“Today we’re drinking wine, because Christian-whatever.” Billy says as the camera focuses in on a glass of wine being poured, during a video detailing how to create a dyed black hard-boiled egg and fill it with hot-foot powder. This is on an Easter edition of his Youtube video series, Billy Brujo’s Black Magick Cooking Show. This was from a 2015 video, only the twenty-fourth in the series.
I had seen Billy around in the various groups and social medias I am a part of, and found myself dropped down a rabbit-hole of weird Internet occult content. As one does.
“And now you’ve got yourself a holy hand grenade.” Billy announced, as he sealed the open end of the egg with candle wax.
The entirety of the video, as in all of them, he is made-up with corpse paint; his trademark. His posts and content are rife with irreverence and references to Internet subcultures, obscure memes, Western Esotericism and “sentai” (a Japanese sub-genre familiar to anyone who has ever seen Power Rangers). All these and more ingredients are part of what makes Billy Brujo’s webisodes utter online perfection. Billy is often joined by his servitor, Mandrake, which appears to be a sort of plush doll of some kind, with a simple red body and skull-like white face.
“Mandrake is an all purpose servitor, I created him back when I worked with the shops, you know, because I had heavy business […] so I created Mandrake, to help me help the people. So that’s what he’s for. Use him. He’s just like any other kind of Goetic spirit, Angelic being, whatever. Necromantic personality, whatever you got.” ” Billy explains in “Not A Numbered Episode: Talking about Drakework”.
There is no doubt in my mind that Billy’s style might turn-off occultists who take themselves too seriously. Their loss. Despite the antics of the show, however, it is a genuinely solid introduction to concepts ranging from Solomonic pentacles to meme magick. In Billy’s latest episode (Meme Magick Is Real, ep. 142) he actually walks you through the mundane process of creating digital cut-ups (cut-ups being a time honored tradition in post-modern magical practices) in easily meme-able formats using GIMP (which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program). His episodes aren’t just crazy and kooky but informative and at the very least on par with any regularly released pagan, occult or witchery themed how-to projects on the web, often surpassing them.
“I’m Billy Brujo, and it’s too hot for clothes.” Billy opens with, on another episode (049, Brazen Vessel of Solomon) in which he goes on to give instructions for crafting a spirit-jar. The occultist is bare chested, sitting on a couch. A bottle of Jim Bean bourbon is visible; bourbon perhaps being an even more familiar sight on the show than Mandrake. Some episodes don’t show Billy “in the flesh” at all, instead featuring a tiny Billy Brujo doll as a representative such as in “HyperSigil” (ep. 094) and “Cut-Up” (ep. 095) making for an enjoyable if surreal and nostalgic for those of you who ever enjoyed the strange local access programs which inevitably creep up across America. This is the “bizarre local access channel” for your soul, a genuine digital artifact worth preservation in a museum of the Internet.
“Perhaps a coin toss seems too mundane for you, after all, you’re a wizard.” Billy says, wearing a bright red fez headdress, gesticulating into the camera, the episode is one on I-Ching divination. “It needs to be a little headier, a little thinkier, a little spookier for you. Am I right? Am I right ladies and gentlemen?”
The rest of the episode consists of the occultist laying out how to use the book and coins to create the signature I-Ching hexagrams and perform divinatory readings. What follows is a fairly straightforward instructional video, delightfully self-aware meta-humor, and plenty of absurdity.
“I use American currency…because I live in America.” Billy explains, adding: “I don’t know what kind of crazy currency you use, where you live, maybe you don’t live, in America, because if you didn’t know, this show is worldwide baby.”
There’s even a Thanksgiving holiday special.
The sheer amount of content that Billy has created is mind-boggling, a digital sugar rush straight to the pleasure centers of the brain and oh-so bingeable. As of this article there are 142 episodes of the Black Magick Cooking Show, as well as a number of other side-projects such as Billy Brujo’s Spooky Club (which has it’s own sub-reddit) and “The Book of Artifice”, a limited-print occult tome with under forty copies still available for purchase (sold direct by Billy himself).
I was lucky enough to get into contact with Billy for the article, and I asked him about any projects he is currently working on and he let me know he is working on a tarot deck, some occult objects for sale and other Brujo-inspired merchandise.
“People seem to want it, I’m the one who’s lagging on producing it […] I’ve got some designs going on.”
“The ultimate goal of my show, which is to up the ante on my show, I’m trying to try new things, I’m trying to try new things, I’m trying to do more. […] It’s been a process, I know that you can’t just start off and expect to get around, you’ve got to do some stuff so people know you’re entertaining and they want to watch you and so on.”
“I had to share my secrets, because my eventual goal of this show is to turn it into a sort of Anthony Bourdain/ Guy Fieri kinda thing, where I travel around and meet the other masters, who say that they’re masters, and like, have them share some of their recipes with us, because like, I showed you mine, so you show me yours.”
“And learn!” Billy exclaimed, “Gotta practice man, practice makes perfect.”
God bless the intersection of the Occult and Internet, a combination which often seems like a peanut butter and dirt sandwich, except Billy Brujo makes you enjoy it.
But that might be the black magick talking.