Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans


Even though this entire website is technically my "blog", this page will hold my extra articles that don't really fit in well on the other pages, or maybe there will just be ideas that jumped into my head that I wanted to share here. Some of the older blog entries are helpful and so I recommend you scroll down and look through the entries from 4 or 5 years ago. 

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Annual Powwow household protection ritual

Posted by Rob Phoenix on February 7, 2021 at 11:00 PM

As the moon moves into the sign of Capricorn, I realize it’s time to strengthen the protections around my home. This is as much a magical process as it is a spiritual one because we are invoking The Almighty through the means of ritualistic behaviors and actions. In this case, I will be calling on God to protect my home and my property while also protecting my family and all those we lovingly welcome into our home. At the same time, this ‘blessing’ also carries a rider that whosoever enters our home uninvited will face the wrath of God.

To begin, when the waning moon is in the sign of Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) then your work is further blessed. In a secret place, begin praying Psalm 91 while seeing your property and imagining the boundary becoming an impenetrable wall. You will pray Psalm 91 three times. After the third time, you will end with “In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Next you will go outside and walk the perimeter of your property three times. While you do so, you will pray OUT LOUD (not yelling, but in a conversational volume) for protection on your property, home, family, gardens, crops, animals, vehicles, and so forth. Remember to include your prosperity, your finances, your belongings, and so on.

When you are finished, you will go to the hearth of your home. In many instances, this is the household kitchen. In particular, it is the stove. But this can differ depending on how your family lives. In our home, it is the stove in the kitchen. There you will pray for the Holy Trinity to bless your property with three protections; from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. You can also ask for blessings upon your physical, mental, and spiritual lives.

When you are finished, this is the end of the Powwow home protection and blessing ritual. You can finalize it by burying an iron nail at each of the four “corners” of your property to seal the protection. My advice is to repeat this ritual once a year on or around the same time each year.


As time passes... a look back on my blog..

Posted by Rob Phoenix on January 18, 2021 at 8:55 PM

I've been writing and maintaining this website for 13 years, give or take. During that time, I've grown from a simple practitioner and student of Powwow to a teacher and expert in the tradition. I remember those early years, I felt very nervous about putting myself out there to the public because I didn't know if I was good enough to heal others. But God does work in mysterious ways and when He thinks you are ready, then you are ready, and he thrust me out there into the public eye and I have helped so many clients that I've lost track. Not all of them were a success, mind you. Powwow isn't like that. Sometimes I was the right choice for someone, and sometimes I wasn't. That's just the way it is.

Prior to the creation of this website, I was a struggling Powwow trying to find my place in God's plan. I initially had trouble learning the charms because I didn't know how to "let go and let God". Once I figured that out, my Powwow became more succesful. The years passed, the clients came and went, and I've grown.

Believe it or not, I've actually made enemies over the years. This is definitely not something I'm proud of as I would rather make friends than enemies, but there you go. I suppose it happens to all of us who live on the fringes of society and practice our arts on the fringes of the religions of our days. But it's still a sad thing to experience.

As I reach the age of 50, I reflect back on that 20-something year old boy that I once was who was just learning about Powwow and a part of me wishes I could go back in time and discourage myself from studying anything even remotely "magical" or "supernatural". Life would have been so much easier for me had I chosen to just be a "regular guy" that didn't think about things like astrology or herbalism or healing or God... But that's not who or what I was raised to be. The culture I came from demands that I be more than that. My ancestors and my spiritual connections call on me to be a healer, to be a Powwow. it's not an easy path, but it's the one I was meant to follow, and so here I am.

There have been times during my work that I was unsure of some of the information I was learning, and putting out there to the public. And so, when I learned better, I made corrections. That's the way life is. We think we are correct but then we learn something better, so we adapt. That's the right way to do it. We should never stick to false information or false history as so many do. Powwow, and our Pennsylvania German ancestry, requires that we strive to live by THE TRUTH OF OUR HISTORY.

Thank you for your years and years of support, and hopefully we will have many years to come together in the future. 

May God bless you all in all that you do.

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Rob Phoenix

The green aspect of powwowing...

