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!
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.
Photo by Viktor Pachas
I had so much fun being interviewed by Eniko Vaghy of Agape Editions for their series Cards on the Table. I discuss the relationship between Romani “Gypsy” fortune telling and persecution, my family’s line of Romani medicine work, eclectic witch magic, writing techniques using tarot, my rituals before reading for clients, and lots more! I loved Eniko’s thoughtful questions, and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
Weird Horoscopes by Jezmina Von Thiele! Here are my best cryptic predictions to keep you healthy and whole this week.
#Aries:You’ve been bowing to the powerful specter who lives inside you for too long. No one tells you what to do! Not even your own specter. Now is the time to rise up inside yourself & implement a ruthless revolution. & then treat yo’self to a sheet mask or date night.
#Taurus: You need to build an R&R-burrow to do some feelings, & because you draw comfort from tangible things, demand that the spirits of ether manifest. Let the archangels burn with splendor! Because for you, it isn’t real unless it’s right there blazing in your self-care bunker.
#Gemini: All the shady AF creatures you invited to your glam nocturnal garden parties are kind of douchey, so you’ve whisked yourself away to smokier realms. Stick to high standards for your infamous social calendar from now on. Enchanted fawns and Sumerian serpent priestesses only.
#Cancer: Your ambition to build the best crystal-shell palace is admirable, & your often-unseen blood-thirst for success is Queenly. Make sure your creatures will aid you in your deeds, & support your journey to be better than everyone. The bonding that follows is transcendent.
#Leo: If you’re wondering if everything is a lie & your anxiety is manifesting as hoards of spiders crawling up the walls, you’re right where you’re supposed to be. The new moon is an excellent time to take up hatchet throwing AND and hatchet burying. & maybe buy a funky crystal.
#Virgo: Everyone is really into you telling them what to do. People will probably pay you to do it, so dig deep & sweetly delve into their childhood issues in the boardroom. You’ll have your CEO crying like a baby & handing you that promotion in no time. You’re THAT delightful!
#Libra: If you’ve been disappointed by people recently, they’re stupid. Appeal to the magic boar of the forest to bring your true peeps (alive). Y’all might be scared at first bc the boar is bigger than expected, but open your heart, for he is gentle, & will also bring scones.
#Scorpio: This week is all about rituals. Add a drop of dove’s blood to your bath (or pomegranate for vegans!) invoking the powers of sex and death. Cast spells from your desk with a discreet athame & that candle from Karen. Illustrate your grimoire with the black ichor of ages.
#Sagittarius: Have you been practicing your insect orchestra? The world is taken with your immense creative talent, as well as the thousand glittering eyes of your garage band. It’s time for you to monetize this. Humans & bats alike applaud your hard & unfathomable work.
#Capricorn: It’s like you’re writing your tell-all memoir to let people know what you will absolutely not tolerate, who should have behaved better, & who the real hero/ine is after all. & then a steamy romance novel about a tortured painter/werewolf lover that slowly comes true….
#Aquarius: To-do lists are too subtle for you. Now that you clawed your way out of darkness, you need totemic gauges in the altar you’ve made to your gods of blood, love, & magic. Hunt obscure ingredients at the new moon with the nocturnal gusto of a predator. This is #selfcare
#Pisces: Did you know that witches used “flying ointment,” an orgasmic herbal vaginal salve that made the user transcendent with pleasure? This is#goals for all areas of your life. You are in luxury so intense that it could be a religion. Do it up, merwitch style.
Featured image: Night Blossoms, 2018, Jezmina Von Thiele
A while back I reviewed Kristen J. Sollee’s marvelous book Witches, Sluts, Feminists for BUST. In short, I loved it. “It’s a scintillating, wry, and accessibly academic overview of the witch archetype….” and I think if you’re digging the kinds of things I dig over here, then you’ll like it too. Check it out!
I wrote this article, “How a little S&M can help you heal from sexual trauma,” a while ago for Greatist and wanted to share it here too. I’m all about healing however you need to, and sometimes the body/mind/heart wants to order off the menu. Of course, power play and sexual reclamation aren’t right for every trauma survivor, and even when they are, they might not be right all the time. This is just a look at my own on-going sexual healing, my relationship, and the resources and practices that helped start me off. Some of my favorite resources make an appearance, including….
I hope these resources are helpful! I get a lot of joy working with trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and a fortune teller. Survivors are resilient, tough, and inspiring, and I’m glad that my experiences and my trauma aware training can help me connect. I’m always so honored when a client trusts me enough to share what they’ve been through and what they need. Survivors have been through hell, and I think after processing and working toward loving the self, it affords a kind of second sight.
Wishing you the best of love and pleasure!
Photographer: Deniz Ataman
I am really happy to share these articles I wrote for Greatist, “67 Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors Who Aren’t Sure Where to Turn” (a list of everything from hotlines to alternative therapy treatment centers) and “A Guide to Therapies That Can Heal Sexual Trauma” (a look at some of the most demonstrably effective therapies). As a survivor of sexual trauma, it means a lot to collect these resources and make them available. I have a background in trauma aware yoga, and I’ve found tarot and other tools as helpful ways to approach my own healing, but I’m also a huge proponent of therapy. Safe Horizon has been an excellent resource for me. I hope by sharing these different approaches from a personal perspective will make readers feel less alone, and more comfortable reaching out for help. Everyone deserves to be supported, and everyone deserves healing.
Featured image: “The Wanderers” by Tara McPherson (2013). Please visit her site and support her work at http://www.taramcpherson.com