Today’s Art Journal Post: The Gatekeeper and Bird on a Teapot


I call this art journal page “The Gatekeeper.” Over the years I’ve become fascinated with the idea of the stages of the hero’s journey as described in the numerous works of Joseph Campbell and other teachers such as, Caroline Myss, Clarrisa Pinkola Estes, and many others who draw insight and inspiration from the wisdom of mythology.

I’ve come to believe that Campbell’s description of the hero’s journey is applicable to  both women and men and offers insight into the passages we move through toward self-realization or discovering our life’s purpose.  In the Hero with a Thousand Faces, these phases are separation, initiation, and return.

Once we accept the call to fulfill our highest potential, we enter a world of danger as well as the promise of initiation into higher knowledge.  But there is always a Gatekeeper, often a terrifying demon or shape shifter who tests the mettle of the candidate, who must pass tests before being allowed to proceed to the next level of the hero’s journey. In this collage, I chose a feminine figure to represent the Gatekeeper.

Art journal page - mixed media

Art journal page – mixed media

“Bird on a Teapot” represents the power of voice and speaking our truth. I imagine this bird as the part of me that needs to speak freely before being able to take flight. It represents the fifth chakra of the physical body’s subtle energy system. 

In this collage, the bird signifies the willingness to speak the truth in spite of consequences, to use speech as a vehicle to uplift, inspire, educate, sing, and bring beauty into the world. 

The heroine must become a spiritual warrior. … She must not discard nor give up what she has learned throughout her heroic quest, but learn to view her hard-earned skills and success not so much as a goal but as one part of the entire journey. She will begin to use these skills to work toward the larger quest of bringing people together, rather than her own individual gain. This is the sacred marriage of the feminine and masculine–when a woman can truly serve not only the needs of others but can value and be responsive to her own needs as well.

Maureen Murdock


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Filed under Mixed Media Art Journaling

One response to “Today’s Art Journal Post: The Gatekeeper and Bird on a Teapot

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