Fairy Tales II

Transformation of family patterns through fairy tales

15. – 17.6.2018


Why do fairy tales still hold center stage “Into the Woods” of modern media? Why are they still retold, reinterpreted and reframed to the delight and fascination of today’s audiences, young and old? Why do the wicked witch and the evil stepmother continue to send chills up our spines? What makes fairy tales as relevant, as fresh, as when they first emerged from the storytelling pot of generations? In Fairy Tales I we worked on childhood transformation, the initiatic passages from childhood to teen and teen to young adulthood—and the virtues of courage, resilience and inventiveness they require.  Today those essential rituals marking the milestones in our life stories unfold not so much from the timeless truth of our psyche as from linear time, and we have only our fairy tales to remind us of the need for a deeper commitment to our inner truths. Studying these little jewels of communal dreaming can give us road maps to a better future.

In Fairy Tales II we extract from traumatic or disempowering childhood experience the golden nugget of wisdom and strength it contains. The Bible says that “the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children, to the third and to the fourth generation.” Fairy tales disagree. They show us how to transcend the “sins of our fathers”—to use our worst experiences to get better; to become more able, not less. Like the Greek hero Oedipus, we are blind; inured to the dysfunction we live with. We are lucky if our vision clears and we see we are acting out “the sins” of our parents.

The Fairy Tale clears our vision. It provides us a framework to transmute this dysfunction—these “sins”—into personal power. It allows us to replace our childhood images with empowered, transcendant images of our own.
Fairy Tales allow us to look at the worst and transform it to the best: incestual desires (“And the king loved his daughter and wanted to marry her because only she was as beautiful as his dead wife.”—Donkey-Skin),   lethal greed (“The mother was willing to destroy her child to get what she wanted”—Rapunzel), or any other “poisoned seeds”—an alcoholic parent, an abuser, a sexual predator in a parental role.

The Fairy Tale shows us the steps that are required to confront and conquer such patterns, and change the effect of the past on the present and future. The king who wanted to marry his daughter is ultimately transformed not by his own insights or inner work, but by his daughter’s actions—and he happily leads her to the altar to marry her prince! The child’s transformation ends up transforming his/her life and more often than not his/her family’s too. The Fairy Tale tells us it’s easy—the Fairy Tale says all you have to do is “Watch me and follow in my footsteps”.


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