Blog Post 235 – New World Witchery Cartulary No. 7

Photo collage of person writing and text saying Cartulary Number Seven: Readings, Writings, and Passing Fancies

It’s been a loooooong time since I did one of these (like seven years!). Partly that’s because a lot of our social media now fills the purpose that these cartulary posts used to, and partly it’s because I usually wind up trying to write more in-depth examinations of folk magic for the website that are finished and complete, so these peek-behind-the-curtain posts slip my mind. Oops, my bad, and sorry in that order!

For those who haven’t run into these before, a cartulary is essentially a scroll of information where new material gets added by attaching it to the bottom of existing scrolls, functioning as a sort of hodgepodge of ideas that get rolled up together because they don’t belong anywhere else. Given that the dominant reading mode for the internet is scrolling, I use these posts as a sort glimpse into my working notes on current witchcraft research, as well as showing you some things that may be of interest to you as well (since you’re here, you probably like at least some of the same witchy things I do, right?).

A lot of what’s here is piecemeal and incomplete, or at least a bit rough and unfinished, and some of it may not have to deal with witchery directly but will give you a sense of what’s going on behind the scenes between episodes/posts/books/etc. And you may discover something new that you love, too!

Cover image for The Book of Briars by CJ Bernstein

Let’s start with what I’m reading, which is always “everything,” I suppose. More specifically, though, I’ve got a slew of witchy books in my “just-read,” “now-reading,” and “soon-my-preciouses” piles. I was gifted a book from the Ackerly Green publishing house called The Book of Briars by my friend Heather, and I’ve been exploring the tangled world created by author C.J. Bernstein (essentially the engine behind the press) through the book The Monarch Papers: Flora & Fauna as well. This whole press and the world it’s creating are INSANE and delightful. It’s a fusion of fairy tales, lost magic, Mandela effect, murder mystery, and more. There are elements of Neil Gaiman, John Bellairs, Margaret Atwood, Charles de Lindt, and Diana Wynne Jones in these pages, and what’s even more wild is that you, the reader, can directly interact with the world as it is being written, helping to shape the story that already exists and the books yet to come.

Cover of graphic novel The Night Marchers from the Cautionary Fairy Tales & Fables series

I’ve also been working through some folklore collections that I’ve loved a lot lately. I picked up a really interesting collection called Myths of Magical Native American Women by Teresa Pijoan, who worked with tribes like the Lakota, Hopi, Cheyenne, and Creek to retain some of the tales that were potentially about to be lost with the passing of elders. Most notable are the “Salt Woman” stories, which can be very hard to find and which tell of the tragic-but-generous figure of the Salt Woman in several tribal mythologies who brought the gift of salt to the people. I also received a wonderful signed copy of the Tel que Dit stories done by podcast guest Erik Lacharity, which recounts a number of magical tales and legends from French Canadian history and lore. Many read like fairy tales, and there’s a wonderful series of stories about the folk hero/clever trickster Ti-Jean as well. For my birthday in June, I was incredibly happy to finally receive a copy of the Greenwood Handbook on The Pied Piper, which is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales/legends (it has some very strange elements of historical fact within it). It was edited by my folklore colleague Wolfgang Mieder, and goes through dozens of variants, sequels, artistic representations, and the historical context of the story as well. Finally, my kids turned me onto a whole series of graphic novels that are collections of world folklore, called the Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales books. They feature collections like The Night Marchers (Oceanian lore), The Nixie of the Mill-pond (European lore), The Girl Who Married a Skull (African lore), and The Tamamo Fox Maiden (Asian lore). They are SO GOOD, and each volume features a variety of storytellers and artists to keep things varied and interesting. Great for both adults and kids ages 8+ (some stories are a little spicy or scary).

Cover for Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

I also should mention that I’ve been on a bit of a mushroom kick lately, too. I’m enthusiastically listening to the audiobook for Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life, which explores in depth how fungi are inextricably interwoven with every aspect of life on earth. It’s a science book, but it reads like a travelogue, a meditation, and an adventure tale at times, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I…I think I might be bordering on obsessed with mushrooms and fungi, and actively looking to join a lichen cult if possible. In that same vein, I recently watched the Netflix documentary called Fantastic Fungi, which does a nice job giving a mile-high overview of some of the same things Sheldrake explores in much more depth.

