Core program: Cultivating the Mythic Imagination
From 2019, we are launching a core program of studies in cultivating the mythic imagination, which will be headed up by Hedge School founder Dr Sharon Blackie. The eight-week foundation course, ‘Courting the World Soul’, will be offered for the first time from October 21. In 2020, two satellite courses will be offered, focused on working with symbolic language systems: ‘Mapping the Psyche: a journey through archetypal astrology’ and ‘The Fool’s Journey: exploring the wisdom of the tarot’. In 2021, a third satellite course, ‘The Bardic Imagination’, will follow. (Details of these additional courses will be available soon.) After they’ve run for the first time, each of these courses will then be available every year.
Please see below for full details of the foundation course and how to enrol.
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.
This Western tradition, from Plato to Jung and beyond, tells us that image is the language of psyche – not just of the individual human soul, but of the anima mundi– the world soul. It’s through the imaginal, then, that we can connect ourselves back to the anima mundi– to begin more clearly to understand its many rich symbolic languages, and to immerse ourselves more deeply in its wisdom. But the aim of this course is not to explore the imaginal in an intellectual, transcendental way, which has been the path taken by Western mystery traditions over the past two thousand years. Instead, we’ll circle back to the beginning, and construct for ourselves a practice of embodied imagination – an ecological imagination, fully immersed in the dreaming of the lands where our feet are planted, and the nonhuman others who inhabit them alongside us. We’ll be working with the myths and archetypes of old Europe – exploring, among others, the Celtic/Bardic traditions, the Greek mystery schools, and the rich store of imagery inherent in Scandinavian and Slavic mythology.
It’s time to reclaim those old, indigenous ways of being in the world – to reclaim the ancient 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, this program of study is above all about finding our way back into the mystic – about delving into the mysteries of wild psyche, living mythically, and finding a deep, embodied sense of belongingness to this beautiful, animate Earth.
Join us for this 8-week interactive course, taught by video and written materials, with live calls and a private discussion forum – beginning in October 2020. Please visit this page for more information.
This is a year-long self-study immersion into the field of Celtic Studies, by Dr Sharon Blackie. It offers a sound and up-to-date introduction to our Celtic heritage, and practices for participants to explore the relevance of our native traditions to our lives today. This course includes access to a private discussion forum. Next intake April 13, 2019; please visit this page for more information.
‘The Voices of the Wells’ is an online self-study course for women, offered by Dr Sharon Blackie, which lasts for 16 weeks. Next intake February 1, 2019; please visit this page for more information.
‘Sisters of Rock and Root’ is a unique year-long self-study experience for women who want to delve deeply into wild stories, myths and archetypes, and so to connect in a grounded, rooted way with the cycles and seasons of the year, and the themes associated with them as they arise in your own life. This course is focused on building a deep, embodied sense of belonging to the place you live in right now. Please visit this page for more information.
The Fairy Tale Atlas
‘The Fairy Tale Atlas: Fairy Tales as Road Maps to Transitioning Terrain’ is a twelve-week course offered by my colleague Dr Joanna Gilar. It is an in-depth, interactive exploration of the fairy tale and its relevance in today’s world. Please visit this page for more information about intakes and how to sign up.
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