2) Refusal of the Call: Often when the call is first received, the future heroine initially refuses to respond. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in her is or her current circumstances. All of the aforementioned reasons are born out of one’s fear of her own greatness!

In “real life” these reasons, which are really excuses, present as things like lack of resources, i.e. money, time, education or experience.

3) Supernatural Aid: Once the heroine has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, her guides and magical helpers will suddenly appear or become known to her. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the heroine with one or more talismans or artifacts that will help her in her quest.

Luckily for me, this is often the role I play with clients who are on the heroine’s quest. While I don’t usually provide actual talismans, I do provide clients with tools that aid them on their journey. Take a minute to think about the helpers and guides that have sometimes “magically” appeared on your journey.

4) Crossing the Threshold: The moment in the heroine’s journey in which she crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of her old world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unfamiliar.

How do you know when you are crossing the threshold in your quest? In mythology this stage is signaled by the appearance of strange creatures and settings (think of the cantina in the first Star Wars. In real life you may notice that you feel different, as if you have entered a new realm and may become aware of an unusual amount of coincidence or synchronicity e.g. your instincts tell you to embark on a trip to Iceland and you suddenly meet several people who just visited that country.   

5) The Road of Trials: A series of tests such as crossing a dangerous landscape or slaying a dragon that the heroine must undergo to begin the superhuman transformation. According to Campbell (1949), Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed — again, again, and again. Meanwhile there will be a multitude of preliminary victories, unsustainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of the wonderful land.”

Tests or trials in real life may include actual academic tests, financial setbacks or emotional troubles such as negative thinking or depression. Women, who do not realize they are in fact, on the heroine’s quest, often feel victimized and defeated by these trials. When we see ourselves as victims, we understandably become depressed and unmotivated.

Instead, I encourage you to see ALL challenges that we encounter on our journey, whether psychological, spiritual or physical as merely “dragons” that must be slain to attain the “boon” or reward which we will ultimately bring back to our people.


Nicole Cutts, PhD.,
Professional Training & Development, Training People & Organizations for Success
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