30 Ways to Go Wild With Folklore

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Folklore Thursday is one of my favourite discoveries on Twitter. It involves thousands of storytellers, myth-makers, artists, scientists, witches, writers, academics and other story lovers sharing their favourite folklore. I contribute regularly, and often write a Folklore Thursday post for GrowEatGift.

So much folklore relates to nature, and spending time in nature can make you more curious about the stories that lie behind the world’s wonders. Try one of these to make your days a little more magical.

  1. Share plantlore on #FolkloreThursday.
  2. Think of the last creature you saw. Look up the ‘spirit animal’ meaning and see if it has any relevance to your life right now.
  3. What kind of tree do you live closest to? Look up the meaning that was ascribed to the tree in the past.
  4. Read a classic nature story (I love The Bluebird – a beautiful play about the search for happiness, which is available for free thanks to the brilliant Project Gutenberg)
  5. Make a fairy house by using (common) wildflowers to decorate a knot-hole in a tree – or sprinkle magic dust somewhere drab and grey, to attract fairies. If wildflowers grow, you’ll know the fairies have seen it.
  6. Collect herbs under the moonlight (use them for a ‘potion’ if you want –  but be careful about who you attract…)
  7. Look up at the clouds and create a story from the pictures you can see.
  8. Research a weather god or goddess.
  9. Find a fairy ring of mushrooms.
  10. Investigate the folklore behind a local nature spot.
  11. Collect stones of similar size and make your own rune set.
  12. Invite friends over for a storytelling evening around a fire.
  13. Read a bestiary.
  14. Learn how to identify common mushrooms (and the ones that were rumoured to make witches fly. Do not try to fly yourself by eating random fungi. You’re more likely to end up with a bad stomach, or worse).
  15. Investigate the language of flowers.
  16. Stroke a familiar.
  17. Share a plant-based magic spell.
  18. Listen to a folk song about nature (parental advisory warning: some of these can be rather bawdy so you may want to create a song list yourself rather than leaving this task to a child, to avoid, “What does rutting mean..?” or similar questions.) I love Scare Away the Dark by Passenger, (be warned, minor nudity at the end of the video.)
  19. Find a story in which someone is turned into an animal.
  20. Make a dreamcatcher out of natural finds.
  21. Read about the different types of faerie folk that live in the forest. Do you know your sprite from your elf?
  22. Protect the mermaids by litter picking a beach.
  23. Find a red and white spotted toadstool, or a puffball mushroom (aka fairy house).
  24. Share an iconic nature painting you love and tell the story behind it.
  25. Make a fairy garden.
  26. Find a face in a tree trunk.
  27. Look up the meaning of common nature metaphors in stories (for example, the apple.)
  28. Read up on folk medicine and make something that’s safe for you to try for yourself (for example, a ginger and honey gargle or a mint tea – assuming you’re not allergic to any of these things). Make sure it’s not contra-indicated with any medication you’re on, and investigate the science behind the folklore to see a fuller story. Sometimes, science and folklore have spooky parallels (at others, science has discovered folklore cures were deadly. Use your brain as well as your intuition.)
  29. Pour a libation onto the ground and thank nature for all it provides.
  30. Look for fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Want more ideas for connecting with nature, along with plantlore and money saving tips? Read Go Wild: Over 200 Ways to Connect With Nature.

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