Cover of The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft by Fire Lyte

On to the world of witchy books, of which there are so many in my life right now, I have to say I’m delighted at how many people I consider friends or colleagues are putting out good work at the moment. I’ve read and recommended Fire Lyte’s forthcoming book, The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft, which essentially takes his skeptical, critical eye and looks at witchcraft in a way that can help a newcomer to separate the useful bits from the bunkum claims and absolute dreck that sometimes winds up in intro-to-the-craft type books. In a similarly scientific vein, I am absolutely in love with J.D. Walker’s book A Witch’s Guide to Wildcraft, which walks the reader through exploring their local flora both as a witch and a gardener (she’s a Master Gardener and spent thirty years running her own landscaping business, so she knows what she’s talking about).

Cover of Anatomy of a Witch by Laura Tempest Zakroff

On the more esoteric side of things, I also really loved Star Child, by Bri Saussy, which demystifies some of the complicated elements of astrology by also looking at what a parent might be able to glean from looking at the astrological placements of their child. There’s also Anatomy of a Witch, by Laura Tempest Zakroff, which dives into the sort of visceral experience of witchcraft by looking at it through the lens of a person’s body, breath, and movement (Zakroff is also a long-time professional dancer, so those elements are very important to her and it shows!). 

I have to say that I wish I’d discovered Moon Dust Press long ago when my own kids were little. They didn’t exist then, but if they had my kids would have been getting lots of witchy, magical kids’ books like Sunday the Sea Witch and Brina: A Pagan Picture Book.

Cover of City Witchery by Lisa Marie Basile

In terms of books in my “I shall devour you soon” pile, I’m really excited about a couple of new releases I hope to get my hands on in the next month or so. Thorn Mooney has just released her latest book, The Witch’s Path, and it aims for an audience that is a little different than most witchy books: advanced practitioners. Mooney looks at everything from group leadership to burnout, and apparently provides guidance based on individual learning styles, which I’m very excited about! I’m also hungrily eyeing Lisa Marie Basile’s latest book, City Witchery. I loved her Light Magic for Dark Times so much, and this one is tackling urban witchcraft, which I don’t see done nearly enough. I’ve got them both on pre-order so….soooooooon.

Our latest live cartomancy session!

I’ll close up with a couple of other witchy bobbins that I think are worth spinning. Firstly, for those who haven’t been watching our live cartomancy sessions, you’re missing out! They’re a load of fun! And we’ve discovered the wickedly honest power of the Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment from Deviant Moon. These cards are designed to look like woodcuts taken from a nightmarish and gleeful history of witchcraft, and they do NOT play around (well, they DO play around, but in the same way a cat plays with a bird it’s just caught)! We’ve gotten some of our most honest readings from them!

I also have been falling back in love with witchy podcasts, because there have been a whole spate of amazing new ones to come out this year. I can’t get enough of Invoking Witchcraft, featuring Britton and J. Allen, who remind me a lot of Laine and me because they are exploring folk magic through ongoing conversations and interviews. I was a guest on there a while back, but I’ve been totally hooked on them for months as they cover things like shoe magic, magical bathing, and whether or not to join a coven. I also ADORE the Southern Bramble podcast, which brings traditional folk witchcraft out through a queer perspective while also digging deep into its southern roots (and getting dirty and dangerous in the process). Austin and Marshall are just so engaging, funny, and also wicked that I can’t help but be drawn in! And finally, I’ve fallen for the Jewitches podcast, exploring Jewish folk magic and witchcraft with host Zo. This is a podcast that is built upon research and cultural investigation, and it deals with topics both delightful and very, very heart-breaking. Zo explores the overlap between Jewish persecutions and the early witch trials in Europe, the myth of the dybbuk box, and the horrific Blood Libel legend (which is still in circulation today). It’s really thought-provoking and also highly informative!

So those are the things that are currently getting free rent in my brain, and that are likely to influence some of the research and show-planning I do over the next few months. You’ll probably see some of these authors show up as guests on the show, or hear me talk about topics involving new veins of folk magic or curiosity that these little rabbit trails open up (who knows, maybe I’ll even have something to tell you about fungi and folk magic someday!).

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Be well,

-Cory

Episode 191 – So Much Divination

Laine and Cory sit down to chat about ogham, familiars, and tarot for the Green Witchcraft bookclub, then discuss divination methods they have known and loved.

