Books by Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue

Courting the Wild Queen

Courting the Wild Queen

“Just as a god might be the mind that arises from a forest, a river, a planet or a cluster of galaxies, so too each person’s consciousness is a collective consciousness born of the matter and energy that make up our beings.”

RITONA Press is thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Courting The Wild Queen, by poet, herbalist, and mystic Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue.

Courting The Wild Queen is a deeply poetic exploration of the ancient and modern world through the mythic and the ecological. Mycelium networks spreading their tangled threads of meaning beneath the forest floor reveal to the reader our own tapestries of meaning, while the ancient lore of Irish Kings and Queens of Land unveil the lost -- but recoverable -- centers of human existence. 

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I have attended workshops on herbalism taught by Seán O'Donoghue, and read his previous work, The Forest Reminds Us Who We Are, which is dedicated to understanding and working with plants and other wild medicines. Here, too, he approaches his subject with a complex analysis that incorporates somatic, mental, and ecological perspectives, but he's moving in some different directions. In Courting the Wild Queen, the author takes a deep dive into his own past, and the ways he has faced difficult reckonings and also the ways the Irish people have coped with their historical periods of oppression. He talks about those who have been kissed by darkness and made their lives into offerings to the living world, or to their own people. Kings and Queens here are amply illustrated through myths and legends, but the idea isn't that they are simply figures: these are things that a person can become when they act in accordance with the ancient principles that guided sovereigns to wisely steward their realms.

At the end are some original poems the author wrote, which weave together stories of our wild kin (animals, plants, etc.), mythic themes, and the ecstatic and erotic experience of being part of an interconnected world, which is 'one prayer'. In themselves, they would be reason enough to buy this book.

      —Baudolina Ballyhoo (via Goodreads)


“A deep dive into the magical consciousness of our natural world... I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by Sean at this year's Good Medicine Confluence and bought his book immediately after. This slim volume is packed with amazing historical facts, mystical teachings, and so much more. It's kind of hard to put into words because it feels like years of study and thought have been paired down into so few pages, but in a word: Amazing. I've been reading this book slowly (each chapter encompasses one lesson/story), savoring it, taking it on long walks into the forest and reading it in only the most magical places. Can't wait to read Sean's other book, and attend some of his online classes.”
      —Anonymous (via Amazon)

The Forest Reminds Us Who We Are

The Forest Remind Us Who We Are

A guidebook for tapping into the medicinal power of wild plants for recovering and maintaining spiritual, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Our ancestors drew health, strength, nourishment, and meaning from their relationship to the natural world, and yet today most of us have lost that vital connection. It should then come as no surprise that we are living in an age of unprecedented anxiety, depression, loneliness, and illness. Drawing from herbal medicine, somatic psychology, Celtic wisdom, and his own experiences, author Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue outlines an approach to herbal healing for the mind and spirit that is uniquely suited to our modern times. Plants are our wild kindred and have the power to connect us with the life within and around us. O'Donoghue takes readers on a journey through some of the ways our bodies, minds, and spirits have become unbalanced in an unbalanced world. He then blends lyrical, mythic, and scientific understandings to help us to understand the potent power of plant medicine. Also included are simple rituals designed to deepen our connections to our own bodies, the land, and both new and familiar plant allies. This is the ideal book for anyone new to herbalism, as well as seasoned herbalists, naturopaths, body workers, and psychologists.

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The Forest Reminds Us Who We Are is exquisitely woven with lore, poetry, science, and personal experience. Seán’s approach to plants is both enchanting and realistic, touching at places deep within the soul that long for reconnection with the wild world and with self. This book encourages a reconvening and offers an invitation to ‘come home.’”
      —Jennifer May, herbalist, Sage Moon LLC


“This book is an intimate and sensual plunge of a poet’s heart discovering the power of plants that heals him on many levels as it also transforms him into what he wanted to be all along. It is a doorway to the wisdom the forest wishes to teach us and, if we allow ourselves to listen, what it can reveal to us of our own nature.”
      —Cornelia Benavidez, author of Victor Anderson: An American Shaman


“Not just an important contribution to herbal medicine, but a significant contribution to Irish literature itself.”
      —Matthew Wood, herbalist and author of The Book of Herbal Wisdom