S1E4 – Dr. Martin Shaw – Why Myth Matters

1st March 2017

A mythological landscape

Hello friends,

I hope this turning towards Springtime here in the Northern hemisphere finds you well and rested as we crest into March. If you’re anything like me and tend to resonate strongly with the ebb and flow of the seasons, you’ll be on the cusp of emerging from your winter hibernations, ready to burst forth into life once more along with the perky Daffodil buds and young Ramson leaves, the sweetly singing birds and all the curious and playful beings we might find whispering and dancing around us. It’s a wonderful thing and Spring is one of my favourite seasons for it’s sheer veracity and joy.

Today’s epsiode of the Lumieres Podcast is with the force of nature that goes by the name of Dr Martin Shaw. I was captivated by Martin the first time I saw him tell a story live with his drums and rattles, bells on his ankles, whooping and calling and thumping his chest as he held all the wide-eyed souls crammed into a tiny Tibetan tent on a Devon hillside in timeless rapture. Here we are several years later and meeting the man in person did not dissapoint; he is a veritable treasure chest of wisdom, a bard and artist of inimitable style and grace with a knack for serving up sentences that feel simultaneously fresh and ancient. I do hope you discover the shining gold contained within this conversation and check out Martin’s books, his teaching at the School of Myth and keep your eye out for the next time he is performing near you, it’s a rare and unmissable treat.

See you next time as we dive down some mind-bending Entheogenic wormholes in the rather excellent company of Dr. David Luke!

with gratitude,


[Image via School of Myth]


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Dr. Martin Shaw is a mythologist, storyteller and author of the award winning Mythteller trilogy: A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Snowy Tower and Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia. Director of the Westcountry School of Myth, he is co-designer (with Dr. Carla Stang), of the Myth and Ecology MA at Schumacher college in Devon, England. He designed and lead the Oral Tradition and Mythic Life courses at Stanford University, and is principle teacher at Robert Bly’s Great Mother conference. Shaw lived in a black tent for four years on a succession of English hills, exploring remaining pockets of wilderness.

Martin Shaw




  • Martin’s childhood journey into myth and story
  • On being claimed and beholding the world
  • Tuning the ear to a more eloquent use of language
  • The impact of our lack of initiation rites
  • Vision fasts and wilderness rites
  • Becoming known in his own right
  • The difference between storytelling and writing
  • Perceiving natural wonder in all places
  • The origins of the School of Myth
  • Martin’s early experiences in teaching
  • The ‘Tavern of Interesting Strangers’


Schumacher College
Bill Plotkin – Soulcraft
School of Lost Borders


Six Organs of Admittance
Drag City Records

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