A year-long path for women


‘HedgeWalking’ is a year-long intensive women’s programme based here at The Hedge School, in the beautiful wilds of Connemara in the west of Ireland. It will be offered to a sisterhood of no more than eight women who will work closely together, and with Dr Sharon Blackie, throughout the year. To take part, you’ll need to be prepared to travel to The Hedge School for four weekend sessions during the course of the year. (Please note that it’s not possible to enrol without committing to attend in person, as the work is profoundly experiential and these four weekends are core to the programme.) In between these anchor weekends, we’ll continue to work together and support each other in a private online forum, and via group and individual video calls.

The programme will begin in January and run throughout 2019, and will be focused the ways in which we can draw on our native traditions to help us connect with the wisdom of the Earth, and of the Otherworld. We’ll explore our own journeys, our own stories, which are inextricably linked with the story of the Earth itself. We’ll work with ceremony and voice, ritual and movement, drum and song, dream and divination. We’ll tell stories, braid yarn, and knot thread. We’ll learn how to focus our intent, and how to journey deeply into this world, and the Otherworld which permeates it. The work we’ll do includes:

  • Falling into the land’s dreaming: grounded practices for developing a deep relationship with the land and the other-than-human world.
  • The mythic imagination: working with dreams, myth, archetype, the active/creative imagination.
  • Walking between worlds: journeying and healing techniques which are attuned to our own native traditions. (Please note: the practices I teach, whilst resembling many practices we might think of as shamanic in nature, bear little resemblance to those taught in ‘core shamanism’.)

For more information about the background to and ethos of this programme, please visit this page on the HedgeWalking website.

Please note that the primary purpose of this course is not therapeutic (though of course it’s a nice side-effect if it occurs!). Our aim is not just personal growth, but commitment to bringing these skills and ways of knowing out into the world for the benefit of Earth and community.



The cost for the yearlong programme, including attendance at the four weekend sessions, is €1200.

50% of the programme fee must be paid by the end of November 2018, and the remainder by January 11, 2019. Payment can also be made in flexible instalments, according to your need.

Refund policy: If you decide to withdraw from the programme before the end of November 2018, your 50% fee will be returned to you less an admin fee of €100. If you withdraw between the beginning of December and January 11, your 50% fee will be returned to you, less an admin fee of €100, only if someone can be found to take your place. Refunds will not be possible once the programme has begun (January 20, 2019).

What is included:

Teaching fees for the four anchor weekends; one 90-to-120-minute group video call each month in between; one individual 45-minute video call with Sharon at the beginning and at the end of the course; access to a private forum for support and discussion throughout the year.

Meals during each of the four weekends: dinner on Friday and Saturday; lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

What is not included:

The course fee does not include accommodation, which can be booked separately. We can accommodate two people here in the Hedge School building, in shared facilities, at a cost of €25 per night. We can also organise the rental of a couple of self-catering houses which are within easy walking distance in our village (costs are likely to range from €30 to €40 per night depending on time of year), or for those who have their own transport there is both bed & breakfast accommodation and a hotel within a 10-15 minute drive.

Please also take into account your travel costs (as well as travel time) for the four weekends before enquiring about the course.


During the course of the year, you have the option if you’d like (though it’s in no way obligatory) to come to The Hedge School for individual work with Sharon. (Fees to be mutually agreed, depending on the time involved.)



The course will begin on January 20, 2019, and will end on 28 December.

The four residential weekends are currently scheduled to take place on the following dates:

February 8 – 10
May 17 – 19
August 16 – 18
November 1 – 3

The weekend schedule (which is flexible if need be, depending on where everyone is coming from, and the constraints of travel – bus timetables etc) will usually be from 4pm on Friday through to 3pm on Sunday.



We are a ten-minute drive south of Maam Cross, which is on the main N59 road from Galway to Clifden. We’re around a 45-minute drive from Galway city, an hour and a half from Knock airport, and a couple of hours from Shannon. Buses from Galway/Clifden stop at Maam Cross, and pick-ups from there can be arranged.



If you’d like to be considered for this programme, please email Sharon – Sharon[at]sharonblackie[dot]net – with the following information: a little biographical detail about yourself – where you live, who you are, what you do; the reasons why you would like to join the programme; any other relevant trainings or courses which you’ve undertaken in the past. Please note, however, that this course is aimed predominantly at people who do not already have an established practice, or attachment to particular cosmologies and terminologies. Please visit this page to learn more about HedgeWalking before you decide whether this programme is for you.

If you would like more information about the programme, please don’t just ask for ‘more details’, but provide a specific question or questions that you’d like an answer to.

Image: Andrea Kowch


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