Wake Up, Human 001: The Mythic Resistance

The Mythic Resistance with Tonja Reichley



In this inaugural episode of the Wake Up, Human podcast, I talk with Tonja Reichley, an herbalist, ritualist and author in the Irish Celtic tradition. Our conversation centers on the theme of the mythic resistance: exploring myth as a tool for reclaiming our place—and our power—within the often confusing matrix of modern cultural and social identities.

We’ll weave through discussions on myth as teacher and archetype, embodiment of myth as a form of resistance, and the modern conundrum of cultural appreciation versus cultural appropriation. Tonja will also share a couple of myths with us.

Join us for conversation on those topics and more in Episode 1 of the Wake Up, Human podcast.

The episode at a glance:

  • [02:55] Tonja shares the story of her journey of leaving the corporate world for the nourishing tradition of herbalism, and finding her roots in the Irish Celtic tradition. 
  • [10:40] We discuss the term mythic resistance: embodying myth as a tool to push back against the status quo, and reconnect with our heritage and our wholeness.
  • [19:38] The many forms of resistance: are activists just the “people out in the streets,” or are there other ways to make our resistance felt in society?
  • [21:03] We discuss the modern usage of the word “myth” as a synonym for fairy tale or falsehood, and what we might be losing in that translation.
  • [28:33] We talk about making old myths new again, as timeless wisdom and guidance for our contemporary lives. What can we learn about ourselves and our society by reading the myths of our ancestors?
  • [37:08] Tonja reflects on learning from the land of Ireland herself, and the importance of connecting to the land wherever we are.
  • [41:59] Where is the line between learning from other cultures for their wisdom, vs. appropriating or co-opting them for our benefit? And how can myth help us discern the difference?
  • [58:20] We discuss the intersection between the mythic resistance and racial justice, and discuss social justice work as spiritual practice.

Links and resources mentioned in the episode:



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