Pow-wow is a unique creole of Christian theology and a shamanistic belief system. It is still practiced in some rural areas of Pennsylvania. In spite of the name, it is not of Native American derivation. It is believed to have been brought over to America by German immigrants who practiced folk-magic.

This is a collection of protective charms collected from a book written by a Pennsylvania Dutch healer in the 1820s. Wherever you see the symbol + + +  it indicates that you would then make the sign of the cross three times.

  • A charm to be carried about the person

Carry these words about you, and nothing can hurt you:

Ananiah, Azariah, and Missel, blessed be the Lord, for he has redeemed us from hell, and has saved us from death, and he has redeemed us out of the fiery furnace and has preserved us even in the midst of the fire; in the same manner may it please him the Lord that there be no fire.

I.
N. I. R.
I.

  • To charm enemies, robbers, and murderers

God be with you, brethren; stop, ye thieves, robbers, murderers, horsemen, and soldiers, in all humility, for we have tasted the rosy blood of Jesus. Your rifles and guns will be stopped up with the holy blood of Jesus; all swords and arms are made harmless by the five holy wounds of Jesus. There are three roses upon the heart of God; the first in beneficent, the other is omnipotent, the third is his holy will. You thieves must therefore stand under it, standing still as long as I will In the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you are conjured and made to stand.

  • To walk and step securely in all places

Jesus walketh with [name].
He is my head; I am his limb.
Therefore walketh Jesus with [name].
+ + +

  • To protect houses and premises against sickness and theft

Ito, alto Massa Dandi Bando, III. Ament
J. R. N. R. J.

Our Lord Jesus Christ stepped into the hall, and the Jews searched him everywhere. Thus shalt those who now speak evil of me with their false tongues, and contend against me, one day bear sorrows, be silenced, dumbstruck, intimidated, and abused, forever and ever, by the glory of God. The glory of God shall assist me in this. Do thou aid me J. J. J. forever and ever. Amen.

  • Against mishaps and dangers in the house

Sanct Matheus,
Sanct Marcus,
Sanct Lucas,
Sanct Johannis.

  • Against danger and death to be carried about the person

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he will call me from the grave, etc.

  • Against every evil influence

Lord Jesus, thy wounds so red will guard me against death.

  • A peculiar sign to keep back men and animals

Whenever you an in danger of being attacked then carry this sign with you:

“In the name of God, I make the attack. May it please my Redeemer to assist me. Upon the holy assistant of God I depend entirely; upon the holy assistance of God and my gun I rely very truly. God alone be with us. Blessed be Jesus.”

  • Protection of one’s house and hearth

Beneath thy guardianship I am safe against all tempests and all enemies, J. J. J.

Note: These three Js signify Jesus three times.

  • A charm against fire-arms

Jesus passed over the Red Sea, and looked upon the land; and thus must break all ropes and bands, and thus must break all manner of fire-arms, rifles, guns, or pistols, and all false tongues be silenced. May the benediction of God on creating the first man always be upon me; the benediction spoken by God, when he ordered in a dream that Joseph and Mary together with Jesus should flee into Egypt, be, upon me always, and may the holy t be ever lovely and beloved in my right hand I journey through the country at large where no one is robbed, killed or murdered–where no one can do me any injury, and where not even a dog could bite me, or any other animal tear me to pieces. In all things let me be protected, as also my flesh and blood, against sins and false tongues which reach from the earth up to heaven. by the power of the four Evangelists, in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

  • Another for the same

I (name) conjure ye guns, swords and knives, as well as all other kinds of arms, by the spear that pierced the side of God, and opened it so that blood and water could flow out, that ye do not injure me, a servant of God, in the + + +. I conjure ye, by Saint Stephen, who was stoned by the Virgin, that ye cannot injure me who am a servant of God, in the name of + + +. Amen.

  • Protection against all kinds of weapons 

Jesus, God and man, do thou protect me against all manner of guns, fire-arms, long or short, of any kind of metal. Keep thou thy fire, like the Virgin Mary, who kept her fire both before and after her birth. May Christ bind up all fire-arms after the manner of his having bound up himself in humility while in the flesh. Jesus, do thou render harmless all arms and weapons, like unto the husband of Mary the mother of God, he having been harmless likewise. Furthermore, do thou guard the three holy drops of blood which Christ sweated on the Mount of Olives. Jesus Christ! do thou protect me against being killed and against burning fires. Jesus, do thou not suffer me to be killed, much less to be damned, without having received the Lord’s Supper. May God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, assist me in this. Amen.

