The Journey of the Heroine: embracing the Goddess in 5 steps

Do you consider yourself a Goddess? You should. The Goddess is the earth. We are all part of the earth. But the Goddess is more. She is also that spiritual vessel that brings love in new unexpected ways. She is connected with the moon. This week’s Mindfunda is about dreaming with the goddess, incubating dreams that align with the phase of the moon. Find out how you can dream the Goddess into your live!

Mindfunda explores the Goddess in 4 blogs

You are a heroine.  Each women, Each men who embraces his feminine side.

The Goddess was hot in the seventies of last century. Marija Gimbutas put the Goddess back on the map. She inspired a lot of scientists, anthropologists and mythologists up to this day. But the attention for the Goddess seems to have faded away. Mindfunda want to invite you to reconnect with the Goddess. During the month of November Mindfunda will share 5 blogs:

The Goddess, 4 blogs to integrate the Goddess in your life.

Eve as Goddess: a Guest blog written by Susan Scott, of the Garden of Eden.

Triple Goddess dreaming: an alliance with the moon.

The Goddess and the Earth: a Guest blog written by Trista Hendren

A review of “The Book of SHE” written by Sara Avant Stover.

< Jumped in from elsewhere? Start at part 1

Sara Avant Stover, author of “The Way of the Happy Woman” has written a new book called The Book of SHE*
In her book Stover sketches a process of five steps that compose the heroine’s journey. I will tell you about the five steps in a minute. First, let’s recapture what the hero’s journey is and why there is an explicit need for a heroine’s journey.

The need for the Journey of the Heroine

Joseph Campbell analyzed myths and constructed a concept known as “the hero’s journey”. There is a problem in the world, a problem that affects everyone.


Artwork by


The hero gets a call to adventure: you are the chosen one!. The hero refuses. A mentor arrives and after several failures the hero changes the bad into good and returns to the ordinary world. Campbell tells about this story in his excellent book The Hero with a Thousand Faces*

Maureen Murdock, a student of Campbell felt a void in this journey. It was a journey aimed at men. Aimed at their initiations and the integration of their inner female part. When she discussed this with Campbell he said:
“Women don’t need to make the journey, they are the place that everyone is trying to get to.” His response shocked me. It is true that in the mythological tradition, the feminine is the place people may be aspiring to integrate, but what I was aware of was that most of the women I knew and worked with were disconnected from our feminine nature. Our task was to reclaim the feminine for ourselves. (quoted from the site of Maureen Murdock).
The hero’s journey model did not address the deep wounding of the feminine part for both men and women.

OK, let’s roll up the sleeves. Let’s pack our suitcases. We are ready to journey. What are the steps?


Steps in the journey of the heroine

Sara Avant Stover gives five steps that comprise the journey of the heroine:

  1. Prepare for the pilgrimage.
  2. Descent into the underworld.
  3. Bonfire of our initiation.
  4. Ascent.
  5. Homecoming.

Sara, inspired by Maureen Murdock, explains the idea behind the steps: “The  more gender-specific map of the heroine’s journey better helps us to understand the unique twists and turns that our initiation into empowered womanhood entails. It ensures that we arrive at our desired destination – living in full alignment with our deepest, truest feminine nature”

Journey of the heroine: Prepare for the Pilgrimage

the 13 stages of the journey of the heroine


Many women are their fathers’ daughters… I know I was. I always wanted to be like him: smart, witty, a bit Einstein professor-ish. We could laugh, we could talk, we could argue (I have never met any other human being that was capable of thinking so fast as my father). And to me it was a game. Others thought we were fighting but it was more like a cub fights a big lion. I know he was preparing me for the world and that in this thought-driven world you would need to have my argumentative skills sharp like a knife.


My father with hair like Einstein


We, as women, are taught to live our life according to the patriarchal definition of success. Getting good grades, a well-paying job, a nice husband, a couple of kids. And to be successful in doing all of those tasks while being attractive, smiling and graceful. I was told to not “throw like a girl” but in the only right way: the way a man does. He meant well. He was a child of his times.

