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Roots, Branches and Spirits


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About the Author

H. BYRON BALLARD (Asheville, NC) is a teacher, folklorist, and writer who was born and raised in western North Carolina. She has served as a featured presenter at Sacred Space Conference, Southeast Wise Women s Herbal Conference, and Glastonbury Goddess Conference and has spoken at conferences at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. Ballard is senior priestess and cofounder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES. She writes a regular column for SageWoman Magazine and is the author of four previous books, including Staubs and Ditchwater. www.MyVillageWitch.com


Leave your preconceived notions about Appalachia and its people at the door and let Byron Ballard take you on a journey from Scotland to Ulster to the mountains of the southern United States. Roots, Branches, and Spirits presents a magic born of necessity and skillfully adapted to the place where it was--and still is--practiced.--John Beckett, author of The Path of Paganism

Be prepared to be transported as Byron Ballard expertly weaves stories and practice, blending tradition, and modern magical innovation all at once.--Laura Tempest Zakroff, author of Weave the Liminal

Part history, part folklore, and part spellwork and ritual, Byron Ballard shares with us the rich customs of her forebears, from women's kitchen magic to burial practices to the use of herbs and stones.--Patti Wigington, author of Herb Magic and Badass Ancestors

H. Byron Ballard takes us on another engaging journey into the mountainous rural United States where the worlds of magic, phantoms, and old traditions continue to flourish well into the twenty-first century.--Christopher Orapello, coauthor of Besom, Stang & Sword, artist, and cohost of the Down at the Crossroads podcast.

A delightful breath of fresh mountain air in which H. Byron Ballard invites us to explore a magical practice that's ingrained in the land, flourishes in the rivers and creeks, and whispers secrets on the breeze. A world where sprite and spirit, fact and legend merge seamlessly with herb and remedy and receipt to create a magic all its own.--Dorothy Morrison, author of Everyday Magic and Utterly Wicked

A lovingly constructed quilt of culture and magic, land and spirit, written by a woman whose roots go as deep as an oak's into the mountains where she was born and raised, while her branches dance in the sun and wind of our shared humanity.--Diotima Mantineia, author of Touch the Earth, Kiss the Sky

A wonderfully detailed walk down the winding mountain paths of witchery found in [Ballard's] Appalachia. From word one, she takes you firmly by the hand and guides you through the rich history of the region--unveiling her collected folklore, ancestral remedies, and practical workings as she goes along, exploring rabbit trails at every crossing and turn.--Tara-Love Maguire, coauthor of Besom, Stang, and Sword

Roots, Branches, and Spirits bursts forth with magic on every page.--Lilith Dorsey, author Orishas, Goddesses and Voodoo Queens

This is not a book--it's a portal to a place. ... The pages open up and transport the reader to the forests, the river, the haunted places, or granny's kitchen table, where you feel welcome, and maybe learn a remedy or two.--Angie Buchanan, cofounder and senior minister of Earth Traditions and founder of the Death Midwife

Byron Ballard effortlessly blends her knowledge of the history of her home region, her insightful analysis of the impacts of the past, and her practical witchcraft. Reading this book feels like sitting at a big table having a conversation with this expert of both folkways and witchery.--Cyndi Brannen, author of Keeping Her Keys

Byron Ballard's deep Appalachian roots, and her genuine love for her homeland, its people, and their ways, is a bright beacon that illuminates the path through this book.--Sara Mastros, author of Orphic Hymns Grimoire

Filled with personal musings, historical details, and magical suggestions for both the novice and the knowledgeable, this is a book for those who love their land-base and those who are new to the practice of that ancient art.--Hecate Demetersdatter

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