What is the Hero's Journey?
In Joseph Campbell’s work, The Hero’s Journey, a story formula that has been told throughout the history of time is outlined. This story formula is called the hero’s journey.
The hero’s journey has three basic laws:
1. A courageous figure (the hero) separates himself from those that he knows and leaves the land that he knows to go on a solitary journey of learning, adventure, and hardship.
2. Lessons are learned. Dragons are slain. Victory is had.
3. The hero returns to the land that he knows and shares what he has learned with his community.
On a hero’s journey, the hero leaves town, goes on a solitary journey, and returns to share what they learned.
In the feminine version of this work, The Heroine’s Journey, author Marueen Murdock states that the hero’s journey is actually a deeply intuitive process.
The hero is the spiritual seeker.
And the hero’s journey is a spiritual awakening process.
The main character in any hero’s journey is someone who is strong and brave, and someone who follows their heart until they find the truth that they are seeking.
The average hero’s journey takes 7 years to complete.
Spiritually, life is experienced in 7 year cycles.
Likewise, the most full hero journeys last equally as long.
In the storytelling tradition, life is thought to be landmarked by 7-8 major events and many of these major events are actually landmarks for the beginnings and endings of many different hero’s journeys that you have taken in your own life time.
It takes a long time to fully separate and prepare - journey - and return to the community to share the wisdom.
In fact, most people don’t even realize they've been on a journey until after it has come full circle.
Have you been on a hero’s journey?
Did you separate from a life you once knew? A previous belief system, a way of living, a marriage or a location where you lived?
When you did that, did you find yourself on a path of spiritual and self exploration?
Did you get lost along the way, encounter demons? Did you overcome barriers and in that process, release some of your fears?
Have you returned to old friends and family members to heal old wounds and share your wisdom?
Are you actively advising others based on what you learned on your own path? Sharing your story? Teaching others?
If you've answered yes to these questions, you have completed a full hero’s journey.
Congrats on making the full come around!
Expect there will be more.
When on the spiritual path, you can expect to undergo at least 2-3 complete hero’s journeys in your lifetime.