The enchanted forest. This powerful archetype appears over and over, from our oldest myths, to our fairytales, to our modern stories of ghosts and even alien worlds. It is the place where goblins dwell in cool green shadows, where witches conjure in sequestered cottages, where the wild folk cry out to unknowable spirits. The enchanted forest represents all we fear and all we love at the heart of mystery. It is unknowable, yet one can venture into it, apprehend bits of it, gain mastery over this while learning to to be leery of that. Ultimately, the enchanted forest is timeless and greater than we, and to dwell close to it is to form a spiritual bond with that which is deeper and older than mortal ken.
The enchanted forest. Its verge is the perfect place to begin a trek into the wonders of Nature and spirit.
My name is Cliff Seruntine, and my whole life has been spent with the enchanted forest. I passed my youth in the haunted bayous of Louisiana’s darkest recesses, among voduns and Acadians who followed an older way of life. I’ve wandered the boreal woodlands of the far north, befriended wolves and encountered grizzlies face-to-face while gathering tales of the hidden people the Aboriginals call the Inuqun. I’ve wandered the Irish hills, Welsh glens and Scots highlands, all to soak in the myths of those ancient lands. I’ve explored the Canadian northwoods and established a homestead deep in a Gaelic place full of mystery, in order to live in harmony with the sacred Earth and her spirits. Some might say I’ve been an adventurer, a scholar, or a scientist. I would say I was just an ordinary man who was willing to venture into the enchanted forest.
My books have been a reflection of my life’s experiences in that fey realm. My first book, The Lore of the Bard (Llewellyn, 2003) was on the lost enchantment of beautiful artistry that was central to the druidic craft and ancient Celtic people. My second book, An Ogham Wood (Avalonia Esoterica Press, 2011), was a novel of the faerie faith–an exploration of its power to heal, renew and persist. My recent contribution to The Fairy Queens (Avalonia Esoterica Press, 2013) expresses my deep respect for the divine feminine in Nature. And my newest book, Seasons of the Sacred Earth (Llewellyn, 2013), is the tale of how my family and I came to know the sacred land and its spirits intimately since establishing our eco-friendly homestead in the remote highland woods of Nova Scotia.
In my life I’ve been a harper, a wanderer, a tracker, an archer and a therapist. But mostly I’ve been a seeker of Nature’s enchantment and spiritual truth. To this end, I’ve walked the wild gloaming with mystics and shamans, and endeavored to learn their Ways. And if you would be so kind as to journey with me, I would be happy to share what I know. Let us learn how to make a greener world and walk the enchanted forest together. Something sparkles out there beneath the shaded boughs . . .