Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beyond the Hero's (or Hera's) Journey

Just can't resist offering a feminist expansion of what is rendered [a la Joe (Campbell)] as "the hero's journey." I am assuming other feminist scholars besides myself have done the work of deconstructing this "archetype" as only a partial rendering of the many, ecological, connecting archetypal patterns and rhythms for discovery and deepening. I forgive Campbell, for he was such an ardent journeyer and was so beautiful in his way-showing, for this limitation which we can now see in that work. The emphasis of a single being, a "hero," whose journey involves deepening isolation and different-than-ness (OK I could really go on and on here about this, I'll stop myself), deracination, challenge etc. is so ...dominator, so Western. Earth-based practitioners have proposed that for our culture, instead of solo quests (which might make sense as rites of passage in cultures of deep embedded connection), we need to engage in the modes and patterns of the men's/women's movements, about circling, creativity, culture-making, and connection.

A really interesting question is: what would an ecological, planetary-emergent model for rites of passage look like rather than the solitary-being narrative of a disconnected cell - what if contexted properly as part of the larger bloodstream of the earth? How would we need to upend our grammar to properly position ourselves in a narrative of the world-in-the-present-moment-perhaps-unfurling-in-this-water-sac-and-also-as-the-orison-of-4-billion-years-in-process-and-motion-and-evolution? How do we reframe our narratives as the planet-in-bodies?

Just to stir the cauldron and widen our gyre...