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“:

Buy this book and support Mindfunda


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”


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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Wanda Burch about her book “She who Dreams” so sign up and don’t miss it.

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Myth Stories: mythological musings #2

Mindfunda wants to thank Hezekiah Condron, who directed The second life, Better days, and "The INVITATION" for his comments on this blog.

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 4 blogs

Your mythic life
Myth Stories

In the family I grew up in, we used to sit around the table while my father, a high school principle, would talk about the Greek myths. The story that really charmed me was the one about how Athena was born out of the head of Zeus.

myth stories
birth of Athena

Athena, goddess of the sky, bright of mind, the favorite of her father: she represented all that I longed to be. Getting older (and hopefully wiser) now, I must admit that I am not always smart. That is painful. But true. But i always strived to be at the top of my class when I was a kid. And untill this day I am crazy about reading and books. My heart cab still jump up with joy whenever I receive a new book that will have that piece of knowledge that I felt lacking in my life.

Myth stories in films

Mythology is a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition of a group of people –their collection of stories they tell to explain nature, history, and traditions of a certain tribe (this definition is based on Wikipedia).
Mythology is not gone. It is all around you. In films, for example. Almost all of us are aware that Joseph Campbell’s concept of the hero’s journey has become a standard model for script writing. Nancy Duarte talks about it in her book Resonance.

mythic stories

If you buy Resonate using this link you will suport the good work of Mindfunda

“Great stories introduce you to a hero to whom you can relate. The hero is usually a likeable sort who has an acute desire or goal that is threatened in some way. As the story unfolds and trails are met with triumph, you cheer for the hero until the story is resolved and the hero is transformed. As author Robert McKee explains: Something must be at stake that convinces the audience that a great deal will be lost if the hero does not obtain his goal. The most simplistic way to describe the structure of a story is situation, complication and resolution. From mythic adventures to recollections shared around the dinner table, all stories follow this pattern.”

myth stories
Hero’s journey
picture by


Mindfunda explored mythological themes in films in an earlier blog post. The themes of love over gold (and mind over matter), the initiation of childhood into maturity, the issue of trust in a higher being or power, it are all familiar themes in films and series. This Mindfunda will talk about the most popular film and series launched in 2015 and discuss their mythological themes.
Looking at films and series along the journey of the hero alows you to appreciate a story on a whole new level. The picture above divides the hero’s journey in four stages and twelve steps. Take a look at your favorite story (or maybe your own story as I invited you to write it in mythological musings #1.

Myth story in Jurassic World

The best-selling movie in 2015 is Jurassic World directed by Colin Trevorrow. On it’s opening day, this film generated 82,8 million dollar in the United States.
The plot of the movie revolves around the genetic modification of dinosaurs. The Indominus rex was created in the laboratory of Jurrasic World, situated on Isla Nublar. The main reason for this genetic experiment is that people have grown tired from dinosaurs and something new had to be created to draw people in. But the Indominus rex dinosaur combines aggression with intelligence.  It escapes and starts killing. Being on an Island, there are not many places one can flee so the thread is imminent. The two main characters, Owen and Claire have the dinosaurs battle against each other. Finally the vicious Indominus Rex disappears into the lagoon in a fight with other dinosaurs.

myth stories
Jurassic World

Do you remember the myth story of Genesis? Eve reached for the fruit hanging on the tree of knowledge. Consequently she and Adam were thrown out of the Graden of Eden. Jurassic World also refers to this thirst for knowledge humans have. Scientific manipulation with natures laws is the greatest sin, a sin that leads to murder. Like Adam and Eve, Claire and Owen are thrown out of paradise. The water that has brought us life as we know it, takes back the mistakes of the humans.  The water in the lagoon swallows this vengeance and closes its surface again.

Another reference to the lost soul of current society is the fact that the film refers to the genealogical connection between birds an dinosaurs. Indominus Rex is bird-based dinosaur created in a lab. All birds are carrying much bigger chunks of dinosaur DNA than we are ever likely to find in the fossil record.
Birds are carriers of the soul. In a dream of Carl Jung, he saw a blond girl turn into a dove and fly up high. For him this was a symbol of the soul.
Jurassic World reminds us not to sell out our soul for technology. Because if we do, it will turn against us.

Myth story in series

Fear of the walking death is number 1 on IMDb’s list of most popular tv series released in 2015. The series is about a dysfunctional family: teacher Travis Manawa, Madison Clark a highschool, advisor and their children. Daughter Alicia and drug addict son Nick. They try to survive in the midst of an apocalypse. They face the beginning of the end of civilization. This is a well-known theme in mythology.
In Norse mythology, the end of the world is known as Ragnarok. The gods battle among each other, there is chaos and the universe burns. If you look at my interview with Ralph Metzner, author of the Well of Remembrance, you can hear him tell about the apocalypse.

