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Winter 2022: Spinning straw into gold


By Pat Larsen

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a female named Pat Larsen
Pat Larsen

Stories are magical and can even be medicinal. They can reflect our inner turmoil and often heal the troubled mind, offering up the reader the potential for a new way to consider an outcome that might be appealing and more hopeful. 

When was the last time, as an adult, you read a fairy tale? 

This past holiday season, I decided to dig out old fairy tales that I hadn’t read for many years. I began with the obvious seasonal stories of Christmas. I read out loud and noticed how thoroughly I became engrossed by the simplicity of the messages — familiar messages, but now understood from an adult perspective. Every day I looked forward to finding a new gem to read among my many “children’s” books. 

I stumbled upon an old tale in my stack of books that I thought might be a bit out of date to appeal to even my pre-teen grandkids, but I was soon to find out was completely relevant to today!

As the story of Rumpelstiltskin goes, the miller’s daughter is commanded to spin the greedy king’s straw into gold before the night’s end or lose her life. In her desperation to discover a solution to this request, the appearance of a cunning little stranger leads the maiden to believe he can accomplish the task. And so he does, to the delight of both the maiden and the king. 

If your curiosity is piqued about the details of the story itself, by all means, consider reading this 1812 edition as collected by the Brothers Grim in “Children’s Tales.” I did and found it completely fascinating, as you will, I’m sure.

The symbolism of the story is what I’d love to share with you now. The intricacy of the details, the embedded meanings and how they are so very relatable to today’s society, making this a classic in its relevance to our modern times.

Rumpelstiltskin challenged the maiden to discover his name before he would claim his final demand, her baby son, and so with some reflection and some help she did and all went on to live happily ever after. 

The task that was required of the miller’s daughter was virtually impossible to achieve, or so it seemed to her.

But the possibility and desire of accomplishing this task was deeply embedded in the maiden’s subconscious mind and therefore became a reality with the focus she intended upon it. 

When in this life we truly get stuck, we need to remember that when “letting go” and turning our problems over to a deeper wisdom, we allow our subconscious mind to take over. 

When we harness the incredible power of the subconscious power in our lives, we can accomplish whatever we set out to do. It doesn’t matter what the obstacles are that seem to get in our way. Holding that vision of a completed dream and then giving thanks as though it has already been received will indeed create the turning of straw into gold in your lives. 

Imagine applying these ideas to the constant barrage of worrisome headlines in our world now. How often have the simplicities of life been impacted and your own faith and beliefs been redirected by fears and anxieties of late? 

My offerings of this way to find the magic and the medicine in stories of old is to help each of us to find the way to back to the peace of mind, body and spirit that we have sought these past few years. I hope and believe that in some way, you will be open to the possibilities that this column, today’s column, may have brought your way.

The next time you visit a library or sit with the children to read them a story, do so with yourself in mind as well. You’ll find a gold mine within the pages from which you can “extract everything you need to live life abundantly.”

Wishing you many bright and hopeful days and months to come. 

Pat Larsen offers multi-disciplinary tools, readings and private sessions to live your best life. She is certified in hypno-therapy for behavioral modifications. Music and movement education a specialty. The Shamrock House, East Durham. Contact Pat at 518-275-8686 or by email at

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