New Year message from Dr Martin Shaw: Joe Strummer once told me not to lose a sense of the heroic. Not in some overbearing, strutting, macho manner, but in a quieter, more vocational register. That certain beautiful things needed defending, and that itself was an organising principle in the scattergun chaos of these times. That you figured out what you stood for. You set free a little morality but held back on the judgement. I’m not someone that peddles in despair or stirs up disorder and claims it
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"I've been signing the first orders and leaving them in a rose garden," says Martin Shaw, who is on lockdown at his Dartmoor cottage in the UK. "My friend Michael Martin then collects them and they get out to the world. It's good to see his distant but joyful face! "I want to thank you for supporting Cista Mystica, my small press. We have a major plan of action to be announced soon. In the meantime, please enjoy some free audio here on my website, and consider having
In Siberian myth, when you want to hurt someone, you crawl into their tent and close the smoke hole. That way God can’t see them. Close the smoke hole and you break connection to the divine world. Mountains, rivers, trees. Close the smoke hole and we become mad. Close the smoke hole and we are possessed by ourselves and only ourselves. Close the smoke hole and you have only your neurosis for company. Well, enough of that. Really, c’mon. We’re grown ups. Let’s take a breath. We may
Martin Shaw was in conversation with the Grand Dame of Painting, Maggi Hambling at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival on November 8. Says Martin: "I Loved every minute of it. A real pirate queen of the deep sea, way out from land." It was then on to Cambridge for an afternoon and evening hosted by the Cambridge Storytellers - The Storyteller and the Shaman. Tickets were in great demand and it was another sell out success. This was the final leg of the UK Into the Marvellous Tour.
A magical wild week in Ireland filled with poetry, story and music saw all events sold out and an article in the Irish Times. And as he travelled across Ireland, Martin left 50 copies of his latest book Bardskull, an edition that can’t be bought with no ISBN number, in copses, under stones, by raggedy little wells, in shopping centres, taverns and rivers - each copy a snake attempting to return to Ireland. Says Martin: “There’s older ways to enter Ireland than ferry tickets or passport waggles,
The first few hundred copies of Wolf Milk: Chthonic Memory in the Deep Wild, Dr Martin Shaw’s latest book about wilderness rites of passage, have been posted out by the team at Cista Mystica Press. The pre-ordered copies have all been personally signed by the author and are making their way to destinations all over the world. This book offers Martin’s reflections on 20 years of leading vigils in the wilderness, a way for modern people to enter an ancient ceremony through ‘myth, poetics and hard-won brooding’. Billl
The second leg of the Into the Marvellous UK tour was a riotous sell out success, with packed audiences braving the July heatwave in Bridport, Bruton, Hampshire, London, Canterbury and Lewes. The next trip will be Ireland in October, with two events at Yeats’s Tower in Thoor Ballylee on October 5 – see here for details and tickets. An event in Dublin is also in the pipeline, to be announced soon.
An essay by Dr Martin Shaw As both a mythologist and wilderness rites-of-passage guide I am frequently asked to comment on climate change, collapsing stories, and what on earth to say to our kids about the future. I am no kind of pundit, so choose my words sparingly and carefully. What follows is a few thoughts. *** The real horn being blown at this moment is one some of us simply cannot hear. Oh, we see — the endless television clips of crashing
Fairy tales tell us that we were born with a secret twin, a wild twin, and on the hour of its birth it was sent into exile, abandoned in the forest. That a good life is one that seeks them out. Who is the wild twin? I first caught the perfume of my wild twin by walking with muddy boots though wet grasses to my scrubby woodland den as a six year old. As the trees swirled I caught a scent and started to cry without understanding. I
Martin is just finishing up a new book on wilderness rites of passage, due out in September 2019. This is not a book for everyone, he says, but he hopes it's of use to one or two. Here are a few lines from the introduction: *** Winter gods lope the forest Strike you with their wolfskin glove And the counterfeit life Takes its carrion demands Back to the blue deceits Of the one who first folded you. I trust words like that more than therapy talk, or