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Since the dawn of civilization, there has been a hierarchy that required law enforcement to sustain itself. Almost since then, there has been corruption, and there have been times when those in power have abuse it or made it impossible for some classes or groups to make a decent living. From that situation arose many ways of protecting one’s self from the authorities, or at least making sure contact with them would be survivable. Protection from abuse of authority and punishing abusers of authority have been staples of witchcraft since there was witchcraft.
Please bear in mind that these recipes and tips will not protect you from the natural consequences of your actions. They simply help to protect you from the authorities. Remember that there are lines that if you cross, you bring due judgement on your head.
Almost every belief system has a deity who embodies hierarchy and the division of labor, class, or caste. In some, various professions have their respective main deities or guardians. A couple of examples of cult/profession specific deities would be Yellama for the Devadasi of India, or Song Jiang, the God of thieves for some Chinese people. For the Yoruba, Orunmila is the deity in charge of official authority, and Eshu is in charge of actual natural authority and boundaries. So if you want to be sure that your protections against authorities are working in Kindoki, you would make sure you are square with them or their equivalents in your ancestral faiths.
In addition, some pursuits such as activism and protesting that actually threatens the status quo may require warrior magick. In a few cultures, warriors go through many initiations that may be dangerous. I do not recommend doing any of this on your own without an experienced priest. However, there are relatively safe, modern practices that are effective. Stay close to your ancestral customs as possible, as things that your Ancestors did and endorse will have more power and help you more than co-opted customs.
The Need for Secrecy
Before we get to the meat of this article, I would like to stress the need for secrecy in your war and vengeance workings. Nobody should know what you are doing unless they have a need to know. Even people who are assisting you in some way don’t really need to know unless it is a specific ethical issue for them. Unless they are actually participating in the work, there is no need to tell them what you are up to. As an example, when you need to give offerings to Eshu, and your divination or the situation deems that you do this by feeding a child of Eshu on a Friday, they don’t need to know why you are taking them to dinner or bringing them food.
Chances are though, that a child of Eshu would feel as strongly about getting justice against an abuser of authority as you do though. So because it is generally a bad idea to lie to a child of Eshu, if they ask you directly, tell them it is for war. You don’t want to screw up your work by being dishonest to a child of Eshu, whose soul will know that you are lying. Just don’t volunteer information unless they ask.
Also, be aware that many activist movements and efforts have been undone by treachery and infiltration. Your circle or war party should be very tight knit. If needed, you should develop tests and initiations that no traitor could pass.
For the Yoruba, Oya is the queen of the market, and Oshun is the queen of wealth. So you want to make sure you are giving due devotion to them or their equivalent in your ancestral faith.
If you have a shop, office, or stand, you want to use incense and/or potpourri containing protective herbs that are not unpleasant to customers, but will ward off those with bad intentions towards your business.
Keep Away Authorities Incense
- 9 roasted coffee beans
- a heaping tablespoon of cornmeal
- a heaping tablespoon of oregano
- a teaspoon of dried rosemary
- a handful of dried rose petals
- a teaspoon of salt
- enough benzoin, preferably white, to make about 1/8 cup of powder
Grind all this together with a mortar and pestle, and give the first dose to Eshu.
It is also helpful to have roses, myrtle, oregano, and rue growing around your building, and/or have living plants around.
Thorns and spines have been used as amulets to protect one from authorities in many cultures. They make one a bad target. Just about any thorn will do, but you want to find a thorn or thorny branch from a local plant or animal. You can wear them, or use them as an ingredient in a mojo bag.
Steel or iron jewelry can also be enchanted for protection, and is especially useful if your activities have a chance of getting your attacked with weapons.
Oregano, myrtle, rose, rosemary, and their oils are very protective against police and authorities, but one of the best protective liquids in existence is breast milk. Before someone has to go to do something that might put them in danger of the authorities, a few drops of breast milk can be placed on the top of their head, with blessings.
If you can’t get breast milk, you can use coconut milk that has been warmed under or between a mother’s breasts.
Yellow clover, also called sweet yellow clover, is also used as protection from authorities. However, one must be very careful using it. It must be properly dried, because if it becomes moldy at all, the coumarins in it become dicoumarin. This is a very toxic old fashioned poison, and will stop blood from clotting in humans.
It likely came to fame as a protective herb through its use as a poison in a certain way that no one person could be blamed for the death, the evidence would be destroyed, and it could all have just been an unfortunate accident or due to the victim’s own neglect or tyranny. The amount it would take to actually die quickly could or would only be consumed by the rich at the time.
Yellow clover is also very much loved by bees, who are very protective of friends and aggressive against enemies. So if it is compatible with your local ecology, plant some outside. Then the bees will help keep watch for you. If they are agitated, then danger is near.
