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American Traditional Witchcraft

American Traditional Witchcraft

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Published by Calliaste
Outlines the Ritual Aspects of American Traditional Witchcraft.
Outlines the Ritual Aspects of American Traditional Witchcraft.

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Published by: Calliaste on Apr 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In general, the techniques described here stem from Traditional Witchcraft practices. These aregenerally taught and learned through direct instruction, rather than textually. It is important tomaintain uniform praxes in order for everyone to be on the same page when workingtogether. Rather than having long invocations to memorize, knowing a few simple physicalmotions (and perhaps an occasional spoken charm or two) allows the group to sync its work together, and that when words are needed, they come from the heart and do so much morereadily after doing these exercises.A group may not always use every one of the following techniques, but a general ritual wouldinclude at least some of them in more or less this sequence:1.
The Wit
ch’s Sight
A type of grounding and centering exercise, which happens after asignal to begin from the ritual leaders.2.
Laying the Compass
Similar to, but not the same as, casting a circle. Used to openritual space.3.
Tapping the Bone
Ancestor contact is established, and the gateway between worlds isopened.4.
Treading the Mill
A method for opening up trance states for witches in ritual.5.
Ritual Trance/Possession
A segment of ritual in which magic is performed or spiritualwisdom received; one or all participants may experience trance and/or possession,depending on the particular ritual.6.
The Houzle/Red Meal
The time for presenting offerings, sharing food, andcommuning with the Dead.7.
Walking Out/The Crooked Path
Exiting the ritual space and leaving the Underworld,using a very simple technique.Other techniques may be taught or used during particular rituals, including, but not limited to:
Dumb Suppers
Riding the Dragon
Spirit Conjuration
The Thorn Tree Door
Meeting the Dark Man/Rider at the Crossroads
 Fairy tales and folklore are mines of rich magical lore. There are lots of deeply-embedded layersof magical technique, encoded mythology, and just plain old wonder in them. To that end, aritual will often incorporate storytelling as an important component.. A ritual can especiallyfocus on regional folktales from our part of the country and Old World fairy tales like the onesfound in the collections of the Brothers Grimm.
Otherworld Journeying
 Part of the Hedgewitchery experience is journeying (spiritually) to the Otherworld
alsosometimes called the Underworld, Elfhame, etc. Witches do this work so that Initiates can gain
new experiences with new magical entities as well as developing strong relationships with thespiritual world. Witches work magic in the Otherworld sometimes in order to affect the world,and we may find we connect deeply to some spirits there
such as a fetch or familiar spirit.Guided meditations, light trance, and hypnotism are usually the methods employed to reach theOtherworld, but for some members, other techniques may be attempted as well.
Folk Magic
In general, the emphasis is on doing magic, especially folk magic, in one’s daily life.
The groupcan draw from myriad traditions when doing magic, many of them New World, and many OldWorld. Some of the systems the group works with include:
An African-American based folk magic system which can be found throughout theAmerican South. It emphasizes practical results, and includes spells for things like getting moremoney (Attraction and Gambling mojos), improving relationships with others (Sweetening Jars),and getting rid of troublesome people (Hot Foot Powders).
Southern Conjure
Magic which is very similar to hoodoo, but with a slightly broaderscope. It includes elements of magic found in the more mountainous areas of the South, like theOzarks and Appalachians. Work to control others (Command & Compel), magic performed incemeteries (Graveyard work), and divination with playing cards all mark this particular system(though there is some overlap with hoodoo even in these areas).
Also called Braucherei, this is the system of magical healing which comes from thePennsylvania-Dutch communities. Using written and spoken charms and prayers, a worker inthis tradition is able to help fix problems like bruises, sprains, small wounds, and burns. Thereare also livestock cures and anti-theft spells regularly included in this practice.
These are Mexican-American folk magical systems which tackle twosides of everyday problems, with Curanderismo focusing more on healing, spiritual cleansing,and blessing and Brujeria working to undo hexes, reverse misfortune, and occasionally battleagainst negative magic being used against a person. Egg cleansings, smoke fumigation withsacred herbs, and doll or talisman work are all fairly common in these traditions.
Roma/Gypsy Magic
While most of our Romany influence comes through our divinationtechniques, there are also candle-burning rituals and some charms (such as Evil-Eye pendants)which will appear from time to time in our work, and which descend from the Roma and theirmagical traditions.Techniques from these folk magical systems will be taught over time through various workshops(usually held at Full Moons) and during one-on-one instruction sessions.

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