Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia

Front Cover
Weiser Books, Jun 1, 2019 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 240 pages

In Backwoods Witchcraft, Jake Richards offers up a folksy stew of family stories, lore, omens, rituals, and conjure crafts that he learned from his great-grandmother, his grandmother, and his grandfather, a Baptist minister who Jake remembers could "rid someone of a fever with an egg or stop up the blood in a wound." The witchcraft practiced in Appalachia is very much a folk magic of place, a tradition that honors the seen and unseen beings that inhabit the land as well as the soil, roots, and plant life.

The materials and tools used in Appalachia witchcraft are readily available from the land. This "grounded approach" will be of keen interest to witches and conjure folk regardless of where they live. Readers will be guided in how to build relationships with the spirits and other beings that dwell around them and how to use the materials and tools that are readily available on the land where one lives.

This book also provides instructions on how to create a working space and altar and make conjure oils and powders. A wide array of tried-and-true formulas are also offered for creating wealth, protecting one from gossip, spiritual cleansing, and more.


What people are saying - Write a review

Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Richards, owner of and folk magic teacher at Little Chicago Conjure in Jonesborough, Tenn., presents the charms, conjures, and culture of Appalachia in this enjoyable book meant to “piece together ... Read full review


Terrain and Culture in Appalachia
Stories and Superstitions
Connecting with the Land
Ancestor Veneration
Living by Signs and Omens
Techniques and Methods of the Power Doctor
Spirits of Southern Appalachia
Spelling and FortuneTelling
Tools and Supplies
Appalachian Candle Magic Doll Babies and Other Trickery
Folk Recipes and Remedies
About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2019)

While Jake Richards doesn't hold initiations, titles, or degrees, he clearly does hold his Appalachian heritage close to his blood and bones. He has practiced Appalachian folk magic for almost a decade and teaches classes on the subject in Jonesborough, Tennessee, where he owns Little Chicago Conjure, a supplier of Appalachian folk magic supplies and ingredients.   Starr Casas, a veteran rootworker and traditional conjure woman, has been helping people for over 35 years through her ancestral art of old style conjure. She is one of the preeminent modern masters of this southern American style of folk magic, and she maintains an active teaching schedule. Starr is also among the organizers of the annual New Orleans Folk Magic Festival. Visit her at

Bibliographic information