Work with me
Courses | Workshops Membership Program
Writing and teaching are the warp and weft of my life; the texture of my work comes from the richly woven entanglements of both of these threads. But the writing life leaves little time for travel, and so you’ll find that it’s usually easier to work with me in online settings.
Below, you’ll find a variety of offerings, ranging from on-demand, self-study courses to more interactive, community-based experiences. I’m especially excited to announce The Bone Cave, a series of gatherings around my virtual fire pit – a program of interactive online events which begins December 2020.
If you’d rather find me in person, you can browse occasional retreats, workshops and speaking events in Britain, Europe and North America.
All of my work is grounded in a firm commitment to ongoing academic and professional training in the fields of psychology (with a focus on narrative, depth and transpersonal psychology) and mythology, as well as in my longstanding personal practice, and exploration of the native traditions of the British Isles and Ireland. In order to teach, you need to have learned. And you need to keep on learning. As a teacher and guide, that’s my commitment to you. Please check out my academic and professional qualifications here.
If I’m passionate about any one thing, I’m passionate about transformation. It’s only by transforming ourselves that we can hope to transform the world. If we want to change the dominant, life-denying cultural mythology which is failing us and failing the planet, we need to begin by transforming the myths that each one of us chooses to live by. We need to discover our personal calling, to uncover the unique gift that we each bring to the world at this time – and to understand our own individual mythopoetic journey through this life. That’s the foundation-stone for all of my work.
Change always begins with individuals, and it always begins with imagination. It begins with a different story which succeeds in capturing our imagination more effectively than the now-crumbling old story which has been foisted on us. Different stories which speak to our longing for deeper connection, for deeper meaning. Which reflect the old ways of knowing that are still written in our bones: the knowing that tells us we are part of the great web of life on this planet – that we belong here. My work is designed to help you find those new stories.
Brigid and the Return of the Light: an online gathering in the Bone Cave
Saturday January 30, 14.30 – 19.00 (UK time)
As the old Gaelic festival of Imbolc approaches, we’ll explore the mythology of the old Celtic goddess and early Christian saint, Brigid. We’ll uncover her association with the perpetual fire, and her relationship to the archetypes of the Smith, the Poet, and the Green Woman. What inspiration can she offer at this time of the return of the light?
Our gathering will take place via Zoom, in a format which enables us to enjoy each other’s faces, and to break out into discussion groups to deepen our connections with other participants. A recording will be available to all participants afterwards, so if you can’t make it live you’ll still be able to enter into the richness of the experience.
the bone cave
A virtual fire circle
An old Samoyed saga tells of a hero who dies three times. Twice, he is brought back to life by an old man with one hand, one leg and one eye. The third time, the old man can’t save him, and so he gathers the hero’s bones into a bag and takes them to an old woman who lives deep in a cave. She is tended by bone-people; a monster guards her left side and another guards her right. The old woman burns the bones in her fire pit and sleeps on the ashes; three days later, the hero is restored to life.
Our ancestors descended into caves to listen to the whisperings of the Otherworld. From December 2020, I’ll be taking up residence in my own virtual Bone Cave, tending a fire pit around which you are all invited to gather, and listen with me to the songs of salty rock and earth-root. The Bone Cave is a place for entering into the mystery – for imagining and reimagining the world, and our own unique mythopoetic journey through it.
In The Bone Cave, we’ll gather together around our virtual fire pit at least once a month, and delve deeply into the myths and stories which can sing new life back onto the ashes of our depleted bones. We’ll search the hidden cracks for the images which call to our soul; we’ll come together to remember who we are, and who we someday might become.
THIS MYTHIC LIFE
Our old Western wisdom traditions tell us that it’s through exercising the embodied and emplaced imagination – through working with myth, archetypes, dreams, fairy tales, and through exploring creative and expressive practices – that we can come to understand our unique gift and purpose, and weave ourselves back into the anima mundi – the soul of the world; this beautiful, animate cosmos to which we belong.
This Mythic Life, then, is a unique on-demand, self-study course which guides you to revive these old enchantments, and unlock the magic of the everyday.
COURTING THE WORLD SOUL
Courting the World Soul is an on-demand, self-study foundation course in cultivating the Mythic Imagination.
– learn practical techniques to create a grounded, embodied practice for courting the anima mundi, the world soul of ancient tradition
– uncover the mythic themes and archetypes which are active in your life
– understand your own individual mythopoetic journey through this life, and the unique gift you bring to this world, at this time
SISTERS OF ROCK AND ROOT
Myth and medicine intertwined: Sisters of Rock and Root is a year-long, on-demand self-study experience for women who want to delve deeply into the wild Western European myths and fairy tales which have women at their centre. We’ll explore a range of female archetypes, and harness their wisdom to help us connect in a grounded, rooted way with the cycles and seasons of the year. Join this course to explore the themes associated with these stories as they arise in the cycles and seasons of your own life.
THE VOICES OF THE WELLS
In this on-demand self-study course, we’ll take a deep dive into the well of womanhood in the ancient traditions of Britain and the Celtic nations. We’ll understand how and why women were viewed both as voices of the land, and voices of that Otherworld which is so perfectly entangled with this one. How can these old stories help us on our journey to restore the Wasteland both inside and outside of ourselves? And what does it mean for women to reclaim our voices, in these ever-more challenging times?
COMING APRIL 2021
MYTH, TRADITION, SPIRITUALITY
Are you interested in studying accurate and up-to-date information about the native myths and traditions of the ‘insular Celts’: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and the Brythonic ‘Old North’ of England? And are you interested in exploring what an authentic contemporary spirituality might look like in the context of this ancient knowledge, so reclaiming your indigenous roots? If you are, then this unique, self-study distance-learning course is for you.
COMING JUNE 2021
THE FOOL’S JOURNEY
This interactive course will explore the Fool’s Journey – a rich and profoundly transformative archetypal journey based on the sequence of the Major Arcana of the Tarot – and its expression in your own individual journey of becoming. It’s grounded in archetypal psychology, but we’ll work with narratives and imagery from British and Irish folklore and mythology. Join me for this long-promised deep dive into the mystery of the ancient symbolic soul-language of tarot.
WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
All scheduled in-person workshops & events in Europe and North America during 2020 have sadly been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, I’m ecited to be collaborating with a small number of organisations for online events over the next few months, and hopefully for in-person workshops in 2021. Please see below for details.
To stay informed about new events as they’re announced, please do sign up to my email list at the bottom of the page.
forthcoming online events & programs
Please also visit The Bone Cave for monthly online gatherings around my virtual fire-pit.
Myth, Story and Imagination: a workshop with Carolyn Hillyer
Saturday 15 May, 2021
Venue: The Advaya Initiative: ‘A Journey Home’ program
Details at this link
Summer 2021, Embercombe, Devon
‘Word magic, lost spells, and the speech of things’. A workshop with Sharon Blackie and David Abram at Embercombe, Devon, England. Details at this link.
Our original workshop in July 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are working on new dates for 2021; please sign up to my newsletter to stay informed.
Guest on six-month program created by Embercombe, with David Abram, Stephan Harding, Andy Letcher and others.
Begins 22 February 2021
Details at this link
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