International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2021

Start your preparations and consider yourself warned, this Sunday is INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! A day sacred to rum drinkers, Pastafarians, and lovers of annoying accents!

If you keep up to date on ITLAPD, as I do, you probably saw the resharing of the video “Talk Like a Pirate Day: The Five A’s” created by the holiday’s founders.

What are the 5 As? They’re the basic building blocks of your pirate lingo! Be sure you’re ready to go with these bad boys on Sunday:

Ahoy
Avast
Aye
Aye Aye
Aaaarrrrrrr

You can experience them all first hand with this handy two minute video.

However you choose to celebrate, drink responsibly and respect all covid guidelines.

Tree Magic Review and Giveaway

It’s time for a heart to heart. Sandra Kynes is way under appreciated. Why is that? Is it because while other authors are curating their Instagram grids, she has had her nose to grindstone, steadily and consistently authoring dozens of books about everything ranging from crystals to plants to symbols and more? This isn’t meant to be a slam on the social media savvy authors out there, many of whom I enjoy following greatly, but what I’m trying to say is that Kynes has been doing the work. I can’t help but feel like for her it has been thankless job.

For example, with what seems like zero fanfare, Kynes latest book “Tree Magic: Connecting with the Spirit & Wisdom of Trees” released. Do magical folks no longer care about trees? Seems unlikely. But if for some reason you’ve been lacking enthusiasm for trees, “Tree Magic” will fix that! The core, or perhaps roots is a better term, of the book come from Kyne’s 2006 book “Whispers from the Woods.” However, “Tree Magic” is thoroughly revised and greatly expanded with a focus on magical practices. Kynes profiles over 60 trees including scientific information, astrological correspondences, deities associated with certain trees, elemental correspondences, wildlife and magical creatures that favor each tree, powers and attributes of the tree, and even more! The extensive information provided allows you to use the tree as a focus of your magic, or as an enhancement to your already existent magical practices.

Sandra Kyne’s “Tree Magic” is filled with so many new ideas I found myself, a non-nature-oriented gal, inspired to look for new ways to use them in my personal practice.

You can learn more here.

Are you looking for tree inspiration? Tree-spiration? The good news is, Sandra Kynes was kind enough to give us a signed copy of her latest book to giveaway! As per usual, we’ll be using Rafflecopter! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm eastern on 09/11/2021. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Passport to the Paranormal

I love books that give me excuses. Books about magical cocktails as an excuse to drink. Books about food magic as an excuse to eat. Books about magical places as an excuse to travel. I’m an enabler who loves to be enabled herself. Therefore, I read “Passport to the Paranormal: Your Guide to Haunted Spots in America” by Rich Newman. (“200 Terrifying Places You Can Visit!” the cover touts.)

There is no shortage of ways to learn about creepy locales, in America or internationally, particularly if you have access to the Discovery Channel. Even the book’s author refers to visiting many of the locations mentioned in the book while filming for a Japanese television show about the paranormal. I’m not going to lie; the paranormal location marketplace is crowded. Bordering on, too crowded? Yet here I am, writing about Newman’s latest. Why?

“Passport to the Paranormal” narrows the focus to the United States and given the lockdown way we’re living our lives these days closer to home is good. Also, I don’t know the author personally, but in writing he’s far more entertaining than many hosts of paranormal television shows. And in even more enabling, “Passport to the Paranormal” also includes tourism tips.

Rich Newman’s “Passport to the Paranormal” is a thorough and entertaining entry in the paranormal places’ genre. If you’re looking for an excuse to travel, you’ll find it here!

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Iconic Tarot Decks

Today we have an AMAZING book to discuss. It’s both #bookporn and #tarotporn. It is a sexy hunk of book titled, “Iconic Tarot Decks: The History, Symbolism and Design of over 50 Decks” by Sarah Bartlett.

One of the amazing, impressive, and sexy things about “Iconic Tarot Decks” is the sheer volume of full color images of tarot cards. Contrary to what you may think from the way things are on the internet, images of tarot cards, including “Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot”, are copyrighted images and not to be used on resale items without permission. I don’t know if it’s the publisher, Bartlett or both who deserve a hearty pat on the back for securing the rights to such a variety of decks, from so many different companies. But from those of us who know, thank you, it is greatly appreciated.

Although not a book about learning to use tarot cards, “Iconic Tarot Decks” opens with a basic overview of how to use tarot decks. It’s a nice, tidy guide that includes a few all-purpose spreads. Bartlett follows with a broad strokes history of tarot cards and decks, exploring the most academically accepted origins of the cards. However, “Iconic Tarot Decks” isn’t about generalized tarot history, but about specific decks.

