A part of the Voices of Folk Magic Series
This class will livestream via Zoom at 7pm Eastern on Sunday April 17th 2022 and will be available as a video for viewing afterwards
This class will be a brief introduction to the foundational theories and practices of Ozark folk magic and traditional healing. This topic is often highly misunderstood as being just “hillbilly superstitions” by folklorists of the past and present. In reality, the outward simplicity of the practice hides a complex and intricate belief system and worldview.
We’ll first look at the birth of this tradition within the melting pot of Appalachia, as well as how practices and beliefs evolved in the isolated Ozark mountain region. Influences from both European and Indigenous sources will be examined. Information will come from the traditional folk record collected around the turn of the 20th century by folklorists like Vance Randolph and Mary Parler, as well as from healers and practitioners living in the modern world.
The Ozark region has gone through many tumultuous changes over the past 100 years and in the second part of the class we’ll be examining the new meaning of the term “Ozark” today as well as how these changes have altered and evolved folk magic and healing practices in 2022.
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.