Tag Archives: Hero’s Journey

All on the Hero’s Journey


“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


Originally Written in 2009:

I’ve always enjoyed quest stories, stories in which the somewhat innocent naive protagonist through undertaking a series of adventures reaches a defined goal (returning home, finding his/her fortune, destroying the one ring etc) and comes out enlightened in some manner. Perhaps reading these stories becomes in some sense a form of religious ritual for me. I imagine myself in the shoes of the hero or heroine. I become Jack going up the beanstalk and escaping from the giant. I find myself, stuck to the tar baby like Br’er Rabbit begging Br’er Fox not to throw me into the briar patch. I can see myself as Aladdin, trapped in the cave rubbing the lamp to get it lit, Alice down the rabbit hole and Luke Skywalker taking that last desperate shot to destroy the Death Star. Their journeys too I have undertaken within my imagination. It doesn’t appear to be restricted to words on paper. Movies and TV shows can also spark my imagination tho somehow it doesn’t feel as effective.

I go into Chapel Perilous, seeking the grail only to find I must encounter the darkness inside myself. I sit down with the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse to find that their word puzzles and inverted logic reshapes my mind into new insights. I take peyote with Carlos Castaneda and jump across the abyss. I fight their demons, both inner and outer (assuming for a moment that there exists a difference). If in facing their demons and perhaps by doing so discover and confront my down, can I claim a piece of the enlightenment at the end.

Since writing this I have danced with my darkness and cried with it… confronted and lied with it…felt numb and then enlivened and several points…I find that I am repeating many of the old lessons again , perhaps with more awareness or is that my illusion… I have seen the hero in the ordinary man and seen mundaneness in heroes. What better way to realize that we embody both and we can be so much more and are becoming so…We all exist on the hero’s journey, the grail quest whether we know it or not…
Blessings, G


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Goddess GazeGoddess Gaze by G A Rosenberg



Call Waiting

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.”
― Joseph Campbell


At times it feels like the journey is all I’ve known. A call comes to shake me out of complacency into something new and I follow. Sometimes the call has yanked me from path to path and sometimes because I grew attached to certain aspects of the life I was living, I refused the call only to hear it come louder. Some of my roughest times is when I thought I was ready to leave and eagerly awaited the chance to start life anew only to feel the new adventure hovering above me and feeling a state of stasis, stuck in a time that had grown stale but with no impetus to start something new. Too bad I didn’t know during those times what I now know about responsibility. I would have jumped into a new adventure on my own.
We can be our own guides, our own wake up call. Just grab our bags and head on out the road or perhaps jump down the nearest rabbit hole. Noone has to stay in any place at any time. If you are where you are, you have your reasons for being there. As I have mine.
Blessings, G


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Golden EmblemGolden Emblem Mandala by G A Rosenberg


Container and Contents MandalaMandala Within the Soap Bubble by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – April 27 2012

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. ”
–Joseph Campbell

And some lessons we just have to repeat over and over until we can fully appreciate the wisdom gift they have for us. I call it rabbit hole time in my mind. An idea or someone with a unique point of view I can learn from comes along and I have to jump submerging myself into another reality until it crashes into my reality tunnel or it no longer fits. Oh nothing’s wrong with it in principle, it’s the total leap into the abyss that can be problematic. Yet without leaping how do we fly? Without fully embracing another reality how do we integrate it?
Besides, vacationing in someone else’s reality tunnel can be amazingly refreshing. I’d say couch surfing has nothing on it as a matter of fact. Integrating new realities can be tricky however. Our belief systems do tend to have strong defence systems.
Blessings, G

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Battle Dance by G A Rosenberg

LT6 by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – February 23 2012

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
— Joseph Campbell

What makes a hero? Someone who is willing to do the right thing no matter what the cost to himself? How do we find the hero within? Go deeper. Go deeper.
I grew up on myths and stories. From an early age I was a pretty voracious reader and what I loved to read most were myths and legends. I went through every book of those I could find and could never get enough. I also loved comic books particularly super-hero ones. Makes sense, what are they but modern mythology? When I discovered both the tarot with the Fool’s journey through the major arcana and then Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey I fell in love with both concepts. They both talk about the arc of the hero and how he leaves the familiar (parents, home) and enters the unknown, encounters several dangers, and returns home with something (possession, power, bride, wisdom) he did not have before. We’re all familiar with the arc. (If not, see Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit and many others and note the similarities)

What makes the hero go on the journey in the first place? Once he does depart what keeps him on the path? Well I can only talk about what I know. So many times in my life I have left the familiar behind, doing such things as joining religious cults, hitch-hiking cross countries and travelling to a different country to get married that I became very familiar with what I called ‘rabbit-hole time’. When i reflect on those times, the biggest thing that stands out is that I was curious, Something caught my attention and I jumped for it. Somehow I believed that even if I was not happy with the outcome, the adventure would be worthwhile. Before today, I would have called that foolishness tho today it was brought to my attention what it really was. A leap of faith. I have had faith in the universe and in the guiding force behind the universe and it has never failed me. Even the hard lessons were not as hard as they could have been. Having the love and support of my family has helped a lot there as well.

To be continued…

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Gazing at the Hero Within and Without by G A Rosenberg

Rabbit Hole Musing

Joseph Campbell referred to it as the Hero’s Journey. The major arcana of the tarot shows similar cycle. Every time we step through a doorway or start something new, we perform a version of it. Sometimes I feel that most of my life is spent going from rabbit hole to rabbit hole or at crossroads deciding which way to go. It’s one of the reasons why I feel a kinship to crossroad deities such as Thoth in Egyptian mythology, Hermes in the Greek, Eshu and Elegua in various Orisha cosmologies or Ganesh in the Hindu among many others.. They tend to be the tricksters, the ones who teach you life’s lessons by exposing you to possibilities.
There is a history of musicians and crossroad deities especially blues musicians tho they usually see him as being old nick

I have to be careful tho. Every time I start writing about the rabbit hole I hear a whisper “c’mere kid…take the ride” which I guess is nominally better than “Oh my stars and whiskers, I’m late”