Rue and Rock Salt: An introduction to Brazilian Folk Magic - A WitchCon Online 2021 class with Petrucia Finkler

March 5th to 7th, 2021

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March 5th to 7th, 2021, join the largest online magical conference in the world, featuring over a hundred Witches and Conjurers coming to you by livestream video from across the globe!

Rue and Rock Salt: An introduction to Brazilian Folk Magic

A Livestream Class with Petrucia Finkler

Sunday, March 7 at 9:00 am in The Mars Chamber

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Having a haircut on the right phase of the moon, suggesting someone takes a salt bath to send away bad juju, making sure you have a snake plant by your entrance door or dipping someone’s name in honey, most Brazilians have done or heard it all. These are common knowledge little magic strategies present in daily life.

In a country that is 87% Christian it may be surprising to foreigners to see that Orishas are household names (as they show up in popular music, art, carnaval and telenovelas), and spiritual superstition is present everywhere. Street posters advertise spiritual workers that guarantee to bring your lover back to your arms in three days, and the mention of magic is so pervasive that to threaten someone with its use is a crime punishable by law.

The fact is that Iberian customs and Catholicism mixed well with African deities and indigenous shamanism (pajelança), making for a rich cross-cultural magical territory. Unfortunately, this wealth is viewed with disdain by practicing witches that follow a European or North American based tradition.

So not only is the scary rise in the number of physical and political attacks by evangelicals something that threatens the cauldron of mysticism that Brazil is known to be, but there is a strong perceived prejudice from initiated witches towards those who dab with folk beliefs and techniques. Petrucia Finkler will look at some of the beauty, some idiosyncrasies and a few quick simple folk techniques that are still prevalent in Brazil today.

Class Highlights:

  • The local fae and the medicine of the forest
  • Every day sympathetic magic and the figure of the Benzedeira
  • African and Pagan practices largely reproduced by society during New year’s eve and June festivities
  • Spiritual possession and the giving of blessings as a service to community
  • How witches tend to view and consider these practices

There is a fine line between an “anything goes” attitude, and the expanded knowledge and technique that may be gained through dialogue and exchange. Witchcraft should not be prudish as to end up hindering its own possibilities of working with local flora and spirits out of prejudice or segregation.