Bruja Discusses Stigma Surrounding Brujeria as Spiritual Practice

Brujeria has been long associated with oppression and fear


Photo courtesy of Esoteric Esa

Brujeria has been long associated with oppression and fear. Brujeria is a Spanish term for witchcraft and carries a heavy personification of equal parts liberation and a tormented ill-dignified reputation. Historically speaking, brujeria is a colonized term used to separate indigenous teachings from the imposed religious formats on behalf of those who colonized Latinx (even that term carries so much colonization) cultures.

Brujeria is an extension of our ancestry and a spiritual practice that connects us to universal consciousness. Brujeria is not a religion rather a form of spirituality. It’s less about embodying a mysterious or spooky persona and more about being in tune with the understanding that your identity and core values align with the interconnectedness of all four elements: air, earth, fire, and water.

It’s widely known that any ancestral teachings associated with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous practices were deliberately outcasted and shunned as demonic. Anything that didn’t religiously fit into the Christian or Catholic umbrella was deemed scary in order to persuade the buying into of the religious practices imposed by Spanish settlers. That means Brujeria, Hoodoo, Santeria, Vodou — any Spiritual practice outside of Christianity, was seen as “dark.” Our Latinx muddy history of religion has a dirty and downright racist pit at its core.

Brujeria doesn’t fit into any stereotype and that’s what makes it beautiful and universal. When I first began identifying as a Bruja (witch in English), it took a while for me to take ownership of this tainted term. There’s so much pain and shame that has cast a stigma around what it means to be a Brujx. I had to identify internally how I was still influencing myself through the colonized negative misconceptions around our ancestral spirituality, which was deeply programmed into my psyche and positioned as this form of authority I shouldn’t go against.

Many of us who identify as Brujx also have to work through past-life trauma that’s been carried over for being a “Brujx” in previous incarnations. Whether that was because we worked with herbs and planets, or because we knew how to sync our menstrual cycles to the moon, some of us were murdered for embracing our magic. Resulting in us carrying spiritual shame in our souls that need transcendence in this lifetime. I had to identify all those layers within myself. Allowing me to understand why I felt so resistant for years to take soul ownership of my inner Bruja as one aspect of my multi-dimensional essence.

In a practical sense, Brujeria is the alchemy of art, magic, and spirit. Brujeria exists in many formats and everyone who is a practicing Brujx has a tailored formula of magic according to their soul’s identity. There’s no wrong or right way to embody brujeria because it is an extension of your authenticity. There are many types of Brujx such as cosmic-based, nature-based, political-based, wealth-based, writing-based, etc. I like to view Brujeria as an all-encompassing spiritual approach that allows us to constantly expand in our healing evolution as we break away from limiting beliefs and ancestral trauma.

Above all else, regardless of one’s personal preference in divination tools, Brujeria is a belief that we work in harmony with the dark and light aspects of our spirit. It is a recognition of duality and operates in total respect as it relates to our dualities as spiritual beings. To be a Brujx is to be anti-oppressive in all outlets of ideologies. Brujeria is about aligning ourselves with our inner magician. Finding our personal alchemy and sharing our spiritual syrup.

Be cosmically you.
May you manifest wisely.

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