"I need those TPS reports!"
me as a parent
For those of you who may be new to my blog, here’s a list of links to some old posts on Ozark folk magic that I’ve pulled out of the archives.
Fraktur for safe travels
Desktop shrine for making sure your boss stays the fuck away.
Good to know
Two other pictures I didn’t post of the ritual for little Alfie. I didn’t post these cause they didn’t show off the ritual enough but nonetheless I still like so
We healers have always been contradictions, sometimes even within ourselves. The differences between a witch and a healer are oftentimes very hard to see. It really comes down to whether you want to go with the flow of the culture you belong to, or whether you want to go against that. Historically those who have fully participated in the traditions of the culture, those who have gotten married, had kids, gone to church, prayed at the dinner table, etc. etc. have been welcomed as traditional healers and have warranted very little suspicion from others in the community. Of course, this isn’t always the case. It often takes very little for a healer to be labeled a witch, and in the past those who doctor have had to walk a very thin line between what was accepted and what was condemned.
The witch is generally the one who goes against the social grain. The one who lives alone, oftentimes people who would have same-sex attractions or who are, at least to a certain point, gender-fluid. They sometimes have beliefs representing much older traditions that have been passed down in secret. In the Ozarks they are sometimes Catholics, or have lived with the Native Americans for long enough to pick up their “ways”. Sometimes the divide comes from the work they do. People who are known for laying tricks or throwing spells at people are often viewed with suspicion. That’s not to say their services aren’t still used. I’ve seen and experienced this many times, those who condemn you are the first to come to you when they need something. But that’s nothing new, we’ve had to go through that since the beginning of time. Sometimes suspicion of being a witch comes from words alone. It’s born out of hatred or jealousy. A customer who didn’t get what they wanted from you yells witch and everyone goes crazy.
I’ll say it again, we healers have always been contradictions. Among certain groups I would call myself a Traditional Healer, among others a Power Doctor, or Witch Doctor, and still among others I’m a Witch. I fully participate in the age old Southern tradition of being one thing in public and another in private, and I have no qualms about that at all. I don’t often publicly wear all my crazy at once, but give different people different glimpses of who I am. It’s a protecting mechanism that I was born with.
So, it’s not so easy sometimes to tell the difference between a “doctor” and a “witch”, most of the time I don’t even bother trying. Historically in the Ozarks, as I’ve said many times before, a witch is seen in a very negative sense, being applied to someone who causes harm to others rather than heal. But that doesn’t really mean all that much as a definition as there are hundreds of examples where the term “witch” was wrongfully applied to a person.
In the end we’re all contradictions, I can’t really put it any other way. I’m perfectly content being an enigma, completely happy about healing in the name of Grandfather Rattlesnake, using psalms to exorcise, kissing icons on Sundays, and going out as a Booger-Wolf on the Full Moon.
In ancient Pagan times in Ireland the poets were supposed to possess the gift of prophecy, and by certain means could throw themselves into a state in which they had lucid vision of coming events. This state, called Imbas for Osna, was produced by incantations and the offering of the flesh of a red pig, a dog, or a cat to their idols.
Then the poet, laying the two palms of his hands on his two cheeks, lay down and slept; his idol gods being beside him. And when he awoke he could see all things and foretell all things. He could make verses with the ends of his fingers, and repeat the same without studying, and in this way proved his right to be chief poet at the court of the king.
Also he laid his staff upon the head of a person, and thus he found out his name, and the name of his father and mother, and all unknown things that were proposed to him. And this prophetic power was also obtained by Imbas for Osna, though a different kind of offering was made to the idol.
|—||Excerpt From: Wilde, Lady, 1826-1896. “Ancient legends, mystic charms and; superstitions of Ireland, with sketches of the Irish past.” London, Chatto & Windus, 1902 (via charlottesarahscrivener)|