The standard hero journey
, which was created by Joseph Campbell
, is an archetype
. Heroic figures follow similar patterns in their respective stories, and below we can see a generalized sequence
of events that makes up this journey
Step One: The Call to Adventure
The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when he or she is first given notice that everything is going to change, whether aware of it or not. Often the person is looking for a better place or a better life.
Step Two: Refusal of the Call
Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.
Step Three: Supernatural Aid
Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known.
Step Four: Crossing the First Threshold
This is the point were 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 the rules and limits are not known.
Step Five: The Belly of the Whale
The point at which the person has left all of his or her former world behind. Sometimes called the person's lowest point, when he or she faces the greatest challenge. The person is about to become the true hero.
Step Six: The Road of Trials
This is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation to a true hero. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.
Step Seven: The Meeting with the Goddess
This represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a powerful pure love.
Step Eight: The Return
The hero returns with the wisdom gained on the journey and then shares that wisdom with the rest of his world.
Famous heroes, ranging from Superman, Odysseus, and King Arthur can all have their progression to "herohood" diagramed by these steps.