Folklore Education - a necessary tool for life
Here, we will be discussing folklore and how it can help us. We shall talk about different folk characters so that we can see just how much we identify with them. Even today, we have a more significant relationship with them than we might believe.
The stories of old, which we might have told around our campfires as nomads, are teaching tools that carry numerous meanings relating to the experiences we encounter in our lives.
From Red Riding Hood, and myths about Kam (the Sun) and Shon (the Moon) being so in love that they lose themselves to each other and create havoc in the world, to the valuable Greek myths, which to this day provide telling messages about the way we all are, when adopting folkloric insight we open a door to the way we tend to tick. It is in fact only through folkloric insight that we keep any sense of self-observation and balanced social awareness.
The alterations we can make, courtesy of this old craft, can therefore provide us with a detailed structure or template for understanding who we are, together with finding our place in the world. Should we lose this template, we are destined to become mere shadows of ourselves as we create alternative recipes for social and mental wellbeing — which inevitably end up leading us further into chaos.
The messages in early folklore and myth are invaluable to the human race — except we no longer know it, largely because, unfortunately, we believe we no longer need to learn anything about ourselves!
Are you a Kam or a Shon? Do you give yourself to a partner so much that you end up losing awareness of yourself and your own personal needs? Are you a Red Riding Hood? Do you get so involved with toxic characters who you find difficult to pull away from? Are you the wolf who aims to manipulate those around him so much that it is the only way he can retain a specific self-identity, which he cannot afford to lose? You might be a Snow White with a permanent naive sense of the world, or a Jack with constant ambitions running alongside everything you do so that you prove yourself and feel good.
Once upon a time (as the saying goes) we identified with these characters in order to learn about our psychological inclinations and our propensities to behave in a specific way. This meant that through these characters we could find strength and guidance as we learned how not to fall into psychological traps, which in turn helped us understand how to deal constructively with what we were experiencing.
So these early tales are not merely for children; nor are they designed purely as entertainment or pantomimes. They are valuable teaching tools, and an illustration of one of them: Red Riding Hood, gives a clear message about the dominance and power of the symbolic wolf, and the susceptibility of the young woman or teenager when she becomes captivated by the wolf's charms.
Beng, the name Romani people give to the devil, often appears in the form of a frog or toad. This is because he is clever at transforming himself into different things and characters. Dominant and manipulative, he lures Ana, the woodland queen, down into the Lowerworld where she must remain to serve him for a specific length of time. (Most of this relates to the depths of winter, death of the natural world in winter, and lifelessness).
The story of the Frog Prince gives another telling message about dominant personality. The original tale is quite different from the Grimm Brothers' version, and when you think about it, for a young woman to bend to the whims of a slimy toad isn't right somehow. The prince in the original story is rather egotistical, which is what caused a good witch to change him into a frog in the first place. The whole tale actually centres around his dominance and how the young princess is pressed to deal with it. He pays for his egotistical demands, and his assumption that the princess will accept him no matter how he is or appears to be, is thereafter managed. Again, the frog bears similarities to the wolf in this tale. We are talking about egotistical males and innocent women who do not need to be dominated. Similarly, there are versions which speak about egotistical females and innocent men. It works both ways.
Why not also try The Gypsy Journeying Rhythms for Healing and Meditation Course
If you wish to try some Spirit-Travelling in the comfort of your own space and home, and access your own folkloric otherworld, try this course. It's extremely educational and is all laid out for you, with beautiful birdsong, wild animal calls, and some infectious ancient rhythms to carry you to the otherworld. Relax and enjoy it in your own space and time.
Folklore Education - a necessary tool?
Many have found guidance and healing on workshops with Patrick Jasper Lee. Once the actual process of accessing otherworld landscapes is learned, we can begin to educate ourselves in how our human make-up is structured on the inside, and how that affects us psychologically, according to earlier folkloric principles.
Flying through our inner worlds we discover our otherworld landscapes, places where we can tend to store much of our experience from past and present, but also our folkloric self which can relate to a folklore character. This is useful to experience, for we can discover experience we may be carrying along that isn't necessary and which can serve to clutter up or clog our inner landscapes — rather like the belongings we consign to the attic or the cellar when we think we don't necessarily need such things but at the same time don't want to part with them!
Accessing our otherworld landscapes means we access the essence of folk tales from the past because we are all composed of the archetypal characters that live within major folk characters. These archetypes precede religious concepts and also scientific developments designed to help us understand ourselves. Folklore presents a science in itself, for these characters always lived with us, and always will. We can push them away or deny them as much as we like, but they are integral to who we are, and were so for hundreds of years.
Our animistic self, which speaks through everything we encounter, and our otherworld self, which ineracts with everything we encounter, are present within us all of the time. We just have to know how to access it all and make sense of it. It is otherwise chaotic and jumbled and can lead to all kinds of psychological, emotional and mental disturbance.
You are your own folk tale. You can find which character you adhere to and make changes to help you access all that you could be doing with your life. Attend just a basic workshop and you'll discover so much more about yourself that you didn't believe was there.
More will be discussed here about the in-depth advantages of understanding folkloric characters as we go along.
See you in that magical place!
© Copyright Romani Folklore Therapy