July 3, 2021 - Arkansas Craft School - Crafting Reality (In Person)
Workshop: Crafting Reality, Ozark Potions 101 Time: 12-4pm CDT Description: Join Brandon Weston of Ozark Healing Traditions to study the wild world of Ozark potion making. Learn how to make traditional tonics like sassafras tea, dandelion root brew, and the powerful yarb broth. We'll also be looking at other magical medicinals like a redbud love potion and a "ghost-be-gone" water. Participants will get to take home samples of these mighty herbal mixtures along with a recipe booklet. This workshop is open to students ages 14-18. It’s part of our growing Rural Youth Initiative, Crafting Reality Series, to help more young people access the hands-on enrichment and skill-building of arts and crafts. Registration Link
July 16-19, 2021 - Viridis Genii Symposium (Online)
Lecture: Cleanin’ the Blood: Ritual Emetics and Purgatives in Ozark Folk Medicine and Magic Description: “Strong medicine forces sickness down and out. If you ain’t throwin’ up, it ain’t workin’.” An Ozark healer once told me. This lecture covers the often taboo topic of vomit, piss, and poop. We will be looking in depth at the use of emetics and purgatives within the medical and magical tradition of the Ozark Mountain region. This includes medicinal plants like sassafras, mayapple, and blackgum, all used as spring tonics to “clean the blood,” a euphemism for a strong laxative. We will also look at the ritual use of purgative plants in Ozark folk magic to clean out evil spirits, hexes, and other malign work from out of a patient’s physical and spiritual body that might be causing them serious illness or harm. Emetic plants from the talk include: sassafras, dandelion root, burdock, Solomon’s seal, pokeweed, mayapple, tobacco, and more.
Workshop: Methods of Purifying the Body and Soul in Ozark Folk Healing Description: Working off of themes presented in the lecture, we will be looking at the three major methods of magical cleansing and purifying in Ozark traditional healing: water, fire, and purgatives. Water includes washing the body in herbal mixtures chosen for their quality to remove malign curses. Fire and smoke uses traditional Ozark fumigants like red cedar, tobacco, and asafetida to purify both the body and the environment. And with purgatives we will look at gentle purging plants like sassafras, burdock, and dandelion root, often mixed with soothing plants like horsemint or catnip. Participants will learn a simple and non-vomit inducing cleansing ritual that they can easily replicate on their own. Other methods covered by the workshop include: tying off curses with string, counting down rituals, sweeping off hexes with a broom, and more. There is an optional workshop kit that can be purchased for $15 plus shipping which will include Ozark native plants for cleansing baths, drinks, and fumigation, as well as a detailed booklet of the recipes and rituals covered by the class. A simple pdf guide to the workshop will be provided to participants for no additional fee.
July 24, 2021 - Ozark Folkways, Winslow, AR (In-Person)
Workshop: Crafting Traditional Ozark Amulets and Talismans Time: 10am Description: Join Brandon Weston of Ozark Healing Traditions to study the Ozarks Folklore of amulets and talismans. This is a hands on workshop. $30 workshop fee includes instruction and materials for each participant to make and take home an amulet or talisman. Tickets: Ozark Folkways
August 12, 2021 - Salem Witchcraft & Folklore Festival (Online)
Time: 4-6pm EDT Lecture: Initiation Traditions in Ozark Folk Magic and Healing Description: Magical and healing power is traditionally seen as a tangible energy or force in the Ozarks. This "gift" as it's often called, can be inborn within a person, or it can be found, passed down using certain ritualistic practices, and even stolen. Healers, witches, and other magical practitioners in the Ozarks have shared countless stories about how they came to have their unique gifts. In this lecture we'll be looking at a few common trends amongst magical folk including being born with the power, finding magic in the wilderness, and receiving the gift from otherworldly entities. Tickets: Individual Virtual Class Purchase, or Symposium Registration
August 13, 2021 - Salem Witchcraft & Folklore Festival (Online)
Time: 1-3pm EDT Lecture: The Little People and Other Fairy Traditions in the Ozarks Description: Ozark folklore is rich with stories about the Little People, or fairies. This unique blend of Indigenous and European traditions still has an active role in many people's lives throughout the region today. The Little People are often seen as animistic protectors of nature and cantankerous tricksters who divvy out gifts to those who are kind and curses to the foolish. In this class we will look at how this fairy lore often influences the day-to-day lives of Ozark farmers and hillfolk as well as how gifts from the Little People have created healers and other magical practitioners. Tickets: Individual Virtual Class Purchase, or Symposium Registration
August 15, 2021 - Salem Witchcraft & Folklore Festival (Online)
Time: 7-9pm EDT Panel: Folk Around & Find Out: A Panel of Folk Magicians Discuss What We Do & Why Description: Folk magic is everywhere. From the small everyday practices and observances – the horseshoe over your door, the salt over your shoulder - to ‘helping yourself’ with more specific rites, charms, and ‘tricks’ of empowerment against struggles, to the myriad magics performed around the special occasions of births, weddings, and funerals (“hatches, matches, and dispatches”) by community magical workers. The problems folk face – both the day-to-day grinds and the acute crises - are often similar, but the spiritual and magical strategies for solving such human problems – for securing health, prosperity, success, love, and so on – can both accord and differ widely between specific traditions. So it is with great pleasure we invite you to join us for what promises to be not only a collegiate but downright lively panel discussion between experienced conjure doctors, contemporary cunning-folk, professional magicians, practitioners and scholars all, from a wide variety of backgrounds and traditions. So come and pull up a digital seat as Dr Alexander Cummins convenes and chairs our panelists Professor Charles Porterfield, Doc Beverley Smith, Jesse Hathaway Diaz, Brandon Weston, and Aerinn Hodges to discuss the practices of folk magic, folk healing, folk spirituality, and more! Tickets: Individual Virtual Class Purchase, or Symposium Registration