Teaching Support Materials

I gave my first webinar which is available for free at mwp.com under online learning. If anyone wants to tell me how to post the powerpoint slides here I will.


I created some course notes and exercises for anyone who wants to introduce the ideas of the Virgin’s Journey to a class.  I hope they are helpful.

The Virgin’s Promise           Course Outline

By Kim Hudson


This Course Outline is designed as a companion to The Virgin’s Promise which introduces a new story structure in the way that Joseph Campbell introduced the story structure for The Hero’s Journey.  The Hero archetype is on the journey to be brave, strong and rugged through a self-sacrificing journey which teaches the ability to make your way physically in the world.  The Virgin archetype is on a journey to follow one’s creative, spiritual and sensual instincts through a journey towards self-fulfillment which grounds a person in self-knowledge and brings it to life.  These are universal themes in storytelling.  This course material is designed to support instructors in making the concepts come alive in their classrooms through handouts, ideas for discussions and film clip examples.

Course Objectives:

As a result of this course students will deepen their understanding and application of:

–       why archetypes are important for screenwriting;

–       the ability to recognize a new story structure (the 13 beats of the Virgin archetype);

–       film analysis;

–       the 12 core archetypes essential to writing character journey development;

–       how the Virgin and Hero journeys differ, giving more options for storytelling, and

–       the Virgin structure in Fairy Tales.

  1. Archetypes in Storytelling

Humans are said to be drawn to archetypes for direction and meaning in life.  They emerge naturally through storytelling as creative people pull them from their unconscious and they give the receiver a tingle of resonance when in contact with them.  It is why every culture on the planet has stories.  We are drawn to these universal journeys and want to see them repeatedly in a thousand different permutations.  For example, there are Cinderella type stories in China, Japan, Europe and many other countries.

Archetypes are energy looking for a physical form to occupy and come alive through.  A character can embody different archetypes from time to time or several at the same time.  This is part of what makes them interesting.  Most often a single character will follow the journey of the Virgin or the Hero (or another key archetype) throughout a story.

Women and men, boys and girls can be Virgins and Heroes.  As in yin and yang theory we all have a masculine and a feminine side.  I use ‘her’ for Virgin and ‘he’ for Hero and ask the reader to recognize this as a reference to their feminine and masculine self.  This avoids the awkward use of her/his, etc.

  1. The 12 Core Archetypes

Theoretically there are characters that repeatedly recur in stories.  They are based on 12 core archetypes that writers instinctively call upon when involved in creative acts.  There are three feminine and three masculine archetypes that represent the beginning, middle and end of human growth. Each has a shadow side making a total of 12.  The first level of growth is to have a relationship with yourself (Virgin and Hero).  The next level is to have a relationship with others (Mother Goddess and Lover King), and finally a relationship with the cosmos, things greater than yourself (Crone and Mentor).  These three levels of universal transformation could also be described as learning to trust yourself, learning to trust others and learning to trust the cosmos, or taking up your personal power, using your power with others, and releasing your power to the universe.  Here is a brief description of the essential nature of each of these core archetypes:

Virgin – born into a dependent world she needs to identify her personal dream or authentic nature and bring it to life.  The Virgin gains psychological freedom and self-knowledge (see handout list for movie examples).

Victim/Whore – detached from knowing who she really is, her personal boundaries are invaded or she is blamed for and accepts the sins of her community and is shamed (see Virgin Suicides where Lux assumes the role of a whore because that is what her mother projects onto her and she can’t see herself as separate from her mother’s opinion)

Mother Goddess – has the power to nurture and inspire and needs to find a home that rejuvenates her (in Chocolat Vivian inspires pleasure in the community and needs a place of belonging to avoid burnout)

Femme Fatale – uses her power over other’s feelings for personal gain (see Chicago where the wife manipulates her husband to do jail time for the man she murdered)

Crone – sees the growth people require and disturbs their life so they have to follow their true path (see the witch who comes to the door of the castle and turns the Prince into a Beast.  He must learn to love unconditionally and receive love in order to be turned back into a Prince in Beauty and the Beast)

Hag – refuses to accept her life is finite and while trying to ignore this fact she blocks other’s attempts to grow (see An Education where David is a Hag who manipulates the Virgin to avoid feeling old or not good enough).

