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Author Topic: Books and Ressources on the Use of Stories for spiritual or therapeutic Purposes  (Read 5386 times)

Waldhexe

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Do you know any other good book or ressource about the use of stories for spiritual or emotional growth (for adults)?

I can only think of

- Clarissa Pinkola Estés: Woman Who Run With the Wolve. Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

which I can recommend as an interesting read in relation to this SIG although it focuses on women. It's been a while since I read it, so I don't remember it in much detail, but I think she doesn't only interpret several fairy tales and explains their healing properties, but also talks a bit about storytelling as an art and the responsibilities of the storyteller.

***

Can anyone else recommend a book to enhance our understanding?

It might be interesting to see how other spiritual paths (maybe druidry???) use stories to guide people on their spiritual journey or how stories are used in psychotherapy to process emotional issues.

Rowanfox

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Quote from: Waldhexe;30731
Do you know any other good book or ressource about the use of stories for spiritual or emotional growth (for adults)?

I can only think of

- Clarissa Pinkola Estés: Woman Who Run With the Wolve. Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

which I can recommend as an interesting read in relation to this SIG although it focuses on women. It's been a while since I read it, so I don't remember it in much detail, but I think she doesn't only interpret several fairy tales and explains their healing properties, but also talks a bit about storytelling as an art and the responsibilities of the storyteller.

***

Can anyone else recommend a book to enhance our understanding?

It might be interesting to see how other spiritual paths (maybe druidry???) use stories to guide people on their spiritual journey or how stories are used in psychotherapy to process emotional issues.


I believe at one time fairy tales (the original ones, not the Disney-fied versions) were meant as moral and spiritual lessons for folks.

There are a number of authors who are recreating old fairy tales, and investigating new ones. If you google Terri Windling, there is lots of information about books and anthologies she has written and edited.

Most books of a religious or spiritual nature use stories as teaching tools. The Mabinogion, the Bible, the Koran and the Baghavad Gita come to mind.

Teri

Lokabrenna

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Quote from: Waldhexe;30731

Can anyone else recommend a book to enhance our understanding?


There's a book that was used in my storytelling class, called Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the 21st Centuryby Dan Yashinsky. There's a chapter called "Emergency Storytelling" where he talks about telling stories to help people who have experienced tragedy in some way.

There are also some retold folktales at the back of the book.

Morag

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Quote from: Waldhexe;30731
Can anyone else recommend a book to enhance our understanding?

 
The only one I can think of off the top of my head is The Storyteller's Goddess by Carolyn McVickar Edwards. I haven't read the entire thing but what I have gleaned from its contents is that if you're comfortable with using a goddess-oriented book then it could be pretty beneficial.

I have some other books lying around on this topic but I have to do some cleaning before I know which ones they are.
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Waldhexe

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Thanks everyone for the interesting input so far!

Quote from: Morag;31069
The only one I can think of off the top of my head is The Storyteller's Goddess by Carolyn McVickar Edwards. I haven't read the entire thing but what I have gleaned from its contents is that if you're comfortable with using a goddess-oriented book then it could be pretty beneficial.

The chapter title "Herstory" made me wince somewhat, but otherwise it looks interesting and I found a cheap used copy at amazon.

Waldhexe

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Quote from: Lokabrenna;30828
There's a book that was used in my storytelling class, called Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the 21st Centuryby Dan Yashinsky. There's a chapter called "Emergency Storytelling" where he talks about telling stories to help people who have experienced tragedy in some way.

There are also some retold folktales at the back of the book.

This also looks very interesting, thanks!

I wish there was kind of a how-to-book explaining how to magically and spiritually work with a story yourself like they did in The Twelve Wild Swans, but I'm not sure something like this has hit the Pagan book market yet.

I also found a couple of books on therapeutic story work, but written for therapists not for do-it-yourself-pagans...

I might have to read a couple of books and try this out my own way. Sounds like a longer project...

SunflowerP

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Quote from: Waldhexe;31200
The chapter title "Herstory" made me wince somewhat, but otherwise it looks interesting and I found a cheap used copy at amazon.


I'd say "cheap used copy" is the way to go here - it sounds like the whole thing is likely to be steeped in the goddess-centric flavor of monomythology.  It could well be quite useful for the purposes at hand, but a buyer would need to save some money to pay for the necessary salt and filters;).
 
Quote from: Waldhexe;31202
I wish there was kind of a how-to-book explaining how to magically and spiritually work with a story yourself like they did in The Twelve Wild Swans, but I'm not sure something like this has hit the Pagan book market yet.

I also found a couple of books on therapeutic story work, but written for therapists not for do-it-yourself-pagans...

