At the beginning of the month, I was lucky enough to get some time off work, load up my SUV with "Super Hubby" and the goofy mutt and go to South Carolina. My Dad moved to S.C. back in April, after living his whole life in New England... he was having a bit of culture shock, so we went to visit.
Dad has a bunch of land out in the middle of "nowhere", and let me tell you that "nowhere" is beautiful. I hiked with the dog twice a day and never saw a soul. I saw black squirrels, heard mooing cows and even one night, when we were late getting back, a howling yi-yi sound of a coyote! I was not afraid! :-)
But there something that I was a little nervous about, everyone in town and I think, possibly in that section of South Carolina are Baptist. I don't know many personally, growing up in New England, everyone I knew was Roman Catholic. I did have a vague sense that they do not drink, and some do not dance or play cards...so a drinking, dancing, Texas hold 'em playing witch had just come to town....Interesting.
My Dad is Anglican, which is a tradition within Christianity, his wife was raised Baptist and they go to a Baptist Church.They are not hard to find in S.C., I counted 17 in town. So, everyone at church had heard that "Super Hubby" and I were coming for a visit and wanted to meet us. Yikes!
We were invited to the house of a church Deacon for lunch. "Super Hubby" could not contain his evil glee at the thought! I am very respectful when it comes to religion and while I do not offer my personal beliefs to strangers, if one should ask, I am always forthcoming about being Pagan. I just hoped no one would ask....
Oh, one little historical tidbit.....one of the last witch trails in the United States was in S.C., in 1813. Barbara Powers was tried on the charge of witchcraft, accused of turning a young girl into a horse and riding her. Interesting.......
We had a nice lunch, making small talk and such. The conversation turned to gardening and herbal tea and the Deacon's mother, who was in her 80's, pulled me into the kitchen to show me her Grandmother's cookbook.
Holy cow!!!! It had recipes for chicken and biscuits and every other food you can think of.... but guess what else? Folk remedies, and herbal medicine and gardening tips using moon phases.
When I asked about some of it, she got a little embarrassed and said her Grandmother came to the U.S. from Wales and was very superstitious. I told her so was I and I asked if I could write down some things from the book. She agreed and here is some of it....
There was a poem that young girls can recite while looking over their shoulder at a new moon:
New moon, new moon, let me see
Who my husband is to be;
The color of his hair, the clothes he wears,
and the day he is to wed me.
Sounds like a spell to me!!!!! LOL.
To cure a sore back, boil pine tree roots and pain ants ( I guess that means, the biting red ones) in a clean cloth and place it on the sore spot.
Got a sore throat? Put a live toad on your neck where the pain is.....Ewwwwwww!
There was a bunch more, so many of them witchy, like wear a ring with a green stone if you have eye problems....lots of things that she called poems but to me were definitely spells! :-)
Before my next trip up there, I will do some research about the folklore and witchcraft of that area....who knows what I will find. If anyone can suggest some books or websites about the folklore of the area, please let me know.
They Deacon never asked what religion I was, but I think his Mom knew.... :-)