The Spirits of the Forest
No ecosystem, no landscape has occupied and accompanied us as humans in the past centuries as much as the forest. Its products were the basis of life and offered resources for building settlements, but its shadows also hid wild animals and – in the imaginations and myths of people – were the home of demons, ghosts and mythical creatures. Such ideas often seem distant and unreal to us today. Rural roads and highways have cut through the last of the forest areas in our technological world, and fear of the unknown seems almost ridiculous in view of navigation systems and mobile phone networks. The big predators have been driven out of our land and are only returning gradually with great effort and not without resistance from peasants and farmers. Our world seems disenchanted, and yet we seek the forest out of curiosity and desire. Here, in the pale glow between ferns and bushes, between rock caves and dead wood, time sometimes seems to have stood still.
For our ancestors, the forests were home to creatures and dark forces that are almost forgotten today. Beings whose fascination is still unbroken today: nymphs, forest critters and Ents populate the fantastic universes of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Witcher. Best-selling authors repeatedly fall back on mythological material, especially from Old English folklore and the Nordic sagas. We follow these stories of mighty trolls and lovely fairies spellbound. However, the fabulous past of our own homeland is often neglected and in many cases is simply unknown.
The forest spirits of the German-speaking area are different. They are more primal, still largely untouched by Hollywood, Netflix and modern game worlds. Hidden in legends and fairy tales, they are not threatened by radiant heroes or war: it is cultural oblivion from which we have to protect the spirits of the forest, the wood women and wild hunters.
After the success of our first project “Hausgeister!” (Spirits of the house) let’s go together with the moss women away from houses and farms and into the wilderness on the trail of the creatures of the forest. “Waldgeister” (Spirits of the forest) is a multi-stage project and is to be gradually expanded over the coming years.
Exhibiton “Secrets of the moss woman”
On May 1st 2021 the exhibition “Secrets of the Moosfrau” opens in the “Rooms for thought and cultural (hi)stories”, our special museum in Hann. Münden, Germany. In the midst of Doctor Wolf’s Wunderkammer – filled with all sorts of curious objects – the chirping of birds takes you into another world: A highly immersive mini-exhibition that will give a foretaste of what is planned under the title “Forest Spirits” as early as 2021.
You can learn the secrets of the moss woman every time you visit Dr. Wolf’s Wunderkammer. For all myth enthusiasts there is also the opportunity to book a special tour with the myth collector and learn all kinds of additional information about the spirits and mythical creatures of our world of fairy tales and legends.
The small exhibition “Secrets of the Moss Woman” is just the beginning. As our ideas progress and funding is secured, we will gradually publish the further stages of this project here. If you like our work, please feel free to support us in continuing to produce exhibitions, books and other content!