Trees occupy a place of enormous significance, not only in our planet’s web of life but also in our psyche. A Spell in the Forest – Tongues in Trees is part love-song, part poetic guidebook, and part exploration of thirteen native sacred British tree species. Tongues in Trees is a multi-layered contribution to the current awareness of the importance and significance of trees and the resurgence of interest in their place on our planet and in our hearts.
‘Your beautifully written book [is] a valuable compendium of tree lore and tree wisdom brought into clear solution through the crucible of your deeply imaginative engagement with lived experience as the unique source of your knowledge and understanding. Not only do you put us intimately in touch with the life of trees, both as individuals and in community, but you do so in a way that draws us deep into the poetic basis of mind, which is where both human life and that of the surrounding world abide and share the gift of consciousness. Your capacity to articulate that finally inseparable relatedness is a vital service in these critical times.’
Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread Prize-winning author
From Moon Books (John Hunt Publishing) on 25 June 2021 emerged my narrative non-fiction book written in and partly about the ancient Forêt de Brocéliande in Brittany.
Update on 29th June: the online ethical bookstore Hive has today published its top 20 of the last week. I’m delighted and astonished to see that Spell is #7. There are also a few 5 star reviews on Amazon now already, and quite a few on my webpage on the publisher’s site, below.
A Spell in the Forest – tongues in trees is about tree lore, new findings in tree science, myth, the symbolism of individual tree species according to the Celtic ogham alphabet, my personal relationship with Tree, Forest and the Wildwood. And a plea that we re-vision our relationship to the other-than-human.
BUY THE BOOK
You can buy it direct from me (via Paypal, easy, even if you don’t have an account – contact me here or find me via my email address: roselle[at]fire-in-the-head[dot]co[dot]uk replacing with the usual symbols). NB I don’t send it outside Europe myself.
In the UK order it from your local bookshop, or from the ethical alternative to Amazon, bookshop.org. Here’s the direct link. Also from Hive, another ethical seller who, like bookshop.org, donates a percentage to your local bookshop (and it’s on offer atm). Of course you can also buy it from Amazon UK here and Amazon USA here (will send to Australia). Barnes & Noble stock it too. In Canada, you can buy it here. In Australia, here. Remember that the Book Depository sends books worldwide free of charge.
You can read a number of complimentary reviews of it, and other places to buy it, on Moon Books, my publishers’ website. There are other reviews online. There’s also a short but enthusiastic video review of it here, and a long and generous non-video one here. (If you have read the book, it makes a huge difference to an author to have a review, no matter how short, on Amazon.) A brief sample of reviews is below.
‘I wholeheartedly recommend A Spell in the Forest – an accomplished piece of work.’
‘I loved it. Descriptive and beautifully written, it’s the ideal gift for a tree-lover.’
‘A beautifully written, highly informative book about the trees of the Ogham calendar and how to connect with them…’
‘…informative and inspiring. The combination of scientific fact, poetry, myth, storytelling and suggestions for engagement with the subject matter is unique.’
‘I enjoyed A Spell in the Forest very much. It’s completely different from anything I’ve read before and I found it thoroughly engaging. I’ve always been a tree lover, but the whole Ogham tree calendar and alphabet was a complete eye opener. This is a book I’ll need to return to many times before the wealth of information really sinks in… That whole thing about other planes of consciousness really resonated with me.’
‘I was compelled to write to Roselle to tell her how much I was enjoying her book. I know it might sound odd, but I really didn’t expect to as much as I did. Roselle is so well-read and knowledgeable I thought it might be a little above my head… But I was interested enough in the book and Roselle made the subject so accessible and enjoyable that instead of being intimidated by what I don’t know about the things she references, I find myself interested in finding out more. Her writing sounds like her (I was lucky enough to attend one of Roselle’s truly beautiful writing retreats). I feel like she’s talking directly to me, it’s really lovely. I particularly liked The Dark Forest 1. I got completely lost in the image/feeling of being in a forest and was grateful for it… A really immersive, comforting and lovely read.’
JOIN THE COURSE
This book is in large part based on my Tongues in Trees online course. The next yearlong course will begins at the winter solstice 2022. I’m taking a break from it next year to concentrate on Book Two.
VISIT THE LAUNCH EVENT
We launched my book via Zoom courtesy of James Murray-White of the Save The Oaks campaign, on Thursday July 1st at 7pm. I cannot tell you how high I still feel from the atmosphere created by James’ shaping of the event from its opening video clip of Wistman’s Wood, to the pieces from The Music of Trees by Geoff Robb, and our intertwined conversation. It was so inspiring to see so many people from all over the world, and to listen and respond to their questions and comments. 20% of any sales made direct from me throughout July as a result of the launch will go to STO.
You can see the launch event here; settle down with a glass of something and be, perhaps, spirited away to the enchanted forest… (There’s a bit of background noise for the first 2 or 3 minutes until we’d sorted the muting of the audience’s mikes.)
‘The poet who reignites within us passion and wonder for the living world does as much for the healing of the planet as any ecologist. Roselle Angwin is one such poet.‘
Fred Hageneder, author of a number of books on trees
‘This book gently leads the reader into a new and deeper understanding of the forest and our ancient and intrinsic connection with the trees that has been largely forgotten in this modern age. If you wish to develop and nurture a true affinity and knowledge of trees, then A Spell in the Forest – Tongues in Trees will most definitely help you to do that.’ Luke Eastwood, author of The Druid Garden
‘Roselle Angwin is a thinking as well as a feeling writer. Her new title, A SPELL IN THE FOREST, Book One: Tongues in Trees, is intelligent, informational, and thoroughly researched. Equally if not more importantly there is a gentle soulfulness in the author’s voice which invites readers to travel through her pages, similar in its way to a quiet walk in the woods.’
David Sparenberg, author of Earth Spirit: Confronting the Crisis, Essays & Meditations on Eco-spirituality
On the run-up to publication date, I’ve been asked for a number of podcasts, interviews, blog posts and articles. In no particular order, here are some links, should you be interested in reading or hearing more about our, and/or my, relationship with trees.
On this link, you can listen to a discussion on trees on The Wheel podcast, as above. I am the guest for this ‘spoke’, #46.
Here is a link to a written interview with me. Sample response (in relation to a question about spiritual practice): ‘I feel strongly that we live in an enspirited world – everything is consciousness in one form or another. I honour and respect all that is.
‘My focus in my own life, my writing and in the courses I lead is on bringing spirit and matter together; our cultural Western dualistic inheritance has separated them, and I feel this underlies many of our current ills, including, of course, the destruction of the rest of the natural world. More especially, I’m passionate about moving from an anthropocentric view of the world towards an ecocentric one.’
This link will take you to an article on learning to speak the language of trees.
There are more, but for the moment, here’s the last link, which is to a more generic YouTube interview about my approach to the land, and to our sense of belonging to place and land, and writing about it.