The Essentials of Witch Wood

There is a quote I read somewhere that says ‘a tree does not a forest make’. Well, I disagree with that statement. In this increasingly overpopulated world we live in it is becoming harder and harder to find what our ancestors would call a woods let alone what they would refer to as a forest. Deep within the heart of every tree there lives the potential for a forest. Each year as my single Norway Maple drops its leaves I am reminded of that. By the time it is finished they carpet the ground with the promise of a thousand trees. The promise of the Witch Wood.

I am on a spiritual journey with the trees. I have been talking to them since I was a child and for the past few years they have been talking back. It was a very large tree that showed me that she is indeed a forest in her own right. I have always had the extreme luxury of being able to enter the sanctuary of a large woods or forest but I realize that a lot of people don’t have that. And the trees also realize that. They want people to know that all it takes to enter the woods is to simply sit with a tree. Touch it, talk to it either out loud or in your head. It will hear you and if you listen with your heart you may hear it talk back. When you have experienced this connection you have entered the Witch Wood. It is a magical place where other worldly creatures dance and play with the earthly ones. It is a place where peace resides, a place you can go when life gets too hectic and you just need a little break from it.

All it takes is one tree and a few minutes of your time. The Witch Wood is calling. Will you answer?

Avenger of Trees


Forward eye

on the cursor

corner eye

on the window

yellow leaves falling

tiny suns drifting

leisurely to earth,

grey sky hovers

no shadows cast

just showers

of yellow dancers

caressed by autumn wind

drawing my eye

from screen

to window

watching the party



The Faerie Witch’s Love Spell

The spell it came within a book

Tucked back beyond the attic nook,

Deep within the pages told

Of secrets kept from days of old,

And then I saw it glowing bright

The answer to my lonely night.


Inside the book with pages torn

I read the words one autumn morn

But did not heed the warning there

Among the stories bright and fair

For all that caught my eye that day

A reference to a certain fey:

“ He’s dreaming in his treetop tower

Content to wait for the witching hour

To cast off limbs for flesh and bone

Wander through valley and standing stone

That brings him square up to the door

Where his lady waits on misty shore

With wand in hand and wreath in hair

She conjures him ‘tween earth and air,

And when they meet ‘neath moonlit sky

The faeries know the knot they tie

Will bring her joy and many tears

As well as magic, love and fears.

For mortal witch and faerie lover

Will join as one and soon discover

The veil is thin this Samhain night

And many partake of unearthly delight

Then wake to the cold November sky

Hang down their heads and heave a sigh

For alone they be each on their own side

The veil now dense, the distance wide.”


And I am one of witches fair

That conjured earth, fire, water and air

Upon a lonely Samhain night

To bring to me one shinning bright

A love to know and keep till dawn

And caring not if right or wrong.


So dressed in green by pale moonlight

I trod the woods that fateful night

And when I came upon the tree

That every night had beckoned me

I raised my wand up to the sky

And to the stars let out a cry.

“You of green within this tree,

Oh shinning one, come down to me,

Oh green one dwelling high above

Come down and bring to me your love

That we may dance until the dawn

Make love till all starlight is gone.

I cast this spell by thistle and thorn

You shall be mine until the morn.”


The crystal sparked the tree was lit

With tiny lights from root to tip.

I saw his face atop the tree

His glowing eyes stared down at me,

His voice it floated to the ground

And settled on the mossy mound,

“The night is long my pretty bird,

So take my hand, don’t say a word.

Into the night I’ll hold your hand

Across the green we’ll walk the land,

And you will know such wondrous things

That cause mere mortal hearts to sing.”


My feet were bare and so was he

His luminous wings did flutter free.

Our hands were clasped beneath the stars

Wee hours of night becoming ours.

As we walked through hills of silken green

And circles of stone with moonlit sheen

My faerie lover showed me things

That dwell within the mushroom rings,

Where dancing in a moonlit glen

He kissed my lips again and again,

Till lips and legs began to tingle

His breath and mine as one did mingle.

And then beneath the starry night

I saw the often told of sight

A doorway opened in the ground

Among the mushrooms gathered round.

And pulled along a lustrous hall

I felt myself begin to fall

Then caught within green arms so strong

I whispered low, this can’t be wrong.


The night stretched out before our eyes

Pushed longingly within our cries

As we made love beneath the earth

Both solemnly and filled with mirth.

