Yeah, I know. I’m a day late with my “M” post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I have a good excuse: taxes, the blood moon, and Passover.
Huh? How did those even relate? They all happened on the day I was going to prepare and publish my post on the monomyth.
I filed my taxes about a month ago, but I’ve been helping my brother with his business and personal taxes (this is what happens when you’re the CPA in the family) and it took longer than expected.
There was a perk to it, though. I stayed up so late working on the returns that I was still awake for the blood moon. I stepped onto the back porch with my husband and daughter (who insisted on being awakened at 3 am for it) to view the first of four lunar eclipses that will occur over the next two years. I’d like to say the view was spectacular, but I think I was too tired to be impressed. I think I said something like, “Yeah, that’s cool. I’m going to bed now.”
If you missed the blood moon, click on this CNN article to see pictures. The image I saw was similar to # 18.
How did the start of Passover delay my post? It didn’t. I just thought it was interesting that it occurred on the first of four blood moons that will appear over the next two years and that major religious holidays will occur on each of those, as well. Do I think it’s a signal of the end times? No, I’m just fascinated by coincidences.
Anyway…let’s discuss the monomyth.
The monomyth is the basic structure that is repeated in stories throughout the history of the world. In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell says:
“Whether we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will always be the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find…”
The monomyth is also called the hero’s journey because it describes the stages the hero travels over the course of the story. There are 17 stages to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, and while not every story follows all of them (few actually do), they do follow the three basic phases of those stages.
“A hero ventures forth from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder (x): fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won (y): the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man (z).” ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
1. DEPARTURE (x): this phase describes the ordinary world the hero lives in. Usually there is something not quite right and the hero will reluctantly set out on a quest to change it.
2. INITIATION (y): this phase describes the many trials the hero will face along the journey and the knowledge and skills he will acquire to achieve his mission.
3. RETURN (z): this phase describes the hero’s triumph and return.
THE 17 STAGES OF CAMPBELL’S MONOMYTH
- The Call to Adventure
- Refusal of the Call
- Supernatural Aid
- The Crossing of the First Threshold
- The Belly of the Whale
- The Road of Trials
- The Meeting with the Goddess
- Woman as the Temptress
- Atonement with the Father
- The Ultimate Boon
- Refusal of the Return
- The Magic Flight
- Rescue from Without
- The Crossing of the Return Threshold
- Master of the Two Worlds
- Freedom to Live
I also found a video on YouTube that does a fantastic job explaining the concept of the monomyth with examples from The Matrix, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings. Enjoy.
To see what other A to Z participants are blogging about this month, please click here to see a list of participants with links to their blogs.