Frequently Asked Questions About Obeah and Spiritual Science
- How can I learn Obeah?
- Why does Obeah have such a scary reputation? Is the hype about it true?
- What is Obeah?
- Why is Obeah considered the most dangerous magical system?
Readings and Rootwork
- Do your workings involve animal sacrifice?
- How can I get a reading or rootwork from Sheloya (K. Sis. Nicole Lasher)?
Afruikan Spiritual Science
- What is the minimum level of observance for a layperson or a witch/sorcerer?
- Can someone cast a spell or curse someone over the phone or from a distance?
- How can I protect myself from witchcraft or curses?
- What is the “karma” concept of African spirituality?
- Is there astral travel in African (Afruikan) spirituality?
- Can magic and spells be scientifically proven to work?
- How do spells really work?
- What is the worst mental weakness that the active spiritual scientist should strive to overcome?
Fakery and Phuckery
Eclectic Overlap and Exchange
Sheloya's Personal Issues
How can I learn Obeah?
To learn Obeah, you need to find someone who knows it who is willing to teach you. Something happened in the African community where people like Papa Voncujovi and Efe West came out with authentic modes of Afroscientific spirituality, so we kind of gravitated that way for the most part. So if you want to learn Obeah specifically, you may find a teacher in the islands. They are here and there, and sometimes in the Orisha community. If you’re living elsewhere and want to learn Afroscientific Spirituality, join Efe West’s Masterclass. If you are willing to spend some time in Ghana and prefer this within a more traditional, but not typically limited structure, consult Papa Voncujovi through ReVodution.
If you teach, and would like your site hosted on Obeah.us, sign up for my curated hosting plan, and I will set up a class for you.
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Why does Obeah have such a scary reputation? Is the hype about it true?
The reason Obeah has such a scary reputation is that like many systems under the category of “Voodoo” or African diaspora spirituality, it was forged in blood. African history did not begin with slavery, nor did African American history. Slavery was not something that African Americans as a group, accepted passively. We used all means available to resist, including spiritual. Obeah was part of this, and is only considered “scary” because colonizers and human traffickers feared it. To learn more, click here.
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What is Obeah?
The term “Obeah” refers to a category of sorcery, spirituality, and “folk medicine” of people from the West Indies and Caribbean islands and surrounding areas. These practices made their way into the U.S. and show up often along the east coast, but they originated in the islands. To learn more, read What is Obeah?
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Do your workings involve animal sacrifice?
Yes they do sometimes. My practice is not generally vegan or vegetarian even though some of the deities I align with prefer plant based or mostly plant based food, mineral, or liquid offerings. There is no way that I can guarantee that your working would not involve some animal products or that the recommended ebo would not involve animal sacrifice, especially if it has anything to do with the Ancestors or warring aspects of deities. These would at least involve offerings of meat.
African spirituality is very Nature accepting. We are omnivores in a cycle. We eat other plants and animals, and eventually plants and animals will eat us, and thank the Gods they do. Some animals are eating us already so that we don’t suffocate in our own dead skin or the less friendly bugs that would eat us alive unmitigated.
The issue for some people is the act of purposefully ending a life with one’s own hands or weapons. For some, this crosses a line that I can understand not everyone is comfortable with. If you need a root worker who does not eat animals back, I am not the one you seek.
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How can I get a reading or rootwork from Sheloya (K. Sis. Nicole Lasher)?
You can order a reading by using the shopping cart system on the home site, or by sending a payment of $5 for a simple love reading, $50 for a bone reading, or $30 for a tarot reading to my Paypal directly at
I use Paypal for both of our protection, so that there are clear records.
All rootwork or “spells” start with readings/divination to determine what is the best course of action.
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What is the minimum level of observance for a layperson or a witch/sorcerer?
Spirituality should be a part of someone’s life. To be clear, I am not an atheist partly because I can see the divinity in the world around me, and don’t understand how viewing this as less amazing and miraculous than it is, can be a helpful mentality to have. So I view atheists as kind of the grumpy babies of spirituality who don’t really get the wonder of the Universe, and don’t get that the African idea of the Divine is far different from the “Santa in the sky” myths they were taught the idea of the Almighty is. So when I’m talking about the minimal level of observance, I’m talking about what distincts you from a grumpy baby who benefits all the time from the Divine, but doesn’t appreciate it as Divine.
