Myth and Storytelling with Martin Shaw

My notes from the weekend with Martin Shaw.

May 19, 2018


  • Rain movement is masculine; rain essence is feminine (Guatemala)
  • The time between dog and wolf is the time between dusk and night
  • Tatterhood is born the moment before the time you are born
  • We each have a Tatterhood; and, our adult journey is to find our Tatterhood (wild twin)
  • When Tatterhood was born she was relentless shamelessness
  • My says “earn your name” — find what you stand for and earn it
  • FOLLOW-UP: “lament of the dead” by Carl Jung
  • In Fairytales, the one who is not named is usually “you”
  • When beholding a fairytale, ask “Where is this working on my bones?”
    • Cthonic = Belly of you
  • Wear your shadow as your cloak
  • “Pin pricks of the eternal” —> Rilke
  • “Find the right kind of trouble” – Irish saying
  • “Giving others a chance to wonder”
  • “Confusion is a ritual device” in myth
  • “matter” and sense of the story
    • Matter is what happened
    • Sense is your experience and the details you put into it
  • Age 10 to 14 boys = 50x the testosterone
  • Cinderbiter
  • Brooding spots: Sit in the presence and see what it says to you
  • Locker — write in with green ink so you don’t scare away the spirits

Goose Girl:

  • Seeing the horse but not the rider
  • “Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world” — Hindu saying
  • Without chaos there is no eros
  • The dead horse’s head says to Goose Girl, “Your mother would have weeped a hundred years to see what has has happened” … “What you are going through is not okay” and it is important to know that; for your pain to be witnessed
  • Don’t show the gold too early
  • Treating goose gathering as the holiest of vocations
  • “Gathering my geese” – gathering my thoughts in the morning
  • “My heartbreak is not my children’s business”
  • Before two people get married, he tells them to go look at a magpie — the blue chemical makes the feather look blue from different angles
  • “Live in the tension of the leap”
  • Shaw decided to be a bridge rather than to leap
  • “The loneliest thing is a debt free society” – Martin Shaw

May 20, 2018


  • Alisa shared about her husband dying of ALS
  • The commonality of ALS patients was an overriding sense of duty and responsibility
  • They all had the black seed of “I am not enough” planted in them.
  • “Find a way to tell your story but cut out all the lies” – Robert Bly
  • As we get older we send our personal energy away
    • Bit by bit we give up what we love
    • How do we get out of exile? Those parts of us that we have seen away
  • “If you haven’t been fed, become bread” – Robert Bly
  • “Cultivate the details, and take courage” – Martin Shaw referring to the writing of his first book, which made no sense at the time. He was playing in a wedding band, working in fast food, etc.

Finn mac Cumhail pronounced Finn McCool

  • Life preserving vs. life giving
    • Live like a mighty river
  • “If you are around a young man, and you don’t figure out a way to praise them, you are hurting them.” – Martin Shaw
  • Rumi’s “Greedy soul”
    • Coleman Barks “I was on television to 90m people, it was almost enough”
  • Where is your longing?
  • Longing will not be met but desire has a possibility
  • “Holding longing well is dancing well on the tip of a spear” – Irish Saying
  • “Let the souls meet” is the courtship
  • The women was part fairie, woman and deer
  • “What good is a feast without you?” — say that to one and other 😉
  • Remember you have an audience in the other world” — make yours worth watching/telling tales about
    • What are you doing to get their attention?
  • “The wilder Finn got, the calmer he became.”
  • If the rivers flowed with silver, and all the leaves were gold, Finn would give them all away” Try to be as generous as Finn.
  • These stories will mentor you
  • What has your longing given you that you have?
  • “Myth is the only thing to hold what has happened”
  • “proceed as if the world is alive”
    • Give life to the world — e.g., the tree or the wood is your grandfather
  • Depth, humor and humility — all the men
  • Storycarryer — can we find a way of telling the truth?
  • “Be as magnificent as the mountain, and as giving as a river” – Vijay
  • Regarding saving the world, “Victory is not a priority for me.” – Martin Shaw
  • “I need to write at the edge of my understanding” – Jung
  • “Your incompleteness is your authenticity. You are enough…you have more than enough what you need. Take courage.” – Martin Shaw
  • “Who has God blessed more than you?” – Martin Shaw
  • We see thistle; William Blake would see a little grey man waving at him.
  • “Don’t wait for an audience” — Martin Shaw
  • Exercise: Make a timeline of when you gave away exiled parts of you away…

The Lindworm

  • “We all have a dark serpent”
  • Needle and thread the life you make
  • “No fear, no meanness, no evil” – Grandfather
  • “Soul of a man is feminine”
  • “Sometimes a man stands up during super” – Rilke
  • “We want a to be defeated by greater beings” – Rilke
  • “I knew to be a half descent father, I would need to give some excitement and I was willing to do that” – Martin Shaw
  • “How many times do you need to be consumed by an experience, before you know how to enter it” – Martin Shaw
  • What serpent did you exile?
  • Accountability vs consequence

Relevant Links:

A Short Video about Martin Shaw:


Martin Shaw on Soundcloud:

Martin Shaw’s recent book:

Martin Shaw’s Website: