Posted tagged ‘folklore’

Episode 126 – Magic and the Great Lakes

April 26, 2018

Summary:

In our continuing quest to explore the North American magical landscape, we turn to a massive section of the continent chock-full of magic: the Great Lakes Region. Special guests Scarlet from Lakefront Pagan Voice and Witchdoctor Uto from Dragon Ritual Drummers help us get a toe in some very big, mythically deep waters!

 

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, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Raven Dark Moon, WisdomQueen, Regina, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Jody, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Montine, Amy, Josette, Carole, Cynara at The Auburn Skye, Sarah at ConjuredCardea,The Trinket Witch, Victoria, Jody, Sherry, & AthenaBeth. (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

Play:

Download: Episode 126 – Magic and the Great Lakes

Play: 

 

 -Sources-

Immense thanks to both of my guests this time! We highly recommend checking out Scarlet’s podcast, Lakefront Pagan Voice, and Witchdoctor Utu’s excellent musical group, the Dragon Ritual Drummers.

 

Want to know more about the mound-builder cultures and Native landscapes in North America? Cory recommends a good primer on pre-European Native cultures called 1491, by Charles Mann, as a way to get some good background. Several listeners have also recommended the book Star Songs & Water Spirits, by Victoria Brehm, as well.

 

The tale of the Bannockburn can be found here and here, as well as in Dwight Boyer’s Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes.

 

Cory reads from and discusses some of the “Yooper” bloodstopper and bearwalker lore found in Richard M. Dorson’s aptly titled Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers.

 

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.” 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 is “Homebound,” by Bluesboy Jag, and is used under license from Magnatune. Incidental music includes:

  • “Blessings to You,” by Victoria Guzman, licensed from Magnatune
  • “Masters of Chaos,” by the Dragon Ritual Drummers (used with gracious permission)
  • We’re Going to Pump Out Lake Erie,” by Pearl R. Nye, and “Koivun Oksat…,” by Amanda Harkonen, both from the Lomax Collection at the Library of Congress (public domain)
  • “Quiet Storm Surge,” by Stella Stormfloj; “Sedativa I & V,” by DR; and “Energy and Nothing,” by Genomic Sequence, from the Free Music Archive (CC License)
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Blog Post 205 – What is New World Witchery?, Part IV (Witches Make Things (Happen))

March 22, 2018

In previous posts, I’ve already looked at some of the ways that history, folklore, and contemporary behavior come together to form what we’ve termed “New World Witchery.” If you’re just jumping in here, you might want to turn back the hands of time with an enchanted pocketwatch (which seems a very Romantic or Steampunk sort of notion) and read the first of these posts on “What is New World Witchery, Part I (Irrational Pragmatism).” There are other posts that follow, on topics like the moral implications of practical folk magic in North America, and the spiritual entities that seem to hover at the edges of (or stand smack in the center of) New World magical practices. You can certainly start here, though, and go where you wish, and let your intuition act as a compass for these explorations.

Witchcraft Makes Things (Happen): The Physicality of New World Magic

Thinking about witchraft academically is fun (well, for me, at least). Here, however, we turn from the realms of intellect and ether to the dirt-under-the-fingernails side of witchcraft in North America. Magical author Peter Paddon was fond of saying that a good sorcerer can do magic stark naked in a concrete bunker, and I certainly agree that on some level that is true. However, for most people practicing magic in an everyday way, the “stuff” of witchcraft is vitally important. Again and again, we see that the physicality of magic plays a crucial role in how that magic operates, how those who perform the magic perceive the world around them, and how magic shapes the actual spaces around both practitioners and those with whom they have contact. The objects and spaces of magical action, the artifacts of witchcraft as they might be called, are often both a highly attractive element of the practice and one of the ways in which magic reaches beyond the individual and into the broader community. Even those who don’t practice any form of formalized witchcraft might be found carrying a rabbit’s foot in their pocket, or hanging a horseshoe above their door, or even standing a broom in the corner. Witches take these magical actions a step further and combine, amplify, augment, or otherwise expand upon individual talismans or amulets. Witches are the ones who can make the potions or charms needed to guarantee luck or repel evil. They are at a very fundamental level crafters in multiple, layered senses of that word—they overlay a magical craft onto handicrafts, and recognize the process of creation as a form of ritual unto itself.

