Step 3

Supernatural Aid

Supernatural doesn’t have to mean magical. There are plenty of hero stories that don’t have wizards or witches per say. Supernatural simply means “above the laws of nature.”

Heroes are almost always started on their journey by a character who has mastered the laws of the outside world and come back to bestow this wisdom upon them. This supernatural
character often gives them the means to complete the quest. Some of the time the gift is simply
wisdom. 

Other times it is an object with magical powers. In every instance it is something the
hero needs to succeed. As Campbell says, “One has only to know and trust, and the ageless
guardians will appear.” 

The job of the supernatural assistor is to give the heroes what they need to finish the quest—not finish it for them. 


EXAMPLES of Supernatural Aid FROM:

STAR WARS
    • Luke receives the light saber, plus guidance and training from Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is later joined by Han Solo, Chewbacca and Leia.
OTHER SOURCES
  • In Lord of the Rings, Frodo receives the ring from Bilbo and advice from Gandalf. Later, he also receives the sword Sting and the mithril jacket. He starts out with the three other hobbits and later is joined by the full Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Cinderella: Fairy Godmother
  • Harry Potter gets a magic wand from Diagon Alley. He also later gets a very swish magic broom. Particular support comes from both Hagrid and Professor Dumbledore. He is joined in adventure by other friends from Hogwarts.

Further explanation from Joseph Campbell's Hero with A Thousand Faces:

"For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero journey is with a protective figure (often a little old crone or old man) who provides the adventurer with amulet against the dragon forces he is about to pass." (Campbell 69) "What such a figure represents is the benign, protecting power of destiny. The fantasy is a reassurance - promise that the peace of Paradise, which was known first within the mother womb, is not to be lost; that it supports the present and stands in the future as well as in the past (is omega as well as alpha); that though omnipotence may seem to be endangered by the threshold passages and life awakenings, protective power is always and ever present within or just behind, the unfamiliar features of the world. One has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear. Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side. Mother Nature herself supports the mighty task. And in so far as the hero's act coincides with that for which his society is ready, he seems to ride on the great rhythm of the historical process."
-- (Campbell 71-72)