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Granny Witch Rx

Appalachian Granny Witch Remedies
(of course, folks, use your common sense, and see a doctor when needed!)

Like all Appalachian Granny Magic folk lore these charms/potions/spells are basically, Cherokee, Irish, and Scotts-Irish in origin, often a strange mixture of the three. In the magical mountains of Appalachia the folk magicians of the area have for generations used herbs, and such to treat common aliments. (Of course, once should not consider these a substitute for your modern doctor.) Some of the most common treatments are quite effective. Some of the charms are rather odd and almost frightening sounding to our modern sensibilities.

Chicken Pox
Soak in an oatmeal bath twice a day

Posion Oak/Ivy
Washing with Clorox bleach then buttermilk, (I suggest the latter only, unless you have a high pain threshold.)

Menstrual Cramps
Take your oldest pair of shoes and place them upside down under your bed. Also a potion containing equal parts of sourwood honey, raspberry tea, or juice, and moonshine (any clear spirit,) is said to help, if take one shallowful at a time as needed, and I bet it does!

'Sour' Stomach/Heartburn
Take one cup full of, what my Mawie calls 'Soda,' so don't ever offer me a 'soda,' and be surprised when I recoil. Soda is hot water, and baking soda. Eating a raw potato or chewing on a mint leaf is also prescribed.

Cuts and Scrapes on the Skin
Place a spider web over the area, and blow on it.

Bladder/Kidney infection
Drink large amounts of dandelion tea.

Diarrhea
Drink blackberry juice. (This one cured my son when he was in the hospital when he was just a baby, and the doctors had proved useless. Some canned blackberry juice from one of my grandmother's old relatives cured him the first day we gave it to him, after weeks of his being sick!)

Earaches
Urine drops in the ear, or blow tobacco smoke into the ear.

Sunburn
Take a vinegar bath.

Headaches
Never throw your hair clippings away, throw them out for the birds to make nests from, or you'll have headaches, but I've heard this in reverse as well, that if the birds get your hair you'll have headaches, so you should bury it. Also an old sock tied about the head for a night, then burnt is prescribed.

Jaundice
Catnip tea is recomended, it is used as a preventative measure even for newborns.

Toothache
Putting vanilla on the tooth, or sleeping on wet ashes is often prescribed.

Appalachian Herb Lore & Remidies

Nothing grows on this earth in vain.
~Nicholas Culpeper, 1640

   Folk medicine is a tradition of treating sickness by herbs, ethnic foods, prayers, healing objects, magic and dance ceremonies. It is in a way a subtle departure from the formalized practice of medical science. Folk medicine is a forerunner to our present day Alternative Medicine. Folk medicine in the broadest sense is a collective folk wisdom, a heritage of the healing art of life, nurtured constantly by generations of that great human family.

    Writers on Folk Medicine are often confused about the boundaries of Folk Medicine. The answer lies in the eye of the beholder: to some it is an old granny with chicken soup stories, to others it is a heap of medical customs, taboos, superstitions and sometimes plain, sheer ignorance. The body of knowledge derived from folklore and other traditional sources may vary. However for what is important and of practical value to survive the passage of time, it must have some quasi scientific or logical basis. A superstition or fad will quickly fade and be washed away from the fabrics which are knitted in the Quilt of Time.

    The use of Patent medicines in Appalachia for every day illnesses is not appreciated by many writers of folk medicine. It takes many generations of a society to develop and nurture those traditions. Many successful medical discoveries of today were one time used as folk remedies. Examples are Foxglove which gave digitalis, St. John’s Wort as an anti-depressant, Willow Tree’s salicylates and one rarely mentioned today, Goldenseal which was used 130 years ago for the treatment of peptic ulcers as an antibiotic. It took state of the art technology and a Nobel Prize to discover they were caused by H. pylori bacteria, when all along, this was successfully treated with herbal tea from Goldenseal prepared by a granny witch.

AMERICAN HOLLY
Tea made from the root is used for colds, fever, cough, etc.

