Midnight in Rome
We threaded our way along the Via Dei Pastini, quietly dodging the late night revellers, walking in twos and threes, with purpose. We were on our way to a unique spontaneous performance. A once in a lifetime moment for us and for our as yet unsuspecting audience. As we rounded the corner onto the Piazza the sounds of music and hundreds of people talking and laughing hit us with palpable energy. We walked straight to the Pantheon and stood under the portico. As a young man with an electric guitar and amp was winding down his rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, we stood loosely in our choir ranks and found our note. As the crowds applauded the lone troubadour, we started to sing Ave Maria – first the women’s voices, then joined in canon by the men. A hush fell and the crowds gathered around, cameras hard at work capturing the magic of a spontaneous concert in an ancient temple on a hot Roman night in August. We sang like angels and the crowd roared their approval when we finished.
Day 16 and I am in Florence. This Journey has been epic in more ways than one. At times it has felt daunting. I came down with a viscious cold in the first week, arriving in Rome sick as a dog and needing a week in bed. What I did instead was spend two half-days in bed after gamely getting out to sight-see. As it was, I missed most of the things I had hoped to see in Rome but the Eternal City still compelled me to fall in love. I skimmed the Vatican Museum one day and did a walking tour of the old city starting at Campo di Fiore and ending at the Trevi Fountain on another. The heat and cobblestones made it feel like a true pilgrimage as I visited ancient sites that have attracted millions of people over the centuries.
We sang a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in Rome – a once in a lifetime experience and although I am not a Roman Catholic, the spirit of the ancients and the theatre and drama of the place and the rite moved me as much as it did any true believer. It was after a celebratory dinner that we marched on the Pantheon and gifted hundreds of strangers with our spontaneous a capella concert.
But before Rome there was London, Paris, and Charnay. Charnay is where I met with Marion at her beautiful home, a redone 200 year old stone farmhouse. We spent a couple of days sharing with each other the work we do and continued to devise our joint approach to our upcoming workshop: The Heroine’s Journey – She Finds Her Voice and Takes the Stage. The discussions were intense and rich. We continue by email and are excited about the process and how it is unfolding. The archetype of the Hero’s Journey transformed into the Heroine’s Journey is rich with layers of meaning that will speak deeply to women of all ages and stages in life.
Game of Thrones or Harry Potter – Archetypes Are Us!
The Hero’s Journey, or the Quest, is an archetype as old as time and is a metaphor for life itself. Traditionally the Hero’s Journey begins with The Call, a strong beckoning for an adventure that will bring about Transformation. Initially the Hero/Heroine ignores The Call out of fear or a feeling of inadequacy. Part of the Journey is the discovery of the power of The Call to dog us until we give in to its power and summon the courage to act. For each of us The Call and The Journey are uniquely our own; no two journeys are the same. For myself, I can’t say when I first heard The Call but I know when I decided to act and follow it’s direction. At times it feels like I have to remake the decision every day. At other times it feels as though I can do nothing else.
Once on the journey the Heroine meets her mentor. For me the horse has been my Mentor – by standing silently with me, always offering the gift of authentic feedback and demanding honest self-appraisal and courage. The Mentor’s role is to give the Heroine something of great value that will be required on the journey. It could be an object; it could be advice. Whatever the gift, it enables the Seeker to move on with courage and commitment to the Quest.
The Journey involves tests, overcoming great obstacles, and inevitably involves a crisis. These ordeals are necessary for the Heroine to be transformed and to make the Heroine ready to claim the Prize – the Elixir which has all along been the goal of the Quest. The Elixir or Prize may be ephemeral; it may be corporeal. It most likely will be the evidence for all to see that the Heroine has been transformed.
The Retreat is an arena for 8 lucky women to explore and share the story of her quest – her Journey. For each we will devle deeply into the archetypes that inform your own unique story. For each we will identify the ogres and trolls, the godmothers and mentors. Each will have the opportunity to claim the space that she needs to share her message for the world. Each will come away armed with her Elixir.
If you are a women who hears The Call – you should join us!