Folklore and tales form a gigantic living web that threads through our cultures and societies. I see it as analogous to mycelium, the fungal mesh beneath the ground: a gigantic, intricate system of connection that feeds and informs the trees and plants that sprout above the surface whilst quietly spreading, putting out feelers, thriving.
I have always especially loved nature folklore. It provides such a beautiful glimpse into how people use signs from nature as a way to navigate daily life. It reveals how attuned people used to be to the natural world and the ebb and flow of the seasons. Spotting certain animals or birds came to be associated with good or bad fortune; plants and flowers were used as cures; and stories of fantastical creatures, such as fairies and elves, were told to account for unexplained events.
A sneak peek of #FolkloreThursday’s new book, Treasury of Folklore – Woodlands and Forests: Wild Gods, World Trees and Werewolves. Come with us now on a journey into the forests; walk with us as we delve into the tales and traditions enfolded within the woodlands of the world. Pick up your lantern and step into the dark branches as we dig deep into the soil to unearth their mysteries. There are stories to be heard, so listen softly, and you will hear the tales the leaves of ages whisper into the wind …
Mark Norman explores the folklore of bees and beekeeping in his new book, ‘Telling the Bees and Other Customs: The Folklore of Rural Crafts’.
I first caught the perfume of my wild twin by walking with muddy boots through wet grasses to my scrubby woodland den as a six-year-old. As the trees swirled I caught a scent and started to cry without understanding. I wove a pheasant feather in my hair. I hear it now in the owl court who hoot across the frost grass and moon-touched lawns of my cottage. There’s more than book smarts in that chill delirium. These are not domestic tones, not corralled sounds, but loose as Dartmoor ponies on the hill. They give me ecstasy. Not safety, not contentment, certainly not ease, not peace, but ecstasy. It’s almost painful. Makes me restless.