A Conversation with Sharon Blackie: On Mythology, Land, and Life
Public Programs

A Conversation with Sharon Blackie: On Mythology, Land, and Life

A Conversation with Sharon Blackie: On Mythology, Land, and Life



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Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer and internationally recognized teacher whose work sits at the intersection of psychology, mythology, and ecology. A mythologist specializing in Celtic studies, Sharon focuses on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of myths, fairy tales, and folk traditions to the personal, social, and environmental problems we face today.

From her best-selling book, If Women Rose Rooted, an inspiring exploration of femininity and relationship with landscape, to her latest, Hagitude, which unearths the stories of elder women in European myth and folklore to highlight the different ways women can flourish throughout all stages of life, her renowned writings invite us to explore how developing a relationship with myth and the land we live on can both enchant our lives and lead to a greater sense of meaning and belonging in the world.

Join Sharon and CIIS Integral Counseling Psychology Associate Professor Rachael Vaughan for a transformative conversation on the importance of myth and land in our lives. To live in deep relationship with both land and myth is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary.

Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer, and an internationally recognized teacher with a professional background in psychology and mythology. Her unique approach to working with the mythic imagination, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a grounding in the native wisdom traditions of the West, and above all on cultivating deep and enduring relationships to the places we inhabit.

As well as writing five books of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling If Women Rose Rooted, her writing has appeared in several international media outlets, among them the Guardian, the Irish Times, and the Scotsman. Her books have been translated into several languages, and she has been interviewed by the BBC, US public radio and other broadcasters in her areas of expertise. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

A life-changing and profoundly transformative journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death at age 60, following a lymphoma diagnosis, has led her to focus her attention on elderhood as a time of great flourishing, and on the ways in which we might navigate the journey with vitality, creativity and vision.

Find out more about Sharon at her main website.

Rachael Vaughan, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, T-Group facilitator, trainer, and graduate school professor. She holds an MA in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, as well as an MA in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has studied at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.

Born in Asia and raised primarily in Europe, Rachael has a lifelong, passionate interest in issues of culture, identity and inclusion. She has a bilingual therapy practice in San Francisco and Marin County, seeing clients in English and French. She writes the Ethnopsychology Blog, and has studied French approaches to psychotherapy, such as ethnopsychiatry, and genealogical psychology. Her teaching is informed by multiple cultural perspectives, as well as post-colonial, and feminist theory.

As a Jungian-oriented therapist, Rachael frequently works with dreams as a window to the personal and collective psyche. She has studied advanced dreamwork with Dr Stephen Aizenstat, and teaches dreamwork at several Bay Area psychotherapy training institutes. She is particularly interested in the somatics of dreaming, and in how symbol, metaphor, and movement mediate between implicit and explicit memory. Rachael has a 10-year dance and authentic movement practice, and she is currently studying Somatic Experiencing.

Rachael also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate and has an active interest in eco-psychology, grounded in gardening, nature art, and rural life. She is a member of the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.