one night only
Tuesday, November 14th
4 pm - 6 pm PST / 7 pm - 9 pm EST
“Stories matter, you see. They’re not just entertainment —
Stories matter because humans are narrative creatures.
It’s not just simply that we like to tell stories, and to listen to them:
it’s that narrative is hard-wired into us.
It’s a function of our biology, and the way our brains have evolved over time.
We make sense of the world and fashion our identities through the sharing and passing on of stories.
And so the stories that we tell ourselves about the world and our place in it,
And the stories that are told to us by others about the world and our place in it,
Shape not just our own lives, but the world around us.
The cultural narrative is the culture.”
— Sharon Blackie
One doesn't have to look far to find shapeshifters in European folktales.
Those whose shapes shift.
From witch to cat.
From goddess to man.
From person to otherworldly being.
And back again.
One doesn't have to look far to find characters who contain multitudes.
Madness. Wisdom. Evil. Caretaking.
Loving. Seducing. Tricking. Teaching.
Those who refuse to subscribe to the binary of good or bad or this or that.
Those who know how to navigate the unknown, the in-between spaces.
The folktales and stories that live within us.
Those that shaped our ancestors.
Those that shaped culture.
Folktales can be our maps.
Folk characters can be our guides.
For understanding ourselves.
For connecting to our ancestors.
For navigating our times.
Our times. This time. Of political, social, and environmental crises and upheaval.
Of supremacy, dominance, disconnection, and destruction.
Of dismantling, of healing, of possibility.
We are living in the in-between.
Of what was and what will be.
We are living in the unknown.
What can the shapeshifters teach us?
About ourselves, our ancestors, and our times?
About the possibility that lives in the unknown and in-between spaces?
We'll bring a queer feminist lens to the European shapeshifting folktales and characters we'll be exploring in this 5-part class series. Through reimagining the traditional tales, group discussion, and creative expression, we'll discover the magic, medicine, and lessons the shapeshifters have to share. Embracing the shapeshifter that lives within us, connecting with our ancestors, and becoming more adept at navigating the unknown.
5 Tuesdays // October 31st - December 5th* // 4 pm - 6 pm PST / 7 pm - 9 pm EST
OPENING // Tuesday, October 31st
MAD MIS (Irish) // Tuesday, November 7th
THE HULDRA (Scandinavian/Germanic) // Tuesday, November 14th
BABA YAGA (Slavic) // Tuesday, November 28th
CLOSING // Tuesday, December 5th
*there will be no class on Tuesday, November 21st.
5-part class series meeting via Zoom on Tuesdays from Tuesday, October 31st - Tuesday, December 5th (no class on Tuesday, November 21st).
4 pm - 6 pm PST / 7 pm - 9 pm EST.
All sessions will be recorded. Due to the experiential nature of the class series, attending in person is highly recommended.
We will read stories in-between classes. Many of them will come from Sharon Blackie's Foxfire, Wolfskin. I highly recommend having this book on hand for our time together.
Open to anyone who wants to learn about shapeshifters in European folktales and explore how they can support us in our current times.
Registration by Sunday, October 29th.
I'm offering this class at three different price points, with a sliding scale model based on the work of Alex Cunningfolk. Payment plans available by request (all payments must be made by Tuesday, November 7th).
Option 1 // $250: this cost reflects my understanding that many people have economic circumstances which prevent them from being a part of this class series if there was not a deliberate opportunity made for them to access services at a cost that is reflective of their economic realities. This is for you if: you struggle to maintain access to needs such as healthcare, housing, food, childcare, and are living paycheck to paycheck, or are in significant debt; have no or limited expendable income; have no access to savings.
Option 2 // $400: this is what I would charge all participants in the absence of sliding scale. This is appropriate if you are struggling to pay off debt or build savings or move away from paycheck-to-paycheck living but have access to a steady income and are not spending most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc. If you, however, can ask others for financial support please consider using those personal resources before you use the resources of the sliding scale and limit opportunities for others.
Option 3 // $550: this reflects the true cost of the class series plus an additional investment that subsidizes a participant who will pay at the lower access point. This is for you if: you have access to financial security, own property, or have personal savings; you're able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worried about securing necessities in your life; and/or you own your own home or rent a high-end property.
About Erin Caitlin Sweeney
The shapeshifters that live within my ancestral stories and consciousness came to me first when I started to deepen into ancestral healing work many moons ago. I dreamt of selkies, the merfolk of my Scottish and Irish ancestors. Years later, while facilitating the Ancestral Stories class series, I planned to deepen in relationship with them but the Morrigan came to me instead. A shapeshifting deity of Irish origin. Soon the Morrigan was coming to me in my dreams, visiting me as a murder of crows, and guiding me through the foggy and unknown space I found myself in. Soon I started to understand how I am, and have always been a shapeshifter. Soon I started to understand that the Morrigan was helping me embrace parts of myself that were denied by family and culture. Soon I started to understand how shapeshifters can teach us how to navigate the collective and personal unknown and in-between spaces. That the in-between is a place of possibility and freedom, rather than a place of fear.
Soon it became clear that a class exploring the shapeshifters in European folktales wanted to be offered. That what I've learned over the last two years as an apprentice to the Morrigan and the in-between would like to be shared.