You’ve all seen the movie. As a child, I saw it as silly fantasy but still entertaining. In this writing, I am going to propose a different perspective, presenting the yellow brick road as a symbolic analogy for your path to a spiritual awakening. That spiritual awakening lies somewhere over the rainbow.
First of all, imagine the song we have all heard countless times as referring to creating our own reality. What you can dream, you can do.
That old woman who takes the dog is symbolic of wealthy elites controlling the lives and happiness of the less fortunate. Dorothy runs away from the mundane, her curiosity leading her to seek fulfillment. The storm keeps her from going back to a world where everything is controlled and leaves her on a new path toward enlightenment. After hitting her head in the first dimension, she hits her head again in another dimension and connects with an even higher plane. Here she finds the symbolism of her spiritual path, the yellow brick road.
At the beginning of that path, she meets her spirit guide, symbolized by Glinda the good witch. The munchkins celebrate her leaving behind the greedy, discompassionate and controlling old woman, aka the wicked witch of the east. The ruby slippers represents metaphysical gifts and the wicked witch of the West symbolizes everyone who tells you those gifts are to be feared. Awakening to your own spirituality and embracing the gifts you have will lead you down your path, your own yellow brick road.
There are many people who will offer guidance and send you in the wrong direction. The scarecrow demonstrates how confusing it can be finding your own path. He is symbolic of people who think more human knowledge of spirituality will lead them to fulfillment. Spirituality cannot be learned, it must be lived.
Spiritual awakening brings a deeper understanding of nature, symbolized by the trees talking and expressing feelings.
The tin man seeks compassion on his journey but does not understand that compassion is not something that can be given by another, such as the tin smith. Compassion must be discovered within yourself and shared with others.
The lion is an example of those who are afraid, seeking to instill fear in others to hide their own fears. When challenged with reason and compassion, their true nature is exposed. The courage he seeks is his perceived path to fulfillment.
Stopping to sleep in the field is symbolic of pauses in your spiritual journey when things happen too fast, or others try to hold you back as the wicked witch demonstrates. The merry old land of oz is a place where everyone is awakening and following their spiritual paths. Love and light, compassion and giving of themselves is the norm in this place. Those who are stuck in fear will send stronger messages when you reach this place, trying to get you to surrender and return to a where you can be controlled. King lion symbolizes the trappings of greed and temptation of using metaphysical gifts to achieve fame and fortune.
The powerful and fearsome Oz symbolizes human perceptions of what the creator is like. The fear he instills is symbolic of man-made religion. All fear must be overcome before transcending to a connection with the divine. This is represented by a final battle with the witch and her flying monkeys, who symbolize the control of those who are stuck in human attachment.
Another element of spiritual awakening is understanding of all creatures as living beings, capable of sharing compassion and communication. Toto’s role as a messenger symbolizes that communication.
There are many obstacles to overcoming fear and many people who will try to pull you back into their attachments. The closer you get to fulfillment, the more they try to pull you away because misery desires company. In reality, staying the course is as simple as standing your ground and believing in yourself, akin to throwing water on the wicked witch.
The man behind the curtain symbolizes religious leaders and their efforts to control your access to divine connection through fear and deception. He goes through a charade of giving each of them gifts that in reality, they already have. Once they see through the facade, the gifts they receive are symbolic of understanding that each of us are endowed with everything we need by the creator.
Dorothy’s spirit guide returns with the most important lesson of all, she had to learn it for herself. Many of those who help you along your spiritual journey will not stay. Goodbyes may be sad but everyone you meet, comes into your life for a reason.
As Dorothy returns to her mundane reality, she tries to explain her newfound feelings. The reactions of those around her symbolize the skepticism of people who have not found their way spiritually. Just as with Dorothy, you don’t need their understanding or approval. Let them live their lives and welcome them if the choose to accompany you on your journey.