Belly of the Whale

I blew the dust off my Joseph Campbell book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces to brush up on the different parts of the hero’s journey. One of the parts of the journey that caught my eye was Belly of the Whale. According to Joseph Campbell,

The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of conquering or conciliating the power of the threshold, is swallowed into the unknown, and would appear to have died.

What drew me toward this part of the journey was wondering the difference between belly of the whale and the road of trials. The difference is that the belly of whale for the hero is where the hero is presumed dead. There’s a bible story about a man named Jonah(which I think this part is named after). He is called to warn a city about their impending doom. Jonah, out of fear refused the call and tried to escape his calling on a boat. Buuuut then there’s an unavoidable raging storm. To calm the storm, Jonah tells them to throw him overboard, but they didn’t want to kill an innocent man so they tried to avoid it. Alas, there was no way Jonah was avoiding his calling or the storm, so to save themselves, they throw him overboard. As soon as he’s overboard, the storm calms and Jonah’s God has a fish swallow him for three days. Thankfully, Jonah gets another chance to answer the call when the fish spits him onto dry land which Joseph Campbell would call his rebirth.

I find Campbell’s work super inspiring. It makes me wanna keep writing.

Published by Jayne

Jayne is a writer. On her free time she likes to be with her family hiking outdoors and traveling. New England is her home and place of birth. When asked what she wants to teach the world she replied, "Don't stop searching. Too many times, in my old life, I put my search aside for more 'important matters.' I didn't realize the thing I was searching for held what was most important; my soul purpose." Jayne works daily improving her craft and at times can get down on herself, but her favorite morning mantra is "It's a new day." and that's what she strives to start with.

2 thoughts on “Belly of the Whale

  1. Hello, I too am a writer of sorts. I have been trying to set up a blog and not doing so well so I am impressed with yours. I am using WordPress.com. Anyway, great post. It made me think about a lot of things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to WordPress! Glad to know my post made you think! I’ll have to take some time to check out your page. You’re welcomed to contact me with any blogging questions. I’d be happy to answer them if I can

      Like

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