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Appalachian Traditional Witch


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#1 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:54 PM

My Friends,

I’m not quite sure how to otherwise start this, so I’ll bail right in.

I’ll begin by saying that rural Appalachia is an unusual place – an anomaly of sorts, where the old traditions meet the modern innovations with little of the conflict one might otherwise expect from what would appear on the surface to be contradictory views. I was born here and have spent my entire life of over forty years here. I have done a fair bit of traveling across the country, especially when I was younger, and this area stands out as being particularly special.

It’s a particularly great place to live in many respects if you’re a traditional witch.

While their numbers have dwindled comparatively, the wise old woman of the mountains is still alive and well in West Virginia. Traditional folk remedies are shelved alongside more modern medications not only in home medicine cabinets, but also on pharmacy shelves.

Things that would cause quite the stir in other parts of the country are barely noticed here; to illustrate, it was about two years ago when my neighbor was having issues with his septic tank. Having not been the original builder of the house, he had no idea where to even begin to dig to look for it. I suppose he was in possession of a number of options at the time, but as it turns out he retained the services of a dowser; I noticed movement in his yard and saw my neighbor and another fellow with dowsing rods walking slowly across the property. Septic tank located and repaired in record time.

No one in the neighborhood (myself included, for obvious reasons) saw anything at all unusual about this. In fact, as recently as a month ago I discovered handcrafted dowsing rods available for purchase in a local shop.

How did I come to be a traditional witch? I suppose it started, innocently enough, at a kung fu class. About once a week my instructor would interrupt our advanced class at about the halfway point and announce, “Okay, tonight we’re going to do something really weird.” This always elicited excitement from us, as we knew we would be given information not normally disseminated to the beginning students. For the next half-hour or so, he would teach us about the concept of ch’i and how it could be used for both healing and striking. Yin and Yang. Positive and negative. We learned how to manipulate this energy both to harm and to heal; to do severe damage to an opponent in a fight, or to heal pain with concentration and a touch.

It was about this time that I started questioning everything I had been taught as a child about religion. None of the “weird” things we were doing in kung fu were addressed by my upbringing, yet here it was: proof positive that there were things in the world that I no previous knowledge of and could not explain through more conventional means.

I subsequently spent a decade working as an IT Tech at a facility that would purchase natural plant products to resell to pharmaceutical companies, and it was at this time I realized how many naturally-occurring plants were priceless for production of modern medicine. My curiosity was piqued and I started doing more research on the local roots and herbs, and started experimenting with them using information from both written resources and local wisdom.

It was during this time that I realized that based on what I had been reading, researching, and discovering, that I was very likely already living as a witch in many ways. This came as quite a shock to someone raised with the erroneous view of the witch that most folks possessed at the time, but there it was.

Education and common sense ultimately triumphed over ignorance, but the transition was not without difficulty. I kept that aspect of my life private from my family, as most of them maintained, at least on the surface, the Christian faith.

As might be expected, during this time I managed to stumble into a lot of information about Wicca. Like some other faiths I could mention, there was just a lot of it that didn’t sit well with me; it seemed to be going the way of the larger, monotheistic religions in both requiring a lot of ceremony and trying to establish a hierarchy wherein some folks maintain power over others.

Have I tried casting a circle? Sure, many years ago, and I discovered very quickly that it was a whole lot of ceremony and not a lot of substance. I also discovered that the proliferation of “magic spell” books commonly available were designed not so much with real magic in mind as to be a useful tool in separating folks from their money. Ditto the availability of “working tools”, which often consisted of such items as cheaply-made knives that would sell for $4.95 at a flea market that had been marked up to outrageous prices. I understand that some folks might need “props” to get them into the frame of mind to cast a spell but that it isn’t a requirement; I suppose I am of the opinion that it is the intent of your will that gets the job done.

In simplest terms, being a traditional witch isn’t something I “do” from time to time; it is better-described as my lifestyle and is evident in all aspects of what I do. There are a few others like myself living in this area and we’re finally starting to find one another.

I’ll keep an eye out in the event this board begins to accept applications for new members; I would be glad to have the opportunity to participate here and hopefully contribute in a meaningful way.


Very warmest regards,


Kurt


#2 Michele

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:54 PM

Well hello. I didn'k know they were still not accepting apps, but I'm sure it will be open again soon, and nice to meet you :-)

M


#3 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:57 PM

My Friend,

Well hello. I didn't know they were still not accepting apps, but I'm sure it will be open again soon, and nice to meet you :-)

M


A great pleasure to make your acquaintance!