Posted by Rob Phoenix on June 23, 2020 at 6:50 PM

When I was a kid, my grandmother had a little garden outside the kitchen. She grew the very best tomatoes I've ever eaten and she also grew dandelions. While I never really cared for dandelion leaves (or the hot bacon dressing she made to put over them), I still remember the taste of the tomatoes and I've never in my life had one as good as those when I was a kid...

One neat thing I remember was my grandmother going out the back door, getting a few tomatoes from the garden, then bringing them in to slice up for lunch. I was always fascinated by that because she just literally went outside, grabbed something off a plant, and we ate it.. How weird!

As an adult, I love having a garden. While I have never been able to get tomatoes as good as my Nana grew, I do still feel something of a connection to her when I watch the veggies growing and pick just enough for our lunch or dinner. 

Powwowing does have a 'green' side to it. It's not all red strings and blood, you know...

Gardening, farming, herbalism, even landscaping, can all have a role to play in your powwowing. 

Think about your property and your connection to it. Is it your safe place? Are you connected to your land? Even if you are renting, you can still find a way to have a green space and care for it at the same time. The way we care for our land represents the way we care for our selves. 

At my home, we have a vegetable garden, many flower gardens, a few ponds, and trees and shrubbery that we care for. It's not easy. But we do it because we love our land and love the green that God has blessed us with. 

Powwowing is how we bring God's healing into the world. And we can do that through the land He has blessed us with. I have many herbs that are made into healing salves and teas, we have lots of fresh green veggies in our garden that bring health to our family, and the beauty of our flower gardens and ponds brings a sense of peace and mental healing to those who relax on our property.

Never forget nor neglect your "green space" as a Powwow. We are caretakers of the land and the people. God has chosen us to bring His healing into the world, and that includes healing through the use of our outdoor space. The land has power of its own. 

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Oh no! Someone put a curse on me!

Posted by Rob Phoenix on May 13, 2020 at 5:45 PM

I hear this far more often than you might think. The truth is, there are lots of folks out there who like to mess with people. If you know someone who does any sort of magic, then chances are you know someone who isn't fussed about doing dirty work if they choose to, or you may even know someone who feels they have no choice but to do that type of work.

The idea of being cursed seems odd in this day and age, but it really shouldn't. In fact, it's more likely now than it was, say, a hundred years ago. The truth is, we have access to more information now than we ever have. If someone wants to find a curse, they can pull their phone out of their pocket and look one up in seconds. 

Back in 2014, I was gonna write a book about curses and how to identify them and undo them. I had lots of information of my own to work with already, but I wanted to speak to actual witches who put curses on people. I interviewed over 60 people who call themselves witches, and all of them said they had experience with curses. I wanted to know what motivated them to do such things and most of them agreed it was emotion, rather than any sort of spiritual power (such as God, Devil, etc.). This was alarming to me because it told me that there were at least 60 people in the world that were willing to be ruled by emotion and toss magic at those they felt angered by. While my research was not really that great because many of the curses they provided me with as examples seemed fairly lame by my own standards, it did teach me that to undo a curse, we first needed to look at the source of the power behind the curse.

Because of those revelations, I realized a book on curses wasn't good enough. I needed to put proper Powwow information out there so people could begin with a good foundation of information for dealing with such things as curses. The original book idea was tabled and the Powwow Grimoire was written instead.

When someone is a victim of jealousy or anger or slighted love, that's emotion, pure and simple. Such curses are usually undone by reassuring the victim that they are not at fault (if they really are not) and giving them something to remove the perp from their lives. It's important to give some counsel to the victim that they should really consider moving on from the individual in every possible way (don't call them, don't think about them, etc). After all, the best way to remove an influence from your life is to simply stop having it in your life. In addition, I'll offer some protective stuff, just in case the curse does have actual power (which is very rare, believe it or not).

When we are talking about a curse with spiritual power, such as something empowered by the Devil, here's what you need to remember:  Emotional curses are powered by the Ego of the perpetrator. Spritiual curses are driven by the will of the Devil. In other words, a spiritual curse is one where the perpetrator is FORCED to cast the curse, no matter what their personal feelings on the matter. This is a common thread throughout the history of hexerei within Pennsylvania German culture. Witchcraft was a curse PLACED ON THE WITCH. They had no choice but to do the bidding of Satan. In other words, witches were people with an affliction. Anyone who tells you they have a "working relationship" with the Devil or can get Him to do their bidding is delusional.

