Afro-Caribbean

Magic, Witchcraft and Curanderismo: Let's talk about cultural appropriation

September 18, 2020

For some years now, cultural appropriation has been installed in our modern society to judge the practices of some individuals who extract elements of a culture or tradition that doesn't belong to them and use it for their own benefit. Sometimes the accusation is confusing, especially considering that no culture is pure — not even our DNA is pure — and especially in a global world. 

However, appropriation can also be seen as an act of violence, especially when its legitimate bearers are made invisible or muzzled and the privilege, which takes...

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Black Girl Magic: How Tarot Is Helping Women of Color Connect

August 7, 2020

Once taboo, tarot reading is considered spooky, and even wicked by some. But the form of divination that uses cards dates back to the 15th century—and has become the latest spiritual trend. Decks are sold at almost any store, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram and Facebook pages are dedicated to the art of divination. But some practitioners in the United States have been using the cards for decades as a tool in their spiritual practices as they turn away from Western religions for traditional African-centered and Indigenous spiritualities.

Source:...

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How some Black Americans are finding solace in African spirituality

July 31, 2020

Porsche Little, a Brooklyn-based artist, diviner, and aborisha — or someone who serves the Orisha, a group of spirits central to the Yoruba and other African Diaspora religions — says that she has received a huge increase in requests for divinations and readings throughout the pandemic. 

“There’s so much happening right now in the world to everyone, and I know for certain that all of this is happening for a reason,” she says. “A lot of people are stuck in the house and can’t really...

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Spiritual Houstonians embrace the metaphysical during COVID-19

June 29, 2020

People seek Robert Garza when they need answers, healing and hope.

And during the coronavirus pandemic, he said he is more in demand than ever before. At Garza’s store in west Houston, the masses are flocking to buy his herbal remedies and to seek his guidance in spiritual card readings.

“It’s been crazy,” said Garza, owner of Yerberia La Santa Fe.

Source:...

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Faith in herbal remedies fuels growth of Latino botanicas. Coronavirus accelerates it.

June 5, 2020

 

Owners of the Latino remedy shops known as botanicas are careful to note that nothing they sell can be construed as a cure for the coronavirus.

In a health advisory, a federal agency agrees.

“Some of these purported remedies include herbal therapies, teas, essential oils, tinctures, and silver products such as colloidal silver,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to...

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Algorithms ruin astrology, stick to tarot for spiritually

March 4, 2020

 

Tales of suns and moons determining how you love, hate and live sound like something that comes from fairytales and myths. But it seems nowadays you can’t enter a room without hearing the question, 

“What’s your sign?” 

Astrology is a system of beliefs that the positions of the sun, moon and planets at the time of someone’s birth has a direct influence on their character.

Although I was raised in a Catholic household, we never went to church or did anything religious or spiritual. Because of that, I find myself disinterested in...

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‘Voodoo Is Part of Us’

November 21, 2019
In a dark club in Downtown Brooklyn, surrounded by more than 100 people, Agathina Ginoue Nozy took a sip of Haitian rum. She stood near an altar stacked with skulls, lit candles, cigars, rum, coffee and bowls filled with charred salt fish, boiled plantains, cassava and piman (spicy peppers). “You typically drink white liquor during Fet Gede, but if there is none you drink rum with no ice to feel the heat,” Ms. Nozy said. “Gede is a hot thing.” Her face was painted to look hollow, like a skull, and she wore a dark skeleton bodysuit and a black veil. With her fingers wrapped around a smoking... Read more about ‘Voodoo Is Part of Us’

Bradenton couple’s business fills a niche for Santeria practitioners - News

November 11, 2019
Tucked away amid a nondescript strip mall off Tamiami Trail is an equally unpretentious storefront barely visible from the road. But according to the eclectic fare advertised in Spanish and English on the picture window, this place would appear to have a monopoly on a highly specialized local niche market. Offerings range from powders and books to readings and initiations, the store is called Botanica, generically defined as a shop that sells “traditional remedies” and other items associated with religion or spirituality. Accordingly, say Vicky and Gabriel Baeza Hasbun, the wife-husband team... Read more about Bradenton couple’s business fills a niche for Santeria practitioners - News

Cuban Fusion Pioneers Sintesís On Queen, Santería And Prog Rock

October 31, 2019
Just when you think you know a lot about Cuban music, along comes a pair of musicians who tell me one that of the major influences on their pioneering jazz/rock/santeria band was Queen. Yes, that Queen. In 1976, Carlos Alsonso and his wife Ele Valdés started Síntesis as a prog- and jazz-rock outfit in Havana, Cuba. After participating in a festival that featured santería — the Yoruba spiritual tradition that developed in Cuba among West African descendants... Read more about Cuban Fusion Pioneers Sintesís On Queen, Santería And Prog Rock