The Hero’s Journey


The Hero’s Journey was conceptualized by Joseph Campbell. He wrote that all stories have several common themes and archetypes. His belief was that the hero’s journey, or the basic movie or story you read or watch, is just a variation of many journeys before it. So the hero’s journey relates to how we all grow and progress through life. Fighting a dragon in a fantasy novel is just a metaphor for dealing with a common real life problem. And this journey progresses from several phases.

The Hero's journey

The four phases

  1. Call to action
  2. A new world
  3. Challenge
  4. Success

The call to action represents a nagging feeling in your head, something you want to change, something you want to do. Perhaps you wish to travel, perhaps you want to explore, perhaps you want to get a new job, or perhaps you are looking for a relationship or a new project? This phase is completed once you commit to a change. Before you commit, you may spend time worrying, feeling unsure, and going back and forth.

The new world represents your new life as you start this project. All the new things you are learning, everything you are experiencing. New people, new experiences, new challenges. You progress from this world by allying with others, making friends, connections, taking on new responsibilities, and finding things to hold on to and make your own in this world.

Challenge represents hardships. Your new duties and your friendships may sometimes face issues. You may have problems you need to deal with, things you are afraid of, things you don’t know how to deal with. The challenge phase is when you are working through these issues. To get past it, you need to rally, inspire action, and rise up to face the challenge. If your rally was successful, you progress to the fourth and final step of the self-transformation process.

Success is the final step and in this step you feel the rewards of overcoming the challenges. Perhaps your relations have become stronger, or you have gotten rid of an old fear. Perhaps you have mastered a new skill or done something you thought previously impossible. In the success phase you are meant to emerge, to move forward, and to progress into a new level. At that point, you may receive a new call to action, and a new opportunity to grow.

The Eight Archetypes

The Hero Your first function – your ego – your passion
The Mentor Your second function – your mission – growth
The Sidekick Your third function – relief – balance
The Villain Your fourth function – grounding – – challenge
The Prince/Princess Your fifth function – inspiration – meaning
The King/Queen Your sixth function – treasure – a weapon or magical item
The Trickster Your seventh function – temptations – cheats
The Demon Your eight function – evil – destruction

The hero represents you – the person on this journey. But everyone is the hero of their own journey.

The mentor can be someone more experienced that you know, who has information, tips, or tools you can use to progress. The mentor is important in the start of your journey.

The sidekick can be someone you meet on your journey who is also on a similar road or journey. This is who you must ally in the new world.

The villain can be a rival or a challenger, someone you dislike, who represents different values, but who can provide important information on your journey.

The prince/princess can be someone of high value to you or the world. It can also be something very important to you in your project or your goal. It often appears during your call to action.

The king/queen can be someone of high power or high wisdom who can aid your learning and growth process, or who can add an extra challenge or obstacle to overcome. It often appears during the call to action.

The trickster can represent temptations and shortcuts or treachery, but also teaches you about asserting your own needs and your unique way and remaining pure. It generally appears in the new world.

The demon or monster represents things you loathe and strongly dislike, things you want as little to do with as possible. It’s often your final encounter you must rally against.

The Eight Journeys

If you are a philosopher, a detective, an artist, or a performer, or one of the other four intelligences, this will inevitably affect what kind of hero’s journey you are on.

The Philosopher – Introverted Intuition – INXJ An existential journey.
The Detective – Extroverted Journey – ENXP An adventure or an investigation
The Artist – Introverted Feeling – IXFP Something to care for
The Performer – Extroverted Feeling – EXFJ A cause to stand up for
The Scientist – Introverted Thinking – IXTP Something to improve
The Rationalist – Extroverted Thinking – EXTJ Something to succeed with
The Architect – Introverted Sensing – ISXJ Something important to protect
The Hedonist – Extroverted Sensing – EXSP Something to experience