Hero – wants to save and provide for what is good in his community and learns he can survive in the physical world (see Matrix when Tom Anderson learns he has been living in a false reality and the real world needs his help)

Coward – controlled by fear and believing he’s unable to fend for himself, the Coward wants to secure food, protection or comfort from others (the Bully character who murders his friend for money and then goes after the wife in Ghost with Demo Moore or Heath Ledger’s version of The Joker)

Lover King – uses his powers of discernment, justice and protection for the good of others; learns to allow his heart to exist outside of himself (see The Incredibles when Mr. Incredible believes his wife and kids are dead as he is in chains and it is the ultimate hardship – harder than facing his own death)

Tyrant – uses his power to create an atmosphere of transactional power and control of others through fear.  He is focused on personal gain when interacting with others (see The Godfather when Don Corleone expects to gain more than he gives in every interaction)

Mentor – seeks to take his wisdom and wealth and endow it to a worthy person who can continue his good works (see Star Wars and notice the intention of Obi Wan Kanobi as he seeks to release his power)

Miser – decides he will isolate himself in order to protect his accumulated pile of wealth and knowledge and deny the imminence of death (see Oliver where Finnegan decides to abandon the boys in order to get ways with his jewels)

Exercise: In small groups of identify each of the core archetypes in movies you have seen.  Share your results with the group.  Notice how memorable they were.

Exercise: As a class brainstorm other names for the essential nature of each archetype

Virgin, Princess, Maiden, Rebel, Magical Child

Whore, Victim, Slave, Sad Clown

Mother Goddess, Healer, Storyteller, Samaritan, nurturing father

Femme Fatale, Wicked Step-mother, Spider Woman

Crone, Fairy Godmother, Jester, Trickster

Hag, Cougar, Saboteur, Lecher

Hero, heroine, adventurer, rescuer

Coward, Bully, Eternal Child

Lover King, Warrior, Good Queen, Mediator, Angel

Tyrant, evil queen, dictator, unfaithful spouse, bigamist

Mentor, Wiseman, Benefactor, Philanthropist

Miser, Spinster, Hermit

  1. The 13 Beats of the Virgin Journey
    1. Dependent World

Every human is born dependent on others for the first 15 to 20 years of life.  The way a person experiences that dependence may be strongly one of the following:

  1. Material survival – About A Boy, An Education
  2. Social convention – Bend It Like Beckham, Whale Rider
  3. Need for protection – Brokeback Mountain
  4. Need for love/belonging – Billy Elliot, Black Swan

In this beat the protagonist will have a glimmer of who they naturally are and work to suppress it or hide it in order to belong to their group.

Recommended film clip: Whale Rider – The New Zealand community is suffering from lack of traditional leadership.  The granddaughter, Paikea, feels a pull to follow the traditional ways but the leader has always been male.  Paikea is dependent on her community for a sense of belonging which is very important to her.  This community has the social convention that only males can be clan leaders.

Legally Blond – Elle is obsessed with marrying someone and being blond.  Yet when a sales clerk tries to rip her off we see a flash of her potential as a lawyer.

  1. Price of Conformity

In order to belong or be safe the Virgin adopts a belief that requires her to supress or be unaware of her gift or authentic nature.  This belief causes her to:

  1. Sleep through her life – An Education, Legally Blond, About a Boy
  2. Agree to Live within Restrictive Boundaries – Bend it Like Beckham, Shakespeare in Love
  3. Live a Life of Servitude – Ever After, Black Swan
  4. Subject herself to psychological danger – Black Swan, Fight Club, Virgin Suicides

Recommended Film clip: The opening of  Fight Club does a good job of showing the oppression the Narrator feels from the impersonal nature of the world he occupies and how he longs for the feminine internal journey to be authentic (great image of him being hugged by Bob – the male with breasts who embodies the feminine principle).  The price of conforming to society in Fight Club is loss of connection with self.  This detachment of self in order to conform to society makes life feel extrinsically driven and meaningless.

  1. Opportunity to Shine

There is a moment where the Virgin gets a taste of what it would be like to allow her true nature to shine.  This moment can be:

  1. Directed by fate – An Education (a guy happens by), Fight Club (Dr. sent him to a group)
  2. Actively pursued – Working Girl (pitches her idea when the boss is away), About A Boy (he’ll look good next to deadbeat dads)
  3. Wish fulfillment – Freaky Friday, Fight Club (creates a persona he can use to make his fantasy real)
  4. Response to someone in need – Ever After (servant sent to Americas), Mulan (father called to war), The King’s Speech (England needs a leader)
  5. Pushed by the Crone – Beauty and the Beast (Beast is cursed by a crone), Billy Elliot (Dance instructor dares him)

Recommended film clip: Jerry McGuire – Opening credits to the point where he brings his manifesto to the printer takes us from the Dependent World where he must ignore human needs to make more bucks, the Price he pays for Conformity (he doesn’t like himself), to the Opportunity he seizes to give his better self a tangible form (writing his vision).

