The Crossing of the First Threshold is when the hero leaves the normal world he is familiar with and enters a world that is unfamiliar.
This stage shows that the hero is committed to succeeding in his journey because it requires courage, determination and risk-taking to step into a world of danger. “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the “threshold guardian” at the entrance to the zone of magnified power” (Campbell 64). The only way that the hero can move on to succeed in his journey is to pass this threshold and defeat the threshold guardian. By doing so, the hero will gain the knowledge and power to leave his normal life in the past.
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The last stage of the hero’s departure is the Belly of the Whale. In this stage it appears that the hero has died because he is swallowed into a world of mystery and riskiness where he must undergo an extremely significant change to survive the rest of his journey. The belly of the whale represents the hero’s rebirth and new profound knowledge, also known as self-annihilation (Campbell 72).After the hero has crossed the first threshold, he must endure a series of trials. The Road of Trials is stage one of Chapter two: Initiation. Throughout the road of trials the hero is assisted by his supernatural helper.
The hero must defeat forces of darkness and overcome extreme challenges he never faced before. It is within this stage that the hero comes to realization of the kindly, warm-hearted energy and support around him in his extraordinary travels. At this point in the hero’s journey, he has overcome all obstacles and has a Meeting with the Goddess. The Goddess represents all that is feminine; a mother, sister, mistress and a wife. While this strong power represents all that is feminine that brings tender love, care and joy, she can also represent the negative aspects of femininity. The Goddess lures and guides the hero into a new state and the hero is promised a life of unconditional and perfect love.
The hero will become whole and master the skills of life within this stage.