The phrase "Once upon a time" opens a portal to shamanic wisdom

21 Apr 2014 2:11 PM | Kim Hermanson, PhD
One way to enter into the deep symbolic language of our soul is through a fairy tale. When we write a fairy tale, the words “Once upon a time” opens up a portal to another world. We have stepped into shamanic terrain.

Every fairy tale is psychologically significant. The narrative and images that show up are metaphorical, not literal. These metaphorical images are powerful, because they’re working on all levels at once. They will show you perspectives and doors that you wouldn’t have seen in any other way. When you enter into this metaphoric terrain, there’s an expansion that happens. Space is opened up and you naturally see other options and possibilities that wouldn't have occurred to you. Your brain starts firing in a different way.

Our creative process isn’t linear. It will make leaps, and your left brain may judge what you're writing and want to shut it down. Let go of your attachment to what you think this fairy tale should be. Welcome and write down anything that comes. Let the images that show up write the tale and simply record what they have to say. And they do have something to say to you.

If you come to a place where you feel stuck, write the words “…and what I really want to say is…” and see what happens. Those words will help drop you down into a deeper level of wisdom and insight.

Sacred moments are those that bring surprise. If we already know what’s going to happen, we’re not in a sacred moment. When we write a fairy tale, we are entering a sacred space where we don't know what's going to happen next. The more you realize that this fairy tale is a real place with real wisdom that you can tap into, the more it will reveal to you.

For more on fairy tales, as well as a process for you to follow when writing your own fairy tale, a short video:

Kim Hermanson is adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her recent course is, "The Purpose and Power of Image."


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