A mini-festival

Announcing HedgeWise 2020

Reclaiming our indigenous roots


Bayo Akomolafe
Sharon Blackie 
Pat McCabe (Woman Stands Shining)
Manda Scott

joined by

Joanna Gilar
Caroline Ross
Selena King

Festival DETAILS

I’m excited to announce HedgeWise 2020, the second annual event of this kind.

It’s a mini-festival which will take place in 2020 from Thursday April 2 (arriving any time from 3pm onwards for a 4pm start) to Sunday April 5 (finishing at 4pm), in the beautiful landscape of the Burren, Co Clare, in the west of Ireland. 

During this rich and informal gathering, we’ll explore with our keynote speakers what it means to reclaim our indigenous roots.


If you’d like to guarantee your attendance at this very special weekend, please visit the booking section below. Tickets are only available for the full weekend, and there is a strict limit of 50 participants.

Prior to this event,  Dr Sharon Blackie will be offering an intensive three-day workshop entitled A Psyche the Size of EarthDetails are at this link.

Festival Location

HedgeWise will take place at the Boghill Centre, near the small spa town of Lisdoonvarna in the heart of the Burren, Co Clare. The Burren is a unique karst landscape which incorporates a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone. It’s home to countless cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites, and a remarkable variety of plants and animals. On the Atlantic coast, the precipitous world-famous Cliffs of Moher are home to thousands of seabirds. The area is also a heartland of traditional Irish music.

The nearest airport is Shannon, which is about two hours away by bus (to Lisdoonvarna), or a faster journey (around 45 mins) by car.

Visit the Boghill Centre website for more information about the venue and its location.

The Programme

Our programme is based around intensive, experiential and transformative workshops with the following speakers. (With apologies, the programme is now full and we’re unable to accept suggestions or offerings from others.)


Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer, psychologist, mythologist, and teacher of the mythic imagination.


Bayo Akomolafe is a Nigerian-born lecturer, speaker who curates an earth-wide project for the re-calibration of our ability to respond – within a feminist ethos and inspired by indigenous cosmologies – to civilisational crisis. www.bayoakomolafe.net

PAT MCCABE – Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining

Pat McCabe is a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader and international speaker. www.patmccabe.net


Manda Scott is a bestselling writer (author of the Boudica:Dreaming series, Into the Fire and A Treachery of Spies, among others) and teacher of shamanic dreaming. mandascott.co.uk

Friday 3 April

Pat McCabe – Reclaiming Our Indigenous Roots: Radical Self-Love, Radical Self-Trust

As a bright light shines seemingly into every dark corner, we come to see how deeply misguided many, or most, of our human-derived systems have been and are presently. How does it serve or not serve to continue to identify with them? And without them, who are we? Ancient-culture paradigms are centred around entirely different goals and possibilities than the modern-world paradigm. What can we come to understand about our humanity by considering their contributions to human identity?

Bayo Akomolafe – When Roots Wander. Roots, the most alluring figures of settlement, don’t always stay rooted. In fact, they are quite nomadic. Especially in times when home no longer feels hospitable. For the billionth time, we are in such a place. Displacement and accumulation characterise modernity and the so-called Anthropocene. We all are rendered fugitives. How do we find a sense of place when place itself is undone? When indigeneity cannot guarantee convenient returns to originary points? In this talk, Bayo suggests that the deep call of indigenous rootedness is an invitation to move. 

Bayo’s talk will be followed by his workshop, Let us make sanctuary.

Saturday April 4

A whole-day workshop with Sharon Blackie, Joanna Gilar and Caroline Ross, working in different modalities with the old fairy tale ’The Wild Swans’.

Sharon Blackie – In our native European fairy tales – tales like ‘The Wild Swans’ – the tasks which must be undertaken are the stuff out of which souls, not just nettle shirts, are forged. We come to see that there are other ways of imagining the world and our place in it – and of living more intensely, and more richly, in a world that is often filled with challenge and sorrow. These are the stories which offer us a more enriching set of values to live by, and show us what it might be like to inhabit an animate world in which humans are fully enmeshed. In this workshop, we’ll explore the psychological and spiritual wisdom encoded in this old tale.

Joanna Gilar – How do stories appear in our bodies? Exploring the locus of ‘The Wild Swans’ in the physical space around us, this workshop will use discussion, dance and touch to explore the tale as an embodied presence, opening up its multiple facets to consider it not only as fixed words on a page, but as a living, complex, diverse conversation which can not only be recreated, but which can recreate us.

Caroline Ross – A table laid with white feathers and willow bark cordage, red berry and dark walnut inks, rushes and nettles, rose petals and reddest iron ore ochre. With our hands and these rich materials, we will write, stitch, draw, dip and weave our responses to the call of the mythic imagination. We’ll give physical form to the images the story has seeded in us, using our hands and hearts to wild-craft an abundance with the natural materials found in the tale.

Sunday April 5

Manda Scott – Workshop: ReWilding the Soul. We stand at the edge of so many tipping points, not least the one inside. Humanity has reached a point where, collectively and individually, we can refashion our connections to the web of consciousness that is the earth.  In this workshop, we will explore the ways we curate our own energy, and experience that of our fellow humans and the Other-than-Human world.





Tickets for the long weekend have two components:

(1) an event fee of €465, which must be paid by all attendees, and which includes lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday;
(2) if accommodation is required, an extra fee based on bed and breakfast either in a simple hostel room with shared bathroom facilities (€75 for three nights in bunk beds; rooms hold 3–6 people), or camping (€45 for three nights). Bedlinen is provided; if towels are required they’re available at a small extra charge. If you are camping you will need to bring everything required with you including your tent; access to indoor shower and toilet facilities is included.

If you would like to organise your own accommodation, bed and breakfast/hotel accommodation is available in the nearby town of Lisdoonvarna (around 2-3 km away). If this is your plan, then please purchase an event-only ticket. If you don’t have your own transport, the nearest B&Bs are Cannville Guesthouse, Ballytigue, Lisdoonvarna – about an 8-minute walk away – 00353(0)65-7075785 (ring or search and book online) and Elements – about 1.5 miles away – a 25-minute walk – 00353(0)65 7075849 or 00353(0)876778423;  [email protected].


Purchase your HedgeWise ticket online via PayPal








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