Often, the process of crafting and creation goes beyond the boundaries of familiar and everyday use. Something used in one way for mundane needs experiences a transformation through magical operation, and becomes an object of power. One of the most readily apparent examples is the humble broom. Whether the broom is used for sealing a marriage (“jumping the broom”) or sweeping luck around the room, it functions as both a mundane tool and a magical one. It can even become the source of magical supplies, as broom straws are used to treat conditions like warts or the evil eye in folk healing rituals.

Broom and Broomstick in Oostende, Belgium (via Wikimedia Commons)

Similarly, we can see other physical objects that jump from their mundane contexts into magical ones, even busting the barriers that separate overt purpose from magical reinterpretation. One practitioner, who follows a generally Druidic path but draws upon folk magical influences, explained via correspondence in 2016 that she had created a “honey jar” type spell, which involves putting select ingredients—sometimes herbs, but frequently paper, images, or even personal objects like hair and fingernails—into a sweet mixture like honey, syrup, or sugar in order to obtain a favorable outcome. She wrote that she had been attempting to secure a mortgage, and decided to do a working on one of the bank officials involved in the approval process. After putting the jar together, she “tracked down his name and a picture and performed the…spell.  Guess it tipped things in my favor because the mortgage was approved the very next day!” While not every spell meets with success like this, the physical contact with ingredients and the ability to hold something magical in one’s hands surfaces again and again in practical witchcraft. Even witchcraft-adjacent magic, such as the treasure-finding work that Joseph Smith did before he founded Mormonism, required the use of physical props (in Smith’s case, special stones called “peep stones” that enabled him to find treasure and later decipher angelic writings).

The physical forms used depend on personal preference, traditional background, and local availability. In some cases, folk magicians lean heavily on the exotic or the unusual, even going so far as to procure incenses and herbs from mail-order or internet supply houses that offer things like dragon’s blood resin or frankincense. Just as often, however, a magical worker can find virtually everything she or he needs simply by walking through the doors of the local supermarket.

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a ouija board umbrella? (Made by Etsy shop StuffoftheDead)

We can get very drawn into the aesthetics of witchcraft, because they are quite frankly pretty awesome. Who doesn’t want to bedeck themselves in black and silver and bones and fill their house with candles, incense, and stones? That aesthetic, however, is only a surface one, something we have reclaimed from pop culture in many ways (and an aesthetic which continues to inspire even in recent years). The physical manifestations of magical practice are oh-so-frequently a well-stocked spice cabinet, a drawer full of pins and bent nails or old wishbones or loose change, and a broom turned up behind a doorway.

And, if I’m being honest, a library a little overburdened with books of folklore.

The physicality of witchcraft is intimately tied with its effectiveness. Spells done naked in a bunker can be effective, but even Peter Paddon wrote a book on the viscerality of magic because he knew, as most who practice magic do, that spells aren’t pure abstraction or thought experiments. They are fleshy, and dirty, and sexy, and painful, and fun, and scary, and sticky, and…well, physical.

 

Next time: Witches Become Witches

 

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

Episode 124 – Tatterdemalion and the Magic of Northern California

March 16, 2018

Summary:

We invite the lovely, myth-making Sylvia Lindsteadt onto our show to discuss her folktale-novel Tatterdemalion. We discuss the role the landscape has played in shaping her work, how the mythic word intrudes into the everyday in Northern California, and share a couple of tales that come from that region 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: Heather, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Raven Dark Moon, WisdomQueen, Regina, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Jody, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Montine, Cynara at The Auburn Skye, Sarah at ConjuredCardea,The Trinket Witch, Victoria, Sherry, & AthenaBeth. (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

 

Play:

Download: Episode 124 – Tatterdemalion and the Magic of Northern California

Play: 

 -Sources-

Of course, we highly recommend you check out Sylvia’s book, Tatterdemalion, which was the inspiration for this episode. You can also find her book Our Lady of the Dark Country by visiting her website for more information about her other writing projects. We also highly recommend checking out the artwork of Rima Staines, who was a major influence on Sylvia’s work (and one of Cory’s favorite artists).

