Quest Cycles Applying the Hero Quest to the crises in our lives Linda S. Griggs


I never got to work with papier maché or clay as a kid,
so it was surprisingly fun and freeing to play around with these "tactile" arts as part of my Hero Quest.


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  • Amazon
  • wild woman
    Wild Woman
  • life/death dance
  • wake up
    Wake up Call



Amazon Warrior (2007)

I made his papier maché figure as part of a doll workshop given by Kat Van Hammen. She represents me on my Hero Quest with breast cancer.

The image of a powerful Amazon Warrior minus one breast emboldened me through surgery. Her sticks-as-hair represent my post-chemo hair. And her splashy beads, red shawl, and rattles remind me to BE SEEN and HEARD as I continue on my quest.

wild woman


Wild Woman Costume

I made this costume as part of a "come as you were" party hosted by Karen Godfrey. I know this "Wild Woman" has something to do with how I was in a past life. I also know she is part of the authentic self my soul wants me to get back to through my Hero Quest.

The mask is one I'd made in a shamanic mask-making workshop several years before.

The cloak is an old deer hide decorated with beads and feathers and iron-on transparencies I enlarged from petroglyph paintings on cards by Geri Schrab of

I got the idea for this Wild Woman costume from Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, from which the following paraphrased description of my costume/alter ego comes:

My Wild Woman is my instinctive nature, my natural psyche, my innate, basic nature, my all-knowing soul. She is the “woman who lives at the edge of the world,” the wolf woman, the bone woman, the Great Woman, the Spider Woman, the Mist Being, my wild Dakini, “my river beneath the river,” my Life/Death/Life force.

She carries bundles for healing, and medicine for all things. She carries stories and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols. She carries everything I need to be and know.

She is intuition, the far-seer, the deep listener. She is fluent in the language of dreams, passion, and poetry. She is the voice that says, “This way, this way.”

She is from the future and from the beginning of time. She is in the future and walks backwards to find me now. She lives in the moment just before inspiration bursts upon me.

She is the one that tells me when I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, with exactly the people I’m supposed to be with.

life/death dance


Dance of Life/Death/Life

Karen Godfrey commandeered me to make these two papier maché skeletons for Day of the Dead. They were originally two separate figures, but once completed, they wanted to be dancing together.

My husband painted the black one, and I painted the white one. Together they represent the Life/Death/Life Dance we've been doing together since we started our breast cancer Hero Quest.

It takes both of them supporting each other for either of them to stand up, which I think is a pretty good metaphor for what everyone needs on a Hero Quest.

wake upwake up


Wake up Call: Pay Attention!

I made this clay figure in a Mexican Tree of Life workshop given by Mary Ellen McNaughton. This figure celebrates the wake up "call to adventure" that comes with a Hero Quest.

That wake up call is represented by the blue and white snake winding its way up to the bird nest on top.

This Tree of Life reminds me that I need to be ever vigilant on my Hero Quest. Instead of sleep walking through my life (like the sleeping yellow face at the bottom), I need to embrace every moment to make it exactly what I want it to be.

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