The idea is you will complete a journey from what you know to what is unknown and back. You will complete a challenge and complete your hero's journey.
It won't be easy and it may be one of the toughest emotional challenges you may ever face.
You could refuse....but that's not the hero's way. Would it be a hero's journey if it were easy?
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf
The Hero’s Journey
by Neil J Lloyd
What makes a hero? What makes a hero embark on his heroic journey? What will he find? How will this change him? How will he change the world?
Stories from ancient to modern times have told of the hero’s quest. Whether it’s the story of Prometheus, Nero (The Matrix), Molly Craig (dramatised in Rabbit Proof Fence) or Harry Potter, the journey is an integral part of the hero’s development and while this often involves physical travel or ‘doing stuff’, the hero is also going on an inner journey.
Joseph Campbell said “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
Campbell and others explored what makes a great heroic journey and discovered a model, known as The Hero’s Journey, which forms a template, not only for storytelling but for helping us think about our own heroic journeys.
Below are the main stages of The Hero’s Journey. I wonder which stage you are at right now?
1. The Known (ordinary) World
Where the hero inhabits before the story begins.
2. Call to Adventure
A problem, challenge or opportunity presents.
3. Refusal of the Call
The future hero may refuse to take up the challenge. This may be due to a sense of duty , fear, insecurity, inadequacy, or any other reason(s) working to hold the person in his current circumstances.
4. Meet the Mentor
The mentor offers advice, guidance or training for the adventure.
5. Crossing the Threshold
Moving into the unknown world, out of the hero’s comfort zone, where he is unfamiliar with how things work. There may be threshold guardians – people, things, events or thoughts that test the hero’s readiness to enter or try to block entry.
6. Challenges and Temptations
The hero faces trials and meets allies and enemies that help begin the transformation. There may be setbacks and a new idea or approach may be needed.
7. The Ordeal
This is the hero’s darkest moment, where he is in the abyss. Entering this stage shows a willingness to change. There is a letting go of the old and an embracing of the new during a supreme ordeal. A revelation occurs.
8. The Transformation
The hero’s fears have been overcome and he has been rewarded with new insights and power.
9. The Road Back
The hero must take the road back towards the ‘ordinary’ world to share his wisdom. Support from helpers and guides may be needed to make the journey and the hero may resist returning, wanting to stay in the ‘other’ world where he had found atonement (or at-one-ment).
The hero crosses back into the known world, enlightened. He can now apply, master and share his newly found wisdom, knowledge and skill for the benefit of himself and his people. The hero is becoming ready for the next call to adventure.