 

The two California folktales were “The Six Peoplings of the World” and “Falcon’s Search for Yayil,” from S. A. Barrett’s collection, Myths of the Southern Sierra Miwok.

 

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.” 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 is “Homebound,” by Bluesboy Jag, and is used under license from Magnatune. Incidental music is “Wonders,” by S.J. Tucker (used with permission) and selections from Viviana Guzman’s “Meditations for Flute,” licensed from Magnatune.

Episode 123 – Everyday Magical Objects Revisited

February 16, 2018

Summary:

We dig back into the listener suggestions for everyday magical objects and look at another round of commonplace (or uncommonplace) items and how they can fit into a magical practice. Everything from the dapper gentlewitch’s accessories to photosensitive paper makes it into this one, so we hope you enjoy!

 

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, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Raven Dark Moon, WisdomQueen, Regina, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Jody, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Montine, Cynara at The Auburn Skye, Sarah at ConjuredCardea,The Trinket Witch, Victoria, Sherry, & AthenaBeth. (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

 

Play:

Download: Episode 123 – Everyday Magical Objects Revisited

Play: 

 

 -Sources-

You might want to take a quick listen back to our first Everyday Magical Objects episode if you aren’t familiar with what we’re doing in this one. You may also want to listen to our episodes featuring Robert Schreiwer and Robert Phoenix, since Cory mentions the event with them (which was a blast!).

Some of the books and folklore sources used for this episode include:

 

Thank you to listeners Heather, Autumnn, Mahalia, Mila, Chris, & Jennifer for this episode’s Everyday Magical Object suggestions. Please feel free to send in your own suggestions for future objects!

 

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.” 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 is “Homebound,” by Bluesboy Jag, and is used under license from Magnatune.

Episode 120 – Yuletide Cheer! 2017

December 21, 2017

Summary:

In our Yuletide episode, we listen to carols (and of course some wassails), hear a story about an ember-eating ancient creature, and share listener greetings for the season.

 

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, Jenna, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Corvus, Khristopher, Ye Olde Magic Shoppe, Raven Dark Moon, Little Wren, J.C., Mandy, Josette, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Catherine, AthenaBeth, Cynara at The Auburn Skye, Victoria, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Montine, Regina, Hazel, Michael, Patrick, & Sherry (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

Play:

Download: Episode 120 – Yuletide Cheer! 2017

Play: 

 -Sources-

See “Promos & Music” for a complete track listing.

Special thanks this episode to listeners Achija, AthenaBeth, the young ladies who called in to ask about Krampus, and everyone else who wished us a happy season.

Special thanks as well to the luminous Sylvia V. Linsteadt for sharing a selection from her book, Tatterdemalion, with us during this episode. You can find out more about that book and the artwork of the equally luminous Rima Staines at Hedgespoken.

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.” 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

Playlist:

 

