The New Life of Fairy-Tales

“We resist the domination of our worlds, both mundane and magical.”

: Hearing Silence, Resistance, and Ecstatic Culture

by Marylyn Motherbear Scott, Society for Ritual Arts Board Member
Guest writer

          In these dire and dark times, we look for guidance unto the legends, myths, and fairytales of old. Allowing silence to fall upon us, we listen, while stories reshape themselves according to contemporary lifelines. The essence of tales long told gathers in the quiet, whispers on the breeze, is stirred in air currents by the flight of birds, told in the chirruping of birdsong, of leaves drenched by a downpour and opening into springtime sunshine. Youthful fantasies, stirred as well, come forth into mindful vision; dreams of days in play, playmates, lovers, all come dancing into the circle of practiced silence.

This is the place where Spirit-in-us opens and rises up to join with ancient and magical forces. Prancing in youthful mirth through imaginal forests of worlds-seen-only-through- mind’s eye … through the beating of our primal heart of hearts … through our prophetic vision. A condensation, potentiality, collects itself in the chalice of our soul, joins in the collective unconscious of All That Is, pours itself onto the fertile ground of What Is.

And So It Is. Happy to Be Here Now, the body expands, dissolves into particles of light and the tantric breath. It is here that we are met. It is here we come to know the Beloved One of Us.

           The worlds, Other and Beyond, express themselves in light and in love. We have entered the Silence, resisting only that which does not serve higher self, whether in the mundane and muggle world of politics and social media or in the once and future worlds of visionary light and ecstatic culture — truth, beauty, freedom, love.

In ancient times, the wars between the realms — sensate, mundane and political on one hand; fairy, imaginal, and of Nature on the other — were told by the bards in real time. When the sensate world of wars could no longer be waged, Fairie disappeared into the hills, dales, and barrows, into forest and meadows, into sky and cloud, into rivers and seas, into earthen mounds. Revered by some as the ancestors, the buried dead, while to others they are the shining ones, sprites, and spirits, moonlit reflections, ghostly apparitions. By and large, they all disappeared into Nature (except perhaps for your favored few). Underground. Told around the hearth fires still, are the mythopoetic stories, some found within the pages of Coreopsis. Legends that breathe. Living mysteries. To these, we must attend. Re-awaken.

Resistance — The Underground.

According to legend, the Mayans could discorporate bodily and incorporate at will, into any time and space. Tuatha de Danaan, the Daoine Sidhe, the shining ones, allowed their opalescent bodies to meld with the landscape, to enter the mounds. The English and cultures across Europe found the fae in bogs and bracken and fairy rings. Cultures everywhere have a holiday or festival where their beloved dead dance with them again, the loved ones. As cultures modernized and advanced technologically, magical realms became less interwoven with life. The Fairytale became a belief apart. The visible became invisible. The worlds, Other and Beyond, sank into elemental abode, into the very ground, streams, trees, air, the fire of earth.

           Resistance — according to dictionary terms, the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. Historically, the name of a movement, e.g. the French Resistance. In a physical sense: the degree to which a substance or device opposes the passage of an electric current, causing energy dissipation.
The contemporary Resistance that is being waged is all of the above. We resist the domination of our worlds, both mundane and magical. The Resistance of today is the Underground Railroad of the Civil War days, the secret society that assisted southern slaves in reaching northern freedom, it is the citizens who secretly hid the Jew, the Gypsy, the homosexual being persecuted and put to death in Nazi Germany.
Today, however, we safeguard the persecuted in sanctuary churches and towns and cities. Protection of the Innocent is claimed aloud and proudly. The rights of the people are being upheld by communities of the humane.

           One of the fascinating fairy tales of my youth was The Three Billy Goats Gruff. A metaphor for today. There are some people who are not allowed access to the greener pastures on the other side of the bridge, the other side of the tracks, the other side of the wall. A powerful troll has taken up occupancy in a white house, a field of consenting white daisies bobbing sun-centered heads think that the world and all it holds, circles around them. They ask, Who goes trip, trap, tripping over my wall? Threatening to eat them all for dinner. Greatly-horned grandfathers and grandmothers, strong daughters and sensitive sons, innocent grandchildren — the All that We Are, respond, Just try it. And, the Million Rising, the Women of the World, the Men who stand with them, fill the thoroughfares with tribes of marchers. When the troll does come outside of the protective darkness of his white house, he is tossed into the currents of a fast-flowing river. Truth, beauty, and freedom splash out of every rocky confrontation. They eddy up in the backwaters. Rise up on ocean waves. Hate and enmity sink into the watery deeps, drowned in seas of compassion and oceans of love.

The mask of anonymity is removed as the People of Earth declare our truth to be self-evident. A new mythology is being born. We are an old people, we are a new people. We are a free people, stronger than before. The underground rises up to meet the world above. A caring and active humanity are the unearthed treasure of our earthly realm.

    May it be ever so. And so it is.

Art credits:
All artworks are by Lauren Raine, Society for Ritual Arts Artist-in-Residence, all rights Reserved.
1. “Summer solstice” private collection
2. “Doors 12” Watercolor on paper, private collection
3. “Star 13” private collection
4. “Forest Vision” private collection