One of the first questions I'm likely to ask a client is "Can you remember your favorite story from your childhood?"
I ask this question because the answer usually offers rich insight to a person's ongoing mythology. Take a moment to remember. In the meantime, I'll offer a brief personal example:
For me, many elements of the Alice in Wonderland story continue to play out in my life. Compelled by curiosity, I've studied the book and have visited Lewis Carroll's original manuscript at the British Library in London. I have seen the Disney animated version countless times and I'm also a big fan of both Tim Burton films. Although, the story has obvious political and social connotations, it is the psychological and mystical aspects that serve my examinations here.
Firstly, like Alice, I am a single girl who asks lots of questions. I'm best when I'm traveling alone.
I have spent a great deal of my life falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. Something will peak my interest and I dive deep in an effort to gain greater understanding of it. This could be an idea, a book, a song, a personality... Usually these forays lean towards the mystical and I often find myself emerging from the depths with more questions than I dove in with! However, this never deters me from diving again and again...
Like Alice, I've spent time in altered states of consciousness. While in these states, true communion with flora and fauna have occurred. It's through these experiences that I've gleaned the knowing that nature is as well aware of me as I of her. My personal working theory: Nature is wise and fierce; yet loving and kind. She says, "You aint seen nothing yet, kids"
Finally, in the Burton adaptation, Alice must slay a dragon and defeat the Red Queen in order to save Wonderland. This is a classic motif in the 'monomyth'- the model of story deemed The Hero's Journey by the brilliant mythologist, Joseph Campbell. (There is also a lesser known Heroine's Journey model offered by Maureen Murdock that speaks more to the feminine psyche).
The slaying of the dragon is the facing down and overcoming of our greatest fears. This is a battle I have fought countless times in my lifetime. I'm happy to report that, although usually harrowing and often times a close call, I return to myself, victorious...
Fun stuff, right ? Have you thought of your story yet?