Ozark Encyclopedia – O – Onion

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Onion – Allium cepa

Parts used: bulb

Traditional uses: Syrup of chopped onions taken for colds. Used to destroy germs because of a volatile oil in roots. Onion placed in a sick room to draw fever out.

“Antiseptic, diuretic. A roasted Onion is a useful application to tumours or earache. The juice made into a syrup is good for colds and coughs. Hollands gin, in which Onions have been macerated, is given as a cure for gravel and dropsy.” ~Grieve MH

Red onion on bedpost for a cold – “A big red onion tied to a bedpost is said to prevent the occupants of the bed from catching cold. A famous politician in Arkansas had an onion fastened to his bedpost as recently as 1937. When I asked him about this he laughed rather sheepishly. ‘That’s just one of Maw’s notions,’ he said, referring to his mother-in-law. ‘She lives with…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – O – Oak

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Oak – Quercus

Parts used: bark, leaf

Traditional uses: Astringent, antiseptic, bark and leaves can be used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, can be used in poultices and to help stop bleeding.

“The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic. Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers. It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – N – Needles

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Held in mouth while cutting onions – “A girl from Cape Fair, Missouri, once told me that a woman can peel or cut up raw onions without making her eyes smart, simply by holding a needle in her mouth while she does the job.” ~Randolph OMF 138-139

Held in mouth for sore eyes – “…in other backwoods towns I have heard that a needle in the mouth is generally believed to be good for sore or watery eyes, no matter what the cause of the irritation.” ~Randolph OMF 139

Needle used in making a love charm – “A girl can take a needle which has been stuck into a dead body, cover it with dirt in which a corpse has been laid, and wrap the whole thing in a cloth cut from a winding sheet; this is supposed to be a very powerful love charm, and a woman who owns…

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Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

gather

Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.

santareindeer

Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her antlers. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.

reindeer100-001

So this season, when we gather by the fire to tell children bedtime stories of Santa and his flying reindeer – why not tell the story of the ancient Deer Mother of old? It was she…

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Artist of the Month GLORIA OJULARI plus Amazing ideas for Christmas 2017.

On Being an American Druid

The Druid's Garden

The quintessential image of a druid is a group of people, all in white robes, performing ritual inside an ancient circle of stones.  This image is probably the most known and pervasive of all visuzaliations of druidry, and for many, it shapes the our perceptions of what druidry should be. But taken in a North American context, this image presents two problems.  First, we have no such ancient stone circles and two, another group has already claimed the quitessential white robe, and its not a group with which we want to associate our tradition.  This kind of tension, along with many other unique features of our landscape, make being an American druid inherently different than a druid located somewhere else in the world.  In the case of any spiritual practice, context matters, and context shapes so much of the daily pracice and work.    And so today, I’m going to answer…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – N – Nails

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Nails have been used in Ozark folk healing and magic in a variety of ways. There’s a belief among Hillfolk that the object that hurt the individual was just as important to the healing process as the medicine put onto the wound. Knife blades, bullets, and nails were often treated with healing salves and plants alongside the puncture or cut itself. Rusty nails were added to tonics to prevent tetanus or to treat illnesses like tuberculosis. Water made from soaking new nails was seen as a sure treatment for anemia and iron deficiencies, and sometimes the sickness itself could be taken off the patient and nailed to a tree. Nails were driven into footprints to deal lethal blows to foes and witches alike. Coffin and gallows nails were carried by Hillfolk as an amulet to ward of certain venereal diseases.

Curing a boil – “One way to cure boils, according…

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Holly Wood

Elder Mountain Dreaming @gmail.com

Trees are magical, there is no doubt and those of us who love and respect them are far and few between. The Wood of the Holly is hard, compact and close-grained and its color is of beautiful white ivory that can be buffed to a very high polish.  When freshly cut the holly wood has a slightly greenish hue but soon becomes perfectly white, and its hardness makes it superior to any other white wood. However the wood of Holly is very retentive of its sap and as a consequence can warp if not well dried and seasoned before use. Old, fancy walking sticks were made from Holly, as were the stocks of light riding whips.  Today it is used in delicate instruments such as weather-gauges and barometers.

Holly is commonly used all over the world as a winter season decoration in many traditions, a custom derived from the earliest Romans who…

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The Importance Of Remembering Where You Come From

By Amy Brucker

Has this ever happened to you:

As the weather turns cooler, my go-go-go has gone-gone-gone, and I want to retreat into the coziness of woolen socks and spiced tea.

But my desire goes beyond wanting to feel snug. There’s a distinct feeling that permeates these moments, a sensation that cannot be put into words.

It’s the mesmerizing movement of dipping a tea bag.

The soft glow of candle light casting shadows in the corners.

The feeling of warm with a blanket by the fire-lit hearth.

They all create this inner experience that is beyond cozy.

It’s Koselig (ku’-se-lee’).

Connecting with Your Ancestors (without Knowing It)

Without realizing it, I’ve been experiencing koselig my entire life. It’s a Norwegian word that loosely translates to “cozy.” But unlike the English word “cozy”, koselig is richer, deeper, going beyond woolen socks and cable knit sweaters. It’s a feeling. An inner glow.

My Norwegian kinfolk cultivate koselig all year round, not only when the snow falls. You can feel it in the festivities of Syttende Mai (their version of Fourth of July), or the pizza place in the middle of town. It’s a state of mind and sensation independent of weather, place, or time.

My experience of koselig is a gentle reminder of my roots, of where I come from. Genetics hold so much more than the code for eye color. These cellular memories are directions for living. Sometimes they nurture us, bringing a sense of wholeness that we need, not just to survive, but to thrive.

Remembering Where You Come From

What might you be experiencing that is a remnant of your ancestral past?

If your ancestors emigrated several generations ago to your current continent, if you were adopted, or if your family doesn’t talk about the past, that might be a difficult question to answer, but see if you can. The more connected you feel to your ancestors, the more meaning your life will hold.

Knowing where you come from helps you grows strong roots, roots that hold you steady when you’re feeling unstable. These roots tap into your family tree so they can share their secrets with you:

You come from a long lineage of people who overcame life threatening hardships to ultimately deliver you into the world. You are a gift from those who walked before you. Take comfort in the knowing that you are never alone. Your ancestors are with you, dreaming you into being, just as you have dreamed their lives into memories and stories that bring laughter and tears.

So where did you come from? What are you doing that is reminiscent of the past?

How are you connecting to your ancestors without knowing it? Food for thought.

Sweet dreaming,

Amy

Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Moon

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Silver connection to the Moon – “It is always a good idea to be touching a silver coin whenever you see the moon, and it may be for this reason that rings hammered from silver coins are so popular in some sections.” ~Randolph OMF 330

Medicine and the Moon – “Medicine works best when there is a full moon.” ~Parler FBA II 1376

Moon ritual for warts – “Go outside on a moonlight night and sit down on anything. Look at the moon and concentrate on it. Then after a few minutes, still looking at the moon, reach down and pick up whatever your hand touches. Rub it on your wart. The wart will go away.” ~Parler FBA III 3628

Moon madness – “If you look at the moon too long it will make you go crazy. This is called ‘moon madness.’” ~Parler FBA III 3944

“A person who sleeps…

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