fandom in primarily the music scene. It will extend the whole month of March every Friday and since Black Witch is biweekly here but weekly on wordpress, I may have overlooked BW columns here and link to Fandom and the Fan posts each time. That way it serves as a bit of a catch up here and everyone still remains up to date while keeping this column as pagan-y as possible!