18 Village Junction Wood Spirit
The Carrbridge Wood Spirit
Carved by Alice Buttress the Wood Spirit was the most prominent Carving in the village for a long time. He sits on the grassy area at the intersection of the road to the village between Inverness Rd and the Grantown on Spey Road. Wood Spirits are thought to protect travellers and are often carved into walking sticks.
The Legend Of The Wood Spirit
The Wood Spirit is a European legend originating from villagers who made long journeys through the forest. On calm days when the wind lays low, there is a sense of peace and tranquility in the forest. On days when storms are brewing and winds are blowing, the trees of the forest make sounds of moaning and sighing as though voices can be heard from spirits within. For centuries people believed the forests to be filled with mystical spirits and that those who dared to enter would earn the spirit’s wrath.
During the 15th century they believed that when the men went into the woods to hunt and didn’t return, that they had been taken by the evil spirits. They also believed that the tree spirits were the most powerful of all spirits and were good and wise. They believed that the tree spirits would protect them from evil. So before they would venture into the woods to hunt, they would knock on the tree to awaken the sleeping spirit to protect them. This is where we get the saying ‘Knock on Wood’ or ‘Touch Wood’.
Wise travellers assured their safety by carving wood spirit images on walking sticks or pieces of wood and bark. These carvings appeased the spirits, thus the traveller was allowed to enter and leave the forest without difficulty.
Catching a glimpse of one of these elusive creatures is said to be a lucky thing, for if you are fortunate enough to actually see one, your health, happiness and good fortune are guaranteed.
Wood spirits are still being carved into pieces of wood and are often given as gifts. The wood spirit should be given a special place within the home in order for it’s presence to bring wisdom, prosperity, humour, good health and good luck to all that live there.
Any house which is home to a wood spirit will stand protected and be blessed.