Summary:
Wherein Laine and Cory sit down to chat about ogham, familiars, and tarot for the Green Witchcraft bookclub, then discuss divination methods they have known and loved. They pull some cards for the month, and answer a listener email about indicator cards, as well.
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 have covered divination in a few previous posts that might be worth revisiting:

Cory also has a book on playing card divination called 54 Devils that you might be interested in if you’re thinking about working with that system. He also mentions the book It’s All in the Cards, by Chita St. Lawrence (out of print but still available second-hand).

If you want to know more about geomancy, there’s a great video featuring Dr. Al Cummins that discusses geomancy as a divination system and its connection to magical ecology on YouTube.

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

Image via Author (CC 2.0)

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 190 – American Brujeria with J Allen Cross

We sit down to chat with J. Allen Cross, author of the new book American Brujeria. We discuss the evolution of Mexican American magical practices, his own background in folk magic, and the issues of working with traditions outside of your own.

Summary:
In this episode we sit down to chat with J. Allen Cross, author of the new book American Brujeria. We discuss the evolution of Mexican American magical practices, his own background in folk magic, and the issues of working with traditions outside of your own.
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 of course recommend J. Allen Cross’s book, American Brujeria. You can also find him on Instagram and listen to his new podcast with Britton Boyd called Invoking Witchcraft.

Another book worth mentioning on the topic of brujeria is Magia Magia by Alexis Arredondo and Eric Labrado.

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

Image via Weiser Books (promotional). (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 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 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

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.
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: 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!
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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)

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 also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.” 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

Episode 182 – Intersections in Magic with Chaweon Koo

Summary:
If you’re looking for a wide-ranging conversation on the topic of magic, Chaweon Koo is the person to go to! In this episode, we discuss atheist occultism, Korean shamanism, spiritual bypassing, Eminem, Dolly Parton, the “invisible hand” of esoteric power, keeping a skeptical outlook, ancestors, glamour, and just for fun, Tinder matches gone wrong.
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: 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!
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We highly recommend checking out Chaweon’s excellent YouTube channel, “Witches & Wine.” She’s also very active on TikTok as well.

We bring up books by Jason Miller, Phil Hine, and Mallorie Vaudoise in this episode, too.

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.

We answer a listener email from “A” this time, so thank you A for writing in!

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 Chaweon Koo (2020).

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 also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.” 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. Incidental music by HexQ, licensed from artist.

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 181 – Plans and Prognostications

Summary:
We open our new year with a look back at 2020’s impact on our magical practices, some final thoughts on last year’s book club (as well as a bit about this year’s club), a discussion of planning for witchery, and some new bits involving cartomancy and listener feedback.
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: Heather, WisdomQueen, Jennifer, 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, 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 take a final look back at the book club, which you can trace by starting with the post introducing it.

Then if you want you can also catch up with some of these posts:

You can also buy the books we discuss: Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire, & Water.

We’ll be doing Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft II for this year’s 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.

We answer a listener email from “A” this time, so thank you A for writing in!

We also do some card readings as a part of our show, including using the Five Cent Tarot, the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, and The Wicked Kingdom card deck.

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 New World Witchery (CCL 2.0)

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 also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.” 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 229 – Frogs and Toads

Illustration of woman spitting frogs and snakes from her mouth to illustrate fairy tale
“As she spoke, vipers and toads fell from her open mouth.” – from “Diamonds and Toads (or, The Fairies)” (Illustration by Cory Thomas Hutcheson 2020)

“Just then there came a second knock at the door, and a voice called out:

Youngest daughter of the king,
Open up the door for me,
Don’t you know what yesterday,
You said to me down by the well?
Youngest daughter of the king,
Open up the door for me.

The king said, “What you have promised, you must keep. Go and let the frog in.”

-From “The Frog Prince, or Iron Heinrich” from the Grimms’ fairy tales collection

Witches go together with frogs and toads almost as readily as they do with broomsticks and pointy hats in the popular imagination. In the story “The Frog Prince, or Iron Heinrich” from the Brothers Grimm collection, a handsome prince has been transformed into a frog by a “wicked witch,” although we pointedly do not get her side of the story. The story “Diamonds and Toads (or The Fairies),” found in the pre-Grimm French collection done by Charles Perrault, reveals that while a good sister is rewarded by precious jewels dripping from her mouth when she speaks, an ill-mannered girl is punished by a fairy (sometimes a fairy tale proxy for a witch), who curses the girl to spew toads and vipers when she speaks.

