From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell mapped the archetypal heroic journey in three major phases: departure, initiation, and return. Within this three stages there are several sub-stages. Not all epic tales must include all of the stages or feature these phases in exact order for the story to outline a true epic quest. Remember that archetypes are not an exact literary science, but instead conform to something akin to dream logic. “The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero’s passage is that it shall serve as a general pattern for men and women…Therefore it is formulated in the broadest terms. The individual has only to discover his own position with reference to this general human formula, and let it then assist him past his restricting walls. Who and where are his ogres?” (Campbell 101). In order to unleash the unknown within himself, the hero must leave behind his familiar beginnings… At the beginning of the quest, the hero is drawn forward onto a new and terrifying path… “Whether dream or myth, in these adventures there is an atmosphere of irresistible fascination about the figure that appears suddenly as guide, marking a new period, a new stage, in the biography” (Campbell 46). But some heroes seek to shirk their epic responsibilities… “Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action…All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration” (Campbell 49). The mythic protagonist frequently receives help from some supernatural source to help them start their journey… “The first encounter of the hero-journey is with a protective figure (often a little old crone or old man) who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass”(Campbell 57). After accepting the quest and being armed for its dangers, the hero is ready to step forward toward his first battle… “The hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power…The folk mythologies populate with deceitful and dangerous presences every desert place outside the normal traffic of the village” (Campbell 64). The hero descends into the realm of the unknown, braving either the approximation of death or death itself… “Passage of the threshold is a form of self- annihilation…instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again” (Campbell 77). On the testing ground, the hero is tried on every level… After surviving his first major test, the hero is presented with a series of challenges comprising the major weight of his journey… “Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials” (Campbell 81). At this point in his quest, the hero manages to experience a transformative and transcendent love… “The ultimate adventure, when all the barriers and ogres have been overcome, is commonly represented as a mystical marriage of the triumphant hero-soul with the Queen Goddess of the World…at the utter most edge of the earth…or within the darkness of the deepest chamber of the heart” (Campbell 91). During this epic stage, the hero must spurn temptations that threaten to force him from his chosen path (which may or may not be represented by a feminine figure) … “The seeker of the life beyond life must press beyond her, surpass the temptations of her call, and soar to the immaculate ether beyond” (Campbell 102). This portion of the monomyth is concerned with the confrontation with the ultimate male force of the tale… “The magic of the sacraments…the protective power of primitive amulets and charms… are mankind’s assurances that the arrow, the flames, and the flood are not as brutal as they seem…One must have faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy” (Campbell 107, 110). After confronting and becoming the Father within himself, the hero can then rise to the status of godhood… “A pattern of the divine state to which the human hero attains who has gone beyond the last terrors of ignorance” (Campbell 127). Having risen to the status of godhood, the hero can now access the gifts of the gods… “The gods and goddesses then are to be understood as the embodiments and custodians of the elixir of Imperishable Being…What the hero seeks…[is] their grace…the power of their sustaining substance…Its guardians dare release it only to the duly proven. But the gods may be oversevere, overcautious, in which case the hero must trick them of their treasure” (Campbell 155). Even after succeeding in his primary task, the hero’s journey is far from over… The hero’s burden does not end when he has achieved his goal until he returns full circle to cast his stolen fire into the darkness of others… “When the hero-quest has been accomplished…the adventurer still must return with his life-transmuting trophy. The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom…back into the kingdom of community…But the responsibility has been frequently refused”(Campbell 167). Often the hero is given assistance, some gentle hand guiding him back to his beginning point… “If the hero in his triumph wins the blessing of the goddess or the god and is then explicitly commissioned to return to the world with some elixir for the restoration of society, the final stage of his adventure is supported by all the powers of his supernatural patron…This flight may be complicated by marvels of magical obstruction and evasion” (Campbell 170). If the hero has been so marked by his journey that he is incapable of self-extraction, other agents of the story can come to his rescue… “The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without. That is to say, the world may have to come and get him. For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state” (Campbell 178). Though the hero returns, the man that left can never cross back over – marked by his knowledge, the hero is forever a different figure… “The two worlds, the divine and the human, can be pictured only as distinct from each other – different as life and death, as day and night. The hero adventures out of the land we know into darkness; there accomplishes his adventures…and his return is described as a coming back out of that yonder zone. Nevertheless…the two kingdoms are actually one. The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know” (Campbell 188). One of the hero’s final tasks is to assimilate this new knowledge with his old understandings of the world within the land of his beginnings… “Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division…not contaminating the principles of the one with those of the other, yet permitting the mind to know the one by virtue of the other – is the result of the master. The Cosmic Dancer…does not rest heavily in one spot, but…lightly turns and leaps from one position to another”(Campbell 196). Through fire and back again unscathed, the hero burns with a holy fire within the present and future… “Those listening are oriented to the Imperishable in themselves, and then supplied incidentally with an item of information. Though he had feared the terrible hag, he had been swallowed and reborn. Having died to his personal ego, he arose again established in the Self. The hero is the champion of things becoming, not of things become, because he is…nor is he fearful of the next moment…Thus the next moment is permitted to come to pass” (Campbell 209). Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. 3rd ed. Novato, California: New World Library, 1949. Print.