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Author Topic: Southern Magic?  (Read 8606 times)

AthenaiiseSofia

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Southern Magic?
« on: August 03, 2011, 11:44:45 am »
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

KittyVel

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 02:59:41 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

 
Well, I cant' really answer your question, but I can definitely relate!  I live in North Carolina (Hey, we're practically next door!  XD), so I know how you feel about being stuck in the Bible Belt and being unable to find others practicing the same beliefs.  I don't know ANYONE (that isn't on the internet) that practices Kemeticism.  And being so new at it, it's difficult to figure things out without having someone else around who knows what they're doing.
<3 Rest in peace, Christiana. I love you so much, and I miss you like crazy already. At least you\'re not hurting anymore...May you ascend. <3

Nyktipolos

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 06:17:27 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

I think that besides Christian traditions like the Baptists, you best bet is to look into hoodoo, which spawned from the African-American community down south, combining Christianity (predominantly Protestant) and their native faiths. I would highly suggest checking out catherine yronwode's website Lucky Mojo, which includes the online book "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" and includes A LOT of information on hoodoo as well as the history behind it. :)

If you're looking for particular groups or traditions, you might try checking out WitchVox for your area.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 06:17:51 pm by Nyktipolos »
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AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 08:29:11 pm »
Quote from: KittyVel;10413
Well, I cant' really answer your question, but I can definitely relate!  I live in North Carolina (Hey, we're practically next door!  XD), so I know how you feel about being stuck in the Bible Belt and being unable to find others practicing the same beliefs.  I don't know ANYONE (that isn't on the internet) that practices Kemeticism.  And being so new at it, it's difficult to figure things out without having someone else around who knows what they're doing.

 
I agree with you completely! I just would like to find out if there's some sort of Southern tradition, you know? And it's terrible having to hide who you really are for fear of being laughed at or worse. And if I may ask, what is Kemeticism? I've seen the word around here a few times, and perhaps an explanation from a practicioner would do me good. =)
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 08:29:38 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;10453
I think that besides Christian traditions like the Baptists, you best bet is to look into hoodoo, which spawned from the African-American community down south, combining Christianity (predominantly Protestant) and their native faiths. I would highly suggest checking out catherine yronwode's website Lucky Mojo, which includes the online book "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" and includes A LOT of information on hoodoo as well as the history behind it. :)

If you're looking for particular groups or traditions, you might try checking out WitchVox for your area.


Thank you very much =)
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

stephyjh

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 08:51:28 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

 
In addition to the suggestions regarding hoodoo (really useful, btw--I've gotten a lot of mileage out of it, including using hoodoo ideas to build on for my own work), you might want to check out scholarly sources on Appalachian folk magic.  There's not a lot that's out there as instructions for modern practitioners, but often the anthropological studies and the folklore that has been recorded will have enough info that you can sort of build from there.  (I'm in NC at the moment, by the way.)
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 09:51:07 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;10487
In addition to the suggestions regarding hoodoo (really useful, btw--I've gotten a lot of mileage out of it, including using hoodoo ideas to build on for my own work), you might want to check out scholarly sources on Appalachian folk magic.  There's not a lot that's out there as instructions for modern practitioners, but often the anthropological studies and the folklore that has been recorded will have enough info that you can sort of build from there.  (I'm in NC at the moment, by the way.)

 
thank you =) I'm gonna research hoodoo when I get the chance, as well as Appalachian folk magic. I hope I can glean some knowledge from it, since many scholarly sources approach magic very logically and formally, which makes me feel almost silly for even looking it up. I just want a tradition that is well-rounded and can fertilize my roots, if you will.
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

Shawnee

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 10:20:12 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

 
Waves from Bama :)

I can completely relate to being in the bible belt. Most of my family are Missionary Baptists so I just keep my beliefs to myself. I'm following a naturalistic solitary path so it actually won't raise to many eyebrows even the nosy ones lol.

You might want to look into the following types of witchery (kitchen, hedge, green, and hearth). These are more home, healing, and nature based so not sure what path you are leaning to.

Happy journey.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2011, 01:12:35 am »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

Here's an article on Appalachian folk magic from the vox. It seems about right to me with a few details missing but that makes sense too. Not everyone is going to have the same blend.

