The Beauty and the Beast story goes back 4000 years.
This is one of the things I’ve been saying now for some time….nothing we create in Western Culture as far as storytelling is that original. We are all rehashing the same themes blindly told by thousands of people and hundreds of generations before us in Indo-European culture.
Therefore it should make sense that we investigate where these stories come from and what they mean.
I’ve mentioned in my YouTube lectures on Mythopoeia that the prototype mythology behind these myths has nothing to do with cultural ideals…..technology, marriage, money, power struggles, historical references, societal institutions, or even language.
It all goes back to the movement of Sun and Moon and the changes of the seasons for civilizations living in the far northern hemisphere and the anthropomorphic views of the Earth Mother and her twin hero-sons of Light and Dark, summer and winter. That triangle forms the basis for the “eternal conflict culture” of America, our dualistic views of competition in business/politics/sports, struggles for love and conflicted views of Patriarchal marital relationships that continually fail, our interpretation in books and movies of the good vs evil cycle, and the cycle of life and death and resurrection in our religions. We have failed to understand our stories and therefore ourselves.
In the Beauty and Beast we have the unchanging Earth Mother form that is eternally in charge of the story, moving between the good male and evil male form, the changing birth, death, then resurrection of the good light hero in conflict with his dark brother or dark half of his spirit. She is the Earth that gives us hope and life and he the Sun that moves in the hemisphere, dies by his mother’s hand and given birth again by his mother. You see this exact story in the Roman Saturnalia and in Norse Viking Earth Mother Frigga and the death of her son Baldr. The Norse myth is much purer and cleaner as it involves the Druidic mistletoe sun plant, proving the sun birth and death myth.
All these love stories move us because they remind us of the deeper eternal movement and change of the Earth as influenced by the sun in summer and winter. Northern Hemisphere children know and feel and sense the power of the changing seasons and therefore easily embrace these fairytales. Other countries near the equator don’t relate to this and therefore are blind to it. They become for other cultures just simple love stories but for us they are mythological archetypes tied to our deeper views of the world and ourselves.
So it’s up to us as Westerners to see and understand now finally who we are, what and why these old myths move us in movies and still make billions at the box office. Those who understand them will make millions but also stir the hearts and souls of millions if they will stop the ignorance and embrace adoption and understanding of their retelling in their own works, moving beyond their use for their own needs, and enrich them with their own spirits.
#beautyandthebeast #mythopeia #myth
– the Author