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Putting Your Spiritual Fairy-tale Together

An editorial column wherein the “WP” in WaRP shares her distinctive perspective on topics from “Art” to “Zen.”


 

That wasn’t so hard! Are you beginning to get the idea? Are you starting to see that events in your life do fit into the structure of a classic fairy-tale? Pretty cool, huh?

Certain of the archetypes’ questions were easier to answer than others. That’s the idea. If you haven’t already picked the one you identify with most, please review and see which of the questions you answered most easily and readily. That’s your heroic role model for now. Is it the Hero In Spite of Himself? The Divinely Guided Innocent? The Wounded Hero? Or the Quester?

Now for the really fun part – the part where your story reveals itself. In this section, read the structure of your chosen hero’s fairy-tale. We’ve supplied your answers from your hero’s section of the questionnaire — Substitute your own answers into the corresponding spaces below to get your own fairy-tale.

 

Putting Your Spiritual Fairy-tale Together

The Structure of the Hero in Spite of Himself’s Fairy-tale

Your answers:

  • (None!)

The fairy-tale:

  • Once upon a time there was a Hero in Spite of Himself who was plagued by a pursuing dragon named (A).
  • Every time the H.I.S.O.H thought he’d escaped the dragon, he (B) and was forced to face (A)‘s fiery breath again.
  • Finally, the dragon cornered the H.I.S.O.H in a Cave of Mirrors where the Hero saw himself experiencing (C) in the glass.
  • Shocked by his own, dark reflection, the H.I.S.O.H said, “Dragon, I see, now, that (D).”
  • At once the dragon let the H.I.S.O.H out of the cave, hissing “You’ve tamed me, for now. Go and (E). And don’t make me chase you again!”

Here’s how it might look when it’s all put together:

Once upon a time a Hero in Spite of Himself was plagued by a pursuing dragon named Prejudice. Every time the H.I.S.O.H. thought he’d escaped the dragon, he insulted someone of a different race and was forced to flee Prejudice’s fiery breath again. Finally, the dragon cornered the H.I.S.O.H. in a Cave of Mirrors where the Hero saw himself cruelly mocking a child of a different race in the glass. Shocked by his own, dark reflection, the H.I.S.O.H. said, “Dragon, I see, now, that I’m a coward and a bully.” At once the dragon let the H.I.S.O.H. out of the cave, hissing, “you’ve tamed me, for now! Go and get along better with your fellow humans. And don’t make me chase you again!”


The Structure of the Divinely Guided Innocent’s Fairy-tale

Your answers:

  • (None!)

The fairy-tale:

  • Once upon a time an Innocent, wandering through a misty wood, paused and (A). Immediately, a wise, old gnome appeared.
  • “Again?” chided the gnome. “Every time you do (B) you end up here!” The Innocent nodded, “but I trust you to tell me the right way to go.”
  • Just then a great tree fell, hiding the gnome from the Innocent’s sight. Searching, the Innocent became stuck in a bog that felt just like (C).
  • The Innocent lay on his/her back in the bog and asked, “what do I need to know right now?” Out of nowhere came the wise, old gnome’s gruff voice, saying, “(D).”
  • When the Innocent opened his/her eyes again, the Innocent was out of the woods and deeply thankful to be (E).

How it might actually look (using Wendy’s answers, just for the heck of it):

Once upon a time an Innocent, wandering through a misty wood, paused to hear an inner voice. Immediately, a wise, old gnome appeared. “Again?” chided the gnome. “Every time you unintentionally get into physical danger, you end up here!” The Innocent nodded, “but I trust you to tell me the right way to go.” Just then a great tree fell, hiding the gnome from the Innocent’s sight. Searching, the Innocent became stuck in a bog that felt just like drowning at Venice beach. The Innocent lay on her back in the bog and asked, “what do I need to know right now?” Out of nowhere came the wise, old gnome’s gruff voice, saying, “Remain calm and trust that you will be carried safely to shore.” When the Innocent opened her eyes again, she was out of the woods and deeply thankful to still be alive.


The Structure of the Wounded Hero’s Fairy-tale

Your answers:

  • (None!)

