Dr. Martin Shaw is the best oral storyteller that I know of. He is also the only person who can impromptu tell the entire Odyssey by his imagination alone. Martin is well versed in a variety of stories from classic Greek to pagan, indigenous, and religious ones. He is the author of 18 books and one of the very few people who make a living as a modern raconteur for audiences across the world.
During this 1 hour conversation with Dr. Martin Shaw, we cover a variety of exciting topics such as: how he became a storyteller and started making a living as a bard; why stories matter; myth as “a beautiful lie that tells a deeper truth, a truth that works without the use facts;” living in a tent as a rite-of-passage formative experience; why the world needs healing and how story can do that; the distinctions between growth and depth, story and myth; worshiping technology and tools becoming deities; the problems of Humanism and AI-ism; story as a sacred event with “a service code.”
My favorite quotes that I will take away from this conversation with Dr. Martin Shaw are:
Stories deepen with you if they are of great quality.
Every culture before they were literate collected the things that really mattered and codified them in stories to pass them down.
Revery leads to participation.
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Dr Martin Shaw is an award-winning writer who lives on Dartmoor in the far west of Britain. His most recent book Bardskull was selected as a book of the day by The Guardian and described as ‘rich and transgressive’ by the Sunday Times. A deeply respected oral storyteller, Martin Shaw created the Oral Tradition and Mythic Life courses at Stanford University. He is the director at the Westcountry School of Myth and long-time wilderness rites of passage guide. Reader in Poetics at Dartington Arts School, he contributes regular essays and audio at his Substack subscription The House of Beasts & Vines.
For more on Martin Shaw’s work: cistamystica.com | schoolofmyth.com| martinshaw.substack.com