While I’ve been a weird bird since I was small, my first official introduction to the occult took place in my pre-teens/early teens (12-13) and my professional career began in earnest in 2012.
My background in the magical and occult arts is extensive, well-rounded, and getting a bit hard to track at this point. Outside of my own scholarly research and specific course working, I am a spirit-led practitioner: my relationship and ability to communicate directly with the spirits I work with, and to burn my own fingers on my craft, will (almost) always trump a book or other resource, with some exceptions (I will never claim a title, authority, or lineage I have no rights to.) I strive to learn about cultural traditions that are not ethnically my own through primary source materials (when possible), oral transmission & direct accounts, and through traditional observation with direct oversight from the community of origin.
Active learning and service-oriented learning works well for me and is how I have accumulated my body of knowledge + wisdom. I use the variety of avenues and tools available to me as a practitioner to engage in ongoing learning, and complement this with practical skills and training to support making my talents practical and effective.
I am a spirit-guided practitioner, meaning most of my magical development is cultivated through the maintenance and ongoing work with specific spiritual intelligences, including my Ancestors. I confirm and cross-reference this knowledge with historical and practical sources, through colleagues and peers, etc.
I believe in rematriation & decolonization of Turtle Island, and strive to align my animism and spiritual work with that political commitment and beliefs.
Over the years, my relationship with being affiliated with traditions has influenced my perception of what my spirituality and the ways that intertwines with who I am as a sorceress.
The foundation of my ethical & moral life, the rhythm of my body as an object in motion, has one dominant loci: Judaism.
I am a Reconstructionist Jewish woman who integrates Black and Indigenous wisdom and values about family, life, and land into my rhythms of life and living, and interpretation of the grand tradition of Jewish thought and philosophy. As I once said to an acquaintance: Judaism is the spine that holds together the pages of the book of my spiritual life.
Outside of that, my magical & spiritual worldview is a thoughtfully + respectfully diverse, and predominantly draws from the following:
An incomplete and evolving inventory of my magical/spiritual training. Some of these are self-guided courses that I have worked through in full on my own — bolded listings were directly supervised.
In the historical spirit of the religions & sorcerous cults of the West African Diaspora, Mzizi Udongo (root soil) is the contemporary lineage of sorcery I have formed and practice under the guidance and instruction of my Ancestors, and in relationship with the world of spirit.
Rather than being a religion, it is a way of life - a philosophy of being - as well as a framework and set of tools created to serve the spiritual needs of those who are rootless, feel rootless, or whose identities and experiences fall along fragmented, complex, or mysterious lines. Like other Diasporic traditions, clergy/stewardship within Mzizi is a decentralised, relationship-oriented structure that is made meaningful through person-to-person spiritual transmission/inheritance, community ties, and lineage. Any of my future macheche (godchildren) will be instructed not only in the rituals, tools, and philosophy of the lineage, but also the influences and context of sorcerous techniques and knowledge. They will also be provided with the skills and accountability to then form their own mkutano (community of practitioners) if divination indicates that that is appropriate for them to take on that role. The goal is that Mzizi Udongo serves as the root around which each community grows and finds commonality with each other, while also being adapted to serve the cultural needs of the communities of each practitioner, as known as a mwalimu, or teacher. The use of the title mwalimu highlights that the core responsibilities of the practitioner are continuous learning about one’s self and the people + place + world you are serving.
Sorcery within Mzizi Udongo has its own cosmology and spirits of practice, but is most heavily influenced by Ancestral work and (respectfully!) knitting in compatible aspects of practice into one’s individual frame of working. The overall essence of sorcerous work, however, is based on a dynamic of service and stewardship, wherein the mwalimu strives to be a steward of the land + world around themselves and the community, while also asking + seeking the service of one’s ancestors, selves, the Dead & Ancestors, and spirits of place + nature. This is done through working with mzikini, or root medicine, which is the core divine essence of each person that sustains them, connects them to community & place, and anchors them in this life. Work with one’s mzikini is facilitated both through specific ritual ceremony as well as divination, sorcery, and pragmatic prescriptions. The goal of a mwalimu is to cultivate and help nurture the root medicine of every person they serve in harmony with the guiding principles and the rhythm of life itself.
Mzizi Udongo is, at its root, most heavily influenced by the spiritual and political philosophies of formerly enslaved, liberated people of the West African Diaspora, and the shared tradition of ancestral veneration and communion with the Dead. Ideas and terminology are encapsulated in Swahili as a nod to the political spirit of African & Black solidarity across the globe, as well as due to accessibility. Not only is Kiswahili the largest pre-colonial language spoken across the continent and fairly straightforward to acquire skill at, it also lacks some of the features of other auxiliary African languages that make it harder for people with speech-motor and processing issues, including being hard-of-hearing/deaf, to learn, engage with, and use. All of my macheche and myself are on an ongoing language and cultural appreciation journey in this regard.
While I firmly believe that the tradition does not come from me but through me, I also acknowledge the intellectual dishonesty one could find in that assertion, so I instead say that I consider this to be an inspired collaboration with my Ancestors and transmitted through me due to the convenience of my identity and the expansiveness of my lineage. Because I was legally adopted twice in my life, I have 5-6 (depending on how you count) lines of ancestral spirits vs. the average person’s two: two (2) from my biological parents, two (2) from my "foster" parents, and two (2) from my adoptive mother. It should be noted that because I was adopted by a same gender, queerplatonic couple as an infant, that 4-5 of my lineages are exclusively maternal as well. This is unusual, and given the cultural, political, and spiritual significance of matriarchy across the various cultures of my background, makes me poised to serve as the means through which this tradition of practice came into the world. I also have a tremendous amount of loss and disconnection in my ancestral family lineages, including likely severing of immediate family ties to reasonably likely Indigenous heritage, displacement/disconnection from Black community and relatives between my biological family and my adoptive mother’s own childhood, and a complicated sense of connection and interconnectedness with the land and the cultural memory of Turtle Island. In short: I’m not special, just convenient as a vessel for this particular way of working to emerge into the world.
My broad experience as a practitioner is, in part, from where I draw insight in order to combine, synthesize, and teach sorcery and magical techniques both to the general public as well as my macheche. All teaching and mentoring I do strives to differentiate between gnostic inheritance, established tradition, and the manifestations of synchronization.
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