The Heroine’s Journey
Stories have been told throughout time and across cultures of the hero’s journey, a series of events that a hero faces in order to fulfill his destiny. Most of these stories are cyclical, the hero ending up back where he started, only smarter, stronger, and with something gained from his struggles that will allow him to be the hero he was destined to be.
What is the Heroine’s Journey?
While the hero’s journey is more often talked about and better known, another journey exists, one that is, at this moment, crucial to be reminded of. That story is the one of the heroine’s journey, the feminine hero who learns in a completely different manner than our beloved hero. It’s important to remember that these stories of heroines and goddesses were once plentiful in the world. During the ages of goddess worship, these stories were not only shared, but lived by women around the world. Unfortunately, as the patriarchal society that we know today, filled with modern inventions and technology, began to take hold, these women and their stories were pushed to the sidelines, told that they were weak and fragile.
Over generations, women began to believe the stories men told them, and they gave up the life they once knew, trading it in for one of domesticity and servitude.
Guided by Intuition
In the heroine’s journey, woman warriors are uniquely guided by intuition, a knowingness that comes from within. This intuition is sourced and nurtured by nature and the creative connection that the feminine has with it. While men on the hero’s journey are guided by tangible things, like people, the female hero seeks guidance from the earth, hearing the voices of the plants and animals that no one else can hear, seeing signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars.
A Desire to Heal
Today, stories told about the heroine’s journey are about a woman’s desire to heal the wounds caused by living in a patriarchal society. Also coined “the mother wound” by Dr. Oscar Serrallach, women’s journeys are fueled by a need to recover what has been lost, a means to cope with the psychological struggle, the inner turmoil that drives her to reclaim the power and spirit of the sacred feminine. Dr. Serrallach writes that the four fundamental aspects of the feminine are “to nurture, to protect, to empower, and to initiate.” Roles that are either diminished, ignored, or refused of many women in today’s world.
When the patriarchal society gained footing, and women were removed from their place of power, an unforeseen side effect began, one that is beginning to be impossible to ignore today.
Connected to Nature
Women, who carry an innate connection with nature and a desire to nurture and protect, were made to forget their purpose on the planet, their voice drowned out by the droning of machines. Indoors, women turned to their family, doing what they could to nurture, protect, and empower their sons and daughters. But, away from nature, their source of power, women were weakened, removed from the planet’s cycles, no longer hearing the voice of the infinite mother who speaks softly through the wind, the leaves, and the whistles of birds.
A Call to Protect Mother Earth
Over centuries of being forgotten, her female protectors locked behind walls, our mother earth is suffering – burned, scarred, abused, and ignored. She is crying out louder now, begging for someone to come and to remember her, to protect her against the atrocities that are taking place on her soil and in her sky. Only she knows exactly who will come to her rescue: women.
Women, when they start to remember who they are, can speak to her. They can fight for her and do what they do best: nurture, protect, and empower.
Relearning From the Divine Feminine
The beautiful thing is that women today don’t need to start from scratch; there is a relearning that needs to take place, one that can be facilitated by the groups of women who never lost touch with the divine feminine. In the documentary Arise women can be inspired by others who are leading efforts to protect and restore our natural environment. On every continent, there are women who have not forgotten their roots, women who are actively creating and being involved with projects that are solving some of the world’s largest natural problems.
In another film, Juliette of the Herbs, women can see the beauty of a life lived through herbalism, holistic medicine, and a deep love and affection for animals. Finally, we can see the potential of our actions in the beautiful documentary, created by the futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, Visions of a Universal Humanity, highlighting the optimism that is needed to fuel our ambitions of saving our planet.
There is no doubt that women play a role, an important role, in the future of our planet. Designed to tune in to the subtleties of nature, to draw power and strength, to share in the creative force, to be led by intuition, women, as the Dalai Lama famously projected, will save the world.
Three Things You Can Do Now
- Get inspired by women (like those in the films above) who are already blazing a trail for you. Listen to what they have to say, notice how they live, and ask yourself what resonates and calls to you.
- Take action now, even if you just start by going outside and listening. Find yourself in nature, close your eyes, and take in long, deep breaths. Take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath you. Pay attention to the beautiful intricacies of flowers, leaves, and individual blades of grass. Recognize the spirit in animals. Begin to remember who you are and the power of carrying the divine feminine.
- Get involved at some level with protecting and reconnecting to the planet. It might be as simple as starting a garden in your backyard or joining a community garden to help bring beauty and nourishment to your neighborhood. Consider donating to efforts you have researched and feel connected to. Think about changing your diet, so that you are eating more whole, plant-based food. Whatever you do, do something that causes you to change the patterns you have fallen into. Do something that draws you outside of your comfort zone and back into the wild – where you belong.
Sekhmet, the Egyptian Goddess of War and Female Empowerment
Few historical places on earth perpetually spur such a strong sense of mystery and interest as ancient Egypt. Though millennia have passed since the days of the pharaohs, mythological figures whose presence adorn myriad walls, monoliths, and scriptures, continue to inspire those who find meaning in what they represent. Among them is the powerful lioness goddess Sekhmet, perhaps the ultimate mythological representation of female power.
Sekhmet, also spelled Sachmet, Sekhet, Sakhet or Sakhmet, was one of the oldest gods and goddesses in the ancient Egyptian pantheon who went by many names and titles, appearing often in her characteristic red dress. She is often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bastet and is depicted with the Uraeus, associating her with the Wadjet.
Above her upright head, as if postured for battle, is the celestial solar disk, and in her hand, grounded steadfast in the earth is the ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life. When standing or striding, she often holds the papyrus specter symbolizing Lower Egypt.
Scholars note that her scepter is one of the most significant representations of the goddess. And, because Sekhmet has the head of a lioness, some have surmised that her likeness may have been inherited from Sudan, Egypt’s neighbor to the south, where lions roamed in great prides.