Myth and story can help us to develop a sense of genuine belonging to the places we live in, and inform our relationship with the wider, animate earth. In this workshop, we’ll explore a profoundly embodied mythology, uncovering and working with the existing native myths and archetypes which inhabit our places, and delving into the ways in which we can weave our own personal stories into the land.
About Sharon Blackie:
Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, a psychologist who has specialised both in neuroscience and narrative, and a mythologist with a specialisation in Celtic Studies. Her unique approach to working with myth, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a deep sense of belonging to place, a rootedness in the land we inhabit. In early 2017 she founded The Hedge School: both an online space and a physical location in Connemara, for teachings in myth, wild mind and enchantment.
Sharon is the author of The Long Delirious Burning Blue, a novel which the Independent on Sunday called ‘hugely potent. A tribute to the art of storytelling that is itself an affecting and inspiring story’, and which The Scotsman called ‘powerful (reminiscent of The English Patient), filmic, and achieving the kind of symmetry that novels often aspire to, but rarely reach.’
Her most recent nonfiction book is If Women Rose Rooted, which offers up a new Heroine’s Journey for this challenging age of social and ecological crisis, described by bestselling novelist Manda Scott as ‘mind-blowing in the most profound and exhilarating sense … an anthem for all we could be. It’s an essential book for this, the most critical of recent times.’ If Women Rose Rooted was a 2016 Nautilus Book Award winner. Sharon is currently working on a new book, The Enchanted Life, scheduled for publication in in spring 2018.
Sharon’s articles have been published in a wide range of popular and academic magazines and journals. She is the recipient of a ‘Creative Scotland’ writing award, and is an experienced lecturer and workshop leader; she has also performed at a number of cultural events and festivals, from the Edinburgh International Book Festival to the Dark Mountain Project’s ‘Uncivilisation’ Festival. From 2013 to 2017 she was the founder and editor of EarthLines Magazine, described by Jay Griffiths as ‘a deeply intelligent publication’, by George Monbiot as ‘a rare combination and much needed’, and by Robert Macfarlane as ‘a real point of convergence for many thought-tributaries and philosophical paths’.
After several years as a crofter in the north-west of Scotland and the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Sharon returned to Ireland in 2014 and has recently traded an old stone riverside cottage in Donegal for a house among the hills, lakes and seaweed-strewn tidal inlets of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Her experiences on the westernmost edges of the Celtic fringe give her a unique perspective on the psychology of belonging, and our relationship with place.
For more information about working with Sharon, please visit her exciting new initiative: The Hedge School.
About the event:
The Advaya event was a deep-dive into the power of mythology and storytelling as spiritual and practical tools to connect to our true purpose, empower our lives and ignite awe and wonder at the world around us. Throughout the day we uncovered ancient myths and new stories to enliven and deepen our understanding of who we are, where we are, and how we may face the challenges in front of us. Pioneers from the fields of Story-telling and Mythology guided us through our sub-conscious to explore native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions, as well as our own personal story, and how each of these affect the world we see around us.