I wanted to share a little of the process that brought me to writing my newest title, Fairy Tale Rituals, a book that looks at the very dark side of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, using them as a jumping off point for rituals and spells.
While I was writing my previous book, Through the Faerie Glass, I found that I kept referencing Grimm’s Fairy Tales. At first that confused me a bit. After all, while we grew up calling these fairy tales, there are really very few Faeries in them. Witches, dwarfs, talking bears, singing dogs, magical birds, but Faeries? Not so much. You’d be hard pressed to find even one classic Faerie in most of the stories you know well. You may think of Cinderella, with her Fairy Godmother. But there is no such character in the Grimm’s tale. Cinderella receives her gifts of clothing and the famous glass (or gold) slippers from an enchanted bird in a hazel tree that grows over her mother’s grave in the Grimm’s 1812 collection of Childrens’ and Household Tales.
So why did my quest for traditional Faerie lore keep leading me back to these tales? Well for one thing, these are very old tales, as old as time, dating back to ancient Rome, Greece, Persia, and beyond. And each tale, as I became ever more aware, contains within it a seed of magic and enchantment, hearkening back to Greek myth, Persian fables, and Norse sagas. The themes I was researching in my Faerie lore quest kept popping up again and again in these tales, collected over centuries by the Grimms, Andrew Lang, Bechstein, Perrault, Basile, and so many others. Enchantment and how it works, the effect the Otherworld has upon us as humans, and most prominently, the journey â€śinto the forest,â€ť that takes humans into the Faerie world and back. These are the stuff the Grimm’s tales are made of, and that kept pulling me again and again into the world of Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Talia, with her twin children Sun and Moon.
So I dove into the magic of these tales. And in doing so, discovered a dark, eerie, erotic force I had perhaps overlooked (or failed to fully comprehend) as a youngster listening to the stories, or watching the prettified movie versions.
The idea was born, of exploring the grisly, eerie, and sensual situations embodied in these seemingly harmless tales. And it occurred to me that since we know these tales so well, and identify so strongly with these characters, there is deep personal magic connecting us to the stories. Magic that can be harnessed in spells and rituals, bringing the classic features of Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansâ€”strength, beauty, poise, triumph over tragedyâ€”into our lives. So the idea for Fairy Tale Rituals took shape as I searched for that kernel of enchantment. It turns out these stories are, indeed, full of Faerie magic. You just have to look a little deeper.
Our thanks to Kenny Klein for his guest post! For more from Kenny, visit his author profile for a full list of his books and articles.