Nature doesn’t care what you think. We are all Her children. She cares for us and blesses or curses us regardless of what we believe. There is no “quid pro quo”. You can’t buy blessings. Nor can you buy curses. This is not what offerings are for. Offerings and observance are to establish a dialogue so that we can better align with Nature. We are officially opening our eyes and ears to Nature and relating to it in the way that is meaningful to us, exchange, but very well aware that we are not literally trading offerings for blessings. We do these things to hold up our end in an actual physical way. The Spirits don’t need our offerings. We need to give them.
So for the layperson, I would say a good minimum would be some sort of weekly session of giving to your Gatekeeper and Ancestors, meditating, and thanking them for your blessings and lessons for that week. Pick a day that is your “church” day, based on your ancestral or sincerely adopted traditions, and make that your holy day. If you’re lucky to have an African or diaspora group with a weekly gathering, cool. If you have a Unitarian/Universalist gathering, good as well. A mystically inclined roots Yeshua church or study group? Sufist Muslims who are Nubian aware? Also good as long as they don’t have anti-ancestral beliefs. Community is a good thing. Go where you feel welcome, safe, and comfortable. If you don’t find a community that suits you, do your thing at home.
If you are a witch, sorcerer, or spiritual counselor who does any sort of healing through more than talk therapy though, you need to be daily observant. There needs to be some time every day that you address your pantheon. Daily observance needs to be a part of your routine at a level that is easy for you do. It shouldn’t be overly time consuming or complex. It can be something you do as a start or closing for the day, and it’s also a good time to bring up workings that you have ongoing. People in service need this boost every day to sort of recharge the batteries in a way, and keep the dialogue fresh.
If you can’t manage daily, at least do it as often as you can. It is important.
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Can someone cast a spell or curse someone over the phone or from a distance?
A spell, appropriate or inappropriate, that uses communication as a trigger can be transmitted through any means of communication.
For those out there saying magic doesn’t exist, there is a whole lot of science that was considered magic before people understood how it works. Hypnosis and NLP were considered magic at one time.
In the case of a curse with a communication trigger, someone could tell you a phrase or use a certain set of words in a pattern of speech that could set you on a course to self destruct or convince you to say or do things against your interests. Like a television commercial convinces you to buy something that you don’t really want or need, though it would be difficult to convince you to do things you don’t want to do consciously, they could implant a message that would exploit psychological vulnerabilities.
Another possibility is that the communication trigger is a sort of decoy, and the real source is in some other activity that they are doing. Even though it is technically possible to be set on an accursed path though a communication trigger, someone would have to be very talented or very lucky to do it successfully.
So it’s more likely that they’ve had an ally who is close to you put some objects around you or pilfer some of your personal effects.
You should go to a priest or witch you trust for cleansing and curse breaking if needed, and in the future, be more observant to your religion or spirituality. Regular cleansing, prayer, and offerings are protective…also doing acts of kindness and charity. Build as much merit as you can, and curses will even backfire if someone sends them.
If you are atheist or agnostic and think perhaps it’s more hypnosis based, you can counter this a similar way with non deity based meditation and therapy to deprogram you from any negative self talk that might make your more psychologically vulnerable…or hey, see a priest or witch anyway in case you have some lingering belief making such things effective even though you don’t believe in them. Do acts of kindness because it feels positive and counters negativity and just makes the world a better place. Cover the bases.
Update May 7, 2022 – Kevin Samuels is dead.
He was a famous image consultant who drew some fire from women when he said harsh things about the realities of dating and marriage selection. It didn’t get really dark until he started using “red pill” jargon typical of those who had sold out in Mueller Report type deals. It is known that some controversial but relatively well known male bloggers and YouTubers were approached leading up to the Trump campaign in 2015–16. We don’t know for certain if he was one of them, but his language shifted in a way that indicates he was at least applying for the position of professional jig dancer. I’m sure you can think of a few others who were giving relationship advice back then that was harsh but reasonable for awhile, but then shifted back then.
In any case, once he began to use the known psy ops, he fell under the running psychic self defense grid that technomages and spiritualists fighting “white” supremacy have ongoing. All of us who know what is going on give offerings and “vote” for the spirits to deal with such individuals as they see fit, though our desire is to see them either change or be neutralized as enemies of the people.
That alone wouldn’t do more than the usual praying for justice except that in targeting older women, intelligent women, and spiritual women in his tyrades, he alienated the people who offered him any sort of spiritual protection.
