On each level we describe a journey of twelve phases. We say 12 + 1 phases because the prologue at the beginning of the journey is often mirrored in the epilogue. Prologue and Epilogue thus are almost the same phases. Another reason for 12 + 1 is the binding centre being a separate force, of a whole other nature.
1. The Prologue
This is the sub-conscious preparation for adventure. The hero is searching, looking for her destiny.
2. The Call to Adventure
It marks the threshold into action. The hero gets an impulse, from within, or from the outside world, which unmistakably calls for change.
3. Resistance to Change
This phase is the natural process that occurs any time a call for change is heard. If that call came from the hero herself, she often meets resistance from the community while, when the call came from that community, the hero is often inclined to resist.
4. Meeting with the Mentor
The hero attains a new view of the world, and of herself. Often in this stage, the hero meets a mentor with a masculine wisdom on action skills and masks. Often this mentor is a real person, while sometimes the new views spring from the hero herself.
5. Selection Threshold
The hero stands before a series of tests that determine whether enough has been learned in the previous phase. These tests are often presided over by a so-called guardian of the Threshold – a representative of the ruling order who decides whether a hero can enter or not.
6. Star for a Day
Once the hero has successfully passed the Selection threshold’s tests, the hero can bask in the glory of her success. This phase sees empowerment, enjoyment and the building of self-confidence. Enjoy your applause and your 15 minutes of fame, but be sure to take a bow.
The hero now embarks upon a journey inwards and develops self-knowledge. The ego is put on a leash. Often in this stage, the hero meets a mentor with a feminine wisdom on ripening, rhythms, household, bookkeeping, emotions and deeper relationships.
8. Reversal of Fortune
Fate strikes and circumstances turn most unpleasant. The hero loses initiative and becomes powerless.
9. The Dagger
In this phase, the hero meets her moment of deepest despair and acquires insight into the hidden and darker sides of human nature, and of herself.
10. Return to the Light
The hero can be rescued from the darkness by concentrating on one definitive focus, one conviction, one thing she believes in. Often the hero remembers her mentor’s most important lesson and finds her light at the end of the tunnel.
11. Death and Resurrection
It’s time for the ultimate test. Will the hero keep a straight back and stand up for her opinion, for who she is? This phase is about showing backbone in the confrontation with that in power, or in the face of a looming disaster. The hero will put her status, security and perhaps even her life in the balance, to stand for what she believes in.
12. The Elixir
The hero returns from her Journey with an elixir for society. Sometimes this elixir takes the literal shape of a medicine, but most of the time, it represents a change within the hero that has a liberating, healing effect on the world.