To undo this type of work, you need to fight the Devil Himself. That's no small thing, I promise. Curses like this are VERY rare indeed. Usually you are just dealing with some emotional mess caused by an individual who is, in turn, an emotional mess. But a true curse has power that can't be undone by any silly New Age "cleansing" or imagining white lights, saying positive "affirmations", or whatever. Fighting the Devil is serious business, best left to those who have experience with such things. And the Devil can't be beat by those who don't believe in Him. That's just how it is. You can't pretend your way through it.

There are also curses that are empowered by some other type of being or entity, such as those worshiped or revered in other religious beliefs. This can be tricky for the Powwow because some research is involved. This is why it's important for a Powwow to know his local lore, learn the lore of the locale of your victim, and find out as much as you can about the perpetrator so you can research what types of forces they may have invoked for their curse. Then work from that point on. 

The point is, there is no such thing as a cure-all for curses in the Pennsylvania German Powwow tradition. Each case can be as unique as it is rare, and your work may be more involved than you initially think it will be.

If you think someone's put a curse on you, it's time to evaluate your life. Who do you know? What type of people do you surround yourself with? Who did you piss off? Start there. Then give me a call. I'll ask a bunch of uncomfortable questions, but I'll need to know everything if I'm to help you with it properly.  

In the meantime, I've provided more than enough info to get you started with protecting yourself. Please check out the rest of this website, it's full of helpful Powwow information. Hopefully, you won't need to call on me. But if you do, I'll be here.

May 10 update

Posted by Rob Phoenix on May 10, 2020 at 9:00 PM

Today we added another dog to our family. If you didn't know, we consider our home to be something of a rescue for old doggies or for those who suffered trauma in their lives and just need a loving and understanding home. We do not foster, we keep them until the very end. We've had many of the years, all of them with their own stories to tell. But since they can't tell their own stories, we tell them for them. 

Today we picked up Cookie, a female chocolate lab with dwarfism, which, if you didn't know, is rather common for labs. It just means her legs are shorter than a regular lab, but it can also cause some pain and other health issues as she ages. Cookie was a victim of a puppy mill; forced to breed over and over again in her young life of only 4 years. She is safe now with us and can begin healing and relaxing and becoming the kind of dog that we believe all dogs should be: the kind that lay on the couch and sleep in bed with us and get ice cream on their birthdays and have a yard to run around in and get walks everyday. She brings our current number of dogs up to 5, which is pretty much our limit since our house is rather small.

Bringing healing into the world and manifesting Christ in this world means more than just seeing clients. It means truly giving to other selflessly. It means even giving to animals in need, because some animals like dogs simply cannot care for themselves, and so need our love to help them live their best lives. 

Powwow versus Coronavirus

Posted by Rob Phoenix on May 5, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Powwow is a faith healing tradition. We want you to feel better. It is our calling from God to help you feel better. We believe very strongly that Christ wants to heal all those who come to him. 

"Call on me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." Psalm 50:15

This means that those who call on God in their time of need will receive His blessings. 

A Powwow calls on God to heal you. We pray to God to deliver you from whatever troubles you. 

However, we also know that we have no power save that which God grants to us. In other words, your healing is entirely in God's hands.

A Powwow is a mediator between you and God. We will do everything we can to help you. We will TRY for you. But ultimately it is up to God to effect the changes you seek.

During these stressful times of the coronavirus, some may wonder where God is in all of this. But the truth is, God is always present. He is always here. But being the type of God He is, you have to ask for His help. You need to reach out to Him. He will not interfere unless we specifically want Him to. That's because we have free will.

Powwowing for healing during a time of pandemic can be tricky. We do not have charms exclusively for specific viruses and illnesses. Therefore, we must try for the various symptoms. We can work to reduce your fever. We can try to reduce your cough. We can try to relieve your chest pain. We can work to reduce skin rashes, insomnia, hallucinations, and any other symptom you may be experiencing. 

