Otherworld Well Hedge School

Otherworld Well Hedge School with Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue

What is the Otherworld Well Hedge School?

When my Irish ancestors were living under occupation, their language, their stories, and their history were outlawed. How did they keep their culture alive? The keepers of the seanchas, the old ways, gathered children under hedges and on the banks of streams to pass on the knowledge that had survived the destruction of the old Bardic colleges, fragments of an oral tradition reaching back to at least the Bronze Age. These gatherings were called Hedge Schools. (I first learned of the Hedge Schools from an essay Julie McIntyre wrote that Stephen Harrod Buhner included at the end of The Lost Language of Plants.)

We, too, live in a time when the language that speaks most deeply to our souls is forbidden. The culture around us tells us that the wild and the dead have no voices and cannot speak to us. Our bodies know otherwise. They know that the rhythm of our ancestors’ heartbeats echoes in our own. They know that the wind in the Pines and the scent of Spruce on that wind carry messages that speak of our kinship with them.

It is imperative that we remember the language, culture, etiquette, and stories of the wild.

This is the purpose of The Otherworld Well Hedge School -- to pass down some of what I have learned from plants, from ancestral traditions, from elders, about how to heal ourselves and each other and enter into deeper relationship with the living world.

John Moriarty wrote that:

"To learn to speak is to learn to say 'our river has its source in an Otherworld well,' and anything we say about the hills and anything we say about the stars is a way of saying 'A Hazel grows over the Otherworld well our river has its source in.'"

We must learn again to speak in such a way. And to listen to all that is speaking to us. The Otherworld Well Hedge School is my effort to aid in that restoration.

Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue


NEW! Live Online Classes with the Otherworld Well Hedge School

Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue is now offering weekly live online classes through the Otherworld Well Hedge School exploring the ways we can connect with wild plants, ancestral traditions, and the land to heal ourselves, our community, and our world.

Each week's class will be held on Sunday evening at 7:00 EDT with access to a recording of the class offered for 1 week after the Sunday evening session. Classes will be infused with Seán’s unique blend of science, history, folklore, magic, spirit, and poetry. Each class lasts for 2 hours, including Q&A time with the teacher. The format is a webinar-style classroom, in which the students can see the teacher, but cannot see one another. Students can participate freely via chat and, on occasion, we may open up audio for a more interactive Q&A. 

Details about each webinar are on the registration page. Classes will be conducted via Zoom. Make a free Zoom account with the same email address used for class registration to attend the webinar. Look for webinar link emails from Zoom.us (check your Spam or Junk mail folder) which will also have more details and help. Webinar link emails will be sent 2 days, 1 day, and 1 hour prior to class. No passwords are required to join each webinar -- simply sign in using the same email and Zoom account password with which you registered.

Paying students can attend live webinars:

  • Weekly ($13) -- choose to attend the live webinar on Sunday evening for a specific week or to view its recording for 1 week following that live webinar session. Registration details for each class will appear on this webpage and in Seán’s email newsletter.
  • Monthly Subscription ($44 per month) -- attend any live webinar classes within your billing cycle. This is the best way to take part in every class! Click below to purchase a monthly subscription. Subscriptions may be canceled at any time.

Sign Up for a Monthly Subscription:

 

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If you have questions or problems with registering for classes, please email:  support@otherworldwellhedgeschool.com


FREE Class - Wild Hope

Wild Hope

Check out this free class from Seán!

We are living in frightening and overwhelming times – but there is hope to be found in the wild world around us. 

"Wild hope" is the hope that emerges when we let go of our certainty about what comes next and trust the process of life unfolding, the inherent creativity of the living world.

We can connect with wild hope by connecting with our wild kin – the animals, plants, and fungi who are our ancestors and our relations. They live in this same world, their anatomies and chemistries are more like ours than we have been trained to believe, but they live outside the assumptions and conditioning of our culture. And our own bodies evolved to be in communication with theirs.

➡️ Watch the FREE Video


Upcoming Otherworld Well Hedge School Classes

Oak Magic
August 14 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Oak Magic

Oaks are keepers of ancient memories and pillars of strength. The Oak is the lightning tree, that channels power between the world above and the world below. Drawing from his own experiences and from elements of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Scandinavian traditions, Seán will share some of the lessons from this ancient teacher.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on August 13.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)


Herbs for Grounding and Protection
August 21 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Agrimony

In these tumultuous times, plants can help us root deeply so we are not swayed or shaken by cultural storms. Learn how Wood Betony, Rowan, Agrimony, St. John's Wort, Black Cohosh, and other allies can help you find grounding and protection.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on August 20.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)


Of Pan and Panic: Rethinking Anxiety
August 28 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Of Pan and Panic: Rethinking Anxiety

The ancient Greeks spoke of a wild man with the legs and horns of a goat who dwelt in the forests and hills beyond the city walls and the village edge. Sometimes when the wind was right, you could catch his strange music and his musky scent drifting through the air, calling you to a wild dance. They said that to encounter Pan was to risk madness, that his music induced panikon, which simply means “panic,” in the hearts of villagers and the city folk. Hidden beneath that warning is a deeper truth: you only experience panic if you resist the wild dance. Join Seán for an exploration of an approach to anxiety that works with herbs not to suppress that movement but to relax tension and allow the movement to find healthy expression and resolution.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on August 27.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)


Herbs and the Biology of Learning
September 4 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Herbs and the Biology of Learning

We are discovering more and more about the neurobiology of attention and memory. This new knowledge has interesting implications for how herbs can help us improve our capacity for learning. Join Seán for an exploration of how allies like Schizandra, Lobelia, Calamus, and Rosemary can aid young and old alike in their scholarly pursuits.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on September 3.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)


Herbs for Navigating Grief
September 11 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Herbs for Navigating Grief

Tragedy and loss change the landscapes of our world forever. Our wild kin, the plants, can help bring healing and life to our tender, grieving hearts. On this somber anniversary, Seán will share ways of working with herbs to soothe the pain and integrate the lessons of grief.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on September 10.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)


Cannabis Companions: Complementing Cannabis With Other Herbs
September 18 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Cannabis Companions: Complementing Cannabis With Other Herbs

Formulation is an art that involves bringing herbs together to help shift the experience of embodiment. For years, Seán has been combining Cannabis with other herbs for his clients and for himself. Come learn how herbs like Tulsi, Damiana, Mugwort, and more can complement Cannabis, enhancing the desirable aspects of working with the plant and mitigating some of the less desirable ones.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for the week following the live session.

 

 

➡️ Register for this class for $13

(Registration for this class closes on September 17.)

➡️ Subscribe to all of Seán's classes for $44 a month:

(Subscriptions may be canceled at any time. Please click subscribe only ONCE.)