Exercise: In groups of 2 or 3 create a treatment for a Virgin story.  Write a paragraph on each of the first three beats creating a dependent world, the price of conforming to that world and an opportunity to break out of it.  You may want to think about your life and the type of dependent world you are in or have experienced as source material for a story.  We all have them.  Share the stories with the class and notice the huge range of stories that comes from the same structure.

  1. Dresses the Part

This is a joyful and playful moment but it is not frivolous.  It is a magical moment where the Virgin takes the dream that is inside her and gives it a tangible form.  The Virgin must know her sources of playfulness and her ability to make herself feel good before she can go to the dark places of her journey.  It’s like a safety rope she establishes so she can always pull herself back to a joyful place.  Self-care is the most basic form of self-knowledge and creativity and the lifeline that can pull the Virgin back from the depths of despair.  This is in high contrast to the hero who learns to deal with pain and discomfort by focusing on the end goal.  The Virgin gifts herself frequently along the road to find inspiration and joy as a guide towards meaning in life.

  1. Becomes beautiful – Strictly Ballroom (Fran has a makeover)
  2. Has a fashion show – Pretty Woman, Maid in Manhattan
  3. Receives a physical object – Billy Elliot (ballet shoes), Bend It Like Beckham (soccer shorts)
  4. Undresses – Brokeback Mountain (follow the shirt through the movie)

Recommended film clip: Pretty Woman is iconic when she returns from Rodeo Drive having successfully purchased clothes that allow her true personality to shine (no longer only worthy of bums.  She later admonishes Edward for telling a friend she is a hooker when she is wearing her clothes that reveal her inner self highlighting their significance).

Exercise: what clothes would your main character wear that would express his/her true inner nature?  What symbol(s) best represent your protagonist (butterfly, lion, apple, moon)?  Create a collage of your protagonist`s style/symbols from magazine images.

  1. Secret World

The Secret World has some distinguishing features.  The Virgin must feel safe and loved in her Secret World.  This has been shown through brain mapping experiments to be a key feature in the human ability to be creative (Charles Limb Ted Talk).   The Virgin moves back and forth between her Dependent and Secret World, always fearful of discovery but joyful or authentic and growing in her Secret World.

While You Were Sleeping shows this with comedy, Shakespeare in Love shows it with dire consequences for discovery.  There is also an element of rebellion in keeping a secret for herself.  It is a moment of aligning with the values she chooses over the values other choose for her.  It is a crucial step of attaching to herself and developing an internal locus of control.  As a creative person she needs this.  The Secret World can take the form of:

a)    a Plan: About A Boy (pretends to be a single parent with Marcus), New Waterford Girl (pretends to be pregnant so she can be sent away and use her arts scholarship)

b)    a psychological state: Ever After (encouraged by feelings of love whenever she is with the Prince), Black Swan (creation of a delusion she can go to for the feeling of being authentic when her attachment to her Dependent World is too strong for her to create it in reality)

c)    a Physical Space, Brokeback Mountain, Billy Elliot, An Education find a place where people who know and expect things of them won’t frequent

Recommended film clip: Bend it Like Beckham shows how Jas breaks free of the constraints of her culture, and in particular her father’s decision that they will isolate themselves from British culture to avoid humiliation.  She is free to be herself when she is among her soccer friends and her family believes she is working (a physical space).  She is conforming to her family’s ideal of a good Indian girl when she is with them.  There is little room for her personal expression except as the whining of a girl or a poster in her room.

Exercise – in pairs of 2 discuss different ways the Secret World is created in several movies from the movie list (see handout).

  1. No Longer Fits Her World

This beat shows the first evidence that the Virgin has grown and is soon to struggle out of her protected world.

  1. Becomes reckless – Bend It Like Beckham
  2. Becomes confused – An Education
  3. Attracts attention – Maid in Manhattan
  4. Declares the Task too hard – Miss Congeniality

Recommended film clip: In Ever After, Danielle has been out late with the Prince and the gypsies and sleeps in (becomes reckless).  When confronted by her step-mother and step-sisters she tells them to get their own breakfast. She is recklessly ignoring the power they have over her as she begins to recognize her own power and rights.  She also attracts attention to herself as the Prince is inspired to his better self.