Not only in Norse Mythology written down in the Edna also in the bible this theme is found. In the book of revelation, John receives a revelation of the battles preceding the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age.
The idea of a upcoming apocalypse has shaped our ideas and believes from the eight century B.C untill now. Human beings are deeply anxious about the future. The Book of Revelations can help people to give meaning.

To have a philosophical confrontation about human nature, that emerges in the end of all times can induce a stream of thought about human nature. Looking at the confrontations faced in the series fear of the walking deathyou are transported in a live threatening situation that confirms your basic fears about human nature and makes you hope that you will do better.

< Jumped in from elsewhere? Start at  part 1

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Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep! Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being.

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Mythological Musings: 2 Mindfunda’s to discover mythology in your own life

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 2 blogs :

Your mythic life
Myth Stories

Mythological themes in your mythic life

Personal myths structure our awareness and point us in the direction that becomes our path” as June Singer describes it in the foreword of the book Personal Mythology.

Personal Mythology

This book written by David Seinfeld and Stanley Krippner, might change the vision you have of your life and your role in it.
The writers invite you to look at your life as a fairy tale and to describe your role according to the hero’s journey. This blog will identify the steps you can take to start writing and re-writing your own story.

Mythological themes in stories

Films and television series: the hero’s journey has become a concept for any scriptwriter. Almost all of us know how the hero’s journey has guided George Lucas in creating Star Wars.

The Hero’s journey

If there is a film or a television series that resonates with you, there is bound to be a mythological theme hidden that will guide you on your path. If you look at the success of films like the Matrix or Sense8 you will know how alive mythological themes still are. We will also talk about some old gems and their mythological perspective like my fair lady and apocalypse now.

Gaming also uses mythological themes. In gaming you use an avatar while being present: a dream like state of awareness. In that way, gaming represents a form of awareness you also experience during dreaming: a third person’s perspective. You identify with the avatar/dream image, but you are aware that you are not your avatar. Stepping from this third person perspective of awareness into a first person’s perspective will broaden your horizon.

Mythological themes in culture

The culture you grew up in. every culture has its own sense of mythology. Most of us are familiar with the Greek and Roman mythology. we know the Greek and Roman names for several gods: Zeus for Jupiter and Hades for Pluto.
Ralph Metzner has told us how most Europeans and Americans are descendents from the warrior tribes that invaded Europe.

the well of remembrance

Having a horse and carriage gave them the chance to defeat the original tribes. The third Mindfunda blog will explore the different cultural mythologies.

Mythological themes to resolve crises

Crises: that is when you need the lessons of mythological stories the most. When you fall in love, leave your parents, lose a job, when you feel that the whole world is against you. We have all been there. Mythological stories tell about how sometimes you need some help from a magical creature. They tell you to look for the strength within. This blog will look at leaving home and becoming a (wo)man, about finding true love and about loosing your loved one.

Read on in Part 2

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Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep! Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being.

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What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.

(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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We don’t need another hero?


A long time ago a rather famous man wrote a book called: the Hero with a thousand faces:

A hero with a thousand faces
"The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the coordinated soul".

An eye opener for many. A standard book for therapists and individuals wanting to get to know themselves better. I love the book. If you have not read it already, please use the link above to get yourself a copy (and you will support Mindfunda).

The hero myth has become the standard for stories, scripts, films and presentations. Nancy Duarte wrote an excellent book about it, using the ingredients of the hero myth:

Resonate Nancy Duarte

In a common story the hero is somebody you can relate to. An ordinary person living a rather ordinary live, being confronted with everyday trouble. Usually the hero is a man. After the introduction of the hero (remember that in most of your dreams YOU are the hero) he gets a calling to resolve a problem that affects whole of his tribe. In shawshank redemption an innocent man is thrown in jail. We feel for him. We resonate.
After getting setbacks, a helper appears. He has wisdom beyond compare and at first he eases the hero. Remember the Matrix? Neo didn’t think he was the one.
But his helper the wise Oracle knows.

In the modern series, often the hero is a rather autistic guy. He is really good at one thing. Excellent at one thing. But bad at relationships. His helper is usually a male or female he has no interest in for a mate. Take for example the series House.


His helper is Dr. Wilson. House does not want to solve problems for society. He wants to solve problems because he is good at it. He is very attractive for woman but does not have a princess to conquer.

Another series featuring a man with autistic traits is Elementary:


Here a descendant from Sherlock Holmes solves crimes with his helper Watson: only now is Watson being reborn in the beautiful actress Lucy Liu. Again, just like House he excels in one thing: deduction. And his aim is not to help society but just to do what he likes most. He is very attractive to woman but does not have a princess to conquer.

Both hero’s are very good with their minds, but lack social skills. What do you think? Is the Hero myth changing? Do we want to live our lives for us and not for the community we belong to? And if so, is that a good thing?

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