The Rise Of The Bruja Culture and How It Helps Us Connect To Our Ancestors

Long before it was deemed the devil’s work, brujeria, or witchcraft was considered a healing agent.

In some cases, royal families called onto witches for guidance. There was an understanding that women were natural healers. They were unlicensed doctors, nurses, midwives, counselors, and pharmacists. They were self-taught, knowledgeable in different forms of medicine, and were considered wise by many. They handed down their wisdom to their daughters, urging them to understand their power of healing- even if men, then, didn’t. However, because it was a woman, as opposed to a man, was practicing a form of medicine, it was questioned and then labeled as black magic. For centuries, society left women behind in the medical field – discrediting and dismissing centuries of intuition, wisdom, and magic. Society learned to only accept the white man in a lab coat as a doctor, forgetting women were inherited the gift of healing centuries prior.

To me, a witch is W.I.T.C.H. (Woman in total control of herself) and in complete awareness of her ability to bring forth creation through her own manifestations and power. ~ The Trap Witch

It happened because being a ‘magical woman’ terrified a lot of men. Women had a gift men didn’t quite understand and so many women were condemned for it. Following the European Witch Trials (which historians believe 50,000 women were executed in), The 1692 Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts. Two girls, experiencing spasms and violent outbursts, blamed local women of witchcraft. Some women, many well respected in their communities, were hanged. Historians contribute the Salem Witch Trials against innocent women to a mob mentality and hysteria. Women were tortured into confession and then killed. A lot of times, women had to prove it to the courts in unrealistic and inhumane manners. For example, the courts would use a controversial water test on women accused of witchcraft. A woman’s arms and legs would be bound as she was thrown into a body of water. It was thought that if she sank, she was innocent but if she floated, she was guilty and when a woman wouldn’t sink, she would be convicted. Magical women, or brujas, were misunderstood and feared. Their abilities terrified men, professionals, doctors and the Catholic Church – putting women centuries behind in the medical field. However, our ancestors knew that as women, we are natural healers and our enchantment cannot be taken from us.

There is a magic embedded in women that has been in our bloodlines for centuries, so when we practice brujeria, we are talking to our ancestors through enchantment, meditation, crystals, and telepathy (amongst other things). Talking to our ancestors in any medium has helped us understand that brujeria is seeing the unseen and believing in something as simple as ourselves and our power. Some of us even remember our abuelitas using agua florida to help us get rid of illnesses. My grandmother, for example, whenever we got headaches, would use these beautiful rocks to massage our heads as she recited a chant of healing to herself. That, to me, was magic and I never needed a Tylenol again.

Today, we are seeing a rise in the brujeria culture. With every practicing Bruja, we see a following growing rapidly. And while this may be new to a lot of people outside of our culture, to the Latinx and Afro communities have had the belief and practice of brujeria handed down from previous generations. Brujas like @TheTrapWitch have garnered a huge following on social media for speaking freely about their practices. In their respective social media pages, they break down what a bruja is, the different styles of brujeria and how being in tune with their magic has helped them heal and heal others.

I am my ancestors wildest dreams ?

A post shared by The Trap Witch ™ (@thetrapwitch) on

I think it’s pretty accurate to say that the world is in dire need of some feminine energy right now. So having women like the @TheTrapWitch lead the way isn’t only reassuring, it’s a way for us to believe in ourselves again.

With the ongoing battle of egos in government, and around the world, it seems that a feminine touch can soothe empathy, sensitivity, and gentleness on to the world. Essentially, that is what brujeria is- a deeper understanding of a certain type of magic women inherently have in them. So when we discover parts of ourselves, our power and our magic, we are paying respects to the women in our bloodline for practicing and believing in something the world didn’t yet accept or understand. Ladies, get in touch with your magic, talk to your ancestors, and let’s contribute to a higher energy that can help heal the world!

But first, check out our conversation with this remarkable bruja!

A Conversation With A Bruja

We talked to some of the best-known Brujas on social media. We talked spirituality, healing, and the magic inherited to us. Check out our one conversation with @TheTrapWitch (TW) below!

BL: What is a bruja? What is brujeria? What does it mean to be a bruja?

