Apalachian folk magic?

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Forums -> General Info -> Apalachian folk magic?

Apalachian folk magic?
Post # 1
This also applies to the Southern US as well; the title did not allow space for it.

Any way, let's see if I can do this without writing too much.

I am curious about "Old Wives' Tales" folk magic -- not the "cold weather causes colds" and types of things, and superstitions about what kind o bird sings in the back yard, but the more magic-leaning aspects. My grandmother, who passed many years ago, was a wellspring of such information. Sadly it was long ago, and I have forgotten many things she has said. My very strict Christian mother would even interrupt her from even speaking of such things, and so most were never considered much.

There were things about salt, some with flour, which I'm learning as purification and protection rituals. There were things she mentioned with one's mother's wedding ring, and some candle magic thrown in.

But, of course, to call any of it Magic or witchcraft insulted my grandmother significantly.

There were a few other such traditions on my father's side, from a very different part of the South.

In a way, hearing about such things sowed the seeds of curiosity into actual magic, and I remember much of it made sense. I guess some would say it resonated with me.

Seeing as it was at least mostly passed down orally, and things were adapted locally according to what was available, I know there's not going to be a thorough reference.

Any information, even pointing me in a direction, is greatly appreciated. And I will also gladly answer any questions as well as I can.
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Re: Apalachian folk magic?
Post # 2
I think the Old Wives Tales are nonsense but people still believe in them
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Re: Apalachian folk magic?
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3

If you're interested in American Folk Magic or Appalachian Folk Magic then I would suggest the book "Pow Wows, or the Long Lost Friend" by George Hohman. You can find the book on-line at

Although fiction and not fact, you might also enjoy the "Silver John" stories by Manly Wade Wellman that capture much of the flavor and belief of Appalachian Folk Magic. Look for the books "John the Balladeer", "Who Fears the Devil", and "Lost and Lurking".

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Re: Apalachian folk magic?
Post # 4
Thanks, both of you.

cougar90045, this is for both entertainment and education. There were things my grandmother used to do which at least share elements with things people currently practicing magic do. There were things which had at the least similarities to protection and cleansing types of spells and rituals. Then again, there were also plenty of things which were no more than a superstition.

Lark, I had heard of "Pow Wows, or the Long Lost Friend," and was wondering how much merit it has on the subject. I will consider the other titles as well.

So again, thank you both.
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