I spoke to Brut media about the harmful use of the racial slur “Gypsy” and “gypped.” I see the word used so often in writing, media, brands, and few people know that it refers to the Romani people, and reinforces negatives stereotypes about us like nomadism, curses, thievery, and promiscuity. Many Americans believe that the word Gypsy actually means thief, nomad, curse-thrower, or ‘slut,’ and this erases Romani identity at a crucial time while we are fighting for our rights, and associates the real Romani people with theses stereotypes. I am proud of my Romani heritage and I want people to understand who we are. I’ve written many articles on other aspects of Romani culture, which you can find on my Writing page. If you know someone who uses this word, even if they think they are using it in a positive way, you might like to gently and lovingly educate them on the power of language and the history of this slur. Thanks for watching!
Do you have Halloween plans? Here are some you’ll want to add to your list. Brooklyn’s Gemini & Scorpio Loft is throwing the best, two-night long party, Spellbound: Immersive Evening Transformation Through Ritual. I’ll be reading palms and tarot with Darcey Leonard (palms) and Éowyn Evans (tarot) from Tarot Society, both Friday and Saturday night, 8 PM-1AM (but the party goes till 4). This is what the event ticket link says…
An intimate, immersive evening of exploring transformation through ritual, with dreamy atmospheric music, magickal potions, and interactions both gentle and intense. Our first run of what we hope to bring you as a fully immersive magickal Halloween experience on Fri Oct 26th and Sat Oct 27. Tickets will be limited.
Begin at our welcome station with a ceremonial letting go of that which no longer serves you. Then lounge in our lush candlelit loft and enjoy the magic. Featuring: fortune telling talents of Holy Crow (palms), Jezmina Von Thiele (tarot and palms), Cara Kovacs (oracle cards, crystals & reiki), Fox Danger (tarot + ritual), Peri Lyons (tarot) and other masters of divination. Operatic opening ritual by Lacy Rose. Acts of magic by Nelson Lugo. Absinthe and unique green witchcraft potions by The House of St Eve. Live music by Echo of the Ghost: defying genres with ambient, EDM influenced songs laced with melodic synth textures and hypnotic violin arrangements. Witchy dance party follows.
Dress code: your dark, witchy best or your Halloween wear. Effort required / no casual wear.
In addition to the main event, you can choose to connect deeper via three increasingly intense interaction options. Choose the path that resonates with you. What do you need to let go of? What do you need to bring in?
Fate: confront your future; change your present. This path gives you two tokens for free readings ($10 otherwise), plus a one-on-one spiritual consultation with Tarot Society founder Darcey Leonard. Comes with a keepsake Life Tree pendant*
Sensuality: electrify your skin; ignite your passions. Choose this path if you want to push your physical boundaries in our secret sensory lounge. You can connect to just yourself or to others. Comes with a keepsake skeleton key pendant*
Death: look beyond the veil; face your fears. Who will you be when you come out on the other side? You are invited into the Psychomanteum, an interactive installation inspired by Cocteau’s OrphÃ©, where you can converse with deceased loved ones. Also includes readings from all our fortune tellers. Comes with a keepsake bird skull pendant.*
Do not be late for this one. All spirit stations operate 8pm-1am only. Tips for spirit stations proprietors are greatly appreciated.
*Same pendants as the previous Spellbound. If you wish to reuse yours, you’ll just need the correct color cord at the door.
Here’s the easy-to-share Facebook link too! https://www.facebook.com/events/1158789164288107/
Featured image: “The Witches Sabbath” by Luis Ricardo Falero, 1878
I use castor oil for almost everything, so I talked to The Vitamin Shoppe blog about how I use this wonderful and affordable oil in my beauty rituals. My hair is thick and tends to be try like a horse’s tail, so there’s a soft and shiny castor oil hair treatment in there. Lashes and brows? Covered. Lips? Sure. I’ve got castor oil tips in here from head to toe, and pretty much all of them gleaned from my ever-lovely Romani mother, the queen of natural, shoestring budget beauty. I even have something in here for scars. If you try them out, let me know what you think.
I also use castor oil as a carrier oil for my safe-for-skin essential oils, and I especially like to use it with tea tree oil for skincare, which I also discussed with The Vitamin Shoppe; lavender, and frankincense. If we’re talking about its witchier uses, then it also applies to my more magical oils and elixirs. It’s a thick, viscous oil, which makes it feel both tough and enveloping, so I like to use it in healing and protection rituals, and to draw in money.
