From the Directors: Myths and Archetypes

August 2018

Dear Black Mountain Circle Community,

Last summer we revelled in the old stories from Martin Shaw and Paul Kingsnorth. They reminded us how powerfully old myths and folktales can teach us about the complexity (darkness, light, beauty, and wildness) of the world and offer guidance on how to live our lives. During that weekend a seed was planted as we spoke of inviting a woman storyteller. And so we are most excited that Sharon Blackie, a psychologist and mythologist whose work is rooted in the native traditions of Ireland and the British Isles, will be joining us in September.

In 2017, Sharon’s newly formed Hedge School was created from the belief that the personal, social and environmental problems we’re facing have arisen from both a disconnection with the animate world around us and a lack of rootedness to our ancestral traditions. Her worldview aligns well with Black Mountain Circle—we believe that reclaiming our personal and collective stories is of utmost importance in connecting us to place, nature and spirit and showing us a way forward.

Celtic myths and archetypes are the primary focus of Sharon’s work. In these myths, women are the guardians and protectors of the land, holding the moral and spiritual authority. In her book, If Women Rose Rooted, Sharon writes, “If women remember that once upon a time we sang with the tongues of seals and flew with the wings of swans, that we forged our own paths through the dark forest while creating a community of its many inhabitants, then we will rise up rooted, like trees. And if we rise up rooted, like trees...well then, women might indeed save not only ourselves, but the world.”

We hope you’ll join us for an evening and daylong workshop with Sharon Blackie as we further consider the myths and archetypes that can help us bring meaning, understanding and transformation to our world today.

Steve and Kamala