Experts in the field have long speculated that folk tales contain information on the social organizations and belief systems of our European ancestors. What anthropologists find in prehistoric times are predominantly matriarchal values. They ensure that nature’s life-sustaining assets are distributed in a just way to ensure everybody’s survival. In the eyes of the creators of our folk tales, planning and managing assets were essential skills to ensure the survival of their communities.
"Fairy tale heroines and heroes are walking in alignment with the cosmic order. Goals of personal individuation and the heroism popular today are unimportant to them. They strive to integrate all the creative energies into their lives and they do not rest until balance is restored, if needed. This is when the alchemy between humans and the divine can happen, when humans become the representatives of the goddess again." Excerpt from "The True Hero's Journey in Fairy Tales and Stone Circles"
If you’re interested in stories, whether they be folk tales or movies, you probably find yourself relating to the protagonist and their journey in some ways. You may even find that you not only relate to the heroine or hero, but also look for values that could support your quest for your best life.
However, many of these stories are based on classical mythology and emphasize war and betrayal, where heroes mostly reflect a male-dominated, patriarchal energy. As you look for role models with supportive values, you may only find heroes who produce drama.
To get a more accurate depiction of heroes who embody our values, we need to turn to the much older fairy tales, mythological stories that were orally transmitted from generation to generation and that offer role models who act with peace and balance in mind.
This is because the heroes and heroines in fairy tales do not follow man-made, patriarchal laws; instead, they follow cosmic rhythms and cycles and therefore demonstrate the ability to establish a balance between themselves and the life around them.
By being in contact with the fairy realm, they, too, become guardians of life and see themselves as part of nature's cycles.
If you look for role models who are guided by inner virtues and driven to nurture peace and integrity, you are more likely to find them in fairy tales and their true hero's journey.
Copyright Andrea Hofman, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2019