The Magic Forest

When I was young, like I am now, I used to go to the woods and see if I could see something magical.  I wanted to see a gnome, dwarf, or wiccan witch.  I was convinced, and still am, that these creatures can be found right behind a sycamore tree or under a morel mushroom.

Robert Graves wrote in his classic book, The White Goddess, that the Irish no longer believed in fairies after compulsory schooling became commonplace.

And similarly, The Romance of Lancelot du Lac spoke of the fairy queen in another incarnation as Lady of the Lake:

“The damsel who carried Lancelot to the Lake was a fay, and in those times all those women were called fays who had to do with enchantments and charms – and there were many of them then, principally in Great Britain – and knew the power and virtues of words of stones, and of herbs  Their knights were forbidden to speak their names, for fear of of betraying them to Christian persecutors.”

Barbara G. Walker

The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets


Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost. Stand still.  The forest knows

Where you are.  You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

So.  Where do you find your magic? 

Photocredit:  © Ellen Wilson

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14 thoughts on “The Magic Forest”

  1. Oh! I am so glad I’m not the only one who did/does this. I am a firm believer that the fey world is there…we just can’t see it. And I’m a huge Arthur geek. Rock on! Great post!

  2. @Barbara – We used to live on the shore of Lake Superior, and although the lake was rough and cold (you could only swim in it two weeks out of the year if you were lucky) I miss the sound and smell of it. Water does have a calming affect.

    @Sandie – Thanks for saying that, it means a lot to me. I kind of wavered on writing this, because I hesitate on revealing certain aspects of myself. It makes me feel vulnerable and scared. Yes, I too, am a fairy wood Geek!

    I would love to go to Somerset, England, where the Arthurian legend evolved. There’s a lot of great stuff over there I didn’t get to see.

  3. Ellen

    Good post!

    My magic comes in fleeting glimpses, but this is where I tend to find it:

    In knobby, stunted black spruce trees, and in virgin white pine.
    In the pink/brown igneous rock of the Canadian Shield.
    With howling Timber Wolves
    With dancing Speckled Trout.
    In champagne powder above the tree-line.
    During purple-green skies of severe Thunderstorms.
    North of 60, and Lake Superiour
    In the milky Way on a perfect moonless night.
    In the happy playful eyes of a retriever puppy.
    In the Alberta Rockies…

    and last but not least…sometimes, occasionally, in my own paintings.

    Friar’s last blog post..Storm Chasing on a Monday Evening…

  4. @Friar – That is a really nice poem. I don’t know if you intended it to be one, but it is very nice. You must keep on with your writing – the adventure stories of Friar…

    @AxeCity – I hope you continue to writer your stories! It’s important to feel good. Those feelings can help carry you through the whole day.

    @Melissa – Yes, go exploring! I don’t how far you are away from the Big Redwoods, but it is really nice over in Redwood National Park. I love the Pacific Coast. I am really hoping to go backpacking there in the fall. Money, money, money, it always depends on money. That’s why I’m having a garage sale!

  5. LIke Barbara, I am calmed by water. Who knows…I am a fire sign ( Aries) Do I need the water to still my flames?

    Yet, the forrest has always been my playground. Romping about with my brother and sister in the woods by our house we imagined all sorts of thing. We even had our own bird calls to each other and created our own fairy language at one point.

    Now as an adult, one of my favorite things to do is go hiking hand and hand with my husband in the woods by us, with the dogs running on ahead. They love it and so do we.

  6. Lovely post! It feels good to stop and think of this.

    I find my magic in:

    – old forests, for sure, especially ones that are thick and feel as though I’ve just stepped into Middle Earth… [shiver]
    – my friend Lara, who’s a fairy herself, reading her fairy cards and playing with stones and finding magic in absolutely everything
    – in beams of campfire smoke swirling through swaying pine trees in Algonquin Park
    – on a quiet lake in a canoe by myself
    – and in my own backyard, surrounded by birds and sitting with my hubby and dog, quietly admiring the gardens.

  7. Friar,

    You rock. I totally forgot what I was going to say to Ellen about the fact that she rocks, darn it.

    Ellen’s photos and fairies, Janice’s silks and silky paintings, Friar’s watercolors, and everyone’s lovely, inspirational, informative writings. I learn things and I get zapped with energy! It’s magic whenever I have time to skip around to all my favorite blogs.

    Some Irish still believe. That’s why we’ve got a twinkle in our eyes.



    Kelly’s last blog post..Inspiration Points: Blind Faith?

  8. @Wendi – I would love to hear your fairy language. That sounds pretty cool. Maybe you could do a post on it? Glad you have a magic woods by your house.

    @Steph – You are so lucky to live by Algonquin! I was just thinking of campfire smoke today, and how much I miss it. Middle Earth, by far, is the most enchanted place…

    @Kelly – I know you still believe. And that’s why you have that twinkle. Your sweet knew blog twinkles, too.

    @Friar – No need to be humble. We will sing your praises here.

    What a long day getting ready for this garage sale. Wish me luck on getting rid of junk and making a little coin. It officially starts on Friday.

  9. Friar,

    A lot of prose sounds like poetry, like Alice Walker. And a lot of prose sounds like prose, like Natalie Goldberg. Two writers who I love. Sometimes both bleed into eachother, although English teachers like to differentiate to teach you “purity” in the forms. Learn the rules and break them, I say.

    Yeah, it’s not really a labor of love, but a labor of junk. We are really tight for funds, and now Carolyn informs me that she wants the money for “her” stuff.

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