Cultivating the Mythic Imagination
The Hedge School was founded in 2017 by award-winning writer, psychologist and mythologist Dr Sharon Blackie. Our courses and teachings are centred on cultivating the mythic imagination: on the ways in which each of us can uncover our own unique mythopoetic identity, and the unique gift – the hidden treasure – which we bring to this world.
The old forgotten pre-Christian mythologies and philosophies of the West – from the magical stories of Celtic Ireland to the soul-centred mythtellings of Plato in ancient Greece – are rich, complex and beautiful. They offer up a world in which everything is not only alive, but has purpose and intentionality of its own. A world to which each incarnated soul chooses to come, for a reason: to fulfil its own unique calling, and to offer up a gift which can only be expressed through relationship with and participation in that animate world. Carrying the fire, carrying with us the image that we were born with, that we brought with us when we chose to come into this world.
It’s time to reclaim those old, indigenous ways of being in the world – to reclaim the foundation-stones of Western spirituality, and bring them back out into the world where they belong. Founded in authentic scholarship as well as committed, embodied practice in the mythopoetic and other creative arts, The Hedge School’s offerings are above all about finding our way back into the mystic – about delving into the mysteries of wild psyche, and finding a deep, embodied sense of belongingness to this beautiful, animate Earth.
Why ‘Hedge School’?
The term ‘hedge school’ has its roots in Ireland; it dates back to the seventeenth century and attempts to force Irish children to attend schools designed to train them in English language and customs, and the ‘true religion’. Rather than submit to such indoctrination, the Irish went back to the hedge, and created their own schools. No institutions, just a healthy respect for the old ways. In 1655 Oliver Cromwell called them trainings in ‘superstition, idolatory and the evill customs of this Nacion.’ We’ll go for that.
The Hedge School — a physical location as well as a virtual space — has a similarly subversive intent. No institutions, no dogma, no prophets or preachers: just the wisdom of the hedge, and of the land. The wisdom which the wind blows down from the jagged peaks of the Connemara mountains, which the sea salts away in the vast network of rocky tidal inlets which characterise our coastline. The wisdom of the old stories, of the old ways.
Dr Sharon Blackie
Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and internationally recognised teacher whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, on the reclaiming of indigenous Western spiritual traditions, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today.
For more information on Sharon’s writing, please visit her author website at www.sharonblackie.net.
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NORTH AMERICAN WORKSHOPS
Please click on the link to find out about workshops and retreats in North America.
We’re slowly expanding our range of free resources on the development of the mythic imagination, and the native myths and traditions of Celtic Europe. You’ll find it all under the ‘Resources’ tab on the menu.
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