BLACKBERRY
Rubus allegheniensis
Also called Appalachian raspberry and dewberry. One of the best old remedies for summer complaints. Blackberry juice is also used for diarrhea and flux. When combined with Goldthread and boiled, it is used to treat sore throat and canker sores and is a valuable remedy for dysentery as well.

BLOOD ROOT
Sanguinaria canadensis
This is the earliest spring flower. Leaves are multi-lobed, 6-10 inches long. White flowers are in a wax line with golden stamens. The root has been used by Native Americans as red body paint and for clothes. It is a strong emetic (induces vomiting) and expectorant (brings up phlegm). Though much less is used, a fluid extract is helpful for Ringworm infections and other fungal infections. A mixture of vinegar and root was used as an antiseptic. When boiled, it was used to treat skin sores. Presently it is used on occasion as toothpaste as a plaque inhibitor and mouthwash.

BONESET
Eupatorium perfoliatum
This has been used since early colonial times to break fevers, especially fevers that are due to viral infections, such as Dengue Fever, where the fever and chills are so severe that it feels like the bones are breaking. Its name boneset also refers to the straight opposite leaves of the plant which were used by Native Americans as splints for broken bones. It was a popular substitute for quinine during the Civil War, especially for periodic fever and malaria.  In southern West Virginia, some farmers still use Boneset for broncho-pneumonia and viral flu-like symptoms. A tea made from leaves taken in a single dose is considered effective and curative.
Use one ounce of dry leaves herb, in a pint of boiling water for one hour on slow heat
Take in doses of ½ to 1 ounce, as needed

BUCKEYE
"Horse Chestnut"
Aesculus hippocastanum/ glabra
Buckeye promoted circulation and was a treatment for varicose veins. When bark is boiled in water, it was a useful remedy for diarrhea. Persons known to carry fruit (Buckeye) in pocket for arthritis, hemorrhoids. Bark was considered a substitute for quinine.

BURDOCK
Its root has been used as a laxative, and body cleanser, as a folk treatment for cancer and as a treatment for head colds.

BUTTERNUT
"White Walnut"
Juglans cinera
During the Revolutionary War, Dr. Rush promoted the value of butternut. It is an indigenous forest tree smaller than black walnut. It has ash-colored bark (that is why it is called cinera). The fruit is an oblong nut.
Medicinal uses:
The inner portion of the bark of the root contains active principles. This is the mildest and best laxative without gripe. It is an astringent (like rhubarb) which is why it is used in dysentery. It is a valuable anti-parasitic.

BUTTON BUSH
Cephalanthus occidentalis (L.)
A small bush growing near shallow water with pin cushion-like, round flower heads blooming in midsummer. Tea made from the roots is used for chest congestion and as a gargle for sore throat.

CATNIP
Nepeta cataria
Catnip is one of the very useful safe herbs used up till now by many herb grannies. It is a common herb grown in yards. It is a small perennial, 4 – 5 feet tall, with angled stems. Leaves are heart-shaped, green in color and white under the surface. Its flowers are bluish white or lavender and bloom in June and July. The plant has a peculiar fragrant smell, which is much admired by cats, therefore originating the name catnip.
It is used for infant colic and as a sleep aid, for skin hives and as a general tonic for nervous depression or debility. It acts as a carminative diaphoretic. It is usually given to teething babies with abdominal colic or diarrhea. It contains lactone, which acts as a sex attractant chemical, which makes domestic cats excited. Catnip has pheromones. The leaves can be chewed for a toothache. It also was a great help for insomnia. Very useful for skin rashes, especially urticaria due to secondary allergies. In the author’s opinion, it is a classic, useful, safe herbal remedy. Syrup made from the flower can be used as a sleep aid for children.
Useful Remedies:

  • Chewing the leaves relieved toothache.

  • Juice from bruised leaves used as insect repellent.

  • Tea made from leaves useful in abdominal cramps and colic.

