Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Transition is a Quest

on November 1, 2013

Transition is a quest, a hero’s journey!  Since we all face a transition of some type be it gender identity, death, relationship, addiction, or some other, this means we each are on our own personal hero’s journey.   Joseph Campbell describes this journey in great detail and Anthony Ubelhor summarizes it nicely in the following.

The Hero’s Journey Defined

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. —Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell described the hero’s journey as occurring in a cycle consisting of three phases: Departure, where the hero leaves his comfortable and familiar world and ventures into the darkness of the unknown; Initiation, where the hero is subjected to a series of tests in which he must prove his character; and Return, in which the hero brings the boon of his quest back for the benefit of his people.

The hero’s journey is about growth and passage. The journey requires a separation from the comfortable, known world, and an initiation into a new level of awareness, skill, and responsibility, and then a return home. Each stage of the journey must be passed successfully if the initiate is to become a hero. To turn back at any stage is to reject the need to grow and mature.

Characteristics of the Hero

According to Campbell, the hero is someone who has given his life over to someone or something bigger than himself. Even in novels and films, the hero is someone who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. The following characteristics are typically found in the heroes of mythology:

• The hero is usually male. According to Campbell, women typically represent creation and ultimate wisdom and therefore do not need to make a journey. If a woman does go on a quest, traditionally it is to find her prince or mate.

• The hero often times is of lowly birth, but may secretly have special powers or a high birthright he is unaware of.

• The hero’s parents are often dead, absent, or uncaring. A hero usually can’t begin a journey to become a man if his father figure is still present.

• A hero is judged by the things he does and the way he reacts and relates to people. His deeds must be marked by a nobility of purpose, and he must be willing to risk his life for his ideals.

The Call to Adventure

The potential hero may receive his Call in a variety similar ways:

• The town leaders may select the initiate and order him to face danger so that his village can be saved from an evil fate like disease or famine.

• Often the initiate is told to go on a quest by a god or “force” — this usually happens in a dream or a vision.”

• The initiate may go willingly or may be forced by circumstance to go on the quest. The

Call is a realization of an imbalance or injustice. The Call often comes when something has been taken away from the potential hero’s or family or society. Similarly, the initiate might begin a journey because of a mistake — something is lost and he must find it.

• The Call may be a sensation on the part of the hero that something is lacking in his or her life and that he or she must search for what is missing.

• Another type of Call comes when the hero realizes that society is being denied something, and he or she goes on a quest to win rights for the people. Sometimes it is nothing more than the need to save honor.”

Joseph Campbell, key excerpts from his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1949)

How does your life mirror the Hero’s Journey?  Are you being brave and moving forward?  Be gentle with yourself, and know there is no time limit to this journey.  Eventually everyone succeeds!  The other thing to keep in mind is each success is one step on the stairway to heaven.

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

Unity in Gender Diversity               Free eBooks

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: