The Importance of Fairy Tales

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Earlier this year I wrote a guide on Amazon on how to start a Pagan Sun-day school.  The list includes 32 products, most of them books, many of which can be found at a good library.  However, since then I have been coming around to a more down to earth approach to teaching kids Pagan concepts.  Somewhere I heard the idea that fairy tales are more important than myths for teaching Pagan ideas.  This idea kind of clinged to the back of my mind.  I was intrigued by the idea that these old stories, evolved over time and carried on through oral tradition, might have some deep hidden Pagan meaning.  So one day I was browsing in the library and came across The Uses of Enchantment: the Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim.  This book is so in depth, I can’t even begin to summarize.  Never before had I realized how important fairy tales are to the emotional and psychological development of children- much more so than ‘realistic’ stories or myths!  I’ve begun reading some of the older lesser known fairy tales with the intent of memorizing many of them to tell to my son later when each of them has significance to his development and also for their Pagan significance.  For it is also important, on many levels, to tell the story instead of reading it.  What an idea, and how simple!  Telling the stories helps one connect more directly and emotionally with the child than reading from a book does.  It lets you emphasize parts of the story you and/or the child feels is more important.  It sends the message to the child that you approve of the message in the story, that it is important- important enough for you to know it in detail.  Having a collection of fairy tales in my head really appeals to me.  I can tell my child one of these meaningful tales at any time, anywhere- not only at bedtime.  And the pictures a child conjures in his/her head are far richer in meaning than the pictures in a book.

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2 responses »

  1. Hello! I have been on a hunt recently for books and resources for raising a Pagan child. i came across your amazing and informative website and have been loving reading your articles! I clicked the link to your article on Amazon and the link is no longer connected. I was hoping you still have the article posted somewhere that I could read! And I also really wanted to see your recommended books and products.
    Any help is appreciated!
    Thank you so much!

    • I’m glad you like my blog! Thanks for pointing out the broken link. It looks like amazon discontinued their listmania feature (or maybe they’ve just deleted all of mine for some reason). I didn’t have the list saved anywhere else, so I’m sorry to say it is lost! However, I may look back through my children’s old book collections at some point and come up with a new list. I do have some book recommendations in my articles “Celtic Mythology for Kids”, “Norse Mythology for Kids”, and in the holiday activities for kids series of articles.

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