Some good ideas in this

Fairy Tale Magic: Unearth & Reclaim the Potent Enchantment of Old World Folk Tales - Kenny Klein, Lauren DeVoe


Disclaimer: ARC received via Netgalley.  Additionally, I am not a Wiccan so I cannot speak about the rituals described in the book.


                Fairy Tale Magic by Klein and Devoe fulfills two purposes.  The first is to look at any magic rituals that might lie in the background of fairy tales, and the second, to show how similar beliefs can be applied in the modern age.  I’m not a Wiccan, so I don’t know enough to evaluate the rituals in terms of that religion; I will say that the rituals in many cases do look as if they would make good meditation rituals as well.


                The book is divided into section with a different tale representing or being used to illustrate a different type of a magic.  Each chapter presents a rundown of the tale followed by a critical look; the last section of each chapter is a ritual instruction.  There is an introduction which includes a brief look at what the difference between a fairy tale and a myth is as well as brief overview of the history of a the fairy tale.   It felt, to be honest, as if something were slightly missing.  Not enough, by any means to disprove the thesis of the critical part of the book, but in terms.  While a good difference is drawn between fairy tale and myth, it seems as if addressing the linkage between folk tale and fairy tale would have benefited the thesis as well as a more detailed looked at oral tradition.  With the lack of folklore, in some ways feels as if the elephant in the room is being overlooked.  This is further by the reliance of Grimm and Lang stories in the back of the book - the Grimms, in particular, did edit the stories they collected to make them less objectionable.  To use a Grimm story without a look at the unedited material seems off when you are connecting it to magic ritual.

                That said, while sometimes I found myself disagreeing with some of the point – for instance, it’s true that Cinderella is so named because she is in the cinders, but it is also symbolic in many stories because it may (can) show that she is still mourning her mother or calling Jack the archetype failure when simpleton would be a better term – Klein and Devoe do make compelling arguments about the connection of magical ritual to the stories.  Their reading of Goldilocks is rather interesting, and does go back to the folkloric tradition that is lacking in some places.  The talk about dolls in terms of Vasilisa the beautiful and Baba Yaga does give a deeper meaning to the tale, one whose symbols are not Western.


                In short, while a non-Wiccan might find only a little use in the rituals, the criticism, even if you disagree with it, does provoke thought and reflection.