I happened to find this in an old session speaking about the subject of love. This session happened right at the time when I closed the final chapter of one relationship and life took an unexpected turn towards my current relationship. Perhaps it has already been posted in the thread, but even if that is the case, it bears repeating.
One can say that the romance novels also often fits into the category of fairy tales. Where old fairy tales have magical events bringing an infusion of a surprise (chaos) element to the story, in the romance novels, this is done via 'coincidences', like chance meetings, stranded with a stranger during a storm etc.
The same session had this beautiful pearl:
Thanks for resurfacing the C's mention, the ruffles part was indeed funny.
Looking at the C's reference of "Study fairy tales to discover" to what has been written and what book(s) - probably many books, had a look at what was remembered. Somewhere I've a detailed book with many of the tales, however in The Lost Language of Symbolism, Harold Bayley wrote on fair tales, such a Cinderella, in rather unique way. These tales cross over in different cultures and languages, too.
This reminded me of one of my favourite fairy tales, called Prince Lindworm, or Kong Lindorm in another version.
It has everything to do with the longing of a woman to have a child, attempting to cheat the rules of life, hiding the consequences of one's actions, rejecting what seems ugly, and this cast-off material growing into a devouring serpent that threatens the kingdom, seeking out the advice of elders, and the pain of stripping down the layers of the false personality in relationships.
A queen longs to have children, but is barren. She seeks out the old wise woman in the woods, who gives her two roses, and is told to eat the white one for a girl and the red one for a boy. She eats both! At labour, she gives birth to a snake, and then a healthy baby boy. She commands the midwife to throw the unwanted snake-child out the window.
The Prince grows up, and a match is made with a Princess in a neighbouring Kingdom. At the crossroads, he is stopped by a monstrous Lindworm, his own dark twin, who demands a Princess to marry - it is his right to be wed first, as the eldest son of the King. They hurry to find the Lindworm a princess, arrange a match, marry them, and in the morning, she is gone, and he lays on the bed, looking quite content with a full belly - and demands a bride and a wedding!
Because his idea of marriage is devouring his partners, word gets around, and they eventually they run out of willing Princesses. A peasant girl is chosen to be the next 'bride'. She seeks out the wise woman of the woods, who bids her to sew seven shifts to wear on her wedding night, and to take with her a whip, a bucket of lye, and a bucket of milk. After the wedding, in the bridal chamber, when the Lindworm tells her to undress, she says that she will take off a shift if he will shed a layer of skin first! This proceeds until he takes off his last layer of skin (seven in total) and is revealed as a formless, moaning pink lump on the floor.
As instructed by the wise woman, the young maid dips the whip in lye and starts thrashing him with it. Afterwards, she bathes him in the warm milk and collapses, exhausted. The next morning, the court anticipates an empty room with only the Lindworm, but instead finds the young maid with a handsome prince who had been locked up inside the dragon-skin of his abandonment, trauma, and shame.
I first heard this story presented by Martin Prechtel and poet Robert Bly (creator of the mytho-poetic men's movement
) over at the Minnesota Men's Conference YouTube. Here it is if you'd like to listen in. They lean towards the Jungian side of things (ie., saying stuff like 'the Soul of a man is female', or their big focus on ritual), but I still find this story, like many of the others on the channel, very entertaining and quite educational to ponder.
The presenters often open up the floor for discussion afterwards, and encourage the listeners to understand that all of the images in the story are happening both inside them and outside of them at once. For instance, one nugget from this story mentioned by Bly is that the feminist movement has spent a lot of time training women to whip men with lye, but the bath of warm milk has been long forgotten.
This Romance Novel project is great because they are stories that detail the stripping away the layers of shame and pride, with a big focus on the healing, or the bathing in milk. In a way, they're like a milk-bath in their own right, a sort of corrective to the destructive affects that feminism has had on the culture.
The books I've read in this archetypal fairy-tale style by Robert Bly (Iron John
) and Michael Meade (Men and the Water of Life)
have been top-notch explorations of fairy tales, both in terms of entertainment value and also getting some insight into my own inner dragons, knights, and castles, and treasures, desires, fears, assumptions and joys, etc. Pinkola-Estes' Women Who Run with the Wolves
is probably also a good one, too, although I've only read the Inuit story of the Skeleton Woman.