The article says the Native American twist to the the Scot/Irish trad is Cherokee but the roots I've found are Choctaw. Not sure it matters. Not sure it doesn't. I'm sure there are other nations too that've blended. Also, the hoodoo isn't discussed and that for sure is deeply in the mix even if it only shows off a bit in a nuance. It's there though if you listen for it, but sometimes you have to listen for how it was hidden too because for some that arena wasn't spoken of. Racism and class bias tinged the white poor frequently, but the magic that works doesn't seem to be forgotten, just renamed or retooled here and there.

One thing is pretty likely, all of these women ( I never met a southern male with magic of this tradition, though they may exist) would have called themselves God-fearing Christians. You may still find some alive but I'd wager most are in the rust belt as that is where industry took a good amount of Appalachia. You could get in with a factory if you had family in and because of that, whole clans moved north. There were several migrations. My gram came with the Ford Mo. Co. migration of the 1950's.

I say they are the ones you would find alive because they are the ones who were most likely to afford decent healthcare and retirements eventually. And up north the god-fearing Christianity came out in full force to serve as protection as well as a place to reconnect with their neighbors from the south. Even so, the religion did not interfere with their magic typically unless a hard hand was applied regularly or so I have been told. In all likelihood  a granny witch would spend more time talking to people before and after service than time duration of the service itself. And what she found out or passed along could be fodder for a week or more's worth or workings. (I'm betting that is universal for this kind no matter the location.)

Wicca has some ideas that seems to resonate strongly (elements, directions, beings), but nowadays even a poor Wiccan would be a rich witch to granny. IMO from observation the tools and rituals by necessity AND tradition served multiple purposes. If you want to dig, a great direction for research would be to find old recipes. Pickling, greens, and beans etc. If you know an old woman who makes cornbread in a cast iron skillet and serves it with brown beans cooked so long they make their own gravy, you're just might find a little magic hanging about her. Also, some of those old recipe folders and books are quite like BoS's if you look at them carefully. But good luck getting a hold of one and deciphering it.

I think the best resources are the living if you can find them because another thing that so far seems universal is an aversion to book learning. I think it is actually more an aversion to being explained to death really. Intuits they are. But more to the point, if a body ended up in Appalachia it wasn't just for the mountains, it was often for not being found, so too much in the way of explaining was not cool. That's all romantic stuff these days and good for stories that lead to excellent information about traditions, if you have the time and inclination to find and talk to one of some of these people. Be prepared to listen for a long long time. It is an oral tradition that hangs by tales.

I'm still doing research on it for myself. I'd like to preserve as much as I can of it as I do not see it around anymore in the young. It's a blend of some pretty aged traditions that seem to have existed together in relatively short period of time. It's one of those things that lingers in habits and recipes but nobody remembers why precisely.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 01:20:43 am by Annie Roonie »

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2011, 10:57:23 am »
Quote from: Annie Roonie;10524
***


That article is a steaming pile of horse crap: it's someone's desperate attempt to claim that Wicca is omg sooooo ancient, and they're appropriating an entirely separate (and Christian) magical tradition to do it.  I recommend ignoring that article, and going to a university library and searching for Appalachian folk beliefs.  I can't think of any individual scholarly works specifically on Appalachian folk magic off the top of my head, but Appalachia was one of the hot spots for folklore collecting in the early 20th c., so there 's quite a bit of documentation on beliefs.  One of my favorite resources is UCLA's online archive of American folk medicine, here:

http://www.folkmed.ucla.edu/    

I also second the recommendations for researching Hoodoo.  

If you want some kind of coherent system, sorry, there isn't any.  Folk magic is a collection of a bunch of different stuff, conceptually bound together usually in accordance with the dominant religion in the area, whatever that may be.  Some traditions, like Hoodoo, have been written about enough that you have more guidance for jerryrigging a spiritual system (other than Protestant Christianity), but that's pretty rare.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 06:32:00 am »
Quote from: catja6;10569
That article is a steaming pile of horse crap: it's someone's desperate attempt to claim that Wicca is omg sooooo ancient, and they're appropriating an entirely separate (and Christian) magical tradition to do it.  I recommend ignoring that article, and going to a university library and searching for Appalachian folk beliefs.  I can't think of any individual scholarly works specifically on Appalachian folk magic off the top of my head, but Appalachia was one of the hot spots for folklore collecting in the early 20th c., so there 's quite a bit of documentation on beliefs.  One of my favorite resources is UCLA's online archive of American folk medicine, here:

http://www.folkmed.ucla.edu/    

I also second the recommendations for researching Hoodoo.  

