Appalachian folk magic is currently experiencing a revival of interest, partially from the persistent pursuit of authenticity within magical spaces and also from a longing to reconnect with ancestral magical practice. However, due to both the large geographic area and the isolation of mountain communities, there is a wide variance of practice within the region. Join two Appalachian folk magicians as we discuss our particular perspective and experiences with the magic and folklore of our home. We will present an overview of the characteristics and concerns of Appalachian folk magic and contrast it with systems for which it is often confused. Additionally, we will discuss folklore and practices of healing, divining, and day-to-day living, with a dip into haints, hags, and the spookier side of things. Throughout, we will examine the folklore and usage of several of the most important herbs and roots used for magic and medicine by Southern Appalachian witches and healers.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Tom Sharp is an ethnobotanist, spatial ecologist, and witch. Originally from West Virginia, his practice of witchcraft and magic is rooted in the history, folklore, and spirits of the Appalachian Mountains and is shaped by an ecological understanding of place and process. Tom is an initiate into an old craft lineage and has taught classes and workshops on magic and herbalism for over two decades. Together with his husband, Jack, he has run Otherworld Apothecary, a shop specializing in the materia magica used in their craft, since 2004.
Dr. Jack Grey is both a scientist and witch, two streams which draw from the same well -- a deep love for and curiosity about the wilds and their denizens. He’s a plant ecologist, who completed his doctoral work in the misty spirit-haunted forests of the southern Appalachians, as well as an initiate of a lineage of Old Craft, dedicated to establishing relationships with the living spirits of the land. Additionally, Jack is an Appalachian folk magician who is devoted to preserving and maintaining mountain magical and healing traditions. He is also an herbalist and half of Otherworld Apothecary, a shop specializing in botanicals and materia magica, in operation since 2004.
**Attendees will have access to this recording until the end of 2021 - class recording links will be emailed to attendees within 7 business days of the conclusion of the festival. To protect the IP of our presenters, class recordings will not be downloadable.**