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The traditional Ozark view of the spiritual Otherworld has always  surprised outsiders and folklorists because of the general religious  conservatism of the area. Despite this, a worldview that includes the  existence and constant presence of spirits of the dead is common to find  within more traditional communities. These spirits can take many forms,  from helping angels to trickster haints. When ghosts become  troublesome, hillfolk in the old Ozarks knew to call the local Power  Doctor who specialized in folk exorcisms (amongst a wide variety of  other charms and spells.) In the modern world, many healers have changed  their view of spirits and exorcisms, influenced mostly from the  Spiritualist and Spiritist movements of the 19th century, whose  literature and teachings entered the Ozarks in the early 1900’s. This  has created what one of my teachers called “a kinder exorcism,” whereby  spirits are healed rather scared away. In this lecture we’ll be  examining both the older Ozark traditions of exorcising rites as well as  this “newer” way of approaching the spirit world and its inhabitants.
This is a 120 minute, foundational level lecture.
About the Presenter:
Brandon Weston is a folklorist, spiritual healer, and writer living in  the Arkansas Ozarks. He is author of "Ozark Folk Magic: Plants, Prayers,  and Healing" and the forthcoming "Ozark Mountain Spell Book." He is  owner of Ozark Healing Traditions, a collective of articles, lectures,  and workshops focusing on traditions of medicine, magic, and folklore  from the Ozark Mountain region. As an active healer, his work with  clients includes everything from spiritual cleanses to house blessings  and all the weird and wonderful ailments in between. He comes from a  long line of Ozark hillfolk and works hard to keep the traditions that  he’s collected alive and true for generations to come.



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A Kinder Exorcism: Spirit Work in the Ozarks

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