I is for Ink, pokeberry is swell –
A common ink in the old Ozarks was made from the berries of pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), which makes a deep purple ink that fades brown over time. It’s said that Power Doctors and witches alike use pokeberry ink to write their charms and amulets, believing the plant imparts its own power of healing or harming to the work.
J is for Jaybird, servant of hell –
The Ozarks has many folk beliefs surrounding certain animals. One in particular says that the common Blue Jay, or jaybird, is a known servant of the Devil himself. It’s said that if you see a jaybird gathering sticks on a Friday, he’s helping to stoke the fires of Hell.
K is for Knife, to shave off a hex –
Folk healing in the Ozarks often repurposes common household objects to perform magical acts. A knife, for example, can be used to magical cut or shave off an illness or curse off the body of an afflicted individual. Axes are sometimes used in the same way, as are brooms, used not to cut but to sweep off sickness and evil.
L is for Luck, two nails in an X –
A simple good luck amulet can be made by tying two new nails into an X or a cross then wearing it on a string or carrying it in your pocket. Some claim a used coffin nail (that is, a nail that’s been used to seal a coffin shut, often very difficult to obtain) works better than a new nail.