“So my first move towards story was to give one up. The slow move from a society of take to a culture of giving.” – Martin Shaw
Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass
Smoke Hole is a passionate call to arms and an invitation to use these stories to face the complexities of contemporary life, from fake news, parenthood, climate crises, addictive technology and more.
Martin asks that we journey together, and let these stories be our allies, that we breathe deeper, feel steadier and become acquainted with rapture. He writes, ‘It is not good to be walking through these times without a story or three by your side.’
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For 101 days a man walked into a Dartmoor forest and called to it, then listened for a response. Combed through the landscape, combed through his mind. No agenda, no spin, no manifesto. As messy or poetic as need be. No sense of how it would unfold.
Wolferland is a spiritual Morse code, an invoker, it is a lifting of the lantern to many unseen things.
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Red Bead Woman
Red Bead Woman is an ancient story for a troubled time.
From the longing of an old woman and the deep roots of a mare’s tail plant is born a girl who can rebuild culture, revive relationship between the centre and the edge, the village and the forest. But to do that, she has to have a voice first. And there the journey begins.
Acclaimed scholar and mythteller Martin Shaw invokes this jewel of a tale from the Taiga of Siberia. For the last ten years he has followed faithfully wherever it wished to take him. And it is only now, after hundreds of oral tellings, that he commits it to writing.
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All Those Barbarians
In All Those Barbarians, Shaw offers a unique weave of myth and ecology as a response to the growing crisis of meaning in these times. A rogue philosophy of how to settle into the divine havoc of being a true human being. Gathered over twenty years, these ruminations are a tent we shelter in as a night-storm rages, as we consider both the darkness and the dawn.
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Cinderbiter: Celtic Poems
Versions by Martin Shaw and Tony Hoagland
Cinderbiter collects tales and poems originally composed and performed centuries ago in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, when notions of history and authorship were indistinguishable from the oral traditions of myth and storytelling. In the spirit of recasting these legends and voices for new audiences, celebrated mythologist and storyteller Martin Shaw and award-winning poet Tony Hoagland have created extraordinary new versions of these bardic lyrics, folkloric sagas, and heroes’ journeys, as they have never been rendered before.
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Courting the Wild Twin
There is an old legend that says we each have a wild, curious twin that was thrown out the window the night we were born, taking much of our vitality with them. If there was something we were meant to do with our few, brief years on Earth, we can be sure that the wild twin is holding the key.
In Courting the Wild Twin, Dr. Martin Shaw invites us to seek out our wild twin, to invite them back into our consciousness, for they have something important to tell us. He challenges us to examine our broken relationship with the world, to think boldly, wildly, and in new ways about ourselves–as individuals and as a collective.
Learn more and find out about the availability of Courting the Wild Twin at the Cista Mystica Shop.
Wolf Milk: Cthonic Memory in the Deep Wild
Wolf Milk is Dr Martin Shaw’s reflection on almost two decades leading vigils in the wilderness. Through myth, poetics and hard-won brooding he offers a way for modern people to enter an ancient ceremony. This startling book suggests a wingspan of both mystical experience and civic duty underpins the encounter.
Learn more and find out about the availability of Wolf Milk: Cthonic Memory in the Deep Wild at the Cista Mystica Shop.
The Night Wages
Bidden or unbidden, initiations come.
The Night Wages is a leap into the mysteries, a deep conversation between father and daughter, a ragged travelogue of a night sea journey to the temple of Aphrodite.
It’s a rumination on how we handle the volatility of romantic love, and how a parent communicates through stories a grief he cannot speak of any other way. Personal and yet mythical, poetic but earthy, this is a new form. The Night Wages provokes archaic images and modern dilemmas, it is the story of someone trying to comprehend the mysteries of their own heart.
Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet Black Branch of Language
The story of Parzival says that there is a lion in us: a lion who opens its vast jaw to the feasts of court, the tangles of the forest floor, the intrigues of culture, the thin road of the pilgrim. It has spirit-appetite. This lion is independent; willful, focused, sometimes harsh—it cannot be bought. It longs to wrestle with God.
The lion consumes emptiness and space with just the same vigor as it settles on fresh meat. Rumi’s lion is in the business of saying no.
Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet Black Branch of Language is available at the Cista Mystica Shop.
A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth & the Grace in Wildness
A brilliant exploration of myth, wilderness and a life of depth and vocation. Shaw claims we are socially addicted to the act of severance and have replaced longing with disappointment.
This, in turn, creates a defence against our own beauty. With a cluster of initiatory myths, deft commentary and personal narrative of his four years in the wild, Shaw suggests a ‘Culture of Wildness’ is possible, indeed vital, for a restoration of soul in our lives.
A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth & the Grace in Wildness is available at the Cista Mystica Shop.
Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia
It’s messy, opinionated, and asks more of you than you will likely want to give. It’s the tale of a myth teller making a circle ’round their den and bedding in. No tales of flapping Tibetan prayer flags, no wandering the deserts of North Africa.
Scatterlings reveals to us that when you gaze deep enough into the local you find the nomad, and when you look deep enough into the nomad you find the local. It is a rebel keen, a rising up, to bend your head to the stories and place that claim you.
Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia is available at the Cista Mystica Shop
What if the stories owned us rather than the other way around?
But what chose me
not quite cheering you on, not quite telling you to stop
The eye of the needle is everywhere, abiding patiently for you to quilt your life to the Otherworld.