The Emerald: Currents and Trends Through a Mythic Lens

Founded in May of 2019, The Emerald podcast explores the human experience through a vibrant lens of myth, story, music, and imagination. Brought to life through the wise, wild, and humorous vision of Joshua Michael Schrei, The Emerald draws from a deep well of poetry, lore, and mythos to challenge conventional narratives on politics and public discourse, meditation and mindfulness, art, science, literature, and more.

At the heart of the podcast is the premise that the imaginative, poetic, animate heart of human experience — elucidated by so many cultures over so many thousands of years — is missing in modern discourse and is urgently needed at a time when humanity is facing unprecedented problems. The Emerald advocates for an imaginative vision of human life and human discourse as it questions deep underlying assumptions about societal progress.

As likely to source from the Wu Tang Clan as the ancient Indian Vedas, and featuring guests such as anthropologist and award-winning author Wade Davis, philosopher Bayo Akomolafe, award-winning author Ann Wroe, noted indigenous author Tyson Yunkaporta and more, The Emerald offers a green glint of wonder in a world that needs to be reacquainted with its own beating heart.

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On Birds, and the Imperative of Mystic Flight

Birds in myth are messengers, deliverers of prophecy, and instigators of journeys. But birds are much more than this. Human neurobiology is deeply linked to birds, who, through the arcing patterns of their flight, their hypnotic songs, and their high,…

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Embodiment Means Being Torn Apart and Flying Away

Modern embodiment discourse has arisen as a reaction to the Western world’s fraught history with bodies. In a world of deep fracture from the natural world, the current emphasis on embodiment serves to help reclaim a relationship with ecology and…

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No One Here Gets Out Alive (The Death Episode)

Death is universal, an undeniable fact of existence that every single one of our ancestors faced, just as we will. So mythic traditions around the world are full of stories of death. Many initiatory rituals directly enact death, taking the…

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Reissue: How Trance States Shape the World

Human beings need an ecstatic trance. Trance states have played a vital and necessary role in human culture and in the shaping of human history, causing some anthropologists to label the attainment of these states the ‘main need’ of the…

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I Wish It Could Have Been Another Way (A Lament w/ Peia Luzzi)

Not easy listening, but possibly necessary listening — this episode of The Emerald dives deep into the heart of the grief many are feeling over the social and environmental ills that are plaguing the planet. The consequences of ecosystem destruction,…

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Your Consciousness Comes From the Moon

Traditional mythic, animist, and astrological systems have long told us that the moon is more than a distant, detached object in space, but rather plays an active role in governing the daily rhythms of life. The moon — in its…

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Awake in the Forest of Dangers and Wonders

How many myths stories and fairy tales take place in… the forest? The forest in these stories is more than just a setting or backdrop. It is a character of its own, alive, awake, animate, both treacherous and beautiful. The…

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War and Ritual Ecstasy

The horrors of war have been part of the human story since the beginning. While there have been differences in how different cultures have done it, war is so widespread that it is impossible to see it as anything other…

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Neck Hairs of the Shapeshifter (w/ Simon Thakur)

Shapeshifting is nearly universal to global mythic tradition. The myths of the world feature shapeshifting gods, shapeshifting animals, shapeshifting spirits, and, of course, shapeshifting people who assume the forms of tigers, bears, wolves, eagles, and more. The prevalence of shapeshifting…

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For the Divine Mother of the Universe (w/ Nivedita Gunturi) 

There’s a lot of cultural clutter these days around ‘The Goddess.’ She appears everywhere, her many names are invoked free of context in a hundred thousand ways. She’s what? An empowerment tool. An archetype. A self-help course. A political symbol.…