The Wisdom of Fairy Tales

Rudolf Meyer

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Rediscovers the lost meaning of fairy tales and shows how they can have a profound influence on the developing mind of a child.

216 x 138 mm
Floris Books
Parenting & Child Health
268 pages
Publication date:
01 Jan 1995


Fairy tales, though they were originally folk tales told to adults, have been a key part of childhood for centuries and remain popular today. Their patterns and morality have a profound influence on the developing mind of children; they shape the way children understand ideas of good and evil, poverty and riches, beauty and ugliness. They stimulate the imagination and provide much-needed heroes and heroines.

The deeper meaning of these tales, however, has often been lost. Rudolf Meyer explores key themes and images, such as the prince, animals, the tailor or enchantment, in well-known fairy tales. He shows how characters such as Snow White and Cinderella represent particular aspects of our own nature and how there is a deep wisdom to be found in their stories.

This book will be fascinating and insightful reading for parents and teachers.

Table of Contents

1. The Inner Meaning of Fairy Tales
2. The Destiny of Primal Wisdom
3. Snippets of Knowledge
4. Helpful Beings
5. Secrets of the Seasons
6. "The Juniper Tree"
7. Brothers and Sisters
8. Becoming Human
9. The Cosmic Mystery of the Twelve
10. Animals as Humanity's Helpers
11. Enchantment and Release
12. The Powers of Darkness
13. The Michael Mystery
14. The Mystical Wedding
15. The Virgin Sophia
16. Observations on Some Motifs:
Educational points of view
The mystery of the horse
Trades in the fairy tale
Fairy tales of nixies
The mystery of winter
The apple
The heavenly twins
The ravens
The trinity of the soul's powers
The white snake
Hats and caps
The mystery of "fourteen years"
Forces which have been held back
The kingdom of the dead
The hidden picture
17. Fairy Tales Around the World:
Russian fairy tales
Fairy tales from Grisons
Fairy tales from Gascony
Nordic fairy tales
African fairy tales
The Celtic heritage of wisdom


Rudolf Meyer (1896-1985) wrote over thirty book on education, religion and mythology.

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