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The natural landscape is seen as a sentient, alive force within Ozark folklore. This is especially the case with the "witch trees," often looked at with great suspicion because of their magical qualities and ability to attract spirits. In Ozark folk magic and healing practices, witch trees like the red cedar, dogwood, redbud, pawpaw, sycamore, and others, provide auspicious materia for spells and rituals, but they also figure as trees beloved by the Blessed Mother in her many forms. Verbal  charms and prayers often highlight this connection by symbolically situating the Mother at or around witch trees, or give her specialized  props made from the bodies of the trees themselves. 
In this  presentation, we will look at the folkloric connections between the witch trees and the Blessed Mother as well as highlight specific magical practices from traditional and modern Ozark practitioners that utilize these trees.
About the Presenter:
Brandon Weston is a spiritual healer, folklorist, and writer living in the Arkansas Ozarks. He is the author of "Ozark Folk Magic: Plants, Prayers, and Healing" and the "Ozark Mountain Spell Book." He is the 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 spiritual healer, his work with clients includes everything from spirit exorcisms 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 he’s collected alive and true for generations to come.



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Encountering the Blessed Mother in Ozark Witch Trees

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