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FancyShadowCat

Backwoods Witchcraft by Jake Richards

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This book guides you through the hardships and cultural origins of this folk magickal practice rich in history of Appalachian struggles. The beginning of this book is an introduction to the land of Appalachia and the people who immigrated there, and mixed with the natives which gives you a look at the essence of and birth of this practice. After this introduction Richards takes us through some of the folklore, folk religion, and importance of ancestral veneration, all speckled with a few workings and charms he learned from his elders thoughout which demonstrate the practicality and resourcefulness of the appalachian magic practitioners. 

The author then gives us a look at signs, omens, superstitions and methods of divination he was taught by his family, and which are found throughout the Tennessee region of the appalachian mountains. This is peppered with family stories and anecdotes of how he learned some of these practices, such as divination by playing cards.

Backwoods witchcraft concludes with a functional manual of ingredients and curious used in the practice (such as dirt from a churchyard, moonshine, stump water, holed pennies, herbs, and more), a list of how they use candles, dolls, and other components of Appalachian craft. This chapter is followed finally with a several tried and true workings for love, protection, luck, legal troubles, healing and a few other common concerns of the folk magician.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. In fact I think it may be my favorite book on witchcraft yet. He leads us through his upbringing learning these authentic practices and living the experience the practices came from. I felt that this book came from his heart and soul and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I believe I have a good understanding of the general flavor and technique of Appalachian folk magic. 5 stars from me.

 

Edited by FancyShadowCat
I can’t help it

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I have this book, and while I haven't read it straight through yet, I've read bits and pieces and really enjoy it so far. Being from the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee myself, I appreciate finding information that directly relates to my heritage.

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