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.
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.
Over several years of studying indigenous European belief (paganism, mythology), and then studying the folk tradition (folklore, folk customs, holiday traditions, witch trial records), I began to realize that the idea that paganism died out after conversion to Christianity was simply preposterous. Native European spirituality remained an incredibly powerful force in the consciousness of the European people well into the modern era.
There is an important side to fairy tales which is often overlooked. Although I work within the European paradigm, what I will explore here is relevant to ALL cultures, as fairy tales exist universally among all people worldwide.
True fairy tales, not stories written solely by one author, but rather stories that were developed collectively over generations among language groups and cultures, have encoded in them important keys to understanding our own psyches.
First of all, I would like to introduce this new blog. I have long needed a place to collect thoughts that revolve around my accumulated knowledge of European folklore, myth, and legend, and how it corresponds with an organic spirituality and life in general. I will collect some of my postings from other venues and relocate them here, and then use this one going forward.