Review: Backwoods Witchcraft

Review: Backwoods Witchcraft May 4, 2019

In Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia, Jake Richards shares his memories of growing up with Appalachian folk magic practices as they were passed on to him through generations within his family. In so doing he offers a snapshot in time, recording and preserving a tradition of American folk practices, many of which are being forgotten in the post-industrial age.

Richards presents family stories and experiences that came with learning the charms and formulas themselves. In doing so he teaches the techniques and in the context of the ideas behind the recipes, something that is often lacking in a lot of books on American folk magic. His writing comes across as humble, sincere, simple, and clear to follow. Backwoods Witchcraft is a great contribution to the writings on traditional folk magic.

Richards guides the reader through the terrain of Appalachia sharing the culture and, stories, superstitions and practices of the folk magic he was raised with. He teaches how he works with the land, the ancestors, the saints, and the spirits and provides great instructions for folk rites, fortune-telling, candle magic, working with doll babies, spell-casting, healing and laying tricks. Backwoods Witchcraft is a must-have in any conjurer, rootworker, or folk magician or folk witch’s library.


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