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My journey as a Hero

A tool to travel

“You are the hero of your own story.”
~ Joseph Campbell

The tool

The concept of Monomyth or Hero's Journey was popularized by the mythologist Joseph Campbell known for his work in comparative mythology and religion. He suggests in is book The Hero With a Thousand Faces1) that all the myths of the world share storytelling pattern. Each tales that involved a hero share pretty much the same template, divided in three main Acts:

  1. Departure : the protagonist or hero lives confortably in his “ordinary world” then he recives a call (that he can first declined) to go in an unknown world.
  2. Initiation : the hero then traversing the threshold to this other world and have to face trials and tests to discover his true power.
  3. Return : he come back transformed and with his treasure to the benefit of not only himself but for is all “ornidary world”

Each act may contain different stages, depending on the analist. The scheme discussed in the project is closer to the one of Christopher Vogler2) wich is closer to the state of mind of a traveler.

Act Campbell (1949) Christopher Vogler (2007)
Departure 1. The call to adventure
2. Refusal of the call
3. Supernatural aid
4.Crossing the threshold
5. Belly of the whale
1. Ordinary world
2. Call to adventure
3.Refusal of the call
4.Meeting with the mentor
5. Crossing the first threshold
Initiation 6. The road of trials
7. The meeting with the goddess
8. Woman as temptress
9. Atonement with the father
10. Apotheosis
11. The ultimate boon
6.Tests, allies and enemies
7. Approach to the inmost cave
8. The ordeal
9. Reward
Return 12. Refusal of the return
13. The magic flight
14. Rescue from without
15. The crossing of the return threshold
16. Master of two worlds
17. Freedom to live
10. The road back
11. The resurrection
12. Return with the elixir

Application for the heterotopian tour

As suggested in the upper video, you can consider yourself as the Hero of your own Journey !
The ‘journey’ is both a physical journey through the world and an internal progression of self transformation. The Hero’s journey is powerful tool to help understand our personal lives and travels. The idea behind this tool is to help you identifying your inner stages that you have to pass to progress.

This tool have been adapt to Heterotopian tours by Dora Deak form Forme for the trip Italy, the third heterotopian experience.

Hero's Journey
The participant's journey
The Heterotopian tour
Activites and Reflexion
1. Ordinary world Identity of the participant, his/her context, way of living, already existing competencies Preparation
2. Call to Adventure Motivation of the participant : discomfort caused by something in his/her ordinary world, effecting him/her or people important for him/her ; something he/she wants to change in his/her life Preparation
3. Refusal of the call A memory of passiveness when the participant first recognised that there is a chanllenge to face; fears, doubts, reasons for not acting. The effect of this passiveness on the participant's life. Preparation
4. Meeting the mentor People and situations that pushed somehow the participant to take a step and act on his/hr challenge, make a first move towards the change he/she wants to see.
(They can be people and situation from already before the selection as participant, and also the partner organisations who are supporting and preparing the participant.)
5. Passing the Treshold Entering in an unfamiliar situation. Preparation
Arrival - Day 1
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies Tests : The obstacles thet participants face during the Tour. Obstacles that can be overcam, if they try and look for support. After each test, participants evaluate what they have gained (e.g. during the Family Groups, reflecting ont the learning outcomes of the day).
Allies : Support participants find during the Tour, wich can be various things : peer support, support from the youth leaders and facilitators, the supporting environment, already existing qualities and knowledge the brought with themselves.
Enemies : Things, people, circumstances that obstacle participants to reach their orbjective, and in overall to feel well.
Activity on Day 1 : Getting more familiar with the HJ, predicting obstacles and support.
Activites every day : refelcting on test passed, allies gained, enemies encountered.
7. Approch to the inmost Cave Participants will look back on the path they've already done and will look on the upcoming days, analysing the changes they have to make in order to reach the set objectives. Mid-terme evaluation of the Tour
8. The supreme Ordeal looking back to the most difficult moment during the tour, the moment that participants identify as “life cahnging”. To identify this moment, participants will reconstruct the whole journey and reflect on its different elements, moments, difficulties, the gained competencies ect. Finale evaluation ot the Tour
9. Reward Learning outcomes of the participants (skills, attitudes, knowledge, other).
Assessing the changes in the character : before the tour and at the end of the tour.
Finale evaluation ot the Tour
10. Road Back Returning to the ordinary life to the participants after the Tour can be shocking and disturbing - they have changed, but things at home are still the same. this is the moment where we have to remind them that they left because they wanted to trigger some changes in their life : it is a reflection moment on how they can use the gained knowledge and competencies to serve also their communities and to trigger changes. Reinforcing the “social” ans “collective” aspect of the project. Follow-up
11. Resurrection To what level participants have reached their overall objective ? (Not the learning objectives, wich are the “rewards”, but the change they wanted to see.). On their “way to return”, so since they came back home, have they sed the things they gained during the Tour ? Follow-up
12. Return with the Elixir Particpants put in action their ideas and initiatives, bringing positive societal changes. (Can be implemented and monitored in long term). Follow-up