Bartlett discusses 50 different tarot decks. How did she settle on these 50? I wouldn’t even know how to decide which decks to profile! Is it just me, or would you like to know too? She divides the decks into five categories: influential decks, beginner’s divination decks, art and collector’s decks, esoteric and occult decks, and contemporary decks. Each deck features its unique history as well as where it fits in with regards to the history of tarot. You learn about the art, design, inspiration, and more. And of course, plenty of full-color examples of the cards!

“Iconic Tarot Decks” by Sarah Bartlett is a beautiful artbook meets tarot history. An interesting resource for those who love tarot, and just as wonderful as a coffee table artbook. I sincerely hope to see more books like this!

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Mysteries of the Werewolf

I LOVE CLAUDE LECOUTEUX.

Honestly, I should skip writing reviews of his books and just tell you when a new one comes out. I mean, at this point you know what I’m going to say. Lecouteux’s field of study is medieval literature, which at first, I thought was weird but then realized made perfect sense. His ability to suss through medieval literature lends itself to making insightful connections between various texts. And now, I love each of his books. Of course, today I’m discussing a new one, “Mysteries of the Werewolf: Shapeshifting, Magic & Protection.”

Where to begin with werewolves? Where CAN’T you? Lecouteux explores historical texts from EVERYWHERE: medieval Europe (of course), early Greece, 20th century Romania, 10th century China, 19th century Russia, 1st century Rome, and I think you’re starting to get the point. There are so many ways one becomes a werewolf or were-creature. Sometimes it’s a blessing, many times it’s a curse. Sometimes it can be undone, or controlled, other times, it’s a lifetime. “Mysteries of the Werewolf” explores it all.

What can I say? Lecouteux does it again. If you’re interested in werewolves, this is a great resource!

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

The Most Valuable Fan Collectibles

Everybody collects something. You might not consider yourself a “collector” because perhaps the thing you collect has a practical use, or won’t increase in value, or you just don’t. Nobody gets to define you except you, right? I refer to myself and my husband as “eccentric collectors” because it sounds classier than pack rat or hoarder.

Knowing that everyone collects SOMETHING, I was intrigued by a press release sent to me about what fandom has the most valuable collectibles. Even though most of us don’t acquire and hold onto things with the intention of it appreciating in value (I take my Funkos out of the box!), it’s still interesting, right? You want to know, don’t you?

The list was put together by FandomSpot.com, a website devoted to, you guessed it, assorted fandoms. Sadly, FandomSpot didn’t include their methodology. The list was put together by, “pop culture memorabilia experts to compile this list, which includes general memorabilia, props, cards, and figures from a variety of fandoms including anime, fantasy, sci-fi, and superhero.” And I certainly cannot imagine encompassing EVERY fandom, and all sorts of other disclaimers, but with that said, here’s the list:

1. Pokémon – Pikachu Illustrator card – $233,000
2. One Piece – Solid Gold Monkey D Luffy – $200,000
3. Gundam – Solid Gold Gundam Converge – $200,000
4. Gundam – Solid Gold RX-78-2 Gundam – $200,000
5. Star Wars – Rocket Launcher Boba Fett – $150,000
6. Star Wars – Obi-Wan Kenobi With Double Telescoping Lightsaber (1977) – $76,700
7. Harry Potter – First edition book of Philosopher’s Stone – $51,680
8. Pokémon – First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard card – $50,000
9. Star Wars – Brazilian Glasslite Vlix Figure (1988) – $45,000
10. Game of Thrones – The Iron Throne Official TV Prop – $30,000
11. Pokemon – Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card – $27,000
12. Dr Who – 50th Anniversary 9ct Gold Doctor Who Ingot – $15,357
13. GOT – Game Of Thrones Pinball Machines – $9,000
14. Harry Potter – Wax sealed prop envelope – $6,500
15. Dr Who – Full Size Giant Robot figure – $3,841
16. Dr Who – Limited Edition Sevens Movie Dalek – $3,494
17. Game of Thrones – Full set of 1st edition books – $3,000
18. Marvel – 32 inch Sentinel figure – $2,800
19. Marvel – 1976 Marvelmania Ghost Rider figure – $2,595
20. Supernatural – Dual Wardrobe Card OM21 – $1,290

Most of the big fandoms are represented. I’m surprised to not see DC Comics, Disney, or maybe Lord of the Rings in the top 20, but it’s hard to argue with what’s there.

