Dr Martin Shaw
Our storytelling has a lot to thank for mythologist Dr Martin Shaw. His work and ways, along with Robert Bly and Daniel Deardorff, showed us what was possible - even in the neon concrete realities of the world around us. His many books and teachings at The Westcountry School of Myth guide our storytellers and our developing practice.
A Band of Brothers
The charity working to support young men aged 18-25 who are involved or at risk of being involved with the criminal justice system. We value their fidelity to old ways, closely matched to our own, including a commitment to honouring their elders and the journey towards elderhood. The specifics of their techniques are guarded secrets, but their results are well known.
The good witch, whose poetry is a constant chaos of beauty. We are grateful to have her legacy close at hand - her wild and cackling way left in the space between gentle invitations to truly see our human animal shapes in the 'family of things'. There are few words up to the task of honouring Mary Oliver's influence in this work. If you're unfamiliar with her poetry, begin with 'Wild Geese'.
Punchdrunk is the latest in a long line of spiritual forebears seeking to bring story to our mouths and fingertips. To call their spaces not 'fourth wall' but 'five senses'. To call their invitations not 'theatre' but immersive, participatory, veil-lifted embraces for curious and intrepid souls. Recalling Fire is not, and never will be, 'theatre', but it drinks deeply from the wells of groups like these.
The Bio-Leadership Project
An ecosystem, fellowship and projects working with nature. Leading with love, resilience, flexibility and in recognition of the more-than-human world. The enquiry 'What is the role of storytelling in the context of systems change?' was the spark that set Recalling Fire.
The Alchemist refuses to be absent, no matter where or how far this work goes. Coelho's 'soul of the world' is an energy we think the modern phrase 'nature connection' seeks so desperately to capture.
Thich Nhat Hanh
You'll feel 'Thay', the great spiritual pathfinder, in every moment with our storytellers: interbeing, breath, mindfulness. 2022 was a sad year for those of us who haven't been able to fully embody his teachings... As he would have it, there's nothing to be sad about. His energy is still moving with us, beyond his physical body.
Sophie Strand's work is a deep source exploring interconnectivity and human-as-nature. Her writings and 'Myth and Mycelium' course places us in extra-human landscapes and calls on the roughest edges of myths which have been shaping society since antiquity.
High Fantasy Authors
Tolkein. Joe Abercrombie. R.R. Martin. A list of men whose names deserve more than being grouped together as one organism, but whose unapologetic forays into the mythic 'world beside' are sharp and willing as any blade in the Mabinogion, the Fianna cycle or Arthur's court.
Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
Mac MacCartney – The Children's Fire
Karen Armstrong – A Short History Of Myth
Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Women Who Run with the Wolves
Martin Shaw – The Mythteller Trilogy
Joseph Campbell – Various
J. R. R. Tolkien – Tree and Leaf
Robin Williamson – The Craneskin Bag
Robert M. Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance