10. Invisible costs.
Sometimes you can’t afford what you want. A spell caster should be honest with you about this. Some are afraid to tell you up front how much something will cost because they feel they are in competition with the marketing claims of western practitioners who often just light a candle or some incense and say a prayer, and don’t invest a significant proportion of donations in supplies.
This is related to the “no evidence” thing. The African and diaspora way (and I am generalizing here, as there may be some rare person who gets excellent results from just lighting a stick of Dollar Store Black Love incense and wishful thinking) is to give offerings to the deities and spirits they seek help from, make a seal, a talisman, or some physical clarification of the objective/desire, and do some expression like dance, chanting, or focused prayer, to manifest the energy in the physical realm.
It is sometimes more complicated, especially for advanced sorcerers who do “near death” trancing and have walked a long way down a certain path. Time and reality has a different meaning for them, and there are different options, but it is still physically taxing. Then there are the different heads and initiates with different natural talents and doors open to them. What may be difficult for one may be a breeze for another.
Generally though, we know how much the supplies , transportation, and practical elements of the spell will cost, how much energy it will require from us, and how long it will take us to recover. This is why most have discounts during festival seasons. We can do many things in one trip, we have our ile to help us, or because a certain energy is peaking, it will take less from our physical bodies.
So when discussing the price of spells, this is relative to the sorcerer, so I’m not going to go into what is too much or too little. However, you should see some evidence that your spell caster does invest in their work, and if something will require long term offerings or multiple attempts, or maintenance, they should tell you at the beginning, or as soon as they are made aware. If too many hidden costs pop up along the way, be wary.
Also, timing and natural cycles come into play. In your impatience to see results, you may not give things the time that is required to manifest. It’s not necessarily fraudulent, but some sorcerers are perfectly willing to let you send them a ton of money every week if you want, trying to speed things up. Sometimes, if they didn’t tell you the right costs of the work initially, they are relieved that you want to send them more money to cover the real costs.
Efe West does a good job of explaining the scam of fake spiritualists draining clients, and the difference between an up to date practitioner who is actually in communion with the spirits and a blind traditionalist who may be perpetuating or leading a scam.
Again, these signs don’t necessarily mean an intentional fraud, but you should be careful. It has become far too common a practice for people to engage in hating others in order to get more clients. They think most people seeking help are dumb enough to buy their ranting about how everybody else is wrong except them. I don’t want to be one of those people. The only fraud is the person who disrespects the Ancestors or the deities or the people from whom they steal superficial props without understanding or respecting where they came from on purpose.
Someone who actually does the work, even if they are a misguided or unpleasant or even crazy person, is a real sorcerer. Some people were taught wrong by their elders. Some people, especially in the U.S. grew up with a horribly overblown sense of entitlement and blindness to how they harm others with their hatred. Some are so deep in the darkness that they don’t even know when they’re expressing racism. This does not mean that they are purposefully defrauding people. They may just not know better.
Still, when you think of who you want to go to for help, these are things to be mindful of. Do you want help from someone who calls the Orishas while hating on the people who named them for the world? Is it okay for someone to promise you guaranteed results if there is a possibility that you might not get them? Just think carefully before you direct your offerings through someone who may look down on you.
It has come to light that some spiritualists are buying views and likes and artificially manipulating web traffic to make it look as if they have more of a following than they do. Our community is relatively small, and most people are connected to some temple or others in the community. If you have never seen someone’s name mentioned or any of their content referred to anywhere else in any ATR related site, but they have half a million followers, something is shady.
Most of us who are out here doing the work produce more than advertisement for ourselves. We write articles, make educational and informative videos, write songs, or do something other than just bragging about how great we are at spellwork. The way people gain a following is by doing work and producing content. We get web traffic by being linked to by other people.
How does someone who nobody is linking to get thousands of followers? It doesn’t happen. None of the platforms are that favoring of African content to serve it consistently. Less than 1% of any of my traffic on any platform comes from the platform serving my content to new people. The rest comes from someone linking to my articles or having a high ranking in search engines due to relevance.
So beware of people with fake followings. If they’re lying about their reach, they’re lying about other things too.
Blessings and Ase!
P.S. Comments are closed for this article because I noticed that such articles attract spammers and haters. If you’d like to say something on this topic, or you have an article, you’d like me to link to, please use the contact form.