Like our dreams, myths and fairy tales provide reflections and offer meaning to the deeper issues we face. In her popular TED Talk, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie talks about “The Danger of a Single Story.” When we rely on a single story to inform or confirm our beliefs and values, we are left with stereotypes and a dualistic view of the world. The same is true for myths and fairytales. When we look beyond the most popular and familiar version (usually Disney), we find that these stories that were told thousands of years ago still have much to tell us about our personal lives.
Looking through a more expansive lens, we can begin to see that each mythical scene is full of rich symbolism. Magic reminds us that Spirit is everywhere and offers hope. Riddles open our perspective and help us to see things from our higher self. Obstacles show us what we are clinging to and what we need to let go of in order to go (grow) on. Death represents the painful process of letting go of that which is holding us back and no longer serving our path of growth. When we encounter death in myths and fairytales (or in our dreams or thoughts), we are witnessing transformation in process - because transformation always entails death and rebirth. Our psyche or soul is telling us it is time to create something new!