FandomSpot seems like a fun site too. I also learned that they’re offering $4,000 to binge watch Studio Ghibli films. You can learn about that here.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Manifestation Magic

I’ve never met Elhoim Leafar in person, but his presence on Twitter has certainly established him as one of the sweetest people on the internet in my mind. His latest book, “Manifestation Magic: 21 Rituals, Spells, and Amulets for Abundance, Prosperity, and Wealth” cements it in my mind. Leafar is such a nice guy.

“Manifestation Magic” is self-help, meets new age, meets folk magic in all the best ways. Leafar encourages you to examine your relationship with money, find your personal definition of abundance, and reflect on magic. Throughout the book Leafar shares personal examples of all of this from his life. What you won’t find is any of the judgement or shaming that frequently lurk in prosperity texts.

As promised, there are plenty of rituals, spells, and amulets to be found. Most make use of readily accessible things that many may already have in their home.

If you’re interested in manifesting abundance, you should try out “Manifestation Magic” by Elhoim Leafar.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

10 Questions with Brandon Weston

Today we’re speaking with Brandon Weston, owner of Ozark Healing Traditions and author of “Ozark Folk Magic: Plants, Prayers, and Healing”.

1. How did you first become interested in the folk magic of the Ozarks?

My interest goes back to childhood. I’m from a multi-generational Ozark family, so I grew up with a lot of traditions, practices, and home remedies that I never thought were a part of some bigger culture. I just thought it was my weird family! For instance, I had a great uncle on my dad’s side who was a wart charmer, specifically a wart buyer. If you had a wart, you’d go see Uncle Bill and he’d pull out a penny or dime and say, “I’ll buy ‘em off you.” And you always knew to take the money and your warts would disappear overnight.

Things like that, and I have so many more examples, were just day-to-day life in the Ozarks. I only ever realized that I myself was a part of an actual culture when I was in college and I found Vance Randolph’s Ozark Magic and Folklore where he discusses all of the stories and traditions I’d grown up with. That was really the starting point for me. A sort of wake up call to my own heritage. After that I wanted to know the state of the Ozarks today. Were these practices still alive? Were there still witches and healers out in the hills? So, I started collecting stories from family first then moved outward into other families and communities across the Ozark region, from Arkansas up and through Missouri.

I didn’t start off as a practitioner at first, that came later. I wanted to be a folklorist like Vance Randolph. But then I met an old healer who kicked me in the rear and said, “You know you’re a part of this story too, right?” Up until that point I’d never considered myself a cultural representative; I was still in the old mindset of a stranger looking in and observing a culture without participating in it. So, I scrapped my work, stopped recording stories, and started actually listening and learning from these amazing keepers of so much power and wisdom. From there it all grew into the path I’m walking currently.

2. What made you decide to write your book “Ozark Folk Magic: Plants, Prayers & Healing?”

It was really a desire to update the story. Nothing has been written about Ozark healing and magical practices from an actual practitioner. And I want to reiterate that because folks don’t often believe me. The only thing that even mentions more secretive practices is Vance Randolph’s Ozark Magic and Folklore and that was first published under the title Ozark Superstitions in 1947. Randolph wasn’t a practitioner and didn’t approach Ozark folk beliefs in a very respectful way. He was notorious for making things up that might appeal to the reader as well as publishing material without the permission of healers. There’s still a taboo amongst many old timers about writing down charms and spells as they believe it will “kill” the charm.

Since Vance Randolph, there has been a lot written about the history of the Ozarks and even the cultural traditions of its people, but still nothing about healing and magic which are so often relegated to the “simple” beliefs of a superstitious people. I knew this wasn’t true. I knew there were complex systems of practice hidden beneath that “simple” surface. So, I wanted to write the book that I would have loved reading as a kid. I wanted to write a work that would not only revitalize my culture but validate people as Ozarkers. We’ve been under the shadow of the hillbilly stereotype for so long and I really just wanted to help people break away from that while also getting in touch with their own magical roots.

3. I’ve noticed a definite uptick in excellent books on magic from the American mountains (yours, “Backwoods Witchcraft” by Jake Richards, and “Mountain Conjure and Southern Root Work” by Orion Foxwood, to name a few). What do you think has brought about an increased interest in this subject matter?

I know that personally, before I was ever a writer or practitioner, I was craving books to read about my own culture but there wasn’t anything out there apart from a few outdated publications. Growing up in this culture, I know the way the rest of the world has looked at us. I know how my grandparents and parents grew up, constantly trying to escape the hillbilly stereotype. Mountain people are sometimes just too nice to say anything when faced with such degrading experiences. Magic is one way for us to escape.

