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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Folkdays: Cave Art

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Some weeks, for these Folkdays posts, a topic will reveal itself to me and more-or-less demand to be written about.

That is precisely what happened this week. The phenomenon of prehistoric cave art has been on the peripheries of my mind for a while: a writing residency that I have been working on has led my trail of thought from foraging, to hunter-gatherer communities, to cave art.

At the beginning of this week, the subject came more to the fore, as my family and I watched an fascinating film about cave art. The following morning my partner sent me a link to another, very different but equally inspiring, video on the same subject! It practically asked to be written about, so here it is.

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New Role at Mookychick!

I am so delighted to announce that I am now an Assistant Poetry Editor for the online magazine Mookychick! The magazine centres around themes of womanhood and feminism, literature and art, lifestyle, well-being, and magic, and publishes a variety of things from artwork to reviews, articles to tutorials.

Mookychick is run by a wonderful collective of womxn, and I am so happy to be joining the team. While I work on balancing my own writing alongside my work and studies, I really wanted something to help me feel a little more connected to the poetry world, and put my experience of editing to good use. This new role is precisely what I was seeking, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

Folkdays: Hedgehog Lore

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For the past few evenings, my parents’ patio has been visited by a hedgehog, who appears quite brazenly from out of the undergrowth to feed at the birds’ ground table!

Enticed back night after night with the promise of scraps of corned beef, he has grown increasingly comfortable with us watching him. A patch of white spines on his back has made him quite recognisable, and we’ve named him Beefy, on account of his favourite snack (not to mention his hefty size)!

These nightly visits got me thinking of what folklore there might be surrounding this little creature. Read below to learn more about them.

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