The inheritance no one ever told you that you had.
BOOKING NOW FOR SEPTEMBER 2024
This course remains the deepest joy in Martin’s teaching life. Begun 21 years ago in a black tent, three students have blossomed into around sixty that gather yearly on the edge of Dartmoor in the United Kingdom. Over two decades its shape has gradually coalesced into the dynamic form it takes today. Five weekends (supported by live recordings, audio archives and a book club) form the spine of the experience.
As only Shaw can, he leads us from stories of pre-history into the folk story tradition, then to the dizzying heights of Mediterranean and Celtic mythologies. He teaches from many different angles: from the ‘felt experience’ of the story, to cultural nuances specific to the environment the story got grown in.
We gather on a Friday night, often a little dusty from travel, and begin. The gatherings will involve Martin teaching from 9am to around 1pm both Saturday and Sunday. There’ll be a myth or fairy tale to chew on, and an organic conversation naturally arising as we go, gently or emphatically steered by Martin.
Afternoons involve a small group session – reflecting on what’s bubbling up from the morning. There will be a writing, or oral memorisation task – like some old Bardic labour – out in nature, then a late afternoon talk given by one of the school’s faculty, usually on a theme related to the wider weekend. Saturday evening provides quite the feast, and stories and poems provided by senior members of the school’s crew. There’s also a fire afterwards, and students often bring a flute, guitar, poem or story for that precious time under the stars.
Over the weekends there will also be the chance to tell stories as well as respond to them – the first two weekends especially. This is not as daunting as it sounds, and often terrific fun (it’s done in smaller groups). So you leave not just with big stories to study and absorb, but smaller ones you can put in your pocket, maybe even tell to friends and family. However, this isn’t a ‘storytelling course’ as the main emphasis. The main emphasis is you deepening your encounter with the mythic ground that you actually stand upon.
These are not delicate lectures with power points – this is a deep dive into the encounter of myth, not just the theory of myth.
Some stories will land deeper than others, but you will find the ones that speak most profoundly to you and will be ably supported in it. It’s an unforgettable experience: filled with wonder, laughter and tremendous depth. You get to work with a master teacher on his home ground of Dartmoor and be absorbed into the wider family of the School of Myth. You will leave as a jumbling bag of growing seeds. Who knows what will come of it?
The course, undergone by hundreds over the last two decades, will begin its 2024 incarnation in September at an old manor house on the edge of Dartmoor.
This course is open to adults of all ages and backgrounds. No experience of storytelling is needed, and there is no ‘performance’ aspect to this course. If fully booked there will be 60 people in the 2024 cohort which will run between September and March 2025.
SCROLL DOWN FOR 2024/25 DATES AND FURTHER DETAILS
Please note this course is attendance only.
Where can myth lead us right now?
september 6TH TO 8TH 2024
Red Bead Speech
Stories from a long time ago and far away. Stories from a young earth, when a woman could be a plant, or a man become a crow. The archaic beginning of things.
Rather than endless choice, is there a chthonic compulsion to become something quite specific?
OCTOBER 18TH – 20TH 2024
From the Shaman to the Senate
The genius of the fairy tale. The arrival of the written word and how ancient images become classical traditions.
What is the difference between shelter and comfort?
December 6TH TO 8TH 2024
The Love That Moves the Stars
The evolution into Irish myth: from invasion tales into the Celtic romances of the middle ages. The move from the mythological to the psychological.
What are the stories the West tells itself in private?
January 24TH – 26TH 2025
Finding Wild Mountain
Spiritual dimensions – the search for the Grail and the epic of Parzival. What questions have we failed to ask? What Quest are we on?
How does true generosity reveal its hand?
March 14TH – 16TH 2025
Praising the Acres
How the stories take root in your own life and history. Where do we locate these enormous themes and devious little mischiefs in the walk of our own and our families steps? A beautiful conclusion to the voyaging we’ve been on.
How does a tired road become a song-line?
Stalking the Rebel Soul
FEES: Budget Bunk bed £2460; Standard shared £2580; Twin/triple £2760; Single £3120
The fees includes VAT and covers all teaching, accommodation, breakfast and dinner for each weekend. There will also be between weekend zoom sessions, extra stories from the audio archive and recordings from each weekend.
A non-refundable deposit of £720 will be required to secure a place.