Episode 189 – Of Correspondences and Collections

We dig into the herbs and crystals section of our book club, which leads to a bigger conversation about correspondences. We also talk about the ways we gather our magical tools and objects into our lives (in response to the amazing #regionalwitchcraftchallenge done by Via Hedera). We do card pulls for the month and get some messages about balance, detachment, indulgence, and fantasy, then hear a listener mail about a fascinating Greek practice. We top it all off by deciding how we’d summon each other!

Summary:
We dig into the herbs and crystals section of our book club, which leads to a bigger conversation about correspondences. We also talk about the ways we gather our magical tools and objects into our lives (in response to the amazing #regionalwitchcraftchallenge done by Via Hedera). We do card pulls for the month and get some messages about balance, detachment, indulgence, and fantasy, then hear a listener mail about a fascinating Greek practice. We top it all off by deciding how we’d summon each other!
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Bagga Marsh, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Erin, Griffin, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jess, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Matthew Venus, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, , Nikki, Payton, Sara, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Ralph from the Holle’s Haven Podcast, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
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We’re continuing in our Green Witchcraft II  book club, and we get into the issue of correspondences a good bit. Cory mentions both Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and T.F. Thisleton-Dyer’s Folklore of Plants.

We talk a good bit about magical tools, objects, and collections, inspired by the #regionalwitchcraftchallenge started by Via Hedera over on Instagram.

Thanks to listener Jay for the email about the Ktesios jar! You can read more about them over at Theoi’s article on them.

Laine uses the Literary Witches Oracle for her reading this time, and Cory is using the Tarot Mucha (as well as playing cards). We both reference the book Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack.

You can now also buy Cory’s book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Cory Thomas Hutcheson (CC 2.0 License). (Edited by site author)

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Episode 188 – Sorcellerie with Erik and Morrigane

Our guests Erik and Morrigane share their experiences with French Canadian sorcellerie in this episode! Learn about the history of the magic, the malice spirits, and where the devil bites pigs!

Summary:
This episode takes us into the French Canadian tradition of sorcellerie, as we speak with the curators of the dual-language folkloric witchcraft website Courir Le Loup Garou. Our guests Erik and Morrigane share the history of French Canadian folk practices, their experiences with the malices, and discuss how this practice is evolving today.
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Erin, Griffin, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jess, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Matthew Venus, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, , Nikki, Payton, Sara, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Ralph from the Holle’s Haven Podcast, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
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We are so thrilled to have our guests on to talk about their work! You can find Erik and Morrigane discussing sorcellerie at their website, Courir Le Loup Garou. They also have an active Facebook group as well.

Erik has also published a selection of translated French Canadian folklore called Tel que dit.

We’re doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also buy Cory’s book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Pixabay (CC 2.0 License). (Edited by site author)

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket. Incidental music is “Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 3” and “Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1” by Richard Ames, licensed from AudioSocket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Episode 187 – Ritual Feasts and Fasts

We look at the dark side of magic for our book club, then discuss ritual feasting, fasting, and intoxicants.

Summary:
We tackle our latest book club section by examining what exactly fits within the ‘dark’ side of practice. Then we dig in to the concept of ritualistic meals, including feasting, fasting, and consuming intoxicants. (Please note: we are not recommending any of these but exploring them folklorically and in our own practices). We also do our card pulls and answer a listener question about railroad spikes!
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Erin, Griffin, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jess, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Matthew Venus, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, , Nikki, Payton, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Ralph from the Holle’s Haven Podcast, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
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The discussion of food in ritual and witchcraft is something we’ve touched on before in these episodes:

You can learn a bit more about housles and dumb suppers in Blog Post 227 – Bread.

