Multicultural Magic: Meet Courtney Alexander

What is your name? Do you go by any aliases?
My name is Courtney Alexander. One of my family pet names is "Tupieta" and I used to use that handle a lot back in the day. It's a combo of my pet name "Toopy" and "Courtnietta" my mom put together.  My name has been often remixed into Kurtney, Cawtney, Coco, etc. Just don't call me "court-court" *shudders*.

What is your cultural background?
Southern bred Black-American. Most of my family resides in south Florida and southern Georgia.

Where are you currently living?
Tampa, FL. My favorite city in Florida.

What type of divination and/or magic do you practice?
I'm still learning a lot about different divination techniques. I've been using Tarot for about 2 years now. I also loveeee working with crystals. I'm a Virgo so that lovely earth energy really feels good to me. Astrology appeals to my more analytical and systematic side. I also have been refining my candle-burning rituals and building altars. It really helps me focus my energy and intentions. I've noticed quicker transformation and a lot more trust in myself as I've built my practice. Singing is another powerful tool for me since it has been altering my state of mind much more quickly than reciting mantras have done. 

I'm a creator through and through. Tapping into it through building and making m altar items has helped me realize my own magic and power. Studying West African art and culture has helped me get back in touch with my roots. I'm really getting more into Hoodoo in general. I like the freedom within it. I think right now my spiritual practice is not set in one spiritual system or tradition. I work with what resonates with my journey and what honors who I am.

When did you first starting learning divination and/or magic?
Normally I'd say that it's been the past few years but thinking back, even as a young girl I practiced. I was in a heavy Christian mind-set but it is all the same really. I was super-saved and in the church. A friend and I would get together and practice reading each other minds. Honing our "prophetic" abilities. I also would pray for my cousins, speak in tongues, see them fall out. It was the first time in my life I felt my own magic and power. I dreamed a lot and had so many experiences back then. As life happened I distanced myself further from church and wandered a long time. But it was what needed to happen to break down the structures that would seek to limit the extent of my spiritual power.

Now everything I did then is still applying now. I not only believe in the source beyond, but the one within. I still receive diving guidance but I'm just more aware of who and what it is. I still have to learn to believe in the power of my thoughts and intentions directed towards the love and healing of myself and others. Now I do it from a boundless space and it feels wonderful. 

What obstacles did you face when you started practicing your divination and/or magic? How did it affect your cultural beliefs?
As a young girl I spent a lot of time with my Aunt who practices in her personal life. I remember seeing the books and tools around her home. I used to love being there. In my late teens, I left the last church I called home. My pastor at the time told me she could no longer preach what she didn't believe. Her ideals were changing and she honored it by not staying in her position. I was truly inspired by her courage because so many would choose to succumb to the power and pressure. It also helped me feel okay with questioning and pulling away. If my own spiritual leader did than why couldn't I? 

I began to open myself up in my early 20s. A friend of mine introduced me to a clairvoyant who I began going to for guidance, and still do. She has such a beautiful and fearless spirit and it touched me. She helped me feel it was safe to expand. That I didn't have to fear condemnation. I was still reluctant to go too deep. But then as I studied art my world opened even more. Art taught me so much about the development of humanity. Which helped me to realize how much we changed and evolved. Learning more about West African art helped me to decontextualize my own fears of connection with my ancestors. I don't ascribe to any particular tradition but I've become less afraid of channeling the energies of different deities. Especially now that I see them come forth of their own accord through my art.

As I reached a particular point in my journey I sort of had to come out to people about my changing beliefs. Just this summer I finally mentioned how I felt to my mother and sister, who I'm really close too. Debuting Dust II Onyx Tarotwas my "outing" to everyone else. I know they do not fully understand my transition but thankfully they still support my journey and pursuit of wholeness without judgment. I'm truly blessed.

How do you bridge your cultural beliefs with the usage of divination and/or magic?
As mentioned before, Christianity is still a part of my foundation. I don't reference Jesus or God in the traditional sense. But I still like working with angels, and I still reference the Holy Spirit as a divine guiding energy in my work. I keep a Bible on my altar as well. There are particular church songs I still sing at times because the message in it matters to me and may be relevant to what I need to feel.

Do you have a website?
Yes! I'm creating my own tarot deck called Dust II Onyx - A Melanated Tarot. It has been such a fulfilling and beautiful project. I have grown so much spiritually and feel a much deeper connection with myself and my spirit family. I'm also proud of how far I have come as an artist. To learn more visit www.dust2onyx.com. Visit kck.st/2cIbJ1F to preorder the deck on Kickstarter! 

What are your social media handles (I.e.Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc)?
Stay up to date on Dust II Onyx via:
Facebook.com/dust2onyx
Instagram.com/dust2onyxtarot
Twitter.com/dust2onyxtarot

I'm also easy to find on Facebook for those who want to personally connect.