The Romance of the Fairy Tale
My novel, “The Midas Tree”, arrived in this world as a vision. It was given to me as a spiritual download. Then I had to figure out what I had created. Those who have read it, liken it to a modern day fairy story.
It contains many element of a fairy tale, such as fairy-like characters, talking animals, magic and enchantments, demons and tricksters, a prophetic quest and a series stories within stories, each of which has a moral.
Yet it does not contain romance, at least not as the main plot.
Must fairy tales be romantic?
There is a genre of modern fairy tales that resemble the plots of traditional and well know fairy tales. They draw from such well known tales as Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Ugly Duckling, Goldilocks, Robin Hood and more, for inspiration. Many of them involve romance.
However in rifling through my memory banks it seems to me that some of old stories were not romantic at all. Think about Little Red Riding Hood, The Pied Piper, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk. They rather involve wicked evil people out to harm the innocent children.
What about the relationship with self?
The heroes’ journey within “The Midas Tree” is both an inner journey and outer journey. Some of the events represent inner battles of the ego, and some characters embody teachings about how to overcome these struggles
So do the morals in fairy stories tell us more about the relationship with have with ourselves?
For example the wicked stepmothers and big bad wolves may represent our inner demons and the romances might represent us learning to love ourselves.
For example let’s take Snow White.
The evil queen is vain. She is in competition with anyone who she believes is more attractive than she is. The mirror on the wall is an externalization of the ego. We are being shown the ego within each and every one of us that does not recognize our strengths, our value or brightness.
The Prince, who falls in love with the Snow White, teaches us that love is the answer to overcoming the ego. He loves the sleeping princess unconditionally. If we can accept ourselves for who we are, without judgment, then we can be free of the ego.
The prince also symbolizes spirit and the kiss is the breath of life that animates the physical body. This fairy tale actually teaches a profound spiritual truth, that we are not our physical bodies, we are spirit.
And Sleeping Beauty?
Is this really a story of romance or does it harbor an important spiritual truth?
The merchants’ daughter learns to accept the ugly beast exactly as he is; only then is he transformed into a handsome prince. She is also learning about unconditional love and the marriage of spirit and the physical body. Life is easier when we can accept ourselves and each other as we are, without expectations and judgments.
How About Cinderella?
Is this a love story or is it a spiritual lesson about manifestation?
Cinderella has a miserable, unhappy life, but then a fairy godmother transforms her circumstances. Her paupers’ trappings become wealth and abundance. Once again the fairy godmother represents the spiritual spark that exists in each of us; she teaches us that we are the powerful creators of our own reality.
When she runs away from the Prince, it is because she believes she is not good enough for him. She has low self esteem; another problem of that pesky ego. But hey bingo, here comes the solution, and once again it is love. Love dissolves the ego.
Or The Golden Goose?
This one is about balancing giving and receiving. The sons who do not share their wine and cake come to no good, but the one who shared receives something of greater value in return. The inn keepers’ daughters who try to steal a feather for themselves, also come to no good, as do all the character, who judge them.
The Princess who laughs teaches us the healing power of laughter. The trials her father puts the hero through before he can marry her represent judgments too. Finally the little man in the forest who fills himself up on wine and cake, and who is always able to give to others after he does this is teaching us that it is important that we give to ourselves first lest we have nothing give others.
And The Midas Tree…
At the end of this meandering through some traditional fairy stories, my conclusion is that fairy stories are often devices to teach profound spiritual truths. While entertaining and fun on the surface, the romance within a fairy tale can symbolize how love is the ultimate tool for overcoming the human ego.
So I do believe that my book, The Midas Tree” is a modern day fairy tale, because even though it is not couched within a romantic dalliance, love is presented as the answer to the hero overcoming the challenges of his ego.
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree” will be published on November 11th 2012. The book can be pre-ordered from the website and if you write the words “golden acorn” after your name, you will also receive a free limited edition print signed by the author.
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