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


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 PM Eastern with access to a recording of the class offered for 30 days 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.

At times during the year, Seán will occasionally offer bonus classes. Unless otherwise specified, these classes will take place at 7:00 PM Eastern on the day noted with access to a recording of the class offered for 30 days after the session. Register for these classes individually or access them as part of a monthly subscription.

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:

  • Single Class ($20) -- choose to attend one live webinar or view its recording for 30 days following that live webinar session. Registration details for each class will appear on this webpage and in Seán’s email newsletter.
  • Monthly Subscription ($55 per month) -- attend any live webinar classes within your billing cycle. Includes all Sunday evening classes. 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.

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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 

Imbolc
Sunday, January 29 at 7:00 pm ET with 30-day recording available

Imbolc

All winter, the Earth is pregnant with life. And as the days grow longer, the quickening begins. The ancient Irish festival of Imbolc marks the midpoint of the dark half of the year and the approach of new life. In Ireland, wildflowers are beginning to bloom. But what does it mean to celebrate Imbolc in a place where the snows are still thick on the ground? Tonight, we will immerse ourselves in the medicine and magic of this season of promise.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for 30 days following the live session.  

 

 

 

➡️ Register for this class     *Need financial assistance? Click here

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Animist Plant Magic
Sunday, February 5 at 7:00 pm ET with 30-day recording available

Animist Plant Magic

Most modern approaches to magical herbalism focus on using herbs in spellcraft or ritual to achieve a particular result. Animist Plant Magic recognizes that plants are living, intelligent beings rather than means to an end. Come explore what it means to work with a plant as a magical partner.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for 30 days following the live session.  

 

 

 

➡️ Register for this class     *Need financial assistance? Click here

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Herbs for Tender Hearts
Sunday, February 12 at 7:00 pm ET with 30-day recording available

Herbs for Tender Hearts

With Valentine's Day approaching, we will delve into how herbs can help us deal with matters of the heart. We will speak of herbs for bruised and broken hearts, as well as herbs that can open the heart to basking in the joy of love.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for 30 days following the live session.  

 

 

 

➡️ Register for this class     *Need financial assistance? Click here

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Psychedelics and the Gaian Mind
Sunday, February 19 at 7:00 pm ET with 30-day recording available

Psychedelics and the Gaian Mind

Gaia is the name of the Greek goddess of the Earth. It is also the name that James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis gave to their hypothesis that the Earth itself is a self-regulating living system. We will investigate the role psychedelic compounds play in this complex system, and the ways in which they can help humans connect with the mind of the living Earth.

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for 30 days following the live session.  

 

 

 

➡️ Register for this class     *Need financial assistance? Click here

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Bear Medicines
Sunday, January 29 at 7:00 pm ET with 30-day recording available

Bear Medicines
Though they are dormant now, when the Bears stir in spring, they will dig their medicine roots – which Matthew Wood notes are "brown, furry, pungent, and oily" like Bears themselves. Wherever people and Bears live in proximity, humans have traditionally followed suit, digging and decocting those same roots. We will explore the medicine and magic of those roots.

 

Registering for this class means that you are enrolling in the live webinar, with access to this recording for 30 days following the live session.  

 

 

 

➡️ Register for this class     *Need financial assistance? Click here

➡️ Sign up for a monthly subscription (includes this class):