A Fairy-Tale Oracle? Um, YES!
September 26, 2023
A fairy-tale oracle to start your morning:
Tatterhood – Tatterhood smashes every possible expectation for how a princess should behave, and consequently she saves her sister from kidnapping and wins spouses for them both, on her terms. Where are expectations for who you are and how you should behave holding you back?
“Tatterhood” is one of those fairy tales that we wish everyone knew because it’s the opposite of what so many people expect from them.
When we hear people say “fairy tales are so sexist and boring” or “girls in fairy tales just wait around for dudes to rescue them,” we just want to wave “Tatterhood” around in the air like a Norwegian victory flag made of female friendship and audaciousness.
It’s weird and rough-edged, and features a hideously ugly and utterly fabulous princess who rides around on a goat while brandishing a wooden spoon and saving the day when her sister is kidnapped by a pack of trolls and witches who have let their Christmas celebrations get a little out of hand.
If you haven’t already read it, check it out. Because, really, want more can you want? Backfiring magical wishes for children, Loathly Lady vibes, girls turning halfway into cows and back again? A protagonist casually pulling off her sister’s enchanted head and popping the real one back on after she pulls it down from the window frame where it was hanging, like it’s no big thing? It’s all there.
If you’re wondering “ok, this sounds pretty cool, but what on earth does this fairy tale mean,” there really isn’t just one answer, but there are plenty of threads to pull.
“Tatterhood” can tell you something about Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, the sort of Norwegian counterparts to the German Grimm Brothers, who collected and edited the story as part of their Norwegian heritage-building project.
You can also get a glimpse into ATU 711: The Beautiful and the Ugly Twin, a family of fairy tales about siblings with very unequal social capital in the world.
And we can tell you what this story means to us – what it means to see a girl, a princess, flagrantly break the rules and disregard other people’s scorn when she doesn’t conform. And we could speculate about the end of the story, and whether her transformation is literal or metaphorical or undoes all the tale’s good work by making Tatterhood conventionally beautiful to tidy up her happily ever after.
What does this fairy tale mean to you?
And what does today’s fairy-tale oracle card conjure up for you? Here it is again:
Tatterhood smashes every possible expectation for how a princess should behave, and consequently she saves her sister from kidnapping and wins spouses for them both, on her terms. Where are expectations for who you are and how you should behave holding you back?
If Tatterhood’s story and questions resonate with you, we hope you’ll check out our Enchant fairy-tale cards, which are available for pre-order this week. The deck includes 52 prompts from some of our favorite fairy tales, and each card invites you to bring a little curiosity and enchantment into your everyday life.
Because we are a very small business and this is logistically tricky, we’re not sure when they’ll be on offer again, so carpe diem.
Have a very Tatterhood day!
P.S. If you’re enrolled in our ENCHANT course, you do NOT need to order these cards at the link provided – you’re already getting a deck! You are, of course, free to purchase additional decks there if you want them (they’d made great holiday presents!)
P.P.S. Need more Tatterhood in your life? You can read our poem “Dreams Vermilion,” written from the perspective of Tatterhood’s sister, in Corvid Queen, right here.