Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Year Course 2013: Just 3 places left

Early morning in California. Frost on the ground, but spring just over the hill. The heating in this old red-wood apartment has given up the ghost, so the woodburner has taken its rightful position of main heat source. As a brit i am astonished at the dryness of the logs - so different to the ingrained moisture that hangs willfully around in a good Devon log. So i sip French roast coffee and feed in the big fellas to the iron mouth of the burner.

We have but 3 places left till the School of Myth UK course is full - to the brim - no room for more. So here is probably the last shout out about it. Please send on to anyone you think is ready for such high adventure.

The Rattle-House of Sound, The Stag-Boned Hut that is a Poacher's Chapel, The Den of Smoky Language…
The weekends revolve around the telling and exploration of several myths. Implicit in these vivid expeditions is attention to the age old relationship with civilisation and the wild, animal-lore, philosophy, poetry and ritual practice. For 2013 onwards, Shaw is re-visioning much of the programme, with accompanying work on radical, wild-infused ideas through British history – from the Bardic schools, to medieval dream-poetry, to the Cunning Man and Woman to the ideas of the radical Leveller, Gerard Winstanley. These will be given as optional lectures late on the Saturday afternoon.

Writes Martin;
“ Myth in the way that I am thinking about it is
an echo location emanating from the earth itself ”

In the animal world, when a wild call collides with another being, it sends a subtle echo back to the caller, giving even an almost blind creature a sense of what is in their surrounding field. I think the earth has always done something similar.

It transmits certain pulses, coded information, arresting images, and then sits back, like the toothed whale, or the shrew, or the megachiroptera bat, to see what echo's return from its messaging. Occasionally a child, or a wandering tramp, or a woman sitting alone in garden at dusk will experience one of these sonorous emerging's. These pulses tell us something about how to live. Tribal cultures have been far more advanced at honouring this messaging, and gradually crafting art around it till it becomes a two-ways-looking form of mytho-natural beauty that creates deep relationship between wolf and caribou, granite and moss, gaudy rowan and demure willow. This mystical Morse code is the true underlying pattern of any myth deserving of the name. It is the sound of the earth and its inhabitants thinking about itself.

The school attracts a diverse set of students: from storytellers to surgeons to racing car drivers to artists. No one is too experienced or too new to myth to not find their way into this groundbreaking programme. All are assured a very warm welcome by Martin and the team. The success rate of the programme can be noted by the wonderfully diverse and idiosyncratic way that students of the school have taking their own way of relating and expressing the mythic imagination out into the wider world.

Most weekends are held in cosy residential centres on the moors-hot water, bed, wood burning stove, great company, wild story.
Although it is possible to join the course at any point, there is an understood commitment to attending the remaining weekends.

DATES £200 per weekend, £250 non refundable deposit for entire course.

April 26th to 28th 2013
June 28th to 30th 2013
August 2nd to 4th 2013
October 4th to 6th 2013
December 6th to 8th 2013

Leaving the Village Finding the Forest
April 26th - 28th
Initiation myths – how do they relate to bustling modernity? ‘The Return to Greece’ – Greek mythology and its relationship to European fairy tales. Over the weekend we will study and hear told epics from the Greek and Fairy worlds – ‘Psyche and Eros’, ‘The Gnome’ 'Tatterhood' and more. We will explore how certain splits have occurred in the Western psyche, and how myth, especially initiatory myths, speak to possible ways of re-aligning these two dragons – logos and mythos. There will also be solo time in the startling beauty of Dartmoor, “walking the stories” – reflecting, engaging and creating directly from the myths. This weekend is primarily about finding your mythic ground.

Coyote Man and the Fox Woman
June 28th - 30th
Trickster stories – How does myth engage with paradox? From tribal stories to Gypsy and Eastern European wonder tales, we enjoy tricky, shifty, snuffle-heavy, abrasive, oddly tender, hilarious stories that tell us much about the survival of soul in a world seemingly fragmented and lurching into ever deeper trouble. The psychologists say this is a ‘Proteus (shape-shifting) era, the artists say we have entered the ‘altermodern’– a time of rapid change, cultural diversity becoming globalisation, no clear centre. We suggest it is not a Zeus time, not a Goddess time, but a Trickster moment. But for Trickster to thrive, it needs boundaries and a strong sovereign centre to bump up against. Trickster needs relationship with other deities. So we ally ourselves with stories that are far from the Hollywood ending this weekend.

Tasting the Milk of Eagles
August 2nd - 4th
Stories that migrate. A weekend on stories from the dark Caucasus mountains: The Nart Sagas. These little known but brilliantly vibrant stories may hold all kinds of keys to the roots of the Arthurian canon. Over a weekends telling we explore how stories, like herds of animals, travel from place to place – making cultural claims of these no-author stories complicated to a modern mind. Many are nomads. We will hear of Lady Setenaya and her magical apples, or brave Wazermeg entranced by a black witch into a starving dog. These stories will seem both strange and oddly familiar, as if something is stirred, just underneath the conscious imagination. Most will never have been told in the United Kingdom before. Sometimes, but not always, the Seneca story 'The Listener' rides alongside.

October 4th - 6th
The centre of Western mythology: the Grail Quest. We will tell this far-ranging epic over a full two and half days, paying particular attention to the role of Parzival’s Magpie Brother and Cundrie, the fierce-tusked Crone of the Woods, as crucial elements to him getting to the Grail castle after many years wandering in the wasteland. Accompanying the story is associative information: of the world of the Twelfth century Troubadour (and their little known female counterparts, the Troubaritz), the significance of Persian poetry on the story, it's Gnostic mysteries and the rise of a kind of divine feminine in the medieval era.

Myth as Migration, a Wild Land Dreaming
December 6th - 8th
After the migratory, the local. What would it be like to absorb and even tell stories from a radius of twenty five miles from your door? In the time of the bio-regional, of attention to local produce and business, we pay the same attention to the notion of local myth and folklore. Over this final weekend, we trace seven idiosyncratic Devon stories – from the arrival of Brutus of Troy, to a Wassailing story from the hamlet of Scoriton in the early twentieth century. These stories form a kind of myth-line across the mossy landscape of Dartmoor. On this weekend, we will walk the moors individually - stepping into both out own myth and the story of the wider place. The next day we will find ways to see the deeper significance in our solo time – the river underneath the river – and work into a personal myth line that can continue with deeper study.

No comments: