The Powwow Guy

Home of Robert Phoenix and Traditional Christian Pennsylvania German Powwow

Powwow tools

All folk traditions have their own special tools, props, tricks, etc that practitioners use to work our magic. Powwow is not a particularly tool-heavy tradition, although we do have a few necessities that help define our practice. This list is likely not as comprehensive as I would like it to be, simply because some Powwowers may have their own little personal tricks and tools that are not as common across the tradition as a whole. But this will get you started.

The Holy Trinity. Powwow is not a tradition of goddesses and pagan spirits. It is a Christian tradition with a Christian worldview as its foundation. It requires literal belief in the Holy Trinity. God is not a nebulous concept within Powwow. Nor is Jesus just another 'correspondence' to be used like a Pokemon card when you need specific help. This is absolutely non-negotiable within Powwow. Simply put, if you don't believe, then Powwow is not for you.

the Bible. Without the Bible, you are not a Powwow. There is no other argument about it. the Bible isn't just a prop, it is the foundation of our belief. It is the root of our 'power' as a Powwower. We take the Word of God seriously as it is the power of God and the Will of God that effects the changes we seek when someone comes to us for healing, hex removal, or whatever. A Powwower is a conduit for God's power. the Bible is how we understand that power to work. During a healing session, your client can hold a Bible in their hands while the Powwower holds his own Bible. We often quote from scripture or use themes from the Bible in our rituals. Our Bibles contain notes on personal rituals, bindings and other charms tucked away inside the pages, and important bits of magic and information we need to keep safe. the Bible is the most important tool in Powwow.

Ritual books and Grimoires. The Long Lost Friend. Egyptian Secrets of Albertus Magnus. The Romanus-buchlein. The Key of Solomon. The list of books and grimoires is lengthy. This is not to say all Powwowers use all of these books. Most throughout history have used the Long Lost Friend almost exclusively. However, some of us delve into further studies and magics that require the use of more grimoires and charms books that are compatible with the tradition but may be less well known. It is my advice that you should not create a personal grimoire of your own work. If someone should steal your book, it will render you powerless (according to history). Rather, I believe it is wiser to just build a collection of reference materials for your use.

Charm or Brauche bags. A Brauche bag is a cloth pouch generally holding a charm for such things as reducing fevers, protection from illness, protection from spirits, etc. The contents of the bag vary depending on the purpose. For healing the bag may contain a fever-reduction charm or an herb or flower that is known to help cure the illness. For protection, the bag can contain a bit of iron or a SATOR square, etc. The bags are worn on the body, usually around the neck with a red string.

 Herbs and home remedies. This is not for everyone, I realize that. Some of us can grow our own herbs to use in home remedies (or you can purchase your herbs from a local source). Learning to make your own herbal teas and salves and ointments is very satisfying and helps keep us in tune with what our ancestors would have done. Powwow is very much a cultural tradition tied to the Pennsylvania landscape. Our forebears would have known how to find cures and treatments in the wild. While it is not recommended that you give such cures to your clients because you don't know how they may react to it, it is nice to have on hand a few burn remedies, first aid creams, and other such topical cures that may come in handy in a moment's notice, and they are far better for you than store-bought, chemical-heavy remedies. 

A pocket knife. Pocket knives are the perfect tool that have definitely lost their popularity in recent years. When I was a little boy, I had my Cub Scout pocket knife with me at all times. Nowadays, a kid or adult could get arrested for terroristic threats simply by having a pocket knife on them. Still, I carry one. They are useful for cutting limbs for various charms, carving symbols or sigils as needed, cutting string, etc. I have three faithful pocket knives and they are truly a tool that you bond with over time. 

Talismans. Not every Powwower is skilled at making talismans, and that's ok. It can be a tricky science to learn astrology and astrological timing, which is absolutely crucial to the creation of effective talismans. If you are so inclined to add this to your Powwow, then please review all the pages of my website, even the blog. I have really good instructions for creating talismans and for learning astrological timing. If you do make a talisman for a client, they will need to wait until you can plan to create it during proper astrological conditions. There is no rushing a talisman, so be sure to take your time and learn how to do them properly. They do not need to be works of artistic masterpiece..we are a simple folk tradition after all...but they should be made in the proper timing so they have power.

String. String is used in Powwow to remove influences, bind things, tie up Brauche bags, etc. In some charms, the measure of the individual is called for, so string should be kept on hand for that purpose. Some feel that red string should always be used. Personally, I don't think it matters. Use what you have on hand if there isn't any red string available. The color is purely symbolic anyway. 

Local lore and history. In Pennsylvania, we have an extremely rich history of ghosts, hauntings, monsters, cursed roads, etc. Sometimes a client will contact me because they believe they are being haunted or cursed and the first thing I do is research their local lore. There can be some truth to the legends and you never truly know what you are dealing with until you do some research. Find out where the local witch covens are located. Find out if there are other magical organizations or practitioners in the area. Learn the supernatural aspects of your state! I cannot stress this enough. History and lore have much to teach us, and these forces can still hold a great influence over some individuals in this day and age. You may find your answers here, believe me.

Playing cards. I use playing cards as a way to do a "reading" for certain clients when they wish to know if there is something sinister at work in their lives. Reading cards takes some time to get the hang of but as long as you remember that it's a way for God to speak to you about a specific situation, then you have the gist of it. Just shuffle all the cards in the deck and lay them all out in three or four rows, stacking the next row on top and so on. When you have them all out, look for certain indicators that suggest nefarious actions being taken against your client. I have a blog post on the Blog page about meanings for cards, so you can check there if you are more interested in this.

Walking stick or cane. My walking stick is burned with protective sigils and has a few silver talismans attached to it for various purposes. Ever since I got sick with COVID and pneumonia, my lung capacity is not great. A walking stick is a nice accessory to have. In powwow, you can use your stick to draw a protective circle around yourself or your client (see the Magic Circle page on this website). You can also use it to knock on graves when you need to wake up an ancestor. Practically speaking, a walking stick can let you gauge how deep a creek or puddle is and protect you physically while you walk. Depending on what type of talismans you add to your stick can determine what sort of protection it may offer you. I've also seen individuals use their stick as a focal point for meditation. Sit quietly, hold the stick to stay grounded in the physical, and reach out to God and the angels for guidance. 

Chalk. I generally keep a bit of white chalk and a bit of red chalk handy. Both are used to draw protective sigils or symbols, circles, phrases, etc. on sidewalks, doorways, ,etc. I keep my chalk in jars of herbs such as Solomon's seal and Wormwood so that it absorbs the properties of those herbs that lend themselves well to protection and hex-breaking. Chalk is a very inconspicuous object and won't raise suspicion if found on your person. Simply draw a protective circle around yourself on the ground or floor in an emergency or draw the circle around your client while trying for them. Add protective sigils, angelic marks, etc. and you have a very powerful means of protection.