Fairy Tales are our European indigenous wisdom stories
We too have stories at the base of our culture, just like any other indigenous folk. Our European wisdom teachings lie hidden in the wonder tales and Megalithic buildings.
Don't you agree that European history could not have only consisted of invasions, bloody battles, and witch burnings, the things we learned in history class? Why did nobody tell us more about the prehistoric times, the times in history before writing had been invented, the time when Ötzi crossed the Alps and gigantic stone monuments were built along the shore regions all over Europe? Why were those ancestors depicted uniformly as “stone age” people, evoking the image of cavemen, who drug their wives around by the hair?
This ancient world shows to be a colorful place, where at first, after the last Ice Age, people in Europe lived in the woodlands or close to the shores in small tribes. They were hunters and gatherers whose worldview came from their close relationship to Mother Nature that sustained them. They made music, danced, and told stories. Their belief system was what today we would call “shamanic.”
Then there came a massive creative change, called the Neolithic Revolution, maybe the biggest change in mankind’s history, apart from today’s digital revolution. People began to settle down. But the supernatural and magical played no lesser role in their lives than it did before, when they lived the nomadic lifestyle. They were still very aware of their connection to the mysterious divine behind the veil and they knew of their dependency on the creative source. Only now, our settled ancestors had to learn a new way of interacting with Mother Nature. If they wanted to successfully live in only one place and grow their own food, they had to study her cycles, the weather, and the seasons. They had to study the movement of the sun and the moon, which obviously determined all growth on earth.
Stone circles are holding stories
For this purpose our Neolithic ancestors made out significant markers on the earthly horizon to tie their planetary observations to a fixed point on earth. These marked points could be either mountain tops in alpine regions or Megalithic rocks in plains, or along the sea shores. Such Megalithic sites are to be found all over Europe.
So, first the Neolithic astronomers determined an observatory spot. Then they divided the 360-degree horizon around them into segments separated by natural markers such as hills or mountain peaks. Observers in flat areas or near sea shores, however, would have wanted to put around them a number of standing stones that could serve them as markers in the landscape. Then they placed themselves in the middle of the circle.
This is how they could comfortably observe the changing skies in relation to the determined fixed points on earth. They would get to watch the sun and the moon rise and set, day after day. As they were sitting there, year after year, gazing up into the sky, the rhythmic and elegant dance of the sun and moon became obvious to them. The Neolithic astronomers grew aware that everything was connected in one big cosmic plan.
This awareness only needed to be put into words, stories which all could understand.
The realization that the fairy tales contain the wisdom teachings of our ancestors, who lived so close to nature that they knew its very laws, can be priceless for us. These childhood tales of ours can bring us back to the roots, back to all our European roots. They can give us deep insights and healing. No longer do we need to consult other indigenous cultures’ wisdom. Here, we find a wisdom in images which we can understand, because it is in our very genes.
©Andrea Hofman, 2018
Some of the material in this blogpost can be found in my recent book "The True Hero's Journey in Fairy Tales and Stone Circles". Order it directly from here.