Posts tagged Self-Study
Serious Questions

Poring over seventy or so books that I checked out from the library this last month, I came across many examples of magical notation hidden in folk art pieces from my European cultures of origin (Scandinavian, Slavic and Celtic). The hypothesis that I’m operating on is that pre-christian pagan symbolism has been cleverly folded into more recent versions of traditional crafts that exist currently in much diluted form. There are whole industries predicated on the production of faux-heritage kitsch, but what if we’re missing the fact that all of the symbolism being re-hashed in popular culture originates in the pictographic languages of a few root cultures going back to the Neolithic age, when these glyphs would have been applied with much greater labor and purpose.

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Folk Art Self-Study

Folk art comes from direct experience with the landscape. Specific adaptations to local environments give rise to unique forms of creative expression, born out of necessity. The oldest known form of magic, pictographs and patterns have been used for millennia to tell our stories and appeal to natural forces for help in navigating worldly challenges. Because we are living through a time of great transition, I’m wondering how we can we use the collective power of our traditional folk art forms as seeds for reclamation and healing. In order to explore this potential, we would need to reinvigorate forgotten skills that were once passed from generation to generation. But I realize that many people don’t feel they have a connection to any folk art traditions.

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