What it has to do with this specifically is that anybody who may have “cursed” him would have to have done so from a distance. He died as he lived, which was not in the company of anyone intelligent enough to say, keep him away from tainted drugs, or perform basic CPR. So he wasn’t around anyone who could have swiped a personal effect, touched him with some sacrificial oil, etc. It would all have to have been done from a distance.
Problem is that his protection also, would have come from a distance. Like energy could have countered the negative that was being lobbed at him. He simply did not have enough adept people with the juice to protect him in his sphere of influence.
Put the mysticism aside and think of it scientifically/psychologically. If someone was going to self destruct or their heart and organs would be sensitive to their mental state, and they were getting more messages to end than to continue, the consequences are obvious.
You don’t have to believe in witchcraft or magic. Biology and psychology are enough. It is a bad idea to alienate the people who could help you.
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Can someone cast a spell for me for free?
You can find them on any witchcraft forum, group, or board.
You won’t be charged money for them, but there will be a price.
If someone is offering spell casting services for “free”, it is to obligate you to them spiritually or to extort you.
If it is about a spiritual obligation, they will get one of their helpers to seemingly solve your problem, but then you will owe them. They will then use your energy for whatever they want. I’ve encountered a few people who got a “favor” done for them by someone they met online or who graciously answered their call for help in a witchcraft group, and are now basically enslaved.
In order to be freed, they ended up having to do offerings to the deities they should have gone to for help in the first place. Sometimes, especially when dealing with love work, some people are so busy trying to get a bargain or to take advantage, that they are cheap with their own ancestors. Yup…sometimes if they had just taken a moment to give some offerings to their ancestors once a month, their love life wouldn’t have been in shambles in the first place.
Some people offer “free” spells as a part of an identity theft or extortion scam. They take advantage of the need to give one’s full name and birthdate and photos, and use that to threaten people. They sometimes threaten to tell the “target” of the spell what the one who asked for the spell is up to.
At least if you pay someone for work, there is a paper trail or transaction record. So if they try to harm you, then you can take that information to the authorities. If it’s “free” you have no idea who you’re dealing with.
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Do you have spirit animals in African spiritual science?
I believe in guardians and allies who may take on the form of various animals, and may settle on one favorite that suits them. Some anthropologists trying to fit the ideas from some cultures into a definition that would fit the mindset of westerners called them “spirit animals”.
Unless one has undergone the passages required to perceive them, it is doubtful that they have found their “spirit animal”. Generally, these passages require a trained guide from a tradition in which one is taught to do this safely without going insane or catching some bad spirit.
I am sure that some people have met some animal spirits or spirits or extradimensional beings who took the shape of animals. I don’t knock their experiences or beliefs, but just like someone who learns to read Opele from a book, this is still not a babalawo unless they have been through the passages in the community.
Same goes for other tribal practices and titles that come from other communities. It is bad to run around claiming a passage one hasn’t crossed over.
I wear many marks. I will be getting another soon from my community here in Israel. It was not earned easily. It did not come without a great loss.
These things are not done for the self. The benefits are not to serve one’s self. It is not for personal fulfillment or self help that one seeks their primal guardians or embodies them. One does it for their people.
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How can I protect myself from witchcraft or curses?
This is a funny question. It’s funny because people are so worried about protecting themselves from witchcraft that they don’t consider how often they may have been protected by witchcraft.
There are people praying for many other people’s wellbeing every day in temples of varying religions around the world. Aside of that, there are the witches; the people who don’t always trust the authorities of organized religions to do the job, or at least not fully, who bestow blessings on their relatives and friends, and back those up with offerings, real devotion, and merit.
There are so many witches and kinds of witches in the world that even though we are statistically rare, we are very well spread out, and very concerned about the wellbeing of those around us. So the chances are, whoever you are, wherever you are, if someone loves you, someone has probably done some witchcraft to keep you alive, especially during your fragile infancy.
Witchcraft may have also been involved in your conception or birth. You may owe your very existence to someone killing a chicken for a fertility deity in a forest clearing. You don’t know.
So instead of protecting yourself from witchcraft, how about asking some witches for some advice about protection from malevolent energy, ill will and such. Witches may provide you with information or take it on themselves to add you to their altar for mention during their observances of protector deities.
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Why don’t you spell Afruikan that way all the time?
Because even though Afruikan is the correct spelling, I am trying not to be overly pretentious.
