Love — it’s hard AF to figure out. Between unanswered texts, not wanting to be forthright with your emotions, and trying to figure out WTF that date actually meant, dating can be downright impossible. That’s where Lilith Dorsey comes in, a voodoo priestess and self-proclaimed witch who specializes in all things love, sex and relationships. Her new book Love Magic is filled with over 250 spells, potions, rituals and recipes devoted to enhancing your love life. In other words, your very own Leonardo DiCaprio is right around the corner.
We sat down with Lilith to talk what it means to be a voodoo priestess, witches, and how to get over a bad breakup.
So you’re a voodoo priestess — what does that actually mean?
I’ve been studying New Orleans voodoo, Haitian voodoo, [and] Cuban, some of them for about 15 years, some for 25 years. I’ve been initiated in all three and I belong to a temple. I also consider myself a witch, for about 30 years. Most of what I do is positive magic — I’ll do what I can to help — and revolves around ancestors. Voodoo gets a bad rep, but most of what I do revolves around ancestor worship and feasts and things like that. It’s a way to connect with people who have passed and honor them and their lives.
What’s the difference between what you do and what a medium does?
A medium talks to sprits more; there’s less actual rituals and ceremonies. Ours is more of a process, and there are hundreds of years of tradition behind it. There are teachers and we belong to a house or a family, something like that.
What do you do when you’re all together? Take me through one of those events.
On February 2nd, we have an event for Maman Brigitte, she’s considered a grandma for everyone. There’s drumming and dancing and a big feast where ritual foods are made for her, which are traditionally African American, like yams. And we also make things for our individual ancestors. We all share that and tell stories, do readings, tarot readings, and see if there were any messages they want to tell us.
That’s so cool! So how did you first get into voodoo?
I had a professor [at URI] when I was an undergrad, who told me that there was no such thing as divination and witchcraft in this country. This was 25 years ago, but still I knew he was wrong. I wanted to prove him wrong so I did research about it. And then I had my daughters so I wanted them to have a positive female role model and positive African role models.
When did you do your first spell?
When I was a teen, I did a lot of spells about love, trying to get my boyfriend to call. I was always wondering if my crush liked me or something else. [My spells were] about finding out what the boys were thinking. I wanted to have a bit of confidence, so I started reading cards, so I could sort out my fantasy from reality.
What about relationships interested you in that realm specifically?
Did voodoo ever help you in your relationships?
Oh yeah, it helped a lot with when guys were scared of lying, or if they were with someone else. [Cards] can tell you anything — something about if the person I was interested was lying or whether they were being honest with themselves. I knew a person who was interested in me and there was a lot of negative energy around him. I did a reading for him and he ended up the next day in a major car accident. Instead of being upset that he didn’t love me, I knew that there much more serious issues we had to handle.
That’s crazy! Did that ever scare you?
If there was ever something I knew I couldn’t handle, I didn’t want to know. If there’s something that others couldn’t handle, then I have the cards not tell me. If you can’t handle it and can’t change it, what’s the point in knowing?
How do people usually react to your profession?
I think people are scared just because the media put so much negative images out there. People have the idea that witches are doing evil things. Even voodoo too, like voodoo dolls, which don’t really exist in the tradition. Or zombies, zombies existed in the Haitian voodoo, but they don’t have the same policing as other cultures. All this negativity is the worst thing I’ve come up against, because most of what I’m doing is helping people. That’s not how people see it, so it’s like I have to explain myself before I start.
Have you ever met someone who didn’t know how to take that info?
Oh yeah, I think sometimes people think that [witches are] hexing you or something negative, but most of the partners I’ve had recently are also magical people. We’ve done rituals together for love, or strengthening your bond, and learning how to grow together as a couple.
Can you cast a spell on yourself?
Of course you can, there are a lot of self-love spells. You can use a crystal or herbs, or there are a lot of recipes you can cook, some for self-healing. There are a lot of ways you can find self-love.
If you cast a spell on someone else, do they have to present?
It’s best to have their permission. It’ll work better if there’s something physical there, like an object of that person.
Can you encourage someone to fall in love with you?
You can encourage communication or friendship. You can help unhappy people heal themselves or get to a point where they can be open to a relationship. You could make someone fall in love with you, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you want to work on attracting love, there are spells you can use. I do stress that people get divination first, like a card reading, to see if whatever they want is real.
Have you ever come in contact with a witch who casts a bad spells?
Yes. Most of the time, it doesn’t work, or it brings negativity on them. They spend their time and energy on that and it’s not a good idea. If you’re angry with someone, the universe will take care of it.
What’s the most popular spell in your book?
There’s the Hot Pants Ginger Spell, you put ginger in your pocket. If you don’t have passion in your relationship, you can do that to kick things up a notch.
How about a spell for forgetting a past relationship?
You get a barbie doll — one that looks like you and your partner — take something you had of theirs and then attach that to one of the dolls, and over a series of nights, you light a candle and move them further apart. Sex can be a powerful bond and when it’s over, you need to break those energy chains in order to move forward in a positive way.
What’s the biggest takeaway from your book?
[People] need to start from a place of self-love — I think that’s really hard. It’s harder to find someone if you’re sad. People are searching for something as opposed to being comfortable and happy with themselves, and that’s the best way to attract a new relationship.