TW: To me, a witch is W.I.T.C.H. (Woman in total control of herself) and in complete awareness of her ability to bring forth creation through her own manifestations and power. Witchcraft is two senses. Just like you have arts and crafts and how you would take time to create them, I feel like crafting the art of life is what a witch is best at. A spell to me simply a plan of action to bring forth wish to create by using your energy effectively. I don’t typically like to use the word witchcraft because it is often negatively used. To be a witch is to have a supreme power and understanding of the divine within you and your ability to bring forth what you want into the physical by focusing on the spiritual side of life. “As above, so below.

BL: How did you personally come into this journey?

TW: In 2012 I met a priestess who introduced me to West African practices but I was still very unsure but it followed me up until 2016. I am of Cuban and Jamaican descent and have always been drawn to my Cuban ancestry. That’s how I chose the traditional practice of Santeria as a tool to help develop myself spiritually. I jumped in because I was tired of getting into situations where if I was more in tune with myself they wouldn’t happen. I felt a lot of spiritual warfare and would also be confronted with people who partook in witchcraft, or the sort and wanted to learn how to protect myself.

BL: How did you find your spirituality?

TW: I’ve always been spiritual. Never religious. I’ve always believed in God but like many, I never had a real understanding of spirituality and my higher self until I spent more time looking for the God within.

BL: How has discovering your inner magic changed your life? 

TW: It has changed my life so much for the better because I now take full accountability for the quality of my life and I know that I must do the work for the magic of life to manifest into full fashion.

BL: How do you feel your family background and roots have impacted or influenced your spiritual journey?

TW: Heavily. I am of West Indian descent and many of the Caribbeans were direct descendants of West Africa in the slave trade. I’ve never felt more at home in the culture of the Afro Cuban practices derived from the Yoruba. I went to my first Tambor (ritual drumming), and never felt more at home than I ever did in a church. It was like the drums were calling me back home.

BL: Why do you think the ‘inner bruja’ is becoming such a trend, and how do you personally feel about it?

TW: Trends come and go. Those who do the real inner witch-work, it shows in the quality of life. Witchery is deeper than cards, crystals and candles. I feel the bruja makes the brujeria, not the brujeria making the bruja.

BL: Brujeria has always had a negative connotation to it and has always been practiced in secret, why do you think that is?

TW: Mainly because of two things; love and money. Those are the two things people want instant gratification in and will go to any means to get it. If you do the internal work you don’t need candle magic. You can have all of it without the strike of a match.

BL: What do you do on days that you feel your faith, magic, and awareness is being tested?

TW: I often sit in solitude or meditation to hear myself and my thoughts and try to be still.

BL: You have thousands of followers, what do you think makes your style so unique?

TW: I’m a motivational witch. My power is in the tongue I feel and my ability to cast via empowerment. The ultimate spell I feel is to be able to cast magic upon people by lighting them internally. I feel you should become a walking, talking, a lighthouse of magic. A real-life crystal. A real-life tarot card.

BL: Why is Brujeria needed so much right now?

TW: People wait for their blessings instead of making them happen. The blessing is derived from (blood sacrifice). So if you are to be blessed there will need to be your blood sweat and tears going into that manifestation. Many people don’t do the work or make sacrifices to reap their blessings in this life.

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BL: What is some advice you can give women who have just started exploring their magic? 

TW: Don’t get caught up in the mysticism or the ‘Harry Potter’ crap. Stay grounded. Know that less is more and that you are the spell so you just cast yourself.

BL: How does your understanding of self, help the community?

TW: When we find our purpose, we can serve and influence people to do the same and also serve out their missions here.

You can find ‘Trap Oprahisms‘ on her Instagram and feeling the need for spiritual realignment? Book spiritual coaching or  an intuitive/tarot sessions one-on-one!

More more brown girl magic… Becoming The Morena Story Teller Warrior

Silvana Lezama is an activist, poet and writer/editor who has been published in La Cultural Weekly, Mitú, HipLatina and others. Born in Perú, raised in San Francisco, and is now living in Los Angeles. She has contributed content to major social media activism pages that focus on spreading social awareness. Silvana plans to use her poetry and her writing to inspire an open dialogue for healing and empowerment for POC.