COTTON
Gossypium hirsutum
Tea made from the root bark was used as an abortifacient as well as to produce sterility in men. It was also used as a treatment for asthma and diarrhea. Roasted seed was used in tea, also made into tea for bronchial conditions. Flowers are mild diuretics. Leaves soaked in vinegar were used as a poultice. The Cotton plant has been used amazingly for different diseases by African Americans in the southern states. Tea made from the root is used for uterine contractions, while European immigrants used Penny Royal, which has severe toxic effects. Tea made from Cotton root was used by plantation slaves to induce sterility.   Their knowledge was imparted to many women herbalists in Appalachia.

CRAMP BARK
In Appalachia, various bark infusions have been used for the treatment of menstrual cramps. One popular kind has been Viburnum (Black Haw) and Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa). Along with Toothache Tree, or Prickly Ash ,(Zanthoxylum americanus), has been used for toothache and as a counter irritant.

DANDELION
Leaves and roots are used as a laxative and for the treatment of heartburn. Roots are useful as a diuretic.

DITTANY
Cunila mariana
Dittany is a common farm plant, growing in dry places on hillsides. A perennial herb 1 – 2 feet high, the leaves are oval with sharp edges. Flowers are purplish and grow in clusters. It has been used in Appalachian folk medicine as tea for fevers. It was popular for nerves, headaches and hysteria. Tea is used to produce sweating. It has been popularly known since Dr. Gunn’s book was published in the early 1800’s. It remains popular with older herbalists, though in Appalachia is not currently used.

DOGWOOD
During early Colonial days and the Civil War era, dogwood bark was considered an effective substitute for quinine. It was used to treat fevers (agues) and it was also useful in the treatment of dysentery. It is considered safe and effective.

My Tarot Policies & Ethics

In anything you do, it is important to have a clearly defined set of policies and ethics.  A big THANK YOU to all those intuitives who came before me and who are wiser than I.  My code is based on their magnificent work and experiences. Our actions affect not only ourselves, but also those people around us. If we tell a lie, we can lose someone’s trust and undermine our own integrity.




  1. Tarot is a guide, not an instruction.  Tarot and oracle decks are doorways through which intuition and inspiration can freely flow-- but ultimately decisions must be made by the querent alone.

  2. My role is to empower and motivate you.  Readings are straight forward and down to earth in order to help the soul on their journey through life.

  3. All information is kept in the strictist of confidence.  100% confidential.  All information given by clients is never discussed or disclosed to any other third party.  The only time I will break confidentiality is if you inform me you are going to hurt yourself or hurt someon else.

  4. No discriminition reguardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity  I provide a judgement-free zone to offer peace of mind with equality and acceptance at heart.

  5. I do NOT answer specific questions about matters of the law, financial issues, or health queries (including pregnancy).  Please consult approiately trained professionals for those types of concerns.  I am not a lawyer, doctor, or accountatnt and am also not responsible for any legal and/or financial repercussions of the decisions you make after your reading.

  6. I reserve the right to listen to my intuition at all times and also refuse reading requests for any reason.  If I don't feel that a reading would be approiate or I have a sense that I'm not the reader for you, I will decline to go forward and will offer a full refund to the client.

  7. I cannot contact the dead.  I am not a medium.  Tarot can be a theraputic tool to help you work through the grieving process. If your grief is severe or overwhelming, you should seek a trained professional.

  8. I do not predict the future.  I am not a psychic, nor do I believe that the future is written in stone.  I believe in helping the client be the conscious creator in thier own life.  Yes/No questions are discouraged-- pathways can be explored to help the client connect with thier own personal power so that they can choose the approiate pathway to take.

  9. Tarot is a mirror that reflects engergies back at you-- you may be aware or even unaware of them.  Healingk coping strategies, and self exploration improve every day life.  Proactive pursuit of goals is encouraged.  Focus areas, action plans, and ideas for journaling work may be discussed to extend a client's progress into the long term.