Beyond the fairy tales, however, several folk magical practices are woven into the webbed toes of frogs and toads. This post will share a few of those bits of magical lore from North American sources and practices. I will note that there are some gruesome spells herein, including some that involve harm or death coming to these marshy denizens, and I am in NO WAY ADVOCATING that you actually do anything hurtful to frogs or toads. They are a valuable part of our ecology and virtually any spell can be adapted in ways that avoid harming them (although I have nothing against the respectful collection of their remains after their demise). In fact, I’ll even begin with this bit of North Carolina folklore to help warn you away from such cruelty:

-Every frog you kill makes your life shorter (or killing a frog or toad will lead to the death of your mother, father, or another kinsperson) (Brown, p. 54). 

Another series of entries from that collection mentions that killing a frog or toad will lead your livestock to give bloody milk (p. 437-38), but conversely it recommends that an ill animal be fed a live frog in order to cure it (p. 449). That may very well have to do with the sympathetic nature of the magic, and the belief that a frog might have been used to initiate the curse, so forcing the frog into the animal is a way of doubling the hex back on itself and thus purging it from the animal’s system (we see a similar logic in the flogging of bewitched milk over hot coals, which is thought to return the harmful spell to the witch who cast it). 

Along that same vein of logic, we see in a number of folkloric instances the ways in which frogs or toads are sympathetically linked through magic to the world around them. They serve as familiars to witches in many stories (including as the representations of the witch’s power in tales like “The Frog Prince” and “Diamonds and Toads”). In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth we also get a reference to a toad as a witch’s familiar, or spirit companion, an idea commonly echoed in popular accounts of witchcraft. One sixteenth-century witch named Joan Cunny from Essex, England, for example, was associated with a pair of familiars that looked like black frogs and another Essex witch named Margery Sammon kept a pair of toads named Tom and Robin as familiars (Wilby, p. 230, p. 109). These creatures could also hold familiar bonds with other living things, such as trees. For example, some American lore states that killing a tree frog in its tree is thought to also kill the tree, also indicating the “familiar” like nature of them (Brown, p. 499). 

Both toads and frogs seem to operate between worlds, making them liminal agents that can run between either the land and water or between our world and the underworld. What they did in that underworld realm made them even more fearful in the folk imagination. For example, one bit of lore says that because they are thought to eat coals of fire (possibly also hellfire, given their traffic with the underworld), toads and frogs can be venomous or toxic. There are indeed toxic species of these creatures, so the belief about their dangers is not entirely untrue in the case of some poison-skinned frogs, but their dangers do not seem to be caused by the ingestion of brimstone (Brown, p. 409). A similar belief prevails about frogs eating buckshot, too, linking them to fire and iron, weapons, danger, and death. Their toxicity, however, might also be a connection to their witchier lore, especially as some frogs and toads secrete substances that can cause psychedelic reactions in humans (as evidenced by the minor fad–massively overplayed in popular media–with “licking frogs” among college students a few decades ago and even portrayed on The Simpsons). 

Frogs and toads also had more positive qualities (although admittedly these qualities didn’t do much to benefit the animals themselves). For example, an oft-repeated claim seems to indicate that some medieval physicians recommended placing a live frog in one’s mouth to remove a sore throat or other ailments, a supposition that has been dubiously linked to the phrase “a frog in one’s throat” (in reality, the phrase derives from an American lozenge rather than any medieval phraseology). Transferring diseases to animals by touch or by holding them in the mouth was not all that uncommon as a folk remedy or cure, and we see it come up in folklore about maladies such as warts quite frequently. That brings me to one of the other common bits of lore about toads and frogs, which are often accused of causing warts in anyone that holds them. This is essentially bunk, but the belief in magical transference of the disease makes some sense as it is a sort of “contagious” magic. Considering just how many folk wart cures and spells there are, it’s probably not a real crisis for someone to touch a frog or toad even if there were a risk of warts (which, again, there really isn’t).

Illustration of a witch's finger touching a frog
A popular folk belief says that touching frogs or toads causes warts (although that is not scientifically accurate). (Illustration by Cory Thomas Hutcheson 2020)

Curing the magical or venomous maladies of the Anuran order (which, frankly, sounds like the kind of club I’d like to join–”I’m a member of the Anuran Order, Bufo Chapter, Horned Toad House”) include the use of the “toadstone,” a type of secret gem or mineral deposit thought to be carried in the head or body of a toad and which could dispel any number of ailments. Specifically it was believed to be good against poisons, and is mentioned both in Roman lore and once again in Shakespeare as well (it may well be that this stone was actually a type of fossil).

