Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans

Please connect with me on Facebook! Rob Phoenix the powwow guy

A note from me....

Piecing together information about a tradition like Powwowing is not always easy. I first had to pick a good place to start so I immersed myself in the study of the history of the Pennsylvania Germans. Once I had a good grasp on who the PA Germans are, I delved into the religious beliefs and folk customs. From there, the larger picture of what Powwow is and what its place is in the culture started to become more clear.

No folk tradition can be separated from the actual culture that gave it birth and still maintain its historical and cultural integrity. This is why I believe it is so difficult for those outside of the PA German community to truly comprehend Powwowing. Its so deeply ingrained into the religious beliefs and lifestyles of the Pennsylvania German culture that it is nearly impossible to fully appreciate if any of the cultural elements (location, religion, dialect of origin, history, etc) are removed or misrepresented.

To that end, I welcome any and all correspondence that may help flesh out the information and resources I have gathered here on this site. This includes links to academic websites that provide helpful information about the PA German culture, book recommendations, historical resources, and so forth.


 


 

This is the headstone of my great great grandparents, Solomon and Sarah.  They are buried in Zion's Stone Church Cemetery near Lehighton, Pennsylvania.  My grandparents (pictured below) are buried in the same church yard.

 

 

On the left is my great Aunt, Sarah Steinhert.  In the middle is my grandmother, June Betty Bankes-Whitley.  On the right is my grandfather, Arthur Owen Whitley.

 

 

This is my dad, Robert Sr. He passed away in 2010.

HOW TO CONTACT ME

Before you email me, please read the following guidelines. 


1-If you are sending historical, religious, and/or cultural information, be sure to include academic links to all of your resources.  There are some resources that are just NOT academic, and some that are.  If you are unsure, submit the links to me and I will make a determination of it's worth based on further research of my own.  I always do my best to investigate all claims, no matter how far-fetched, to uncover whether or not there is truth to them.

 

2-be sure the information is not already presented on this website.  I've gotten quite a few emails from individuals who felt I left out important points pertaining to the study of powwowing, when in reality the information is most certainly included on this site.  You really have to look through the whole site.  Sometimes the information and links can seem overwhelming, but it is all absolutely essential for a proper education in the subject.  If you've checked and re-checked and definitely cannot find mention of something you feel is crucial, please let me know.  Please also be aware that in some instances I merely mention an aspect of PA German culture (like the various dialects, for example) but do not elaborate on because I am not an expert in that topic.  Instead, I'll offer links to further study for your own education.  

 

3-if you have questions/comments/etc that involve Native American studies, culture, religion, etc, please understand that I am not the person to contact.  I have almost no knowledge of Native American culture to share with you, nor is PA German Powwowing in any way, shape, or form connected to Native American culture.  I can't tell you how many emails I've received filled with accusations of cultural appropriation.  However, I can tell that the authors of those emails haven't actually read through this website.  If they had, they would understand that this is something very different than Native American religion and culture.  Emails of this nature will simply be deleted and ignored as I have no information to share on this topic. 


4-If you find that one of the links on this site no longer works or doesn't lead to the page that it's supposed to, please let me know.  I try to keep up with all the links on this site by checking them regularly to make sure they are still good, but sometimes I miss a few.  If you should find such a link, or if you know of a site that might be a good one to link to this one, please send me a message.  I appreciate it! :)


Please send all research information/requests to my email: robertphoenix73@gmail.com.  You may also share your personal powwowing stories, I would love to read them!   

Please understand that I cannot always respond to every email.  Between my career and my family and my school work, I'm pretty busy.  However, I do my best.  If you don't get a response, please don't take it personally.  Thanks for understanding!

Requests for healing or other powwowing

Over the years, I have had countless individuals come into my home for various powwowing needs.  This has largely been a positive experience.  However, as every person is unique and carries their own unique energies, occasionally the experience was not pleasant.  And for anyone who has ever offered their services to those in need, you will no doubt know that sometimes the residual energy from a bad visit can really mess up the energy of your home and family.  Because of this, I am no longer willing to see clients in my home.  My family has grown over the past few years and their safety and comfort is my primary concern.

 

However, this does not mean I have ceased my powwowing activities.  Certainly I still try for those in need.  However, since face-to-face sessions are rather limited, the best I can offer you is distance work.  If your situation demands immediate attention, then please go to a doctor or hospital.  Powwowing should never, ever replace a properly trained medical professional.  In this day and age of urgent care centers and emergency departments of hospitals, there is very little reason why someone should choose to wait for an appointment with a powwow before getting treatment.  However, I also know from experience that not all situations are medical in nature.  As a powwow, one of my specialties is protection and removal of witchcraft.  You won't get that service at a local clinic.  Therefore, please email your situation to me and I will do the work as the situation dictates.  That may require me to meet with you in person, it may not.  But I will make that decision and let you know.