Exercise: Return to your small groups and expand your treatment of a Virgin story to include beats 4, 5, 6.

  1. Caught Shining

Eventually the Dependent and Secret worlds of the Virgin collide and the authentic nature of the Virgin is revealed to her kingdom.  The Secret World was meant to be a growing ground but not to last forever.  This is an uncomfortable time with a clash of wills and expectations.

  1. Grows too big
  2. Circumstances change
  3. Recognized by her dependent world in her secret world
  4. Betrayed

Recommended film clip: Shakespeare in Love where the boy who didn’t get the part puts a mouse down Violet’s shirt betraying her secret that she is a girl.

Exercise: ask students to identify which of the mechanisms is employed for making the two worlds (Dependent World and Secret World) collide from the movie list.  Can they think of other ways it could happen?

  1. Gives Up What Kept Her stuck

There is some belief that made it necessary or acceptable to keep yourself small or hidden from others.  This is what needs to be given up.  This beat is the most difficult aspect of the character’s transformation to identify and also the most important for engaging the audience.

Recommended film clip: In Ever After Danielle finally asks her step-mother if she has any love for her as a daughter, after the fiasco at the ball.  When her step-mother tells her she is merely a pebble in her shoe, Danielle accepts this information with a nod and is free to get on with her life.

Exercise: Look back at the Price of Conformity in your treatment.  What would be the opposite of the belief that was allowing the Virgin to conform to her Dependent World?  Be as specific as possible.  For example in Ever After the Price of Conformity is ‘if I am a servant to my step-mother someday she may love me. Beat 8 is that serving another at the expense of your soul will not earn their love.  In Legally Blond conforming to her culture meant she was targeting her life to catch a husband to provide for her rather than finding her true gift.  She needed to give up the belief that ultimately she is a dumb blond who needs to be taken care of.

  1. Kingdom in Chaos

Not only does the Virgin grow but the community needs to undergo a transformation.  This is one of the major distinctions from a Hero story where the village is basically good and he is on a mission to preserve and protect it.  It is a time of synchronicities and chaos.

Recommended film clip: Sister Act has Delores at gun point while nuns are manipulating their way in the world and running all over Reno mingling with the sinners.

10. Wanders in the Wilderness

The Virgin has to separate from her past ways of thinking and emotional attachments before she can change.  This offers a new point of view: detached from the old ways and unclear of what the options are for the future, the Virgin pauses for a moment to think and experience what fills the void.  It is a time when the only choice is to look inside herself and decide what she wants from life.  She can no longer fit in the old world without consciously putting a part of herself in a box and she has no idea if there is a place for her authentic self in the world.

Recommended film clip: In About A Boy Will is no longer able to deny he wants connections with people.  He faces the pain of his father’s one hit wonder and realizes he is miserable as an island.  He is in his apartment on the floor in despair (Scene 17).

11. Chooses Her Light

The Virgin recognizes her locus of power is internal.  She must take action that is in alignment with who she is regardless of the external reaction to it.  This is the climax of her journey.

Recommended film clip: In Shakespeare in Love Viola decides to fulfill her dream of being on stage even if it means prison and family shame.

12. Re-order (Rescue)

This has more to do with the community’s growth than the Virgin’s.  She has grown into herself and is being rewarded with growth in the community to provide her with a place to exist in her authentic form.  This is the climax of the kingdom’s journey to change. The Re-ordering or Rescue must have two parts to be complete from the Virgin’s perspective.  Someone:

  1. Sees her value in her authentic form
  2. Is willing to sacrifice some aspect of themselves to see her connected to her to a community

Exercise:  Watch the point in Pretty Woman when the business partner attacks Vivian, Edward beats him up and sends him away and Vivian still refuses to accept Edwards offer.  Why did Vivian not stay with Edward?  What part of the Re-order was not fulfilled?  Do you agree that it would not have felt like a happy ending if she has agreed to his proposition?

13. Kingdom is Brighter

The kingdom realizes that change was necessary and people are happier now.  Chaos and change has made space for:

  1. Personal freedom
  2. Unconditional love
  3. Creativity, joy

Recommended film clip: Sister Act shows a revitalized community that is given the ultimate blessing of the Pope.  It goes on to show a photomontage of how the Virgin has made the kingdom brighter.  Legally Blond has Elle as the valedictorian and all students thinking about the importance of being true to yourself.

