On 10/2/11, I delivered a 90-minute presentation at Imagery International’s annual conference. My topic was Using Guided Imagery To Overcome Creative Blocks. In it, I mapped eight stages of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey onto the creative process. To illustrate the eight stages, I shared a tale from The Odyssey, I discussed how each stage relates to the creative process, and for each stage I shared questions for reflection, and explained one or two imagery techniques that I find helpful. I will post notes from my presentation in parts here. Click here for the series of entries.
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Working with an image that reflects the stage of the Hero’s Journey that most speaks to you
This activity requires a large selection of images. You can pull images from magazines, or use a deck of cards that includes a variety of images, e.g., a Soul Card deck, a tarot deck, or an oracle deck.
Consider a creative project in which you are currently engaged. Choose an image that symbolically reflects which stage of the Hero’s Journey most speaks to where you are in your creative process.
After you have selected your image, respond by freewriting. You might consider the following prompts:
- Describe the image.
- What detail stands out when you first look at the image?
- What is the first word or phrase that comes to mind when you first look at the image?
- What is the core feeling you get from the image?
- This image reflects the ______________________________ stage of the Hero’s Journey because….
- This image is encouraging me to think about….
- This image is reminding me that….
- This image expresses my fear or hope that….
- If this image could speak to me, it would say….
- Does this image suggest a helpful action step?
- Write a line of poetry, between 9 and 13 syllables long, that comes from your exploration of this image. (Adapted from Terry Gilmaster Ebinger’s dream work exercise.)