  10. Readings are intended to be both nurturing and empowering.  Do NOT be a passive observer in your own life-- instead accept that you are in charge of it and take ultimate responsibility for it.  Readings are intended to have theraputic value and offer a different perspective where necessary for the client.

  11. The right questions will get the right answers.  Leave your questions open-ended.  Questions starting with: "What", "How", or "Why" will get you better answers and information.  Try to avoid questions that start with: "Should" or "Will" and also avoid "Yes/No" questions.

  12. No readings for third parties.  I will not read for someone else who is not aware of it.  I will only read for the person requesting a reading.  Any requests to read for a third party will be redirected.

  13. All readings are person-centered.  When addressing your relationships with others, no major focus is placed on the other person involved, but instead on the client's emotional responses, actions, and feelings.  The focus is on how the client can deal with the connection from their point of view.  Readings are empathic and supportive as well as being insightful and practical.

Know Thyself- Personality Analysis

It goes without saying that the better we know ourselves the better we are able to read and help other people.
Take the personality inventory here: http://www.personal.psu.edu/j5j/IPIP/


My Personality...Collapse )

Questions, Reflections, & Thoughts




Questions:




What are the tarot cards? Tarot is an oracular tool, a form of cartomancy (divination by cards). The uses of tarot are many; the most popular use for tarot that is known by the masses is "fortunetelling". However, this is only one aspect of what tarot can be used for. Originally, tarot was invented as a game for aristocrats and is still played as a game in western European countries.

How do you use tarot?

Tarot is a means to give you insight and a larger perspective of the issues at hand. It is excellent at evaluating issues and giving people a direction to head in with resolving the issues and conflicts in their lives. Tarot can also be a means of self-reflection and self-development.

Can you predict my future?  Are you psychic? What about departed loved ones?

Predicting the future is a tricky game. Often times you are better off focusing on the present. Outcomes are based on current trends and patterns that are happening in the present. The future can change, just like the weather. I do not believe the future is written in stone.  I believe in helping you to be the conscious creator of your own life.

Psychic is a loaded word and means different things to different people. Am I psychic as in 'mind reader', 'talking to the dead'? No, I am not. We all are intuitive though. It is a natural ability that can be developed. Tarot does not require anyone to be psychic to read the cards. Tarot reading is about properly understanding the relationship of the cards presented in a reading and decoding the answer presented in the symbols and images.

What questions can tarot answer?

Almost anything, the tarot is good with all sorts of questions. The best questions to ask are open-ended questions. Think of questions that consider: What, Why, How.


  • How can I improve my relationship?

  • Why did I not get the promotion?

  • What can I do to make change in my life?

I do not answer questions regarding matters of the law, financial issues, and/or physical and mental health (including pregnancy). I am not a lawyer, accountant, or a doctor and am not responsible for anylegal and/or financial repercussions of the decisions you make after a reading.

Appalachian Mountain Music

Traditional Appalachian music is mostly based upon anglo-celtic folk ballads and instrumental dance tunes. The former were almost always sung unaccompanied, and usually by women, fulfilling roles as keepers of the families' cultural heritages and rising above dreary monotonous work through fantasies of escape and revenge. These ballads were from the British tradition of the single personal narrative.


Play On.... (more info and audio)Collapse )

Recently the popularity of "folk" has been revived with the advent of bands such as Mumford and Sons. Where traditional elements of old-time Appalachian music can be heard buried in their modern sound that has been dubbed "newgrass".

Cocoa Gravy

The Great Depression is almost universally thought of as the darkest time in recent U.S. history from at least a financial standpoint. Like many of you, I know close family members who lived through the depression and their stories of the hardships, but more precisely how they made do regardless of the times, always seem to fascinate me. People were much hardier back then I believe. This period of time is how we imagine life at its hardest; and the realities that so many people faced during that roughly 10 year span seem to loom larger in our collective consciousness to this day.