Cinquefoil, or “five finger grass”, is used in Hoodoo specifically for protection in court cases. It is a good protective herb against authorities because of certain aspects of its energy. It is very astringent, and has a lot of tannins. Somehow, it is both cleansing and staining at the same time.
Punishment for Abusers of Authority
Sometimes, no matter what we personally do to vote our conscience, stand up for ourselves and others, and be good citizens or if not perfectly law abiding, sustainable citizens, the overall situation catches up with us. Because we humans allow certain corruption to exist in our governments and societies in general, the Orishas and other deities will allow it because this is how Nature works. When people in positions of authority abuse it, we do not just have to take it though. We can fight back by performing ceremonies that make it clear that we are not supporting or endorsing what was done to us or our loved ones or fellow citizens.
In some African cultures and kingdoms, when a leader understood that he had fulfilled his mission, and that it was time for a new successor to reach his destiny, he/she would voluntarily step down and go into exile or die. Their spouses and most faithful followers often went with them. So it is humanly possible for people in power to wield it sanely. It is possible and even became traditional in some places that someone who could not even be spoken to directly by the common folk, and who had the power over everyone in their domain’s life and death with their mere words, could give that up when they understood their time had come, and through their life, attempt to be as wise and fair and just as possible. So there is no excuse for others.
From the greedy corporate boss down to the petty kindergarten teacher beating kids for breathing in a way they don’t like, all of these lose their entitlements from Orunmila as soon as they abuse their power. It is up to us as the people…their victims and people who find out about their crimes, to fight back, especially when the legal system fails us.
As to what ceremony to do exactly, that depends on what was done wrong, your heritage and belief system. There are many deities of justice to choose from.
In a case such as, say, a killer cop who abuses his authority as a police officer, and tortures and kills people who have not tortured and killed others, I would recommend sacrificing them to Eshu. Any deity who, in the past, took murderers and other heinous criminals as human sacrifices will do. Yes, you’d give them the same way as you’d give a civilian murderer, but with extra ire because this was someone who was supposed to be protecting and serving the public.
Because we can’t actually drag them to the altar ourselves and do the deed, a personal effect or photo will do. When you give, make sure you give an offering with meat, such as roosters or at least chicken legs, dressed up with sweets like raisins or honey. In this case, because the meat is representing a human, you would not share this meal with Eshu. Give it all to him, and let the beings of Nature devour it.
When the person is punished sufficiently, then you should give a thanks offering.
Because you are correcting a wrong of your people (allowing so much corruption that the crime was possible), you should also give offerings to your deity of authority and hierarchy, such as Orunmila. This is an offering of apology, so you should give him very nice things he likes, such as an elegant meal of porridge, grilled chicken with only light seasoning, good paper, and fine calligraphy pens and the like.
The point you should give thanks to Orunmila is when the person’s authority is removed.
But let’s say they didn’t actually kill someone, but misappropriated or embezzled funds…or removed funding from an important program. Since this is specifically about the distribution of wealth, you would add Oshun to this list. You would give an offering to Eshu, not for a physically harsh punishment, but because he is the Gate Keeper, but you would bring the issue of the wrong that was done to him in a straightforward informal way, and then again to Oshun in a more dramatic and formal way. Make her offerings for this something like a very nice business lunch, depending on your traditions.
Then you would give thanks offerings when the person lost their position to harm others, and was sufficiently punished.
Class Warfare Ancestor Chant
Sometimes you are not just fighting an individual abusing authority, but a group or caste of people who are, or believe they are privileged, making life miserable for others. Some do not agree with the idea of using magick for class warfare because it seems like collective punishment, but I assure you that the privileged have their own sorcerers maintaining their status. Since they are practicing collective oppression, you are not in the wrong or going against Nature by doling out collective punishment against the enemies of your people.
Fighting this sort of oppression with magick requires consistent dedication. You should bring this to Eshu and your Ancestors every week. For many in the African diaspora, this day is Monday. Some traditions have Friday as an additional Eshu and Shango day specific to war. We also raise the war chant at special ceremonies for the Ancestors and war deities.
If you don’t have a standard chant, you can make one. I recommend that it be simple, rhythmic, and honest. Try to remember that you are not making a political statement towards humans. You don’t need to be politically correct or diplomatic. You are asking the Ancestors to aid in the fight against the enemies of your people.
Be aware that when you start this, you will attract spirits whose flesh lives were not very happy. You may experience flashes of horrible memories. Do not be afraid. They are telling you their story that history may have forgotten. I recommend writing these down, or finding some way to express what you have seen and heard, as this gives the spirits peace, but don’t over-share. These guardians and companions are for you, and perhaps your family and ile, not for the world.