The fairy-tale:

  • Once upon a time there was a Wounded hero who believed his/her condition meant (A).
  • Every time the Wounded Hero tried (B) it seemed that the world only reinforced what the Wounded Hero believed about him/herself.
  • Then, one day it came to pass that the Wounded Hero (C) which brought him/her to the brink of despair.
  • But a good fairy appeared and touched the Wounded Hero with her magic wand, saying, “see yourself through the eyes of love.” The Wounded Hero looked and saw (D).
  • “If you accept this new way of seeing,” said the good fairy, “you will (E).” The Wounded Hero promised to try and kissed the fairy goodbye.

How it might actually look when it’s all put together:

Once upon a time there was a Wounded hero who believed his/her condition meant: childhood abuse has made me unemployable. Every time the Wounded Hero drifted from one job to another, it seemed that the world only reinforced what the Wounded Hero believed about him/herself. Then, one day it came to pass that the Wounded Hero got fired again, which brought him/her to the brink of despair. But a good fairy appeared and touched the Wounded Hero with her magic wand, saying, “see yourself through the eyes of love.” The Wounded Hero looked and saw: I have to put myself first and get some healing. “If you accept this new way of seeing,” said the fairy, you will eventually be fit to hold and keep a good job.” The Wounded Hero promised to try and kissed the fairy goodbye.


The Structure of the Quester’s Fairy-tale

Your answers:

  • (None!)

The fairy-tale:

  • Once upon a time Quester went out into the world to accomplish (A).
  • To accomplish (A), Quester repeatedly (B).
  • Then one day, it came to pass that Quester (C). All seemed lost.
  • But, rather than give up, Quester realized that (D).
  • So Quester persevered and was rewarded by (E).

How it might actually look when it’s all put together:

A-1: “Once upon a time Quester went out into the world to accomplish finding “Home.” To find “Home,” Quester repeatedly sought the wisdom of many teachers in many places. Then, one day, it came to pass that all the teachers were pointing Quester down conflicting paths and none really knew where “Home” was. All seemed lost. But rather than give up, Quester realized that it’s best to be your own teacher and search within. So Quester persevered and was rewarded by finding “Home” within his/her own heart.

… or …

A-2: “Once upon a time, Quester went out into the world to accomplish acquiring Total Trust in a love partner. To acquire Total Trust, Quester repeatedly entered with an open heart into many romantic relationships, all of which ended in betrayal. Then one day it came to pass that Quester, believing Total Trust led only to heartbreak, withdrew from the world and went to live alone in a cave. All seemed lost. But, rather than give up, Quester realized that humans, though fallible, are good company. So Quester persevered and was rewarded by returning to the world, wiser and more selective in love, to acquire Total Trust in him/herself.


The Message of Your Personal Fairy-tale

I hope you’ve had fun discovering the stories you have lived and are living now. The neat thing about this exercise is: the personal fairy-tale you build from answering the five questions can be used any time to gain insight into events from your past, or into a current trial or adventure that’s inspired you to write. If you’re inclined to bone up on famous fairy-tales, myths and legends, you might enjoy making up your own set of five questions based on some of the countless heroic archetypes that exist beyond the four used here.

Those of you who had trouble figuring out Question D: What was my lesson? Don’t worry. That one’s a toughie – it always takes deep thought, because humans are a complicated lot and lessons, even hard ones, don’t always “take” with us.

Question B refers to recurring life patterns, the things that seem to happen over and over again that make us say, “geez, am I ever gonna get off this hamster wheel?” If you had trouble answering D, it may be because you’re stuck in B. They’re connected. You simply have to repeat tests and trials until you learn their meaning. There’s no getting around it. Only when the lesson becomes part of you, can you progress to the next chapter in the personal myth you are weaving.

There’s great joy in claiming your archetypal role and living it “to the hilt” every day. But it takes courage, for you must dare to raise your opinion – your vision – of yourself, and do it in a society that must, because of its inherently negative nature, try to tear you down.

Never slip back into believing your everyday actions don’t count. They do…more than you can imagine. For our stories are all interwoven into one grand story, and even your smallest choices are intrinsic to the plot. Each person you interact with, or avoid for that matter, is a supporting character with a plot thread of their own. Realize this, and your sense of responsibility toward everyone and everything will profoundly increase.

Your life lessons are, in spirit, the same as those of Hercules, Pandora, even Little Red Riding Hood. Handed down through generations, they’re essential guideposts in Mankind’s upward journey. Without them, we would stumble and, quite possibly, lose our way.

Live out your personal Fairy-tale knowing you can’t make a single move that’s insignificant. We are, each and every one of us, a necessary chapter in the ongoing, epic tale of humanity.

the end

Wendy Pini


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