More About Depression Era Meals...Collapse )


Cocoa Gravy (a.k.a. Depression Gravy)
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cocoa

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix the cocoa, flour and sugar together until all dry ingredients are well mixed.

  2. Pour the cold milk into the flour mixture and whisk it well. You don’t want any lumps.

  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium high until it start to thicken. You want to stir frequently to keep your gravy from lumping up on you.

  4. Remove it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted and everything is well incorporated.

  5. Serve immediately over hot biscuits, pancakes or waffles.

The next big thing in regional cooking:
Humble Appalachia

Article at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/the-next-big-thing-in-american-regional-cooking-humble-appalachia/2016/03/28/77da176a-f06d-11e5-89c3-a647fcce95e0_story.html

‘It’s way easier to get drugs than a good greasy bean,” Travis Milton says, taking a deep drag on his cigarette. And that causes the chef a lot of headaches. For one, greasies are his favorite beans, whether you cook them old-school, stewing them within an inch of their lives, or use a more modern technique such as steaming to show off the sweet, fat kernels inside.

But the elusiveness of greasies (named for their slick appearance, not their taste) is more than just a personal problem for Milton. Later this year he will open Shovel and Pick, an Appalachian restaurant, in Bristol, Tenn. To turn out elevated versions of the dishes he grew up with — mulefoot pork with candied beets, root vegetables tossed in butter-bean miso — Milton needs traditional ingredients, like greasy beans, that are not easy to come by.

And so this spring, Milton is sowing 10 acres with greasies and other heirloom beans, cowpeas, creasy greens (a type of field cress), Candy Roaster squash, goosefoot (an Appalachian cousin of quinoa), blackberries, huckleberries and more. What he doesn’t use at his restaurant he will pickle and preserve, or share with other chefs who also are committed to promoting Appalachian cuisine. It’s all part of Milton’s grand plan to use food to ignite economic development in the region and end, once and for all, the pervasive stereotype of Appalachians as a bunch of toothless hillbillies.

No small feat, especially when the response to the term “Appalachian cuisine” is either “huh?” or an exaggerated eye-roll at the idea of another cadre of chefs trying to cash in on a regional cooking fad. In fact, Appalachian food has at least as much of a claim on “cuisine” as California (which no one would dare challenge). The foods of central Appalachia — a region that stretches from southern Ohio and West Virginia to Tennessee — constitute America’s own cucina povera, as rich and unexplored in the American culinary scene as Tuscan food was in the 1980s. William Dissen, a native West Virginian and owner of the Market Place restaurant in Asheville, N.C., calls it the “backbone of Southern cooking.”
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The Fairy Stones of Virginia

Fairy Stone State Park is home to the mysterious cross-shaped “fairy stones.” For generations people have held these Fairy stone crosses in superstitious awe, firm in the belief that they protect the wearer from witchcraft, sickness, accidents, and disaster. The stones are most commonly shaped like St. Andrew’s cross, an “X,” but “T” shaped Roman crosses and square Maltese crosses are the most sought after. Fairy crosses are found only a few places in the southeastern United States, one of these places is an old Cherokee meeting Place in Virginia that is called Fairy Stone State Park.  At 4,868 acres, Fairy Stone State Park is the largest of Virginia’s original six state parks. Recreational facilities include lake swimming, non-gasoline powered boating, guided nature and history walks, picnicking and nine miles of trails with parts of the Little Mountain Falls system and all of the Stuart’s Knob system, reserved for pedestrian use only.

The Cherokee Nation in the 18th century (1700's) claimed most of the land in what is today Southwest Virginia. The western part of Patrick County, Virginia belonged to the Cherokee at this time.  In the Treaty of Hard Labor signed on October 14, 1763, The Cherokee Nation gave up their land from the top of the Blue Ridge to the Holston River.

