Blog Post 163 – New World Witchery Cartulary No. 1

Hi all!

Today I thought I’d devote a post to, well, other posts. I’m frequently reading, communicating with, or learning from other folk magicians, scholars, storytellers, and various members of the folkloric community. While much of what you find here on New World Witchery focuses on research into history, I don’t want to ever lose sight of the vibrancy and currency of many expressions of folk spirituality and magical living which surround us today. We live in an enchanted world, or at least I like to think so, and I want to share the things that are enchanting me from time to time.

So I’m going to try to start periodically posting brief annotated link rolls (the “cartulary” in this post’s title) which might be of interest to readers of this site. Some will be as simple as podcast recommendations or interesting fiction I’ve come across, and others will be more academic in nature, focused on recent research or discoveries in folklore, fairy tales, or magic in general.  And some may simply have a nice, witchy feel to them. So let’s get started!

I only recently found out that Denise Alvarado and her publishing group put out a neat little almanac last spring called The Hoodoo Almanac, which includes bits of folk magic, lunar astrology, and other almanac-y things. I don’t know if they’ll do one for 2013 or not, but here’s hoping! Alvarado and several other root workers have also started a program for learning folk magic which involves taking several online courses and apprenticing with a live root worker in your area, called Crossroads University. This seems like a great way to learn this particular branch of folk magic. Similar courses can be taken through Lucky Mojo and Starr Casas (a very knowledgeable rootworker and friend to us here at NWW).

Speaking of books and learning, I recently read a review in the Journal of American Folklore (JAF) for a 2006 book on the infamous Pied Piper of Hamelin. The Pied Piper: A Handbook, by Wolfgang Mieder, looks like exactly the kind of in-depth, thorough investigation of the story behind the fairy tale that I love. This is the sort of book I can sink into and lose a few months of my life, so it’s already on my holiday wish list, and the JAF review gave it glowing praise as well.

I’ve very recently been made aware of the delightful blog Roman and Minnie’s Satanic Cocktail Hour, which assumes the personas of two characters from Rosemary’s Baby, then proceeds to imagine their lifestyle as hip 70s witches and pseudo-Satanists. There’s a schlock value to the site, and it’s definitely not safe for work (lots of naked folks), but they also have neat little gems of folklore occasionally, as with their most recent post on Ozark witchcraft from a Time magazine story in the 1939. Special thanks to

Arrowclaire, over at her lovely blog Wandering Arrow, always puts up interesting posts. She had one on dealing with death omens recently that I greatly appreciated, because it puts into perspective the idea of living an omen-driven life without necessarily becoming fearful or overly superstitious.

Rue of Rue & Hyssop had a beautiful post welcoming the autumnal season in. Check out the rather gorgeous PDF (but high-gloss) Pagan Living Magazine in her sidebar, too!

Speaking of great and stunning periodicals, the absolutely amazing Hex Magazine: Old Ways for a New Day is very worthy of your time. It focuses very heavily on Northern European and Teutonic folkways, but also includes a good bit of New World lore, too.

To get you in the mood for a spooky October, go take a peek at the great post Peter from New England Folklore has done on “Kidnapped Witches in Plymouth.” (Storytelling is an October tradition at NWW, so this should get you ready for next month nicely).

That’s my cartulary for today! Happy reading, everyone!


Blog Post 152 – What’s Happening & What’s Yet to Come

Howdy everyone!

First of all, I hope that the blog hasn’t been too much of a let-down to you lately. Things in real life sped up, so blog stuff (and by extension, podcast stuff) had to slow down a little. But we are still trying to get several posts a month and at least two shows a month up on the site. The new resource button on the side bar should also be useful if you’re jonesing for a NWW fix, as you can now browse through the back catalog of posts by looking at their subject matter, and probably get a heck of a lot of reading done (if you’ve read every post we’ve written, you’ve gone through 180,000 words or so…go you!). There’s a lot here to peruse on a variety of subjects, so get comfy and enjoy.

In the process of creating that resources page, I noticed several things. First of all, I noticed that some areas have been heavily covered, and others much less so. When it comes to magical systems, I have tended to write about the things I know, or at least the things I’m actively learning about.  There are some systems that I’ve written relatively little about, so as I start organizing my “to-do” list I’ll be thinking about ways to cover those other systems a bit. I probably won’t ever write as much about Afro-Caribbean magic as I do about hoodoo or braucherei, but I know I’ve got questions about the former, so I may bring you along as I ask those questions. My posts on holidays are severely lacking, too, so I think I’m going to force myself to really tackle some of those.

I also noticed that a poll we did a while back indicated that most readers want more practical stuff (techniques, methods, recipes, etc.) and information on herbs, roots, and curios than anything else. So I’ll try to add some of that in, as well.  I think some book lists covering reading suggestions broken down by magical system may be in order, too.

None of this may happen at a breakneck pace—I still have a lot of real-life stuff keeping me busy, too—but there’s a good chance you’ll see some good articles coming up over the next few months on things like ‘gipsy’ magic, the magical uses of honeysuckle and passionflower, St. John’s Eve, and/or Ouija boards. There will probably be more folktales and lore to share, techniques for hot-footing and stop-gossiping folks, and maybe even a recipe or two for magical oils.

Whatever we wind up covering, I hope you’ll come along with us. The journey through the landscape of magical folklore in North America is far from over, and I think there’s still a lot for me to learn (which hopefully means a lot for you to read!).

So much potential! And Spring is in the air, breathing new life into the world! Enjoy, and stick with us! I think you’ll enjoy it. I hope you will.

Thanks for reading,


Quick Update – Resources Page

Hi everyone!

Quick, go to our main page! Now, look over there. To the right. Do you see it? There’s a shiny new button for you to push. Go ahead! Push it! I’ll wait.

If you’ve ventured to explore a bit, you’ll see that we now have a Resources page, which takes all of the content-driven articles from the site (contest announcements, updates, etc. are excluded) and lumps them together into categories so that you can peruse them together rather than having to dig through the entire site to find them.

In other words, say you wanted to look at all of the New World Witchery posts on Pow-wow. Instead of searching for that term and wading through pages of results, you can now click on “Resources,” follow the link to “Magical Systems,” and viola! There is an entire section with links to all of the articles we’ve produced on Pow-wow/Braucherei so far. It’s sort of like an index to our site, which allows you to focus what you want to read down into specific subject areas rather than making you victim to my capricious Gemini posting habits (whereby you get a post on hoodoo followed by a contest announcement followed by a post on fairy tales, and so on and so forth).

I hope this will be of some value to you! I’ll do my best to keep it up-to-date. It was a little daunting to get it all put together initially, but I think it should be pretty sustainable going forward. If you have questions about how to use it, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help. And if you see categories that are missing or notice I failed to put something into a category that should be there, please let me know that, too!

Thanks so much for your patience and support with this site! And of course, thank you so much for reading!

All the best,


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