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Thread: Magic of Appalachia: The Death Bird

  1. #1
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    Vir Sapiens Guest

    Default Magic of Appalachia: The Death Bird

    I posted this on another site and it was originally posted here as well and I want to repost it, mostly because Appalachian Granny magic is dying out since it is primarily taught by oral tradition and, to my knowledge, there are no comprehensive tomes that cover the subject. This particular ritual blends a few pagan European practices with Tsalagi tradition and some unique bits that evolved entirely in Appalachia. This is a curse, a most dire curse that I have used before to great effect. It causes great suffering before finally offering the release of death. This is not something that can be undertaken lightly or in anger. You must posses the will to kill. If you could not put your target on their knees and beat them, torture them and ultimately end their life without fear of the consequences then you cannot use this spell. It simply will not function for you because you lack the proper emotional and contextual impetus to put behind it.

    The time of this undertaking is important. Every step must be performed in the time of the new moon. If the working is not completed within that time span then all efforts are lost. First you must find a crow or raven. This need not be done at night given the diurnal nature of the birds in question but, it must still be done on the day of the new moon. You must kill the bird without piercing the bird. My great Grandmother could bark a bird but her grandfather and his father before him would use arrows with a head or rounded river stone wrapped in leather. Once you have your bird you must gather three types of clay, preferably straight from the ground, white, red, and blue. Having gathered your materials you must wait for the sun to set. By firelight you will gut the bird, being careful not to break the ribs, burning the entrails in the fire. In the red clay you must craft a small figure in the likeness of your target, it need not be perfect so long as you keep them in mind as you work. Write their initials on the poppet. This is the first misery, Poverty. In the blue clay you will craft another poppet. This is the second misery of Disease. Finally from white clay you will craft a third poppet. This is the release of Death. You may wet the clay only with the spit of a black dog or a black sow that has eaten her young. You will place these three poppets inside the bird and stitch it up with red thread. Still under the light of the new moon you must bury it near their home.

    The spirit of the bird, now heavy with the miseries inside it will be unable to wind it's way into the land of spirits and it will be caught by those that delight in bringing suffering to man. They will gladly visit each of the miseries upon your target. They will manifest one at a time on each successive new moon until at the third new moon the target will be released from the curse by death.

    Now the bird itself and it's role as a medium to carry your intent into the spirit world is a distinctly Tsalagi tradition. The poppets remind me more of some European along with the significance of the new moon in this endeavor. The usage of the black dog and black sow are reminiscent of Europe but, I feel they are distinctly Appalachian. As I've said this cannot be undertaken lightly. Without the will to kill it is only a dead bird with clay poppet stuffing.

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    of course i feel more for the bird than for the person - but then the release of the poppets would allow the bird to finally make it into the spirit world, so its only a delay for the bird, not forever?

    the beautiful 'sweet william' phlox named in appalachia is a direct reference to william of orange, aka 'king billy', the deposer of his father, james (king jamie), the father of the 'king james version' of the bible - the backwoods residents of appalachia are of distinctly left-europe and catholic-purge decent, have long memories, and have mixed with many native cultures, not just the tsalagi
    Last edited by esoterica; 06-14-2010 at 04:00 PM. Reason: i am an idiot

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    here is a nice article on the history of Appalachian Granny Magic
    Man is invited to question, discover, explore,
    and manipulate the world around him and use it for his benefit.

  4. #4
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    Vir Sapiens Guest

    Default

    Esoterica, you are absolutely right in that they did mix with a lot of native cultures in the region but, this particular ritual and my experiences are solidly rooted in Tsalagi lore given my heritage.

    Kkkhhh555 Not everyone in the Appalachian mountains was versed in this. A lot of it depends on the area of the North Carolina Appalachians you're talking about. Asheville and Boone were always fairly civilized compared to the areas around them. My family hails from the Franklin area ,which is a bit further back in the mountains, which might be one reason the oral traditions survived in my family and died in others. Snakehandlers I'd classify less in the category of Granny magic and more in the category of esoteric Christianity. The practice is illegal in most states, including North Carolina, though I believe it survives in West Virginia without legal repercussion.

    Zero thank you for the article. It was very informative and one of the only pieces I've ever seen actually written on the subject. I was pleased to see a few good books written on the topic though I wonder if they are scholarly works or actual books for a working practitioner.

    I intend to continue posting bits and pieces of this fascinating practice as I have the time. I could literally write about it for weeks if given the opportunity but other duties prevent it. I have a few spells and rituals but a large part of it are simple bits of occult knowledge, for example if you wish to see a spirit look between the ears of a horse or a dog, if there is one to be seen then you'll see it. You can also look through a knothole for the same effect. Just little bits of information I picked up from my great grandmother. A great deal of it was medicine and herbal lore, we hail from the Blue clan.

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    howdy blue clan! - i am of a northern french/irish/scottish group that 'butchered proper gaelic' and 'ran the moors like wind moving heather' - we have our own granny magic lol, and why i think i am so tied to entities

    ah, franklin, the site of very very ancient mountains now dust and in their bones lie jewels! - i have the results of digging there (shovel, wash, look) in my 'dragon horde' - i used a dremel to cut and polish one, and it came out ok, sort of a reddish blue with a 'eye', but i think i will leave the rest in their natural form as hexagons - there is a distinct blue-purple tint to the best diggin spots - i wonder if there is a connection to the blue clan?
    Last edited by esoterica; 06-17-2010 at 03:26 PM. Reason: khfchfvljnm

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