Healing the mother wound

Most of us have experienced, at one time or another, the pain of our mother abandoning us in our time of need. This does not mean it was a conscious abandonment… I know my mother was raised in a time when you were supposed to leave a child crying “otherwise you would spoil it”. My mother and my aunt both said it to me when I had children of my own: “whenever they cry, don’t fetch them. or you will spoil them”. Luckily I decided to do just the opposite and most of the time wore my kids close to my heart when they were little.

I know we all remember that guidance that our parents gave us. But there comes a point in your life when you have to decide that you are not happy living according to rules that are not yours to begin with. That intuitive feeling in your gut is the moment that you are called to leave your normal life.

When you have reconciled that inner masculine and female energy that you inherited from your parents you are balanced enough to consider entering the spiritual marriage.

Journey of the Heroine: Descent into the Underworld

“No tree, it is said,
can grow to heaven 
unless its roots reach down to hell.”

Carl Gustav Jung

Once you have left your home, you are on a path to discover your shadow. It is a step that is as essential as it is painful. But in the realization and the acceptance of your own faults, flaws and difficulties there is also the inner peace.

Black Madonna

Knowing that you do not have to be perfect. That it is alright to be angry, stubborn and perky. To embrace the power in those qualities. To admit that sometimes you cause trouble. Not others. You.

Ok that is do-able, but do I have to like it? Do I have to embrace my stubbornness?  Do I have to blurt out everything I am thinking, even though it is true? I have learned that it is a quality that can cause much harm. Sara Avant Stover suggests we do our shadow work daily, in private. She offers some powerful questions like: “What do you fear is the worst that could happen if you allow the world to see who you “really” are?

Sara shares a wonderful chapter on PMS and your hormone cycle: comparing the moon with the womb. I remember when I used to suffer through my periods and how that changed once I started eating natural food. Stover compares the seasons with female hormones. She offers encouragement to accept that you are not the same everyday and to allow yourself a period of recovery. Look at PMS as a message from your dark side. Notice signs and synchronicities. Say no. Dive into your anger: write down the reasons for your irritations, embrace the power of your aggression even have a conscious temper tantrum. Turn on music real loud and get it out!

Journey of the Heroine: the Initiation

“The feminine journey is about going down deep into soul, healing and reclaiming, while the masculine journey is up and out, to spirit.”

Maureen Murdock

Ever since I dreamed -with a couple of friends of mine- my way trough the Red Book I have been contemplating my own initiations. This culture has not got many… Going to school for me was such a pleasure, I felt real grown up and intelligent. My next initiation was getting my period for the first time. It was not celebrated. My sisters told me that I had to suffer this until I was about fifty. That did not seem like fun. Next initiation was my first kiss. I liked that a lot better than my former initiation. Looking back, I regret that our society has stopped initiating children.

Sara Stover writes about meeting the Dark Goddess, talking with her and asking permission to return to the light: “..Slowly walk toward the Dark Goddess. Ask her if she got anything she needs to tell you before you leave her domain“. This part of the book illustrates that the journey of the heroine is the opposite of the journey of the hero. The hero needs to balance his male and female sides so the journey goes down and up again. The journey of the heroine is a spiral: she goes round in circles and circles, but in each return she has changed. If you look at the story

Emma Swan and her son


of Emma Swan in the series “Once Upon a Time” you see a lady who has to believe in magic, learns to believe in herself, and finally descends to become the Dark One. All the time, like any modern-day Goddess, being the mother of a single son.

Journey of the Heroine: Ascent

Almost every woman I know, including myself knows that she must hide her sexuality. But sexuality is one of the core elements of the goddess. She is fertility. She is seduction. So how do we get that sparkle in our eyes back?



Sara gives a few tips, most of them are very obvious: sleep naked, dance, take care of your appearance. Dress like a goddess.

Journey of the heroine: homecoming

You went on a journey, visited the dark places, enlightened the flame, and now you must return. Same old place, same old rules, new you. You are no longer a girl. You are a Heroine. “We live forever together -mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. We believe in you”.
I hope you have enjoyed the journey…

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