The Mythic Imagination: a TEDx talk

‘Post-heroic stories aren’t focused on individual glory; they’re focused on community. On diversity. It’s not about slaying the dragon, but about harnessing his special skills – making him part of the team. It’s about understanding, and valuing, the black, feathery, croaking wisdom of a crow. It’s about living with a half-empty stomach so you can feed some of your porridge to the hungry mice – who, if you are lucky, will help you to sort the wheat from the chaff. Post-heroic stories aren’t about winning the hand of the simpering, golden-haired princess: they’re about kissing the boar-toothed, blue-faced hag.’

Sharon Blackie, ‘The Mythic Imagination’

Read More

The Enchanted Garden 2: trees and the Gaelic mythic imagination

The reclamation of an abandoned garden – now there’s a project of the heart. It’s also very much a project of the mythic imagination, and as I wrote in my last post, it is already inhabited by a character or two from the Irish mythic tradition.

Read More

The Enchanted Garden 1: Weedwifery and the mythic imagination

In a chapter of The Enchanted Life entitled ‘Coming Home to Ourselves’, I wrote about the ways in which we can deepen our relationship and sense of belonging to the place we live: specifically, to our houses – and to our gardens, if we’re lucky enough to have one. And I am. Regular readers of this blog will know that I moved back to Connemara around a year ago, after three years in Donegal. The rather strange house we now live in sits in the middle of what, once upon a time, might have been thought of as a garden. Here’s how I described it in The Enchanted Life: Read More

Book review: Epitaph for the Ash, by Lisa Samson

I don’t usually write book reviews on any forum, but every now and again a book comes along which makes me want to. So here is the first of what will be an occasional series, for sure: a collection of the small number of books which (often unexpectedly) really make an impact. Lisa Samson’s just-published Epitaph for the Ash is one such book.

Read More

An ear to the ground

‘We think that we imagine the land, but perhaps the land imagines us, and in its imaginings it shapes us. The exterior landscape interacts with our interior landscape, and in the resulting entanglements, we become something more than we otherwise could ever hope to be.’

from The Enchanted Life, by Sharon Blackie Read More

HedgeWalking

My search for a spiritual tradition with authentic roots began in earnest around the turn of the millennium, when I undertook a year-long ‘shamanic’ training in the UK, where I was living at the time, having just moved back from America. However, although I found the training profoundly transformative, I was uncomfortable about applying ‘imported’ South American and Native American practices, cosmologies and affirmations into my own lands, where the indigenous tradition is so different. Read More