In the Ozarks, secrecy has always been an important part of the work. There’s a famous Ozark saying, “We always lie to strangers.” And it’s not because we’re trying to be rude or unfriendly, but it’s out of utmost respect for the traditions that we keep some things hidden. It used to be a lot more important as magic and healing practices meant survival out in the dangerous mountains. You also didn’t want to risk the conservative community around you thinking you were a witch. Nowadays things are a lot different and many people from mountain cultures are now seeing that a big part of our practice doesn’t need to be so secretive. We aren’t risking the same things as our ancestors were when we practice our magic openly.

Also, for me, I see my own culture dying every day with each passing old timer. I’m sure this is an experience shared by many others. For me, it’s important to share these stories now before it’s too late. Revitalizing the culture and making people proud of their mountain heritage actually helps save traditions because instead of running away from the “superstitions” of their families, people instead get interested in the old traditions and stories and start talking to those with the knowledge. So much has been lost by old timers passing away with no interested family or friends there to carry the torch into the future.

4. Personally, I loved the practical and pragmatic healing process that you provided a flow chart for in “Ozark Folk Magic”? Can you share it with my readers?

Traditionally, the healing process for Ozarkers began with observing the signs of physical illness. In some cases, no expert would be needed and home remedies that every family has would be enough to take care of most contagion. In rare occasions of serious injury or illness an expert would be called in. This was usually what the old timers called a “yarb doctor” or an herbalist. This could also include the granny woman who was traditionally considered a midwife but was also an all-encompassing healer figure for the community. Physical illness was diagnosed through physical means, usually observing the body, for example the color of the eyes or tongue as well as the pulse. Physical illness was treated with physical medicines derived from local plants, sometimes mixed with pharmaceutical compounds like tinctures and resins. Choosing a physical medicine was based on the humoral system as well as the system of hot/cold and wet/dry. A fever, for example, is considered hot/dry so the medicine used would aim at countering that condition and could include “yarbs” or healing plants like mountain mint, which has a cold/wet aspect. Physical illness might also include injuries like burns or cuts. In these cases there are specialized “blood stoppers” and “burn doctors” whose magical gift is focused solely on these areas. They might also be considered alongside a local herbalist as the first line of defense against illness and injury.

In most cases, physical cures would take care of physical illnesses. In cases of prolonged sickness, stronger medicines might be used. Illnesses that persist even at this point, or have strange symptoms that don’t match any know contagion, are suspected to be of a magical origin. At this point a magical expert would be called in to diagnose the real cause of the problem using magical means, usually various divination techniques. If the signs or “tokens” point to a magical cause, then magical cures are sought in the form of ritual, verbal charms, prayers, or creating talismans. Depending upon how serious the condition is, the more intense or involved the ritual might become.

To some extent this process is the same in the modern world. I always recommend folks see a doctor or therapist first before coming to me. I believe that the two sides of the healing process, the physical and spiritual can work together in balance. Many old timers no longer make such a separation between the physical and magical illnesses/cures. For example, one praying granny I met whose sole business was praying over and blessing prescription medications that locals would bring to her. She believed in the power of modern medicine but also knew her gift could make the medicines more effective.

5. I was surprised to learn about how diverse the types of “doctors” are and methods they use. Can you share a brief overview of them and their differences?

These doctors are considered a part of the “old Ozarks” or more traditional culture. You rarely hear these terms used today outside of tall tales around the campfire. Most people call simply call themselves “healers” or even “witches” today. You also on occasion hear someone saying they can “doctor” for illnesses, but this runs the risk of encounters with the law as practicing medicine without a license is still illegal across the region. Many people are much more careful about how they refer to their practice and use specific language to avoid trouble.

Traditionally though, there were a number of Ozark “doctors” or healers. The yarb doctor, as I mentioned earlier, was an herbal expert and specialized in healing using local plants, fungi, and mineral compounds. They rarely incorporated any verbal charms or prayers into their work.

Then there’s the power doctor, who unlike the yarb doctor almost exclusively worked with verbal charms, prayers, ritual, and the creation of amulets and talismans. While they often did use herbal concoctions, it was almost always in a magical way rather than for the benefit of the contained plant chemical compounds.

An all-encompassing figure in the community was the granny woman who was a combination midwife, herbalist, and magical expert. Granny women have often been degraded in many of the folk accounts but their position was often of the utmost importance in the community, especially since there used to be a strict taboo against male healers working on women.

