This Hero’s Journey series may become quite the mess as we continue this exploration of the Return stage of the journey.
Why is that?
Because, uh, I’m actually living this portion of the journey. You are witnesses to my fight to bring the Elixir of Life back to, well, you.
I’m in the midst of it. I’m learning to be that mentor, that teacher, that guru, that Master of Two Worlds we should all aspire to be. Okay, we don’t have to aspire to it, but I believe if there is a desire to share our wisdom that we should not pass up the opportunity.
So, I have to learn the lessons and pass them onto you so you can learn the lessons and pass them onto those coming after you.
This entire Hero’s Journey is about becoming the Hero of your own life so you can teach others to be Heroes so they can teach others to be Heroes.
This Mentor’s portion of the journey isn’t about gaining disciples and followers. It’s about passing on and moving on and hopefully raising up others who are even greater than yourself.
And it’s hard to do.
It’s really hard to do.
Because no matter how “magical” something is, no one has ever said that magic is easy to perform.
Hello, Spiritual Seekers, and welcome to Step 13 of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – The Magic Flight – as interpreted by me, Mark, your host and the creator of Think Spiritual Podcasts.
So, let’s get right into today’s subject matter. Quite often I rehash the previous steps of the Journey, but as we are not Refusing to Return to the Normal World, it’s preferable that we simply get on with the process.
The Magic Flight is not a particularly complex step in the Hero’s Journey – at least not intellectually. The basic description is that a character in a story has been living in the Special World and now they must Return to where they came from. That Return may be as simple as passing through a wardrobe or as complex as trying to escape the garbage planets of Sakaar or Arcadia 234.
Physically living this Magic Flight is another matter entirely because there really is no telling how long it may take you nor how difficult it may be.
As I quoted in the last Hero’s Journey episode: Bringing the boon back can be even more difficult than going down into your own depths in the first place.
So, this Magic Flight could be extremely short, but there are some legends of old where characters took hundreds of years to finally reach their destinations.
Okay, don’t worry, I highly doubt it will take that long for any one of us, but nothing’s guaranteed.
But, you know, that word: “destination” is a good one to use at this moment. This is what the Magic Flight is truly about: having a “destination” or a “goal” or a “vision” is the key. It’s the Guiding Light that will lead you home: your, shall we say, lamp-post in the middle of the wood or the Devil’s Anus if you prefer.
The only problem with words such as “destination”, “goal” and “vision” is that they are very definite sounding. They make it seem as if you should have a “VERY CLEAR” destination, goal or vision.
Now, it is true that some of you will have very clear visions of where you’re going, but it won’t be true for everyone and that’s okay. You can be very unclear about where you’re heading. The point of this Magic Flight – just like every single step of your Hero’s Journey – is that you keep making forward progress.
Once again I am going to use myself and this podcast as prime example number one. Because I have to be honest with you: I have no idea what the end result of all this Hero’s Journey mumbo-jumbo is going to be.
I have a very, very, VERY broad sense of where I’m going. I know I’m going the right direction. I know I’m doing the best I can and I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
But I ultimately have no fucking clue where I’m going to end up and it’s going to be a struggle for me to get wherever it is I’m going.
It’s a new Road of Trials: The Magic Flight is the Return stage’s mirror image of the Initiation stage’s Road of Trials.
Would you like some proof of this? Sure, I’ll bet you would. Let’s go back to the World of Fiction and choose a character whose Return journey was something of absolutely epic proportions. A Journey so grand, in fact, that he is practically a side-character until his true role in the Journey is revealed.
I’m talking about Aragorn, Son of Arathorn from J.R.R. Tokien’s Lord of the Rings.
Aragorn is the rightful heir to the thrones of Arnor and Gondor. However, as readers of the novels and watchers of the films, we are not given this information until much later in the story.
So, we aren’t told that Aragorn has essentially already lived a great portion of his own Hero’s Journey. The entire Lord of the Rings is essentially Aragorn’s Magic Flight and the destination is Gondor – something that isn’t reached until nearly three quarters of that extremely long tale is told.
I suppose the same could be said for Gandalf. Before he sails to the Undying Lands, he says that his work is finally complete. Work that he spent many decades doing.
That’s a hell of a long time to spend trying to bring the Elixir of Life to the rest of Middle Earth.
So, for most of the characters in The Lord of the Rings, the journey to destroy the One Ring is certainly a very long Road of Trials. It is no less a Road of Trials for Aragorn and Gandalf, but they are much further along their personal journeys: their Magic Flight to their individual destinies begins in The Fellowship of the Ring.
You know, the more I think about Gandalf’s situation, the more I wonder if he actually became the Master of Two Worlds while his Magic Flight was ongoing. He never attained the Freedom to Live until he sailed into the West.
The more complex a character is, the more the steps of the Hero’s Journey intersect and interweave.
So now think about how complex you are and how complex and interwoven your Hero’s Journey has been.
Most of all, remember that during this Return to the Normal World, you will be tested. You will put all of your skills and abilities to good use. You will flex that muscle, you will swing that sword, you will cast every magic missile in your arsenal.
Every bit of knowledge that you’ve gathered along the way will be put to use. You’ll learn just how wise you’ve grown and how much you still need to learn.
And if your Magic Flight seems to be taking a long time and it is very difficult, just know that this is common and trust that there will be help coming along the way.
While I always encourage you to be your own Hero and that the true quest and adventure lies Within. There are times when we all need a little Rescue from Without.
But that, my Dear Listeners, will have to wait for the next Hero’s Journey episode of Think Spiritual Podcasts.
Thank you very much for listening and/or watching today. Please like, share, comment, criticize and subscribe. Every little way you participate encourages me to continue my own Magic Flight.
And I apologize for this episode being shorter than most others in this Hero’s Journey series. I really tried to add more, but I didn’t have any grand insights about this particular step of the journey. It seemed pretty self explanatory: The Magic Flight – you pick your direction and you head that way.
That would have been pretty funny if that’s all I had said.
It would have been profoundly unsatisfying as well.
Anyway, I have been your host, Mark, this has been a talk about the thirteenth step of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: The Magic Flight.
And I know that if you choose your destination or wish to accomplish a goal or if you have a grand vision and you take the steps to reach it, that you will absolutely change your Self in the process and you most likely will end up changing your world.
You have all the weapons and knowledge you need within you. I will see you on the next episode of Think Spiritual Podcasts.