Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith healing and folk magic of the Pennsylvania Germans

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Jesus; the first Hex Doc

Posted by Rob Phoenix on July 29, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Ask any of the old timers who the first powwow doc was and they will undoubtedly tell you it was Jesus himself, "the Good Lord". He went around, preaching the Word, healing those who needed it. Then he passed it on to his disciples, as we read in Mark 14...

 

14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

 

15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”


For some comparison, in the Hoodoo tradition, it is generally believed that the Old Testament Moses was the first Hoodoo practitioner. In Powwow, it is Christ. Or, as some others see it, Christ's direct followers who were charged with the Great Commission as written in Mark. 


Jesus certainly fits the description of a hex doctor. He heals, he rebukes when necessary, he casts out demons, he even destroys if his anger is great enough (remember the fig tree in Mark 12?) 


12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.


A powwow in this day and age carries on the Great Commission is his own way. We come from a long long line of healers and folk magicians, all taking their inspiration from the words and deeds of Christ. It is a tradition that spans over 2 millenia, and it's still going strong today. There aren't as many of us, certainly. And we face an uphill battle against the secularization of society (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does make us less popular...). However, the world will always be in need of healing, the oppressed will always be in need of a champion, and the Great Commission was meant to be eternal.


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