I'm Zeffie. My whole life, I've had strange things happen to me (more on that if anyone were to ask,) but felt very stifled as I came from a very Catholic (or so I thought) Italian-Irish-Creole family. Turns out, as I grew up, I learned that there was a hidden side to my family that my parents decided to not embrace, and that certain things run in the family. As it turns out, I come from a long line of "Italian gypsies," for a lack of better words. Not quite Stregheria. I'm from that, and Creole women from Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana with abilities and lives that are just now starting to be uncovered. That being said, I'm 21 now and with everything about my family starting to be revealed, I'm looking to be able to learn more about my roots and the abilities, beliefs, and practices of people like me and others that may be similar or comparable.
Re: I'm new, help! By: prsona Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Nov 12, 2015
Part of the difficulty with American traditions is that there is so much which was never formally written -- at least there's so much that may have been lost. Folk magic is a very broad category which covers much of what has been practiced, especially in the South. There may be some inclusion of elements from various Native American traditions, hoodoo, some hold-overs from a myriad of European cultures, beliefs picked up from Caribbean native peoples (thanks to the slave trade being so involved there -- not to mention the melding of different African folk traditions as people from different areas of the African continent were dumped together).
The best way to find out something, which may or may not be directly related, would be to travel and find people from old families. A lot of traditions, beliefs, superstitions, and more, were passed orally. There will be some books of family stories, but many of those will merely touch on the topic. There's one book (I forget its title) which covers a range of topics about American folk traditions, which may be recommended.
If your family's traditions are similar to what I heard from my grandmother, it involves some herbalism, some other interesting tidbits (using spider webs to stop bleeding, for example), and some superstitions (if a certain type of bird lands in your back yard, it portends some disastrous event).