If you want some kind of coherent system, sorry, there isn't any.  Folk magic is a collection of a bunch of different stuff, conceptually bound together usually in accordance with the dominant religion in the area, whatever that may be.  Some traditions, like Hoodoo, have been written about enough that you have more guidance for jerryrigging a spiritual system (other than Protestant Christianity), but that's pretty rare.

Some of what you said makes sense to me, but some of it doesn't. And the conceptual tie thing is wrong. (Perceptual tie, I'll buy that.) I don't know where the OP is coming so I won't direct to ignore it though. The Southern Magic with which I am familiar would get things wrong the right way. A tradition of the tradition is to be purposefully oblique and confusing and obvious. There is a system to it.

The scholarly stuff is interesting and I am thankful for that link myself. However, I have met nobody of that tradition who wouldn't scoff at the suggestion that wholly reliable information be found in any library book. I have also heard there are terms and ideas that've been put in pens that are tell tale signs. And the tale might be entertaining.

If the OP is just interested and not invested, I would not suggest speaking much of the last two paragraphs to a living person who seems willing to talk. It could be very hurtful. If invested, add to that laying off of the scholar bit (being one is great, being quiet about it is useful).  That'll keep a body sort of out of league with evil for some. I'm not joking and if you know some of them, you know I'm serious. They can think that way. (I don't obviously. But I admit to a twitch if I hear Pride in scholarship it even if it's my own voice. And I am only half in and a generation away.) The old school don't have long left, why slap them in the face on the way out by telling there there isn't any coherent system to find when there is one, it's just obfuscated up the yinyang on purpose?

I was a bit offended by the "If you want...sorry..." not because it can be found by just anyone, but because you say a whole system of belief does not even exist when it does. But then coherence is meant for those who are permitted to understand. So non-blood, non-marriage and especially scholars are going to reasonably come to the conclusion of incoherence. It is meant to be that way and not only with Southern Magic right? So why take offense?

The article is not a whole steaming pile. There are things that ring true, things that ring off and/or things that others might find resonance in. Steaming piles can be fertile applied appropriately. Upon re-reading to find out why the angry, I was turned off by the repetitive "magical," but I've heard much longer stretches with fewer hits. Given that, I don't see a reason to be so totally dismissive of it.

About the quarrel with the artificially aging Wicca. I didn't read the article that way. I read it as about a tradition of Witchcraft not Wicca. There are scads of those. Still, I did not know much about Wicca until ~12 months ago and still have years' worth to learn, but when I started into it, there were similarities with the Southern Magic I know of that had me whiplashed. Wicca is not the only tradition that has similarities to it either. And to be fair, I am not aware if or that the vox there has that tendency. So you may be right, that is what the author might have been trying to do.

It's not difficult to understand why folks might fabricate to get a little respect in this world. I try not to judge about that but instead to look at the fabric because that's where I was taught to look for things. Admittedly, it's a puzzle I grow weary of at times.

OP, if you give a whip, talk to the living. That rabbit hole's going to be filled in soon anyway, so if you want to go down it, you might want to start sooner than later. Document it.  Who knows, there may be a whole new interest in it and you may have enough paper to make book!

If you're not related in some way though, I'd maybe look in to some of the other arenas of belief that are represented here. There are many, and they are fascinating as you have probably already found out.

So this Southern Magic I know of would be considered a UPG or something?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 06:37:42 am by Annie Roonie »

monsnoleedra

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 07:28:11 am »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
.. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!


I would second the suggestion of looking into cook books or recipe cards, I know my grandmother concealed a lot of stuff in those things.  Another area you may consider looking into is that of sewing, weaving and cross stitch type things.  My grandmother and aunts taught my sisters a number of the old charms, hexes and such that were sewn, weaved into their clothes, their blankets, wraps, etc.  Being male I was not taugh those things other than thier existances as per my grandmother those were strickly female things.  Which I think is one of the reasons you see so few males associated with Granny magics or Folk magics of that sort.  For instance I know the main ones used by our family could be covered by a quarter or button.

