Researching European shamanism, and then delving into the fairy tale tradition and observing how indigenous European spirituality lingered on in the folk tradition, has opened new doors of reflection. Joseph Campbell was one of the first mythologists to discuss myths as deeply intuitive messages from our ancestors with important messages for our own personal growth. His "Hero's Journey" theory has been hugely influential on subsequent storytellers. But, there is another important journey that we see depicted by certain figures in myth and fairytales; the shaman.
The times in which we are living are more polarizing than ever in recent memory. Thus, people are separated by extremes, reactivity, and heated emotion. But, at the same time, a Great Awakening is under way, and it is important to highlight some important points, re-calibrate, and focus our directive moving forward.
*This article is an excerpt from "Aschenputtel: Animism and Ancestor Veneration in Grimms' Cinderella," European Fairy Tales Series Vol V.
Understanding our lost native beliefs can be difficult for modern minds to wrap their heads around. We are so cut off from our deep roots that, today, our own indigenous belief system feels foreign to those who are unfamiliar with it.
Furthermore, both Abrahamic religion and science based rationalism (which tends to be atheistic) view the world in a linear and literal way that is incompatible with the flexible and more free flow understandings of organic ethnic-spirituality (which was the native spirituality of all indigenous peoples in the world before adopting “revealed religions”).
Years pouring over the myths and tales passed down by our ancestors through centuries to millennia will lead to great personal revelation and insight to those who think deeply and contemplate what they've read. This is true for all cultures, and I firmly believe all people of all backgrounds have something very important to gain by delving deeply into the mythic tradition of their blood ancestors.
These stories have important insight to share with us if we move beyond the surface and look deeper. They provide guidance for our regular everyday lives. And, today, as I am processing a personal tragedy, I felt the urge to share how the rich lexicon of European folk belief helps me personally process bumps along the road and direct me upon my life's journey in the hope that this gift can be passed on to others.
Reading up on Cinderella, the history of the tale, variations of it, interpretations of it, and the commentary by scholars and writers of various backgrounds is such a mixed bag! I have spotted something very important in the tale that virtually nobody else is covering, but, there is much more to talk about regarding this tale that I won't be able to cover in the fairy tales series, so we'll explore some of it here.