The idea that a toad might carry in its body a powerful magical object was not limited to the toadstone, however, for within witchcraft lore a widely pervasive rite known as the “Toad’s Bone” ritual has captivated occultists for centuries and received a recent uptick in popularity due to the late Andrew Chumbley’s essay, “The Leaper Between.” Historical witchcraft writer Nigel Pennick discusses how in many parts of rural England and the British Isles, the toad’s bone rite was associated with a secret society known as the Horseman’s Word. Reputedly, those who were part of this group were a society of horse whisperers who could calm wild horses and easily help to break them, as well as treating them for certain problems. While they were esteemed for their equine skills, they were also suspected of witchcraft in many cases. They were thought to be brought into the fraternity by completing a toad’s bone rite of some kind, one that mirrored similar rites in witch lore, such as this one:

“The Norfolk witch Tilley Baldrey had her techniques published in The Eastern Counties Magazine in 1901. She tells how she became a witch through the toad-bone ritual. In standard English, ‘you catch a hopping toad and carry it in your bosom until it has rotted away to the back-bone,’ then, ‘you take it and hold it over running water at midnight until the Devil comes to you and pulls you over the water.’ This is the initiation as a witch.” (Pennick loc. 1154).

This initiatory rite resulted in the possession of the toad’s bone, which was carried as a token of power and a symbol of initiation, much in the same way that the black cat bone appears in other witch lore. Similar rituals involved crucifying a toad with thorns (usually blackthorn, although it could be hawthorn in some variants) on top of an ant hill and waiting until the ants had devoured the toad’s flesh. The bones would then be taken to a stream and submerged, and whichever floated against the current was the fabled toad’s bone.

I should note once again that I adamantly do NOT encourage the use of animal torture for the procurement of magical tools. These rites may have some significance in the historical context, but you are just as likely to be able to get many of these tools–even toad and frog bones–from sources that do not require the animals to suffer (given how popular frogs’ legs are in parts of the South, contacting a frog-gigger who hunts for restaurant fare might be a better way to handle this). Waiting to find a frog skeleton is just as good, and comes with a sense of feeling like the bones were meant for you rather than extracted through cruelty and malice.

A desiccated frog skeleton found in my in-laws’ house hidden in the back of a cabinet; you never know when you’ll find these sorts of things!

As a final note about the magic of these lovely amphibians, I should note that they are also thought to be harbingers of changing weather and seasons. A belief found throughout the eastern half of the United States says that the croaking of frogs is thought to signal the end of winter (Brown, p. 323). If you’ve ever been in the South in the early summer, you’ll know the sound of “peepers” out in any even mildly wetland area pretty well. Seeing a large number of frogs (and potentially hearing them as well), is also thought to be a sign of coming rain. In this way we can see the deep connections between the watery world of the pond and the stormy sky as connected, with the toads and frogs acting as those “leapers between” as Chumbley phrased it. 

This is been only a webbed toe dipped into the very deep pond of frog and toad lore, but hopefully it gives you a sense of just how much enchantment can be found in these creatures. Perhaps if the spoiled princess in the story of the golden ball had known that, she might not have been so quick to run away or fear her froggy beau. I’d still prefer not to have them jumping out of my mouth every time I speak, though. It would make teaching pretty awkward.

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

 

References:

Episode 178 – A Cornucopia of Magic

Summary:
We are filling up on magic at the dinner table as we look to the folklore and enchanted uses of ingredients like corn, apples, potatoes, and more!
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: Heather, WisdomQueen, Jennifer, 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, 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 pull a lot from folkloric sources in this episode, and you can find many of those through our previous posts on these ingredients:
We’d also recommend checking out our episode on Food Magic with author and cook Gwion Raven, as well as his book, The Magick of Food.
You can hear Cory talk more about turkey bones in folk magic (as well as other dinner table necromancy) at the recent episode of Cursed! Podcast: Cory & Corpses.
You can now also pre-order Cory’s forthcoming book, New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic!
Image via Pixabay (CC 2.0/Public).
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 also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.” 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 & 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