About the College

I don’t speak
your language anymore

I don’t make sense
to you

I’ve left without you

Me and a thousand little birds

We’ve left

Because we don’t make sense
to you

Because we don’t speak
your language

– Dr. M, Dictionary of the Dawn

The College of Mythic Cartography came into the world terrifying and frazzled, like a freshly hatched Great Blue Heron chick. On scaly four-toed legs it hunts and stalks the muddy urban waterways of Portland, Oregon, nibbled upon by fingerlings, scaring up muskrats, bullfrogs, and Bitterns complaining from the treetops. An enchanted Grand Hall of Learning, and an Embassy of the Ancient Natural Powers here in the civilized realm, you’ll find its front door by searching the wild parks and untended backyards of the Rose City.

The science of Mythic Cartography refers to the act of wandering across the landscape, and connecting to it in all the deep ways a human being can belong to a place: through observation of the little things, through a bird’s eye revelation of the totality of place, through empathetic connection, and through the layered metaphors of story – dream – myth. Doing so, you become a Bard, a Storyteller, a Witch, a Tracker, a Fool, a Coyote.

The land we walk on constitutes a secret mythmap, and we need simply begin to ask questions to see the unfolding of that secret map. Through animal tracking, wandering, storyjamming, herbalism, riddling, ecological understandings, through belonging and feeling at home, we can heal our bond to the community of life. A fully trained Mythic Cartographer carries the skills that make such a journey possible.

In addition, Willem Larsen lives here, on these pages, and tends the world you’ll find in the accumulating words. Consider this place a work-in-progress, a someday book, a diary, a confession, a secret in plain sight (and thus the most cleverly hidden). And consider yourself welcome.