A Branch from the Lightning Tree

The Aim:

To provide participants with an unrivalled immersion into Myth, Story, and its relationship to the wild. The Programme itself is a Rite-of-Passage.

The year-long programme at the Westcountry School of Myth and Story, on Dartmoor in the United Kingdom.


The School promises an in-depth study of what it calls ‘The Culture of Wildness’ - how myth is a kind of swanfeather cloak: something that has informed communities about how to live with dignity, depth and a little style for thousands of years.

Think of
it as a monastery run by pirates

In the exquisite surroundings of mossy Dartmoor, we will delve into Russian fairy tales, Coyote folklore, Arthurian romances and up towards the epic of ‘Parzival’.


Over twelve months you will move closer towards becoming what indigenous peoples call a ‘storycarrier’ - someone connected to the wyrd beauty of their own walk in this world.

Welcome to the hedge-school of mythologist, teacher and author
Dr. Martin Shaw.


“There is fox fur and woodsmoke in his thinking. A kind of outlaw language”
Robert Bly


“An outrageous piece of magic”
David Abram


“A web of wild intelligence”
Rosie Boycott, The Independent


“A teacher of profound cultural knowledge - a master artist”
Tony Hoagland


“Shaw, with his new, exfoliating idiom makes clear the pagan imagination underneath European civilization – elegantly and dangerously alive”
Coleman Barks

The business of stories
Is not enchantment.


The business of stories
Is not escape.


The business of stories
Is waking up.

The School of Myth weekends have offered me a depth of inner exploration that other self development work hasn't previously. My appreciation of the weekends has mainly centered around the deep connection I have felt with nature, the community spirit, the revelry, creative offerings and fresh air 24⁄7. However, the main thing I would recommend is hearing a mythical story come to life in the words of Martin Shaw, a master storyteller who has you gripped from beginning to end - try one and see what I mean !

Martin has an uncanny ability to speak, talk and walk with the relaxed swagger of a pirate after a raid but underneath this, serious focus and intention lurks. He clearly works hard at building and holding a transformational container where quite extraordinary things can and do happen. I testify from direct, startled and humbling personal  experience to this mans work and commitment to myth, nature and deep, much needed change in our world.

… a course that has initiated deep movement and change within me and is developing¬†a greater understanding and significance of the mythic world. Beautiful wild locations, excellent food, warm and friendly companions,¬†inspiring and knowledgeable teacher.

It!s been necessary soul food plain and simple. Martin creates a space where story and nature walk side by side, where we take a step into the myth world and find that we are on a journey that our souls have been crying out for. It has been an unexpected deep dive into the unknown, and has woven the world of myth into my everyday life in a way that I didn't know was possible before.