We’re doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also buy Cory’s book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Pixabay (CC 2.0 License). (Edited by site author)

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Episode 186 – Folked Up Witchcraft with Via Hedera

We welcome back friend and folklorist witch Via Hedera. We talk about finding folklore resources, favorite places to connect with magic, and then get a little wild deciding who would win in a plant-based magical Pokemon-style battle between us (hint: it’s her)

Summary:
We welcome back friend and folklorist witch Via Hedera. We talk about finding folklore resources, favorite places to connect with magic, and then get a little wild deciding who would win in a plant-based magical Pokemon-style battle between us (hint: it’s her).
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Erin, Griffin, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jess, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Matthew Venus, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, , Nikki, Payton, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Ralph from the Holle’s Haven Podcast, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
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You should absolutely pick up Via’s new book, Folkloric American Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience: A Crucible at the Crossroads from Moon Books when you can!

Visit her website as well to find out more about her (and read all about interesting folklore like rat letters and apple love spells)

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also buy Cory’s book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Moon Books (c) 2021. (Edited by site author)

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket. Incidental music includes “Who’s Gonna Shoe,” by Paul Avgerinos (also on Audio Socket); and “Brushed Bells Leaving Home,” by Daniel Birch, used under a CC License from the Free Music Archive.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Blog Post 232 – Green Witchcraft II Read-Along Schedule

Hi all!

I realize we’ve already started discussing some of our reading selection for the first half of 2021, Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II, on the show (in Episodes 183 and 184 so far). But I forgot to post the reading schedule for you all to follow along! So I’m rectifying that right now by outlining the plan below. You can follow along, and interact with us on our social media (like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) or even just leave comments on this post as you read with us!

Reading Plan for Green Witchcraft II by Ann Moura

  • January: Choose book, brief background and introduction to our approach.
  • February: Chapter 1 – What is Green Witchcraft? (Activity – Circle Casting and/or Releasing Fears)
  • March: Chapters 2 & 3 – Who Are the Goddess & God? -and- Who Are the Elementals? (Activity – Meditations; Dark Moon Ritual Consecration; -or- Creating an Elemental Bottle) (Also, Appendix B on Names of Gods & Goddesses will be covered)
  • April: Chapters 4 & 5 – What are the Dark Powers? -and- How are the Dark Powers Used? (Activity – Meditations -or- Sidhe Moon Ritual/Companion Quest) (Also, Appendix A on Terminology will be covered)
  • May: Chapters 7 & 8 – What are Dark Power Herbal Magics? (Activity: Dark Power Exorcism) -and- How are Stones and Crystals Used? (Activity: Crystal/Stone Dedication Ritual)
  • June: Chapters 6 & 10 – How is the Celtic Ogham Used in Divination? -and- What about Familiars and the Tarot? (Activity – Elemental Tarot Spread; Passing the Midhes; -or- Dedicating a Familiar) (also, Appendices C & E on the Sforza Tarot Deck, Black Mirrors, and Ogham Sticks will be covered)
  • July/Wrap-up: Chapter 9 – What are Green Witchcraft Meditations? (Activity – Tree Blending) AND Final thoughts on this/retrospective

As you can see, we’re pushing through this pretty fast, but we’re also planning to try out some of the activities along the way. Sometimes we’ll do something directly from the book, and sometimes we’ll use it as a springboard into another form of practical spellwork (such as one that might show up in an episode like the one we just did on bottle spells).

Also, if you’re interested in getting the book, you can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading along with us and share your thoughts as we go!

Thanks for listening/reading!

-Cory

Special Episode – Witch Crafts – Bottle Spells

We kick off a new practical magical experiments series by looking at a variety of bottle spells we’re trying out.

Summary:
We launch our new occasional series, Witch Crafts, focusing on practical experiments with witchery. This time, we discuss some bottle spells inspired by our recent reading.
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, Payton, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Vic of the Distelfink Sipschaft of Urglaawe, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
We are immensely grateful to the Patreon supporters who have made this new series possible!
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We talk about bottle spells, which we also talked about long, long ago in 2010 in our Special Episode – Witch Bottles. We also mention some of our previous episodes on magical experiments, such as the one on the Ritual of Gestures and the one on Sound Sigils.

