- The Call to Adventure
The hero starts in the ordinary world and gets a call, sometimes from another person, sometimes of the person’s own volition. In Homer‘s Odyssey, Odysseus is caught in the terrible winds of the angered god Poseidon and sent off to distant lands.
- Refusal of the Call
The hero may refuse to pay attention to the call from fear, indifference, from insecurity, from a sense of inadequacy. Luke Skywalker refuses Obi Wan’s call. It’s difficult. It takes work.
- Supernatural Aid
Cinderella had her
Sometimes that supernatural aid is the resources within us.
- The Crossing Of The First Threshold
This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where there aren’t any rules and limits. Beyond the guardian is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant. You cross the threshold when you go off to college, join the services, or immigrate to another country.
5. The Belly of the Whale
It’s a common theme that appears not only in the Bible but in many other cultures as well. Remember Tom Thumb who was swallowed by a fish; the whale swallowed Pinocchio. The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis.
- The Road Of Trials
Once the hero accepts the call, the hero must face tasks and trial after trial and may have to face them alone, or may have assistance. The Yellow Brick Road is obvious. The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Dragons have now to be slain, bad witches overcome, and surprising barriers passed – again, again, and again. A quitting smoker is plagued with withdrawal and cravings. A beginning speaker is plagued with stage fright.
- The Meeting With The Goddess
This is the point when the person experiences an unconditional love that a fortunate infant may have experienced with his or her mother. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.
- Woman As Temptress
This step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman.
The goddess that the man married has become a nag, a spendthrift. Women become the butt of men’s jokes. The marital problems are the fault of the spouse. But there is another side of the coin. The husband has transformed from Prince Charming into a big disappointment. He becomes lazy. He becomes a batterer. Men become the butt of women’s jokes.
- Atonement with the Parent
It’s the elevation or exultation to the rank of a god. The hero is treated as almost divine. The audience, having been led to identify with the hero, experiences the brink-of-death feeling with the hero and then is relieved by
- The Ultimate Boon
The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step. The
- Refusal of The Return
Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man. Even though we’ve discovered something we may have demons of doubts that have to be resolved. Our minds keep telling us there are other obstacles to be overcome. The person may one of those 40-year-olds that are still living at home.
- The Magic Flight
Sometimes the hero must escape with the
- Rescue From Without
Heroes may need powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life. More than likely, it’s an emotional wound.
- The Crossing of The Return Threshold
The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into our lives, and to share the wisdom with the rest of the world
- Master Of Two Worlds
For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. If the hero has had to reach inside to discover his inner resources he must still realize that there is an outer world to be lived. But you can live both worlds more fully now.
- Freedom To Live
Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of failure, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.