Pursuit of Individual and Tribal Identity


Process of Individuation:  Process of becoming a separate person who can act both independently and accept responsibility for choices


Stages of Individuation Process:  Quest of Confidence and  Optimism


Stage One (Separation from Childhood)


ü      Hero often comes from noble birth (Sometimes the hero is born of mysterious parents or in a remarkable fashion)

ü      A Wound is often present (circumcision, tattoo)

ü      There is a symbolic death (The hero is occasionally orphaned or kept from or unaware of his natural inheritance)

ü      There may be a preoccupation with death

ü      Isolation (The hero is often protected, nurtured, and educated in obscurity by foster parents)


Stage Two( Margin) Transition from childhood to adulthood


ü      There is seclusion

ü      The tribe or the family may be perceived as a constraint—the father is often hostile to the hero’s ambitions, and impervious to his new ideas

ü      Movement from safety to risk

ü      Direct experiences:  perilous journey, obstacles to test courage and strength, sexual initiation, soul searching

ü      There is instruction in the myths of the tribe (The hero may receive special weapons –sword, club—or special strength or supernatural powers.)

ü      The taboos are clearly delineated

ü      A Mentor may be present

ü      Symbolic period of gestation which is followed by a crucial battle


Stage Three (Aggregation) Re-incorporation into the society as an adult


ü      There is a symbolic rebirth

ü      There is a ritualistic ceremony

ü      Symbols of acceptance are present:  name change, icons, talismans

ü      Return to the community (The hero occasionally rescues the tribe and assumes his position as chief.)

ü      There is an establishment of identity