Thursday, August 5, 2010
American Folk Magick by Silver Raven Wolf
Pow Wow magick sometimes called Hex magick was primarily practiced in the state of Pennsylvania. It was a combination of Norse magickal practices, Christianity and Native American magickal practice. The state of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn, a member of Britain's upper class. His father was a judge. William was a rather free thinker who believed in the rights of women and the right to choose your spiritual practices. He was rather outspoken about these beliefs and his father worried that could cause lots of problems, these were the times that anyone who disagreed with the church could be tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake. Eventually Great Britain gave him a tract of land as one of the colonies. He did so and it was one of the colonies that granted lots of religious freedom.
This was a boon for Europeans who engaged in magickal practices. Many of the colonist who came to settle in Pennsylvania hailed from the black Forest which the Rhine River flowed through. There were two groups of Germans who settled there. THe first group were protestants who tended to be simple austere people. The second group were German Catholics who tended to be wealthier and more colorful.
Pow Wow practitioners tended to be a quiet lot of people who did not want their practices to be associated with Witchcraft or magick. They tended to use herbs and chants for healing people. They also had spells to catch criminals, stop fires and wild dogs. Very rarely did they have practices pertaining to obtaining love or money.
Silver Ravenwolf has written a great book about this dying art of Magick. Herself a Wiccan she does note that there are differences between the two magickal systems. The Pow Wow being relatively inexpensive in terms of gathering material. While Pow Wow has been primarily Christian in it's outward orientation she has reworked some of the chants to a Wiccan perspective which is just as effective. Some may like this and some may not. Then again what magick is totally pure. They all have borrowed from others.
Pennsylvania was home to a variety of practioners. Some people practiced European Ceremonial Magick while others were Mason or British witches. There were also Rosicurians in Penn state as well. They all had to have had an influence on each other, Some Pow Wow practitioners communicated with these Ceremonial magicians via letter writing.
I originally got this book from the library but I was so impressed with it that I went ahead and ordered a used copy from Amazon.com. The book is out of print but if you are a beginner in magick this book is an excellent starting point.
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