New book: Red Bead Woman

Acclaimed scholar and mythteller Dr Martin Shaw has committed to writing this jewel of a tale from the Taiga of Siberia.

For the last ten years he has followed faithfully wherever this story has wished to take him. And it is only now, after hundreds of oral tellings, that he was put it into the written word.

And alongside this story and commentary are brand new drawings – scattered like seed throughout.

This book depicts an ancient story for troubled times, beginning with the longing of an old woman who, from the deep roots of a mare’s tail plant, births a girl who can rebuild culture, revive relationship between the centre and the edge, the village and the forest. But to do that, she has to have a voice first.

We have been caught, says Martin, in a dichotomy of culture or wildness, and hence a great divorce has fallen upon us. A divorce between us and the earth, and the ensuing settlement threatens to be wretched.

But sometimes it is only when life is so jagged and uncertain that we learn to speak at all. Red Bead Woman petitions for a culture of wildness: an unruly, highly infectious pandemic of beauty. That in the midst of ghoulish conspiracy theory and jaded respectability, we still may take a deep breath, do the work, and start to find out just what a red bead speech could want from us. This heartrending and mysterious work has all the sudden twists of feeling that lets us know we are in the presence of something magnificent.

Copies posted before Christmas will be signed by Martin.

Pre-order Red Bead Woman


The much requested paperback edition of Dr Martin Shaw’s acclaimed book Wolferland is now available for pre-order, to be shipped on December 2nd.

This book is the tracking of a 101 day ceremony in a Dartmoor forest, described by Shaw as “a spiritual Morse code, an invoker, it is a lifting of the lantern to many unseen things.”

Pre-order Wolferland

Limited edition t-shirts

Just in time for Christmas, Cista Mystica has unveiled a brand new limited edition t-shirt featuring an original drawing from Martin Shaw, used for the cover of his book Wolf Milk, Chthonic Memory in the Deep Wild, his reflection on almost two decades leading wilderness vigils.

Cista Mystica’s sister organisation the School of Myth is planning to run two wilderness vigils in 2021.

Pre-order T-shirt

Christmas bundles

For a limited time, discounted bundles of Wolferland, Red Bead Woman and Wolf Milk t-shirts are available at the Cista Mystica shop, with options to include the medium or large t-shirt sizes.

All pre-orders will be shipped out from the Cista headquarters on Dartmoor on December 2nd, in plenty of time for the Christmas post. All copies of Red Bead Woman will be signed by Martin.

Buy a Christmas bundle

Audio and prints

Cista Mystica has a growing collection of audio files for download, including full recordings of gatherings in Ireland and Devon, as well as individual stories and Courting the Wild Twin and The Night Wages audiobooks.

In the artisan section, signed limited edition prints of Martin’s drawings from The Night Wages are available, along with prints based on the drawings from David Stevenson.

Visit the Cista Mystica shop