When reading this tale ("The Star Money," in European Fairy Tales Series, Vol IV), the main theme that I was struck with is that it is literally a lesson in Karma. Now, it might be instinctual to recoil at that word in an ancient European context as we consider it a foreign word native to Indian Hinduism. Of course, this is very true. However, an historical truth that many Westerners are oblivious to is that Europeans and Indian Hindus share a common linguistic and mytho-cultural heritage.
*This article is an excerpt from "The Star Money: And a European View of Karma," European Fairy Tales Series Vol IV.
*This article is an excerpt from "The Three Golden Hairs: Slavic & Germanic Myth in Czech Folklore," European Fairy Tales Series Vol VI.
I argue quite strongly that the phenomenon of holding a hybrid form of religion occurred clear across Northern Europe, from Britain clear to Russia. However, the manifestation of it occurred much more strongly in Slavic lands than elsewhere. In fact, the ancient faith of the Slavs was so overtly prominently practiced by the peasantry that the Slavs began to be referred to as the people of two faiths. Dvoeverie is a Russian word that is typically translated as “dual belief” or “double faith.”
Since starting the European Fairy Tales Series, I've been struck with just how much of the ancient native European worldview is embedded within our folk and fairy tale tradition. There are several ways that this appears, but one important theme found in a majority of fairy tales is the concept of fate and destiny.