To the eastern Indians of the United States, the Little People were the fairies or dwarfs that lived in caves and under streams in the forests. They were about two feet tall, had long black hair, and spoke Indian languages.  Loving music and dancing, it was believed that they taught the Indians about medicine and spirits.  The Little People were usually friendly towards humans and could be helpful and kind. It is said that they often found lost children in the woods and returned them home to their parents. They also helped people by working in their cornfields at night, guarding their houses, and watching over their families.  The Little People loved to eat cornbread and strawberries, and the Native Americans would set food out for them.  They could be very mischievous, and if angered they would throw rocks at you.

The Chiltoskey family of Cherokee, North Carolina has preserved this Cherokee Legend of the Stone Crosses.

Early one day long ago from time out of memory the people of a Cherokee town awoke and faced east to say their morning prayers to the Creator in heaven (Ca-lun-la-ti). In the distance could be heard the cry of an owl, a sign of death and bad luck. The eastern sky began turning many colors, and it looked as if a storm was about to take place. Indians from other villages joined them and there was a feeling of sadness. Soon, the Little People (Yun-wi T-suns-di) who lived deep in the forest appeared to the Cherokee, they were only two feet tall and often brought messages to the people. They spoke first to the tribal elders and then to everyone who had assembled in the town.

They told a story of both greatness and sadness. Many Years ago, a new star (no-t-lu-si) had appeared in the eastern sky beyond the big salt water. A special boy-child had been born to a tribe chosen by the creator He had grown into a man of wisdom and had taught his people the ways of the Creator and the straight white path of peace. He was a man of kindness and brought strong medicine (nu-wa-ti) to his people.  Although he taught purity and harmony with the creator, he had many enemies who would not hear his message of peace They would not believe that his medicine made sick people well. Thus, on this day, they would torture and kill this wise man, and he would walk towards the nightland (death).

As the sky grew dark, the Indians sang a death song to honor this beloved man of peace whom they called the Son of the Creator.  All of the animal nations of the forests soon came and stood by them, Because of their sorrow, the Cherokee began to cry. Their tears soon covered the ground. When their weeping had ended, they looked down and saw that their tears had been changed into small stone crosses. For the Indians, the cross design had always represented the cardinal points or the four directions. Now it had a new religious meaning. The Creator (E-do-da) had heard their prayers and songs and had given them a gift. The Cherokee kept these stone crosses and always honored them.  Many Cherokee Indians still possess these stone crosses and treasure them. It is a blessing from the Creator to find one of these sacred objects.


There are many legends and tales about staurolite throughout the ages. One Gaelic legend states that when the Tuatha de Danann and the fairie races were defeated in ancient Ireland, and subsequently sent to live underground, the remaining fairies around the world wept tears of iron.  The iron was representative of the Iron Age, which began with the defeat of the Tuatha de Danann.
Another legend originating in Georgia, US offers this take, that fairy crosses are the tears of the Cherokee, shed during the great exodus of the “Trail of Tears.”   Yet another states that staurolite was in fact a “good luck” gift made to John Smith from Pocahontas.  There are reports made that many well-known figures in modern times carried staurolite, including but not limited to President Theodore Roosevelt, President Wilson, Charles Lindberg and Thomas Edison.

Later tales of Richard the Lionhearted place staurolite front and center as a healing stone.  Some stories place Richard as suffering from malaria and that staurolite helped heal him, while others report that his healers used staurolite to aid their wounded during the Crusades in the Middle East.
No one really knows for sure how the mysterious fairy crosses came to be. Even scientists cannot agree on their origin. One theory estimates that the cross-shaped rocks are as much as 500 million years old and were formed when a meteorite broke apart upon entering the earth’s atmosphere. Another theory suggests that the reddish-brown crystals came from deep within the earth and were gradually forced to the surface by seismic activity over thousands of years.  Found imbedded in rocks that have been subjected to great heat and pressure, fairy stones are staurolite, a combination of silica, iron, and aluminum. Together, these minerals sometimes crystallize in twin form and appear on the stones in a cross-like structure.

Staurolites are very grounding.  It is this grounding, this connection to the earth, that is the basis for the belief that staurolite is a tool for communicating with animals and other entities of the natural and fairy realm.

