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  • Tracy Flynn Bowe

Stepping Stones


The Witch's Forest - Emerging as the Hero in Your Own Life Story

In the most critical scene of Dorothy’s spiritual journey, Dorothy is captured and held hostage in the tower of the Witch’s castle, metaphorically separated from her helpers by her fear, while time is racing (the symbol of the hour glass). Here Dorothy faces not only the flying monkeys and the Witch, but the primal human fear, the fear of separation and death in a world of time. The fear of being all alone, vulnerable and running out of time stops many of us from expressing our truth and from living from the core of our being. But remember that the ruby slippers represent Dorothy’s soul, and no matter the challenges we face, we are never separated from this inner source of love, creativity, strength and power.

Just as Dorothy is confronted with impending doom, Toto, her intuition, once again reunites her with the internal strengths she earned on her spiritual journey. Toto leads the Lion (Courage), the Tin Man (Passion), and the Scarecrow (Focus) to free her from the tower. Now, freed from her fear and armed with the energies of courage, passion and focus represented by her three mythical companions, she is cornered again by the Wicked Witch. The Wicked Witch in this scene represents the last stand of Dorothy’s small self. The small self is the ultimate threshold guardian that resides within each of us. In this epic scene we watch the Wicked Witch goading Dorothy to give in to her deepest fears and powerlessness and to respond as her small self, as Dorothy, the small and meek.

But as the Wicked Witch threatens to destroy her faithful friends, Dorothy forgets her fear and boldly throws the bucket of water. Dorothy forgets her small self and acts instinctively from the power of her true Self. She acts out of love from the center of her being in service to her steadfast friend, the Scarecrow. In the face of sure death, Dorothy makes the internal choice to operate out of love, not fear, and it is that choice which destroys the Wicked Witch and the illusion of separation and death. As the illusion of the Wicked Witch dissolves, Dorothy takes her place as the hero and the once ominous guards transform into friendly presences and escort Dorothy safely back to the Emerald City. Metaphorically, through her act of heroism, she dissolves the illusion of separation and returns to her heart.

Through her travels and trials Dorothy learns that she must trust in and rely on her inner strength and wisdom. As the Witch melts before Dorothy’s eyes, she declares, “who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my wickedness.” When we risk acting from this deep interior place, from the authenticity of the inner Self in service, the results are always surprising. Dorothy’s act of inner truth dissolves the limitations of fear, the illusion of the Witch’s invincible power, and the illusion of herself as “Dorothy, the small and meek,” and she emerges as the hero of her own life story.

Weekly Stepping Stones

When in your life have you faced the powerlessness and fear of separation from others or death? When have you risked rejecting your fear and acting from your deepest Self? How are you being challenged to step into your hero Self and to live from the truth of your inner wisdom? If you chose to live from Love and not Fear, how might your life change?


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