The worldview which pervades Celtic mythology is profoundly relevant today, offering a deep ecological alternative to the centuries-long disenchantment which has led to the personal, social and environmental crises we face today. Celtic mythology, especially that which derives from the Gaelic (Irish and Scottish) traditions, depicts a world in which there is a reciprocal and respectful contract between the people and the land – and when that contract is broken, a Wasteland may be the result. It is also dominated by powerful divine women who are the creators and shapers of the land, its guardians and protectors, and who represent the moral and spiritual authority of the Otherworld. The native pre-Christian mythology of the Celtic nations is highly goddess-centered. Irish mythology, in particular, is filled with stories of powerful, shape-shifting women who were incarnations of the ‘Sovereignty’ goddess, who represented both the land and the Otherworld which was immanent in it, so representing the spirit of the Earth itself, the anima mundi. In this talk, Dr Sharon Blackie will offer an overview of the defining features of Celtic mythology and its historical context, demonstrating its kinship with other native traditions around the world which call upon us to view the Earth as sacred, to respect the non-human others who share it with us, and to walk always in awareness of the Otherworld (or worlds) which influence our own.
This program is hosted by Pacifica’s Engaged Humanities Program and the Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Program.
Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer, psychologist, and mythologist based in Ireland. She has a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from the University of London, and an MA in Literature/Creative Writing; she is currently completing an MA in Celtic Studies at the University of Wales Trinity St David. Whilst in private practice, she specialized in narrative psychology, working with myth and story to inspire personal transformation in her clients, and training clinical psychologists and other health professionals in these techniques. Sharon is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging, which offers up a new Heroine’s Journey for this age of social and ecological crisis, founded on an awareness of native Celtic traditions. Her latest nonfiction book, The Enchanted Life, focuses on the mythic imagination as a bridge to a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world. She is also the author of the novel The Long Delirious Burning Blue, and of Foxfire, Wolfskin, a collection of original fairy tales about shapeshifting women which will be published in 2019.
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