I feel sick writing this.
It’s difficult to find the words. But I’m going to try.
George Floyd was murdered on the 25th May 2020 by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, United States of America.
George Floyd’s murder is just one of too many cases of police brutality against innocent Black people; of precious Black lives being viciously taken by White power, White privilege and White hatred.
If, like me you’re a witch who doesn’t identify as Black but who wants to support the Black Lives Matter movement here are six things you can do.
1. Speak up
“The pen is mightier than the sword” is an adage that resonates with me deeply. And it’s not just pens that carry weight. Keyboards do too. And phones. Write how you feel about George Floyd’s murder and the murders of Breona Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and David McAtee. There are countless other murdered Black people to pray for.
Several of my friends have expressed wanting to speak up but are feeling worried about saying the wrong thing. Yes, this is a sensitive time. Be respectful. Look around you at what’s deemed appropriate to say right now. Take your lead from the Black community. Multitudes of Black people have asked for people to stop sharing videos of Black people being subjected to violence and for people to stop saying “I don’t see colour”. So, maybe don’t do those things. Be considerate and conscientious. But also, the chances are, if you’re not Black then we’re all learning here. It’s okay to be pulled up on problematic phrasing. Thank that person for educating you, take down or edit the post and see the experience as a useful and necessary life lesson. Remember, this isn’t about you “getting it right”, it’s about showing up for a community who needs the world’s support.
Be careful but do share your words. Use whatever medium and platform works best for you – a stream of consciousness, poem, song or essay – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or a blog.
It’s quite simple: If we do not speak out we are complicit with Evil.
Financially, times are tough right now virtually for all of us. Thank you COVID-19. That said, I’m a witch who believes that money is energy. I know that by choosing to donate money to Black Lives Matter, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block and Unicorn Riot I am choosing to invest my money into building a world that is safe for everyone. That’s probably the best investment I could ever make. So whether it’s £5 or £50, look at your finances and work out if you’re able to make your money work some magic. Donating money is not only an investment in humanity it is an act of solidarity.
3. Check yourself
Now is a good time for self reflection. At the moment, I’m thinking about how can I, as a socially conscious, mindful witch challenge my own beliefs and behaviours to further support Black people and people of colour?
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do any parts of my witchcraft practice veer into the territory of cultural appropriation? Am I engaging with herbs, tools or practices that originated in another country without fully understanding or respecting this country’s culture? How can I further educate myself?
What’s my relationship with the word “black” and how is this relationship reflected in my witchcraft practice? Is there anything problematic with how I use the word “black” when practicing witchcraft?
Am I friends with any Black witches or witches of colour? How many? What’s the quality of these relationships? If not, why might that be? What meaningful changes can I make to expand and diversify my inner circle?
This is shadow work that will undoubtedly provoke some knotty and uncomfortable feelings. Nonetheless it’s important to do.
4. Cast a spell
Different witches will have different thoughts on whether or not they feel comfortable carrying out magical work on behalf of other people – and that’s okay. We’re all entitled to our own opinions.
I do feel comfortable casting healing and protection spells on behalf of other people – my thinking is, if my intention is to keep someone safe or improve their wellbeing then what can be wrong with that?
A beautiful act of compassion would be to cast a candle spell for George Floyd’s family. Carve a heart and the initials G. F. into a black candle. Dress your candle in rose oil and crushed rose petals. Meditate with the candle, charging it with as much compassion as you can summon. Feel your emotional state to shift. Call upon your favourite deity to look over George’s family or pray to the Universe for them to experience peace and justice. Place your candle inside a circle of salt. Light your candle and be silent for three minutes. Let the candle burn out naturally. Carefully bury any remaining wax or residue in your garden, a park or a place of natural beauty. Kiss the earth three times. You can return to this spot whenever you feel the urge to radiate love to George’s family.
5. Take action
Feel like you need to do more?
Talking things through with friends is a sure fire way to spark new thoughts. Use these thoughts as springboards for action – study Black history, read How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi or Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, educate yourself on current affairs that affect Black communities, sign a petition, join an organised protest, engage with Black people and ask them questions about how they think is best to support the movement, buy products from Black artists and business owners and write to those in power who can affect governmental change – or simply LISTEN when Black people speak.
*Please note: I’ve included links to books but wherever possible spend your money at local, independent bookshops – let’s do our best to support small businesses in these challenging times.
6. Read this
I want to take this moment to level with you, dear reader. Carrying out these six acts will not change the world over night. Racism is an insidious force. It is a form of Evil manifested on Earth. It cannot be overcome by one blog post written by a caucasian witchy woman.
Carrying out these six acts will however contribute towards supporting an abused community and an incredible movement whose aim is to eradicate racial injustice and inequality.
And who knows? Completing these six acts might just stir within you a quiet yet bright feeling, a feeling that I like to call Hope.
And Hope is powerful stuff; it is the breath of Change.
With that in mind, may we as witches hold Hope in our hearts.
May Hope galvanise us to speak and act bravely.
May Hope fuel us to fight for a future in which when a Black man whose neck is being knelt on by a police officer cries “I can’t breathe” he is listened to.