What are the traits of the Heroine’s Journey compared to the Hero’s Journey? First lets look at what they have in common. Both begin the journey when a change is needed….Within both the Hero’s Journey and the Heroine’s Journey there is venturing into the unknown to seek something and bring it back to the known. In both, self-discovery and personal change occurs through their confrontation with inner and outer blocks that are keeping them from achieving what they want. Courage and motivation are needed in both.
How are they different? The motivators for the journeys are different. The Heroine’s Journey is mostly done internally, and the Hero’s Journey is mostly an external adventure. The steps and timing of the steps are different. See below for a description of the differences between the two:
The Heroine’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey
The Heroine strives for self-awareness, self-worth and self- Identity
The Hero strives for physical strength and bravery and achievement
The traditional Hero’s Journey is embedded within our culture. In fact it is very much a part of many cultures according to Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (1999-09-01) In most cultures this Journey is told from a masculine male perspective. It is a rite of passage a boy or man must go through in order to achieve the reward that will save his world. It is mostly an external adventure.
But what about the journey that women face when they find themselves disenchanted with their lives? When they discover that they are more than the labels society puts on them? When they are faced with loss and betrayal and need to find a way back to themselves? In the Heroine’s Journey, the heroine is focused on exploring her inner self. She is journeying within to discover those part of herself that she has not been able to express. Those parts of herself that she buried while adjusting to the expectations of others and her culture. As she moves through the journey, she becomes clearer about what she wants and how she wants to live. As she re-enters the world, aligned with her true nature, she moves into a more authentic way of living. She then becomes an example for others.
Even though there are names for the journeys, Heroine and Hero, they do not need to be gender or age specific. The names reflect the motivation and focus for change. The Hero has extrinsic motivations. The need for changing his world outside. The Heroine is focused on intrinsic needs. The need to change into her authentic self and in turn be an example for others. What ever your age or gender you identify with, you can use these journeys as maps that lay out some common stages that people go through when they are seeking change. The stages can be different for different people. Once you start the process and begin to make changes, you can begin to create your own map.