Fairytales, Astrology and Enchantment in Relation to Child Directed Creative Play

This is an excerpt from ‘Fairytales, Astrology and Enchantment in Relation to Child Directed Creative Play ‘ which I co-wrote with my colleague,  Sandra Lamb Kilburn who is a medical astrologer and whose work enhances  applied clinical practice at the Living Memory Research Trust . To read the full paper go to Academia.edu

This paper explores astrological psychology and specific astrological chart indicators.  A detailed case study of child directed creative play sessions, demonstrates their application in a therapeutic setting.  The child’s astrological chart indicates key personality traits which could be matched to the trials and tribulations that beset the leading characters within the fairytale of Cinderella. Insights gained from this exploration together with an understanding of the symbolism of fairytales offers healing opportunities, where the child leads the therapist through a personal interpretation of the fairytale, Cinderella.

Fairytales are as old as mankind itself and in all cultures, people have shared stories from generation to generation.  As metaphors for the growth of the soul, fairytales have spiritual significance and meaning and reflect our personal journey of life on earth.  (Wilhelm H 2015) They are not stories of rational behaviour but are symbolic of deep psychological, moral and spiritual messages to the soul to guide it on its journey through the trials it will face during its physical life experiences.  Through their experiences, the characters in the fairytales demonstrate the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pressures the soul will encounter during its contact with the material world; this acts as a guide to help the individual to navigate the tests and trials experienced during physical life.  (Jung C 1996)

Astrological Psychology and the Symbolism of Fairytales

Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, was deeply interested in mythology, religion and fairytales.  After studying medicine at Basel University in 1900, he graduated with an M.D. from Zurich University in 1902.  Paranormal experiences in his childhood led him to delve into the mysteries of the psyche (the soul) which resulted in his incorporating astrology and psychology into his studies.

The origins of archetypes appear to go back to the Greek philosopher Plato, who believed that pure mental forms were imprinted in the soul prior to birth.  He developed the idea that archetypes are the original models in the non-physical world and that physical forms are copies of these pure thought forms.  Carl Jung furthered the concept of psychological archetypes (metaphysical ideas of the nature of reality beyond physical existence) which were influenced by Plato’s ideas.  Jung formulated four major categories of archetypes; the animus/anima, the self, the shadow and the persona, which are archetypes that feature in fairytales.  Jung believed that at the unconscious level i.e. everything that is not at the conscious level of awareness, everyone retains understanding of human experiences and this creates a collective knowledge, which he called the collective unconscious.  Jung put forward the idea that a group experience takes place on a lower level of consciousness than the experience of an individual.  This is due to the fact that when many people gather together to share one common emotion, the total psyche emerging from the group is below the level of the individual psyche, stating that ‘If it is a very large group, the collective psyche will be more like the psyche of an animal, which is the reason why the ethical attitude of large organisations is always doubtful.  The psychology of a large crowd inevitably sinks to the level of mob psychology.  If, therefore, I have a so-called collective experience as a member of a group, it takes place on a lower level of consciousness than if I had the experience by myself alone.’  (Jung C 1991)