Dear Miracles: It is no secret that I love fairy tales and folk stories. I grew up on a steady diet of magical tales and mythic art, and my love affair with fairy tales has only grown deeper and more comprehensive over time.
Why do I love fairy tales? I love them because they take on the biggest questions and the most difficult conflicts in simple and accessible language. I love them because they are portable – you can take them with you anywhere! – and you can tell them and re-tell them again and again. And I love fairy tales because they reveal worlds that are just as real and vibrant as our own.
Myth and fairy tales give shape to the magic that is all around us, not only in the rocks and wind, in streams and trees, but also in the places we would least expect to find it: in urban landscapes, in the broken and forgotten and hectic places. When my students ask me what book I would recommend getting a deeper understanding of this or that aspect of the sacred arts, nine times out of ten I refer them to a fairy tale or piece of mythic art, and so teaching through fairy tales has become a mainstay of my work.
Given all of that, there are many resources out there for people who would like to learn more about the stories they grew up with and perhaps in the process learn new stories too!
Websites and Blogs
Terri Windling ~ one of my favorite sites and blogs period, Terri Windling is a writer, artist, and book editor. Her blog Myth and Moor is frequently updated and features gorgeous art and wonderful articles dealing with a wide variety of mythic art topics. She is also just a really lovely person!
Midori Snyder ~ another daily go-to for me, Midori Snyder’s blog In the Labyrinth features great book reviews, mythic art, and tales of her own creative work. Midori’s writing is so beautiful, I always learn something new when I visit her online home, and like Terri, she is just a delight!
Sur La Lune ~ An online compendium of fairytales from around the world, cross-referenced and featuring art from many of the stories. Invaluable resource.
The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic – a scholarly duo of ladies who love stories, storytelling, and are magic-friendly too!
These are but a smattering of the sites out there with fabulous information, most of them have links to other sites, which I encourage you to explore for yourself.
Books ~ there are hundreds of fabulous collections of fairy tales and books written about fairy tales and folklore too, but for the beginner, here are a few of my favorites.
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition translated by Jack Zipes
The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm All-New Third EditionTranslated by Jack Zipes
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales edited by Maria Tartar
American Indian Myths and Legends edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz
African Folktales edited by Roger Abrahams
Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
Beauty – a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
Briar Rose – Jane Yolen
The Wood Wife – by Terri Windling
The Innamorati – by Midori Snyder
Coyote Speaks – by Ari Berk and Carolyn Dunn
Faeries – by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
Good Faeries/Bad Faeries – by Brian Froud
Brian Froud’s World of Faerie – by Brian Froud
There is also Goblinfruit, an online poetry ‘zine that is simply breathtaking.