1. awareness (vocation)
The hero comes to consciousness and recognises a higher task, his calling to the higher path of love.
The spiritual vocation is that of teacher, preacher, prophet or healer.
Examples: The higher destiny is expressed in stories through high origin (as a king's son, princess), through a vision (e.g. a dream as in Knight George and the Maiden) Jesus recognised his "true father" as a twelve-year-old in the temple.
2. initiation, confession (baptism)
The next thing is to give a clearly recognisable sign to the outside world, a commitment to the path of love through word and deed.
Baptism is the spiritual initiation.
Examples in fairy tales and myths: The hero leaves home and goes on an adventure. The heroine shows her love and readiness for devotion. The first sexual intercourse is a sign of the path of love in the relationship. Many believers and even Jesus had themselves baptised by immersion in water as a sign of their decision.
3. faithfulness in lack, opposition and hardship (desert)
In deprivation and hardship, the hero has the opportunity to prove himself and overcome opposition. He practices abstinence, discipline and control and shows his faithfulness by sticking to his vision.
On the spiritual path, this phase means the desert experience with fasting.
Examples: The hero/heroine has to "go through the bottom", prove himself/herself under hard conditions, in ash work, for example in the service in the kitchen of the foreign castle (The Iron Hans) or as a maid under the tyranny of a wicked stepmother (Cinderella, Snow White). Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert.
4. dedication of resources in success (service)
Having overcome lack, he is blessed with success. Here the test is not to abuse this success for selfish purposes, that is, for the expansion of one's own power, but rather to make the resources gained available to others.
The healer and prophet performs fully empowered service through signs and wonders.
Examples: The hero in the fairy tale The iron man still keeps his head down and helps the foreign king to victory. Cinderella dances at the ball with her lover and leaves in time. Jesus resisted the temptation of power and served the people.
5. the trial by fire (dying of the ego)
The final test is the ordeal by fire. Here the whole existence is put to the test, everything threatens to go up in flames. In this phase, the hero is tested to see whether he is prepared, if necessary, to lay down his life, indeed his entire existence, for the greater good. In doing so, he looks his own death, his ego, in the face and "dies" inwardly. It is the path of purification in the fire and the integration of the shadows (cf. The Integration of the Shadow and the Path through the Underworld). Thus the hero gains his spiritual, eternal existence.
Examples: In fairy tales The Iron John the hero is wounded as a black knight. Cinderella has to go back to her stepmother and is treated even worse. Odysseus is washed up naked on the beach of Ithaca after losing everything. His beloved wife Penelope takes him back (forgiveness is her trial by fire.) Jesus is crucified.