The inheritance no one ever told you that you had.
Stalking the Rebel Soul is the school’s new look immersion programme, rehydrated and re-energised from the solitude of lockdown. This extraordinary five-weekend journey, undergone by hundreds over the last two decades, remains the central fire of Dr Martin Shaw’s teaching. The 2022 programme has started but details left below for information. The next programme will begin in September 2023.
Over this programme we will journey from the oldest stories imaginable, far beyond the conditions of the modern West. From there, our thoughtful little caravan trundles through Sumer, Greece, the Caucasus, and onto Britain, Ireland, Iceland and many other extraordinary terrains. Riding alongside these dazzling tales is attention to the where in your own life and thinking. You make depth connections; this is not a passive experience.
“Stalking the Rebel Soul,” explains Martin, “was the title I gave my very first year teaching from the belly of my black tent way back at the beginning of this century. Somewhere deep in lockdown I realised it was talking to me again, saying something about the urgency of our times and the need for deeper ground.
“This iteration of the programme is a result of that listening. Although in the short term the prime benefactor of what we do may seem to be yourself, the way of things should eventually dictate that you find useful methods to pass it on. Reverie leads to participation.
“Each weekend is packed with story, poetry, and a culture of conviviality. We are always looking for a little cross-species dialogue, a world which speaks of more than our own reflection.”
Deep listening is required, a willingness to study, a commitment to entertaining more than the fluctuating polemics of our times. As a student, you will engage in storytelling from the very first weekend, not just as entertainment but as a different kind of activism.
All weekends include solo time in the afternoons, brooding and deciphering stories contained within the Dartmoor landscape. The mythology of a landscape and the landscape of a mythology is a perennial theme for the year.
We will be keeping a tight schedule between the gatherings as well. We will have an online group Wolf Milk, an introduction to the wilderness vigil, rites of passage and related areas, and also a book club to keep the magic of our reading lively and conversational between sessions. Four extra stories will also be released from our highly secret audio vault to brood on, and there will be four pre-recorded sessions from Martin between our gatherings.
Scroll down for dates, weekend content and fees.
Where can myth lead us right now?
April 15 · 17, 2022
Red Bead Speech
Stories from the back of the cave. Things that growl and fly. Stories learnt by ear not eye.
Rather than endless choice, is there a chthonic compulsion to become something quite specific?
may 27 · 29, 2022
The Shaman & the Senate
The move to literacy. The majesty of Sumerian, Greek and Caucasus myths.
What is the difference between shelter and comfort?
june 24 · 26, 2022
The Love That Moves the Stars
The radical animism of Irish myth, how romantic love served the land and the gods.
What are the stories the West tells itself in private?
september 9 · 11, 2022
Finding Wild Mountain
Into the Grail mysteries and the matter of Britain. Parzival, the female Troubadours and locating the interior teacher.
How does true generosity reveal its hand?
october 7 · 9, 2022
Praising the Acres
The genius of the fairy tale: where they meet both the place and people of your own life.
All weekends take place at a venue on Dartmoor. The fee includes VAT and covers all teaching, accommodation (basic hostel or camping), breakfast and dinner for each weekend, as well as four pre-recorded teaching sessions from Martin Shaw; four extra audio stories from the school archive; and two online groups (a bookclub and wolf milk session) taking place between weekends. Two bursary places are available strictly for young people aged 25 and under on low incomes.