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.
These are dark days. Thousands of people are being caught up in mob mentality and literally attacking people for thoughts that they find "abhorrent." Whether these mobs are using internet bullying, harsh words, or literal physical assault, the effect is the same. We are being told that there is an institutionally approved narrative and those who don't get in line will singled out to be ruined by the mob. We have been here before. So, let us take a peek at what we can learn from history, shall we?
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”).
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.
The discipline of folklore was founded during an era that was grappling with many of the same issues we are facing today. Obviously the lore itself has roots much older. But, prior to the Romantic Era, scholars and "civilized society" simply weren't paying attention.
The Romantic Era started in Europe as a pushback against Industrialization. The prior Scientific Revolution had shifted Western thought toward a more "rational" worldview; one that rejected the "superstition" found among the countryfolk. There were clear benefits and advancements in the birth of science and medicine, but one downside was the dismissal of age-old tradition and belief.