I recently had a wonderful experience camping in Lake Anna, VA and it was the epitome of welcoming. It was surprising because that area has been well developed over time. Usually with the development of civilization it causes anger from the forest spirits of the area, but this time it did not feel like that at all. We had barely unpacked our tents before the forest spirits came out in droves with the energy of a flock of toddlers who refuse to nap. They danced in circles around us like wisps of vapor, it was amazing to watch, and the energy emanating from them was tangible.
It looked like a cross between shadows and mist running past my peripheral vision. They were 4 feet off the ground, but did not actually make contact with the earth, like fluid smoke swimming through the air. They would shift their form, first taking on the shape of a fox, then a boar, a deer, a goat, a fish, a hawk… It was beautiful. The energy coming from them was palpable and made your skin literally tingle from the encounter. It was by far one of the most rewarding, magical, and enlightening experiences I have ever had. I am looking forward to the next time I visit, which will be in April, and I cannot wait to see them. It was like encountering old friends from a distant life you had once lived. They were there, remembering for you, waiting for you, to come home to them.
For 4 days I sat among the edge of the forest, in our camp site, and watched them play.
I have been camping with the same group of people for years now and I have begun to feel a consistent energy among them. Always excepting and kind, loving and compassionate. This camping trip was vastly different in a delightful expansive way. We all opened ourselves more than we thought could have happened. Frankly, I think most of us did not know we had anything more to open within us, but here we are forging new ties and expanding our boundaries. Sometimes change, though intimidating, allow vulnerabilities to come out in the open and be addressed. This is exactly what forest spirits provide to the surrounding atmosphere. Growth and change.
If any of you would like to come out and be a part of the experience, check out our events at https://www.mountain-mysteries.org/ . Our next trip out to Lake Anna, Virginia will be at the end of April 2018.
Many cultures have a variation of a forest spirit and they all go by different names, depending on what part of the world you are currently in. Below I have listed a number of examples for you to take a look through and to expand your research towards finding what fits for you.*
Other names for forest spirits are:
“Dryads”, and “Meliae” (the nymphs) in Greek mythology
“Hathor” or “Lady of the Sycamore” in Egypt
“Kodama” in Japan
“Lauma”, a woodland fae and spirit of trees in the Eastern Baltic
“Nang Ta-khian” in Thai folklore
“Pi-Fang” in China
“Rakapila” in Madagascar
“Sijou” in Nepal
“Tāne-mahuta” of the Maori mythology
“Herne the Hunter” in the Germanic mythology
“Aranyani” in Hindu mythology
The Celts on the other hand, did not have one name to represent the sacred tree spirits, they believed that all trees had sacred properties. There were certain types of trees however, located in specific territories that represented the five sacred Bíles of Ireland. Which were the Ash of Tortu, the Bole of Ross (a yew tree), the Oak of Mugna, and the Ash of Dathi.
The Native American Tribes have a list of their own, depending on location and tribal influence:
Atuwoskonikehs for the Maliseet
Bigfoot in various tribes.
Boqs in the Northwest Coast.
Chiye-Tanka for the Sioux
Makiawisug for the Mohican
Matekanis for the Lenape
Maxemista for the Cheyenne
Mikumwess for the Wabanaki
Puckwudgies for the Wampanoag
Sasquatch for the Coast Salish
Seatco for the Chehalis
Stick Indians for the Northwest Coast
Woodsman for the Alaskan Athabaskan
Woods Elves for the Sioux
Practically every culture has woodland spiritual influences entwined within it, and most people who have spent time in the woods have experiences with some form of forest spirit. I have mentioned in past blogs that I have had my own experiences regarding woodland spirits, and those memories continue to give me great comfort when needed. I would love to hear your experiences if you are willing to share them, email me anytime.
– A. Elise
*I would like to make a note that these are just some of the many spirits and deities that I have put on this post, I did not mean to exclude anyone. There are so many of them and we all come from such vast walks of life, there are plenty to choose from in your own spiritual journey. I highly recommend conducting your own search for what you connect with, and here are some of my sources; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nature_deities; http://www.native-languages.org/legends-forest.htm; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tree_deities