Blog Post 69 – Charmed Again


Today I’m going to add to Blog Post 67’s charm list and look at a few other simple, word-based spells.  Most of these are rooted in Pow-wow practices, but they are also found throughout other systems as well.  A caveat before I begin, however:  do not take these charms in place of medical advice.  They have their uses and are worth learning, but I am not a medical professional and you should not construe these bits of folk life as prescribed physiological recommendations.  If you get burned or are bleeding badly, seek professional help.

Okay, now on to the charms!

Dealing with Enemies

Overcoming an Enemy (Pow-wow)
This charm to gain advantage over someone who is trying to bully you comes from Hohman’s text, and again I have had little occasion to use it but I rather like the poetry of it:

A CHARM TO GAIN ADVANTAGE OF A MAN OF SUPERIOR STRENGTH.
I [name] breathe upon thee. Three drops of blood I take from thee: the first out of thy heart, the other out of thy liver, and the third out of thy vital powers; and in this I deprive thee of thy strength and manliness.

This particular spell veers very close to a curse, though it also falls into a “self-defense” category, I think.  You don’t, of course, get the three drops of blood from them, though I imagine if you could it would make this spell something much more powerful and possibly much more dangerous.

Healing Charms

Blood-stopping Verse (Pow-wow, Granny Magic, Mountain Magic)
This may be one of the best known mountain charms.  When spoken, this little spell stops a bleeding wound (a non-critical one that is…serious wounds require medical attention!).  There are a few variations on it, and the rules change a bit from person to person, but the words are pretty much the same:

“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.”

Those of you who are Bible-savvy probably know this already, but this is simply a passage from Ezekiel 16:6.  It is similar, though not the same as, Psalmic magic (see below).  This charm is mentioned in The Red Church by Chris Bilardi, and has also been featured on Dave Tabler’s excellent Appalachian History blog.  The passage of this charm is typically supposed to be from male-to-female, though it seems there are ways around this restriction (such as “telling” the charm to an inanimate object while someone else in the room is listening).  As to effectiveness, all I can say is that I’ve used it three times and all three times it has worked.

Another Blood-stopping Charm (Pow-wow)
Here’s a different blood-stopping verse from Hohman’s Long Lost Friend:

TO STOP BLEEDING.
I walk through a green forest;
There I find three wells, cool and cold;
The first is called courage, p. 34
The second is called good,
And the third is called stop the blood.

Hohman actually lists about half-a-dozen blood-stopping charms, so I highly recommend looking into his book for more information on the topic.

Stopping Burns (Pow-wow, Mountain Magic)
Here are two charms used to help heal burns and alleviate the pain associated with them (both from Hohman):

HOW TO CURE A BURN.
Three holy men went out walking,
They did bless the heat and the burning;
They blessed that it might not increase;
They blessed that it might quickly cease!

+ + +

(The “+++” means that you make the sign of the cross with your hand over the burn three times)

ANOTHER REMEDY FOR BURNS.
Clear out, brand, but never in; be thou cold or hot, thou must cease to burn. May God guard thy blood and thy flesh, thy marrow and thy bones, and every artery, great or small. They all shall be guarded and protected in the name of God against inflammation and mortification, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

I’ve used the first of these charms a couple of times, and noticed a temporary effect.  The pain may not go away entirely but it’s a lot less and the burns didn’t scar, so that might be a good sign.  Or a placebo effect of some kind.  But I leave it up to you to figure it out for yourself.

Psalms (Curanderismo, Pow-wow, Hoodoo, Mountain Magic, most American folk magic systems)

Finally, I thought I’d list a few Psalm fragments which can be written and carried or spoken aloud in times of need.   I personally LOVE Psalmic magic.  You can feel free to use the whole Psalm or just the pertinent portions depending on your spell, but I highly recommend this method of magic.  The Bible, I seem to find more and more, is just loaded with magic, if you know where to look.  And almost no one questions you if you happen to say or write a Bible verse.  Of course, if you have problems with Judeo-Christian religion, this might not be the course for you.  You can find a great list of Psalms and their uses in the Appendix to Chris Bilardi’s The Red Church, the Curious Curandera’s Library Page, and the Lucky Mojo site has a good list, too.

Here’s a sample of Psalms as charms:
Headaches Psalm 3 – “Thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”
Protection & PeacePsalm 22 – “be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me” (This is the Psalm Jesus sang upon the cross)
Against EnemiesPsalm 35 – “Contend, O GOD, with those that contend with me”
Success & Good FortunePsalm 65 – “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness”
Safe TravelsPsalm 121 – “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help”

The topic of Psalm magic could be a post in itself, or a book even.  Several books, actually.  In fact, there are plenty of wonderful books on this subject, and I recommend tracking them down if you can.

That’s it for today’s charmed life.   If you have any charms to share, please feel free to do so!

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

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2 Comments on “Blog Post 69 – Charmed Again”

  1. Roger Says:

    There’s also a Psalm for burns. When I was a kid, I burned my leg on a grill while on a camping trip. Of course, being no older than 5, I screamed bloody murder! My aunt rushed right over and recited a psalm over the burn and it stopped hurting immediately! My mom still tells that story! Now, 20 years later, I still have a scar from that incident, but it never did hurt after that.

    I’ll see if I can get in touch with my aunt to see if she remembers what Psalm it was.


    • Wonderful! Thank you so much, Roger! If you can find out which Psalm it was, that would be fantastic. I’m thinking it may be Psalm 119: 81-83, which can be used for burns according to the Curious Curandera’s booklet on the Psalms. Please let me know if you do find out, though! Inquiring minds want to know!

      Thank you so much, and all the best!

      Cory


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