Most people know of the Hero’s Journey, described in detail by mythologist Joseph Campbell and seen again and again in coming-of-age type movies and television shows. The Hero achieves spiritual union by diving into the world within. He leaves the physical world and faces various figures and faces within. He fights and defeats his inner dragons so that he can then go deeper. He enters the world of Mystery, the dark fertile Unknown, and discovers within the great gold that he or she is meant to unearth and bring back to the physical world. Essentially, the Hero achieves spiritual union by diving inward, touching the heart of the Earth, and returning with wisdom and a new state of consciousness.
The Hero’s Journey is a universal one, meaning that it can be taken by either man or woman. In fact, the Hero’s journey is none other than the story of Alice in Wonderland. Following the rabbit she falls into the great abyss of the underworld, where she meets all sorts of figures. After many adventures and after she has won her inner battles, she returns to her life with ideas for success and wealth. Both men and women can go on this journey and find transformation and healing.
However, the Heroine’s journey is an inner voyage that most, if not all, women need to take. The Heroine’s journey leads to a different sort of spiritual union, but no less important! The task of the Heroine’s journey is to love herself. Yet, the only way she is going to find herself – which she must do first – the only way she is going to really take a deep breath in, is by first dis-identifying with the masculine. To do that, she must die. She must let go of all her old identities, all the voices that tell her this is the way to success. She must let go of what is popular, what is trendy, and what the world says is good for her.
Instead, she must find her own voice, buried deep within, but lovingly held in the arms of the Light within. By going inward, she must become her own mother, deeply loving herself and healing the chasm that once kept her in bondage. This great love inside, for being a woman, for being beautiful, for embodying creation and the source of creation, grows and becomes a great source of healing. Once a woman is following her own voice, tending to herself with deep care and reverence, and once she has healed the split between the world and her inner nature, only then can she return to the masculine, finding and loving those places where he is wounded too. As he heals and she continues to love herself, this exquisite journey, in the end, leads to a joyful balance and marriage of the inner masculine and feminine.
The Heroine’s journey can also be taken by men. Going inward, he peels away the false and inauthentic versions of himself so that he can find and love himself for who he really is. This kind of spiritual union, in store for both men and women, awaits those who pull away from the ideals of society and finds value in oneself.
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