The Hero’s Journey

I wanted to post this as this text describes what is the basic premise of the ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure.

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?

I'm out.
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).

10. Return
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.


  1. Mike B - asrj68@yahoo.ca1/05/2017

    Joseph Campbell was an amazing man. I consider him my greatest mentor.

    Another great mentor/inspiration for me was Henry Rollins. He wrote an essay called The Iron and the Soul which inspired me to take action to improve my physical strength and posture.

    The results of following these mentors advice and pushing myself out of the safe and known have been life changing. All for the better.

    I came upon your site by accident and I love that you guys are bringing this philosophy of the Hero's Journey into today's world in a practical sense.

    It is something we have lost in a lot of ways because western life is so easy and doesn't 'require' strong men as much for survival. So many men have never been pushed to their limits, or even out of their comfort zone. As Campbell mentioned, tribal societies used to (and still do) put their young men through grueling trials as a rite of manhood.

    Some countries use mandatory military service as a means to this end; but that isn't going to happen in North America anytime soon. And the military isn't really a great option for everyone, so I don't really agree with that being mandatory.

    It warms my heart to know that there are people still trying to keep this spirit alive in the western world. Keep up the good work. I am keeping my eye on you guys. I might send my son one day when he is old enough.

  2. Mike...Thank you for reading and maybe we will see you at an NWTA someday.

  3. Brother, this post so accurately describes the life-changing Hero's journey I completed this past weekend during my own NWTA. I feel so privileged to now have wisdom and understanding to pass on, and also to be part of a community of wise New Warriors, such as yourself. The learning is still raw, but I feel the power of the transformation so strongly. I am eager for the future.


    Spirit Wolf