Jamila Kani of Black Femme Witches Brew

Mykalee McGowan

“For me, a witch is someone who creates intentionally in their reality,” Jamila Kani said. 

Jamila Kani, knows a lot about intention. As the creator of Black Femme Witches Brew, she has intentionally created a space where black femmes can connect, build, share and celebrate one another.

But let’s start from the beginning. A survivor of sexual violence, Kani started to work with other sexual violence survivors. This helped heal the trauma she faced. But there was a time when her healing was stagnant, and it was a friend whose keen observation sparked her healing and something more.

“She came over to my house one day. She was really into energy work. She started to point out these crystals I didn’t even know I had. There were my mom’s and I was keeping them in her memory. She starts pointing at the crystals telling me what they are and how to use them. It got me started on this path of learning energy healing. It evolved from there,” she said.

As Kani started to learn more about energy work and witchcraft, she saw that the community was white washed.

“I started to learn witchcraft that is more indigenous for me in terms of my ancestry and my ancestor’s understanding of witchcraft. The use of energy and working with the earth and different spirits. So I got interested in voodoo and when I went to find books, I couldn’t find any written by black people. There was just like 3 books. I had to go to a Facebook group and say ‘Hey do you know any books about voodoo?’, which is mind blowing,” she said.

She wasn’t the only one who was interested in learning witchcraft in the perspective of indigenous people. So she created a Facebook space and online magazine named Black Femme Witches Brew, a name she originally planned to use for a fundraiser party until her husband suggested to save it for something else.

So far the response has been positive. The Witch Brew Facebook group has over 300 members. The magazine recently published its second issue and hosted dozens of events this year alone. There’s even a marketplace created for black witches by black witches.

“People have been really supportive. I get messages with people asking for help with their issues and ritual advice. So many people are hungry for that knowledge and guidance. This is such a monumental time for us as black women, black femme centered people. It is such a conversation right now of us owning our power and stepping into our truth. Celebrating one another and ourselves. There is such a wide space opening up for that conversation around magic or being a witch,” she said.

With all the work of Black Femme Witches Brew, I asked Kani how she practices self care. Her care includes sex magic, beauty rituals and just putting herself first.

On sex magic:

“I really like working with sex.  A lot of time when people think of sex magic, they think of the physical step. But sex magic is using sexual energy and passion to manifest to fuel your desires and dreams. I love working erotic energy. That’s my favorite.”

On beauty rituals:

“I was so ashamed of adorning myself for so long. Wanting to be cute dressing myself. That’s something I’m reclaiming. I do magic beauty rituals. I paint my nails every weekend. I’m gonna pour into me and be beautiful, radiant and unapologetic about that.”

On putting herself first:

I put myself first in life. I feel like that is a mental shift that has come to me very recently. Just really making sure that my cup is full and being selfish of putting myself first.

Black Femme Witches Brew isn’t stopping here. Jamila Kani has grand plans for its future, which includes a tour.

“I am doing a series of magically inclined events and workshops where I essentially teach by leading people through rituals. I am doing a psychic protection magic shop and a sex magic and sensuality event in DC in October and November. I’ve also been asked a lot lately if Witches Brew does events in other parts of the country, so I’m taking that as a sign and planning a spring tour on the east coast,” she said.

What all started as an intention has blossomed into a beautiful movement. I am for sure excited for what Jamila Kani intentions for Black Femme Witches Brew has in store.

Check out the Black Femme Witches Brew community at BlackFemmeWitchesBrew.com.