We also mention the Create Your Own Underworld spell from Lisa Marie Basile’s Light Magic for Dark Times (highly recommended) and discuss elemental bottles from our book club selection below. Cory mentions William Blake’s “Poison Tree,” as well.

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also pre-order Cory’s forthcoming book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via author, (c) CC Share-alike License 2.0, 2021.

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “The Devil’s Son,” by The Widow’s Bane, and is licensed from Audio Socket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Episode 185 – Ozark Folk Magic with Brandon Weston

This time we have an interview with author, researcher, and practitioner Brandon Weston. We discuss woodpecker witches, seventh sons of seventh sons, passing power to avoid becoming a haint, and just what a “yarb” is anyway.

Summary:
This time we have an interview with author, researcher, and practitioner Brandon Weston. We discuss woodpecker witches, seventh sons of seventh sons, passing power to avoid becoming a haint, and just what a “yarb” is anyway.
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, Payton, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Vic of the Distelfink Sipschaft of Urglaawe, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
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To find out more about Brandon, including seeing a TED talk he does on Ozark healing traditions, visit his website Ozark Healing.

We also recommend picking up his book, Ozark Folk Magic.

We reference the work of Vance Randolph a few times as well, including his book Ozark Magic & Folklore.

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also pre-order Cory’s forthcoming book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Llewellyn Publications (c) 2021.

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us at compassandkey@gmail.com or newworldwitcherypodcast@gmail.com or leave a comment at the website: www.newworldwitchery.com . We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram (main account, or you can follow Laine as well) or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket. Incidental music includes “Barn Dance,” by Alan Fagan; “Porch Time,” by Human Factor; and “Country Go Slow,” by Studio Nine Productions. All are licensed from Audio Socket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Episode 184 – Spirits, Sabbats, and Esbats

Summary:
We use our book club to talk about gods, goddesses, and elementals. Then we dig into our personal practices regarding rituals for the Sabbats and Esbats. We answer a great listener question about Easter Witches, and also do our monthly cartomancy pulls.
Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.
Producers for this show:
Abby, Achija Branvin Sionach, AromaG’s Botanica, AthenaBeth, Braga, Benjamin, Breanna, Carol, Carole, Catherine, Christopher, ConjuredCardea, Daniel, Dave, Don, Donna, Heather, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Jodi, John, Jonathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Kristopher, Minimiel, Montine of Book of My Shadows, Payton, Scarlet Pirate, Staci, Stephanie, Vic of the Distelfink Sipschaft of Urglaawe, Violet, and WisdomQueen (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
Title Card for Episode 184 Spirits Sabbats and Esbats
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We’re talking about our views on various spirits, gods, and other entities, as well as holidays and esbat rituals. We do mention our previous Ritual of Gestures episode, and there’s a whole page of our website dedicated to our articles and episodes on holidays you can check out.

Thanks to Minimiel for the question this time! One of Cory’s resources for researching this was the Holidays, Festivals, & Celebrations of the World Dictionary.

Cory reads using the 5 Cent Tarot this time, as well as a beautiful card deck called the Art Playing Cards deck by Naomi Vandoren. Laine uses the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck. You can also pick up Cory’s cartomancy book, 54 Devils to learn his card reading style. We’re also both using Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack to help study the Tarot.

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also pre-order Cory’s forthcoming book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image via Pixabay (CC 2.0 2021)

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we are also on TikTok now. You can follow us on Instagram or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too (as well as most of our contest announcements)! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

Promos and Music:

Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket.

Please consider supporting us by purchasing our promotional items in the New World Witchery Threadless shop or by joining our Patreon supporters.

If you like us AND you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love our new show: Myth Taken: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast, now available through all the podcatchers!

Please think about checking out our Audible Trial program. Visit Audibletrial.com/newworldwitchery to get your free trial of Audible, where you can download over 180,000 titles (including some narrated by Cory). Your purchases help support this show, and there’s no obligation to continue after the free trial

Blog Post 231 – Black Magic Matters (Literary Edition)

Hi there. Black Lives Matter. They still do, and we’d like to reiterate that (not just because it’s Black History Month, although that’s a good reason, too, but because it’s a core part of what we believe as well). 