Ayelala Orisha of Justice
All over West Africa, when the police and normal channels of justice fail, people turn to Ayelala. She is an honored Ancestor who, in her human incarnation, was a slave who had to pay the price for an adulteress whose infidelity caused severe problems between two tribes. The political complications were many and some hidden and unknown, so aside of being a human sacrifice, her purpose of being sent to the other side was also to punish those who used the situation to their own greedy ends. This is exactly what she did.
Since then, she is called upon to get justice when there is little or no hope of humans doing the job. When someone comes to her shrines or temples and asks for justice, and she does for them, they give her thanks and put a photo of the person or people she killed or punished on the outer wall of the temple for the world to see. She works so quickly and severely that in a short time, there are so many photos that they run out of space.
Authorities in the diaspora fear the word getting out because Ayelala does not discriminate between public or secret crimes against Africans who honor the Ancestors and Orishas regardless of their additional or professed religions, nor does she show any mercy. She also does not stop at the “trigger man”, and punishes all who aided and abetted the wrongdoer. This means if a police officer unjustly beats your child, she will not only eat them, but any of his fellows who helped to cover up the crime, or tried to prevent them from receiving their due punishment. She doesn’t care what their ranks or excuses are.
She is so effective that many times, when someone suspects that Ayelala has been called about them, they go to a shrine and confess and offer to make amends and restitution voluntarily. In the case of murder or criminal level neglect though, sometimes this is to settle their affairs since they know they are going to die.
Though you may worship her from anywhere, properly calling her to gain justice may require consulting a priest from Africa. There are priests from Benin, Nigeria, and other areas of west Africa, who are available to help. All you need to do is ask.
The Unknown Enemy
Sometimes there are cover-ups and conspiracies to protect the guilty. In some places, they will not publish the names, or they will choose convenient scapegoats. The spirits know though, so there are ways to strike them down no matter where they hide. One of them is by enlisting the aid of animal, fungal, and plant Mother and Father deities, or the Orisha or general deity in charge of a particular category of living beings.
In the past, this was reliably done calling Snake, Rat, Mouse, Cat, or Bat. If any of these sound familiar in relation to prisoners, well, I don’t have to explain why aside of prisons being sometimes beset with these “pests”. Nowadays though, many police stations, jails, and prisons are regularly exterminated. This however does not mean that there are no animals, plants, or fungi there. It just means they are smaller.
In Vodun and other West African and diaspora traditions, the Orisha in charge of infectious disease and associated microbes is Babalu Aye or Sakpata. The Orisha in charge of decomposition is Yewa. Their or corresponding deities’ aid can be enlisted in rooting out and punishing the guilty.
You should give Eshu and them reasonable offerings for the task. If the police or a lynch mob has killed your or your client’s loved one, this can be done in conjunction with their funeral or memorial. Give the first of any food that is made or brought to Eshu, and something good with mushrooms or pickles or wine to Yewa.
You should also keep a part of the departed, such as some of their ashes or a clipping of their hair, or something they wore in a special box with their photo, consecrate it, and place it on your Ancestor altar.
Make an incense to punish unknown enemies from
- 3 coffee beans, crushed
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- a few drops of sesame oil
- about a tablespoon worth of moldy bread
- a heaping tablespoon of chopped nettle or some other plant with horrible, stinging spines
You may add other punishment oriented herbs and ingredients, but take care that none of them are default protective.
As close as you can get without getting caught or into trouble, light this incense, and walk around the building or place where your loved one was assaulted and/or killed, chanting for the exposure and punishment of the offenders hiding behind the justice system.
It might go a little something like
Eshu, Master of the Gate
Open wide the doors of Fate
On Oya’s skirt may Baba’ ride
To strike the killers where they hide
As my love melts into the Earth
May they find no shelter in their homes or hearths
Let every nibble on my love from Yewa’s pets
Consume the killers as due debts
Let them not eat and let them not sleep
Let nothing they gain remain in their keep
Let nothing or no one they love give return
Let all that they’ve grown wither and burn
Blood for my blood and skin for my skin
Let all the world see the shame of their sin
If they do not confess let their lips swell with pus
Writing truth in the sores on their face of broken trust
Let their own hands betray them seeking justice in spite
Strangling for each letter of lies that they write
May their bowels turn against them in seeking to purge
All the filth within them with an uncontrollable urge
May their feet break under the weight of the stress
Not just from my love but from all they oppress
May they drag the bodies of all they have killed
May their tongue only taste all the blood they have spilled
May the glee with which they have caused so much dread
Be replaced with a wish that they were dead
Please give them their wish but not before
They have paid pain for pain to even the score.
Now, please be discreet about this. Just because some people in authority seem not to believe in anything, doesn’t mean that they don’t have fears. If they were truly courageous people, they wouldn’t kill dissidents, the socially or politically inconvenient, or petty criminals. Happy, healthy people don’t do such things. If you are caught, they may torture and kill you and make you disappear. So be very careful.