  1. Christmas Rhyme – Ewan MacCarroll (LOC/Lomax Collection)
  2. Apple Tree Wassail – Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  3. Old Chistmas – Boyd Asher ((LOC/Lomax Collection)
  4. The Night Before Christmas – Harry E. Humphrey (Free Music Archive)
  5. What Cheer to a Ground – Quire Cleveland (Magnatune)
  6. Pan Hospordaryu – Ukranian Village Voice (Free Music Archive)
  7. Good King Wenceslas – Maya Solovy (Free Music Archive)
  8. Shchedrik – Kitka (Magnatune)
  9. The Holly & the Ivy – Quire Cleveland (Magnatune)
  10. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella – Aaron DeVries (Free Music Archive)
  11. Bring Us in Good Ale – Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  12. Pat-a-Pan – Steve Eulberg (Magnatune)
  13. Un Enfant Vien De Nuit – Modestus Eugene and the Trinidad and Tobago Singers (LOC/Lomax Collection)
  14. White Christmas – Marigolds Scratch Band (LOC/Lomax Collection)
  15. O Day – Georgia Sea Island Singers (LOC/Lomax Collection)
  16. Song for a Winter’s Night – The Nancies (Free Music Archive)
  17. Solstice Night – J. Tucker (with Artist Permission)
  18. In the Bleak Midwinter – Maya Solovy (Free Music Archive)
  19. “Da Day Dawn,” Samantha Gillogly (With Artist Permission)

 

 Incidental Music: “The Glory of the Kitchen” (Passamezzo – Magnatune); Seth Partridge – Sing We Now of Christmas (Free Music Archive); “Stille Nacht” (Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks – Magnatune); “Winter’s Ritual” and “Treachery is Afoot” (S.J. Tucker); “Constellations,” “Aurora Borealis,” and “Celestial Sphere” (Robert Otto – Magnatune); “Ceremonies for a Christmas Eve – Passamezzo (Magnatune)”

Episode 116 – Spooky Stories Live! 2017

October 31, 2017

Summary:

For our recent live broadcast/group chat, we brought on two of our supporters—AthenaBeth and Heather—to share their spookiest encounters. Then we all discussed other spooky stories sent in by listeners, and the eerie #DearDavid phenomenon.

 

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: Corvus, Khristopher, J.C., Josette, Renee Odders, Ye Olde Magic Shoppe, Raven Dark Moon, Sarah, Catherine, AthenaBeth, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Jessica, Victoria, Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Montine, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding, Mandy, Regina, and Hazel (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

 

Play:

Download: Episode 116 – Spooky Stories Live! 2017

Play:

 

 -Sources-

Most of our stories this time came from you, our listeners! Thank you so much to everyone who sent in stories to us this year, including Thistle at Parting the Mists, Elliot, Heather, and AthenaBeth

We mention both the “Auntie Bells” story from Reddit, sent in by listener Trey, and the really spooky and terrifying true(?) story of #DearDavid as well.

If you want to keep up on our live broadcasts, chat with us, and otherwise participate in future live shows, you should definitely go check out our Mixlr page.

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.” 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 is “Homebound,” by Bluesboy Jag, and is used under license from Magnatune

Special Episode – The Talking Board

October 27, 2017

Summary:

In our third October 2017 #AllHallowsRead tale, we’re turning to a familiar trope: the slumber party séance with a Ouija board. Of course, this being October and the month of spooky stories, things do not turn out all that well for those using the Talking Board.

 

Play:

Download: Special Episode – The Talking Board

Play:

 

 -Sources-

There are no shortage of accounts of sleepover Ouija board sessions. Places I’d recommend looking for more information generally about Ouija rites are in Simon Bronner’s American Children’s Folklore, and in Bill Ellis’ excellent Raising the Devil, which talks extensively about why and how Ouija boards and slumber parties are so tightly linked. You can also find a good history of Ouija boards in Occult America, by Mitch Horowitz.

 

For more discussion (and scary stories) about the specific entity mentioned in this story, I highly recommend listening to the Encounters Podcast episodes on the topic, or checking out the book The Zozo Phenomenon, by Darren Evans and Rosemary Ellen Guiley.

 

 Promos & Music

Intro music is “Grifos Muertos” by Jeffery Luck Lucas, from his album What We Whisper, used under license from Magnatune.com

 

Incidental music by Stormfloij (“Quiet Storm Surge”) and Byzons (“L’Horrible Passion”) both of which are used through Creative Commons license on SoundCloud.

 

Sound effects are sourced from Creative Commons licensed recordings at Sound Bible.


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