Last year, we posted an article highlighting that Black Magic also matters, particularly in terms of the way Black people have deeply influenced the shape of North American folk magic for hundreds of years now. We highlighted a variety of practitioners, historical figures, and important community members we thought deserved some attention on our platform. We definitely encourage you to go back and check those folks out again, because their contributions only continue to grow in importance over time.

We decided this should also be a topic we revisit from time to time, not least because there are just so many crucial Black figures in the historical and contemporary practice of magic here (and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of those from Indigenous and other communities of Color who have been driving forces of magical creation and expression in North America, too, whom we hope to highlight more frequently as well).

This time, I’m going to share a series of deeply influential folks who have shaped not just my understanding of North American folk magic, but my understanding of literature. This list is focused on those who used the written word to preserve, share, document, enchant, and defend their magical worlds, and I have been extremely lucky to be able to read their work. This group is less focused on the practitioners of magic (although some here certainly do practice it), so I’ll likely have a more practical group to highlight the next time I post. But the words these authors have produced have been so important to me in terms of magic, history, and human feeling that I feel like they are very much worth your time to meet.

A quick note that I have endeavored here to use Bookshop.org links to benefit local bookstores where possible, and only added Amazon links when I had to. I also recommend looking to local Black booksellers to pick up these titles if you can. I should also note that the links here are affiliate links, so our site does benefit from you clicking on them (if that’s an issue please feel free to visit Bookshop.org and search for the titles instead).

And so, Black Magic Matters – Literary Edition:

 

Frederick Douglass 

Many people wind up reading Douglass because of his autobiographical narrative, which became a lightning rod for abolitionists and enabled him to advocate fiercely for the end of slavery during his lifetime. Douglass was a literary master and knew how to turn a phrase, as well as a fierce journalist (he started the paper The North Star, which featured a number of abolitionist articles and helped drive up interest in the subject prior to the Civil War, and later went on to run two other papers as well). 

One element of his narrative that people either completely miss or rabidly focus on is an account in an early edition that tells of a “root” he carries with him when dealing with the cruel slave-driver Covey:

“I found Sandy an old adviser. He told me, with great solemnity, I must go back to Covey; but that before I went, I must go with him into another part of the woods, where there was a certain root, which, if I would take some of it with me, carrying it always on my right side, would render it impossible for Mr. Covey, or any other white man, to whip me. He said he had carried it for years; and since he had done so, he had never received a blow, and never expected to while he carried it. I at first rejected the idea, that the simple carrying of a root in my pocket would have any such effect as he had said, and was not disposed to take it; but Sandy impressed the necessity with much earnestness, telling me it could do no harm, if it did no good. To please him, I at length took the root, and, according to his direction, carried it upon my right side. This was Sunday morning. I immediately started for home; and upon entering the yard gate, out came Mr. Covey on his way to meeting. He spoke to me very kindly, bade me drive the pigs from a lot near by, and passed on towards the church. Now, this singular conduct of Mr. Covey really made me begin to think that there was something in the root which Sandy had given me; and had it been on any other day than Sunday, I could have attributed the conduct to no other cause than the influence of that root; and as it was, I was half inclined to think the root to be something more than I at first had taken it to be.”

Douglass later gets into a knock-down drag-out fight with Covey and one of his assistants, but triumphs (although Covey seems to think he won, he then leaves Douglass alone following the incident). Is this folk magic? There are a number of scholars who identify this root as an element of rootwork or Hoodoo. Douglass himself is very dubious about it, and even in later writings essentially disavows the root as superstition. Still, this passage shows the way that magic entangled with the everyday life of African Americans, and also manages to bring a little of that magic to the reading lists of many young readers today.

