Using the Hero’s Journey as a mudmap for your life

Joseph Campbell suggested that life is a series of Hero’s Journeys.  

Each journey starts with a change in circumstances.  Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz get stuck in a tornado and ends up on Oz.  Luke Skywalker finds a droid with a message.  Campbell called such events ‘departures’ as in some manner they separate the hero from life as it used to be.

After the tornado Dorothy is separated from everyone and everything she knows

Campbell noted that in real life, such SEPARATIONS are happening all the time.  Early in life we are SEPARATED from home to start school.  With each grade we are again SEPARATED from those who we know.  We leave school to go to work or further studies.  More SEPARATIONS.

Throughout life we will be SEPARATED from life as we knew it.

We find ourselves in a foreign place.  We are unsure of what to do.  Each departure tests us.  Are we up to the challenge or will we refuse it?


Here is just a short list of some of life’s SEPARATIONS.

  • moving schools,
  • moving to a new town or city;
  • starting a relationship;
  • ending a relationship;
  • starting a new job;
  • leaving an old job;
  • getting a new manager;
  • starting a business;
  • losing a business
  • experiencing an infidelity;
  • becoming a parent;
  • transitioning from one career to another;
  • retiring;
  • being gay or bisexual or transgender;
  • having a loved one become ill or incapacitated;
  • having an accident that affects you physically or emotionally;
  • losing a loved one.

Some SEPARATIONS may be wanted (e.g. a new baby).  Some may come as a complete shock (a diagnosis).  Whichever it is, we will experience a SEPARATION from life as we know it.  We are no longer sure what to do, where to go or even where to begin.

SEPARATIONS begin early in life

SEPARATIONS are happening all the time


SEPARATIONS push us into the unfamiliar













Sometimes we find ourselves in completely foreign situations with little idea of what to do.

Fictional stories are simply reminders of what happens in real life.  

Jake Sully finds himself on a foreign and deadly planet

Sister Maria discovers life in the Nunnery can be a foreign place.













What are the stages of the Hero’s Journey?


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