Hero’s Journey Resources

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herothousandfacesThose of us who write novels using the hero’s journey often keep several books about the journey on our desks, referring to those above all others.

While a lot of writers turn to Vogler’s The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, I still turn to Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces and then to Houston’s The Hero and the Goddess. Our preferences often depend on which book we discovered first. I discovered Joseph Campbell’s writing when I was in college, so I rely on his interpretations for most things except the heroine’s journey.

It’s a mistake, I think, to say either that there is no heroine’s journey or that it’s simply a woman following the structure of the hero’s journey. For the heroine’s journey, I turn to Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey, followed by Perea’s Descent to the Goddess.

Some see these journeys unfolding in the seasons, in patterns of life, in the Tree of Life, and in the progression of a seeker through the Tarot trumps. Others look at the steps (degrees) at a mystery school and find the journey there, while others look at traditional patterns of initiation as we find them in the “Lesser” and “Greater” Mysteries. In many ways, these are all one in the same, but as seekers, we tend to feel more attuned to one description of the path rather than another.

Since the novels in my Garden of Heaven Trilogy comprise a hero’s journey, I have listed sources and links on the trilogy’s page on my web site for those who want to look deeper into mythic structures.

Whether you’re adapting the journey to your life, your writing, or your approach to subjects where it easily applies (literature, psychology), the pathway is fascinating. The minute you think you know many things about the path, you discover a new angle, symbol or interpretation.

If you like on-going discussions about the journey–and myth, in general–you might enjoy the web site of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. (You have to join as an “associate” to take part in the  discussion boards.) You can also find interesting articles on the Harris Communications site.

Once you start looking for it, you’ll find the hero’s and heroine’s journeys everywhere.

Malcolm

LandBetweenCoverIn addition to his contemporary fantasy novels, Malcolm R. Campbell is also the author of Kindle short stories including “Cora’s Crossing” and “Moonlight and Ghosts” and short story sets including “Emily’s Stories” and “The Land Between the Rivers.”

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3 responses

  1. I was a science major in college, so I didn’t read Joseph Campbell until much later in life. I learned about the hero’s journey from Christopher Vogler and you’re right, he’s the one I refer to first, although Campbell’s books are awesome.
    Nice post. Thanks for the poke. I need to read The Heroine’s Journey.

  2. Pingback: Using “the Hero’s Journey” to tame your story | Juliette Nolan