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Understanding Magic: Hereditary Magic

Hello friends! Welcome to all! This week we are going to dive into Hereditary magic, also known as family tradition or folk magic. Now this one is going to give Nonna vibes over the pot of tomato sauce on Sunday morning, your Mamaw knowing what to say to magically make a splinter come out of skin, and your Granny sweeping the couch. Stuff that feels like home, that little bit of love that you feel from the ancestors. So, lets dive in!

Now hereditary magic is a type of magic that is passed down through generations within a family or community. It is often based on the cultural and spiritual beliefs of the people who practice it and can vary widely depending on the region and heritage of the practitioners, hence where the name comes from. This type of magic, like most, may include rituals, spells, divination, herbalism, and other practices that are unique to a particular family or community. These practices are often deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the people who practice them and may be influenced by their ancestors, spirits, or deities, some can even be traced back to pre-Christian pagan beliefs and practices. In fact, Hereditary magic can be a powerful way of connecting with one's ancestral heritage and spiritual practices! It can also be a way of preserving cultural traditions and passing them down to future generations. However, it's important to note that not all families or communities have a tradition of hereditary magic, and those who practice it should always do so with respect and sensitivity to their cultural heritage.


There are many different types of hereditary witchcraft, each with its own unique practices and traditions from all over the world. Some of the most common are as follows**:

  • Italian Witchcraft, Stregheria: derived from the pre-Christian traditions of Italy. The term "Strega" means "witch" in Italian, and the practice has its roots in the ancient Etruscan and Roman religions. Italian witchcraft places a strong emphasis on the worship of nature, and practitioners often honor the spirits of trees, animals, and other elements of the natural world. There is also a strong emphasis on ancestor worship and working with the spirits of one's ancestors. One of the most important figures in Italian witchcraft is the goddess Diana, who is often depicted as a lunar goddess associated with fertility, childbirth, and the hunt. Practitioners of Italian witchcraft often use herbs, crystals, and other natural materials in their rituals and spells. They also use tarot cards and other divination tools to gain insight into the future and to communicate with spirits.

  • Appalachian Witchcraft, Folk Magic: This form of witchcraft was developed in the Appalachian Mountains region of the United States, influenced by the traditions of the indigenous peoples who lived in the region before the arrival of Europeans, as well as by the beliefs and practices of the early European settlers who made their homes in the mountains. It is rooted in the folk traditions and beliefs of the people who have lived in the region for generations. Appalachian witchcraft places a strong emphasis on working with the natural world and incorporating elements of Christianity into its practices. Just like any other types of witchcraft, Folk magic often use herbs, crystals, and other natural materials in their spells and rituals, and they may also use charms and talismans to protect themselves from harm. You will find this type of folk magic using what is right in their backyard. One of the most important figures in Appalachian witchcraft is the Granny Witch, an older woman who is believed to have inherited her magical powers from her ancestors. Granny Witches are respected members of their communities and are often called upon to provide healing and guidance to others. Another important figure in Appalachian witchcraft is the Jack, a trickster figure who is believed to possess magical powers and who can be both helpful and harmful to those who encounter him.

  • Nordic Witchcraft, Scandinavian witchcraft: This form of witchcraft originates from the ancient pagan traditions of the Nordic countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. It is often associated with the worship of the Norse gods and goddesses, such as Odin, Thor, Freya, and Loki. Nordic witchcraft places a strong emphasis on the connection between the natural world and the spiritual world, and practitioners often use natural materials, such as herbs, crystals, and stones, in their spells and rituals. There is also a strong emphasis on divination and the use of runes, an ancient writing system used by the Norse people. One of the most important figures in Nordic witchcraft is the seeress, a woman who has the ability to see into the future and communicate with the spirits of the dead. Seeresses were highly respected members of their communities and were often called upon to provide guidance and advice. Another important figure in Nordic witchcraft is the troll, a mischievous and sometimes malevolent creature that is believed to possess magical powers. Trolls are often associated with the natural world, and they are said to live in mountains, forests, and other wild places.

  • African Witchcraft: African witchcraft really deserves its own post because there is a wide variety of traditional spiritual practices and beliefs that exist throughout the continent of Africa. In many African cultures, there is a strong belief in the power of ancestors and spirits, and practitioners of African witchcraft often work with these entities to achieve their goals. There is also a strong connection between the natural world and the spiritual world, and many African witchcraft practices incorporate elements of nature, such as herbs, plants, and animals. One of the most important figures in African witchcraft is the witch doctor or shaman, a spiritual leader who is believed to possess the ability to communicate with the spirits and to use their powers to heal and protect the community. The role of the witch doctor varies from culture to culture, but they are often highly respected members of their communities and play an important role in the spiritual life of the people they serve. Another important figure in African witchcraft is the trickster, a figure who uses their wit and cunning to achieve their goals. Tricksters are often associated with animals, such as the hare or the spider, and they are believed to possess magical powers that they use to help or harm others.

** Please keep in mind, these are all closed practices! Please respect the culture and do your due diligence in knowing what is being taken and misused**


Well, that wraps it up for the most part. I am sure there will be more posts to come on this topic as I dive more. Before I go though, it's worth noting that hereditary witchcraft is not always limited to bloodlines. Some practitioners may be adopted into a family or chosen to carry on a specific tradition by a mentor or elder. Ultimately, hereditary witchcraft is a deeply personal and cultural practice that's passed down through generations, connecting practitioners to their ancestors and their heritage. Don't be surprised when one day a crazy aunt chooses you to come learn on the ways of the world.


Until next time,

xoxo

Margaux <3

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