Upon his bed of leaves and moss

He left me breathless, at a loss,

For soon I knew the sun would rise

And wipe the stars from out the skies

And he would leave me in a mess

To search the hills for my green dress.


Now my life is different it seems

My hair has turned a brownish-green

Everyone that passes me by

Can see the silver in my eyes,

And like the sky that shown that night

My skin now shimmers in pale moonlight.


So guard your hearts, oh witches fair

When moon is full love fills the air

But cast you not that faerie spell

For in its wake the tale you’ll tell

Is one of love and then of sorrow

Of time suspended till the morrow,

When autumn’s frost lay on the ground

And winter breathes its mournful sound

You’ll speak about the lovely things

That one can do with faerie wings

And then your breath will catch in time

With memories of faerie rhyme

That fill your nights and clutter your days

And make you walk around in a haze,

And all because the spell you cast

Brought faerie love that could not last.




A Faerie Tree For Winter

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Living in the north takes a certain kind of vigor, one that won’t let you down during the long cold and dark months of winter. Some folks seem to revel in it finding pleasure in the snow and all its playful ways. Their bodies seem to know how to cope with the frigid temperatures as they carry on with their lives as if winter was just another side of summer. I can remember as a child being one of those people. My mother would have to bribe me to get me to come in the house after an afternoon of snowy delight. Winter for me back then was just another side of summer. But as I got older I noticed a melancholy settling in during the winter months. It became harder and harder to feel any kind of kinship with the cold and frozen earth. Instead of feeling like another side of summer it began to feel like the death of summer. I missed my flowers and the green. I missed warm nights lying on the soft earth under a starry sky. I felt like a flower faerie buried under the cold, unforgiving blanket of snow, shivering through an endless night of darkness.

One frigid winter day as I started to feel myself sinking down into that familiar dark, depressing pit of anxiety, my meditations were interrupted by a group of sprites appearing as tiny lights circling around me. They sounded like bees buzzing in a flowery garden patch. As I listened to their sounds I began to hear voices forming amidst the buzzing. “Come with us.” “We have something to show you.” It will help you.” It will bring you peace.”

So I followed them to a forest covered in knee deep snow where they began to dance around a huge tree that stood before me. Then I heard them all giggling as they disappeared through a hole in the side of the tree. I lost track of time as I stood there waiting, for what I didn’t know, and was about to give up on this whole meditation journey when I heard a distant voice calling from within the tree, “Aren’t you coming in?” Oh…that makes sense, I thought to myself. So I mustered up some shrinking power and slipped through the hole in the mighty tree.

At first all I saw was darkness and the thought occurred to me that I had been tricked by some pesky sprites looking for a good laugh. Then light began to seep into my vision and I blinked a few times thinking – this can’t be right. But as my surroundings became clearer I saw the little group of sprites dancing on my couch, and my table, and my bed, and all through my house. Inside the tree was a perfect replica of my own house! I stood there in awe. How nice it would be to live inside a tree for the winter!

As I was thinking that thought one of the sprites came up into my face.

“Silly…you are inside your house!” she giggled.

“No I’m not,” I replied.

“Oh but you are.”

“But this is the inside of a tree.”

“So – what is your house made of?” she asked.

“Wood,” I answered.

And then it hit me.

“The tree we entered is the spirit assemblage of all the trees it took to build your house.” she explained. “ When you are inside your house, you are inside this tree.”

All at once the sprites were in front of my face giggling, doing flips and pointing at what must have been a very funny (to them) look on my face. I was having one of those a-ha moments.

From that day on I haven’t had any more problems with winter depression. Whenever I start to feel it creep in I just close my eyes and see that giant tree in the snowy forest. I know where I am. I know where I live. I live inside a tree during the winter just like all the other summer faeries while we await the arrival of spring and the return of the Green.

Lament of a Summer Faerie


I’m longing for him now

longing in whispers spoken

low on crystalline snowflakes,

My love, my Jack

My Jack in the Green.

With arms empty and cold

and whiteness that suffocates

I listen, closely to the wind

for his voice

his voice, warm like honey

his voice soft and velvet

like the green of his moss

the green of his palms

resting on my back

as I lay in his emerald arms.