Exercise: What is the difference between the antagonist in a Virgin story and an antagonist in a Hero story?  Two major differences are 1) in Hero stories evil is bad through and through.  It must be killed, silenced or somehow diffused.  In Virgin stories people may be acting out of love for the Virgin and she may love them, but their actions are not what she wants or needs. 2) in Hero stories the villain doesn’t grow.  In Virgin stories the Antagonist grows out of love for the Virgin.

Fairy Tales

Virgin stories often follow fairy tale themes.  Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and the Ugly Duckling all are stories of a person needing to be true to oneself despite what others want.

Fairy tales have certain common features that give them their mystical properties.  Incorporating these features gives a fairy tale feeling to stories set in any time period.  Here are 15 of the features that distinguish fairy tales (adopted from Laura Kready’s 1916 book,  A Study of Fairy Tales).

  1. Fairy Tales are filled with aspects of family and familiar life.  They are set in the domestic realm that the protagonist is familiar with.  They don’t contain too much variety.
  2. There are descriptions (adjectives) rather than names for main characters – feelings as in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  3. There is a surprise – something unusual exists in the background of the normal.  A mystical child in everyday life.
  4. Everyday magic –wish fulfillment, dreams come true, magic beans, talking animals, nature revealing its secrets – imagination becomes real.  Things appear, disappear, change size, shape, orientation (the camera is a natural medium for capturing this as it creates a hallucination that is also a fact), protagonist summons hope/help from a mystical power.
  5. Must include things that bring joy such as music, food, sex, hugs, flowers, baths, jewels, clothes.
  6.  Love of the material “Beauty is pleasure regarded as the quality of a thing”.  “Pleasures of the eye and the ear, the imagination and memory most easily go through the alchemy of objectification.”
    1. R. Schenk The Soul of Beauty describes beauty as the coming alive of the senses.  The alchemy of making the soul visible.  The aesthetic is the opposite of anaesthetic – to be numb or asleep.
    2. Use of repetition such as book endings.
    3. Adventure as a curiosity as opposed to fear-based.  Novelty delights rather than traumatizes.
    4. Action for the joy of movement – dance, play, beauty, skipping, running as a form of beauty in motion as in horses.

10. Story builds through inner experience.

11. Humour  is a celebration of the human spirit as opposed to relief from tension of near death (embarrassment).

12. Celebration of the small.

13. Fairy tales are simple and sincere which suits the time frame of a movie. “Say what you have to say, what you have a will to say, in the simplest, the most direct and exact manner possible, with no surplusage.”  Flaubert.

14. Unifying effect – holding tightly to your central message. “When the soul comes in contact with truth and meaning, whenever it takes it home with more than common intensity, there arises a thrill of joy and a glow of feeling,” Shakespeare.

15. The central message must appeal to a universal emotion (the need to belong, the need to be authentic, the need for unconditional love).

Exercise: Read the story of the Ugly Duckling aloud, as it was originally told, and break into small groups to discuss the beats of the Virgin journey.  How many beats can you identify in this story from memory (archetypal elements are sticky in memory probably because they are accompanied by resonance.  It is useful to tell your story from memory to determine its archetypal elements.)

Can you identify the elements of this story that fit the fairy tale genre?

The Ugly Duckling (abridged  from Women Who Run With the Wolves)

It was near the time of harvest.  The old women were making green dolls from corn sheaves.  The old men were mending the blankets.  The girls were embroidering their white dresses with blood red flowers.   The boys were singing as they pitched golden hay.  And down by the river, there was a mother duck brooding on her nest of eggs.

Everything was going as it should for this mother duck, and finally, one of her eggs began to tremble and shake until the shell cracked, and out staggered all her new ducklings.  But there was one egg left.  A very big egg.   It just sat there like a stone.

An old duck came by and the duck mother showed off her new children.  “Aren’t they good looking?” she bragged.  But the unhatched egg caught the old duck’s attention and she tried to dissuade the duck mother from sitting on that egg any longer.

“It’s a turkey egg,” exclaimed the old duck, “not a proper kind of egg at all.  Can’t get a turkey into the water, you know.”  She knew for she had tried.

But eventually the big egg began to shudder and roll.  It finally broke open, and out tumbled a big, ungainly creature.  His skin was etched with curly red-and-blue veins.  His feet were pale purple.  His eyes, translucent pink.