  • A charm against shooting, cutting or thrusting  

In the name of J. J. J. Amen. I (name); Jesus Christ is the true salvation; Jesus Christ governs, reigns, defeats and conquers every enemy, visible or invisible; Jesus, be thou with me at all times, forever and ever, upon all roads and ways, upon the water and the land, on the mountain and in the valley, in the house and in the yard, in the whole world wherever I am, stand, run, ride or drive; whether I sleep or wake, eat or drink, there be thou also, Lord Jesus Christ, at all times, late and early, every hour, every moment; and in all my goings in or goings out.

Those five holy red wounds, oh, Lord Jesus Christ, may they guard me against all fire-arms, be they secret or public, that they cannot injure me or do me any harm whatever, in the name of + + +.

May Jesus, with his guardianship and protection, shield me (name) always from daily commission of sins, worldly injuries and injustice, from contempt, from pestilence and other diseases, from fear, torture, and great suffering, from all evil intentions, from false tongues and old clatter-brains; and that no kind of fire-arms can inflict any injury to my body, do thou take care of me. + + +.

And that no band of thieves nor Gypsies, highway robbers, incendiaries, witches and other evil spirits may secretly enter my house or premises, nor break in; may the dear Virgin Mary, and all children who are in heaven with God, in eternal joys, protect and guard me against them; and the glory of God the Father shall strengthen me, the. wisdom of God the Son shall enlighten me, and the grace of God the Holy Ghost shall empower me from this hour unto all eternity. Amen.

  • To charm guns and other arms 

The blessing which came from heaven at the birth of Christ be with me (name). The blessing of God at the creation of the first man be with me; the blessing of Christ on being imprisoned, bound, lashed, crowned so dreadfully, and beaten, and dying on the cross, be with me; the blessing which the Priest spoke over the tender, joyful corpse of our Lord Jesus Christ, be with me; the constancy of the Holy Mary and all the saints of God. of the three holy kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, be with me; the holy four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, be with me; the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and St. Uriel, be with me; the twelve holy messengers of the Patriarchs and all the Hosts of Heaven, be with me; and the inexpressible number of all the Saints be with me. Amen.

Papa, R. tarn, Tetregammate Angen.
Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judeorum.

  • To prevent being cheated, charmed or bewitched and to be at all times blessed

Like unto the cup and the wine, and the holy supper, which our dear Lord Jesus Christ gave unto his dear disciples on Maunday Thursday, may the Lord Jesus guard me in daytime, and at night, that no dog may bite me, no wild beast tear me to pieces, no tree fall on me, no water rise against me, no fire-arms injure me, no weapons, no steel, no iron, cut me, no fire burn me, no false sentence fall upon me, no false tongue injure me, no rogue enrage me, and that no fiends, no witchcraft and enchantment can harm me. Amen.

  • Different directions to effect the same 

The Holy Trinity guard me, and be and remain with me on the water and upon the land, in the water or in the fields, in cities or villages, in the whole world wherever I am. The Lord Jesus Christ protect me against all my enemies, secret or public; and may the Eternal Godhead also guard me through the bitter sufferings of Jesus Christ; his holy rosy blood, shed on the cross, assist me, J. J. Jesus has been crucified, tortured and died.

These are true words, and in the same way must all words be efficacious which are here put down, and spoken in prayer by me. This shall assist me that 1 shall not be imprisoned, bound or overcome by anyone. Before me all guns or other weapons shall be of no use or power. Fire-arms, hold your fire in the almighty hand of God. Thus all fire-arms shall be charmed. + + +

When the right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ was fastened to the tree, of the cross; like unto the Son of the Heavenly Father who was obedient unto death, may the Eternal Godhead protect me. by the rosy blood, by the five holy wounds on the tree of the cross; and thus must I be blessed and well protected like the cup and the wine, and the genuine true bread, which Jesus Christ gave to his disciples on the evening of Maunday Thursday. J. J. J.

