Discover more from The Art of Enchantment, with Dr Sharon Blackie
The Art of Enchantment
What this publication is about
In July 2023, I closed down a couple of online forums I’d been running and moved all of my writing, podcasting and community engagement over here to Substack. Why do that? Well, because I just love this place. I love the format of it, and the way the developers listen to writers and create new extensions and offerings which are designed to help us to express ourselves in the best possible ways, and to grow our audience. It’s clean, simple, and effective. The ‘Notes’ and ‘Chat’ functions mean it’s easier than ever to create and to grow community.
My commitment to those of you who choose to become supporters of my work here is to ensure that you receive something of value in return for that support. Not just carefully crafted words, but ideas and inspiration for life. Because if I’m passionate about anything, I’m passionate about transformation – about the idea of life as a constant process of becoming. It’s only by transforming ourselves that we can hope to transform the world. And if we want to change the dominant, life-denying cultural mythology which is failing us and failing the planet, we also 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 for all of my work.
There are three ways you can engage with ‘The Art of Enchantment’; please find all the details on different membership levels below.
I’ll always provide free subscribers not just with my monthly newsletters, but with occasional bonus articles and audio, as well as access to archived free content and an invitation to join in the comments and community around those posts. I’m very much aware that not all of you can afford to pay for content, and I want to offer something here to everyone who accompanies me on the journey.
If you’d like to access exclusive new writing and audio from me, then you can have them sent directly to your email inbox each week. This work will weave together ideas and practices from mythology, folklore and psychology, with a special focus on reimagining and re-enchanting women’s stories. You’ll have access to:
At least one article a month in my specialist areas: myth, folklore & fairy tales; psychology; place and belonging; and Hagitude – articles about the ways in which women can begin to reimagine the second half of our lives
Access to an exclusive regular podcast in which I’ll be in conversation with a guest on one of the subjects I’m passionate about, or in which I’ll offer reflections on a favourite myth or fairy tale, or other areas encompassed by the term ‘enchantment’
At least one ‘drop of enchantment’ each month: prompts to encourage you to reflect on the enchanted life
Regular ‘fairy tale salons’, in which I’ll provide an audio file of me reading a favourite fairy tale or short piece of mythic fiction, and then invite you to discuss it in the ‘comments’ section
Regular ‘ask me anything’ opportunities
Paid subscribers can view my threads and engage with me in the ‘Chat’ section of Substack; you can also begin your own threads, and enjoy the ensuing conversations.
By clicking the ‘leave a comment’ button at the bottom of each post you receive in your email box, you can travel swiftly to this site to participate in subscriber-only conversations with me relating to the issues I’m writing about or working with right now.
The Hearth is an exclusive space within this publication for those of you who want to deepen your work with story and the mythic imagination. Membership of The Hearth includes all the benefits that paid subscribers have, along with two live online retreats with me each year. These retreats will last for at least two hours and, like all of my work and courses, will be focused on kickstarting the imagination, deepening our sense of belonging to the world around us, and facilitating personal transformation.
You’ll also have access to other resources for working with the mythic imagination which I’ll offer at intervals throughout the year: audio journeys, workbooks and more.
My commitment to those of you who choose to become supporters of my work is to ensure that you receive something of value in return for that support. Not just carefully crafted words, but ideas and inspiration for life. Because 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. And if we want to change the dominant, life-denying cultural mythology which is failing us and failing the planet, we also 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 for all of my work.
Membership of The Hearth is currently priced at £150 per year.
For clarity: I will of course continue to offer in-depth workshops and courses through my website platform as always; you can check out my new Bone Cave gatherings at this link.
My vision for ‘The Art of Enchantment’
(Image: Sandrine & Matt Booth)
I’ve been writing about enchantment for over a decade now; here’s what I said about it in my book The Enchanted Life:
I believe that enchantment is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated, a way of approaching the world which anyone can learn to adopt: the enchanted life is possible for everybody. Enchantment, by my definition, has nothing to do with fantasy, or escapism, or magical thinking: it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life.
The enchanted life is one which is intuitive, embraces wonder and fully engages the creative imagination – but it is also deeply embodied, ecological, grounded in place and community. It flourishes on work that has heart and meaning; it respects the instinctive knowledge and playfulness of children. It understands the myths we live by; thrives on poetry, song and dance. It loves the folkloric, the handcrafted, the practice of traditional skills. It respects wild things, recognises the wisdom of the crow, seeks out the medicine of plants. It rummages and roots on the wild edges, but comes home to an enchanted home and garden. It is engaged with the small, the local, the ethical; enchanted living is slow living.
Ultimately, to live an enchanted life is to pick up the pieces of our bruised and battered psyches, and to offer them the nourishment they long for. It 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. Above all, to live an enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again. This is an active choice, a leap of faith which is necessary not just for our own sakes, but for the sake of the wide, wild Earth in whose being and becoming we are so profoundly and beautifully entangled.
This – with a particular focus on myth and fairy tales, on psychology, on women’s stories, on women reimagining the second half of life and on our relationship with our places – will always be the future focus of my offerings here.
The Art of Enchantment, with Dr Sharon Blackie, is a reader-supported publication. To receive exclusive, subscriber-only offerings and support my work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.