What to Pack for a Hero’s Journey

A Hero’s Journey is the experience, the expedition that we go on physically, emotionally, and spiritually that changes us forever.  It encompasses all three aspects and, only when it encompasses all three, when you step out from who you used to be into a different experience, only then have you completed a Hero’s Journey.

You can do a Hero’s Journey on purpose, you don’t have to wait for fate to throw you for a loop.

When you are on a Hero’s journey, you must pack light. There are only a few things that you really need to pack, and one of those things everyone needs is a talisman.


A talisman is a protective and (maybe even) a magical object. You are likely to keep it with you at all times.

What is your talisman on your Hero’s Journey?

A talisman is an object, usually made of natural materials and close to its natural state, that we imbue with power.   Talismans tend to be something elemental — of the earth. It can be a stone or something that was living at one point, a leaf, like a clover leaf, a leaf from a tree at your home, something that is petrified wood, or, amber, which sometimes has a living insect in it or some plant material in it.  A crystal. It will be an object that will help you “see” and one that will guide you home.  A talisman is representative of our connections — earth, fire, or water, something that represents the elements.

The talisman will serve to remind you that every stage has an end and the Hero’s Journey has an end, but It will also remind you that you are part of all that is and that you must have help along the way.

It really goes back to what the mythology shows:  that as human beings we all share consciousness. We are all part of it all; we are a living entity. Remember Bill Anders, the astronaut who turned around from his mission of taking pictures of the moon, and took a picture of the Earth from the moon? I love the Earthrise picture. It’s one of my favorite photographs.  Another astronaut, Edwin Mitchell, said at the moment he saw Earth from the moon, he realized that the Earth was one living organism and the only way that we could save ourselves would be to remember that –that we are all part of one living organism.

That’s why a talisman should be elemental. A talisman is a grounding mechanism; it is a reminder mechanism. It is an object that is a reminder of love.

My friend, Jana, said, “I am wondering why I haven’t one.  Should I have one?  I haven’t had a talisman for years and I have managed quite well without it, although maybe not as well as I would have done.”

You may say you don’t have a talisman, but I think that many people have one without owning up to it. A lot of times they say, “Oh, no, no, I don’t have one of those.” But they have a keychain they’ve kept for twenty years or a piece of jewelry that belonged to their mother and, even if they don’t wear it, they keep it with them all the time. There might be something that is lurking around your home or at the bottom of your purse or a bag. Something that you keep carrying  — an object that you can’t let go of.

While talking about talismans Jana remembered, “Well, I used to have a talisman of a different sort. The last one I had was maybe one or two years ago. It was a rose quartz, and it was in a little heart and it was for reminding me to take care of my own broken heart.”

There is everything right with keeping something reminds you to be your best self, reminds you of someone you love, or to love yourself.  That’s all a talisman is; it is a powerful reminder.  It doesn’t have any power in its own.  Its power comes from what it helps you believe about yourself.

A talisman connects you consciously to the Journey.

Clean Underwear

In addition to your talisman, I do think that certainly you must always have spare clean underwear. You never know when something will happen on your Journey, and you will realize, “Oh,wow! I need some clean undies after that!”

That’s all you need.  A talisman and some extra undies. One of the great lessons of the Hero’s Journey is that you truly have everything you need already.

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