  • Another similar direction  

The grace of God and his benevolence he with me (N). I shall now ride or walk out; and I will gird about my loins with a sure ring. So it pleases God, the Heavenly Father, he will protect me, my flesh and blood, and all my arteries and during this day and night which I have before me; and however numerous my enemies may be, they must be dumbstruck, and all become like a dead man, white as snow, so that no one will be able to shout, cut or throw at me, or to overcome me, although he may hold rifle or steel against whomever else evil weapons and arms might be called, in his hand.

My rifle shall go off like lightening, and my sword shall cut as a razor. Then wen our dear lady Mary upon a very high mountain; she looked down into a very dusky valley and beheld her dear child standing amidst the Jews, harsh, very harsh, because he was bound so harsh, because he was bound so hard; and therefore may the dear Lord Jesus Christ save me from all that is injurious to me. + + + Amen.

  • Another similar direction  

There walk out during this day and night, that thou mayest not let any of my enemies,, or thieves, approach me, if they do not intend to bring me what was spent from the holy altar. Because God the Lord Jews is ascended into heaven in his living body. O Lord, this is good for me this day and night. + + + Amen.

  • Another one like it 

In the name of God I walk out. God the Father be with me, and God the Holy Ghost be by my side. Who ever is stronger than these three persons may approach my body and my life; yet whoso is not stronger than these three would much better let me be. J. J. J.

  • Another one like it 

I conjure thee, sword, sabre or knife, that mightest injure or harm me, by the priest of all prayers, who had gone into the temple at Jerusalem, and said: An edged sword shall pierce your soul that you may not injure me, who am a child of God.

  • A very effective charm 

I (name) conjure thee, sword or knife, as well as all other weapons, by that spear which pierced Jesus’ side, and opened it to the gushing out of blood and water, that he keep me from injury as one of the servants of God. + + + Amen.

  • A very safe and reliable charm 

The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with me [name]. Oh shot, stand still! in the name of the mighty prophets Agtion and Elias, and do not kill me! oh shot, stop short. I conjure you by heaven and earth, and by the last judgment, that you do no harm unto me, a child of God. + + +

  • A good charm against thieves 

There are three lilies standing upon the grave of the Lord our God; the first one is the courage of God, the other is the blood of God, and the third one is the will of God. Stand still, thief! No more than Jesus Christ stepped down from the cross, no more shalt thou move from this spot; this I command thee by the four evangelists and elements of heaven, there in the river, or in the shot, or in the judgment, or in the sight. Thus I conjure you by the last judgment to stand still and not to move, until I see all the stars in heaven and the sun rises again. Thus I stop by running and jumping and command it in the name of + + +. Amen.

This must be repeated three times.

  • A well-tried charm  

Three holy drops of blood have passed down the holy cheeks of the Lord God, and these three holy drops of blood are placed before the touchhole. As surely as our dear lady was pure from all men, as surely shall no fire or smoke pass out of this barrel. Barrel, do thou give neither fire, nor flame, nor heat. Now I will walk out, because the Lord God goeth before me; God the Son is with me, and God the Holy Ghost is about me forever.

  • Another well-tried charm against fire-arms 

Blessed is the hour in which Jesus Christ was born; blessed is the hour in which Jesus Christ was born; blessed is the hour in which Jesus Christ was born; blessed is the hour in which Jesus Christ has arisen from the dead; blessed are these three hours over thy gun, that no shot or ball shall fly toward me, and neither my skin, nor my hair, nor my blood, nor my flesh be injured by them, and that no kind of weapon or metal shall do me any harm, so surely as the Mother of God shall not bring forth another son. + + +. Amen.

  • In conclusion

In conclusion the following morning prayer is given, which is to be spoken before entering upon a journey. It protects against all manner of bad luck.

Oh, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, yea, a King over the whole world, protect me [name] during this day and night, protect me at all times by thy five holy wounds, that I may not be seized and bound. The Holy Trinity guard me, that no gun, fire-arm, ball or lead, shall touch my body; and that they shall be weak like the tears and bloody sweat of Jesus Christ, in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

More Pow Wow spells and cures can be found here:

From: Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, [1820]

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