Hero Initiation

The next phases of the Hero’s Journey involve meeting with a mentor – The Good Witch Glenda, Obi Wan Kanobe, Professor Dumbledore – before there are trials. It is well out of fashion now, although it still applies to some trades, but there used to be seven year apprenticeships. The etymology of apprentice reflects a legally binding agreement for a student to learn and the ‘master’ to teach a trade or craft. The old Latin root means ‘to take hold, grasp.’

We speak of ‘grasping the nettle’ and this leads on to the next phase, the road of trials. This is the initiatory phase of the hero’s or shero’s journey. They have the tools (or a trade or craft), but now they graft. And their craft is not in the service of self. A s/hero journeys in the service of the greater, collective good.


Seven years impressed,
ready to shed a skin,
slither out into the world
a fully fledged magician.

Seven years at the feet
of the learned teacher sat
beneath a bodhi tree.
Seven years of all of that,
forged and founded,
fighting the urge to flee.
Seven years bonded,
then anointed and set free

to journey on one's own path -
even if this leads into the wilderness
with all coming to nought.
Being melted down to nothingness,
being unwound and untaught.
This hammers out some new shapes.
Remade now, but not for it's own sake.

A tool is meant to be of service.
To find one's purpose, the final task
for any sorcerer and  their apprentice.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Today’s images are from my own deck of Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot, which helped inspire today’s Poetry Daily. To learn more or buy your own deck go to https://www.gaiantarot.com/

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