Introducing… Moon Cherie! A South London based eclectic witch and lightworker, Moon Cherie’s magical practice centres on healing, self-love and Tarot.
Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Moon Cherie about witchcraft, activism, cultural appropriation, Treadwell’s Books, her favourite Tarot deck, Hoodoo, Voodoo, Marie Laveau, New Orleans, palm reading, YouTube, horror films and her top witchy recommendations.
Happy full moon Moon Cherie! How are you doing today?
I’ve got to be honest. I’ve been better. Obviously, as you know, what’s going on around the world and it’s just… It’s a lot of heavy emotions and as a Black person in the UK… we have that connection with our African American brothers and sisters… It’s exhausting. I haven’t been feeling the greatest but it’s all about moving forward and healing.
How do you feel about talking about politics or would you rather not?
I don’t mind at all. Yeah, definitely.
Do you combine witchcraft and politics or do you like to keep them seperate?
I’ve always kept them separate. I’ve always used witchcraft as self healing and self improving. It’s only recently that I’ve realised I could be using witchcraft for a better cause and that I’ve thought of connecting the two.
In your opinion, how can witches who aren’t Black meaningfully support the Black Lives Matter movement?
What you could do is what you’re doing now – make sure you’re putting it out there in terms of your social media. Have a dialogue and leave the comments open. I have a lot of respect for white witches and white allies that are engaging publicly with people who have antagonising ideas. It needs to be spoken about. It is difficult though. But do have the courage to speak up when you hear side eye language from people, because the thing about the UK is, there’s a lot of casual racism that’s swept away. It needs to be addressed at all levels.
What do you think witches can do to make the craft a more inclusive and welcoming space for Black witches and witches of colour?
If there’s any platform to talk about goddesses you always hear about Freyja and Aphrodite. It’s only now that you’re hearing about our African goddesses Yemoja and Oshun. But I do think we’re going on the right path, in terms of the witch community in general. I have no qualms personally but I can’t speak for every Black witch.
And how do you feel about the terms “black witchcraft” or “white witchcraft”?
I’ve heard terms like “I’m a White witch” or “I’m a Black witch” not in terms of skin colour or ethnicity but the type of magic you do. Like, White magic is pure, healing and lovey-dovey, then Black magic is banishing, destroying people’s lives and hexing. That’s not cute at all.
What are your thoughts on witches who don’t have African heritage honouring African deities or using them in their practice?
My opinion before… I was like “it’s absolutely fine as long as they’re showing respect.” But there’s another part of me that thinks that the Voodoo religion and Hoodoo practice were ways of survival for the Africans when we were stolen from Africa and taken to the Americas and the Caribbean. Those spiritual ways came about because of the struggle of our people. So it’s very sensitive. I would never say to my Black brother or sister, “Listen, you need to calm down with what you’re saying”, I will never say that. But personally I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with White people practicing Voodoo or Hoodoo. However, now, now that racial tension and injustices have flared up in the US and, well, everywhere, seeing a lot of big White Hoodoo practitioners not say a word publicly – that’s a slap in the face. Nah, I don’t respect that at all. I don’t even see how you could do that with a clear conscience. Like, you could really be asking Oshun, “Please give me beauty, glamour and money” and then you’re quiet about what’s going on with Oshun’s sons and daughters right now? Nah. That does not make any sense.
Thank you Moon Cherie for sharing that. I think it’s important for lots of witches to hear right now. Now, we’re going to switch gear, if that’s ok? How did you find your way onto your witchy path?
