When I set out to create my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, and to tell the tale of Robin Hood’s descendants, I knew my tale would have to contain a heavy dose of Earth Magic. My Sherwood Forest is an enchanted place where the trees whisper to one another and the spirits of those who have passed on continue to reside. My characters, Anglo Saxons of the medieval age, still follow the old ways and believe the old gods look out for them. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the holy days that punctuated their year.
The wheel of the year was divided by eight spokes, each with a feast day, many of which are still holidays today by different names. The four greatest of these were the solstices and equinoxes, on or about the 21st of March, June, September and December. The span of days between these were evenly divided by four other festivals: Samhain, which we call Halloween; Imbolc, which we now call Groundhog day; Beltaine, which we call May Day and Lammas or Lughnasa, which we just celebrated on or around August 1st.
So what would the folk of Sherwood have done on Lammas? It was the first of the three harvest festivals when the hay was safely in and the grain matured and became ready for harvest. By now, last year’s grain stores were running low. The weather was fine and all hands were required in the fields, working, sharing and often laughing together. The folk of Sherwood and those in the towns close under the hem of the forest, who farmed their own plots of land, would have anticipated the time of plenty to come. Gladly would they have lent their hands to assure everyone had food for the coming winter. I believe they would also have given thanks to the spirits of the air, water, fire and earth that provided the bounty and spiritual strength that sustained them.
If you’d like to step into Sherwood Forest and experience life as lived by my hero, Curlew Champion—great-grandson of Robin Hood—you need only open the pages of Lord of Sherwood: the Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy Book Three. A complete story unto itself, you don’t need to have read the first two books of the series to enjoy it. But the folk of Sherwood are willing to bet once you’ve entered that mystical place, you’ll want to return to the greenwood again and again!
Lord of Sherwood: The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy Book Three will be available 8/8/14 from Amazon and The Wild Rose Press!