There are two kinds of people in the world…

Living and dead. I spend plenty of time with both. When connected to death from birth, you become very aware of how little a difference life or death makes in personality. Life and death have meeting points. They share us. You never ever have an expected experience when you encounter them.

For me, the more difficult stuff is the day-to-day. Which is why I consider my experiences with the dead, the very thing that scares me the most and that I often wish would just go away, what saved me from a half-life of living up to expectations.

There are living, and dead, that see the world as having two kinds of people: bullies, and victims. This is why ghosts who experienced terrible deaths then turn around and do terrible things to people that cross their paths. It’s why in life, so many women implicitly or explicitly involve themselves in the victimization of other women.

I do not see the world this way. We have other choices, options three, four and infinity. They are not the popular or easy choices, but alive or dead, we have them available to us.

It is not that we have no limits. It is that we ultimately have unlimited in choice in how we choose to behave.

There’s more than good or evil. You will probably have more than one true love in your lifetime, and at least half of those loves you will never have sex with and probably will never want to. Soulmates come in packs, and most are unpleasant. No two marriages, snowflakes, stars, or dogs are the same.

We all have choices, and the ultimate evil is the evil of taking another being’s choice away.

There is more to the world than bullies and victims. When you learn things that some might consider dangerous, unfeminine or frightening, you do not have to learn them for the sake of seeming more power-dominant. You can learn them to evolve, to have tools prepared for when the bullies and victim subscribers cross that line, to do the ultimate magic: make sure nothing happens.

Hoodoo scares the crap out of people. Just mentioning it to some friends causes them to visibly flinch.

I’ve reading about hoodoo, but not for the power. I have absolutely no need to seem more scary.

My involvement in Wicca was never about power-seeking and it actually nothing to do with my feminism. I have always had plenty of power.

Information really is power, and I’m good at getting it.

My wedding guests made it clear they planned to be themselves all the way through my ceremony, so as a preventative measure, I mixed up domination oil. I never used it, as the guardians I work with saw my making it as an indicator of how much I wanted their help. Still, I was advised to hang on to the oi, that I would know when to use it.

One strange evening, a woman who frequently asked me for my magical skills found the  domination oil in my repertoire. She saw it before, knew I had made it, but acted as though I hadn’t. This time, she immediately assumed the worst, because at the time she was looking for an excuse to cast me as a bully and to confirm her continued role as a victim.

It was also projection. To her mind, if she had domination oil, she would use it, and therefore that’s what I would do.

I suspect I’m keeping it around for the next woman who finds me when she needs to get out of an abusive relationship alive. Bullies and victims are quite real, after all, and the bullies and the victims that become bullies are forever fucking up life or frustrated that they aren’t for those of us who are choosing something else instead.

When you look at its cultural history, hoodoo is all about the bully or be bullied mentality. It has undeniable roots in African-American culture, and is one of the byproducts of American slavery.  Hoodoo developed, as did all magic, as a method of survival.

According to Judica Illes, most domination and compulsion work was extreme self-defense, to avoid getting raped, killed or accused of a crime you did not commit.((and sometimes to avoid consequences for crime you did darn well do yourself.))

I turned to Wicca because I was desperate to prevent other people from taking away my future. But I already had power, and I used it to find a way – the way I found was Wicca.

I’m interested in hoodoo because, after years of Wiccan magic, I want to become better at what I do. Hoodoo has follow up, discipline and a worldview of “use what is at hand” rather than “judge what is at hand,” that resonates with me. While I can never call myself a Conjure – my beliefs just won’t line up – I appreciate the artistry and discipline behind the practices that look raw and frightening.

Many hoodoo practitioners are on to options 4 – 1000 themselves and used their magic to make those options. What would a life with magic in it, that allows for possibilities beyond be the bully or be the victim, look like? My own vision isn’t a perfect world peace, more of a society where a lot of people wear “Work in Progress” T-shirts.