I might have to read a couple of books and try this out my own way. Sounds like a longer project...

 
I suspect most of what's available in this line from a more paganish POV is going to be heavy on agenda, mythic history, etc.  The therapeutic POV may be more productive, depending how clinical it is - I'd class Women Who Run With Wolves as being at least as much "therapeutic" as "paganish".

Possibly the most productive way to come at this would be folklore studies (being cautious with older material because it's likely to use outdated methodology).  That'd still involve the major project of finding the "journeywork" in any given story, but that's probably actually a plus - a story means, first and foremost, what the people who tell the story think it means; to adopt a story is to impose one's own meaning on it (which can be okay; the mythic truth it has for you isn't its only mythic truth, but it's still your mythic truth).  It kind of misses the point if someone whose story it isn't acts as interpretive intermediary.

(I'm not Catja, but sometimes I play her on the Internet.  Sometimes, I even do it without noticing right away:p.)

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catja6

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Quote from: SunflowerP;31262


(I'm not Catja, but sometimes I play her on the Internet.  Sometimes, I even do it without noticing right away:p.)

 

Dude, i wish i were half as good at playing YOU on the Internet!  :D

And yes, to everything you said.  I like WWRWTW, because Estes doesn't make any grand truth claims about Realio Trulio Meaning of stories, just explains how they can work in X context.  She's by far the best of the "therapeutic" story-users.  If you want a more old-school Jungian approach, Marie-Louise von Franz's works are classics.  Bettelheim is another famous "fairy tales=therapy" writer, but his stuff is best used as toilet paper.

Waldhexe

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Quote from: SunflowerP;31262
Possibly the most productive way to come at this would be folklore studies (being cautious with older material because it's likely to use outdated methodology).  That'd still involve the major project of finding the "journeywork" in any given story, but that's probably actually a plus - a story means, first and foremost, what the people who tell the story think it means; to adopt a story is to impose one's own meaning on it (which can be okay; the mythic truth it has for you isn't its only mythic truth, but it's still your mythic truth).  It kind of misses the point if someone whose story it isn't acts as interpretive intermediary.

That's exactly my problem with this topic. I've read my share of interpretations and some are still interesting if the author is taking a perspective I haven't read yet, but it's beside the point. Reading interpretations doesn't make the story come alive and interact with my own story. Maybe I have just to start from scratch using my intuition.

The therapist books I've seen at amazon.de so far look like "Which stories to tell for which problems of my clients so I get my point through" and they cost over 30 Euro, but I decided to read the first couple of pages if possible and then order one of them.

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Bettelheim is another famous "fairy tales=therapy" writer, but his stuff is best used as toilet paper.

 
Just a side note, is there anything bad (short of murder) that Bettelheim has not done?

Lokabrenna

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Quote from: SunflowerP;31262
I'd say "cheap used copy" is the way to go here - it sounds like the whole thing is likely to be steeped in the goddess-centric flavor of monomythology.  It could well be quite useful for the purposes at hand, but a buyer would need to save some money to pay for the necessary salt and filters;).


I have this book, and it's pretty much how you put it. :) Some of the stories I like, others are...different? Let's just say some of them are more in line with the more conventional myths than others. (In the Isis story in particular, the author seems to have confused Horus and Osiris.) I personally like the story where Athena invents plumbing. It makes sense in context.

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Just a side note, is there anything bad (short of murder) that Bettelheim has not done?

 
Probably not!  I can think of shitty research, plagiarism, an approach to therapy that consists of "blame mothers for EVERYTHING," all underpinned by raging misogyny -- and that's just off the top of my head.

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Probably not!  I can think of shitty research, plagiarism, an approach to therapy that consists of "blame mothers for EVERYTHING," all underpinned by raging misogyny -- and that's just off the top of my head.

 
Add child abuse and fabricating parts of his biography.  Grr.

Leanan Sidhe

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Quote from: Waldhexe;30731
Do you know any other good book or ressource about the use of stories for spiritual or emotional growth (for adults)?

I can only think of

- Clarissa Pinkola Estés: Woman Who Run With the Wolve. Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype




Try:
Coyote Wisdom: The Power of Story in Healing by: Lewis Mehl-Madron. It's very similar to Women who run with the wolves. Except it is written by a man, and it is not focused exclusively on women. But as I recall, there are very few masculine studies in it.
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Waldhexe

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Quote from: Morag;31069
The only one I can think of off the top of my head is The Storyteller's Goddess by Carolyn McVickar Edwards. I haven't read the entire thing but what I have gleaned from its contents is that if you're comfortable with using a goddess-oriented book then it could be pretty beneficial.

I'm glad I bought it, it has some nice stories in it. Thanks for the recommendation!

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