Wolf Milk: a Counsel of Resistance and Delight (3 weekends)
June 26 @ 5:00 pm—August 9 @ 5:00 pm
A New Immersive Programme with Dr Martin Shaw
Myth, Rites of Passage, The Times We Are In
These are uncertain times that sometimes feel hopeless. This three-weekend programme has been designed to give us a language – a way of thinking – that meets such a moment. Not with soundbites or hashtags, but a joyful labour of the imagination.
For the first time in history an initiation is coming that will involve everyone on the planet. Not a rite-of-passage for a few but all of us, human and non-human alike. This is what climate change will bring. In an initiatory time, we need an initiatory language. We need stories not just about the earth, but from the earth. We also need to re-hear some of the mythologies that have underpinned western culture. Could something new be trying to be heard through them?
Wolf Milk is an immersion into stories that tell us about who we are, the earth we live on and how we have best communicated with it. Alongside such myths there will also an introduction to wilderness rites-of-passage.
How does the earth speak to us everyday? What is it like to be claimed by a stretch of land? What is the etiquette required, the signals to look for? What are the emerging stories?
Martin’s fully trained wilderness vigil team will provide afternoon sessions on this vital work. To experience the mythology of a landscape and the landscape of a mythology. The final weekend will include a day fasting alone in nature, with full basecamp support.
Come join us by the fire: you will hear a master storyteller speak in myth whilst developing your own relationship to the stories, you will study how myths are culturally and often place embedded, and how you can best articulate the stories that want to be spoken through you. These are big encounters, and rarely experienced lightly.
Myths tell us we have been fed a lie: that we can be anything we want, whenever we want. The old stories say no, we are here to become tempered into something quite specific. Destiny is at play. Let’s dream on what that could be. And more. Let’s act on what that could be.
* Please note, this programme does not require you to be a storyteller, simply someone with a love of myth and the wider world.
Weekend One (June 26th to 28th): The Woman Who Married A Mountain
Trouble. From the fairy tale of The Bewitched Princess to Psyche and Eros to Inanna, we explore modes of challenge, betrayal, trance and blessing. What do the old stories say about the insistence of the descent in our lives? We learn more about the Blakian trade of innocence for experience.
Weekend Two (July 10th to 12th): The Hermitage of Star-Fire
Quest. The desire to set out, the hunger for mentors, failing to ask the redemptive question. In this highly original telling of the grail epic Parzival, Shaw emphasises the role of Cundrie, the tusked and ferocious defender of the grail as a bridge between humans, animals and the divine world.
Weekend Three (August 7th to 9th): The Deep Wild Song Of Everything
Return. The longing for home and the smarts to get there. When Odysseus hears the song of the sirens, what exactly is he hearing? Is this the terrible beauty of what Finn McColl calls ‘the music of what is’? Would this sound be the very thing we, as a people, need to hear at this moment in time. In this final weekend we travel through stories of return, and also participate in a day fast in nature. With the preparation built up over the previous weekends, a day fast can be quite extraordinary, a world within a world, replete with insight and magic if you have eyes to behold it.
This course is open to both those who have previously studied with Martin and to newcomers.
FEES: Standard (in yurt or bell tent) £1152 ; Budget (camping) £1056
Fee includes VAT at 20 per cent, accommodation, all teaching and meals across the three weekends. The standard yurts and bell tents include bedding and are single sex, shared mostly with one or two others. The budget camping option requires you to bring all of your own equipment.
The weekends begin on the Friday evenings and finish on Sunday afternoons.
A deposit (non-refundable) of £402 (including VAT) will secure a place.