A woman’s journey is not linear. It’s not a straight line, and you can’t plot it on a graph. It’s cyclical, seasonal, emotional, relational.
Women’s lives take place in the community, sitting in circle, gathering in tribes and in councils.
The path of The Heroine’s Journey as developed by Maureen Murdock represents this, perhaps for the first time, articulating the stages of our path as women from separation to wholeness.
As Murdock states in her book:
“Like most journeys, the path of the heroine is not easy, it has no well-defined guideposts nor recognizable tour guides. There is no map, no navigational chart, no chronological age when the journey begins. It follows no straight lines. It is a journey that seldom receives validation from the outside world, in fact, the outer world often sabotages and interferes with it.”
The image of the heroine’s journey is a circular path that moves clockwise, beginning with separation and ending with integration. Along the path there are many stages:
- The separation from the feminine
- Identifying with the masculine
- The road of trials
- Finding the boon of success
- Awakening to feelings of spiritual death
- The initiation and descent into the Goddess
- Urgent yearning to reconnect with the feminine
- Healing the mother/daughter split
- Healing the wounded masculine, and finally,
- The integration of the masculine and feminine.
In the work I do with women, when I outline the steps of the heroine’s journey there is often a deep sense of knowing, of awakening, of a truth long buried coming back to them.
The journey makes sense. They know it to be true.
Not all women walk this path, or are aware that they are walking it.
The journey is cyclical and one may be at various stages of the journey at the same time.
I have found myself at the stage of finding the boon of success whilst simultaneously feeling the urgent yearning to reconnect with the feminine.
It is a continual journey of self-development, awakening, understanding and expansion.
The journey starts when we hear the ‘call’, that sense that our old life no longer fits.
If we choose to heed that call – which can come at any point in a woman’s life, perhaps when she has a baby, when she goes through a divorce, as she reaches middle age, or perhaps when her children leave home – that’s when the journey begins.