Womxn and femmes have always defined themselves outside of the lines and barriers laid out for them.
Constantly exceeding expectations and defying stereoptypes.
Black womxn, in particular, have always been the burden bearers for everyone else around them, without many spaces to find respite – except for…sometimes…with each other.
We have to be our own supports, our own bodyguards, our own offence and defence, our own healers, our own counsellors, our own lovers.
I trust my fellow womxn and femmes of colour (and those who’ve learned from them) to guide me in the best ways to keep myself safe, such that I may ward off the bullshit, the unecessary violence, the unecessary pain…
It is them who’ve protected me from birth and healed me when they couldn’t protect me.
It is them who’ve been my respite.
So it is to them I go for the knowledge, and to you, I offer it.
Indigenous Knowledge (North and South America)
Elder Joanne taught me to use SAGE and Elder Audrey taught me to use PALO SANTO. They are a phenomenal herb and wood for cleansing negative energy and clearing that which mal-intended spirits cannot cling to. Simply burn them; allow the smoke to wash over you and permeate the space you seek to cleanse. Give thanks to the ancestors for the blessing(s) with which you’re being bestowed.
Black/African (American) Hoodoo
- ROSEMARY is a supremely protective herb, especially for womxn and femmes. If you have the space (and the time/interest in using your green thumb), plant the shrub near your front door, or place a black sachet (bag) full of the dried herb over your door frame. This is said to ward off ‘evil’ or mal-intended people/spirits.
- For femmes/ womxn who menstruate: A dear friend, mentor and Caribbean ‘other mother’ of mine, Babette, taught me that placing a swipe of fresh menstrual blood over the door frame to your home and/or room will also ward off ‘evil’ or mal-intended spirits/people, for the producer of that blood.
- SANDALWOOD powder & ANGELICA ROOT powder mixed and scattered across the front of your space will also be protective. Alternatively, sandalwood chips and a whole angelica root in a black sachet near the front door will do the same.
- SALT sprinkled across doorways and in the corners of a home/space can literally keep mal-intended people from crossing over it. Salt is one of the most versatile medicines in the history of hoodoo.
- SOLOMON’S SEAL chips at your window sills can keep ‘evil’ away and jinxes off of you; FERN will also ward off theft.
- ASAFOETIDA ROOT (DEVIL’S DUNG) bundled in a small black bag and carried at your waist will ward off the police.
BLACK is said to be a protective colour; it absorbs, conceals and brings grounding. Wear or use the colour black to bring added protection to yourself and any divination work you do.
My Latinx bruja sistars taught me to ward of any bad juju or jinxes put on me through the use of an egg:
- Get a fresh white egg, bless it with Florida Water and call to the ancestors;
- Carry it all over your body asking the ancestors to remove any curse or bad energy that is being brought to you;
- Carry this egg to a crossroads;
- While standing at the crossroads, proclaim “I banish the negative energy/curse to never touch me again. A’se/Amen/So mote it be;”
- Toss the egg behind you and DO NOT look back.
Floida water is also great to use in blessings or to cleanse negative energy or spirits. Put a drop in the bath, bless your third eye before you leave home for the day or bless your altar or any offerings you seek to give.
My dear grandmother, who was trained in obeah by a friend in the Bahamas (when she ran away there many years back), always taught me to ask for ‘white light protection’ before meditation, ‘tuning into’ another’s energy, spirit talk or doing any divination or spell work. White is the absence of anything; a clearing; offers vision and sight. You simply ask the ancestors and your spirit guides to offer you ‘white light protection’ and invision that light surrounding you. When the image resonates clear and strong, you may offer thanks and continue whatever you were intending to do.
Keep loved ones close. Keep your self-care as a top priority.
Move tall. Move proud.
Have faith in your power to protect yourself. Know that you deserve safety.
In solidarity and healing love,