Even if you don’t personally know the victim, you can still act on someone’s behalf. You or a group of likeminded witches can join your energy and even do war meetings and dances to curse abusers. It is good practice for witches new to cursing.
When a case or situation comes to your attention, first do divination to see whether or not the person’s Ancestors or protectors approve of your involvement. If you get a positive answer, go for it, but if not then stay out of it. Sometimes we are told to stay out of things because the person’s family or personal guardians, or other witches on the case are already handling it, or already have a sort of optimized energy flow going that needs no additions.
If you get the go-ahead though, do more divination to see what offerings you should give, or what you can do for the family of the victimized or deceased. Sometimes it’s not just your energy to curse their enemies, but your nurturing energy that is needed as well.
As mentioned before, some of these practices are potentially dangerous. They should be done as rites of passage within the bounds of a live traditional system. However, not all have the luxury of unbroken local priesthood, so one has to innovate. So I will go as far as sharing some things that are done to initiate and build up warriors spiritually, so your new practices can be in line with what is known to work.
Piercing and Implants
Wearing jewelry is a well known protective and devotional practice. Various deities have their favorite and sacred metals or other materials that their followers bless and wear to show their loyalty and carry the attributes of the deity. In Kindoki, just as in Vodun, we are not merely symbolic. When you wear the eleke, ide, or other ornaments associated with a deity, you are wearing that deity, so these items should be treated with the utmost respect.
A warrior, wearing these things in their body, becomes a sort of a spiritual “cyborg” or perhaps better termed an theorg (god-attached-organism), if we’re sticking with Greek prefixes. An implant or permanent piercing means that you are in this mode 24/7, so you bear the responsibilities of a warrior 24/7. This may be too much for many people to bear. For those who already live like this though, it would just be a validation of who you already are.
For those who have mixed duties or obligations in life, piercing is a better choice because the god infused object still penetrates the body, but can be removed when it is not necessary. Mind you, it is still a part of you, so you should be buried with your sacred pierced jewelry, or it can be gifted to those who may call on your warrior aspect as a guardian when you have gone to the Ancestors.
Children of Oya may notice that we never quite heal from piercing. Our holes are usually a little angry forever, and this is because the body is fusing anew every time we put the jewelry in. To help with the pain, use plastic, straw, or cloves to keep the holes open and clean when not wearing metal jewelry.
Some cultures and groups use piercings and implants to make one impervious to metal weapons such as bullets and knives. This requires a specialist sorcerer, medicine person, or shaman, so don’t try to do this on your own. You can however, boost your resistance to a considerable degree with consistent ritual observance to Ogun or other metallurgy, Earth, and war deities. To keep your fellows and students consistent, you can create a ritual and schedule unique to your group. With time, if they prove effective, your innovations may become traditions.
Many tribes have special colors and/or patterns that they paint on their bodies or wear as clothing. The Catawba would often paint one eye black and one white to confuse the enemy. The Japanese had frightening face protectors. You can enchant paint, armor, and clothing, but you can also just as effectively enchant flesh colored paint, lotions, oils, and body sprays. You can even make or dedicate specific scents for war times.
A stealthy war paint may come in handy when you don’t want to alert others, especially police, that you are the warrior witch in the crowd.
Warriors of some cultures wear tattoos or do special scarification. These come from their ancestral traditions, and are too alive to be distinct from the politics, so never borrow from someone else’s. Only wear tattoos for war that come from your own genetic heritage unless you are becoming an active member of that culture. Once you tattoo a culture’s war symbols on your body, you become a soldier for them. You are spiritually obligated to protect and defend the people of that culture/ethnicity, and tying your fate to theirs.
If you are in a somewhat postmodern situation wherein you or your clan are not specific to a pre existing culture or ethnicity, but to a set of principles or a code that is new or comes from mixed influences, you have to start from scratch. Design your rites of passage that have to do with body marking or modification to fit your new people. Understand that the Ancestors still live in us, and in a way, you may be creating a new nation that becomes a sort of ethnicity because it may be certain aspects of your genetic profile that brought you to where you are today. “Like goes to like,” even across cultures, and people with, for example, a lower sensitivity to visible phenotype differences, may unite against racism in principle, but be acting out an evolutionary imperative to create people who can better survive climate changes.
The warrior witch has to consider many different angles, and so when creating new traditions and new symbols to go with them, use your mind and soul. You want to protect your warriors against things that actually threaten them, and these may be very different from what threatened others.
There are many options for punishing abusers of authority ceremonially. Bear in mind though that this is not a pray and go thing. Once you have brought these kinds of things to Orunmila, he expects you to follow that with real actions to change the situation that allowed the crimes against you or your loved ones, your people, or your allies. You must use your talents and your resources as you are able, to make the world a better place…and you must never abuse the power you have over others, or you will lose your entitlements and authority as well.
Don’t lose your head. 😉