Sharon Blackie

Writer, Psychologist and Mythologist

learning to kiss the hag

About Sharon

Dr. Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer, psychologist and mythologist. Her highly acclaimed books, courses, lectures and workshops are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of myth, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. As well as writing five books of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling If Women Rose Rooted, her writing has appeared in several international media outlets, among them the Guardian, the Irish Times, and the Scotsman. Her books have been translated into several languages, and she has been interviewed by the BBC, US public radio and other broadcasters on her areas of expertise.

For more information about Sharon’s professional qualifications, personal story, other books and online courses, please visit her author website.

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Just when we think it’s all over, along comes menopause, to shake us to the core again. We’re never done with our transformations; they just keep on coming round. We shapeshift all the way up to the end, casting off certainties like a selkie casts off her sealskin.

storm-hags, fire-keepers, grandmothers of the sea

About Hagitude

Hagitude, which will be published on 1 September 2022 (11 October in North America), is my third nonfiction book. It explores the powerful archetypes of elder women in European myth, fairy tales and folklore as a focus for navigating the challenges and opportunities which women face during the second half of their lives. The book is aimed at women who are looking to break out of negative cultural stereotypes about menopausal and post-menopausal women, and so find continued growth, meaning and authenticity all the way through their last decades.

In my word-of-mouth bestseller If Women Rose Rooted, I wrote about ‘the Eco-Heroine’s Journey’, which was based on my belief that a fundamental and very necessary aspect of a woman’s journey through life today requires us to understand the nature and depth of our entanglement in, and responsibilities to, the web of life on this planet.

At the end of that book, I wrote that for women, becoming elder is a new journey all of its own. And so in Hagitude, I offer an unflinching, but ultimately joyful and inspiring, extended deep dive into the nature of that journey – a ‘post-heroic’ journey – and the many ways in which women can flourish during what is so often portrayed as a time of decline.

Our journey through the second half of life is above all a psychospiritual journey. It’s a time for what Carl Jung called ‘individuation’ – the process by which each of us becomes more whole, and fully embodies the unique gift which we bring to this world, at this time.

storm-hags, fire-keepers, grandmothers of the sea

About Hagitude

Hagitude, which will be published on 1 September 2022 (11 October in North America), is my third nonfiction book. It explores the powerful archetypes of elder women in European myth, fairy tales and folklore as a focus for navigating the challenges and opportunities which women face during the second half of their lives. The book is aimed at women who are looking to break out of negative cultural stereotypes about menopausal and post-menopausal women, and so find continued growth, meaning and authenticity all the way through their last decades.

In my word-of-mouth bestseller If Women Rose Rooted, I wrote about ‘the Eco-Heroine’s Journey’, which was based on my belief that a fundamental and very necessary aspect of a woman’s journey through life today requires us to understand the nature and depth of our entanglement in, and responsibilities to, the web of life on this planet.

At the end of that book, I wrote that for women, becoming elder is a new journey all of its own. And so in Hagitude, I offer an unflinching, but ultimately joyful and inspiring, extended deep dive into the nature of that journey – a ‘post-heroic’ journey – and the many ways in which women can flourish during what is so often portrayed as a time of decline.

Our journey through the second half of life is above all a psychospiritual journey. It’s a time for what Carl Jung called ‘individuation’ – the process by which each of us becomes more whole, and fully embodies the unique gift which we bring to this world, at this time.

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How do we catch a glimpse of the truth of who we are? How do we construct an image of the elder that we’re destined to become? – the elder woman who represents the kernel of our gift, our genius? How do we mature into our own unique brand of hagitude?

grubbing in the woods for roots

What is ‘hagitude’?

The elder woman’s journey is above all about embracing a quality which I call ‘hagitude’: a refusal to be silenced by others, or to become obediently invisible when what we really want is to be more visible – albeit in a new way. It’s a refusal to be defined by appearances, or to be subject to the ongoing fantasies of men; a refusal to follow cultural pressures that tell us we should keep on being something we can no longer possibly be, without hurting ourselves deeply in the process.

But hagitude isn’t just about refusal: it’s about actively embracing what has the potential to be one of the most intensely lived, joyous, creative periods of our lives. It’s about reimagining ourselves and unashamedly shouting out our gifts to the world, at the precise time of our lives when everyone would prefer us to quietly disappear. It is, for sure, the ultimate antidote to the notion of ‘retirement’.

In spite of some major challenges, my own journey through menopause and beyond has constituted the richest period of my life. Yes, elderhood begins with an often-shattering physical conflagration, and it ends in certain death. But we all have choices about how to approach these final decades of our life. We can see it as a drawn-out process of terminal decline, or we can see it as the beginning of a new adventure. Hagitude – both the book, and the membership program which derives from it – holds up, and holds out for, the possibility of a new adventure.

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