We will try for all of these things.

On your end, all we ask is that you put your faith in God to make the best decision for you. It is ultimately up to Him. And when you are healed, all praise and glory go to God, not your local Powwow.

I have tried for a great many things over the years. I've had many successes and also many attempts that did not succeed in the way the client had hoped for. But I submit myself to the will of God and know that it is Him, not me, that has the power.

During these strange times, please follow the advice of the medical professionals. Don't listen to politicians instructing you to take unproven medication or to those with a self-serving agenda. Listen to the experts. See your local Powwow to help you with your symptoms but continue to follow the advice of the medical community.

What you can expect when you visit your local Powwow...

Posted by Rob Phoenix on May 22, 2019 at 5:30 PM

A hundred years ago, a visit to a local Powwow may have gone something like this:

A knock on the door late at night, a tired man, dusty from the fields, beckons you to come on inside. From the looks of things, he has just finished eating a modest dinner. A low fire burns in the fireplace. A walking stick leans against the mantle. Maybe an old knife and some branches lay on the floor next to a wooden chair; he might carve to pass the time.. He points to the chair for you to have a seat and you tell him your trouble. "OK", he says "Calm down. I'll take care of it.".. He rummages around in an old dresser and pulls out some old twine. He grabs his knife from the floor. Then he starts measuring various parts of you; your head, from head to foot, your left arm, etc. All the while cutting the string and making knots at various points. Without warning, the old Powwower spits onto the floor then tosses all the pieces of string into the fire place, where they immediately start to smolder and burn. He then places his hands on top of your head, mumbles a few more words, then suddenly raps you (not gently) on the back of your head. "OK", he says, "Go on home. You'll be fine in the morning". Without another word, he turns toward his supper dishes and you know you are dismissed. By the time you make your way home, you feel a lightening of your soul, a sense that all is right again in the world. You know that the curse placed on you has been lifted.

Today, a visit may be similar, but with modern tweaks..

You show up at a pre-arranged time. The Powwower is a younger man but you know he is experienced in what he does. He welcomes you to his home and directs you to a chair on the back porch. It's a nice day outside, so you don't mind. He asks you a few questions then says "Let's get started". He brings out a small deck of playing cards, worn with age. He begins shuffling them while muttering words you can't properly hear. Then he hands the cards to you and asks you to shuffle them. You do so for a few seconds. "Good enough" he says, and takes the cards from you. He immediately begins tossing them out on a small table nearby while whispering what sounds like prayers. Once all cards are tossed onto the table, he begins telling you the things and forces that are at work against you. You are shocked at how quickly the reading goes, but equally surprised by what he is saying. Just as quickly as it began, the reading is over and the cards are swept away. "Sit tight" he says and goes into the house. A moment later he returns with an old worn bible, a length of string, and a small stone. The bible is handed to you without a word and immediately he begins moving the string over your body as if scraping something off of your aura. All the while he is reciting prayers or incantations, you can't tell. The string is suddenly tossed aside and he places the stone on your head. He closes his eyes and says a prayer then touches various other points on your body. The stone is then tossed on top of the string. "OK, that should do it" he says. "In three days I want you to do the Lesser Banishing Ritual. After you are done, toss this string and this rock into the river. Then you'll be ok." You know the session is over. You pay him for the reading then go on home, remembering to do your part three days later.

Powwow is a no-nonsense affair. If you are looking for bells and whistles and incense and music and costume and ritual, then don't contact your local Powwow. You just won't get that from him. What you will get is the experience of having been tried for by a practitioner of a tradition that is as old as the Pennsylvania Germans themselves. The PA Germans are a people of faith and sensibility. You will experience that when you visit a Powwow.

If you need my services, then please contact me at Please don't expect our session to be much more than what I've outlined above, although certainly there will be differences in technique based on your needs. While I am by no means anti-social, I do have a busy life and a family that relies on me. However, while you are here, you will have my full attention.

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The Lesser Banishing Ritual

Posted by Rob Phoenix on February 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM

I have used the Lesser Banishing Ritual for many years. It was created by the Golden Dawn in the 1800's and has been picked up by modern occult groups of all religious flavor since then. It's obvious Judeo-Christian symbolism and invocations are a great addition to Powwow should you wish to add a more ceremonial element to what you are doing.

