How to Spot a Fraudulent Spell Caster

K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher
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  5. Hating on Africans or African American practitioners while claiming to use a form of African magic.
Someone using the terms “mojo” and “wanga” and then at the same time hating on Africans and calling Africans frauds because we don’t do things the same way is a big red flag.
If someone is Rodnoverian or doing another form of fairly area-limited European magic and claims that theirs is stronger for Europeans, then whether or not one would agree, this is at least not hypocritical or culture theft.  If they say they’re practicing Hoodoo, but all of their ways are derived from European practices, this is borderline, but still at least not hypocritical.  They may be misguided, but again, at least not engaging in any culture theft.  Maybe they’re just isolated and don’t know that their Hoodoo is unique, and that most Hoodoo is mixed African, Native American, European, Asian, etc.
If they claim Lukumi, Santeria, Hoodoo (while using African terms for things), Ifa, Vodun, Voodoo, or Vodou, but then claim that Africans are frauds because they don’t conform to their arbitrary ways, then this person spits on the Ancestors and should not be trusted at all.  Beware of anyone non African claiming to be practicing African spirituality or magic better than Africans.
For that matter, beware of infiltrators and agents in the African American community claiming that any form of diaspora spirituality is somehow better or more powerful than the original Ifa or Vodun.  This is some division that some tried to sow after trying to actually steal ATR from us in the Americas didn’t work.  On the one hand, the religion is not the witchcraft, and some diaspora forms may be more immediately or expediently relevant than Ifa in the Motherland, but on the other, Africa is the Motherland.  You don’t insult the source of your spirituality and traditions.

It should be noted that being critical or demanding accountability from traditional adherents is not the same as insulting them. African spirituality is evolving and aligned with both science and spiritual growth, so seeing where there can be improvements is a good thing. Just beware of someone actually claiming that Ifa is lesser or something.

6. Related to the above, African witches, priests, and babalawo don’t trust, endorse, or interact with them.
Once someone has opened their mouth and said something stupid against Africans, we don’t always attack.  It would be like playing whack-a-mole.  The world is full of posers.  You can’t get them all.  One can however, simply opt out of dealing with them, endorsing them, or supporting them in any way.
As I’ve said many times before, no African priest I have ever seen has ever judged anyone in the diaspora for doing whatever they needed to survive.  None has ever condemned anyone in the diaspora for having a mixed pantheon or ancestry, so long as everyone was respected.  There are deities of other pantheons present in Vodun temples in Africa.  So if someone is avoided by Africans in Africa and the diaspora, then they did or said something REALLY messed up.So that you’re aware, even though again, the religion is not the witchcraft here is a list of the red flags that an actual priest/ess of real deal African Vodun is looking for when someone makes a claim that they are serving through an African traditional religion.

As an aside, you may notice that most Obeah, Brujeria, and Kindoki practitioners in the diaspora tend to be more accepting than many others of our limitations.  There is a lot we can do as witches and sorcerers/esses, but at the point that someone wants to for-sure know who is their head Orisha, Lwa, Mpungo, etc. or needs community, we are referring them or at least sending them in the right direction to find an actual priest/ess or babalawo.  It is very rare for a witch to be able to stradle both roles as a witch and a priestess, despite what trends you see in the new age style western magic community.

Too many people are running around calling themselves a priest or priestess of a deity, but not living that life.  Though I am a dedicated child of my head Orisha, I am not going door to door in my neighborhood demanding donations to feed my local female martial artists, veterans, and warriors, though I do what I can for them.  There are many things that priestesses do that I don’t, so I don’t call myself a priestess.  I don’t need to.  I do what I can for folks, and leave the priestessing to the priestesses to whom I happily refer anyone who needs them and not a witch.

7. Again, related to the above, they would never refer you to someone else.
Every witch can’t do everything.  Every witch doesn’t do every style of magic.  If you need something culture specific, search within that culture.  If someone outside that culture who has no evidence of any experience with it claims they can do it then well, they are experimenting or just lying to you.

8. You don’t have to do anything to help the spell or maintain its energy.
“Just sit back and relax, and I’ll solve all your problems, ”  Nature doesn’t work that way.  All witches have to operate within the forces of Nature.  Sometimes what we may do may seem miraculous, but then so does a beautiful domino arrangement.
In order to receive blessings from a deity, you must at least be living and behaving in a way that draws that deity’s energy.  If you ask for help from Oshun, you need to actually value the gifts that she has given you, like beauty, prosperity, etc.  If you are ungrateful for having a roof over your head, she is not going to bless you with a bigger home.  If you treat your lovers like dirt, or being really honest, take them for granted and expect them to act against Nature for you, then she is not going to bring them back to you, at least not for long.
The offerings that are given as a part of your spellwork (again, different witches have different ways, like one sorcerer’s ochinchin may be another’s kyara agarwood incense) do have power.  It creates a burst of directed energy that flows out to Nature with the objective of fulfilling your desire.  However, it is your responsibility to maintain this energy and keep an open channel to receive the blessing.
If Oshun brings your man back, but your home is a mess, he is not going to stay.  If someone gave you the impression that you can receive blessings and then take them for granted or misuse them, and they will stay, they sorely misled you.

9. The money back guarantee.

Gold Coins

Because so many things can go wrong (like someone messing up their blessings, or something simply being against Nature), a spell caster would be irresponsible to give a money back guarantee.  There is a bit of a catch with this one because things that can be guaranteed are gravity, the sun coming up in the morning, the turning of the moon, etc.  In truth, if someone gives offerings to a deity in charge of a force of Nature, and respects that force of Nature, they will receive some sort of blessing for it.  It won’t be like nothing will happen.  It’s just that you may not get what you initially wanted.
The reason not to give a “money back guarantee” is that it sets up a bad situation in which a person may renege on their offerings.  If a person doesn’t get the blessing they wanted, they will demand their money back, and this will be bad for them.  They may not be able to see how the deity the offerings were given to blessed them because they are focused on the thing they wanted.  If Oshun didn’t bring your man back because there was no way to do so without breaking his mind, but she already blessed you with a windfall of money that was many times what you paid the spellcaster, and you take your offering back, she may take many times that money away.  I would not want to put my patrons in that position.


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K. Sis. Nicole T.N. Lasher

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