Byron Ballard, BA, MFA, is a western NC native, teacher, folklorist, and writer. She has served as a featured speaker and teacher at the Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Spirit Gathering, Southeast Wise Woman’s Herbal Conference, Hexfest, and other festivals and conferences. She serves as a senior priestess and co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES, both in Asheville, NC. She podcasts about Appalachian folkways on “Wyre Mountain Gals.” Her essays are featured in several anthologies and she writes a regular column for Sage Woman Magazine. Her books include “Staubs and Ditchwater” (2012), the companion volume “Asfidity and Mad-Stones” (2015), “Embracing Willendorf” (2017), “Earth Works: Ceremonies in Tower Time” (2018), “Roots, Branches and Spirits: The Folkways and Witchery of Appalachia” (2021), and “Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living” (2021), and upcoming “The Ragged Wound: Tending the Soul of Appalachia” (Smith Bridge Press), “Porch Food: a Cookbook from Wyrd Mountain”, and a musical adaption of A Midsummer’s Night Dream.