I do hope that registration opens again soon; I realize that it in no way, shape, form or fashion guarantees acceptance, but it will at least permit the possibility after appropriate scrutiny.

Very warmest regards,


Kurt


#4 Aloe

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:06 PM

Hey there Kurt. :) I'm from the Ozarks and have often heard that Appalachian folk magic and witchcraft is similar to the type found here. My grandpa would always use dowsing rods, he was a well digger and could always find water. They call it 'water witching' here.

Nice to meet you!

"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#5 ejfinch

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

Nice to meet you, Kurt!

Elizabeth


#6 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:13 PM

My Friends,

Sincere thanks to each of you for the kind welcomes - I hope to remain among you for quite some time.

Very warmest regards,

Kurt


#7 Jevne

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:23 PM

"My Friends???" Whoa . . . dial it back a little. I don't know you. I haven't decided it I want to know you. More importantly, you don't know us. Why would you want to stay around people "for quite some time", that you haven't technically gotten to know? Too much, too soon. Waaaaayyyyyyy to sweet.


:dry:
J


#8 Oakbuchanan

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:48 PM

"My Friends???" Whoa . . . dial it back a little. I don't know you. I haven't decided it I want to know you. More importantly, you don't know us. Why would you want to stay around people "for quite some time", that you haven't technically gotten to know? Too much, too soon. Waaaaayyyyyyy to sweet.


:dry:
J

I have to say I agree Miss Jevne, the ' for quite some time' comment gives me the heeby jeebies... :excl:


#9 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:16 PM

I have participated so many years on other forums I hadn't considered consciously that I was sufficiently new as to arouse suspicion by being as open and friendly as I was - I was really pleased to find this forum. My comment concerning being around for some time had more to do with the infomation I had thus far read here, as well as what I had seen in the way of friendly, kind personalities.

My apologies; I'll adjust my mannerisms.

K


"My Friends???" Whoa . . . dial it back a little. I don't know you. I haven't decided it I want to know you. More importantly, you don't know us. Why would you want to stay around people "for quite some time", that you haven't technically gotten to know? Too much, too soon. Waaaaayyyyyyy to sweet.


:dry:
J



#10 Dawn

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:34 AM

I have participated so many years on other forums I hadn't considered consciously that I was sufficiently new as to arouse suspicion by being as open and friendly as I was - I was really pleased to find this forum. My comment concerning being around for some time had more to do with the infomation I had thus far read here, as well as what I had seen in the way of friendly, kind personalities.

My apologies; I'll adjust my mannerisms.

K


Dont worry about it Kurt say what you want. Nice to meet you :)


#11 ejfinch

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:18 PM

I "get" what you are saying, Kurt and, personally, I find your warmth and openess refreshing. Again, welcome!

Elizabeth


#12 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:29 PM

Good day, all.

Dont worry about it Kurt say what you want. Nice to meet you :)


A sincere pleasure to make your acquaintance as well!

Having been much on my mind of late, I was thinking last night about an interesting incident from about two years back that illustrates the prevalance of a different type of thinking here in WV.

After much debate, my wife and decided we wanted a smallish (10x20') deck/patio added to the second story of our house. With the help of a very kind friend we completed the framework easily enough, but when it came time to screw down the decking boards our friend's father indicated that we needed to wait before proceeding; he admonished us to wait until after the new moon (until the moon was once again waxing), explaining that to do otherwise would cause the deck boards to curl up at the ends and ruin the deck.

I had never until this time heard anything of the sort, but he was quite adamant. As the new moon was only a couple of days away (and preferring to be safe rather than sorry) we did wait, and I am pleased to say that the deck boards are as solid and flat now as the day we installed them.

The old ways of thinking still in common usage here in West Virginia never fail to fascinate me.


Kind regards,


Kurt


#13 Guest_MissTree_*

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:09 PM

My Friends,

Sincere thanks to each of you for the kind welcomes - I hope to remain among you for quite some time.

Very warmest regards,

Kurt



"My Friends???" Whoa . . . dial it back a little. I don't know you. I haven't decided it I want to know you. More importantly, you don't know us. Why would you want to stay around people "for quite some time", that you haven't technically gotten to know? Too much, too soon. Waaaaayyyyyyy to sweet.


:dry:
J



I have to say I agree Miss Jevne, the ' for quite some time' comment gives me the heeby jeebies... :excl:


@ Jevne and Oakbuchanan - What the hell? I thought Kurt's posts were friendly and polite.

@ Kurt - Hi there. Just my opinion....there's no need to adjust your mannerisms to suit other people. The only person you need to impress is you. :-)


#14 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:12 PM

Good day, all.

