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The Heroine's Journey

Heroine's Journey Chart                                         

Archetypes Chart  Heroine's Journey Powerpoint Pintrest

What's the Heroine's Journey?

Though scholars often place heroine tales on Campbell’s hero’s journey point by point, the girl has always had a notably different journey than the boy. She quests to rescue her loved ones, not destroy the tyrant as Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker does. The heroine’s friends augment her natural feminine insight with masculine rationality and order, while her lover is a shapeshifting monster of the magical world—a frog prince or beast-husband (or two-faced vampire!). The epic heroine wields a magic charm or prophetic mirror, not a sword. And she destroys murderers and their undead servants as the champion of life. As she struggles against the Patriarchy—the distant or unloving father—she grows into someone who creates her own destiny.

Eventually, she too descends into the underworld in a maiden’s white gown, there to die and be reborn greater than before. Awaiting her is the wicked stepmother or Terrible Mother (as Jung calls her): the White Witch of Narnia or Wicked Witch of the West: slayer of children and figure of sterility and unlife. This brutal matriarch is often her only mentor. The heroine not only defeats her, she grows from the lesson and rejoins the world as young mother, queen, and eternal goddess.

        (Qtd. from my book Buffy and the Heroine's Journey, 2012)

Follow the Steps of the Journey

From Girl to Goddess

Book Details 

From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend

ISBN  978-0-7864-4831-9

October 2010

See it at McFarland and Co.

See it on Amazon


Table of Contents  


Sample Chapter


Interview in California Writers Club's Writer's Talk




Google Books


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          Autographed Copies with a personal message. A great gift for special women!
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A Girl's Guide to the Heroine's Journey By Valerie Estelle Frankel A Girl's Guide to the Heroine's Journey

In "A Girl's Guide to The Heroine's Journey," Valerie Frankel takes us on a journey through 17 myths of the heroic woman from around the world. African, Asian, Australian, European, Native American (North AND South America), and Oceanic stories are re-told, examined, and discussed in detail. Whether you are 7 or 77, new to a spiritual path or have been practicing your spiritual path for years, this book will help you find or enhance your own personal Heroine's Journey. Envigorate your own life's journey with lessons from ancient tales of feminine power and adventure. Find your inner strength and courage to face all of life's challenges. Enjoy the activities given with each story to help bring the Heroine's Journey alive in your life. Within these pages, the myths of the Sacred Feminine come alive once more. Mingle their life with your own, and unite yourself with the heroines of old once again!


Book Details

ISBN: 9781304250124

Spero Publishing

167 pages

July 2013

Paperback: $15.95

Ebook in all formats at Smashwords for $4.99.


Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television McFarland and Co. Fall 2016.

Valerie Estelle Frankel
Foreword by Trina Robbins

Print ISBN: 978-1-4766-6878-9
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2801-1
glossary, bibliography, index
softcover (6 x 9) 2017


In the heroine’s journey, the young woman protagonist confronts her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is a recurring theme in comic books and their screen adaptations. Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Black Widow each find their greatest enemy is their dark mother or shadow twin—the savagery they’ve rejected in themselves. Supergirl, in her latest television incarnation, strives to restore her bonds with her sister. This book explores the popular mythos of comics heroines like Jessica Jones, Catwoman, Harley Quinn and the new superwomen of webcomics, who all endure great personal struggle or sacrifice before emerging as female warrior-saviors.


"Frankel uses myth the way it was meant to be used, to help people understand how their lives fit into a larger world. She offers great depth of analysis in understanding how the mythic characters of comics utilize the standard mythic tropes. This is a must-have."--Matthew Wilhelm Kapell, Exploring the Next Frontier: Vietnam, NASA, Star Trek and Utopia in 1960s and 1970s American Myth and History.

Supporting Materials

PowerPoint presentation on the Heroine's Journey from Baycon 2010.

Comparison of Models

Campbell’s Hero’s Journey

Frankel's Heroine’s Journey


The World of Common Day

The World of Common Day

Innocence and Discovery

The Call To Adventure

The Call To Adventure

Innocence and Discovery

Refusal of the Call

Refusal of the Call

Innocence and Discovery

Supernatural Aid

The Ruthless Mentor and the Bladeless Talisman

Innocence and Discovery

The Crossing of the First Threshold

The Belly of the Whale

The Crossing of the First Threshold

Opening One’s Senses

Journey through the Unconscious

The Road of Trials

Sidekicks, Trials, Adversaries

Journey through the Unconscious

The Meeting With the Goddess
Woman as the Temptress


Wedding the Animus

Facing Bluebeard

Finding the Sensitive Man

Confronting the Powerless Father

Meeting the Other

Atonement with the Father

Descent into Darkness

Atonement with the Mother 

Integration and Apotheosis

Meeting the Self


The Ultimate Boon

Reward: Winning the Family

Meeting the Self

Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
Rescue From Without
The Crossing of the Return Threshold

Torn Desires

The Magic Flight

Reinstating the Family


Meeting the Self


Master of the Two Worlds

Power over Life and Death


Goddesshood and Wholeness

Freedom To Live

Ascension of the New Mother 


Goddesshood and Wholeness

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