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.
The brain thinks in stories, researchers say. Whatever we as humans encounter, feel, and learn, we want to communicate. When we pack an experience into a story it connects us to our group, which again makes us feel safe and like we belong. The storytelling instinct of our human species cannot really be stopped, nor can it be curbed. Experience and wisdom need to be shared and passed on.
In prehistoric times, long before writing was invented, the stories of a community were held sacred. The elders knew about the power of a narrative and they knew how important it was to tell the right kind of story. For if it wasn’t in alignment with the natural laws and rhythms, it would mess up people’s perceptions and cause a web of lies. People would lose sight of how they were connected and embedded in nature and would start to be alienated from their own source.
With our stories we contribute to the common perception of the world we live in and thus help create a shared outlook of this life on earth. Ultimately, which stories we tell defines the culture of our tribe. Not only that, it shapes what we perceive and what we ignore, what we think is okay, and what we look at as threatening.
The more the dos and don’ts are reassured by stories, the more they get established as values, and future stories will have to go along those lines to be accepted by the listeners.
Fairy tales contain the wisdom teachings of our prehistoric elders, who lived so close to nature that they knew its very laws. They bring us back to our roots, back to all our European roots. They give us deep insights and healing, since they are modeling a well-balanced life, in fairness and healthy relationships, with an even give-and-take interaction between all beings on earth and its creative divine source. 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.
Folk tales are as valuable today as 6,000 years ago. Only we need to understand their context, but that is not so difficult after all, since the stories speak a straightforward language from heart to ear, and ear to heart.
Over the millenniums, the fairy tales always spoke directly to the heart of the hardworking illiterate folk, who got up with the first rays of the sun and sensed the mystical qualities of the moon by night push and pull like tidal waves through their veins. It was them who passed on the folk tales from one generation to the next, thus keeping the old European indigenous wisdom alive.
Fairy tales mostly present a world where all struggles result in justice and benevolence. Here, things change for the better and wrongs get turned into rights. They promise a story which will eventually lead to a happy ending. If not, it is quite clear why not.
Their world is straightforward: the good ones win and the bad ones get punished. But the reason why some of them are also called “tall tales” is because we think their stories are lies, impossible and a little crazy. Still, we are inspired by their wisdom and use their symbols and figures as archetypes to learn more about ourselves.
But what if the fairy tales contained a truth that was even more directly applicable? What if the folk tales were to instruct us on how our lives should truly be when balanced? Are they holding a message, just as the German word for fairy tales “Märchen” implies? “Mär” means “message” and the end term “chen” is belittling it. Is here a message which got belittled?
There is not only one, but two messages that were hidden in folk tales. One of them was conveying the old matriarchal ways of living in sync with Mother Nature and the other was the balanced soli-lunar calendar as tracked in megalithic stone circles. Both survived to this day due to the tales’ oral passing on by the illiterate folk who were so close to nature that they understood the tales’ talk about the inter-connectedness of all beings.
The tales spoke about visible and invisible things, of this world and the other, of secrets in nature and the between-and-betwixt times and places, where the two worlds met. These were things the folk knew about, it was part of life like eating and sleeping. The tales were therefore conveying how life worked in the cosmic order.
The fairy tales are our very European wisdom stories. However, such tales were potentially dangerous for the patriarchal world, and that’s why they got belittled. The messages speak of matriarchal values of collaboration and mutual care, where there are no gender and status differences. Such values of equality were indeed not suitable for patriarchal ambitions.
Common people and storytellers alike who passed on the tales, however, sensed that they contained an instruction, a message or a truth, which provided them with a map to help navigate life on this beautiful and mysterious planet called earth. Whenever the path got lost and divine intervention was needed, it could be re-found by heeding the tales’ advice. In this way, all of life’s struggles could result in justice and benevolence. Such is the wisdom hidden in our fairy tales.
Our Neolithic ancestors, the creators of the wonder tales and stone circles, considered the cosmic influence of the two main lights, the Sun and the Moon, as part of the creative energy that helps to shape the world. They believed it to be so important that they established a calendar with equal emphasis on the Sun and the Moon to live by. With the help of huge stones, megaliths, they built circles and monuments that helped them compute the Sun and Moon’s cyclical dance. Then they condensed their know-how into stories – our European wonder tales. These stories have been told and re-told for ages, up to this very day. These tales are thus our indigenous wisdom stories, stories that lie at the very root of our culture. Would you have thought that your beloved childhood tale contains such ancient and cosmic wisdom?
The fairy tales were created in prehistoric times to help humans align their life path with the cosmic order. The red thread behind the stories is always the same. It shows a hero's journey that can be applied directly to any human's life when considering the cycles of the Sun and the Moon - therefore I call it the true hero's journey.
The natural ups and downs, amazing opportunities and sometimes seemingly insurmountable struggles are all part of our true heroic journey. They belong to a human's path through his life, as it unfolds in cycles of 18.6 years. All is interrelated and our tangible world is constantly shaped and re-shaped by the intangible influence of the Sun and the Moon. This is a language that speaks directly to our soul. The fairy tales depict the natural laws and show how a life in harmony with all beings is possible.
Looking at the story of life as it were a heroic journey lets us see the big picture and shows us how seemingly unconnected events are, in fact, interrelated. This will transform how we perceive our life as a whole and might just reveal our soul’s higher purpose. At the same time, it will return to us a sense of basic trust that we are embedded in a benevolent universe, where humans receive help from Spirit when needed, and are even invited to co-create a happy life.