#11 | The Fall and Return of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement: Michael Meade (Mosaic Voices)

Episode 11 of The Mythic Masculine | Listen on your favourite platform

My guest today is the venerable Michael Meade, author, mythologist, and storyteller, who was a prominent figure in the first wave of the mythopoetic men’s movement of the 80’s and 90’s. Michael was right in the center of it – sitting alongside legends such as Robert Bly and James Hillman.

By the mid 90’s Michael moved away from the men’s movement, and founded the Mosaic Multicultural foundation, a non-profit dedicated to education and cultural healing, working with at-risk youth, returning veterans, prisoners, and youth involved in gang life.

Over the last few years, I’d met Michael at a few public gatherings, and have long desired to sit down with him to understand what happened back then, and what the current mythopoetic wave can learn from his perspective.

Just a note: This episode was recorded in late January, at Michael’s studio on Vashon near Seattle. This was before the coronavirus lockdown, and therefore of course, we don’t speak to this topic. At the same time, in our conversation we cover many other rich areas, including those early days of the mythopoetic men’s movement, the problem with codifying archetypes like king, warrior, magician, and lover – and the heart of men’s work, which for Michael, has always been about journey of the soul.



Early days of the mythopoetic movement
Sharing between cultural traditions
Authenticity and leadership
Maps of masculinity, king warrior magician lover, are they still valuable?
The soul defies codification
What is gender
Being a man is becoming your authentic self, not a prescribed role
The youth are not young right now, a condition of self
Elder is not a person it’s a condition
Elders needing to stand up and say this is wrong, offer up sacrifice
Question in the end, did you become yourself?