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Ash: A-Z of Rewilding Stories zine by Dawn Nelson

Summer is finally here! The blossoms might have died back but now the trees are leafy, green, and showing the first hints of their fruits. It’s an exciting time to peer amongst the branches and search for small green rowan berries, hard apples, and samaras.

This week, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Dawn Nelson’s first zine of Rewilding Stories. This beautifully designed chapbook-style publication is filled with stories, facts, remedies and thought-provoking prompts all around the incredible ash tree.

Ash: A-Z of Rewilding Stories

I’ve become familiar with Nelson’s work via her Instagram account (@DDStoryteller); DD lives in the beautiful South Downs and has a passion for connecting people with nature, history and the landscape through storytelling. She writes and performs interactive, original and traditional tales in workshops and storytelling clubs for all ages, and has worked with Royal Victoria Country Park, Butser Ancient Farm, schools and libraries.

The Rewilding Stories zine series

The A-Z of Rewilding Stories is a series of limited edition zines that seeks to connect the reader with nature and the landscape that surrounds them one story at a time.

Each zine, starting with the letter A and ending at Z, takes an element of nature as its focus and encourages connection through story, folklore and mindful moments. 

The ash tree

As a Pagan and witch, I know that the Ash tree has a special place in lore and tradition, including the Celtic Ogham. I also knew it had a special place in the hearts of conservationists due to the horror of ash die-back. But this zine opened my eyes to the incredible history of this tree and its medicinal uses throughout time.

Take a peep at the contents of Ash:

  • Yggdrasill – The Ásatru Edda
  • Ash – Fraxinus excelsi
  • Beneath The Bark – Folklore Of The Ash Tree
  • ‘The Three Green Women Of The Hill’ – Ash’s Story
  • Under The Canopy – Ways To Connect With The Ash Tree
  • The Glaistig – A Mindful Moment For Wellbeing
  • Mycelium – How We Can Help The Ash Tree

Nelson believes that one of the ways we can reconnect with the Earth is through story. Our ancestors left the answers right there, coded into their tales: be kind to each other, do not take your fellow animals for granted, create strong bonds and respect the earth. This is something that comes across so strongly in ‘Ash’ and I was left feeling like I had my bare hands outstretch on the bark of this ancient tree.

Dawn’s storytelling is enticing and I can just imagine sitting around a campfire with her as she regales the tale of ‘The Three Green Women of the Hill’.

One of my favourite parts of Ash was the extra audio content, which tied in so wonderfully with Nelson’s writing.

I loved delving into this zine and learning all about the ash tree in one place. Nelson’s next zine will look closely at bees and all the wondrous stories that have been attached to them across the millennia.

Thank you so much to DD Storyteller for this fantastic zine! Grab yourself a copy of Ash: A-Z of Rewilding Stories today.

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Jennifer is currently available for commissions and can be contacted here.

Specialities: British wildlife I.D. (birds, mammals and wildflowers), the natural world, allotment life, witchcraft writing, Shamanism, Paganism, New Age, veganism, eco-living.

Formats: Copywriting, magazine journalism, blogs, articles, long-form copy, newsletters.

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