I love Lisa Marie Basile‘s new book, Light Magic for Dark Times. “Basile’s magic feels like a dip into The Artist’s Way for witches,” which is no surprise since you may already know her creative writing, and Luna Luna Magazine, which she runs and founded. The spells she writes benefit from her poetry, and the journaling and other reflective exercises help the reader heal and learn about themselves before they even light a candle.
While the book is geared toward femme spirits, Basile’s language and focus is mindfully intersectional and gender-inclusive, embracing of fluid and non-binary identities, and all bodies and body types. The focus is always on self-love and self-care, particularly for marginalized people who may feel ground-down in the day to day of our, lately dark, times. There are spells for healing burnout after social justice protests, trauma, chronic illness, grief, and discrimination, and as always, the focus is on increasing love and kindness in all of its forms. In short, bringing the light in.
To learn more about what I love about the book, her work in shadow magic, and the ins and outs of ritual, check out my review for BUST.com. I’m looking forward to revisiting this book for years to come, and I hope all you artists, witches, and wonderful sprites answer if it calls to you.
Hey friends! I am really into natural skincare, and so I wrote this blog post for the Vitamin Shoppe Blog about how I use tea tree oil in my beauty routine. I also mention a few Roma-style, family beauty tips. Plus you get to admire my Etude House kitten headband and my leopard bathrobe. Take a look!
#WeirdHoroscopes are here again for the week of May 20th, delivered by sassy, weird oracle through me!
Gemini: Learn everything now. In your solar return, you have the ability to know all things by staring directly at the sun for several hours, or at the sun’s nemesis, the moon. Perhaps the latter is safest.
Cancer: Venus asks you to perform love & self care. Do something fun like bubble baths, knife fighting, or ax throwing. & if your loved ones don’t accept the love you give, set a “Make America Great Again” hat on fire.
Leo: If you’re asking yourself, “What am I even doing with my life?” then it’s really important that you don’t listen to anyone. Instead, go deep in the forest, cover yourself with earth, & let trees & herbs sprout from your ribcage. Then you will know.
Virgo: Make up some business cards to promote yourself & your many talents. Now is the time! & enchant them so that they burst into flame once the recipient commits their information to memory. It’ll show how dynamic & fun you are!
Libra: Consider volunteering your time to spread your wisdom. Shepherd souls across the river Lethe to the underworld. Become a volunteer ghost hunter. Counsel vampires grappling with eternity.
Scorpio: You are so passionate that you have an actual fire inside you. Learn to breathe it at will so you can char things or people as needed & provide clean, renewable energy. Learn to blow smoke rings out your nose too because people just love it.
Sagittarius: You just returned from the Underworld this week. Welcome back! Remember that the peeps on this side need you to show up in a corporeal form & do love & intimacy or whatever. You’re not swirling in a cyclone of spirit anymore! Not right now anyway.
Capricorn: Time to play! The stars suggest laser tag, or something in which you shoot light from your body, symbolizing how captivating & piercing you are, thereby triple-charging your powers. Perhaps try something with electric eels.
Aquarius: You have been reanimated after you were encased in ice for a hot minute, & it’s time to re-learn how to move your fingers & toes & pump blood through your body. Nuzzling animals & tanning beds are a good way to warm the heart, but not simultaneously.
Pisces: If you’re experiencing flashes of rage, do something productive. Start with a series of interpretive dance and arson, captain an armada of space cats, & write a treatise out of swords to resolve remaining grievances. Then take an angry-nap.
Aries: Privacy is important. Consider becoming unplottable, wearing disguises & full body armor, & sequestering yourself in a tower owned by a grumpy bear who minds his own business. You will later become great friends.
Taurus: You now have the ability to channel ghosts & spirits, especially Prince. Use your power for sassy good, wear a raspberry beret, & tell it like it is through song & androgynous sex appeal. Prince has a lot planned for you.
Featured Image by Wellcome Images
It’s #RomaniResistanceDay commemorating the day Roma & Sinti prisoners of Auschwitz took the damn place apart, fashioning weapons out of scraps of wood, metal, and anything else they found, and then drove back guards to delay execution. And the Romani and Sinti communities are still dismantling oppression today.
Here are some links if you would like to read more about this important day in history, and the Romani and Sinti genocide of WWII.
Also check out Jud Nirenberg’s phenomenal book, Johann Trollmann and Romani Resistance to The Nazis, free on Kindle and totally worth it in paperback.