Published on March 6, 2009
Joseph Campbell The Hero’s Journey
Step 1: The Call to Adventure Our hero is given his/her ﬁrst notice that everything is about to change; they are about to begin the adventure. They may not pay heed to the warning (sometimes heroes arenʼt the brightest stars in the sky), but the warning is given.
Step 2: The Refusal of the Call At this point, the hero balks at the call, refusing because of an obligation (real or imagined), fear of what the adventure may bring about, insecurity, sense of inadequacy, or for any other reason that keeps the hero from beginning his/ her quest.
Step 3: Supernatural Help Arrives Once the hero has overcome the call to adventure and the refusal and has committed to the quest (this committal does not have to be conscious – he or she may start the journey unaware), a guide/magical helper appears or makes him or herself known.
Step 4: Crossing the First Threshold Our hero ofﬁcially begins his/her journey, leaving the comfort of his/her known world or life.
Step 5: The Belly of the Whale Our hero begins to show the changes caused by his/her journey.
Step 6: The Road of Trials Our hero must face trials, ordeals, or situations that bring about the changes. The situations/ challenges often come in threes, and our hero usually fails at least one of these tests (failure is a learning situation, too).
Step 7: The Meeting of the Goddess True love is found at this point. Usually the hero falls in love with a person, but our hero can also ﬁnd the love of a spiritual/earth connection the hero feels as part of his/her change or transformation.
Step 8: Woman as a Temptress Our hero is tempted to stray from his/her journey at this point, either by the lure of a person, an ephemeral being, or simply by the comfort of not traveling anymore.
Step 9: Atonement with the Father Our hero faces the challenge of whatever holds the greatest power over him/her in the old life (usually a father or a father-ﬁgure (false god, mentor, etc.)). The result of this confrontation is the hero leaving his prior self behind forever.
Step 10: Apotheosize Our hero takes a rest here. The transformation is complete, and he/she is pooped out.
Step 11: The Ultimate Boon Our hero completes his/her quest. The booty of the quest is reaped here, which can be wealth in any and many forms: money, riches, knowledge, and/or morality.
Step 12: Refusal to Return Our hero doesnʼt want to return to his/her old world, to reality, as itʼs quite comfy here, thank you very much.
Step 13: The Magic Flight This doesnʼt occur in all stories, but sometimes our faithful hero needs to beat feet, get the heck out of dodge, run away after accomplishing the ﬁnal goal, especially if the goal was guarded by the gods.
Step 14: Rescue from Without All too often our hero is injured or needs some kind of aid from an outside person or party in order to return.
Step 15: Crossing the Threshold All good things must come to an end. Our hero must return to the former world /life/reality, and often this transition is a hard one.
Things to Keep in Mind: Nothing is absolute. A hero may get stuck at a threshold, arrive at steps in a different order, or skip some steps altogether.
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