But all I hear is the harsh voice

of his dark brother

trying to sneak into my thoughts,

this other Jack

this Jack of the Frost

with his shrieking whistles

that blow down my shutters

and invade my cold bed

giving me dreams of ice

and white, cold glass

where his eyes appear

in the glacial spaces

between the frozen teardrops

of his hibernal hooded head.

Oh my Jack, my green love

why must you leave me so

to crawl beneath

this cruel white blanket

while you sleep

deeper than my poor little soul

can delve,

I miss your heat

the touch of your breath

on my tired wings

at the end of a day

filled with dancing in your glen

and rolling in your fields,

I miss the kiss of morning

on my dewy lips

as you waken me

to another Midsummer’s day.

But here in this hollow

where I huddle with the ivy

the only promise left

is the cold green of its fingers

wrapping themselves

around my naked antlers

shivering at the sound

of the frost one

curling his arms above

this tree of sanctuary.

My crying is not heard.

My weeping is in vain.

I am alone and wanting

waiting to smell

the first light of Spring,

his first breath of dawn

in the sedge of meadow

in the moss of woodland

in the tall ears

of my head,

The first sigh

of his awakening

will be the music of my life

the melody of my existence

the savior of my spirit,

I shall drink in

his air

as the tree drinks in

the sun

I shall sink my long toes

into his velvet hair

and caress the length

of his viridian expanse.

Oh Jack, my Jack

my green and lovely companion

when I finally squeeze through

the door of Beltane

into the gift of your summer

all these frigid, bitter plates of

soulless scraps

I have been fed

by the hoary hands

of Jack of the Frost

shall become so much mist

in the gleam of your

sun drenched eyes

and we shall glide as one again

along the lichen river banks

and fly above the heather

that dances to your pipes

and my life will be whole

as I sink into the yielding folds

Of my Jack

My Jack in the Green.

Mid Winter Dance

Night in the woods in winter, so different than night in the woods in summer. The clouds hang low, purple, indigo, and a stillness crawls through the bare branches above my head. Light snow has fallen, like glitter it covers the frozen forest floor, a shimmer of carpet beneath my fur clad feet. Like the lone wolf I step lightly on the path that leads to the circle surrounded by naked birch trees where I stand and welcome the darkness. I open my arms toward the bleak sky, whisper their names, ancient and powerful into the silence that cradles this place, the silence that is night and darkness and northern winter. Cold tries to seep through to my bones but the warmth I feel in their names is like a flame under my skin, a glow radiating out into the frigid night.

They see me before I see them, a tiny glimmer at the edge of vision. I know better than to turn my head and try to get a better look for I have been here before and know the only way to look at them, to truly see them, is to not look at them at all. So I nod my head slightly and speak their names again with reverence and awe. They drift closer, tiny blue-green lights growing larger as they approach casting a shadow of my waiting form upon the earth in front of me. Their voices are a whisper, an icy droning fluttering about my head like a song heard from a great distance or a lullaby in a dream.

The first touch sends a shiver down my body, the second touch envelops me in light and the third touch lifts my feet ever so slightly off the ground. I feel their smiles brush against my cheeks, their giggles tickle my ears, their cue that it is time for the dance to begin. Snow swirls, clouds of fluff spinning around my ankles. We whirl and dip and prance and skip to a song of the night. Its melody encloses the circle we glide through rendering it sacred and the song like vespers sung to gods. As I partake of this dance of winter I am reminded of the earth and moon, their silent cosmic waltz slipping through the dark of space, the music of the sun their constant guide. Then my dance partners pull me toward the outer edge of our circle where tree spirits reach out to join in our revelry as a myriad of shining eyes appear from beyond their boundary. All the forest is alive with the dance, ebbing and flowing to the hymn of this night. Time is suspended while we move our bodies both physical and ethereal about the sacred circle. We are light, we are dark, we are ancient and bound to each other, siblings of stars and ice floating within the orb of night.

Slowly, slowly the movement begins to cease and I find myself back at the center where it all began. A stillness descends upon the woods as I raise my hands toward the darkened sky speaking words of gratitude and reverence. Then with eyes closed I reach out feeling the caress of blue-green light brushing past my fingertips, a feathery touch upon my cheek, the kiss of faerie, bidding me farewell.

Night closes in around me, soft and tranquil, the path crunching beneath my fur clad feet as giant flakes of snow drift around the dark woods. Behind me there is a sound, perceived more than heard, a giggle in a minor note drifting on the wind.