87 episodes

Explorations on mythology, culture and the emerging masculinities. Hosted by visionary filmmaker Ian MacKenzie.


The Mythic Masculine Ian MacKenzie

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 77 Ratings

Explorations on mythology, culture and the emerging masculinities. Hosted by visionary filmmaker Ian MacKenzie.


    Iron John - A Mythic Story About Men

    Iron John - A Mythic Story About Men

    Access The Iron John course here.
    A few years ago, I was invited to steward an online offering for the Rowe Center, based in Massachusetts.
    With the passing of Robert Bly, esteemed poet, activist, and father of the mythopoetic men's movement, I opted to weave a 7 week journey revisiting his seminal book Iron John, inviting an array of special guests to join me. The roster includes Stephen Jenksinon, Sophie Strand, Ramon Parish, Michael Gay, Philip Folsom, Shay Au Lait & Stefanos Sifandos.
    The course was a big success, and since then, I’ve always wanted to re-release it for more folk of all genders to access the insights & experience.
    I’m pleased to announce the course is now available.
    A few more words about Robert Bly & the story:
    As named, he is perhaps most well known for his retelling of the classic German fairy tale, which illuminated the inner world of men in such a way that seemed long absent from modern Western culture. This longing to be gathered into the mysteries of men and manhood, of a mythic masculinity, drew much contention upon its release in the early 90's, and has reverberated to this day.
    It wasn't until I watched the documentary '1000 Years of Joy' that I grasped the larger portrait of a man who had already amassed a respectful body of work before he turned to culture and gender. My love for Mr. Bly grew tremendously, as a blazing example of what could lie ahead in the later half of life, a glimpse of elderhood to a troubled time.
    Note: I also interviewed the films director Hayden Reiss which I’ve included at the bottom. Whether or not you’ve seen the documentary, it’s delightful to hear his stories of meeting & collaborating with Bly.
    In 2022, the spiral has come around as a new generation discovers Iron John alongside an urgent crisis of masculinity. What might Iron John offer in the wake of #metoo, Artificial Intelligence, post-truth, multi-generational trauma, and biospheric breakdown?Despite some contemporary references that are dated, the book holds up as a vital to the conversation of manhood as it did in its day.
    At the time, Bly was criticized by some feminists for "blaming women" for men’s troubles - and yet, that has never been accurate. He writes "This doesn't mean that the women are doing something wrong: I think the problem is more that the older men are not really doing their job."
    That's not to say there aren't blindspots (there are), and thankfully a number of additional perspectives have added to the polyphony of emerging masculinities.Here’s my interview with Hadyn Reiss, the director of the Bly documentary 1000 Years of Joy. I highly recommend viewing the full film.

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    • 3 min
    #66 | The Art of Relational Alchemy - Nicolas Canon

    #66 | The Art of Relational Alchemy - Nicolas Canon

    My guest today is Nicolas Canon.
    Nicolas is a seasoned relationship coach who has deeply intertwined his insights in love with walking the plant medicine path in his homeland of Colombia.
    Over the past decade, he has dedicated himself to helping individuals and couples not only deepen their relationships but also find greater self-awareness and spiritual alignment.  In this episode, he shares of his relocation as a youth to Toronto, Canada where he ran a tattoo shop and first worked as a coach - after many challenging & toxic relationships, he was guided to embark on a vision quest in the south of France. These experiences dramatically shaped his approach to life and work, including the crucible of marriage.
    Finally, Nicolas reveals his insights into "the language of men” and how women can enhance communication with their male partners, deepen emotional connection, and unlock the potential of evolutionary partnership.
    The Mythic Masculine is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. http://themythicmasculine.substack.com
    * Nicolas Canon - Official Website*Nicolas on IG
    * Nicholas shares his recent return to Toronto after spending significant time in Colombia, reflecting on his emotional, spiritual, and physical journey.
    * He discusses the profound impact of his experiences with indigenous shamans and ayahuasca ceremonies in Colombia, emphasizing the importance of spiritual integration.
    * Reflecting on his past in Toronto, Nicholas discusses owning a tattoo shop and navigating a lifestyle marked by hedonism.
    * He opens up about a toxic relationship and personal crises that led him back to Colombia for recovery and family support.
    * Nicholas highlights the challenge of living between two worlds—the traditional wisdom of Colombia and the modern, bustling life in Toronto—emphasizing his role as a cultural bridge.
    * He shares insights from his ayahuasca ceremonies, including advice to pause and reflect on various aspects of life.
    * Nicholas reflects on his emotional grounding and support, particularly from his wife, amid his spiritual journey and transitions.
    * He explores the concept of balance and integration, seeking to merge spiritual insights with Western lifestyle and societal expectations.
    * The conversation delves into the complexity of personal growth and transformation, navigating between cultural identities and spiritual awakening.
    * Nicholas discusses his evolving perspective on relationships, emphasizing the importance of healthy dynamics, mutual respect, and emotional connection.
    * He shares insights into what makes a healthy relationship, highlighting communication, trust, shared values, and individual growth.

