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Doctoring the Devil - Jake Richards

Doctoring the Devil - Jake Richards

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In this “great starting point for those hoping to practice Appalachian folk magic” (Publishers Weekly), conjure man Jake Richards shares the root work practices and traditional magic he learned from his family as he grew up in the hills and hollers of Appalachia.

Who were the old conjurors and witches of Appalachia? What were their practices and beliefs? How can you learn the ways of conjuring for yourself? Appalachian folk magic and conjure are little known today, but forty or fifty years ago just about every person you might ask in Appalachia either knew something about it themselves or knew someone who did it. These practices and “superstitions” are at the core of Appalachian culture.

In Doctoring the Devil, Jake Richards speaks to those questions and more, offering the various ways of rooting out the “devil”—any unfriendly spirit bringing bad luck, poor health, and calamities of all sorts.

Like the blue smoky mists that glide up the Appalachians, Jake leads his readers up the hillsides too, introducing us to folks along the way—hunters, farmers, blacksmiths, faith healers, preachers, and root-diggers. We’ll also meet the local spirits and learn root ways. Further up the hill, we delve into Jake’s notebooks—a personal collection of tried-and-true Appalachian recipes and roots for conjuring love, money, justice, and success.

By Jake Richards. Paperback. 288 pages. Published by Weiser Books, 2021.