The duck mother cocked her head and stretched her neck and peered at him.  She couldn’t help herself: she pronounced him ugly.  But when the ugly duckling took to the water with the other offspring, the duck mother saw that he swam straight and true.  “Yes, he’s one of my own, even though he is very peculiar in appearance.  But actually, in the right light…he is almost handsome.”

So she presented him to the other creatures in the farmyard, but before she knew it, another duck shot across the courtyard and bit the ugly ducking right in the neck.

The others did all they could to harass the ugly duckling.  The duckling was as miserable as any creature could be.

At first his mother defended him, but then even she grew tired of it all, so the ugly duckling ran away.  Feathers pulled out and looking extremely bedraggled, he ran and ran until he reached a marsh.

Toward nightfall he came to a poor hovel; the door was hanging by a thread, there were more cracks than walls.  Here lived a raggedy woman with her uncombed cat and her cross eyed hen.

The old woman felt lucky to have found a duck.  Maybe it will lay eggs, she thought, if not, we can kill it and eat it.  So the duck stayed and he was tormented by the cat and the hen, who asked him “What good are you if you cannot lay an egg and you cannot catch a mouse?”

“What I love best,” sighed the duckling, “is to be ‘under’ whether it is under the wide blue sky or under the cool blue water.”  The cat could make no sense of this being under.  The hen could make no sense of getting her feathers all wet.  In the end, it was clear there would be no peace for the duckling there, so he left.

He came to a pond and as he swam there it became colder and colder.  A flock of creatures flew overhead, the most beautiful he had ever seen.  They cried down to him, and hearing their sounds made his heart leap and break at the same time.  He turned and turned in the water until they flew out of sight.  Then he swam to the bottom of the lake and huddled there trembling.  He was beside himself for he felt a desperate love for those great white birds, a love he could not understand.

One night the duckling found himself frozen in the ice and it was then that he felt he would die.  Luckily a farmer came by and freed the ducking by breaking the ice.

From there he struggled on until he came to another pond, then another house, and an entire winter was spent this way, alternating between life and death.

And even so, the gentle breath of spring came again, and the old women shook out the feather beds, and the old men put away their long underwear.  New babies came in the night, while fathers paced in the yard under starry skies.  And on a pond nearby, the water became warmer and the ugly duckling who floated there stretched his wings.

Also paddling on the pond were three swans, the same beautiful creatures he had seen the autumn before.

What if they act like they like me, and then just as I join them, they fly away laughing? Thought the duckling.  But he glided down and landed on the pond, his heart beating hard.

As soon as they saw him the swans began to swim towards him.  No doubt I am about to meet my end, thought the duckling, but if I am to be killed, then rather by these beautiful creatures than by hunters, farm wives or cold.  And he bowed his head to await the blows.

But La!  In the reflection in the water he saw a swan in full dress; snowy plumage, sloe eyes, and all.  The ugly duckling did not recognize himself, for he looked just like the beautiful strangers.

And it turned out he was one of them after all.  His egg had accidentally rolled into a family of ducks.  And for the first time, his own kind came near him and touched him gently and lovingly with their wing tips.

And the children who came to feed the swans bits of bread, declared him to be the most beautiful swan of all.

Exercise: Discuss how the following are modern versions of Fairy Tales (see handout on Fairy Tales for Virgin Beats)

Little Red Riding Hood: An Education, Shadow of a Doubt, The Accused (warning: not for high school audiences)

Snow White: Black Swan, Precious, Pretty Woman

Cinderella: Working Girl, Maid in Manhattan, Pretty Woman

Ugly Duckling: Glee, Billy Elliot, Brokeback Mountain, Bend it Like Beckham

See kehudson.wordpress.com for fairy tale discussions.


