Byron Ballard will be giving a discussion on the Spirit-Haunted Appalachian Landscape:
In this talk, independent folklorist and folk magic practitioner H. Byron Ballard outlines the origins of the unique Appalachian folk magic of her region. Cultural history shows us three strains of this tradition–Cherokee, Ulster Irish and German. But it has traditionally been practiced through a Protestant Christian lens, as much of the folk magic of the African diaspora is practiced through a Catholic one. Ballard has successfully woven the techniques of her folk magic practice with the spirit-base of her religious practice which is decidedly non-Christian. Relying on land spirits, Ancestors and the Divines whom she serves, Ballard invites the listener on a ramble through this living tradition.
H. Byron Ballard, BA, MFA, is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival and other gatherings. Her writings have appeared in print and electronic media. Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press). She blogs as “Asheville’s Village Witch” (myvillagewitch.wordpress.com) and as The Village Witch for Witches and Pagans Magazine (witchesandpagans.com/The-Village-Witch) Her pamphlet “Back to the Garden: a Handbook for New Pagans“ has been widely distributed and her first book “Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo” (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on “Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet”. Contact her at http://www.myvillagewitch.com, firstname.lastname@example.org