Mexican Magick and Witchcraft
Brujeria: More than a Movement
When asked today about Brujeria magic, one might respond with it being a feminist movement. The truth about Brujeria is much deeper and full of much history. Though today’s millennials are embracing Brujeria and connecting with their feminine side, it is more than simply a movement. Brujeria magic is a culture and feared by many that do not understand what it is.
Brujeria magic is well over 500 years old. Despite popular belief, it did not come to America like other religions. Brujeria was practiced by the people living in states that were once part of Mexico but became part of the United States through the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 (Llewellyn.com). It can be traced back to magical practices of the Aztecs or Maya, then known as the Mexica (Ma-shee-ka). Many misunderstand what Brujeria is and mistake it for magic used to cause harm or death. It is in fact the opposite. Brujeria sees magic as either justified or not justified. This is in complete contrast of Wiccan ideas of harming someone or the three-fold law. The three-fold law is the belief that whatever you do will come back to you three times over.
Brujeria is a Spanish word that means witchcraft. Those that practice Brujeria are called brujas (female) and brujos (male). For those that do not have an understanding of the Spanish language, words ending in “a” indicate a feminine connotation whereas those ending “o” indicate a masculine connotation. The words mean someone that practice magic or sorcery. It is not considered a very flattering term as it is commonly referring to on elder providing hexes and charms (learnreligions.com).
As is found with most magic centered religions, Brujeria has a history of being misunderstood by those practicing Catholicism. The Catholics and Spaniards that colonized the United States did not understand and had difficulty accepting a woman in a position of power at the head of a culture. To them, what they witnessed was evil and unacceptable. The Christians did what they could to oppress and prevent these practices and in response, the brujas and brujos combined their traditional practices with that of the Catholic religion.
Not unlike Voodoo, Candomble and Umbanda, Brujeria worshippers found they had to adapt and practice their true beliefs in private while showing to the public their false face of Christianity. The brujos and brujas found ways to incorporate the Catholic religion into Brujeria to mask their true spiritualism. A common misconception surrounding Brujeria magic is that it is practiced by Pagans. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Brujeria is a Catholic based practice and has been since the Spanish conquest. It would be better categorized as a Christian practice of folk magic.
A Powerful Magic
Brujeria is often compared to Curanderismo, which is a mistake. Curanderismo is a respected holistic practice and belief that includes rituals directed towards the physical, spiritual, psychological and social needs of the worshipper (encyclopedia.com). In Spanish, Curanderismo means to heal. Quite the opposite of Brujeria. A practitioner of Curanderismo when faced with a physical injury, may look for a spiritual cause. A practitioner of Brujeria will look at a spiritual condition and search for a physical or mental cause. A practitioner of Curanderismo may be looked upon with reverence and even sought out for help, a bruja or brujo is feared and avoided. This fear of Brujeria and its followers was born from the misinformation spread by the Catholic church.
The brujo and bruja are considered to hold a great deal of power in magic, whether dark or light. The practice includes the use of hexes, charms, spells, curses and divination. It is a blend of Catholicism, folklore and herbalism. Though those that are uneducated fear the brujo and bruja believing that if a person were to go missing, it is due to the magic of Brujeria. On the other hand, if an illness cannot be cured, a bruja may be consulted. Brujeria is so misunderstood that it lives in the shadow of doubt.
For the Greater Good
The practice of Brujeria is not for personal benefit. Those that practice, are seeking a path of service to those around them. Brujeria should be considered a respected practice. There is little that can be found written about Brujeria as it is a practice that is verbally taught. With that being said, there are few brujo and bruja practicing Brujeria alike. They are taught from their mentor and thus worship and practice as such.
As previously mentioned, today’s millennials have found comfort and a place of acceptance with Brujeria. The reason for this is that millennials today typically have a higher tolerance and acceptance of feminism. The Brujeria religion allows most anyone to join, regardless of gender, ethnicity or age. It is more about the practitioner’s abilities and the results. The bottom line is that they should be there to practice for the good of the people, using integrity.
Wrapping It Up
Brujeria is much like other spiritual religions that sprinkle a little bit of Catholicism in its rituals and practices. Though the brujo and bruja practice magic, it is misunderstood by those unwilling to learn and research. The brujo and bruja aim to provide healing to their people. Brujeria is accepting to anyone that is willing to learn and that shows integrity and results. Gender, ethnicity and age are not factored in when being judged to become a brujo or bruja. This has become attractive to today’s millennials who are active in the feminine movement. Today’s practitioners are lending their voice to music, arts and film (bese.com). They are sharing their knowledge of herbs, spells and magic used in Brujeria. Each bruja and brujo practicing Brujeria have their own way of performing rituals. Brujeria is not learned from text, but by a mentor. Since there is no written word teaching the magic, each practitioner does it slightly differently, though the main concept remains the same.