I grew up in a very strict West African, Christian background. I was always taught that witchcraft is not what you do – it was a big NO. You don’t look at your horoscope. We don’t do any of that. My grandad was a Methodist minister back in Ghana (I’m from Ghana originally, my family is from Ghana). Growing up, I was a Christian girl, who went to a Christian school and went to church on Sundays. But there was always a part of me that was interested in the occult from a young age. I used to pick up pieces of coloured glass and put them in my magic box; I used to write little spells and I was obsessed with the Meg and Mog books. Anyway, it really started when my friend bought me a Tarot reading for my birthday. At first, I thought in my clouded Christian mind, “Oh my God! Is she trying to let the devil into my life, or what!?” But then I thought, “Okay, let me just give it a go… ”. So, I gave it a go and I was like, “This is not bad at all.” Then my witchcraft was really triggered when I visited New Orleans four years ago. I was just like, “Wow. This. I haven’t been living. This is an absolutely beautiful melting pot of different religions, the African religions, Catholicsm, Native American spirituality – Wooo!” This place calls to me and this practice calls to me. Also, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Treadwell’s?
Yes, I love them!
I started attending classes there as well. So, that’s how my journey to witchcraft started. I’m now very much into planetary magic. I do spells according to the moon phases, I’m into moon magic, moon bathing my crystals and making moon water. I’m into herbal magic, making my own herb bundles and incense. I also like aspects of Hoodoo as well as my own Ghanaian lineage. I use Adinkra symbols which are similar to runes. As for divination, Tarot is my thing, I love it!
Let’s talk about your Tarot practice. Do you have any Tarot advice for new readers?
Before, I had this thing where the room had to be dimly lit with candles and incense. I had to be cleansed before I approached my cards. But the cards are another extension of you. So come when you’re angry, pissed, elated, feeling zen, or cleansed. Just come as you are.
Why do you like Tarot so much do you think?
It’s almost like having a friend you can consult with and get some guidance from. But there’s also a fun aspect to it. Back in my childhood we had those chatterbox games, the buttercup game, you know, “do you like butter?” and the curling fish from the Christmas cracker. I’ve just got to find out! I’ve always had that in me. I also enjoy reading for others. I like the idea that Tarot opens up conversations that you wouldn’t normally go into. It can be healing and revealing. I love to use my intuition… oh, that’s how I got into it! I didn’t even tell you how I got into Tarot! I used to read palms for fun at work.
Well, it’s going to get stranger. I’m a scientist. I work in a lab and whenever we would go out for drinks after work I always ended up reading people’s palms. I’d say things about someone’s past and it’d be true. That would scare me and scare them. So, then other colleagues would say, “Read mine, read mine!” Then I realised, “Oh my goodness, my intuition!” I don’t think I’m psychic but I think my intuition is really good.
With palm reading did you learn that instinctively or did you go on a course?
Instinctively. At secondary school one of my mates was like, “this line means this, this line means that” and I just took it from there.
Do you have a favourite Tarot deck?
I’ve got like… five decks. No six! I have the traditional Rider-Waite, I have the Chris-Anne one, The Lightseers, The Morgan Greer, I have one Marseille deck, another mini tin one and then the Illuminated Tarot. Then a bunch of Oracle decks on the side. I don’t love them all equally, no, haha! If I had to pick a favourite? Oh God! I’d have to say my Rider-Waite. They all have different personalities though.
Is there a special Tarot moment that you’d like to share?
When I was in New Orleans I got a Tarot reading for myself two days before my wedding. I was really anxious about doing it but I thought, “I’m in New Orleans – hello?? Get a reading!” So, I got a reading and it was the most positive reading I’ve ever seen – Two of Cups, Ten of Pentacles, the Sun, the Empress – really beautiful cards. Obviously I knew that I was going to get married but it’s just so nice to hear that message, “Get married, you go girl!”
I know that you share your Tarot readings on Youtube, can you tell us a little bit about your YouTube channel?
My YouTube platform, Moon Cherie, is quite new. I provide content that I like to see – witchy unboxings, magical witchy hauls, “how to spells” and weekly Tarot readings. Check it out.
On the theme of social media, I saw on your Instagram that you’re a horror film fan. When I watch horror films I literally give myself nightmares, what do you like so much about horror films?
