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

Psilocybin: Science and Spirit
May 22 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Psilocybin

Psilocybin, a miraculous molecule produced by Psilocybe spp. mushrooms, is showing amazing promise in helping people struggling with conditions ranging from depression and addiction to inflammation and chronic pain. This class will provide a clear and accessible introduction to the new science around how psilocybin changes our neurochemistry and the very structure of our brains. We will put this knowledge in the context of the biology, ecology, and spiritual presence of the mushrooms themselves, and explore what it means to work with this medicine in intentional and respectful ways.

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 May 21.)

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

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


The Scent of Wild Kinship:
The Medicine and Magic of Aromatic Plants
May 29 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Aromatic Herbs

Scent is one of the primary ways we experience the touch of the world upon our senses. Our bodies evolved to recognize the scents of aromatic plants as a sign that our wild kin are near and trying to speak with us. In this class, we will explore the roles aromatic compounds play in the lives of plants, and the roles they can play in augmenting the work of our immune systems and balancing our nervous and cardiovascular systems. We will also look at the differences between the light aromatic compounds common in the leaves and flowers of plants and the sticky, heavy aromatic molecules of resins. And we will explore ways of working with aromatic plants in magic and ceremony to purify spaces, open hearts, shift consciousness, and send prayers to the spirit realm.

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 May 28.)

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

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


COVID-19: Herbs for the Long Haul
June 5 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Lungs

Anxiety. Depression. Fatigue. Brain fog. Shortness of breath. Cardiovascular disease. High blood sugar. Almost a third of COVID-19 survivors deal with these symptoms and more for months or years after they recover from the acute infection. More still suffer in silence, not seeking help. Drawing from his own experience of recovering from COVID-19, and his experience helping clients navigate the illness, Seán will share herbal strategies for dealing with "Long Haul COVID." He will also talk about the relationship between Long Haul COVID and other conditions like chronic Lyme disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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 May 28.)

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

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


Serotonin: Molecule of Connection
June 12 at 7:00 pm EDT with 1-week recording available

Mushroom

In the popular imagination, serotonin is the "happiness chemical." But this molecule is far more complex than that descriptor suggests. An ancient compound first created by bacteria at the time when life on Earth had just begun to breathe, serotonin is first and foremost a molecule of connection. Serotonin flows and synaptic networks branch in fractal patterns that resemble the patterns in nature. It opens the gates that allow sensory information to flow in, and helps us recognize complex patterns in the world around us. In this class, we will look at the roles serotonin and structurally similar compounds play in the plant and fungal realms, and how these insights can help us understand the true nature of this neurotransmitter in our own bodies.

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 May 28.)

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

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