Italy feedback

“ Once upon a time, their was a girl who lived in a peacefull and confortable life in a big city.”

This part will be an opportunity to developpe my testimony about the set up of the Hero's Journey tool for the trip to Sicily. It will be usefull to improve the organisation of following Heterotopian trip and maybe to help participants understand how this tool can be applied to their own travel experience.

“But everyone have to earn a living and she had her own dreams to follow. She always evied the good witches of the magical wood, connected to nature and free.”
“One day, her adventurer friend comes back from a long trip across the world and tells her all the wonders she had seen. The girl was amaized and really wanted to follow this way of living. So her friend tell her to meet a certain person…” “The girl was affraid. Moving so far from the city was unusual for her. Futhermore, she was anxious to loose the love of her life who can't follow her away.”

  • Preparation

“ The girl went to Brachy in the montain to met the two women : Cecilia and Caroline the gardians of the path to the wonders.”

The preparation step was the opportunity to discover “The heroes Journey” has a tool for analysing your own experiences. I already had the chance to see the video Cecilia and Caro showed us, but never thought about appling it to my own travels. We also had a reflection about the first acts : Ordinary world, Call to adventure and Refusal of the Call. We had individual meeting with one of our mentors and more important, we made three collages : how we feel before the trip, how we image the trip ,how we want to come back. It was realy revealing ! I found it quite valuing to see myself as the hero of his own life. Yet, I did'nt realised how I could be involved in this thought, how it could be applied to my personnal situation.

  • Arriving

“The two women explained to the girl that it will not be a normal trip but a magic one !”
“ Suddenly the clouds opens above her and she flew away in the sky to wake up on a unkowned island”

When we all arrivied in Sicily, the first day Dora presented the tool to everybody. Not all the heterotopian participants had worked on the concept in the preparation step. She made a wheel with all the Heroes acts (the picture will followed).
In the context I felt more connected with the concept and realy understood the use of this tool.

  • During the Tour

“The girl climbed the big montain of this strange island. On her way she found a lot of help from many new friends. One the top the discovered Serra Guarneri, the temple of nature”
“But she also have to face great perils”

Dora gave us a Travel Diary to write each days how we progressed in our trip. I wrote a lot in mine about my “hero's journey”, my “allies”, “ennemies”… But I found it a pity that we have not exchanged more on the subject during groups meeting. Maybe I could go further in my own analysis if I some one express the same feeling, experienced the same tests.

  • Mid-term evaluation

“The girl had to lernt own to dance to stay with everyone in the temple. If it was easy to connect with the rythme at the begging, it happened to be her greatest challenge”

The “Approch to the Inmost Cave” should have been the Mid-term evaluation. But in my opion the biggest challenge that we have to face has a group was the move to Palermo.
In fact, the Mid-term evaluation was a challenge for me. I was a bit affraid to speak and that no one shared my opinion.

  • Final evaluation

“After all her training, the girl finaly lernt how to shape-shift to become some one new”

The Final evalutation was not realy organised, we had'nt any tool to realy progess and conclued on our experiences, only a discusion in small groups. It is essential to not skip this part !

  • Follow-up

With our mentors, we came back on our collage and pointed what is different, what we gained, how we feel. We made individual evaluation.

This tool realy help me in my reflection but maybe it shoud have been more animated by the facilitators to go futher.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 1st edition, Bollingen Foundation, 1949. 2nd edition, Princeton University Press. 3rd edition, New World Library, 2008.
testimonies/italy/floriane.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/08 18:50 by Clement