I have this fascination with the macabre. Growing up as a Ghanaian child we have our own Hollywood, “Nollywood”. We have African movies and a lot of these movies would include some element of witchcraft (but it would always be negative), twists, ghosts, people dying and coming back for revenge. As a child it really did scare me. But then I got curious and got into mainstream American horror movies. I used to watch them with friends at sleepovers and I was just really fascinated with death. I find horror films strangely soothing, maybe because they’re so not like normal life. I promise you, I’m not a psychopath!
I believe you, haha! Have you got any horror films that you’d like to shout out?
A classic one is Nosferatu, that will mess you up! I love Rosemary’s Baby, that’s really a good movie all about paranoia. I like the slashers from the 90’s and early 00’s, your Scream and Halloween franchises. All the slashers, like Wrong Turn and Urban Legend – anything to do with a bunch of teenagers getting screwed up.
Who would you say is your favourite witch of all time living or dead?
Is it cliche to say Marie Laveau?
No, she’s a Wonder Woman. What is it about Marie Laveau that you like so much?
She was able to help and interact with the Black community but also the White community. She was that bridge between the two different worlds. She mixed her African traditional religion with Catholicism. I like the idea that she didn’t pick one or the other. She was devoted to both aspects, her Christianity and her witchcraft. That was revolutionary. She didn’t have a very good love life though. Apparently.
And what’s your favourite thing about being a witch?
Being a witch gives me this new found empowerment. This control over my life. Before, I just found myself getting very angry and frustrated. Witchcraft keeps me centred and on my goals. It makes me a better person, more patient and understanding. I just really enjoy it. It’s my new best friend.
Is there anything that’s a little bit shitty about being a witch?
Yeah! My parents don’t know. My husband does and a friend does. My family knows that I read Tarot but that’s as far as it goes. I was actually very anxious about letting them know about Tarot but I love it so much. So, that was the first thing that I sort of crept in there. As far as my family knows I’m into Tarot and that’s it because n Ghana witchcraft is still very much taboo.
Do you think you’d ever be able to open up to your family about being a witch?
I feel like I’ll slowly ease them into it because I love it, I just… Hmmm. I do feel like they need to know, I just don’t want them to feel like witchcraft is anything dark or dangerous. But it is part of me… I just don’t think they could understand it being such strong Christians. It’s kind of sad. But I’m okay with secretly practicing, it works for me. I live here with my husband, he knows I’m a witch and he supports me. He’s with it.
That’s good to hear. We’re going to rap up now. I always ask everyone I chat with if you had to recommend one witchy book what would it be?
I would recommend Jambalaya and The Book of the Night Women. Jambalaya is a book about a woman who grew up in New Orleans and her journey into witchcraft. It mainly centres around African traditional religions. That’s a really lovely book. The Book of the Night Women is set during slavery times, I believe in Jamaica. It follows these three African slave and how they go about their day to day lives as well as how they protect themselves using magic. I found that really interesting.
I really wanted to meet Jessyka Winston from the Haus of Hoodoo but she wasn’t there in the store when I visited and I was like “Ugh!” but I will be back! And Marie Lizzeau, she’s a Black witch on Instagram based in the US. She does these weekly masterclasses for everyone which are really informational.
A platform, shop or resource?
Treadwell’s! 100% Whoop whoop! Treadwell’s sells everything for every witch out there. They’re very inclusive and well resourced, They have brilliant talks for really affordable prices, classes and workshops. Plus, it smells lovely. It’s beautiful and it’s magical. It has a cute little basement. Ahhh… Treadwell’s!
And how is it best for people to connect with you?
My final question: Do you have any words of wisdom for your fellow witches?
The power is within you. Everything else is a bonus. But you are the magic ingredient. Period. That’s it.
Thank you for sharing your vibrant and magical energy with me Moon Cherie. It truly was an honour chatting with you. Blessed be my love.