The Hero's Journey / The Awakened Way

Hosted byLisa Garr

The Hero's Journey / The Awakened Way

About the show

Christopher Vogler is a veteran story consultant for major Hollywood film companies. His seminal book, The Writer's Journey, provides observations from his ongoing work on mythology's influence on stories, movies, and humanity. Vogler joined Lisa Garr (email) in the first half to discuss how he recently discovered that his Hero's Journey guide was really made for drastic, world-shaking times like these. In 1985, Vogler was working for the Disney Studios as a story consultant when he released a memo describing how most stories (at least the compelling ones) closely follow the concepts laid out in mythologist Joseph Campbell's book "The Hero With A Thousand Faces." The memo caused a sensation and led to Vogler's hiring as a story consultant for the wildly popular Lion King animated feature. He called Campbell's work "a great template for creating popular films" because of its universal pattern.

Vogler recounted a story of a "vision quest" he took in the mountains above Big Sur, California, where he became hopelessly lost until a voice in his ear advised him to "follow the path." By reading clues in the landscape, he was able to find his way back before dying from exposure. He said the experience taught him to "just keep going forward and trust this path you are on" and not "get paralyzed with fear." Volgler also sees the present state of the world and the COVID pandemic as a classic hero's journey because he believes we're being set on an (unwilling) "call to adventure." This tests our strength and resolve, but we will eventually emerge with opportunities to "set a new pattern" and receive "a payoff, a reward for it, for having confronted [our] fears."


In the second half, Suzanne Giesemann, the founder and teacher of The Awakened Way, spoke about working with higher levels of consciousness and how a personal family tragedy propelled her on a mystical journey that changed her life forever. Her stepdaughter, Susan, was struck by lightning and killed, which led Giesemann on a path to find out what happened and make peace with it. After a few years of meditation, she says she achieved communication with Susan, and also with a group of spirit beings or collective consciousness called "Sanaya." She now practices what is known as "evidentiary mediumship," which uses facts about deceased loved ones to establish that they are in contact with the dead by relating such things as "little habits and gestures" of the loved one. Giesemann believes that the recent flood of deaths from COVID-19 has caused the spirit world to accommodate larger groups passing to the Other Side.

The night of the interview was also Giesemann's birthday, and she reported that she received a visit from her beloved deceased stepdaughter, who she said "held my face in her hands like she used to." She referred to her mediumship and communication with the spirit world as a different way of relating to people than when they were alive. "It's not nearly the same as being able to hear their voice and feel their touch," but it is "better than no communication at all," she explained. Though Giesemann does not habitually make predictions about the future, she said that her guides told her during the show that "there will be a cure for this" (meaning the pandemic), but she could not put a date on it. In the last hour, Giesemann took calls from listeners and provided advice through consulting the spiritual realm.

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