This course explores the importance of the Otherworld for a possible enhanced understanding of oneself. Our focus will be primarily on fairy tale and the role the fairy story has in making links between mortality and immortality, birth and rebirth, cosmic and human integration. The means of access to, and release from, Faery is examined, as is the interaction within its realms, its denizens, its otherworldly geography, its roles and quality of life.The Fairy Faith is on Wednesdays evenings starting at 8pm from 5 November to 10 December 2014 at The Mary Ward Centre, Queen Square, London WC1. The nearest Tube stations are Holborn and Russell Square. The fees are £47, Concessions £16 and you are allowed to attend one class free as a taster. For enquiries call 0208 671 6372, to enrol call 0207 269 6000 and quote course no 443. Website: http://www.marywardcentre.ac.uk/
Journeys to the Otherworld, by whatever vehicles (e.g. dream, trance) can be viewed as episodes in local or regional `books of the dead’ (e.g. Celtic, Egyptian, Tibetan) by which means instruction is given and a range of outcomes achieved. These may range from the endowment of treasures to unwanted gifts. Visiting such altered states of consciousness may have initiatory import for the individual involved.
Theoretically, the origins of fairy tale will be reviewed and examples of the fairy faith provided. Connections will be suggested between different fairy tale narratives and a person’s life history as a means of shedding light on each, thus demonstrating that the metaphorical power of story can often be applied to an individual’s circumstances today.
Here is a list of selected reading recommended for the course:
A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies and Other Supernatural Creatures
Fairy Tales: Allegories of the Inner Life
Secret Commonwealth Of Elves, Fauns And Fairies
Explore Fairy Traditions
Traveller's Guide To Fairy Sites : The Landscape and Folklore of Fairyland In England, Wales and Scotland