    Get full access to The Mythic Masculine at themythicmasculine.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 38 min
    #65 | Sex, Love & The Discipline of Eros - Andrea Villa

    #65 | Sex, Love & The Discipline of Eros - Andrea Villa

    My guest today is Andrea Villa, a scholar, a mentor of men, a restorer of old practices and languages of the sacred.
    He has spent several years studying male initiation with indigenous peoples from India to West Africa to Native America, developing a unique understanding of gender as intelligence. His passion is to support men in regaining their erotic agency in love & relationships.
    In today's episode, we delve into the profound realms of Eros as a multifaceted force that transcends mere physical attraction, touching upon the realms of the spiritual, the creative, and the deeply personal aspects of human experience. Andrea shares his journey of being undone by Eros, highlighting its crucial role in our connection to the world. He describes the important differences between masculine and feminine energies, and advocates for the significance of adoration and devotion in the dance of partnership.
    Andrea also introduces the concept of erotic discipline, a practice of staying present with beauty to transcend the visible and touch the essence of our being. And he references Dante’s Divine Comedy, the monumental epic from the Middle Ages, and the poet’s adoration of Beatrice as a model for a love that can elevate our spirits to the divine.
    I’d love to hear what you think of this episode! Leave your comments below.
    Heads up: I’m inviting Andrew to offer an upcoming webinar in the next month. Stay tuned for details.
    * Official Website - Andrea Villa
    There’s only a few days left to join the very first online cohort of The Deep Masculine, a 3 month journey for men.
    I wanted to offer further insight behind the inspiration for this offering, with its roots in the soil of a fairy tale:
    First published in 1990, Robert Bly's "Iron John: A Book About Men" is a key work in the mythopoetic men's movement.
    The book rides the story of Iron John, a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, as a framework to explore masculinity and men's issues. Throughout the book, Bly discusses the concept of "the deep masculine," a term he uses to describe an essential, positive aspect of mature masculinity that has largely been lost in modern society - due to cultural poverty, lack of rites of passage, and the absence of positive male mentorship.
    I've spoken on this thread in multiple conversations, including one with poet & author Sophie Strand in "Revisiting The Wild Man."​
    Mythopoetic men's work grew as a response to these challenges - and many men & organizations have picked up the torch from the first generation and the task they bequeathed to us.
    Now, it's also true the Wild Man archetype has become overly fetishized in many men's work spaces, with an emphasis on pushing back against the "domesticated life." (Think Tyler Durden in Fight Club, or Lester Burham in American Beauty).
    And yet, the Wild Man remains a mysterious and alluring presence for a deeper invitation into a lovership with life.
    After almost 5 years of inquiry, alongside mentors, elders & many conversations under The Mythic Masculine podcast, as well as numerous months in the creative cauldron, The Deep Masculine journey brings together the most effective elements we could muster for igniting the hearts & souls of men.
    We begin April 11.

    Get full access to The Mythic Masculine at themythicmasculine.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Bridging Worlds: The Dance of the Deep Masculine and Feminine

    Bridging Worlds: The Dance of the Deep Masculine and Feminine

    Last week I had a lovely conversation with Jumana Sophia, creator of Her Mystery School.
    In this enlightening inquiry, we delve into the origins and evolutions of her initiation school for women, with clear parallels to what I’ve been developing for The Deep Masculine.
    We explore the role of these dedicated spaces to heal and deepen our understanding of gender dynamics in modern society. We touch upon our personal journeys, insights into the challenges of creating potent realms of transformation, and the power of embracing one's depth and nobility.
    This episode invites listeners to reflect on their paths and the importance of community, mentorship, and the ever-unfolding mystery of life. Join us for a journey into the heart of what it means to embody the deep masculine and feminine in today's world.
    LAST CALL FOR MEN! Join Deus Fortier and I for a 12-week online expedition into the mysteries of The Deep Masculine.
    This inaugural journey brings a particular focus to the alluring, seductive force that animates all of life - Eros. Together we will explore rich archetypal investigations, powerful somatic practices, and mythic tales of transformation in order to illuminate the beauty and power which has been long hidden within our own hearts.
    At this critical time on our planet, when so many have fallen prey to numbness, let us come together as men in solidarity to remember the magic and mystery that we are a part of, in service to thriving life.
    Start Your Application Now

    Get full access to The Mythic Masculine at themythicmasculine.substack.com/subscribe

