|Rise of the Witches (1880)|
by Luis Ricardo Falero
We are servants. Our hands ever guided through our ongoing dialogue with necessity. It has struck me recently how different this perspective is from those which prevail among my contemporaries. How little of the old sympathy remains among the western hoodoo. I have heard leading figures speak of their clients and students like puppies in need of a beating, demean the livelihood provided them by their hidden company and ridicule the ever-expanding place for our kind in the world.
It is our clients who are the agents of that hidden company which preserves us, not we ourselves. It is our clients who answer the call of necessity, who set our hands to working the will of the spirit. Seeing things thus, it is not our custom to even discuss the nature of our professional relationships as though they should conform to some pre-existing set of rules, always fitting snugly into our comfort zones. Without that company of spirit you are nothing and its preservation of you is as conditional as your surrender to it. Think on that before you demean the wealth (material or otherwise) they have bestowed upon you.
We each have our talents and natural inclinations and our hidden company exists in perfect harmony with them, both naturally arising just as they are. Why then would we fail in what they have tasked us? Perhaps its all the sex in what we do, the general disdain for conditional anything which arises from the endless possibility of the flesh that has shaped us thus. In all honesty it is a theme which pervades our work. We cherish our clients because it is they who do honor to that hidden company and it is upon them that company of spirits has chosen to bestow its baraka, we are merely the instruments of that exchange.
Even those perilous exchanges which at times arise between professional practitioners are treated with the same reverential difference, this is what we do and it should be a great honor to meet another in the service of the invisible companies. Our spirits should come together with the complete presence of a prize fight or a porn scene. Each one leaving a piece of themselves behind and taking a piece of us away with them. A bit of Santeria here, a sliver of Palo there, a vein of Ghede, the whispering voices of wandering cleric’s and mercenary bokor, all gifts bestowed upon us by necessity. We cherish our service because it is a never-ending font of experience. This is, in our own humble opinion the true legacy of the hoodoo. True syncretic exchange has nothing to do with cultural appropriation, it is two scrappers trying to find a victory or two lovers caught in each others gravity and it is unwise to get between either. It is someone else's fist/crotch in your face.
Not the recipes and Psalms, not the honorifics and the oracles but rather the crucible of necessity and the compassion of the spirit. For us it is a violation of our commitment to leap to the criticism of our fellows in the trade, many of whom will one day be counted among the Honored Dead. Bad form. So we are just not going to do that. We will however state what we do not do, we don’t charge for failure, we do not believe that we are morally superior to either our clients or our occasional rivals and we most certainly do not regard the ever-increasing role of the hoodoo (a term which for us still encompasses those mercenary practitioner’s of the New World faith’s) in the secular West as being in any way negative. The suggestion that these newcomers to the scene represent the 'dollar store' compared to the establishments 'custom dress shop' (made on a recent Lucky Mojo podcast) is patently ridiculous. With suppliers like these...
http://witchofforestgrove.com/, http://magickshop.wordpress.com/, http://www.vodoustore.com/, http://www.toadsbone.com/, http://www.underworld-apothecary.com/
...in addition to the seasoned practitioners running the botanica’s which have sprung up it is possible to work with ingredients and source materials in a way that has not been possible for a hundred years.
We have only gratitude for our peers among the mercenary class of practitioners, only respect. Especially those whom the spirit has placed upon our path as clients, allies and rivals, secret Buddha’s the lot of them.