  1. Comparison of the Features of Virgin and Hero Journeys
feminine masculine
everything has a purpose, a meaning everything is random, created by chance
consciousness and subjective reality highly valued scientific method and objectivity highly valued
joy / love driven fear management driven
creative, spiritual and sexual awakening strong, brave rugged
frequent gifts of inspiration final reward
being doing
meaning focused goal oriented
order arrives spontaniously from natural processes order is constructed and imposed
sorrow is the raw material of joy bravery is the raw material of fear
freedom duty
experience the moment ie.  sexual satisfaction from reported feelings of intimacy measure ie. sexual satisfaction can be measured by frequency
friends: people who care about you allies: people who share the same goal
eros logos
intrinsic motivators extrinsic motivators
domestic realm foreign land
inspire, change preserve, protect
creativity preservation
chaos control
universal principles of the subjective world: we each have an obligation to know thyself and be thyself; love is the power to be used for this endeavor universal principle of science
journalling fighting
self-fulfillment self sacrifice
new things, rebellion constancy, stability
belief in abundance preparation against scarcity
steps into the new preserves the old
receive small gifts that ignite their sense of self knowing and build their self esteem take tests just beyond what they knew they could do.  Self esteem is the ratio of expectation to success
flow immediate feedback is joy (sensual delight) flow immediate feedback is success (passes test)
creativity leads to increased self awareness challenges lead to skill development
harnessing psychic energy harnessing physical energy
now focused (love/joy) future focused (fear)

List of Virgin Movies (see kehudson.wordpress.com for more movies)

About A Boy                                      Rocky

An Education                                               Roman Holiday

Angels in the Outfield                     Shadow of a Doubt

Avatar                                                 Shrek

Beauty and the Beast                     Sister Act

Bend It Like Beckham                     Snow White

Billy Elliot                                          Some Like It Hot

Black Swan                                       The Sound of Music

Bollywood/Hollywood                     Stealing Beauty

Brokeback Mountain                       Strictly Ballroom

The Children’s Hour                                   Thirteen

Cinderella                                         Tootsie

Clueless                                            The Virgin Suicides

Dirty Dancing                                   Wedding Crashers

Erin Brockovich                                The Wedding Singer

Ever After                                          Whale Rider

Fight Club                                         Requiem for a Dream

The Full Monty                                 While You Were Sleeping

Heavenly Creatures                                    Working Girl

The King’s Speech                          Mulan

Legally Blond                                  New Waterford Girl

Little Miss Sunshine                                   The Other Boleyn Girl

Maid in Manhattan                          Pretty Woman

Miss Congeniality

 Virgin Beats Little Red Riding Hood


Beauty and the Beast

Ugly Duckling

Snow White

Sleeping Beauty

dependent world the good girl serves others adopts father’s values seen as ugly because different conditional love asleep
price of conformity naïve to her sexuality envy, want her soul imprisoned (fem lost) beaten and picked on jealousy exiled
opportunity to shine meets a wolf authentic self needed beast needs her love runs away mercy meets Prince
dress the part gramma gives her a red cloak fairy godmother gifts gown, pumpkin given gifts to show he sees her and values her love ugly with feathers plucked cooks and cleans like a mother/wife sings, dances
secret world I desire I work on my dream I have different values joyless edge of life and death lives with mini-men and knows safety and love awake to passion
no longer fits her world burns her clothes, pretends to be naive goes to the ball betrayed, lies sees beauty, reckless grows beautiful duty calls
caught shining in bed with wolf    (life threatening) dehumanized loss of father’s esteem confusion jealousy finds her, eats poison apple rebellion (follows her curiosity
gives up what kept her stuck GU naiveté, sexuality doesn’t make her bad self-neglect won’t earn me unconditional love I will risk loss of love to be true to my values I will risk death for beauty stops eating poison GU avoiding her destiny
kingdom in chaos
wanders in the wilderness stay or go be selfish or selfless others endure pain for me beautiful, don’t belong near death experience returns to sleep
chooses her light trusts her intuition, invites him into her house Self-fulfillment isn’t selfish I am of value separate and intimate ( I am grateful to mother duck awakens to true love shines with love

Note: kingdom’s journey not included (beats 9, 12, 13)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sandeep  |  September 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    In beat 12, apropos step 2.,

    If the Virgin has come through, i.e., found and validated her self-worth, why is it that someone else has to sacrifice a part of themselves to see her connected?

    Arguably, the material world of the story may be sum-zero, but is that material?

    Curious as to if this is just one way, or if this is a more fundamental rhythm in this beat?

    • 2. thevirginspromise  |  September 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Very thoughtful question. I guess my first answer would be because that is the pattern that arises. I don’t always know why it is but I can tell you in life and when people reach into their unconscious to write a story. Also the Virgin is about self-fullness and the Hero is about self-sacrifice and together they give a balance.

  • […] a similar vein, Kim Hudson’s The Virgin Promise (http://thevirginspromise.com/teaching-support-materials/) provides a thirteen step process from a feminine point of view. I used this in my most recent […]


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