Back to Inspired by... Symbols, Stories and Imagination

In our language, we make more use of metaphors then we are aware of. This seems to be part of the collective unconscious that allows images to be transferred to situations, processes and activities with similar meaning. We all know that some experiences or possibilities in life are difficult to express in ordinary everyday language. We often make use of metaphors to describe them. This helps us to explain the unexplainable. Metaphors also help to make connections between such experiences and our subconscious. They help to transfer knowledge that we already have deep down, to new situations. They are therefore great tools for learning new skills.

The metaphor of a journey is often used in literature and mythology, stories and fairy tales. Examples are Jason on his quest for the golden fleece, the journey of Psyche into the underworld to win back her beloved Eros, Alice in Wonderland or Vasilisa who goes to the witch Baba Yaga to ask for a coal to relight the fire. Joseph Campbell recognised the ‘hero’s journey’ as a basic pattern in mythology around the world. It can refer to both external and internal journeys, and is considered as symbol for transformation and sometimes resurrection, and always includes coming home… Natural elements of the landscape can also easily act as metaphors: a source of inspiration, a mountain to climb…


Metaphors | Symbols