    • 36 min
    Upcoming Trainings: Awakening The Wild Erotic & The Deep Masculine

    Upcoming Trainings: Awakening The Wild Erotic & The Deep Masculine

    Spring is stirring, and I’m excited to announce the next offerings with my good friend and collaborator Deus Fortier.
    After two successful immersive weekends for men held last year, formerly titled MXM, we’re pleased to announce our next one is coming soon April 5-7, 2024 in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
    You’re welcome to listen to our conversation recorded after our first weekend, which is how we were inspired to rename this offering Awakening The Wild Erotic.
    This weekend is a mythosomatic immersion for men who wish to heal their sexual blocks, liberate their essential nature, and embody the archetype of the Lover. We will draw on modalities of breathwork, mythology, ecstatic dance, council & more to journey through this container.
    We’re 50% full already. Don’t miss the chance to attend if you’re lit up with excitement and fear (a good combination).
    Apply for Awakening the Wild Erotic
    The second offering is the first fully original online men’s course I’ve ever co-created, and it’s a 12 week exploration titled The Deep Masculine.
    Also developed with Deus, this course draws upon the elements of myth, archetypes, & somatic practices to explore the deeper realms of masculinity and lay a foundation of self-trust and vitality.
    In 3 months, this cohort will enhance their ability to skillfully navigate their full spectrum of emotions, integrate their shadows & addictions related to sex & erotic energy, and cultivate a meaningful connection to a like-minded community of men.
    The journey begins April 11, 2024.
    Apply for The Deep Masculine.

    Get full access to The Mythic Masculine at themythicmasculine.substack.com/subscribe

    • 21 min
    #64 | The Descent & Redemption of Barbie - Carly Mountain

    #64 | The Descent & Redemption of Barbie - Carly Mountain

    Barbie is back in the news again. The Oscars race is on and the film was nominated for numerous awards including Best Picture.
    Ryan Gosling received the nod for Best Actor, while Margot Robbie & Greta Gerwig were passed over. Ironic snub, given the context of the film? Or just how it goes sometimes?
    Now before you roll your eyes and wonder ‘who cares?’ I’ve decided to do some of the mythic heavy lifting around why Barbie is a culturally significant film at this moment. And not just because it crossed a billion dollars at the box office and became a clear phenomenon.
    Last summer, colleague Alex Beiner wrote eloquently of the cultural complexities in his essay Castrated Utopias: What Barbie and Oppenheimer reveal about our sexual politics.
    He writes:
    Barbie is one of the most interesting films to come out of Hollywood in some time. It’s a strange phenomenon; a feminist initiation myth that critiques, sometimes with joyful nuance, capitalism and patriarchy, but which is paradoxically designed to sell a corporation’s product. Instead of a film we might read an ideology into, it’s a film woven around an existing ideology: feminism. However, the vision of the feminism it champions is what makes it particularly interesting.
    It’s fun, well structured and at times leans toward a kind of metamodern feminism that seems able to hold the complexity of both social construction and biological difference. At other times, it slipped into a more simplistic feminism, and I found myself shaking my head at its narrow depictions of men and masculinity. 
    […] I had a strong feeling that the film wasn’t really made for me as a man. It wasn’t trying to actively exclude me, but it was speaking to lived experiences of women, so I tried to listen to the message on its own terms.
    I’ve finally decided to hoist my take into the ring, and I invited UK based writer, psychotherapist, and mythologist Carly Mountain to join me.
    I was previously on her podcast to speak about the descent of Inanna, and so it felt perfect to bring her on to explore Barbie through this lens.
    As well we touch on the arc of Ken and the advent of Patriarchy as borne from the rejection of the Feminine. Ken needs to go on his own quest to re-source the Feminine from within and meet the Great Goddess.
    (This is much of the recent men’s work that I’m collaborating with Deus Fortier on. Our next Awakening the Wild Erotic weekend is coming up in April).
    I hope you enjoy our conversation.
    Also stick around at the end of the episode for a little easter egg…
    P.S. you’re invited to check out Carly’s book “Descent & Rising: Women’s Stories & the Embodiment of the Inanna Myth”.
    P.P.S Here’s a few music videos from Barbie.
    I’ve love to hear your comments on our conversation below. What’s your take on Barbie?

    Get full access to The Mythic Masculine at themythicmasculine.substack.com/subscribe

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
77 Ratings

77 Ratings

ronibee ,

The most trust worthy interviewer!

Ian’s vast knowledge, attuned presence, and intuition seem to guide him in conducting the most powerful interviews! Unlike so many Podcasters, he doesn’t seem driven by a need to prove anything and gives his guests plenty I have space to share.

JRoseland ,

Thought provoking conversations!

Ian's skillful interviewing style allows his guests to share their unique perspectives and experiences in an authentic and engaging manner. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, from the role of mythology in shaping our understanding of masculinity to the challenges and opportunities of creating a more inclusive and equitable society. I like that it's not interrupted with A LOT of mid-roll ads!

Lofty Dream ,

Myth of the Masculine

Without a doubt this is one of the most thought provoking Podcasts. Ian is a superb listener and more importantly questioner. As a Cis white 60+ woman these have been my questions all along. I listen and relisten to all episodes I’ve encountered thus far. I am joining at the Membership level today. Thank you to Stephen Jenkinson for leading me to this site.

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