Ways into story


The old storytellers, the myth tellers lived their stories: they ate them up like pumpkin pie, full of the creeping tendrils of the vine, the sweet floral cages of the bees, the leaves in turn wilting and reinvigorated with the sun’s passing. They drank them down like honey mead rich with the pungent scent of wild garlic, the bass drone of the hive. They bathed in them, slept in them, were in them. Fully. And yet simply. When we allow our bodies to receive stories, these old stories that speak of existence, we can let ourselves dissolve in the images, the landscapes, the characters. When we have them living, bubbling, bouncing inside us enough that we can tell them as easily as we can recount a memory, then their magic can truly work inside our souls. When we walk we leave their footprints; fox woman, the woodcutter, the bear with the crescent moon, each rise quietly from our steps and slink back into the living land ~ hopefully to touch lives and souls again.

Each story is a living creature that has been caught by a pen and trapped on paper. Tell them, tell them in your words and through the lens of your experience, give them life again.

Each week we shall look at different aspects of the story and from different perspectives.The first week is our introduction, touching earth, meeting the tale, allowing it to enter in.



  • ~ read the story and listen to the story being told several times
  • ~ tell the story out loud, tell out loud the parts of it you like the most first and gradually work up to being able to tell the whole story fluidly, without pause.
  • ~ re-write the story, or parts of it. Use your most poetic language!



in all journaling exercises let your pen flow, try as much as you are able to not think about what you’re writing, but let your pen spill your heart and soul onto paper. If you get stuck, just write out a piece of the story until it starts flowing again.

In any journaling practices your first answer is always the best answer.

  • what’s your favourite part and why?
  • describe the landscape of the story: the wood where the miller goes; the mill yard with the apple tree; the moonlit orchard; the riverbank where the messenger rests; the forest.
  • give names to each of the characters and write a brief description of each: their faces, gestures, voice, colours they wear, expressions, the energy around them
  • how are the dwellings? What does the mill look like, the castle, the cottage? In all of these we are establishing the place, the settings of the story: these will help hold the story in our bodies.

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