Wonder tales are a specific subgenre of fairy tales. They show how a hero or heroine overcomes an initial, almost insurmountable difficulty in the course of the story and thus brings life into its rightful harmony. This is called "the journey of the hero" or "hero's journey" for short. This storytelling format was created by our ancestors to show people, with the help of stories, how to solve problems and bring their personal, but also social life in general, back into harmony with the cosmos.
It is the hero's journey from our oral cultural heritage,
not to be confused with that of later classical mythology.
There is a deep connection with nature in the wonder tales. It stems from the fact that they were created by our ancestors when they still lived in close connection with nature. Their world view was animistic, everything was ensouled for them. The hero's journey of the wonder tales does not follow the patriarchal laws created by humans, but the laws of nature. The hero's journey from classical mythology, on the other hand, comes from a later time when metal was forged into weapons and battles were already being fought for supremacy. Wars and oppression were the order of the day in this male-dominated, indeed patriarchal, world. Competition, jealousy, quarrels and betrayal determined everyday life. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then.
But if we want to heal our wounds, we have to remember our connection to nature again. It has always been there and has never been lost, but we have forgotten it. It has disappeared from our consciousness, you could say. The wonder tales show us the way back to memory.
By discovering the wonder tale behind our life story, we realise what magic and transformative power is actually at work in our lives. We suddenly remember what our soul longs for so much and what potential it wants to unfold. And we find ways to do this. Best of all, it will not only have a profound effect on ourselves, but will also transform the community in which we live.
Wonder tales were created for this very purpose and passed on orally from generation to generation. Just think of all the poor people in the fairy tale who start out with nothing, treated badly and respected by no one. In the end, they do not only become happy people ("...and they lived happily ever after"), but they are also honoured for having done something good for their community. For they never acted only for themselves, they always had the good of all in mind.
So if you want to discover your biography as a story that has always been - like a wonder tale - connected to the cycles of nature, and therefore full of transformation and magic, and at the same time find the deeper meaning in it, I cordially invite you on a journey of discovery of your own personal and true hero's journey.
Fairy tales give us deep insights into healthy living in harmony with the cosmos. They speak of a balanced give and take between all beings on earth, whether visible or invisible. It is a wisdom that underlies our culture and originated in Europe many thousands of years ago.
Thus, European fairy tales contain the wisdom teachings of our ancestors who lived so close to nature that they still knew its laws very well. They still felt the mystical qualities of the moon at night and the invigorating warmth of the sun when they rose early in the morning. They, who could neither read nor write, were the ones who passed on the fairy tales from one generation to the next over the millennia and thus preserved the ancient knowledge of cyclical life.
Fairy tales are the intangible oral cultural heritage of a country
and are protected by UNESCO in many countries
Fairy tales bring us back to our roots. They speak a clear language from ear to heart. In them we find knowledge that we can understand so well because it is in our genes.
The German term for fairy tale "Märchen" implies that these stories contain a "Mär", which means a "message". The message is hidden in a pre-Christian worldview that links ancient matriarchal values with astronomical knowledge. Thus the fairy tales speak of natural laws and a life in harmony with all beings. Our material world is constantly influenced, shaped and continually reshaped by a force that is not visible to us. Everything is interconnected.
European folk tales can be dated back to the time of the stone circles. So they are at the roots of our culture, just like the gigantic stone monuments from prehistoric times. Both shaped our culture when there was no writing, and they are older than the Egyptian pyramids!
European history is so much more than what we learned in school lessons: Greeks, Romans, Crusades and bloody battles of conquest without end. There were also the Celts, Vikings, Germanic tribes and before them the early farmers. We know little about them because they did not record their knowledge in writing. Nevertheless, their buildings can be found everywhere in the forests, fields and on the shores of Europe. They left behind massive structures made of stone blocks. It took incredible strength to haul in such huge stones, carve them, and place them so that they were carefully aligned according to Sun and Moon cycles. What motivated them to do this? Anyone who has visited such a place, like the gigantic dolmen in Brittany called "La Roche-aux-Fées", understands why it was said to have been created by fairies.
What if the European fairy tales show the world view of our ancestors? Even if it was not recorded in writing, it was still retold orally. What if the fairy tales fill in the gaps and tell us what moved the people of that time, who were our ancestors, and what they believed in? "Once upon a time there was a poor peasant...", "Once upon a time there was a queen who wanted a child so much but couldn't have one...", this is how many fairy tales begin. They are quite real problems of quite real people, aren't they? And they still exist to this day.
According to fairy tales, people at that time always sought the connection with the mysterious divine, the natural principle behind everything, the cyclic connection with nature, in order to solve their problems. Thereby they were transformed and healed.
Indigenous peoples held and still hold closely to the seasonal cycles. They know that each cycle brings renewal. Our ancestors in Europe lived just as close to nature long before our time.
At first they were nomadic hunter-gatherers before they settled down and slowly developed into farmers and founded civilisations. The German religious scholar Ina Wunn writes that the early farmers still believed in a kind of mother-goddess like the earlier hunter-gatherers. The mother-goddess was seen as a natural principle, not as a single supernatural entity. The natural principle was perceived from within as well as from without.
It was this way of thinking and perceiving the natural principle that permeates the fairy tales.
Problems could be solved with the help of the natural principle. Thus, for our ancestors, what we call fairy tales today were not unbelievable fantasy stories, but true stories. For us, on the other hand, what happens in them appears magical, even supernatural.
The natural principle shows itself in the cyclical interaction of earth and cosmos.
Experts have long speculated that fairy tales contain information about the social organisation and belief system of our ancestors.
In fairy tales, heroines and heroes act in accordance with the laws of nature and for the good of all. Personal heroism, as we know it today, is not striven for in fairy tales. It is much more important for the protagonists to understand the creative forces at work behind things so that they can be used to maintain a balance between humans and nature, or - where necessary - to restore it.
In the fairy tale,
the human becomes the representative
of the mother-goddess,
the natural principle