They are said to make you feel more calm and relaxed, relieve stress and help dissipate fear and anxiety.  The staurolite grounds you, connecting you to the earth, which also helps you to be less fearful, and to stay calm during situations that would normally make you anxious.  It is said to bring you back into your body, should your mind tend to “float away” on you.  By bringing the body to a place of calm and balance, staurolite improves the entire condition of the mind and body, improving overall health.

Many sources cite that staurolite is an excellent tool for assisting in overcoming addictions.  Its grounding, calming effects lend strength to those seeking to stop smoking and release other addictive behaviors.  The energy of staurolite can be enhanced and strengthened by using it in conjunction with amethyst, iolite or sugilite… which all lend their potent support to those wishing to put an end to self-destructive habits.

It is said that staurolite can help you find lost objects, and can boost the clarity of your dreams.  All legends and modern day sources agree that staurolite is an overall good luck stone, and this good luck quality is the most common reason it is worn or carried.

Fairies in Appalachia


Fairy lore and beliefs has its origin in the folklore and traditions of the Scots-Irish and Irish settlers to the Appalachian Mountains. It was in these mountains and hills that the traditional European belief in the “Fair Folk,” “Good Folk,” “Gentry,” “Little People,” etc. mixed with the indigenous belief in the “Little People” called “Yunwi Tsunsdi” in Cherokee, and the “Nunnehi” who were considered immortal animistic spirits of the land. These beliefs fit well together, so well that it’s often hard to tell the origin of a lot of the stories of the Fair Folk and the Little People of the Cherokee. There was and still is a lot of crossover between the two beliefs. The Osage, who were in the Appalachians before settlers came to the area, also had traditional beliefs about spirits of the land called “mi-lo’n-shka” that likely also influenced Appalachian beliefs.
Fairy beliefs in the Appalachians gave rise to many traditions and practices. Some beliefs include stories of fairy brides and grooms, mortal men and women who marry (and sometimes have children with) one of the Fair Folk giving rise to many family seers and healers. There are also stories of healers who got their “gift” from the Fair Folk, hunters who received good or bad luck from pleasing or offending the spirits of the land, and also the many cases of livestock falling victim to certain fairy influenced illnesses.

One of the most notable fairy locations in the Appalachians is Fairy Stone State Park located in Southwest Virginia.  One of the few locations on earth where you can find naturally forming cross-shaped crystals called fairy stones.  The legend of these stones can be found in an old tale from the Cherokee Indian Nation who once controlled the area.
Here are a few beliefs collected by Mary Parler’s folklore students in the 50’s and published in “Folk Beliefs from Arkansas”:

  • “If a crowded room becomes deathly quiet at 20 til or 20 after the hour, it means the angels are passing through the room.”

  • “If you find a circle of toadstools, you can be sure fairies have danced there.”

  • “If you see a circle of toadstools, you can stand in it and make a wish and it will come true.”

  • “When I was about eight or nine my mother would have me look for rings of mushrooms (clusters). This ring was supposedly left by a fairy and it was a good luck sign. You stand near the ring, close your eyes, make your wish, then turn away. I always looked for these when playing or visiting my grandparents in the country.”

  • “…a fairy ring is a ring of grass with no dew on it on a lawn covered in dew. This ring is where the fairies danced the night before. I can remember many mornings when my father pointed ‘fairy rings’ out to me. Have heard this all my life.”

  • “If logs in a fire burn with blue flame, good fairies are watching you.”

  • “After dark you never throw out water, sweepings, and etc. for you might accidently hit one of the ‘little people’ and make them angry. My mother told me this; she said she could remember her grandmother saying and practicing this. She came from Ireland.”

  • There are also stories of fairy brides and grooms, mortal men and women who marry (and sometimes have children with) one of the Fair Folk giving rise to many family seers and healers. I’ve also heard stories of healers who got their “gift” from the Fair Folk.

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