Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans

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basic tools of powwowing

Posted by Rob Phoenix on September 3, 2017 at 5:10 PM

Powwowing is a no frills tradition. It requires little more than your faith in the Holy Trinity and knowledge of a few tried and proven charms. You could spend your entire life powwowing with nothing more than your hands and your trusty dusty old family bible. 


But there are a few bits and bobbles that have found their way into the practice of powwowing that you may want to experiment with. The list I've created here contain the extras that I use or have used in the past. This is by no means an all-encompassing list of all things that can be used in powwowing. But it's a good place to start.


Bible. Of course. This goes without saying. Your bible may function as an actual working tool for your powwowing (I have used mine to beat out a verhexing, rub away pain, etc). Or you may just have your client holding your bible while you are powwowing them (Ive done this too). In my opinion (as well as many others) powwowing just isn't powwowing without the holy Bible.


Stones. I have three stones that I use in my powwowing. One is a smooth black river stone that I use for removing pain. Exactly HOW I use it for pain relief is my own secret, but I've been using this same stone since the 1990's and it's never failed me. The other two stones I use come from the Nelson Rehmeyer property, which is fairly close to my home. Nelson Rehmeyer is a bit like a martyred saint in powwowing, so the stones from his property have great meaning to me. One of the stones is used for marking circles and/or other marks or symbols. The other stone is used exclusively for anti-hex work.


String. Some like to use exclusively red string, others aren't so fussy. It's up to you. String is used to "tie off" certain illnesses so they can be removed from the afflicted person. You can also scrape off an illness or verhexing with string then burn the string to remove the influence.


Coins. Pennies are used to remove warts. The wart is rubbed with the penny and then the penny is either spent or discarded in some way. You can also remove a verhexing with a penny then 'gift' that penny to the hex who cast the curse so as to return it to them. This is tricky business, so please exercise caution if you do this.


Potatoes. Much like coins, potatoes are generally used for wart removal. You cut the potato in half, rub the wart, put the potato back together, and bury it on the corner of your property. Well, that's one version. There are a number of different potato/wart charms that you may come across.


Over the years I've learned about powwowers using herbs, little pouches, safety pins, and whatever else they may have laying about the house. The beauty of powwowing lies in its simplicity. The tools you may use are plain and unassuming and can literally be kept in plain sight with no one being any wiser of their purpose. 

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