Letters to the void – Connecting through wood and water.

‘There are many great contentions between miners concerning the forked twig, for some say that it is of the greatest use in discovering veins, and others deny it. Some of those who manipulate and use the twig, first cut a fork from a hazel bush with a knife, for this bush they consider more efficacious than any other for revealing the veins, especially if the hazel bush grows above a vein. Others use a different kind of twig for each metal, when they are seeking to discover the veins, for they employ hazel twigs for veins of silver; ash twigs for copper; pitch pine for lead and especially tin, and rods made of iron and steel for gold. All alike grasp the forks of the twig with their hands, clenching their fists, it being necessary that the clenched fingers should be held toward the sky in order that the twig should be raised at that end where the two branches meet. Then they wander hither and thither at random through mountainous regions. It is said that the moment they place their feet on a vein the twig immediately turns and twists, and so by its action discloses the vein; when they move their feet again and go away from that spot the twig becomes once more immobile.’

‘The Forked Twig’ as described by
Georgius Agricola 1556 De Re Metallica Book II Pages 37 – 39

‘From an age when I could remember how I felt when walking out on the moors,

peaceful is the word that comes to mind. I think as children we are very sensitive and open minded to what we see and feel, unencumbered by the baggage we as adults carry around.

I believe that a peaceful mind constitutes ‘place’ or feeling connected to it. These places can be very different but invariably cause a sensory reaction that equates to the same feeling. This is where I struggle to communicate what I am experiencing in that moment as it is a heightened sensory response to the environment around me. This in simple terms is how I feel:

There is a unique feeling of belonging, a place I feel completely at home, rejuvenated.

If my head is noisy from stress and I need it to be calm and quiet, these ‘places’ facilitate my ability to tap into the energies around me through my senses. It’s like an unspoken language which just allows me to ‘be’ in that moment. It is also about appreciation, respect and humility.’

Deborah Bell 2021

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