To Read: A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Also See: The collection of Frederick Douglass-edited newspapers at the Library of Congress website; Kameelah Martin’s Conjuring Moments in African American Literature

Illustration of Charles Chesnutt
Charles W. Chesnutt was an author of color who incorporated Black folk magic into his writing frequently. He is best known for stories like “The Goophered Grapevine.” (Illustration by Cory Thomas Hutcheson, 2021)

Charles W. Chesnutt

The stories of Charles Wadell Chesnutt feature grapevines cursed by conjure-men to wither away, a man whose foot gets twisted backwards by rootwork, a fearsome wolf summoned by an evil witch to do her bidding, and all sorts of other magical goings-on as well. Chesnutt was unique as a late nineteenth-century writer who found success mining African American folklore for story ideas and incorporating them into often funny, sometimes frightening tales. He was also unique in that he identified as Black when he could “pass” as white due to his majority-white ancestry. He made racial issues a centerpiece of many stories, and very much looked to the dismantling of racism as a goal within his work and the work of other authors. His stories, often written in dialect, can feel off-putting at times and do not shy away from racially-charged language or topics, but the massive amounts of magical lore he incorporated into his fiction are captivating. 

To Read: The Conjure Woman, and Other Conjure Tales

Also See: Robert Hemenway’s article “The Functions of Folklore in Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman,” which discusses the folkloric influences at the root (pardon the pun) of the stories.

 

Nalo Hopkinson

If you’ve never read Jamaican-Canadian author Nalo Hopkinson, you’re missing out. Her work is phenomenally rich, absolutely dripping with magic and character on every page. I first bumped into her through a collection of stories she edited called Mojo: Conjure Stories, which also put me onto work by Tananarive Due, Nnedima Okorafor, and Sheree Renee Thomas. Her book, Brown Girl in the Ring, tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman struggling in a collapsing world of crime and violence while also balancing the traditions and history she inherits from her rootworking grandmother. Hopkinson frequently incorporates elements of fantasy and speculative fiction into her work, while also keeping it rooted in reality (I personally think she’s essentially a magical realist writer, although I don’t usually see her described that way). She builds on the folklore of her Caribbean heritage and draws the reader into worlds equal parts enchanting and haunting.

To Read: Brown Girl in the Ring; Skin Folk

Also See: Mojo: Conjure Stories (a collection edited by Hopkinson)

Illustration of Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was a Nobel-prize winning author whose work exuded magic while confronting issues of Blackness and identity. (Illustration by Cory Thomas Hutcheson, 2021)

Toni Morrison

If you’ve listened to our show much, heard me talk about magic and literature at all, then you’re going to know that Toni Morrison has had an outsized impact on my understanding of the universe. I love her writing and have devoured so many of her books. They are often very painful, marvelously uplifting, and incredibly potent because Morrison is a master wordsmith and storyteller. I cannot bring up enough this passage from Sula, which very much informs my sense of cosmology:

“[E]vil must be avoided, they felt, and precautions must naturally be taken to protect themselves from it. But they let it run its course, fulfill itself, and never invented ways to either alter it, to annihilate it or to prevent its happening again. So also were they with people.

What was taken by outsiders to be a slackness, slovenliness or even generosity was in fact a full recognition of the legitimacy of forces other than good ones. They did not believe doctors could heal—for them, none ever had done so. They did not believe death was accidental—life might be, but death was deliberate. They did not believe Nature was ever askew—only inconvenient. Plague and drought were as “natural” as springtime. If milk could curdle, God knows that robins could fall”

If you want books that incorporate Black history, magic, and culture along with incredible stories and unforgettable characters, Morrison is absolutely a must-read.

