Joseph Campbell Monomyth (Hero With A Thousand Faces)
The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented
in the rites of passage: separation–initiation–return: which might be named the nuclear unit of the
Stages of the hero’s journey:
1. Birth: Fabulous circumstances surrounding conception, birth, and childhood establish the hero’s
pedigree, and often constitute their own monomyth cycle.
2. Call to Adventure: The hero is called to adventure by some external event or messenger. The Hero
may accept the call willingly or reluctantly.
3. Helpers/Amulet: During the early stages of the journey, the hero will often receive aid from a
protective figure. This supernatural helper can take a wide variety of forms, such as a wizard, and
old man, a dwarf, a crone, or a fairy godmother. The helper commonly gives the hero a protective
amulet or weapon for the journey.
4. Crossing the Threshold: Upon reaching the threshold of adventure, the hero must undergo some
sort of ordeal in order to pass from the everyday world into the world of adventure. This trial may
be as painless as entering a dark cave or as violent as being swallowed up by a whale. The
important feature is the contrast between the familiar world of light and the dark, unknown world
5. Tests: The hero travels through the dream-like world of adventure where he must undergo a series
of tests. These trials are often violent encounters with monsters, sorcerers, warriors, or forces of
nature. Each successful test further proves the hero’s ability and advances the journey toward its
6. Helpers: The hero is often accompanied on the journey by a helper who assists in the series of
tests and generally serves as a loyal companion. Alternately, the hero may encounter a
supernatural helper in the world of adventure who fulfills this function.
7. Climax/The Final Battle: This is the critical moment in the hero’s journey in which there is often a
final battle with a monster, wizard, or warrior which facilitates the particular resolution of the
8. Flight: After accomplishing the mission, the hero must return to the threshold of adventure and
prepare for a return to the everyday world. If the hero has angered the opposing forces by stealing
the elixir or killing a powerful monster, the return may take the form of a hasty flight. If the hero
has been given the elixir freely, the flight may be a benign stage of the journey.
9. Return: The hero again crosses the threshold of adventure and returns to the everyday world of
daylight. The return usually takes the form of an awakening, rebirth, resurrection, or a simple
emergence from a cave or forest. Sometimes the hero is pulled out of the adventure world by a
force from the daylight world.
10. Elixer: The object, knowledge, or blessing that the hero acquired during the adventure is now put
to use in the everyday world. Often it has a restorative or healing function, but it also serves to
define the hero’s role in the society.
11. Home: The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on
his fellow man.