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Witches in Philippines’ Siquijor province are old hat

Sorcery is a fact of life on the island, where ancient traditions have mingled with aspects of Catholicism.

By Benjamin Haas

At the end of a dirt road deep in the mountains, Consolacion Acay hobbled onto her porch and picked up her tools of the trade: a glass cup, a bamboo straw, a stone the size of an apricot pit and a bottle of potion. Then she began casting spells to heal her client.

“I found this stone while I was swimming near waterfalls in the middle of the island,” the unassuming 86-year-old said later. “That night I had a dream that taught me how to use the stone to heal people, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

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