What is Braucherei?
Bruacherei was brought to the United States by early Germanic immigrants who fled religious persecution in their homelands, these Immigrants would later be referred to as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
This magical system is based around aspects of Christian Theology, European Folklore, superstition, ceremonial magic, witchcraft rites and shamanism, also added in some areas is Native American Indian practices. The magical system can be traced back as far as the 2nd Century.
Much of the magical system is based on three sets of writings, “Egyptian Secrets” by Albert Magnus, “Long Lost Friend” by John George Hohman and also the "Romanusbuchlein". The religion relies very heavily on the power of God and Christ, and incorporates the mystic and magical teachings and philosophies of early Christian mystics
The heart of the religion remains in Pennsylvania, and as one travels further out of the state the religion blends more into Shamanistic and Neopagan practices and loses some of its Christianity aspects.
Modern day Braucherei practitioners include Chris Bilardi, Jack Montgomery and Rob Chapman. These gentlemen are bringing the old ways back into the limelight through books and websites.
Like all religions it has a good and bad side, the light workers are known as practitioners of “Pow-Wow” the “night-workers” are known as the “Hexerei” or “Hexers”
This is the darker side of Braucherei, this is what the Pennsylvania Dutch consider, in their terms, “witchcraft”. It is the practice of hexing, using malevolent magic to cause hurt and harm. It is a self-serving form of the Braucherei, utilising demons and spirits to serve for ones own gain.
Pow-wow is the Braucherei practitioners of good and light, it teaches healing and protections against evil by utilising charms to protect against the evils of hexes and witchcraft.
Pennsylvania Dutch Hexes
The Pennsylvania Dutch are a colorful folk when it comes to decoration, many barns are adorned with colourful symbols that also appear on birth certificates and in other places
these colorful symbols are known as Hex Signs, a term coined by Author Wallace nutting in his book “ Pennsylvania Beautiful” in 1924.
Hex Signs utilize motifs, usefully featuring hearts, wheat, birds, tulips and colours, some also use a very distinctive bird known as a “Distelfinks”, also common is the usage of Stars, the moon and sun.
At some point ion the late 1800's people in the area started painting the hex signs on their barns as a way to ward of witchcraft, bad luck and other evil doings, They became even more popular after the 1928 “Witch Craft Trials” dubbed by one local newspaper as “The weirdest and most curiously fascinating in the history of jurisprudence."
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