I speak English. I am capable of pronouncing words in other languages. I am aware that the reason I speak English is colonialism, but that damage is already done. Since part of my mission in this form is to spiritually rescue others, many of whom speak English, I don’t feel it wise to totally abandon it at this point.
Someday, perhaps, all or at least a majority of Africans and allies will decide on a main trade language, perhaps Swahili. I look forward to that time.
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What is the “karma” concept of African spirituality?
There are many, so I will give an overview of some of the best known and understandable without the necessity of being raised in that specific culture. Even so, please understand that if you are pursuing a specific stream or official initiations, you will need to ask adepts and elders in that stream to fully understand.
In the Yoruba branch of Vodun, Ifa, the concept of Karma is contained in the concept of Ayanmo, which is something like the somewhat fixed aspect of destiny. There are some differences though, between karma as it is usually explained in Asian systems, and how it is explained in African systems.
Though one is responsible for their individual part in it, one shares destiny with others because the soul is not a strictly contained item once it is separated from the body unless something has gone wrong, or there is a special reason for it.
A person may improve their situation through Iwa Pele or good character according to one’s Ori or the personal aspect of one’s non solid energy. However, some things are not in one’s postnatal conscious control, such as received trauma or strife, or history prior to being born or inherited obligation. Despite this, a fact of Nature is that by how well or badly they handle the things they do not control, they still affect others. The easiest example is someone’s choice to have or not to have children. If they have children and raise them badly, they add to that child’s strife and make it more difficult for them to later fulfill their obligation to care for their aging parents.
In some streams, this level of responsibility extends globally in that it is impossible for humans to ascend until everyone does. We rise or fall into a higher level of existence together. So if anyone in our village is starving, we are all guilty. If anyone in our world is starving, we are all guilty. If anyone is abused, we are all guilty for allowing it to happen. As a result, bad things can happen to someone who thinks they have nothing to do with that because they are part of a world that allows atrocities to happen.
So the Vodun/African spirituality equivalent of karma, depending on the stream, is pretty harsh.
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Is there astral travel in African (Afruikan) spirituality?
People practicing various African belief systems, Vodun included, sometimes experience phenomena westerners may describe as astral projection.
However, generally, it is not an experience one would seek on purpose without good reason. The idea of just wandering around without one’s body is not a palatable one in African spirituality because we have thousands of years of warnings about what is out there, and reports from people who’ve been to the “land of bones” and back, including Kemetic books of the dead/rebirth, and various papyri and other texts and oral traditions from people who must go into trance or are taken their by their work. There are bigger fish out there than flimsy anchored humans.
This is not to say that a practitioner of Vodun or another stream of African spirituality could not or would never do astral projection on purpose. People do all sorts of things. It’s just that the question would be why they would want to.
In west Africa, something like astral travel is described in the legends of Adze which is associated with antisocial witchcraft by many. Partial astral projection or extension of a non material appendage or harmful impulse is described in central African tales and accusations of antisocial Kindoki. Most of these are stories made up to scare people into Christianity and/or scare children into behaving.
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Why is Obeah considered the most dangerous magical system?
Part of the reason is that most people who identify themselves as “white” either don’t believe in it, or believe their thought policing religion protects them from it.
What they don’t know is that most things classed as “Obeah” or “Voodoo” (African or other indigenous practices that have begun to be called this in the English speaking parts of the world) are mostly indigenous spirituality, folk medicine, and science that the west just hasn’t bothered to test yet. It’s based on very sound, repeatable experiments, psychology, and chemistry.
Proof: in the early 1990’s I had a friend who started having really severe gastrointestinal problems. Long story short, the symptoms were very much like “snakes in the stomach”, a well known “Voodoo” curse. When it was just him I thought he had just angered someone and they put that work on him but then almost his whole town in New Hampshire came down with the same symptoms.
Turns out it was from the same chemicals that the curse recipe comes from, due to decaying reptiles and amphibians that had been caught in their water system.
Saying “Voodoo doesn’t work” or “magic doesn’t exist” is illogical because it is heavily dependent on a western definition of “magic” and because like racists they are dismissing a whole block of science and medicine just because they don’t know how it works.
So one of the reasons Obeah and “Voodoo” are considered the most dangerous is that most westerners don’t take them seriously. A whole town could be sick and die, and if one African person didn’t inform them (me) and one Latino person didn’t medicate them (Papa Jim) they would have perished of arrogance failing to even look for an obvious toxin.
