Night Walking Druid

I’ve loved night walking ever since discovering as an insomniac teen, the delights of being out alone late at night. I’ve never found it especially hazardous – stay away from pubs at closing time, and it’s no riskier than any other activity. I don’t see well in the dark, I lose depth perception in failing light so walking by moonlight is challenging, but possible.

I only walk familiar paths when night walking. In part I rely on my memory of the land to guide me around the hazards I know are there. It’s quite a good test of my relationship with a path if I can walk it easily in the dark and know where I am from non-visual cues. However, I’m also excited by the way in which places change in the dark to become unfamiliar and uncanny.

I’m not easily spooked being under trees at night. I have a pretty good idea what sounds in the undergrowth mean, I don’t find owls or bats creepy so a lot of the horror film standards about scary woods don’t really influence me. I can be unnerved by the feelings of uncanniness that sometimes come on a night walk, especially if there’s a sense of presence not present in the day. Some places do feel more haunted at night.

I find there’s something deeply affecting about being out under the night sky. Feeling the night air on my skin is particularly powerful, and I try to dress lightly if I’m night walking in summer. There is a sense of enchantment, of having the night seep into my skin and my mind. I come back from such walks feeling uplifted and empowered. My sense of magical possibility increases when I spend time away from artificial light.

I’m fortunate indeed in that there are some easily walked paths round here that have no lights on them, aren’t much influenced by roads, nor subject to light pollution. I can walk in proper darkness, by moonlight, I can even experience starlight. The night seems very different when it isn’t glaringly lit. It feels wilder, and being out in it, I feel wilder, too.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

10 responses to “Night Walking Druid

  • exposetheself

    Nimue this was so refreshing. Not only I enjoyed your analysis of your relationship with the path, but I too enjoy walking at night – I don’t go to forests much, due to fear. But I am feeling bolder now, since reading you. Thank you and I wish you a merry walk in the dark

    • Nimue Brown

      I think the key thing is to get to know a place in the daylight first. if you don’t want to use a torch (and that, for my money, ruins things anyway) knowing the land will give you a good sense of where is safe, and feasible.

  • exposetheself

    If you are ever interested in taking someone on a walk, I would be up for it!

  • The Mystic Path

    I share your love for night walking. I love to walk in the very early morning hours as well…right at the point before dawn is so magical.

    It truly is enchanting and I love the mysteriousness. It’s intoxicating.

    Excellent blog post!

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  • Nick Isabella

    This is so true, I enjoy walking at night on my families farm. You sense of sound is so enhanced, as well as your sense of smell and feeling. Glad to here their are others out there that enjoy the peace of night walking!

  • paganbiker

    This really resonates with me as I do this a lot, walking down to the water meadow a mile or so from my village, listening to the sounds of the night. Foxes and deer barking in the fields, owls calling, the occasional waterfowl breaking the silence.
    Going without a torch enhances the feeling of being part of it, rather than an intruder, and I can never resist taking that a stage further with a skinny dip in the river, just to float and listen, with all barriers removed.

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