Michael Meade is a renowned storyteller, mythologist, writer, scholar, and teacher. He has written several great books including The Genius Myth, Fate And Destiny, and his newest book, Awakening The Soul: A Deep Response to A Troubled World. Michael’s teachings are unique, poetic, mystical, offered with a New York accent, and flash of scrappy, bad-ass, street smart energy. He has a way of tapping to the essence of many wisdom traditions, drawing on foundational elements of story, myth, song, ritual, drumming, and poems. Michael is also unique in his commitment to bring his work into the the edges of culture: he works with gangs and in prisons, with at risk youth and in schools where there have been suicides. He helps provide rituals for combat vets and prisoners returning to society. He has helped facilitate mentoring programs in many inner-city environments.
In our conversation we talk about embodiment, and “lunar knowledge,” and the many different ways of bodily knowing. We explore the importance and challenges of ritual practice in modern culture and how “ritual is creative work and not necessarily, repetitive work.” We look at what it means to have a “mythic sense” of the world. We talk about the innate genius each of us carries, and, as Michael says, “The way we respond to the crisis in our life, hopefully, is to awaken the soul further, and one of the key things found in the soul, is the natural spirit of one’s life, which used to be called the genius.” We explore the opposite myth to that of original sin, which is one of the original gift. “That part of the genius is a unique combination of intelligence, skills and gifts, that had never existed before, except in that person. Each tree is unique, each blossom is unique, and as I used to say, Nature only makes originals. And not, necessarily original sinners (although everyone should have a turn at that!) But, Nature only makes geniuses.”