The Hero Journey

We are made up as much from our future as from our past and the gift of astrology is to offer a template from which both may take their place in the great heroic round that may, with right intention, unfold, even in this age, as the Hero Journey. For there are times in our lives when quite literally a sword is thrown down before us and we must choose whether or not to pick it up. At other times, we find ourselves at a "crossroads" and must decide which way to go, or indeed in a dark wood and cannot see very clearly at all. Like Parsifal, we do not necessarily go in search of such a quest as such, but a life deeply lived generally has a way of becoming one and we find that certain conditions, heroic conditions, have to be fulfilled. Further, in many myths and fairy tales while there is rarely a difficulty in getting into the "Beyond", there can be terrible difficulty getting back. 

The ideal of the heroic journey, available to everyone no matter their state or circumstance, is the theme around which the content of this site weaves. "What I think" wrote Joseph Campbell, " is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure; you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss."

Over the course of our life there will be many "Calls to Adventure" and like Parsival we too that even falling can be part of the hero reaching his final destination. These 'Calls' these will take many different forms and always ask the 'quest'-ion, will you answer that Call by choosing to cooperate with the eternal flow of life, whether that be to pick up the gauntlet and ready your sword, to go nobly forth and enter the fray, or to hold still and wait?

Or to do both with different parts of your being?

For whether by choice (usually the hero's position) or by necessity (usually the heroine's situation) a person heeds the call, because not to do so is a form of death, and in doing so the stuff one is made of ~ the soul ~ emerges as challenges and losses are met on the journey.

Shortly before his death in 1961, Carl Jung was asked if he felt that mankind could survive. His answer was yes, if enough people would do their inner work.


Now more than ever, some five decades later, what is needed is a massive rebirth of the heroic, of courage, and a willingness to engage the inner worlds, dreams, fantasies and the symbols contained therein. For it is into this shadow land, the kingdom of the ailing king and the idiot son that we must journey, recognising that they, along with the sorcerer, the dragon, the witch and the evil stepmother, as well as the beloved are all parts of ourselves. And that they must all be honoured if we are to redeem

 the outer world, and the slide into unconscious annihilation.

As always, we make the path by walking. For some, it is right that the Hero picks up his/her sword and charges into the heart of the abyss within, into the mouth of the inner dragon, or into the interior castle under the spell of an evil omen. Just as, at other times, the Hero must outwait the darkness and the invisible demons that assail him or her, both within and without. That, in the end, the King might be healed, that crops might grow again, and the inner marriage of the prince and princess may occur, that wholeness once more might reign over the kingdom.


In the words of Joseph Campbell:

"There is what I call the hero journey, the night sea journey, the hero quest, where the individual is going to bring forth in his life something that was never beheld before."

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One Person has left comments on this post

Amy Jo said: { Jun 28, 2012 - 03:06:36 }

If the connection with the inner world is lost, life becomes a wasteland. Not unlike the King who has been injured tragically yet is somehow kept alive by the grail. In society today, the image and idea of the wasteland is recognized most commonly as a form of apathy that afflicts so many who live life disconnected from the inner world. 
Connecting with an inner image/myth creates the container for the experience of a journey. This is vital. 
Also vital is learning different myths for different phases of life. For the hero, too, changes. Although always still the hero.
Truly stimulating post…  

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