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The Hero’s Journey Overview

The Hero’s Journey is a general narrative, a pattern coined by the American scholar Joseph Campbell which commonly appears in stories, myth, religious ritual, Hollywood blockbusters and your natural psychological development.

Yes it pertains to each of us as it describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the family, community, or culture.

The Hero’s Journey model enters one’s life in many different levels from the pursuit of an intimate partnership to the discovery of one’s highest life purpose when in the prime of one’s life.

There is evidence to suggest that one can be on multiple Heroes Journey’s at anyone time.

From the largest most significant journey represented in the awakening of infancy of one’s life, until the return home into the quiet release of death;

To the smallest most seemingly overlooked hero’s journey we can experience, that is represented in the awakening after a nights sleep and the walking into the unknown discoveries of a new day.

Modern society and culture has done its part to erode our ability to discover the unknown in a day, month, year or lifetime. But for anyone who still has eyes to see and ears to hear will undoubtedly have experienced moments in their life where there is an unknown magnetic pulling or calling to adventure taking place. I think the common terminology for this is ‘synchronicity’ that goes investigated.

Now it seems, fewer and fewer individuals take the sufficient action required to begin a true and unique heros journey, that it appears to be a dying part of everyday life as we move more and more into a ‘smart technocratic society’.

If you prove me wrong, i’ll meet you on the other side.


This Hero’s Story Overview – The stages are:

1. THE ORDINARY WORLD. The individual is uneasy, uncomfortable and/or unaware. is introduced through curiosity to an idea or concept that he or she can identify with for leaving the safety of the Home situation. Some kind of polarity in the individual’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE. Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the individual must face the beginnings of change.

3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The individual feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and resistance to the threats of change ahead.

4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR. The individual comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. Or the individual reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. The individual commits to leaving the Ordinary World, passes the point of no return, and enters a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.

6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES. The individual is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

7. APPROACH. The individual and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.

8. THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the individual enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.

9. THE REWARD. From the individual the hero is born, taking possession of the treasure won by facing death. There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.

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10. THE ROAD BACK. About three-fourths of the way through the story, the newly resolved hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home. Often as difficult as the road of trials, signaling the urgency to protect the treasure and danger of completing the mission.

11. THE RESURRECTION. At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of returning to the known world. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level. By the hero’s final death and rebirth, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.

12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR OF THE GODDESS OF LIFE. The hero returns home for a duration and/or commonly continues on the journey to bestow the treasure gained, that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.

The Stages are an adaptation of: The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
With so many successful movies using this story telling modality, its no wonder that a heros journey movement is appearing from people who recognize the similarity of their own journey’s within the typical hero’s journey.


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