To Read: Sula; Beloved; Song of Solomon

Also See: “Unspeakable Things Unspoken,” a lecture Morrison gave on African American literary legacies and the ways a reader should engage with a variety of authors 

 

Ishmael Reed

Okay, I know Reed is controversial, but that’s also because he’s bold and experimental, outspoken, brave, and loud on the page. His writing is unapologetic and nearly acidic in its satirical strength, and he takes on a lot of beloved cultural darlings in his work (most recently he wrote a scathing parody of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton with an eye to correcting some of its historical whitewashing, for example). One thing Reed is, however, is meticulous. He unearths pieces of history and culture with the tenacity of a scholar and the literary flourish of a poet. For example, one of his best-known novels, Mumbo Jumbo, is a freewheeling tour of Black history including real-life characters like Black Herman, Marcus Garvey, and President Warren G. Harding (who was sometimes rumored to have Black ancestry). Into that history, Reed injects Hoodoo, Voodoo, Moses, jazz music, spontaneous dance outbreaks, and so much more. His books are the sort of reading that makes you long for footnotes or at least sends you out Googling all the madcap figures and facts he includes to know more (or maybe that’s just me, but I enjoy it!). Reed destigmatizes the power of magic in Black history, and he’s worth your time for that alone (but there’s so much more to enjoy, too).

To Read: Mumbo Jumbo

Also See: Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (a “HooDoo Western” that is absolutely delightful to read)

 

Randall Kenan

I am incredibly sad that Kenan is no longer with us. I had the chance to correspond with him briefly, and he was a key part of my Master’s thesis (along with Ishmael Reed, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler on this list). If there’s an author I think many people haven’t heard of here, it’s Kenan, but that’s a real loss because his work is absolutely magnificent. He only published a few books in his life, but they were absolutely soaked in magic and folklore. Take, for example, this passage from his novel Let the Dead Bury the Dead, in which the history of the town of Tims Creek is interwoven with mythical stories of a devil-disguised-as-preacher who visited long ago:

“[T]he rumors were that these folk had had sexual congress with the Preacher-man. Said that his seed or whatever it was carried madness, and he had forced himself on them innocent youngens and animals and drove em mad…said in one sitting on Christmas Eve, he ate two whole chickens, an entire mess of greens, corn, cabbage, a whole hog, and a cake and a pie. He’d eat and they’d just keep bringing, wide-eyed and plumb put out by the site of it. Say somebody mumbled something bout gluttony and the Preacher just looked at him, mouth full of ham, just looked at him, and that man never said another mumbling word for the rest of his life. Said the Preacher kept a black snake and a big black bird. One woman say she heard the Preacher talking to the snake and the snake talked back. She went deaf.”

If talking snake familiars and ravenous devil-preachers don’t say “American folk magic” to you, I don’t know what to tell you. Kenan also infused his work with intersectional issues, including the difficulties of being both gay and Black in his Southern community. Kenan’s books are founded in occult ideas and make magic both intoxicating and dangerous, and I cannot recommend him nearly enough. We lost him far too soon.

To Read: Let the Dead Bury their Dead; A Visitation of Spirits

Also See: Kenan’s interview with speculative fiction author Octavia Butler in the magazine Callaloo

Illustration of Octavia Butler
The speculative fiction of Octavia Butler is world-shaking for both its bleakness and its hope. She frequently brought in deeply mythic and folkloric elements to her worlds and characters (Illustration by Cory Thomas Hutcheson, 2021)

Octavia Butler

I include the interview with Kenan and Butler above because it’s absolutely fascinating to see them both unpacking her fiction and all its deep mythological roots. If you haven’t read Butler’s work, it’s dark, full of unpleasant situations and serious trauma. At the same time, it’s empowering and encouraging, as the key players in her speculative fiction dramas are trying to make better worlds. Sometimes they are ancient goddess-like figures literally changing their shapes as they live for centuries in a game of cat-and-mouse with other immortals, and sometimes they are teenage women seeking to put post-apocalyptic humans into the stars by combining science and religion in equal measure. Butler’s writing is a magic all its own, too, and she does a phenomenal job conjuring up images that will haunt you long after you turn the page.

