Fairytales: At the Heart of First Grade and For Adults to Explore, too

From Stasha Ginsburg, First Grade Teacher:
Between "Once upon a time" and "happily ever after" lives a timeless realm of possibility. Fools are seasoned into kings, children are led to the cruel hands of fate where they accidentally discover destiny, and the underdog often overcomes the greatest of odds.

At the heart of first grade is the land of Imagination in which students can try on each and every character from the inside out. They live vicariously through the soul of each character who journeys from the familiar to the unfamiliar and back to the familiar, changed. The children in first grade enter into these tales with wonder and bated breath. They cheer when Little Red Cap emerges from the belly of the wolf whole. They leap out of their seats shouting, "Yes!," when young men slay dragons and become heroes or kings.                                                          

Fairytales are wise teachers offering the depth and breadth of the human condition. They offer a map for becoming human. They are embedded with hidden secrets and meanings living inside of every color, object, character, and place. In first grade, we feel our way through the tale. It speaks to something in us that doesn't yet have words. There is evil and there is good and truth; beauty and goodness always prevails.

As adults, we can approach these stories with both our imagination and our critical mind.  We need to use the tailor's scissors carefully as we cut into the meaning beneath the surface. We are the archeologists blowing the dust off of archaic treasures. We stalk the wild creatures of fairytales to receive the medicine they offer. Fairytales offer nourishing soul medicine to all ages. There are as many different ways to read the inner meaning of a tale as there are philosophies, religions, cultural beliefs, and psycho-spiritual perspectives to transpose upon them. We bring ourselves and our story baggage into the stories with us. We can befriend the tales and listen to what they have to say to us, the way we do with dreams.

What happens when you enter Little Red Riding Hood's story forest? What happens when you quest for the water of life? What are the tailor's scissors really offering you? What part of you is locked in a tower? What story or part of you is sleeping with beauty and the entire kingdom? What secrets shall be awakened? What secrets shall be discovered?

I will be facilitating a bi-weekly Wisdom of Fairytales story circle after the Christmas break. Baba Yaga wants to know, "What'll you turn up with...bones or butter?" Come and join us and find out. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." If interested, or for more information, please email Stasha Ginsburg.