This is cool and kind of strange.
Remember a few posts ago I said I felt like I was put onto a path of knowledge when I ran headlong into discovering the Norse/Germanic mythos and the modern day Northern Traditions of paganism. And how I feverishly devoured all that I could read on the subject for a few weeks, until the fever died down – almost like an obsession it was… although this is not surprising as I am rather an obsessive personality or, more kindly, I am able to exert an amazing level of focus on one thing, for a period of time in order to conduct feats of strength. Kinda like the opposite of multitasking, which I do not list in my skill set. Anyways, so – when I say I felt like I was on a path, I always doubt these feelings – my rational science-mind tells me it’s a coincidence, or it’s just me assuming I ‘know’ things. Or it’s like my husband tells me, that I make too many assumptions based on my intuitions. So I usually talk myself out of believing (and this is one of my problems with pursuing a spiritual path). So this week I was at the library up the street from us with my little son and we were browsing the fairy-tales.
Well, he was looking at cars, while his mum was browsing the fairy-tales, which is something I have done since he was born. I was raised on them, and it has been a magical part of my childhood existence that I want to ensure he gets to be a part of. So I’m always looking for ways to introduce him to these stories, even though is is still really too young. I’ve noticed that since he was born I’ve done that a lot – traveled back to my own childhood in order to relate to him better. Being a parent I think reminds us of the small people that we once were. So yes, I was looking at the fairy-tale section and this is a tiny little library with very few books really, and so I wasn’t expecting much. And there wasn’t much – just your regular Peter Pan, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White – all of the stories that eventually were taken away by Disney. There were a few coastal First Nations stories, which I like to see, and then a lot of ridiculous cartoons (ick – I am an artist after all.)
Then all of a sudden I cam across this:
And I said ‘Oh my god, what IS this?’ I knew I had seen it before and upon looking inside and seeing the art work I was amazed to realize that I had this book when I was little and had totally forgotten about it until that moment. Also my mom had this art work on the walls, I’m sure of it. I remember her loving Aurthur Rackham, as did I, and I guess I always thought these drawings were his. Never heard of John Bauer before.
The stories too, I remember vividly. I actually burst into tears later at home while reading them. All along I thought it was Grimm’s Tales that I grew up with, but when reading them later as an adult, they weren’t what I remembered. Oh the joy at finding this book! This was my childhood. This book is the reason I had so much magic around me. This is the reason I believed in all of these beings. It must have been such a formative time in my life when my mother read these stories to me. They are like another part of the world that I had lost, come back to me. What a gift!
Check out Inspirations on the sidebar to your right. I’ve uploaded a few of my favorites. Also you can Follow Me on Pinterest (link in sidebar too) too see a ton more. I love his work. The trolls look like they belong to the mountainside. The tiny blonde princesses that speak to the animals. The dark and dreamy forests with the brooding ponds and trees alive and watching. All of this imagery I still cleave to like it’s home, a home-space, a heart-place.
But – this is only part of the story.
I posted a little book review last week – I’m still getting used to all of the tools and options and just the landscape of blogging, so I actually wrote a review of one of the books I bought and read last month when I started obsessing about Norse cosmology. In the review, I said I was disappointed that the book didn’t give enough info about the gods themselves, and how they relate to each other, and about the end of days. Well, so in looking for more an more of John Bauer’s work online to love, I came across some beautiful pieces he did of the Norse gods. That’s funny I said. I’ve never seen these before, and I have just been studying this stuff. And then, these pics led me back to the book they were illustrating:
The introduction goes like this: ‘An epic introduction to Norse mythology for students of all ages. Based on the research of the 19th century Swedish poet and scholar, Viktor Rydberg, “Our Fathers’ Godsaga” retells the mythology of Northern Europe in chronological order from Creation to Ragnarök.’
That is funny no? I have to get this book obviously. And I am coming around to the idea that I may be on a path of knowledge. Later this week I will probably talk myself out of that, saying, well the guy was Swedish, so it makes sense that he would illustrate about the gods of his ancestors and it’s just a coincidence that you came across this book in the library, which reminded you of part of who you are that you had forgotten, then led you to finding the information you were seeking last week in one tidy package. ahem… hmmm.
As for now, this morning I went into the garden with my son. We have evergreens planted on one side of our four sided urban backyard plot, creating our own tiny patch of forest. Together we left oats in little piles on rocks at the bases of the trees, for the garden trolls and the tree-ents. It was grey and overcast with random blue sky spots, and all of the garden plants were like tiny skeletons casting shadows on the cold ground. I lit some incense and let it burn in a potted plant while I cleaned up that space from all of the junk we left there back at the end of summer before the snows came. It felt right. I felt like I was speaking to the spirits of place, and the place listened in return. I plan to keep this up; creating a relationship with the spirits in my garden, especially with spring coming on and when I plant my food crops. I know they are there. I remember them now! Now I must acknowledge them and their place in my life since I was a wee babe…and perhaps even in past lives, or at least in my blood going down through the generations.
As for the Gods, well, I haven’t spoken to them yet. I’m not even sure they exist in that form.
More to come,
Skye on her Isle