Folkdays: Reviewing ‘The Selkie’

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I was delighted when the wonderful Imogen Di Sapia sent me her book, ‘The Selkie: Weaving & The Wild Feminine’. At first glance, flicking through the pages, I was entranced at the beautiful craftmanship of the book itself. I would continue to be spellbound by the folktale, poems, and photographs contained inside.

I only had a basic knowledge of the mythological selkie, from Scottish folklore, before reading this work. I feel very fortunate that my real introduction to the tale was through the words and art of Di Sapia and her collaborators. Hear more about it below.

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Folkdays: Goldfinches

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One of the things I feel I really miss out on when I live in the city are the birds.

The skies above are mostly the domain of urban gulls and wood pigeons. Sometimes there will be the chattering of a magpie in the early hours, or the warbling song of a blackbird at dawn or dusk. Very occasionally, I’ve seen blue tits and even a great tit in the little courtyard outside my flat, which has a few bushes and trees.

The other morning, I heard a little twittering song I don’t usually hear, and was delighted to see two goldfinches flitting about the courtyard. Their beautiful colours brightened my morning, and inspired me to research their folklore for today’s Folkdays post.

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Folkdays: Folktale Closings

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It has grown late, and the campfire has reduced to smouldering embers, which glow in the breeze that begins to creep in from the surrounding dark.

As the flames recede, so does the story: both have spent hours dancing in the air, and both now begin to wane. The tale teller, as if to coax the very last enchantment out of both fire and story, draws in closer.

Every story must have it’s ending. It is the role of the tale teller to make sure that ending is brilliant enough to keep glowing, long into the night…

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Folkdays: Reviewing The Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle

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My very first Folkdays post was a review, of Shakespeare and the Folktale by Charlotte Artese. This was a book I had read, aside from simply for my own enjoyment, as preparation for my MA dissertation. Well, that dissertation is now underway, and so I have not had much time to dedicate to writing a Folkdays post this week!

I have wanted to do another review ever since that first post. This week seems as good a time as any to write down my thoughts on The Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle, by Siolo Thompson. Read about it below!

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Folkdays: The Oak King

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With Midsummer only a day away, it feels apt to use this week’s Folkdays post to write something about the traditions and folklore associated with the summer solstice.

There were so many things I could have written about: whether it be beliefs, rituals, celebrations, or traditions. Yet, one story captured my imagination more than any other: the tale of The Oak King and The Holly King.

This story stems from pagan, particularly Celtic, mythology, yet it bears similarities to many other beliefs too. Read more about this story and these intriguing deities below!

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Folkdays: Rose Lore

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I’ve been working with roses quite a bit recently, as I’ve been making pigment from rose petals and using them to paint the flowers themselves. They’ve crept into my life in all sorts of other ways, too: I’ve recently written a piece about thorns (and the Anglo-Saxon rune ᚦ, ‘thorn’); meanwhile my research into foraging for a different creative project lead me to look a bit closer at rosehips.

As one might imagine, based on their popularity, roses are steeped in all sorts of lore, from how they were created and how they got their colours, to their meanings and associations. There’s plenty out there to read (as ever, links below); this post will focus on the aspects I find most fascinating!

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Blog: Rose Petal Pigment


To brighten my small flat during lockdown, my parents brought me over some beautiful bouquets of flowers. I noticed, when the stamens of the lilies began to fall, how they stained any surface they touched a deep russet. I decided then to collect them, and try to use their powder as a natural pigment to paint with. Along with the lilies were so many beautiful roses of different colours: when they began to wilt, I laid their petals out to dry in the sun. I’ve since ground them and experimented in painting with them — read more about it below!

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Folkdays: Rainbows

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We’re living in a very precarious and frightening moment in time. Looking back through history, humanity has faced moments like this many times before; look through the lens of folklore and myth, and we see that humans have always been able to combat our fear with creativity.

Today, creativity is being revived in a myriad of different ways, as people all over the globe seek an emotional outlet during the various quarantine measures. Here in the UK, the reoccurring motif has become that of the rainbow. Paintings and collages decorate the windows of homes, places of work, and schools; rainbows can be seen everywhere, from roadsides to the virtual platforms online.

Inspired by this, I thought I would take a look into the folklore and myth surrounding the rainbow, and what it has meant for humans and our creativity.

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