Under an ancient tee on Mount Pelion, listening to Jean Houston retell the story of “The Wizard of Oz”, we have each begun to revisit our life as a heroic journey. Finding where we are now in the story will give us fresh insight about where we must go, what we must do, what needs to happen next.
The Road of Trials, the Belly of the Whale
Dorothy is offered Guidance, but not a map. “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” What in the Hero’s journey is a road of trials, often for the heroine includes a time of what Joseph Campbell calls being in the “belly of the whale”. In “The Wizard of Oz”, this is symbolized by the poppy fields where Dorothy and her three companions suddenly fall deeply asleep under the spell of the Wicked Witch.
asleep in the poppy fields
The Belly of the Whale takes us by surprise, for just when we know what we must do, just when we manage to fool the guardian and pass the gate, we find ourselves blindsided… by a depression, an ingression, a call to the depths of being. Though we are clear about our mission, we are not yet prepared.
The Belly of the Whale gives us preparatory time, time for deep inner work. We enter our own depths, the source place for all endeavours. Find your form for this inner work: drawing or dance or journaling or music or drumming or nature or working with an archetype. “You may not know what your archetypal guidance is, but your archetypal guidance knows who you are.” (Jean Houston) When you discover who your archetype is, you have guidance. You are put on the path.
Live in the Temple of Inner Abundance where you are in the womb of your new becoming. Choose your daily practice and be faithful.
Assisted by her friends, Dorothy wakens and all four approach the Emerald City.
Once again they face a guardian at the gate who will not allow them to see the Wizard. Dorothy’s tears as she speaks of her longing to see her Aunt Em break down his resistance. Yet the Wizard, when they at last meet him, refuses to grant their request until they fulfill an impossible task: “Bring me the broomstick of the Witch of the West!”
The challenge here is to discover the task that you never believed you could do, but the Wizard of the inner sanctum of yourself always knew you could, and if you did, would change the nature of your belief about yourself….Your inner Wizard…the Friend, stands before you and asks you to recall the “impossible things” you have done….
Now the Friend-Wizard asks you to consider what “impossible things” you have yet to do in the near future. The Friend-Wizard also asks you to imagine as vividly as you can actually doing it, with all the difficulties and acts of courage that it may require. Remember that you have allies, a Protector and the Friend to help and accompany you. (Jean Houston in The Power of Myth and Living Mythically p.202)
Emergence with Amplified Power
You discover now that your expectations become magnets, drawing to you what you need for your task, your life work. You have entered the path of wisdom, and with her come all good things. You experience the grace of ABBONDANZA. You are moving into the fullness of life.
Your entelechy holds the seed of what you truly are and draws you into the magic and mystery of being “a local outcropping of the Godself in time”. (JH)
The life force of Toto (“Run, Toto, Run), the support and cleverness of her three friends, and finally the life force of water accomplish the impossible. Dorothy and her companions return to the Wizard in triumph.
Returning home to a Kansas that may not have changed, Dorothy discovers that the real change is within herself. She has met and integrated her intelligence, her compassionate heart and her courage.
Now she is ready for her great task of greening the wasteland.