To Read: The Parable of the Sower; Wild Seed

Also See: Kindred

 

Tracey Baptiste

So if I’m honest, I’ve only read two things by Tracey Baptiste: Jumbies and her Minecraft-inspired book, The Crash. That latter one is great, but not particularly magical. Jumbies, however, is loaded with magic. She pulls from her Trinidadian heritage and tells a story filled with folk magic, roots, soucouyants, witches, loup garous, and tricksy twins. The book, while aimed at younger readers, is magnetic in its storytelling and folkloric ties, and frankly pretty terrifying! My own children had to put it down because it got so spooky, and they aren’t the type to get that easily spooked. If you have a love of folklore and magic, her writing is absolutely worth checking out. She’s got two sequels (they’re on my to-read pile, I swear!) as well.

To Read: Jumbies (and also, I’m guessing, the sequels…I’ll get back to you on that!)

 

Jeremy Love

The last entry on my list this time is a bit of a mystery. Jeremy Love, a comics author who has worked on several titles including (based on his rarely-updated site) Batman, wrote a webcomic series called Bayou, which was then collected into print and e-book editions. The story is absolutely rife with Southern Black folklore, including a young woman setting off through an uncanny Otherworld populated by monsters and magic in order to save her father. Love then wrote a sequel as well, which seemed like it would be part of a trilogy. However, to date there’s been no third book, and almost a decade has passed. He’s also not easy to find online, and there haven’t been many updates about him or his work. Still, I include him here because 1) the first two books are great stories with a ton of folklore and folk magical elements woven in; 2) the artwork is simply beautiful; and 3) I’m hoping that by writing about a third book it will somehow come to be. 

To Read: Bayou #1 (generally easier to get as e-comics from DC directly) and Bayou #2 

 

That’s where I’m going to leave it for now. This is just a small sampling of Black authors who have written amazing work incorporating folklore and folk magic, and I know there are so many more out there I could get into. Hopefully, though, this introduces you to a few you might enjoy and also helps to demonstrate just how much Black writers contribute. We truly wouldn’t have New World Witchery without the contributions of many of these writers, and all of them make our literary landscape so much richer and better. 

If you have suggestions for Black authors for me to read (especially ones with lots of folklore in their work), I’d love to know! Please feel free to leave comments and point me in the direction of even more great Black magical writing! (Oh, but please note that once again any racist, misogynistic, or otherwise heinous comments will not be approved and may be reported as harassment. Please use the comments to lift up and elevate Black magic and Black writers). 

Thank you for reading,

-Cory

Episode 183 – Rules of Magic

Summary:
We break into our first book club of 2021, then discuss our own personal “rules of magic.” We also do our monthly cartomancy draw, and answer a listener question about using coins as offerings.
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Producers for this show: Heather, WisdomQueen, Donna, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Fergus from Queer as Folk Magic, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Payton, Carole, Stephanie, Kat, Breanna, Staci, Montine, Vic from the Distelfink Sippschaft of Urglaawe, Moma Sarah at ConjuredCardea, Jody, AthenaBeth, Bo, Scarlet Pirate, Tim, Bill, Leslie, Sherry, Jenna, Jess, John T., Laura, Abbi, Nicole, AromaG’s Botanica, & Clever Kim’s Curios (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!
Play:
-Sources-

We discuss our rules of magic. Some of the ones Cory mentions are based on a now defunct site called Hedgewytchery, by Dawn Jackson. It does look like she eventually self-published a book based on that work, however.

Thanks to Key Flame & Blade for the question this time!

Cory reads using the Tarot Mucha and the UUSI Pagan Playing Cards. Laine uses the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck. You can also pick up Cory’s cartomancy book, 54 Devils to learn his card reading style. We’re also both using Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack to help study the Tarot.

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s book club. You can get an exclusive discount at Llewellyn’s site on that or any of her Green Witchcraft books by using the code “GREENWITCH20” at checkout.

You can now also pre-order Cory’s forthcoming book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic! (also available from Amazon)

Image by Cory Thomas Hutcheson (CC 2.0 2021)

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Title and closing music are “Woman Blues,” by Paul Avgerinos, and is licensed from Audio Socket.

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