Ozark Tree Magic


A very common form of magic used in the old days in the Ozarks was tree magic.  Many of these old time spells involved driving a peg into a tree.  I have been told that this does not damage a healthy, mature tree, even when done several times to the same tree.  However, I will not advocate such practices.  Instead I offer these alternatives; tie a string around the tree where the peg would have been in a peg cure/spell, or drive a peg into the ground instead of a tree.  Many peg spells proscribe driving a peg into the ground already.  An example of this is the peg cure for malaria, chills, or fever:
A foot long hickory peg is to be driven into the ground in some secluded place, unseen and without anyone else’s knowledge of the entire procedure.  The peg is to be pulled up every day, the hole blown into seven times, and the peg replaced.  This is to be repeated twelve days in a row.  On the last day the peg is driven in deeper so that it can’t be seen and is to be left there, working as a cure that should last the rest of the season.
Pawpaw trees were featured predominantly in Ozark folk magic.  They were used in love and peg spells.  Papaw seeds were tossed into coffins to insure revenge for a murder.  Once I asked my dad if he could remember people working magic with pawpaw trees.  He said that when he was a kid, the girls would tear away strips of cloth from their undergarments and tie them to the branches of pawpaw trees for love spells.


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