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Seizing the Sword

Monday, February 15, 2010

Today we're exploring the ninth stage of being a hero (from Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces):


9: The Hero Seizes the Sword

Having survived death, beaten the dragon, slain the Minotaur, the hero now takes possession of the treasure he's come seeking. Sometimes it's a special weapon like a magic sword, or it may be a token like the Grail or some elixer which can heal the wounded land.

Sometimes the "sword" is knowledge and experience that leads to greater understanding and a reconciliation with hostile forces.

The hero may settle a conflict with his father or with his shadowy nemesis. In RETURN OF THE JEDI, Luke is reconciled with both, as he discovers that the dying Darth Vader is his father, and not such a bad guy after all.

The hero may also be reconciled with a woman. Often she is the treasure he's come to win or rescue, and there is often a love scene or sacred marriage at this point. Women in these stories (or men if the hero is female) tend to be shape-shifters. They appear to change in form or age, reflecting the confusing and constantly changing aspects of the opposite sex as seen from the hero's point of view. The hero's supreme ordeal may grant him a better understanding of women, leading to a reconciliation with the opposite sex.

Food for Thought:

I've recently been playing those ridiculous facebook games. On most of them, there are trophies and rewards that get collected as a result of completing certain tasks. My vampire wars trophies look pretty impressive, to me anyway, and when I was transcribing this post, it occured to me that maybe it would be helpful to make a sort of "trophy case" for our real lives.

What if we sat down and thought about all the things we've gained from our "supreme ordeals" and life lessons, and made a scrapbook of sorts. We could have a place to showcase our talents and skills, and abilites acquired through experience. It might also be helpful to keep track also of our tools and stuff, and have a place for certificates and diplomas.

What do you think? Is it possible that something valuable could be gained from keeping track of our progress through this journey called life on earth?

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