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The Hero’s Journey Part Two: Initiation

Initiation:  a rite of passage ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components. In an extended sense it can also signify a transformation in which the initiate is ‘reborn’ into a new role.

In Part 1 of the Hero’s Journey, we discussed the 5 steps setting up the departure of the Hero on his journey. This week we examining the 6 Steps of the Hero’s journey in the Initiation, leading up to final section, the Return.

Part 1: The Road of Trials

The first part of the middle section of the Hero’s Journey details are series of tasks, tests, obstacles and ordeals the hero faces which prove to be the main starting point of the hero’s transformation. Usually the hero fails one or more of these trials.

Part 2: Meeting with the Goddess

Meeting with the Goddess need not be taken literally. It is the point in the story where the hero begins to experience a love that has power and significance all it’s own. It is a union of opposites and can take place not only externally but also internally to the character. The main key here is that your hero begins to see themselves not as a person of two halves, but a combination of both halves into a stronger and more centered hero.

Part 3: Woman as Temptress

Again this need not be an actual “woman”. The concept here is how the hero deals with the temptations that lead him away from his goal. The use of Woman as Temptress is a metaphor Joseph Campbell used to describe how the hero may feel about they’re own earthly nature.

Part 4: Atonement with the Father

This is the centre point of the story, where you hero must face the whatever holds the power of life and death over him. Everything else in the first half of the Hero’s Journey leads up to this moment for the hero. Again the moment need not occur with a father or father figure, what it needs is a character of immense power. The transformation occurs as the hero is “killed”, so that a new “self” can be realised. Again “kill” is a metaphor. The hero doesn’t need to literally be killed, but must move into another realm of being.

Part 5: Apothesis

This deals with a moment of rest for the hero. A time of fulfillment and peace before the hero’s journey resumes

Part 6: The Ultimate Boon

This is the ultimate achievement of the quest. It’s the culmination of the quest the hero went on in the first place. All of the preceding steps are designed to purify and prepare the hero for their success.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

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