Dorothy’s Spiritual Journey in the Wizard of Oz: And how it can help you understand your Journey

I grew up watching the Wizard of Oz, in fact, it was my absolute favorite movie as a child. As I began my spiritual journey it became obvious to me this story is a telling of the journey we all experience as we begin to search for the Truth. This post explains the major symbols of the story of The Wizard of Oz and how they correspond with the stages of awakening as I have experienced them. I write this in hopes that it sheds some light on your journey (and brings some new meaning to the classic story).

Kansas/Dorothy’s first lesson- The story begins with a conflict, Dorothy’s dog Toto has bitten Mrs. Gulch on the leg and Dorothy wants to protect Toto, her loving companion. She pleads with her family to help her, but when Mrs. Gulch argues the Law would take the Dog away, her family agrees and decides Toto must go in order to be “right” and in accord with the Law. Dorothy sees this as morally wrong, and this is her trigger to begin to question what is right and wrong- in other words, question the reality around her. It was traumatic to lose her dog, and in her desperation, she began to look for another way- by quite literally running away once Toto returned after escaping Mrs. Gulch’s basket.

The Rainbow- Dorothy singing about “somewhere over the rainbow” represents the veil between reality and illusion. She knows something feels amiss in the place she calls home and feels the pull to see or experience something beyond her current experience. This also represents her willingness to see things a new way, a vital step in the acceptance of Truth.

The Cyclone- The event that causes conflict within and pushes us to redirect and follow a new path. This usually feels chaotic, uncontrollable, and can be painful but does not need to be experienced as such. Ultimately, this is the unforeseen event in our lives that literally forces us down a new path as we begin to reassess our life priorities and what makes us happy. The cyclone for Dorothy brings her to Oz to begin her journey of discovery.

Munchkin Land/The Munchkins- The state of innocence represented by our childhood. This can be described as an ideal state, one in which we are quick to forgive, do not judge, are in constant wonder and awe while joyfully experiencing life. At the beginning of our own journeys we often revisit childhood memories to remember a time of joy, simplicity, and innocence- a time before we learned the ways of the “reality” of the world, when we knew what was, as the munchkins describe: “morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely . . . True!” We now desire to return to this innocence and feel the certainty of truth, but first we must undo, unlearn, and let go of the limiting beliefs we have since childhood held to be true.