Rewilding Mythology: An Online Course
An online course Session 2 Erotic Entanglements: Living through Eros & Touch 23rd November, exploring the ecology of love, with biophilosopher, writer, and marine biologist Dr Andreas Weber.
About the course#
For most of human history, myth was a durable mode of knowledge transmission, kept alive and resilient by the breath-laced web of communal storytelling. Practical information about survival and sustenance was nested within compelling narratives that prized the epic stories of multi-species communities over the monologues of human individuals. Just as we plant a seed in soil, so were vital pieces of agricultural and ecological lore planted into stories that were built to survive environmental and social collapse.
Mythtelling, as primarily oral and embodied, was revitalized by the same ecological cycles that depend on a balance of decay and regrowth: breaking down dead wood to generate new soil. Our culture-creating cosmogonies rarely grew stale because they were refreshed and adapted to new conditions each time they were retold. Most importantly, they were contextual.
But the rise of empire depended on the deracination of mythologies. Just as landscapes were stolen and terraformed so were whole pantheons uprooted from their social and ecological contexts, coopted by the very cultures that ensured the demise of their originating cultures. Galilean magicians were turned into militaristic figureheads. Serpentine divinities were transformed into gorgon-headed monsters. Uprooted from their context and from the renewing respiration of communal storytelling, these stories ossified into abstraction and reinforced the anthropocentric hyper-individuality and colonial capitalism of today.
How can we reroot these myths in their original environments to recover the ecological wisdom they were built to transmit? How can we understand that science and mythtelling stem from a similar impulse to cultivate understanding and intimacy with the natural world? Let us retell cultural myths and personal stories knowing that, like an ark, they may carry our most precious relationships and seeds of practical wisdom, through the floodwaters and tectonic shifts of tomorrow.
Rewilding mythology is an 8-week course with sessions taking place every week from Monday 7 November until Monday 19 December at 5pm UK time. The weekly sessions will consist of lectures and Q&A sessions (recorded for you to catch up if you miss them live) with a unique, curated lineup of teachers. Each week will be accompanied by optional readings, practices and resources for you to deepen the work at home. Learning will be facilitated by community discussion, and participants are encouraged to engage in between live sessions.
Online via Zoom and Discord. Links will be sent out prior to the course start date.
Sessions happen every Monday from 5-7pm GMT and on one Thursday on the following dates.
- Week 1. MYCO ECO MYTHO: An Ecology of Stories (7th November)
- Week 2. Myths Move Spore Gods, Storm Gods, and Cycles (14th November)
- Week 3. Moon Kings, Minotaurs, Mothers Hidden Wisdom Behind Monster Myths (21st November)
- Week 4. Liberation, Libation, and Leaven Rhizomatic Gods of Fermentation, Divine Ecstasy, and Revolt (28th November)
- Week 5. Becoming a Mouth Mythical Musicians Teach Multi-Species Collaboration (5th December)
- Week 6. Lichenized Lovers Rewilding Romance with Symbiosis (12th December)
- Week 7. Coppicing the Hero’s Journey Arthurian Legends, Fairytales, and Animism (15th December)
- Week 8. Healing the Healer Rerooting Yeshua as a Magician Storyteller (21st December)
About Sophie Strand#
Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Give her a salamander and a stone and she’ll write you a love story.
Sophie was raised by house cats, puff balls, possums, raccoons, and an opinionated, crippled goose. In every neighborhood she’s ever lived in she has been known as “the walker”. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas, differences, mythical gradients.
Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine is available for pre-order now, and her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published in Spring 2023.
Subscribe to her newsletter here, and follow her work on Instagram and her website.
Sophie Strand #
Sophie is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, & ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Lunar Kings, Lichenized Lovers, Transpecies Magicians, and Rhizomatic Harpists Heal the Masculine is forthcoming in 2022. She is currently researching a mythopoetic exploration of ecology and queerness in the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde.
Andreas Weber #
Andreas is a Berlin based author & independent scholar. He has degrees in Marine Biology & Cultural Studies, having collaborated with theoretical biologist Francisco Varela in Paris. Andreas’ work is focusing on a re-evaluation of our understanding of the living. He is proposing to understand organisms as subjects & hence the biosphere as a meaning-creating & poetic reality. Andreas is the author of Enlivenment. Toward a Poetics for the Anthropocene, & Sharing Life: The Ecopolitics of Reciprocity.