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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Mapping The Mystic: Geographies of Ecstasy in Consciousness and Culture

Modern studies of mystic states focus on the ‘ineffability’ of the ecstatic experience — the impossibility of explaining what the experience was like. Yet mystic experience might be indescribable in modern culture simply because we’ve failed to culturally describe it.…

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The Shape of Stories: How Myths Move Through Bodies and Worlds 

Author Kurt Vonnegut once proposed that stories have shapes — that there are a few common wave-trajectories that underlie all of our stories. This episode builds on Vonnegut’s thesis and explores the energetic shapes and trajectories of myths — trajectories…

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TRA is for Trance: On the Linguistics of Crossing Over 

Trance, traverse, transformation, tradition, transcendence, transgression — all come from a single Indo-European linguistic root TRA, which signifies some type of crossing over. Crossing over is something human beings have always been inclined to do — populations migrate across great…

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On Trauma and Vegatation Gods 

Modern discussions on healing individual minds, cultural wounds, and painful societal histories now revolve around the word ‘trauma.’ Yet addressing trauma is nothing new — traditional cultures across the globe have historically had their own forms of trauma work, without…

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The Emerald Turns Two 

Reflections of gratitude, some info on ongoing study opportunities, and a little bit about the long-term vision as The Emerald turns two years old.

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Semele, Kundalini, and the Path of Interiorized Lightning 

Stories of lightning and lightning-bearers pervade global mythology.  With so many tales of mighty gods who punish mortals with lightning it can be easy to view the presence of lightning in the myths as simply a metaphor for power or…

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Trickster Jumps Sides: Disruption and the Anatomy of Culture

Tricksters and culture disruptors populate global mythology. From Loki to Coyote to Èṣù and Hermes, they bend rules, cross boundaries, commit deliberate and unintentional offenses and generally mess with established orders. Yet they are often seen as indispensable to these…

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How Trance States Shape the World 

Human beings need 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 ‘ceremonial…