There were also certain experts or specialized healers who worked in curing very specific needs. These include the blood stopper, burn doctor, wart charmer, and the witch master or goomer doctor who specialized in removing hexes and curses derived specifically from a physical assailant in the form of a witch.

6. Do you find people are surprised by the role that Christianity and the Bible play in these magic/healing traditions?

I definitely do. A lot of people in the Ozarks are still a part of a much more conservative Christian background and they automatically view anything called “magic” with witchcraft, which has traditionally been associated with evil. That’s changing, of course, as more and more people are reclaiming the title of witch for themselves, myself included. Ozark healing traditions were never called magic internally up until Vance Randolph and other folklorists like him who brought technical terms from the outside and applied them to the culture. Some of the more conservative Ozarkers still refer to their practice as “spiritual healing,” “praying,” “trying,” and many other old terms that would have separated this work from that of the so-called witch. Ozark culture is a complicated subject, though, and even though there might appear to be this very strict, very Christian exterior at times, this was often a way for healers to safely practice and avoid being labeled as a witch. I think there’s sometimes the mistaken view that more traditional or conservative cultures are therefore more religious and that’s not the case with the Ozarks. Religion or religious culture was often just the outward appearance whereas underneath the practices and traditions were, and still are, as diverse as there are practitioners. So, you might have a healer who is outwardly more traditional or conservative in their culture but underneath that they are working with the fairies in their healing practice, or angels, or other entities that definitely don’t fit into the more religiously conservative culture.

7. You make a good point in “Ozark Folk Magic.” Although it stems from certain traditions that can be traced WAY back, these things still continue to evolve. What evolution have you witnessed, and do you have an idea what may be next?

The first major evolution with Ozark folk traditions came around the beginning of the 20th century when roads got better and towns started building up. This was when tourists from outside the Ozarks starting flocking to the region to get a view of a real-life hillbilly, up close and in person. This was also when the major Ozark folklorists began their work. This influx of interest from the outside created a sort of folk culture revival for people where storytellers and traditional musicians started performing for large audiences and actually making some money. The folk culture became much more outward facing and a lot of the subtle nuances were lost as life became about either appeasing or avoiding the tourists.

The next evolution came in the 60’s and 70’s with the back to the land movement and an influx of outsiders into the hills, many of which were from much larger urban areas, in particular California. These groups were already a part of the New Age movement and would have brought with them different religious and spiritual traditions like yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Wicca, and many others. This clash of cultures with the Ozark hillfolk has lasted up until today in many places, but underneath the surface, many traditional healers and magical practitioners incorporated this new culture into their own.

Currently, more and more people are getting interested specifically in what we might call Traditional Witchcraft, which today often encompasses not only folk magic practices but also an earth-based spiritual system as well as folk herbalism and practical healing methods. This is one of the reasons I see so many people taking on the title of witch; so much information is now contained in such a simple word. This is where I see the practice going. Embracing cultural heritage practices in the form of traditional magic and spirituality, while at the same time taking a critical view of problematic pieces of our own history.

8. Is there a place for lifelong residents of urban environments in this practice?

Of course. Pretty soon even us Ozarkers are going to be in the middle of a vast urban landscape as well. Traditions have to change and move with the times. But, I do think at the heart of Ozark practice is a deep connection to the land, however that might manifest for the individual. While I personally draw a lot of power and inspiration from being out in the woods away from all the modern stuff, towns and cities are a part of the Ozark landscape as well and there’s absolutely a place in this practice for those who draw more from the urban environment than the wilds.

9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects my readers should be aware of?

Right now I’m working on my second book, which so release from Llewellyn next year. It’s going to be all the spells, recipes, and rituals I couldn’t squeeze into the first book. Basically, “Ozark Folk Magic” is the theory and the second book will be all the practice materials.

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one questions.

Do you have any family or ancestral traditions that you’ve incorporated into your own practice?

Sadly no, and this uptick in folk magic that highlights family/ancestral traditions really drives it home. It makes me a sad panda.

About Brandon Weston:
Brandon Weston is a spiritual healer, medium, and writer living in the Arkansas Ozarks. He is author of “Ozark Folk Magic: Plants, Prayers, and Healing” and 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.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

New World Witchery

I don’t know where to begin with today’s review. “New World Witchery” by Cory Thomas Hutcheson is my kind of a book. A book I always wanted to find, but never did. Obviously until now.

