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Program

Westcountry School of Myth and Story

Dartmoor, Devon, GB

The Westcountry School of Myth and Story is a leading U.K. myth, ritual and wilderness Program. From a year course on myth and storytelling through to extended retreats in wilderness. The course and retreats are led by mythologist Martin Shaw.

The Wandering Court
A migratory voyage through the grandeur of language, mythos and place.
In the old bardic schools, home was less a building of stone, more a firm lintle of speech over ones head, a flint-spark of sound, dry in the hand.
We will follow such a mighty example, and take a rambling but purposeful route across the stories of Ireland, Siberia, the Caucasus Mountains, Scandinavia, and return, finally, to bed down in our beloved green seat of Dartmoor. Myth is our currency, our study, our passion – mythtelling the most effective vehicle for communicating its genius.

Along our way we find the necessity of vocation, the perennial need to wrestle death in order to live, the fragile currency of longing, the crafting of robust timbers of concentration to frame the flickering sails of momentary inspiration, how to honour the complexity of being supremely alone on the hill, and then how to elegantly step into the torch-lit fellowship of the feasting hall. We will live somewhere between the blue-green pines and the tavern’s fire.

Deep listening is required, willingness to study, 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.

MARTIN SHAW is a storyteller, author and wilderness rites-of-passage guide. An international teacher, he leads the Oral Tradition and Mythology program at Stanford University in Northern California, and is visiting lecturer on Desmond Tutu’s leadership program at Oxford University. He is author of the award winning ‘ A Branch From The Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness’ .

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