Tag Archive | evil

The Blue Bottle Trees

bluebottletree2Warding Off Evil Spirits

Oral traditions are very important, especially in society today. We are over run and inundated with TV, computers, smart phones and tablets that provide us with an inconceivable number of videos, movies and other types of entertainment. Because of this modern technology, our old stories are being lost and forgotten.

Author/Storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and storytellers like her, have became concerned over the loss of our old stories. Thankfully they are setting these stories down on paper in a series of books that are worth reading. (You can find the Jeffery series by Kathryn Tucker Windham on Amazon).

One of my favorite stories comes from old Appalachian folklore tale called, The Blue Bottle Tree and The Witch’s Heart.

The legend goes like this:
If you place blue bottles in a crape myrtle tree they will help you ward off evil. Evil spirits are very curious. The blue bottles are so attractive that the evil spirits are drawn into them. Once inside they become confused and get trapped. Some variations of this wives tale, continue by adding the destruction of the evil within the bottle. Much like a Native American dream catcher; when the sun rises in the morning it’s warmth and bright light destroys the evil that was trapped inside (or within the web of the catcher) so that it can never do harm to anyone again. Continue reading

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The Story Of The Blue Bottle Tree & The Witch’s Heart

Blue Bottle Tree

Blue Bottles In A
Crape Myrtle Tree

An Oral Tradition From The South

Here in the southern United States, we have a great many stories and legends relating to ghosts and spirits. I’ve read many account from story tellers suggesting the south has more ghost stories than any other place in the U.S. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it certainly makes one take a second thought about the claim. After all, some of the first big conflicts in this country began in the south. From the invasion of the first white Europeans with Native Americans, to the Civil War and on into modern times with the fight for Civil Rights.

Southern Appalachia is widely known for its oral traditions and story telling. In fact the International Storytelling Center is located in the small historical town of Jonesborough Tennessee (my home town). If you have an opportunity for a visit to the oldest town in Tennessee, I suggest going during the first full weekend in October when the Center holds the National Storytelling Festival. It’s a big and wonderful event that draws storytellers and people from around the globe.  One of my favorite stories comes from this festival. The Blue Bottle Tree.

There are many stories about blue bottle trees. Perhaps because this is the first one I ever heard makes this one my favorite. Or possibly because the main character in the story share’s my last name. This isn’t an exact version of the story I heard. But it’s the one I tell today. I hope you like it. Continue reading

Two Wolves – Who Will Win?

conflictMyths, Legends and Sharing Inspiration

Where do lessons of morality begin? Do they come in big packages that can’t be avoided? Or are they small gifts of opportunities to do the right thing? How small is to small when it comes to Walking Your Talk©?

There is an image circulating around Facebook sharing an old Cherokee legend and attributing the authorship to an anonymous person. Being a writer I often find it insulting when someone quotes a work, yet doesn’t give the credit to the original author. You have the Library of Alexandria at your fingertips. It doesn’t take much to look up an original artist for a picture or search for who originally said a particular quote you like. It only takes a bit of your time and a little effort.

Often times the “shared” information on social media networks are incorrect or inaccurate as well. So sometimes it really does help if you search for a legitimate source for information before you share the post or tweet and continue the process of misinformation.  Such is the case with the “Cherokee Legend” also known as “Two Wolves Within“. A story that has great wisdom and many lessons within its words. Continue reading