Welcome to Bob's page on the web...and exploration of the Magical practices of my ancestors, the Pennsylvania Germans...often called Pennsylvania Dutch...Early German settlers first came to Pennsylvania in the 17th century, with a great migration occuring in the early part of the eighteenth century...my ancestors came to this country in 1723 from what is now the Rheinland-Pfaltz of Germany...but others came from Switzerland, Bavaria, the Black Forest and Alsace. Most were members of the various sects known as the "Bretheren": Amish, Mennonite, Schwenfelder, Dunkerd. Lutheran and German and Dutch Reformed...My family were Schwenkfelder, Lutheran and German Reformed. One of my early ancestors was John Philip Bohm one of the first German Reformed ministers in America. for a history of my family, the Bittings please check out this site:
Bitting Family History
Most of the German healers in the area were known as Pow wow doctors, and they often were held in higher esteem than the medical doctors of the time. The Specialized in the use of Hex signs which can still be seen on Barns all over Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Dutch form of Witchcraft was not a form of the "Old Religion" as most of the practitioners were Anabaptist or other protestant faiths and the claimed that their power was obtained from the Lord.
One of the charms my great grandfather employed througout his life was to carry a chestnut in his pocket...this was said to impart the strength and endurance of the Chestnut tree, and must have been the case as all the male members (and most of the female) of my family live a long life...My great Grandfather lived into his nineties.
As this web page evolves, I will endeavor to list some of the charms and apells that my ancestors used in their everyday life, and will try to collect other charms from the Pennsylvania country side.
If you have any information Pennsylvania Dutch Witchcraft to share please e-mail me:
A charm against Slander:
Take off your shirt and turn it inside out, run your thumbs along your body close under the ribs, starting at the pit of your heart down to the thighs.
A Charm Against Fire:
Kill a black chicken at high noon, wrap the bird in a shirt worn by a virgin...combine the chicken and shirt in an eight quart pot along with an egg that was laid on Maunday Thursday...boil well and bury the whole under the threshold of your house.
A Charm against theft:
Early in the morning, take three coffin nails and go to a pear tree, hold the three nails toward the rising sun and drive them into the tree saying "Feind, Feind, Fremde aus!"
To win at Gaming:
Tie the heart of a bat to your right arm.
More charms to coming soon!
Pow Wows or the Long Lost Friend,
A collection of mysterious and invaluable Arts and Remedies by John Hohman
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