It can be hard to break free of colonial thinking and indoctrination. Our society is inundated with colonial ideas and ways of life. This has affected the spiritual community as well and has made practicing magic difficult at times. If you are seeking to reclaim your power and ancestral rights, here are a few ways for you to decolonize your craft.
Don’t try to fit into a mold or aesthetic
Being a witch or calling yourself one has become empowering for some and trendy for others. Because of this newfound popularity, a witch-aesthetic has emerged and many people use it as a prop or fashion statement. While I don’t believe there is anything wrong or harmful with this, I do understand the frustration and confusion that it can bring. If you are on an earnest journey of discovering your power and connecting to the divine seeing this “witch-look” can influence your path. When you see people calling themselves a witch and dressing a certain way it can come across as “this is how it is to be a witch”. There isn’t a right or wrong way to be a witch and your craft is yours to do with as you see fit. You don’t have to dress or practice a certain way to be a witch and the way you practice is valid. The craft isn’t confined to any one person and people all over human history have understood this. Be yourself and find your craft.
Know where your ingredients come from and who profits
Because of the increase in witchcraft and spirituality, there are many metaphysical shops where anyone can buy ingredients. While this is a great way to increase access to ingredients and tools, it also means that we have to be aware of who the owners are and where they source their products. Make sure that you aren’t buying products that use child or slave labor, have been overharvested, or disrupt the ecosystem. If you are buying an item that is associated with a culture or group of people make sure that you can use it and see who is profiting from the sale. If the person selling the item is not from that culture then find someone who is. Support BIPOC artists and shop owners and buy ethically sourced products.
Know where your practices and beliefs come from
There is a lot of information on witchcraft now and many religions and movements have come about in recent years due to this. This shared information can be beneficial because it can help deepen our understanding or give us spiritual guidance. The danger that many of us run into is using some of the practices that we read about without knowing where they originate. Unfortunately, cultural appropriation is rampant in the spiritual community. Many people claim to be teachers and masters of practices that are closed and they do so without being invited or initiated by the people they belong to. Research where your beliefs come from and make sure that you aren’t appropriating them. If you find that you have beliefs that are from closed practices leave them alone and search for beliefs from open practices and your heritage.
Base your practice on your lineage and ancestral practices
The most potent way to fight colonization is to revive your ancestral practices. Seek the wisdom and ancient knowledge that guided your ancestors and connect to their spirits. Feel the history of your people and appreciate where you came from by honoring your heritage. The knowledge that you will gain and the spiritual guidance are immeasurable when you seek wisdom from your ancestors. You are drawing on generations of knowledge that built on what they learned and passed down through their lineage. Your best resources are from within.
Support and uplift other BIPOC practitioners
Many BIPOC practitioners are sharing their practices and knowledge to educate, encourage, and keep alive their culture and practices. It is important to remember that many times throughout history marginalized groups have been the magic practitioners, healers, etc. in the community. If you are practicing the craft remember that at the heart of it is a deep history of being othered and an outcast. And, our society and the spiritual community still marginalizes BIPOC so it is important to uplift and support our voices. Listen to what we have to saw and share our words and support our work.
The path to decolonization is not an easy one, but it is worthwhile. Your craft is another expression of yourself and there is no better way to express yourself than to embrace where you came from. Practice with integrity and let truth be your guide.