by Carol Abel

Women will draw doors where there are none, and open them and pass through into new ways and new lives.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Heroine's Journey

The Heroine’s Journey is the journey that adventurers undertake with le Enchanteur (Heather Blakey’s alter ego) at the Soul Food Cafe. The Heroine’s Journey is an important soul journey and is steeped in Goddess Religion, Mythology and folklore.

Under Enchanteur’s guidance travellers wander the Lemurian Silk Road and undertake labours under the guidance of people like Baba Yaga, the Russian crone who Clarissa Estes Pinkola made famous in her book ‘Women Who Run With Wolves’.

By the time they reach The City of Ladies and find the elusive Cave of the Ancients these travellers have a clear sense of self and a very distinctive voice.

For information contact heatherblakey at dailywritiing dot net with the subject heading ‘Heroine’s Journey’ Introduce yourself and explain why you would like to join and what you can offer while in residence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many people a sanctuary is a place of order and tranquility, a retreat from the disharmony of the world. For others it is a place to be creative, to seek meaning in life, to do the work of transformation that, at times, calls for a descent into pain and chaos.
The sanctuary provides a safe place to dance with the devil, to embrace lurking shadows on hallowed ground.”

~Laura Cerwinske

J is for Journey - Welcome to Lemuria

Lemuria is a land of mystery. It is an idyllic sanctuary for writers and artists. For many centuries the idea of a lost continent, having once existed in the space now occupied by the Atlantic Ocean, was expressed frequently. Generally it is now considered to be merely a legend, without any scientific foundations. However it is almost certain that at one stage there was far more land than water

When you walk through the doorways you enter another world - the world that once occupied this space. In this space it is common practice to resort to concentration and meditation when in doubt, or in search of new knowledge. Instead of turning automatically towards some printed books, newspapers or human specialists, here in Lemuria you do not have to accept the dictums, principles, theories, ideas, personal conceptions or beliefs of supposed authorities. Here you can write for the sheer sake of writing. You do not have to have the goal of publication in mind. There are no judgments or critiques.

Here, within the walls of Lemuria great emphasis is placed upon the value of meditation and concentration in helping writers improve their craft. Here in Lemuria it is possible to attune with the cosmic mind and comprehend, understand and interpret impressions received. In Lemuria it is possible to concentrate your attention and wait for an impression. Here it is possible to communicate with animals and trees in their own language. In Lemuria you are close to the creative force that poet's have called divine.

Within the walls of Lemuria the sixth sense is valued. It is a commonplace attribute. Just as the artist can be trained in seeing, a musician trained in hearing, a wine expert trained in tasting, the writer who lingers in Lemuria will gather knowledge that has been passed down through the generations. The writer who takes up residence in Lemuria will develop the sixth sense by simply permitting themselves to be, by practicing and perfecting their skills on a daily basis.

Packed and ready with some vague sense of what lies ahead. I have put my faith in the enchantress to not lead me into anything but adventure and warmth of friends. Trust has to be put somewhere. To laugh and dance, that's what I'm looking for.
Aletta Mes

Seeking Ithaka

Ithaka was the island home of the legendary Greek hero, Odysseus. After his involvement in the Trojan War, Odysseus spent ten years wandering. During these ten years he had adventures, underwent numerous tests of his courage and arrived home a different person. Like so many things from Greek Mythology, the odyssey has become etched into our psyche, having come to mean a long, transformative journey. The epic Star Wars is a fine example of renovating this heroic theme and many writer's describe their personal journey as an odyssey.

In the poem Ithaka C P Cavafy emphasizes the immense value of individual experience. According to Cavafy, angry Poseidon, the savages and the Cyclops do not really exist or, if they do, they only exist in the mind of the individual. Ithaka itself is simply an excuse for a long journey. It is all about the journey. There is no hurry and you cannot get lost for there is no destination. Rather you arrive where you are meant to be. The journey itself is immensely important. On your way you may acquire: Mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, And sensuous perfumes of every kind but the journey itself teaches you what Ithaka is.

Cavafy's poems are significant because he seems bent on demonstrating that it is not the great, completed accomplishment, or successful quest, which is of importance. Rather the importance lies in the first steps taken or the incidents along the way. In his poem 'The First Step', Cavafy describes a young poet complaining to Theocritus that:

It is two years now that I have been writing
And I have finished only one idyl

The young man suggests:
from the first step here where I am now
Unhappily I shall never go up.

Theocritus replies:
These words of yours
Are unbecoming words and blasphemous
Even if you are on the first step of all
You should be happy and proud of it.
Here where you are is not a little way
The so much you have done is a great glory.

When, as an aspiring writer, you set out for Ithaka you take that first step. By taking the first step you set yourself apart from the mass. It is the experience, the journey, which will change you.