The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell’s stages of the hero’s journey has been stewing on the back burner of my brain. I have been asked to devise some poetry writing workshops for prisoners on that theme on the foot of the concert my husband devised and delivered just before Winter Solstice at our local open prison. It is, I have to admit, a useful framework to do exploratory writing on one’s autobiography and spiritual journey in life.

When one considers both the Journey and the Call to Adventure the zero tarot card fashioned as The Seeker in Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot deck certainly feels apt. In Ellen Lorenzi- Prince’s Dark Goddess Tarot the zero card is the Sheela-na-Gig, displaying her yoni as the great portal of beginnings and endings.

Seeker, Call to Adventure, shero's journey,
From Wikipedia, the Kilpeck, Hertfordshire Sheela-na-gig that Lorenzi-Prince based her own zero tarot card.

In traditional tarot decks, this is The Fool card or The Jester. The Wild Card.

So I suspect that over the next few days I am going to poke and prod at elements of the Hero’s Journey as I pace out the hows and wherefors of a couple workshops. As always, I explore the etymological roots of key words. The roots for the English word hero are a bit uncertain – demi-god, brave, illustrious. The definition seems to cover it, although it does seem rather phallo-centric. Well, we all know sheroes, those brave, demi-goddess women, too!

Adventure, however, is waiting for the arrival.

A Hero

is not the one
who liked the adreneline rush
at the odds,
who liked the shape of the caper.

No, the hero
sensed it before it happened,
knew the risks
was just waiting for the call.

Picked it up,
listened to the message,
despite all
answered and adventured.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

The image is from the Rider-Waite tarot deck foundon Wikipedia. To check out The Gaian Tarot’s image for the Seeker go to

2 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey

  1. Oh this is just beautiful Bee, just what I needed- perfect timing as I delve into my memoirs – a tough , but necessary journey. It does bring up stuff I need to process- which is not fun, but needed. Just the other day someone asked me why am I writing them if they cause such pain- the person was kind of saying ” then just don’t do it” – I said to them..” Has there ever been a time in your life when you knew that you had to do something, no matter how hard it was, you knew it was the right thing to do and you had to do it?” she shrugged her shoulders. I then said..” i gave a presentation up at the school last month and one of the thank you notes form the students was ” ..”Thank you Suzy
    Your story is so inspirational and the way you overcame so many hardships inspires me to never fold over and give up. I’m so thankful that you came and shared your story with us. I will never forget it.”
    I then told her- this is why I must write it!! With your permission I would like to print out your poem and put it on my wall above my desk. Thank you for this gift.


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