Toronto-based healer Cassandra Thompson’s practise is rooted in Afro-Diasporic folk magic and fully intertwined to her politics. “As a queer Black woman, [witchcraft] allows me to claim control over my body, spirit and emotions,” the 27-year-old says. Although she’s always been a spiritual person, Thompson started practising regularly two years ago while she was involved in frontline organizing for issues around anti-Blackness, Indigenous sovereignty and violence against women and femmes.
Thompson realized that despite all the work she and her fellow activists were doing, they didn’t have the time or space to heal themselves. Thompson started making plant-based medicines like teas for spiritual healing, as well as mojos, which are like the charm bags Worth demonstrated in her workshop. Thompson recently sent nearly 50 mojos with protective powers across North America to activists protesting police violence. Through her business Crystal Root & Conjure, Thompson offers one-on-one healing seasons and sells conjure oils and tote bags that say “Hex the Patriarchy.”
“To demonize the idea of a witch or someone who is a healer is linked to our struggles as feminists,” says Thompson. “As women and femmes, witchcraft has become a tool to not only fight the [political] battle, but to also heal our internal battles at the same time.”One can help but pity the plain old snake oil salesman here. Unlike Cassandra the Queer Black Witch, he can't play the victim card, thereby conferring legitimacy on his product.