I use the Lesser Banishing Ritual (LBR) as a way to center myself or call on protection or cleanse an area of energies. It has all sorts of uses and benefits, and is really simple to learn and do.

You should know that there are many variations on the LBR. There are also some variations that add more parts. You can find these by doing a quick internet search. However, what follows is the variation that I personally prefer to use. I've included the translations of each intonation to the best of my ability.

To begin, you'll need an area where you will be alone and without distraction. I have a white robe that I sometimes wear when doing this, but mostly it's done in whatever I happen to be wearing at the time. If you have cerremonial ritual tools, such as a dagger, then you'll want to use this as well. But if not, you can just do it without tools and props. It's a matter of personal preference and convenience, so don't stress over it.

Face East. Take a few deep breaths. Visualize yourself growing larger than the room or space that you are in... larger than the town you are in... larger than the earth... Your feet are still firmly planted on the ground but your mind has expanded far beyond.

Touch your forehead with you dagger (or right hand) and intone AH-TAH which translates as "For thine is"

Touch your chest (point the dagger downward) and intone MAL-KOOTH which translates as "the Kingdom"

Touch your right shoulder and intone VAY-GAY-BOO-RAH which translates as "the Power"

Touch your left shoulder and intone VAY-GAY-DOO-LAH which translates as "and the Glory"

Clasp your hands upon your chest and intone LAY-OH-LAHM, AMEN which translates as "Forever, Amen"

Facing East, trace a banishing pentagram of blue flame in the air before you and intone YE-HO-WAY which is the unknowable name of God.

Thrust your hand or dagger into the center of the pentagram and trace a line to the South.

Facing South, trace a banishing pentagram of blue flame in the air before you and intone AH-DO-NIE which translates as "Lord"

Thrust your hand or dagger into the center of the pentagram and trace a line to the West.

Facing West, trace a banishing pentagram of blue flame in the air before you and intone EY-AYE-AH which translates as "I AM"

Thrust your hand or dagger into the center of the pentagram and trace a line to the North.

Facing North, trace a banishing pentagram of blue flame in the air before you and intone AH-GLAH which translates as "Thour art mighty and forever, My Lord".

Thrust your hand or dagger into the center of the pentagram and trace a line back to East.

Extend both of your arms out to each side.

Say "Before me RAH-PHY-ELL. Behind me GAH-BREE-ELL. On my right hand MEE-KAY-ELL. On my left hand AUR-EE-ELL. Around me flames the pentagrams, and above me shines the six-rayed star"

Visualize the pentagrams flaming around you and, above you, see a blue flamed hexagram.

Now give yourself a moment to see and feel and experience the ritual you have just done. When you feel ready, relax yourself and go about your business. The LBR effects will fade on their own.

The Sanctum Sanctorum - your place of power

Posted by Rob Phoenix on February 3, 2019 at 4:35 PM

I am fortunate enough to have a library in my home. It's not a large room, maybe 13 x 15 feet, but it houses almost 3000 books on shelves, an old physician's desk where I sit and do most of my writing, and all of my personal magical and powwow bits and baubles. When I'm working on this website, I'm in this library. When I'm powwowing for clients, I'm in this library. I've cast ceremonial circles in here. I've worked with archangels. I've summoned and conjured things in the room that I would not feel safe doing so anywhere else. I've created talismans, herbal concoctions, and himmelsbriefs in this room. I've done powerful anti-hex work in this room. I've pushed my personal magical skills far beyond my powwowing techniques in this room. 

Having a sacred place, a room sanctified for your sacred work, a sanctum sanctorum, is amazing. It is my retreat when I need to focus on something important and don't want to be disturbed. I have the room heavily warded in magical seals, which are far beyond the scope of my powwowing practice. This room is "by invitation only" and even my husband and son respect this. 

Visitors to our home who happen to wander in here always comment on how "cool" my library is. There are astrological charts, palmistry charts, angel statues, candles, books on magic, even a solomonic circle carpet on the floor. It is an amazing room filled with magic and mystery and I have had my most profound spiritual and magical moments in this room.

