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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The origins of the Sleeping Beauty tale and other correlations in Myth.

I'm a really big Geek/Nerd when it comes to Fairy Tales...I grew up reading Grimm's Fairy Tales and anything else I could get my hands on. As I got older my desire for Fairy Tales turned to other story sources, such as World Mythologies...from Bulfinch's Greek Myths to Joseph Campbell's explanations of myths and archetypes and so on.

Recently a friend of mine posted an interesting link regarding the tale of Sleeping Beauty on my Facebook page: Maleficent, the Evil Fairy/Goddess
"In Medieval Culture, an event like a royal christening is not a private party; it's the public social event of the year. To not invite any person of rank to such an event is a deadly insult.

Maleficent is certainly someone you wouldn't want at a party, but she's also someone powerful enough that only a fool would ever dare treat her with such blatant disrespect. The only way the King and Queen could possibly have gotten away with not inviting Maleficent was to not invite any of the fairies at all; inviting the other fairies and excluding her is explicitly taking sides in the conflict between the fairy factions.

Which means they made themselves her sworn enemies, and she responded by treating them as such from then on. If you actually get into analyzing the social dynamics of the scene, it's very clear that Maleficent was willing to show mercy at first by giving the King and Queen a chance to apologize for their disrespect to her. She doesn't curse Aurora until after she gives them that chance and they throw it back in her face with further disrespect.

If they King and Queen had done the properly respectful thing and invited her, Maleficent would have given Aurora a scary awesome present. Moreover, so would the other fairies, because at that point both sides would be using it as an opportunity to show-off and one-up eachother. What they gave her before Maleficent showed up was basically just trivial party favors by fairy standards."

I don't know who the original author of this is, but again here is the source as it was received by me on Facebook:  Maleficent; Evil Fairy/Goddess..  
DISCLAIMER: -I made up the "Maleficent: Evil Fairy/Goddess" title as something for the link title for the purposes of use in my blog, that is not actually the name of this 'essay' as it was originally posted or shared.


Here's what I added to this 'conversation':

" Those are actually really good points and it goes further than that if you take in Pagan lunar myths. While earlier versions of this tale only include 7 fairies, with the evil fairy being the 8th (Charles Perrault, 1697), the Grimm Brothers changed it to 12 fairy godmothers with the evil fairy being the 13th, nearly 200 years later in the mid-to-late 1800's.
-also, there is a version which is far darker and more sinister which involves Sleeping Beauty aka "Talia" being impregnated by a King while she is unconscious and waking to find she's now a mother to twins, which she names, "Sun" and "Moon". -which goes further back with Perrault having transformed his version of the story from an earlier version by Giambattista Basile.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty )

While the actions of the 'evil fairy' don't really change one way or another, the reason she was not invited to the child princess's christening by her parents are thus explained through the inclusion of the lunar myths:

There are 7 phases in the lunar cycle from waxing moon to full moon to waning moon; the 8th phase being the Dark moon, when there is no moon to be seen in the night sky (also known as the New Moon). In both stories, the number 13 and the dark moon (8th moon phase) are seen to be representative of bad luck/evil. The 'dark/evil' fairy representative of that 13th or 8th element. In an attempt to ward off any evil or bad luck, Aurora's/Sleeping Beauty's parents decided to only invite the 'good' fairy godmothers, thus excluding the 'bad/evil' fairy. Unfortunately, in their attempt to avoid bad/evil luck...they brought it upon themselves, or rather their child, by offending and angering the dark godmother/fairy by not inviting her, which most likely would have been avoided had they just invited her, afterall.
Another version relates that as the dark/new moon is absent from the night sky, the dark fairy (again, representing the dark moon) was merely overlooked due to her darker nature/the moon's absence from the sky. Not necessarily an intended slight. But, still the same consequences, unfortunately.

If I could recall the book I read this in, I'd quote my source...but these two sources help, to some degree, to uphold these 'myths' or 'theories':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_fairy_godmother
http://www.moonconnection.com/moon_phases.phtml

Also, some interesting theories on where the story of Sleeping Beauty actually is derived from....one going back to Greek mythology involving a party for Zeus and his new wife (can't recall if it was Hera or another woman), where one of the Fates was not invited. This makes sense in that the Fates are notoriously connected to spinning and weaving...with the spinning wheel being a large element in Sleeping Beauty's inevitable downfall.
And there are older connections which deal with the Light and the Dark faces of the Goddess and the story of the goddess Erishkegal (goddess of death) and the goddess Inanna's (goddess of life) descent into the Underworld -which also has great ties into lunar myth.
-Source: "The The Myth of the Goddess - Jules Cashford, Anne Baring

Lol....I'm a huge Goddess/mythology/fairy tale geek. ;D

en.wikipedia.org
"The Sleeping Beauty" (French: La Belle au bois dormant,written by Anne Nzisabir...See More  "
 
-I enjoyed sitting down and writing up all of this info., gleaned over the years from various books, and sharing it during a conversation held over facebook with a friend of mine, so much and felt that I was able to present these ideas and theories satisfactorily enough, that I wanted to share it here with anyone else who might have an interest in either fairy tales, mythology, archetypes, or Goddess lore. :)
 
If anyone else would like to further this conversation/discussion. Please feel free to comment, I'd love to hear any takes or theories you might have to share or discuss on these topics.:)