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.**

Of Mountain Witches and Yarb Doctorin’: Southern Appalachian Folk Magic