“New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic” by Cory Thomas Hutcheson delivers on its subtitle. It is an amazing treasure trove of North American folk magic. Unbeknownst to me there is a podcast called “New World Witchery” that Hutcheson is the cohost. He also has a doctorate in American Studies with specializations in folklore, religion, and ethnicity from Penn State. Is this the North American Claude Lecouteux we’ve been waiting for? Or at least I’VE been waiting for? By all indications, yes!

The main difference between the 100% scholarly writings of Lecouteux and what you’ll find in “New World Witchery” is that Hutcheson also provides ways to practice some of the folk magic found in the different branches of North American magic. Hutcheson divides the book into 12 rites (essentially 12 parts): naming, initiation, casting the spell, second sight, flight, chewing the root, the familiar, hallowing the ground, calling the moon, working the charm, necromancy, and invisibility. Each section is filled with primary source writings about witchcraft and folk magic. There are also biographies of many of North America’s folk magic forebearers. And, of course, the aforementioned magical exercises you can try yourself.

Just in case this all wasn’t enough to nerd out too, there is a big ol’ bibliography and recommended reading.

I truly cannot imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy “New World Witchery” by Cory Thomas Hutcheson, which is why I’m so excited to say that I have an extra copy of this book to offer in a giveaway!

This giveaway is open to people 18 years-old and up in the United States. As usual, I’m using Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends on Saturday 08/01/2021 at 11:59pm eastern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

The Most-Searched Hulu Original Series

As some of you might remember, from time to time the folks at USDish put together an interesting report that I want to share. This one, “The Most-Searched Hulu Original Series, by State”, I thought I would be ignoring, but then I read it and it prompted feelings in me. Feelings I had to share.

The team at USDISH.com gathered a list of Hulu original television shows from their website. Next, they used the website analytics tool Semrush to collect the average monthly search volume of each Hulu original series. Finally, they used Google Trends to track the search volume for the ten most popular Hulu series in each state and the District of Columbia.


I was pleased to see the reboot for “Animaniacs” came in at the top of list. Although not as good as the original, it definitely had some great bits, and I was pleased to see the gang together again. My state, New York, apparently went with “A Teacher”, which the report says is a series that spurred controversy, but I have not even heard of it. Which is one of the things I wanted to ask? Do people get excited for Hulu originals? Do people get excited about any streaming network originals? The marketplace is SO saturated with content, original or otherwise, it seems hard for the United States to come together and get truly obsessed with a series. It happens. For instance, can you all shut up about “Bridgerton”?

Also, while discussing Hulu originals, I was happy to see that “Solar Opposites” came in first in Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Who knew those states had such excellent taste? Please, if you have Hulu and have not watched “Solar Opposites” yet, go watch it. Give it a few episodes, I think you’ll be pleased.

Curious about the other states? Here is how it broke down.

Alabama	        A Teacher
Alaska		Animaniacs
Arizona		Animaniacs
Arkansas	A Teacher
California	Animaniacs
Colorado	Castle Rock
Connecticut	The Handmaid's Tale
Delaware	Animaniacs
D.C.            Mrs. America
Florida		A Teacher
Georgia		A Teacher
Hawaii		Animaniacs
Idaho		Solar Opposites
Illinois	Animaniacs
Indiana		Animaniacs
Iowa		The Act
Kansas		Animaniacs
Kentucky	Animaniacs
Louisiana	A Teacher
Maine		The Handmaid's Tale
Maryland	Animaniacs
Massachusetts	The Handmaid's Tale
Michigan	Animaniacs
Minnesota	The Handmaid's Tale
Mississippi	A Teacher
Missouri	Animaniacs
Montana	        Solar Opposites
Nebraska	Animaniacs
Nevada		Animaniacs
New Hampshire	The Handmaid's Tale
New Jersey	A Teacher
New Mexico	Animaniacs
New York	A Teacher
North Carolina	A Teacher
North Dakota	A Teacher
Ohio		Animaniacs
Oklahoma	Animaniacs
Oregon		Animaniacs
Pennsylvania	The Handmaid's Tale
Rhode Island	Little Fires Everywhere
South Carolina	A Teacher
South Dakota	Solar Opposites
Tennessee	Animaniacs
Texas		A Teacher
Utah		Animaniacs
Vermont	        The Handmaid's Tale
Virginia	Animaniacs
Washington	Animaniacs
West Virginia	The Handmaid's Tale
Wisconsin	The Handmaid's Tale
Wyoming	        The Act

You can view the report and all its details here.

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