The Heroine’s Journey


Even Sunsnakes and Moonturtles need meaning.

“The Heroine’s Journey” is an archetypal story developed by Maureen Murdock and other psychoanalysts since.  The name is something of a misnomer. I prefer to call it the “Other’s Journey,” though sometimes there is another “other” involved.

Essentially, unlike Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” a protagonist undergoing an “Other’s Journey” is not destined for great things, but they have to do them anyway.  Forced to separate from the “normal,” because it is destroyed or harmful, the protagonist must adjust.  The protagonist imitates the “hero,” and wins allies to succeed in beating the monsters.  But the role thought to be temporarily must now be maintained. A new problem arises that neither the old self or the new facade can face.  The true self reawakens feeling lost, damaged or betrayed, but rejecting the new role leads only to helplessness and failure; so a yearning for reconciliation begins.  In the end, the protagonist finds a way to integrate the new with the old in a way to heal the rift and the self with it.  This integration leads to peace.

This type of story arc makes for excellent sequels.  I wanted to show how this could apply to anyone (not just Heroines), so I drew this little doodle today, because even moonsnakes and sunturtles question their identity sometimes.

(If you’re interested in learning about this and other journeys, I highly recommend this website: