Hello! I’m Jane Valencia, a bardic harper, magical naturalist, and author/illustrator.
A bardic harper is a performer who loves to share tales, poetry, music, wise ideas, and anything else they think of that might bring the magic of the world alive for the listeners, by way of the harp. A magical naturalist is someone who discovers the wondrous that exists all around us — in the natural world and in ourselves — and strives to learn its secrets.
I have been helping families share magic together since 1988–when I began performing and teaching harp. In time I became a 21st century bard, bringing in story, lore, and poetry into my harp performances to nourish a love of the magic all around us. Through the years I have co-created learning experiences and festivals for kids and families, often sourced from the lore, music, and wisdom encoded in the turning of the year.
Eventually I discovered the deep nature connection work of naturalist and cultural repair visionary, Jon Young. For the past 12 years I’ve immersed myself in nature connection practices, and cross-cultural methods of renewing and strengthening community that go back to the roots of our human beginnings. I have applied these methods and perceptions to every aspect of my life and work, as they are true magic indeed, having everything to do with tending joyful connection in families and with community, the natural world, and oneself. In my bardic performances, magical naturalist adventures, or various writings and musings, I am always sourcing from this legacy.
When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to live a life of real magic. But, truly, our life is full of magic that is quite real indeed! Storytelling, noticing where healthy culture is alive and well in one’s own family life and in the surrounding community, tracking what makes one feel fulfilled and alive, engaging in imaginative play, sharing nature adventure, making “magic potions” with herbs, and so much more are all opportunities for us to experience the wonder that always surrounds us. The magic of life is what makes us real.
FoxTales is a blog written by me, but you may also hear from foxes, kids, chickens, teapots, and other unusual and mythic creatures that appear in books I’ve written or in stories I tell. We’ll give you tips about how you and your family may perceive your world in new ways, and how to feed the fire that is the extraordinary in your family’s life.
May your family be inspired to discover, deepen, and create new renewed stories of who you each are in this amazing world and who you are when you’re together. May you discover and deepen your own wondrous connection with each other and live your very real one-of-a-kind family magic!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, and to let me know how I can be of service to you and your family
See you in Forest Halls!