Refreshing, Reclaiming, Innovating, and Practical Application

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Yemaya Day 2013-12-31 Those who know where they are from and have an explicit inherited or adopted pantheon have a bit easier road to spiritual practice, but not necessarily witchcraft.  One of the traps a young witch may fall into is getting overly involved or invested in a religious group or standardized customs that don’t really serve certain specific needs of the people.  The philosophy may be stifling, or the way of interacting with the deities too sustaining of an illusion of division.

I have seen this in many cultures wherein spirituality is mainly the domain of a priesthood.  Some are very good at serving the people in practical, honest ways, but sadly most are a sort of a cartel where they keep laypersons and lower level priests in a sort of blissful, lazy ignorance.  It is run more like a business or multi level marketing than a spirituality.

For the average person, even the average polytheist, this may work just fine.  They get to go about their lives and daily business, and leave the spiritual concerns to the priests.  When they are fortunate, this priesthood truly cares about their needs, and allows them total honesty with the clergy member serving them.  The problem is that some needs or desires may be considered “sinful” or “base”, and people are embarrassed to talk about it with a person who is supposedly more “enlightened”.

Since most religions are based on a principle of ascension above or transcendence beyond earthly/worldly concerns, there is a need for witches even in places where the religion is polytheistic.  The witch may or may not be seeking ascension or transcendence, but the approach of the witch to life enhancement and problem solving requires esotericism.  The witch is one who seeks understanding of the forces of Nature, and puts that understanding into practice regardless of religious mysticism.

So the hurdle for the new witch from a polytheistic or polyentheistic background is to make sure that one’s approach to deity is one’s deities are integrated into one’s worldview.

Again, this message is not for average religious practitioners.  For them, it is enough that the Great Father is the father of the deities, the Great Mother, the mother of the deities, the Sky God(dess) controls the sky and weather, etc.  That’s as much as most are going understand without getting too deep into philosophical thinking to function normally.  Some can handle the Great Father being embodied by the act of fatherhood and other such principles.  The witch needs to go deeper, and apply this to practical purpose.

Going back to the Gatekeeper, almost every belief system has at least one.  At least in the case of Eshu, the Yoruba Gatekeeper Orisha, this is the personification of the principle of balance, borders, the useful illusion of division that keeps us from marrying flowers because they are beautiful, and on the less humane side, a sort of trickster who will allow or even induce harmful illusions to teach a lesson or undo the overly harmful people.

In the legends passed down to the average Orisha adherent, Eshu has worn a multicolored hat to teach hard lessons about perspective, he has multiplied himself into millions of Eshus.  He has goaded the machoistic egotistical to do things to damage themselves, while at the same time upsetting the manufactured, overly guarded perfection of a different sort of egotistical being.  The legends teach us something about Nature, both our own as humans, and general.

Eshu lives in every physical and psychological corner, every angle, every crossing, every line or border, every in-between place, every doorway, every beginning, every ending, and every choice.  So where as adherents, we pray to Eshu, “Eshu please do not undo me,” as witches aligned with at least some of the Yoruba pantheon, we also invite Eshu into our workings through his symbols, fetishes, and ingredients that embody him.  A similar application can be suitable for almost any deity that is considered a force of Nature, or honored Ancestor, or helper spirit, or active archetype.

To learn to do this well requires both study and practice.  You must become respectful and observant of the deities in your pantheon, and study their legends from as many eras and perspectives as you reasonably can.  You must study Nature.  You must study the work and writings of elders and contemporaries who do sound, effective work.  You must also however, understand that you won’t be able to get it all in one lifetime.

There will be things you are good at, and things you are terrible at.  You may have the time to study in a field in which you have talent, and have to sacrifice other fields because you don’t have the time or energy.  There will be trade-offs.  You will agree with some things and not others.  You will learn that though some things bother or disturb you, they are natural and therefore, simply more suited to someone else’s tolerances rather than wrong…and when faced with something that is wrong or too hostile to be sustainable, you will know that just as someone else can further their interests, you can further yours as well.  You can be arbitrary, and that’s okay.

