This is a time to listen and notice, this is a hero’s journey, our curious quest (ala Joseph Campbell’s 12 steps), and CLN has called in the Fools tarot…
Through this journey we face the everyday world (1. Ordinary World), not knowing the journey that is ahead, this is where we get to know ourselves as human, our strengths and weaknesses, our capacities and capabilities; this is the opportunity to connect with our basic goodness and call in powerful allyship, building a relationship with self based on trust, consistency, and accountability and empathy.
The journey begins when we hear our call to action (2. Call to Adventure) such as: a direct threat to safety, family, way of life, and community; the call that comes after being a Sojourner through the soul, or after a long midsummers nights daydream, or the insight that leads to action after being in deep meditation and contemplation. Even though it may not be as dramatic as walking the line between life and death or stopping a catastrophe; a phone call, conversation, daydream or experiencing serendipity can throw into disarray, or cause turmoil in the comfort we feel in our everyday world and present a challenge or quest that must be embarked on.
Even though you, Hero, may be excited, even yearning to accept the quest, fear may arise that needs to be faced; your reservations and personal doubts connected to whether you are up to the challenge will often cause one to ignore or decline the call (3. Refusal Of The Call) and create suffering for yourself. The problem you are up against may seem too much to face and the comfort of home more attractive than the precarious path in front of you. This is a human response to uncertainty and this reality helps us bond more deeply with the reluctant Hero within.
Now comes a turning point, where guidance is needed and a mentor appears (4. Meeting The Mentor). The mentor might give you a sacred item of some sort, share insight into the dilemmas you face, share some wisdom or advice, lead you in some training or build up your self-confidence. Whatever the mentor brings, it is meant to dispel doubt and fear, bolstering your strength and vulneragousness to commence the quest.
Now you are ready to act on the call, to begin your quest. Whether you are going willingly or not, the threshold is ready to be crossed (5. Crossing The Threshold), and leaving the familiar for the unknown world is upon you. Maybe its time to do something you have been scared to do, maybe you are beginning your Fool’s Journey by pulling you first card or maybe you are diving into creativity unexplored; however the threshold presents itself, this action signifies a commitment to the quest whatever may be on the horizon; whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional or sensational.
Now that the comfort of the known is behind you, it is time for the internal and external struggles that come with new challenges, tests, and potential triumphs. There are many barriers, battles and saboteurs (6. Tests, Allies, Enemies) on this path – and you must overcome each challenge on the journey toward victory. This is a time to cultivate trust and discernment. You will earn allies and battle enemies, each in their own way helping to prepare you for the greater challenges yet to come. This is the stage where skills, powers, courage, and will are tested, and every obstacle faced will help you gain deeper insight into your character and deepen your empathy for humanity.
On your hero’s journey the inmost cave may represent a real place where danger exists, a neglected inner conflict, or an unexplored path (either internal or external); and as you approach the cave (7. Approach To The Inmost Cave) you must prepare yourself before leaping into the great unknown. At the mouth and/or threshold to the inmost cave you once again may have to face some of the doubts and fears that first surfaced during the call to adventure. This is often a time where reflection upon the potentially treacherous road ahead helps enkindle the fiery courage needed to continue down the obscured path. This temporary reprieve helps us understand the gravity of the ordeal ahead and escalates our feelings of anticipation for the final obstacle.
The Supreme Ordeal (8. Ordeal) can be a perilous physical test, inner conflict or crossroads that must be faced in order to keep mind, body and spirit together or your home intake. Whether facing your greatest fear or most deadly foe, you are called to draw upon all the skills and experiences you’ve gathered on this path to prevail. Only through “death” can you be reborn; this resurrection will bring greater power and insight, allowing for the fulfillment of destiny, while bringing you to your journey’s end. Everything you hold dear might be put on the line.
You have defeated your enemy, and now having survived death and having overcome your greatest challenge, you have found yourself transformed, emerging stronger and with a prize (9. Reward (Seizing The Sword)). The Reward may come in many forms: a sacred object of great importance or power, a secret, knowledge, insight, or reconciliation with a loved one or ally. Whatever the treasure, quickly put celebrations aside and prepare for the last leg of the journey (curious quest).
It is now time to head home (10. The Road Back), remembering the many steps that have come before, you k=now carry with you the reward, no longer anticipating hardship, the struggle has been replaced with honor, release, clarity and liberation. Yet the journey is not yet over, you may still face one last re-quest, choosing between your own purpose and a Higher Purpose. Home awaits your return!
The Final encounter (11. Resurrection), this is your final and most dangerous encounter with death. This moment is not simply about your own existence, the outcome has far-reaching consequences to the Ordinary World and the lives of those you have left behind. Failure will bring suffering, the weight of which rests on your shoulders. Now is the time to call in allies, those you can empathize and share your experience of hope and fear, while listening and being compassionate. Do not worry, you will succeed, emerging from your long journey cleansed and reborn.
You have made it to the final step of the Heroic Fools journey, with reward (12. Return With The Elixir) you have returned home, returned to those you left behind, changed, grown, filled with knowledge, new perspective and stories of dangers, death and hope for a new life. Your final reward may be literal or metaphorical, a cause for celebration, self-realization. an end to suffering and strife; whatever it is, it shows three things: change, victory and proof of having journeyed. Now others can find resolution, doubters will find new sight, enemies new challenges and allies will be rewarded. In the end-beginning you, Hero, will return home as – Creatively Liberated Nobility (CLN).