Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hero's Journey Stage 11: Resurrection

Stage 11: Resurrection 

As we stand at the edge of the Threshold back to the Ordinary World, we must remember the folx on the other side have no knowledge of our experiences here in the Special World. They do not know that we have identified the characters who walk with us, the folx who guide us and those who lead us astray. They do not know we faced our Inner Shadows. They have no idea that we faced our dragons and let our old selves die. Our ordeals, death, and rebirth have all been internal, and in order for these to take root, we must cross the Threshold once more and return to the Ordinary World as our new selves.

The Hero has been reborn and transformed with the attributes of who we once were plus the lessons and insights of the journey. The resurrection is the final showdown, and the hero must emerge in such a way that their Heroic Status is proven to the Ordinary World. Often, this involves one final act of valor. In Star Wars, this moment is the final destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin (or Death Star 2 at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi). In The Hobbit, there are many such moments, depending on which character’s Hero’s Journey we are following. Allies may rise to assist in this final “battle” of sorts, but in the end, a sacrifice must be made by the Hero for the benefit of the Ordinary World.

In our journeys, this sacrifice is the key to the change taking root and becoming visible to others. It may be an external change in behavior, such as giving up alcohol or another controlled substance. It may be an internal change in behavior, such as a move toward open, honest accountability and more forthcoming communication with a loved one. Whatever the change is, it will feel far more significant to the Hero on a personal level than the Ordinary World at large, but those closest to the Hero will see these changes with a clarity that makes the journey relevant and accessible to them, as well.

As we think back on our journey this season, we recall our reward. The object one receives as they seize the prize is the key to the final test before the Restoration of the Ordinary can begin. As we light the eleventh flame, we begin the rebirthing process and return to the Ordinary World.

Guided Meditation: Breakthrough

In the light of the eleventh flame, breathe deeply and allow your body to relax.
Set aside your stresses and arrive, once more, in the garden,
The place where it all began.
The rising sun has crested into the fullness of late morning.
A light breeze plays through the leaves of all the plants in this beautiful, peaceful place.
You hear footsteps and turn to see your mentor approaching.
They sit next to you on the bench.
You are eager to show them your prize, the fruit of your internal labor,
But you find yourself hesitating.
As you peer into their eyes, you do not see yourself reflected there.
Instead, you see the swirling images you saw in the mirror in the cave
And the faint glimmer of firelight.
The face of your mentor begins to shift and change,
Revealing the face of someone you have thus far avoided: The Threshold Guardian.
He knows what lies in your pocket.
He is here to prevent you from leaving with it,
For his sole purpose is to guard the secrets of the Special World.
Both of you rise to standing. He is significantly taller than you.
Your mind begins to race, grasping at any idea to get you out of this.
Then, the spark of inspiration alights with you.
When he sat next to you, you saw the reflections of your Shadow within his eyes.
You saw the fire, the breath of the dragon, within those dark orbs, as well.
You stand taller at the sudden rush of the skills you have acquired to defeat this opponent
--Just as you have defeated the others.
You name your Shadows aloud, for naming them takes away their power.
At this, the Threshold Guardian seems to diminish.
You name your allies, those whose continued aid has contributed to your success,
And feel their power within you now.
He is definitely growing smaller.
You name your mentor and spirit allies.
He is shorter than you now, but his face is changing, growing angry and fuming.
Suddenly, his entire body begins to spin,
Raising a cloud of spiraling dirt and garden debris about him.
From within this maelstrom arises a new foe.
It looks like the lovechild of a dinosaur and a dragon,
Ancient, looming, and smoking at the nostrils.
Its breath comes in low growls as it grows taller still, casting the entire garden into shadow.
It takes a deep in-breath, and without hesitation, you pull your reward from your pocket and hold it up in front of you, facing the beast.
As the stream of fire reaches you, a dome of silvery protection surrounds you,
Like a shield wall of impenetrable energy emerging from your reward.
Twice, three times, the beast breathes their fiery breath at you,
But inside your protective shell, you remain safe and secure,
Even cool in spite of the apparent heat of the flames outside your dome.
You cup your prize in your hands and begin to focus your own energy through it,
Causing the dome around you to expand until it begins forcing the beast to retreat.
You concentrate harder. Nothing exists but you and your sacred prize.
The dome around you begins to glow and shimmer, as though generating light from within.
You feel the ground beneath you begin to shift,
and you realize a tunnel is opening beneath you, leading down and away from this place—
The Way Back.
Without looking up, you slip into the darkness of the tunnel,
feeling the warmth of the fire pass over the opening behind you
Before it closes and plunges you into darkness.
You have passed out of the Special World.
Your reward still in your hand. And you are safe.

As you open your eyes, meditate on the outward manifestation of your reward, and consider a journal entry for your thoughts.

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