I initially picked up If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie because it had come up in a list of recommended books to read, and then I saw a few women mentioning it in a newsfeed.
Reading through this book was a journey of inspiration. I went into this book expecting nothing, and have come out again with a new and more indepth knowledge of who I am and my place in this world. Sharon Blackie might have been walking parallel to my own life as she accounted her own journey through the wastelands of her soul into growth and connection to herself and the world around her.
I have been somewhat adrift in recent years, knowing vaguely who I need to be and what I need to be doing but not having the language to more fully explained who and what this is. If Women Rose Rooted has provided those first tiny seeds of language that I can now nurture and grow. Finally, I am begining to find the words to describe who I am and my place in this world.
It has given me words as well for myself to explain why I, a woman of Western European descent born in the American Midwest, feel more connected, more rooted living in England. The plains of Kansas formed my early life, but it was when I was replanted in the land of my ancestors (I walk and live in the same towns and villages where they lived 500 years ago) that I began to thrive.
I was not born here, in this former village on the SE corner of Greater London, but my ancestors were. They have not lived in this country for over 500 years, but even so, when I returned, I felt my ancestors of so long ago, those that remained, welcoming me home.
Sharon Blackie serves as a story teller, and a keeper of Celtic myths. Within these pages, she shares these stories with other women, and men, of the world. Most especially though, she shares these mythologies and stories of the Celtic people with those who have lost, or never realised they had, stories and mythologies of their own. There is no need to appropriate the native myths and legends of the lands our ancestors entered long ago. We have our own stories that are just as moving, just as valid, and just as magical.
‘If Woman Rose Rooted’ takes women, and men who choose to follow, through their own mythic Heroine’s Journey. Sharon invites us to join her on her own journey and provides us with allies who can aid us along the way, allies both amongst the people around us and from the land we dwell upon.
This Heroine’s Journey is not easy, and it is not always straughtforward. Nor can it be completed in a single season. Having been on my own Heroine’s Journey over recent years, I know it can be a time of intense pain and loss. What got me out the other side though was my own allies, and my connection to the land beneath my feet through which I was able to draw strength.
I’ve read this book twice within 2 weeks, and know that there are still important words of wisdom still waiting for me to find them. Meanwhile, I think I am going to focus more fully on discovering the stories and legends of this land that surrounds me.