International Mythologist

February 17, 2016

Certain myths and stories contain such nourishment that they continue to unfold throughout our whole lives. International mythologist Dr. Martin Shaw brings stories and poems he believes have such vitality and something direct to say to us in the early 21st century in his guest lecture at Sonoma State University Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. in Warren Auditorium in Ives Hall. Admission is free, with donations accepted, and parking is $5-$8 on campus.

The poet Lorca describes an old women who glimpsed a saint--Santiago--and was gifted a star. When children asked if the star had left, like a temporary enchantment, she replied: No, my sons, the star still shines brightly // For I carry her nailed to my soul. From the fairytale of The Earth-Gnome, through to his recent translations of Irish and Welsh lyric poetry, Shaw will be looking for the images, or moments in the tale that claim your wonder--a moment James Joyce called "aesthetic arrest." Out of these opens a door to myth as living currency, as a way of beholding. Shaw will encourage further work on specific moments to deepen relationship to image and narrative.

Shaw is a mythologist, storyteller and award-winning wilderness rites of passage guide. He is the director of the Westcountry School of Myth and Story in England, roots immersion in oral myth and storytelling as a direct connection to the wild. He is a 2014 visiting lecturer in Stanford's Oral Communication Project, and a visiting lecturer on Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Leadership Programme at Templeton College, Oxford. His books include "A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness" and "Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet, Black Branch of Language."

This event is co-sponsored by the Psychology and Spirituality Lecture Series at Sonoma State. There is a $30 fee for three hours CE for therapists (BBSE); CE registration at the door the morning of the event. More information available at