Are trees divine?

by Kitty Drake in April 2020

A journal of “wanderings and wonderings” from around the British Isles, one of the most delightful pieces in Weird Walk invites you to worship trees as gods. Judas was said to have hung from the elder tree and its berries are associated with dark magic, but its branches have also been credited with undoing evil spells and curing toothache. Knowing that we have historically revered trees as deities can come as a “relief”, argues forager Adele Nozedar: “we can ‘come out’ about our feelings for trees if it’s spoken about out loud in safe company!”

The theme of this magazine is that there is a supernatural power in nature. This is not a new idea, but it is suddenly very trendy. Case in point: when The Face relaunched, they asked Weird Walk to recommend a “folkloric pub walk” — WW suggested Chew Valley, eight miles outside Bristol, with a pub garden pit-stop (the pub garden in question features a collection of megaliths, said to be the petrified remains of musicians who played on the sabbath). But while the internet may be awash with clickbait about tarot, nothing about this zine feels disingenuous. Slim and startlingly purple, the production value is low, and the interviews and essays are thoughtful, and heartfelt. One quote, from Lily Doble — a member of the all-female folk dance troupe Boss Morris — has stayed with me: “I think people are trying to find something more wild, instinctive and trustworthy; a spirituality growing from the ground, rather than hovering above the clouds”.

If you’re walking daily under quarantine, reading this magazine will enrich your lockdown. Now might be the perfect moment to get into a little tree worship.

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