Enchantment. By my definition, a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world, a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life. Enchantment is a natural, spontaneous human tendency – one we possess as children, but lose, through social and cultural pressures, as we grow older. I believe that it is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated: the enchanted life is possible for anyone. The enchanted life is intuitive, embraces wonder, and fully engages the creative imagination – but it is also deeply embodied, ecological, grounded in place and community. To live in a state of enchantment is to be seduced, staggered, shaken, by the extraordinary which overlaps the everyday.
My blog has seen a lot of changes over the years. ‘The Art of Enchantment’ is the latest incarnation of what was most recently ‘Myths and Metamorphoses’, formerly ‘Singing Over the Bones’, and before that, ‘Re-enchanting the Earth’. Whatever its name, I’ve previously used this blog mostly to write very occasional longer articles about my work in the field of psychology and mythology. Those articles will continue (you’ll find them in the ‘Articles’ category) but now, as part of my own practice of the art of enchantment, I aim also to offer a small note, quote, or reflection here many days that I’m online. Those notes can be found in the ‘Diary’ category.
Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, 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.
Sharon is the founder 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’. She 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 book is If Women Rose Rooted, a nonfiction work 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.’ Her articles have been published in a wide range of popular and academic magazines and journals. Sharon is an experienced lecturer and workshop leader, and has performed at a number of book and other cultural festivals. She is currently working on a new book, The Enchanted Life, planned for publication in spring 2018.
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 Connemara. 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 my work and writing, please do head over to my main website. To explore the ways you can work with me, please visit the website for our exciting new initiative, The Hedge School.
I am represented by Kirsty McLachlan, at David Godwin Associates.