Maureen Murdock’s book, The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness has stuck with me for a very long time after reading it. Decades. It is one of the instigators of my own book, Exploring the Magic of your Hero’s Journey. Although published in 1990 (wow, how time flies…) it still resonates today.
I believe The Heroine’s Journey is a “must-read,” for anyone looking for alternative reflections of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Murdock defines stages of the Heroine’s Journey cycle as “the specific psycho-spiritual journey of contemporary women.” Murdock will make you think. She will make you evaluate your own “femininity.” I see so much of my own journey in her cycle: I pushed back hard on what I saw as feminine: being a girly-girl, being chaste and demur. We have come a bit further in the thirty years since Murdock showed us this cycle — but just a bit. Seeing ourselves as female, feminine energy and ideas of womanhood have moved forward into the consciousness. What is female? It’s what I define for myself, I say. This belief is more prevalent as there is greater awareness of trans-sexuality and trans rights.
What still puzzles me about those who push back on feminism and trans rights, is why they don’t see that full human rights for all enhances and frees men and the masculine, too! Murdock shows those stages in her book. Read it. I know it will change your thinking.