Czech Republic- Bohemian Swiss
To celebrate Ostara/Spring equinox and the rebirth of life in direct pure contact with nature I have gone on a road trip with my son and dog in Czech Republic: for 10 days we have been looking for trees’ fairies and forest spirits and in the end we had our reward and we met the spirit of moss or better the moss man.
It was just few seconds before meeting him that I felt I was in a strong energetic and magic corner of the forest, this one:
In German mythology the moss people are called Moosleute or Waldleute (people of the woods). They are a class of fairy folk, variously compared to dwarves, elves, or spirits, described in the folklore of Germany as having an intimate connection to trees and the forest. They are similar to hamadryads: if the tree dyes they also dye.
They live in a communal environment. Overall, these fairies appeared to be aged, grey-skinned, hairy and clad in moss. Sometimes, moss folk are also bigger. In other descriptions they are said to be pretty. The one we met was big like my kid, 4 year old, and very green. And he had a walking stick and a backpack like us :)
In some legends these fairies would occasionally borrow items from people or ask for help but would always compensate the owners generously, often with either good advice or bread. Or would ask humans for breast milk to feed their children.
Moss people, especially the females of the species, are able, on the one hand, to send plagues but, on the other to heal the victims of such plagues. During epidemics the Holzfräulein (“Wood ladies”) would emerge from the forest to show the people which medicinal herbs could cure or ward off plague.
Moss is a very ancient plant that dates to 330 million years ago! It has no roots nor lymphatic system and the nutrients pass directly through the little leaves.
Moss has been used for bedding, wound dressing and even diapers for babies and menstruation. When I see a floor of moss I have to lay down in the woods and feel the softness and smell the very special and unmistakable scent :)