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.
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.
*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”).