On loss and transfiguration
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Recommended Reading

Studio Muse at work

I'm away until Monday morning. In the meantime, here's a round-up of recommended reading:

"Fantasy North" by E.R. Truitt (Aeon)

"Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising" by Rob Maslen (The City of Lost Books)

"Angela Carter, The Magic Toyshop" by Rob Maslen (The City of Lost Books)

"Stella Benson, Living Alone" by Rob Maslen (The City of Lost Books)

"Design for Living: Goethe" by Adam Kirsch (The New Yorker)

The history of the Twa Sisters ballad by Natalie Zarrelli (Atlas Obscura)

"Mushrooms in Wonderland" by Mike Jay (Mikejay.net)

"Real Witches See Possibilities" by Asia (Woolgathering & Wildcrafting)

"Dancing the Cailleach" by Carlotte Du Cann (The Dark Mountain Project)

"The Weathered Woman" by Sarah Elwell (Between the Woods & the Waters)

"Riding the Wind" by Karen Emslie (Aeon)

"Connecting with Nature Through Wildlife, Place, and Memory" by John Aitchison (The Ecologist)

"A magical sighting in rural Wales" by Richard Bowler, plus the article's missing last paragraph
 (BBC Blogs: Winterwatch)

"Trees Have Social Networks Too" by Sally McGrane (New York Times)

"Crows Understand Analogies" by Leyre Castro & Ed Wasserman (Scientific American)

 "Deep Intellect" by Sy Montgomery (Orion Magazine)

"Go Tell the Bees" by Karen Maitland (The History Girls)

"The Bee in Irish and Other Folk Traditions" by Eimear Chaomhánach (pdf, Department of Irish Folklore)

"Feel the Buzz: The Album Recorded by 40,000 Bees" by Tim Jonze (The Guardian)

From The Secret Garden illustrated by Inga Moore

"On Liberty, Reading, and Dissent" by Shami Chakrabarti (The Reading Agency)

"Dark Books" by Tara Isabella Burton (Aeon)

"Why the British Tell Better Children's Stories" by Colleen Gillard (The Atlantic)

"Books Writers Want to Dissect" by Shana DuBois (SF Signal)

"In the Mid-Midwinter" by Liz Lochhead (Scottish Poetry Library)

"Negotiations" by Rae Armantrout (Poets.org)

"Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up" by Kaitlyn Boulding (Guts)

And recommended viewing:

"The Life of Death," a hand-drawn animated video by Marsha Onderstijn (Vimeo)

The illustration above is by Inga Moore.


Thank you, it is such an honour to see my link on this wonderful list. Many of these I have read and loved, but many others not yet, so this is a luxury of reading that I shall enjoy tonight. Enjoy your weekend :-)

I loved The Life of Death video. It was truly beautiful.

Terri, Thank you. Many mornings I start my day with my coffee, and your posts. Today, I was enjoying all the reading and connecting when I got to the article and video by John Aitchison. The beautiful video is about polar bears. My husband connects with bears, not generally so much with nature. His nick name is "Big Bear." Three years ago he survived a left sided stroke which left him very cognizant but, severely impaired for language. He left rehab with 10 words and one phrase, things that were so ingrained that even though the filing cabinet of language had been tossed willy-nilly, remained. With a lot of help and his own determination and work this is slowly improving. Getting new words back on the fly is the toughest part. Anyway, I set this video up for him, and went to feed the furry ones. It was very quiet. Then, "Ang, Ang!" We all rush to the other room, Stryder fur flying and Bear, because she's only 16 weeks, bouncing as she flies. "Ang." "Playing!" New word. Connections. Old word back. And, I love how he intuits the bears. (Sorry this is so long.) Thank you for linking. :-)

I always love your recommended reading! Thank you!

I admire all these selections..The Dark Is Rising is a book that sent me down a wonderful mystical path 35 years ago.
I will be delving deeply into fantasy during the next months here in USA. The political climate here is frightening and I want to assure whoever reads this that all America is not crazy. Fear drives this unleashing of hatred exemplified by Trump and Company.
Goethe had a long a varied life. He was an initiate of the deepest mysteries ( not mentioned in the New Yorker article but then they are not into that sort of thing). Among many things,Goethe wrote fables during a terrible time in Europe- there were refugees from the wars then just as now. "The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily" is about the initiation that a human can make to become a Godly person.

Thank you so much for including me on this list! I can't wait to read all the others.

I have just added "The City of Lost Books" onto my Bookmarks. It is another bright place for readers of magical writing.

What a deeply moving story, Angela. I'm so grateful to you for sharing it with me. I love that your husband has kept his connection to bears, and that he's finding his way, word by word, back to wholeness.

Have you read Diana Ackerman's book One Hundred Names for Love? Her husband made a similar journey, and she writes about it so beautifully and so lovingly.

I could have chosen so many from your blog, Sarah. I just love it.

Isn't it just? Sad and beautiful and profound, all at once.

You're very welcome, Dona. I'm always glad to know that this lists are useful.

I've read some of Goethe's poetry and prose, but don't know nearly enough about him as I should considering all his work with myth & fairy tale themes. Can you recommend a book on his life that I should start with?

I loved your article, Natalie, and it's a pleasure to include you.

It's a wonderful blog, isn't it? Rob Maslen, the author, teaches in the amazing fantasy program at the University of Glasgow. I wish such a program had been around when I was student.

More info here for anyone who is interested:


Thank you. The love of fantasy circles in so many places. My childhood hopes were to find such things. Incidentally I read two poems I wrote in Myth and Moor and I told them about Myth and Moor, and they will look in.

Hi Terri, I have read one book by Diana Ackerman, a while ago, likely A Natural History of the Senses. I haven't read this. :-) Ang

You could start with The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily - I am sure it would speak to you. It's an initiation story of love and sacrifice. I don't know much about the rest of Goethe's work- he was supremely gifted, and Faust, I know , has great indications of the passage of life into death and beyond. If you are familiar with Rudolf Steiner, who brought us Waldorf schools and much more, you will see echoes of all the great initiates and Goethe in particular.

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