@ Jevne and Oakbuchanan - What the hell? I thought Kurt's posts were friendly and polite.

@ Kurt - Hi there. Just my opinion....there's no need to adjust your mannerisms to suit other people. The only person you need to impress is you. :-)


I regret that my earlier posts were misconstrued; interestingly, considering my chance noting of Jevne's status update from 02 April I am holding out hope that something else unrelated to my posts might have been a contributing factor to the misunderstanding.

@ MissTree - Sincere appreciation for your thoughts - this is quite an amazing forum thus far!


Kind regards,


Kurt


#15 Oakbuchanan

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

@ Jevne and Oakbuchanan - What the hell? I thought Kurt's posts were friendly and polite.


I dont think myself nor Jevne stated that Kurts posts were unfriendly or impolite Miss Tree, rather that Kurts post was possibly a little too much too soon.. something I feel Kurt on being challenged agreed with.


#16 Guest_MissTree_*

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:11 PM

I dont think myself nor Jevne stated that Kurts posts were unfriendly or impolite Miss Tree, rather that Kurts post was possibly a little too much too soon.. something I feel Kurt on being challenged agreed with.


No, you didn't state that his posts were unfriendly or impolite. I'm sorry if I gave that impression. My first thought after reading this page was "What the hell? This guy seems nice. Why are they jumping on him for the way he greeted the board?" Yeah, it may have come across a little too much too soon, but I just chalked that up to "new to the board" nerves. Hey, at least he greeted us with "My friends". I'm ok with that. Considering there are other things I could be called. *grin*



(edited for punctuation mistakes)

Edited by MissTree, 05 April 2011 - 07:13 PM.


#17 Guest_Kurt_*

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:02 PM

Good day, all.

Yeah, it may have come across a little too much too soon, but I just chalked that up to "new to the board" nerves. Hey, at least he greeted us with "My friends". I'm ok with that. Considering there are other things I could be called. *grin*


Certainly nerves were a major factor coming to a new board for the first time - there is always trepidation involved, wondering how one might be perceived. I guess in retrospect my nerves might well have been somewhat justified. :-)



Kind regards,


Kurt


#18 Oakbuchanan

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:16 PM

Good day, all.



Certainly nerves were a major factor coming to a new board for the first time - there is always trepidation involved, wondering how one might be perceived. I guess in retrospect my nerves might well have been somewhat justified. :-)



Kind regards,


Kurt




Always trepidation involved? nerves justified? jesus fucking christ, you wanna hug or summin?




#19 Tana

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:31 PM

Enough!
It is a nerve-wracking experience posting on a new forum if your intentions are to genuinely reach out and get to know the people there and make a positive start.
Everything Kurt has posted so far has come across to me as open and honest and he did respond to the 'too much too soon' in a very positive way.
Lets not fall into the trap of misinterpreting posts, we all know the limitations of the written online word and that it takes time to get to know someone properly within this medium.
Kurt it is really nice to meet you. We will look at opening up membership again as soon as possible and I look forward to you applying for this.
I will post in this thread when all is open again.
In the meantime please remember that if anyone needs to be chastised for a post on the forum, that this is the job of a moderator! You can always PM us your views so we can act on them but could everyone please brush up on their 'Netiquette'!

)0( Tana )o(

If I break faith with thee, may the skies fall upon me, the seas drown me, and the earth rise up and swallow me.

#20 Oakbuchanan

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:30 PM

Enough!
It is a nerve-wracking experience posting on a new forum if your intentions are to genuinely reach out and get to know the people there and make a positive start.
Everything Kurt has posted so far has come across to me as open and honest and he did respond to the 'too much too soon' in a very positive way.
Lets not fall into the trap of misinterpreting posts, we all know the limitations of the written online word and that it takes time to get to know someone properly within this medium.
Kurt it is really nice to meet you. We will look at opening up membership again as soon as possible and I look forward to you applying for this.
I will post in this thread when all is open again.
In the meantime please remember that if anyone needs to be chastised for a post on the forum, that this is the job of a moderator! You can always PM us your views so we can act on them but could everyone please brush up on their 'Netiquette'!





You know, whats starting to annoy me now in reading your post Tana, is the fact that you have overlooked and failed to see that I am not being rude in what I say, just real... If someone talks of trepidation and fears I will question why the fuck they are wanting to be here? I was not under the impression that this place was a haven for the nervous and needy, (and maybe Kurt isnt) but I will challenge what seems like that, especially on a witchcraft forum...I may be a blunt bastard at times and hold my hands up.. but I speak my mind and definately give respect where respect is due.. so please dont start firing this netiqutte shit at me..I dont feel I have said anything out of turn..