"Sophisticated visitors sometimes regard the 'hillbilly' as a simple child of nature, whose inmost thoughts and motivations may be read at a glance. Nothing could be farther from the truth." - Vance Randolph, Ozark Magic and Folklore
Date: May 17, 2020 Time: 1:30-3:00pm Location: The Four of Wands, 440 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Tobacco has been a part of the cultural framework of hillfolk for centuries. The medicinal and magical benefits of the plant would have been learned from interactions with the indigenous peoples of the Appalachian Mountain region, namely the Cherokee, Muskogee, Yuchi, and Koasati. In this talk, we will look at the benefits of tobacco beyond what we have been taught by the media and through anti-smoking campaigns. We’ll look at two varieties specifically: Nicotiana tabacum and it’s much older sibling, Nicotiana rustica. Once a sacred medicine, tobacco has been abused and mistreated across the modern world. Through mutual understanding and respect, we can join the fight to elevate this wondrous plant back to its original status as healer.
Date: May 31, 2020 Time: 1:30-3:00pm Location: The Four of Wands, 440 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
The world of the everyday hillfolk in the “old Ozarks” was filled with constant danger. From the ever-present threat of severe illness or injury, to the notion that a witch’s curse could be just around the corner. While we live in a much safer society today, we still have need for many of the same rites of protection that the Ozark hillfolk once might have treasured. In this workshop, we will look at the nature of protective acts, amulets, and talismans in Ozark folk magic. These works range from carrying a buckeye nut to protect against rheumatism, to creating a “briar charm” meant to tangle up evil before it enters through your front door. Participants will be able to create a protective charm of their own to be worn or hung in the house.
Date: June 14, 2020 Time: 1:30-3:00pm Location: The Four of Wands, 440 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Although we might think ourselves far away from the cares and concerns of our ancestors, upon closer examination we might discover we worry about many of the same things, namely, love, marriage, job security, and keeping a little extra cash in our pockets. In this workshop, we will look at all the magical rites and rituals hillfolk in the Ozarks have employed to keep themselves full of luck, money, and prosperity. Such works include making certain amulets for good luck, using lamps and candles to help “light the way” for prosperity, and even creating a “money pot” under the ground to help grow your personal fortunes. Participants will be able to make a “money bag” of their own to carry with them.
Date: June 28, 2020 Time: 1:30-3:00pm Location: The Four of Wands, 440 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701
In many systems of traditional healing there are certain illnesses not connected to any physical disease or virus. These illnesses are often said to have a magical cause and therefore must be cured by magical means. In the Ozarks we have our own folk illnesses including being “goomered” or cursed, magical fright, and of course, the ever-dreaded “live things.” These illnesses are almost always treated through the use of prayer and certain accompanying rituals. In this workshop, we will look at many of the different methods for spiritual cleansing in Ozark folk healing. These methods include such works as using an egg to draw spiritual sickness out of the body, sweeping or brushing evil off the skin with plants and feathers, and cleansing away malign forces through smoke fumigation using certain native plants and minerals.
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