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Can magic and spells be scientifically proven to work?
The question is what it is supposed to work for.
It will not override nature.
At best, it can push the limits of nature inasmuch as the mind, unseen/unknown/unrecognizeable factors, can influence things.
No it is not Harry Potter of Bewitched or Gandalf etc. That is just some stuff westerners made up to discredit non monotheist belief systems that kind of bit them in the a** when the same kind of dogmatic tone was picked up by evangelical atheists.
So now we have two groups of colonists with screwed up ideas of what magic is and means for non monotheists, some of whom are flat out agnostic and/or technically atheists just not western style.
So a lot of what is actually magic as practiced by everyday magical practitioners is scientifically proven and they use that science to “manifest their will” or cause things to happen based on sound observation and manipulation of natural phenomena.
People posing as skeptics say “Magic isn’t real” yet it is quite scientifically accurate that someone can indeed make a poison from clovers that will surely kill you. Someone can indeed cause people around you to turn on you by leaving a subtle self destructive message in your head that will take years of therapy to extract.
People who are dismissive, I suppose, are that way because they need to be. They have trauma from some monotheistic religion or some wacked out new age cult, and take that out on everyone else. Whatever gets them through the day I guess.
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How do spells really work?
How they work is through perfectly natural phenomena that have nothing to do with the “supernatural”.
Unlike the press of western anthropologists, the vast majority of people practicing African indigenous spirituality, whether traditional Vodun and Orisha or Bokoko and Kindoki-Brujeria, are not literalists. Meaning, we do not believe there is a dude named Eshu literally sitting at the crossroads or in every corner or border. The world would be pretty crowded then, wouldn’t it?
What we believe is more that there is a principle of liminal space. How this is arranged or was arranged at the beginning of the Universe or material reality is a mystery to us, but we can use this principle for practical purpose. We can use any and all means to defend ourselves and mind our personal boundaries, invoking the idea of Eshu to aid us in this, and fill in whatever blanks in the subconscious that the mind can’t consciously grasp.
We can make an amulet that will remind us of this principle, and through its construction, ingredients, and maintenance as a “fetish”, boost this impulse in ourselves as well as signal to others through subtle psychological, visual, verbal cues and whatnot, that we are the wrong target.
We can worship this principle as an essential aspect of ourselves, the divinity in others, and the world around us. We can be grateful for our very sanity so we don’t regularly marry flowers instead of humans and therefore fail to reproduce *unless* that is someone’s call, then someone can marry a river to protect it.
So much of “Voodoo” is framed by westerners as either “magic” or “supernatural” in their limited terms. For us it’s just super natural.
Why or how it works is secondary to the fact that it works. We are grateful that Nature works, and this gratitude has worked well for us whenever it is embraced and acted out through observance and workings.
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What is the worst mental weakness that the active spiritual scientist should strive to overcome?
Self pity. I think this is the root of all true evil.
I understand that it’s usually caused by trauma and/or some form of neglect like over-coddling. The latter isn’t unpleasant, but it’s the kind of grooming that lures someone into a toxic way of thinking so they will inflict trauma on others, which causes a kind of moral injury.
Still, this is at the root of all sorts of self pity and insecurity based extremism. It makes people feel entitled to exploit and harm others because their worldview says that’s what those being shaped objects (in their perspective) are there for.
Understanding this was one of the most frightening realizations of my life.
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Do people have karmic partners?
We understand the concept of Karma as it is expressed by eastern belief systems, but we (generally) have our own takes on this which are more explicitly collective.
We would say that all beings are partners in their way. As the atoms that make up your body pass through many forms in all dimensions that they can exist, you will share connection with many beings and things over time, and whatever needs to be learned or experienced through that will be.
In practical terms, in our current human form, we will certainly encounter those we have met and perhaps been a part of before. We may even acquire new connections in our physical bodies through what we eat, touch, and breathe, and may shed some as we metabolize and excrete.
What appears to be solid is actually constantly flowing, and what appears to be individuals are all flowing through our atmosphere and world as well. So for practical purpose it is a good idea to attempt to solve issues and develop ourselves so that we don’t continually make the same mistakes again and again.
Make peace with, embrace, and avoid those one needs to in order to develop so that one can leave this world a better place than they found it and return to that better place to develop further. So long as we get too wrapped up in our separateness, we continue to perpetuate hierarchies and divisions that are toxic, and increase our chances of being born into a worse situation.
We are all in this together.
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