I strongly encourage seeking a live guide.  If it is at all possible, you need a teacher that you see face to face occasionally.  If there is none, then you may struggle more, and make more mistakes, and encounter more misfortunes along the way, but you will learn if you are willing to.  You can also ask questions here, and discuss things with others along a similar path.

Blessings and Ase!


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Sheloya (Sis. Nicole) is a licensed U.L.C. Modesto minister, spiritual counselor, sorceress, and king of Ile Baalat Teva. She believes in education and empowerment of individuals with a holistic approach to spirituality. Order a bone reading from Sheloya to find out what the Spirits have to say about your future.


  1. Hi! I have just recently gone through 2 years of, what I would describe as, 2 years of financial, mental, physical and emotional chaos leading me to abandon my interpretation of the faith I had been raised in..the belief that the only way to salvation is total unyielding submission to the pearly White Jesus Christ, son of the Almighty God, turning the other cheek while his spawns rape, enslave, manipulate and steal from me, give him and his growing number of appointees my complete devotion, a considerable portion of all my income, praise, gratitude, acknowledgement and do all of this while remaining second-class and having really no choices in what happens to me. Trust HIM to have my best interest at heart despite hundreds of years of despicable oppression by HIS spawns….NAW. I am cool. I believe that I have been mislead and have been quite heartbroken by the outcome of that 40 years of misinformation and manipulation. I have always had incredible spiritual experiences and have been present for miracles but have never truly been liberated or set free myself, until now. I started an altar for Eshu last night(Saturday-New Moon). I am certain after spending time here that this may have been hasty. I, however, do feel that my sincerity coupled with the way that the items for the altar have been provided are confirmation that Eshu has not rejected me. I will add additional items for Eshu on Monday morning. I am already mesmerized by the majesty I feel. For the first time, I feel confident that I have touched the Divine that will actually work on MY behalf and for those I have concern for. I believe I have found my HOME. I humbly request any assistance or guidance that is in line with Eshu’s protection/lessons/blessing for me and promise to pass the info on and give glory where it is due, to Eshu. Ashe.

    I am unsure of whether to address my Orisha as Elegua, Eshu, Coyote or Hecate. So far, I am drawn to the energy, the color, the being. No idea where to go next but I am certain I am on the right track. That is pretty frickin’ amazing!!

  2. Bonsoir,

    Votre site est très instructif ! Mercie beaucoup ?
    Beaucoup de questions se bousculent dans ma tête…
    Je suis française d’origine africaine (juive Éthiopienne, nigériane, yéménite) j’ai été adopté de ce fait bien que je sois ouverte à mon chemin spirituel et sorcier, je me reconnais parfaitement dans vos articles (celui-ci, celui sur les ancêtres, et votre article sur le divin).

    Je pense en effet que j’ai testé des systèmes qui ne me convenait pas car trop limité dans leurs perspectives.

    Certaines entités lié à mes origines ethniques ce sont présenté. Certaines comme Yemaya par exemple me semble très proche et à la fois compliqué d’accès. Je n’ai pas d’enseignant à disposition et je ne connais pas mon gatekeeper personnel.

    Yemaya peut elle être considéré comme une ancêtre? car j’avais dans l’idée de commencer un travail ancestral en la reconnaissant comme cela avec Lilith pareil, je pensais les représenter comme des ancêtres divin puisque je ne connais pas mes ancêtres biologique.

    Je suis au carrefour de plusieurs culture ethniques avec une éducation française et j’avoue que le syncrétisme chrétiens me dérange car il est née pour dissimuler des puissances qui n’ont plus lieu de l’être… Mais ne pas suivre les règles n’est-il pas un manque de respect ?

    Je vous remercie !


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