Should you be fortunate enough to have a spare room, I cannot recommend enough how thrilling it is to have your own sanctum sanctorum. Certainly, for the practice of powwow, it is NOT NEEDED. However, I have pushed myself beyond powwowing and the sanctity of a private chamber is practically a necessity.

Remember to add as many protective wards to your chamber as you can. Keep it safe, keep it sacred, do not profane it in any way as it can serve as your home temple, your room where you work with God and other spiritual beings. Keep your secrets and your power safe.

May God bless you always.

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Protection from witchcraft

Posted by Rob Phoenix on September 28, 2018 at 6:25 PM

A large part of a powwow's work is combating harmful magic, also known as witchcraft. This type of magic is designed to disrupt, harm, or otherwise cause chaos in the victim's life. It seems an odd thing to talk about witchcraft in the year 2018, yet it is a very real thing. For the most part, modern practitioners of Witchcraft (often in the form of Wicca, but just as often not) are harmless and believe in balance and the inherent power of nature and other such things. Their work is vary much like a powwow's; to bring healing and protection to those in need. 

However, there will always be people in this world that like to use their knowledge for darker purposes, even within the powwow tradition.

People who come to me believing they are the victims of negative magic often do not know who has targeted them, or even why, but they still feel they've been "cursed" in some way. I believe this is largely a psychological condition, but no less real to the person experiencing it. However, I also know that there are literally countless individuals who self=identify as witches and are perfectly capable of sending forth a hex when they wish to do so. In these instances, I still do the work that is needed. It's important to believe the person who feels slighted because to them it is very real, and it may very well be real, and we must seek to help whenever and however we can.

There are always factors to consider in these instances. For example, maybe the person who came to you has truly been verhexed by someone, but they deserved it. That sounds harsh, but bear with me a bit. Supposing your victim went looking for trouble. Maybe they had a falling out with a practitoner of magic. Maybe they wronged that individual in some way. Now they are suffering for it. 

Or another scenario is that they are not verhexed at all, but believe they are because they can't imagine that they themselves might be the cause of their own misfortunes (it happens more than you think).

Or, of course, a person may truly be an innocent victim of a magical person who wishes them harm. It really does happen.

No matter what you may believe, it is better to do the work required to help them with the disclaimer that it is ultimately up to God to effect the changes. Set your personal beliefs aside, assume the person is telling the truth, and go forward from there. 

Recently I've been trying to educate myself on the hoodoo tradition to see how it differs from powwow, especially when it comes to hex removal. The differences are way too numerous to list, but the general idea behind it is pretty much the same; meaning both traditions understand malevolent witchery and both are committed to removing it. The one main difference I see between hoodoo and powwow (and I admit that I may be very wrong here) seems to be the hoodoo pracitioner puts faith in things such as herbs and other such items, whereas the powwow puts the faith in God.

Protecting from witchery is important for a sound mind and healthy life. It does us no good to go through our day fearful of magical attack by witches. That's ridiculous. However, because the threat of hexerei really does exist, there are a few things you can do to add an element of protection without weighing yourself down with pouches and herbs and crystals and whatever else.

1. Prayer. Seems simple enough, yet not enough people truly understand the power of it. Keeping an open line of communication between you and God is essential to protecting yourself from negative magic. 

2. Red string. Red is the color of sanctuary. It is the representation of the blood of Christ. A red string around the wrist protects your place in the family (remember Genesis 38?), a red cord strung in the window will keep away evil while welcoming beneficial spirits (Joshua), and a red cord burned with cedar and hyssop will cleanse the home of negativity (Leviticus, believe it or not).

3. A circle of protection. "Adonai, Elohim, the Lord my God" repeated 77 times over a container of water, then the water is poured on the ground around your home.

4. Salt. Salt is a preservative. It will preserve the positive and block the rot of negativity and hexerei. A circle of salt around your home will protect from both witchery and witches.

This is enough to get you started. As a powwow you will uncover more ideas and protective charms. The ultimate goal is to not allow the negative to effect you while building up your connection with God. Should you find yourself truly in need of curse removal, contact me and we can work through it.

May God bless you in all that you do.

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