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The Call to Adventure
Bringing the Hero’s Journey to Daily Life

by Paul Rebillot with Melissa Kay

Foreword by Stanislav Grof, M.D.
Harper San Francisco, 1993

Combining psychodrama, mythology, and meditation into a powerful rite of passage for individuals and groups, this transformative guide enables people struggling through spiritual crises to find their life’s true direction.

To order: send US$14.00 + shipping ($5.00 U.S.; $10.00 air/$5.00 surface, Europe) to:

Paul Rebillot
116 Judson Avenue
San Francisco CA 94112

Available in German translation from Eagle Books:

Paul Rebillot mit Melissa Kay: Die Heldenreise. Das Abenteuer der kreativen Selbsterfahrung, Eagle Book, BoD Verlag Norderstedt, 272 Seiten, kartoniert,
ISBN-13: 978-3837047202

Die Heldenreise   Die Heldenreise is available for
  29.80 EUR from any bookstore
  or visit:


Review by Penny Owen

THE CALL TO ADVENTURE is a terrific guide to self-awareness through dramatic play. I have used this book in several of my classes as a community college teacher. It has been extremely useful in teaching awareness and in breaking through emotional blocks with my acting students. We have also used it to teach a learning community, i.e. a multidisciplinary class in theater and mythology; it proved invaluable in teaching the power of myth and mythic adventure.

I have also used it, in a less cohesive process, with small groups in my church. It is a book that offers hope and helps individuals successfully set goals for themselves and gain an understanding of the ways they often stop themselves from achieving those goals. It is a powerful spiritual journey which does not advocate any religious position and does not move into any alternative spirituality. The participant discovers a stronger connectedness with herself and others through the experience of the adventure. Based on the theoretical underpinnings of Joseph Campbell's work on heroic adventure, Rebillot has constructed a playful journey through a fantasy in which a Hero must challenge his or her Demon; must confront a Supreme Ordeal; and then is rewarded on the Return from the Mysterium with a gift that s/he must share with the world. The experience is powerful and at the same time, it is playful and filled with grace.

My students and friends not only enjoyed the experience of the adventure but found that it had a profound impact on their lives. Many find that they are much more successful in accomplishing their goals since the experience.

The book is in no way theoretical. There is absolutely no jargon, no New Age hope in 'the stars' or 'magical' spirits, no intellectual theorizing about the unconscious. The book is about taking action in a safe setting to explore personal desires and fears. And the adventure is pure play.

This is a great way for small groups to develop group cohesiveness and to heighten individual awareness. The book guides you gently and clearly through the process. A group member can read the meditations and leadership responsibilities can be shared among group members.

I have attended workshops with Paul Rebillot and have loved the way that he leads a group, but I have also found that I can facilitate this structure and that without a strong leader, the group accepts responsibility for one another in the journey. I would, however, suggest that if you have not attended a workshop with Rebillot, that you follow the easier choices that he offers in the book until you are completely familiar with the pattern of the journey.

I have also been told that the book can be used as a guide for individual “adventures.” I suppose this is true, but I would suggest that a great deal of the fun in, and the rewards of, the process come in playing together. The group members help each other create their stories of heroic adventures and in the process each group member learns compassion and discovers his or her own ability to help others without preaching to them. I have loved both the process and the book. I would recommend it and would gladly assist others who are interested in trying this process with their small groups. It is fun. It is challenging. It is insightful. And it is personally rewarding.

Sir Thomas Brown said, “We carry within us the wonders we seek outside ourselves.” THE CALL TO ADVENTURE is a playful way in which we can find those wonders within ourselves.

Penny Owen is a drama teacher, theater director and actress currently living and working in Connecticut.

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