I know that any item given to a son was usually inspected by the elders to make sure no such charms were hidden in them.  It was also heavily inspected as wedding gifts, fertility and commitment were some I was told they always looked for.

Males tended to fall more into Water Witching (dowsing) or more folk shamanic type things.  Though animal husbandry was sort of equally divided as to who did what.

Another thing you may consider looking into is the Pow Wow type magics of the PA Dutch.  Many Dutch and Germanic people's moved into the south via the valley systems and into Kentucky, Western Carolina's and Tennessee.  While it is not competely PA Dutch Pow Wow there was a lot of similarites in scripture magics and enchantments.  You can still find remenants of it in those areas as many still hold Germanic or Dutch names such as Germany Valley, Germania or other similar type names.

I would add to the warning that don't expect people to just open up to you.  Many of those area's still cling to family as the center of all things.  As such many family lines are seen as going back to their earliest ancestors and if you were not born of one of those lines then your an outsider even if your family has lived there for many decades or more.

The other thing is stories and tales, it seemed when ever my family gets together those roll out and are replayed.  There is a lot of stuff hidden in them, unfortunately a lot that has been lost as to meaning though the tales keep getting spun.  The other thing is skeltons in the closet, many will talk around them or hint at them but seldom will go into them outside of a given generation.

I will also state that be careful of what is written in books for I know many families that spun tales to mislead and misinform the researchers.  Many times because they were seen as interlopers or foreignors and not to be trusted.

Ana

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 09:06:26 am »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!

 
Hey Nuri,
I spent most of my life in Atlanta, so I know what you mean about the Bible Belt.  In Atlanta, though, there were more open pagan variations than where I live now (middle-of-nowhere, Florida)

One of the things that I've learned as I've gone is that kitchen witchery type things seem to work better for me, especially in places where people seem like they'd be frightened or offended by things that are different to what they're used to.  One thing I'm trying to learn, though, is how the seasons are different here and unique, and how to get used to those more subtle changes we have here in Florida.

I gave up trying to really truly emulate anyone else's traditions a while back simply because they didn't make a whole lot of sense for me.

I guess my advice is look around and find something that speaks to you, but don't be upset if it doesn't, and don't be afraid to find your own way to do things.

horse

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 04:34:21 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10375
Hi out there, I'm new here, and I decided to post my first question here. I was raised in the Southeastern United States, and if you have ever visited or anything, you know how unique it is down here! I've been looking for some time trying to research any Southern pagan rituals or spirituality. So far, nothing! I know much of the South is located in the Bible Belt, but maybe there's something out there? I'm not looking for Voodoo or anything, although I know that's the other biggest practice in the South. Well, if anyone has any information, please let me know! thank you so much!


Hi, Nuri,
I, too was raised in the south; East L.A. ;) ,the buckle of the bible belt!  It is true that it is hard to find people willing to speak about their handed down practices, and that it is worthwhile to look into scholarly research into the subject.  

I would also like to promote a look into various literary sources, from Charles Chesnutt to Zora Neale Hurston.  It is difficult to extricate 'southern magical traditions' from underlying societal movements.  That said, there are some themes that emerge when  the whole of historical events is taken into account, especially the existence of a connection, whether good or ill, to the land of one's raising.  Other themes include a community experience of magical occurrences and the acceptance of magic and Christianity with no disharmony.

horse :)
horse :)

KittyVel

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Re: Southern Magic?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 06:07:48 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;10477
I agree with you completely! I just would like to find out if there's some sort of Southern tradition, you know? And it's terrible having to hide who you really are for fear of being laughed at or worse. And if I may ask, what is Kemeticism? I've seen the word around here a few times, and perhaps an explanation from a practicioner would do me good. =)

 
I can't give you a great definition (yeah, I'm THAT new lol), but basically it's a modernized version of Ancient Egyptian religion.  Anubis seems to be my patron, and I also follow Sekhmet, Mafdet, and Bastet.  They don't pop up in my life nearly as much as Anubis does, though.  He's been around as long as I can remember, actually.  You can always take a look at the Reformed Kemeticism SIG here if you want more info.  :3
<3 Rest in peace, Christiana. I love you so much, and I miss you like crazy already. At least you\'re not hurting anymore...May you ascend. <3

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