Little Briar Rose asleep on a bed of roses with a spindle propped against her head waking to be woken from her creative sleep.

Cycles of Creativity: Little Brier Rose

Little Brier Rose – Cycles of Creativity

Link to the story of Little Brier Rose and others of this tale type:

Meaning of the Spindle

The spindle is a symbol of lengthy and monotonous hard work.

A recurring symbol in European folktales, the spindle is long rod with a pointed end and made of wood or metal. A ball of wool (or flax) is spun into yarn around the spindle by hand. This is simple technology, but ridiculously time and energy consuming. It is easiest to understand by watching. Here is a good demonstration:

In fairy tales, old women appear with giant hands overworked from decades of spinning. A spinster is a woman who has worked her way through life and hasn’t been provided for through marriage.

The spindle and spinster are metaphors for valuing oneself only through one’s work.

The spindle literally spins in place. The curse is that the work is endless. You’re just spinning in circles. The spindle also represents spinning off in your mind, never getting anywhere with your creative ideas.

The Avoidant Artist

Little Brier Rose falls asleep as a result of the spindle’s tip piercing her. Like her, we can fall into inaction when contacting a tool of creativity (the spindle). We freeze, not knowing what to do with our creativity. We fear criticism and failure, so we put our inner artist to sleep. This tale shows that protecting our ideas from the outside world in a hedge of thorns renders them useless.

We believe we can’t create, we won’t know what to do, so we don’t even start. This is the tale of the avoidant artist archetype, the artist’s shadow.

The story of Little Brier Rose can be the story of the woman who spins ideas ceaselessly but never manifests them. She is the aspect of ourselves that refuses to bring our creativity into the world.

Instead we resort to spinning creative ideas in our head in a hidden room. We don’t make anything of our creative potential. In this case, the “sleep” is an isolation, a tucking away, of our creativity. When someone says, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” they are under the sleeping spell of Little Brier Rose.

We need to experience the curse of Little Brier Rose to understand the dangers of stifling the creative life. 

The Trance of Work

When pricked by the pointed spindle, we can see Little Brier Rose as being “bitten” by the work bug. This is an intoxication by the drive to achieve and succeed. This is the trance of productivity that never ends, the curse of the adult life. When we come of age, cultural conditioning tells us that we need to monetize our talent and make a living. Our creativity needs to be marketable.

Little Brier Rose is not made awake to the world, but put asleep to it. In the same way, we “grow up”, fall into the daily grind, and become numb to who we are. We become unconscious and lose access to our authentic selves and our creativity. At just the moment when Little Brier Rose should be going out to experience the world, she’s drawn inward. Right when she is becoming a woman, her fertility is locked in.

The experience of being cursed into the trance of productivity produces a deep wound, a sense of unfairness. This is both the prick of the spindle and the digging in of the thorns, but we’ll talk more about those in a moment.

This is the story of the woman who puts her creative dreams for herself to sleep in exchange for the endless work of caring for her family and/or friends. It can also be the story of the career woman, who puts her playful, creative self to sleep so she can engage in the endless game of climbing the corporate ladder and amassing prestige and wealth.

Sleep as a Death

Sleep can be about going unconscious, becoming complacent. Despite the warning that the curse will happen and making every effort to prevent it, the curse is inevitable. The parents forget the danger and leave Little Brier Rose alone on her birthday.

The same happens to us when our own worlds and preoccupations entrance us. We forget our inner life. We become unconscious to unhealthy patterns that run us. Our shadow gets ahold of us.

In fairy tales, sleep symbolizes death. Most often, sleep is a metaphor for the death of innocence. The harshness and evil in the world (like Snow White and the witch with the poisoned apple) confronts the child and she dies to her naive, carefree nature. In addition to the death of innocence, we see the death of the ego self. Little Brier Rose’s story reflects all of the ways we die to ourselves. 

Gift of the Deep Sleep

The curse of unconsciousness is a curse of stagnation that happens many times in our life. This when we feel stuck. 

The ego may think it’s time to go out into the world, but the soul knows otherwise. Little Brier Rose gives in to the urge to wander the castle, which stands for her interior. She opens doors in a tower she’s never been to. This desire is a soulful one, drawing us into our mysterious inner landscape.

Joseph Campbell speaks about Little Brier Rose’s sleep as a refusal of the call to adventure. From the perspective of the avoidant artist this is true. However, her sleep is also answering a call – the call to soulfulness.

Little Brier Rose’s sleep may look like a curse, but it holds great gifts for the soul. Sleep is her initiation into the unconscious and  a deep dive into the unknown. I always wonder, “What did she dream during that time?”

For us, a time of being stuck or spinning one’s wheels may feel like a curse, but it is actually a part of the soul’s natural cycle. Rather than be angry about your inability to get your life in gear, consider the following gifts of sleep.

Sleep is a metaphor for gestation. In the dreamtime, our psyche evolves by working out issues in the subconscious. Like a baby in the womb, our creative ideas need time to develop in darkness and silence. The self needs to form her identity away from the world, uncorrupted by outside opinions. The same is true of our creativity and our creative projects.


Watch Stacey’s discussion with Naven Lizon about the story of Little Brier Rose and how fairytales can guide us to soul wisdom:


Waiting for Right Timing

Sleep is a metaphor for hibernation in winter and the dormancy of the seed.

We see this in a variation of Little Brier Rose from France called “Sun, Pearl and Anna” from author Giuseppe Pitre. To shelter her from the curse, the girl, Anna, is raised in an underground house. Anna is the seed under dark soil. When she falls into a deep sleep, her father seals her in a beautiful coffin in a locked cottage in the woods. We see here that layers of sleep and dormancy can occur too, one right after the next. Sometimes it takes a long while to wake up. Multiple layers of protective insulation help growth to occur – wilderness, cabin, coffin, and sleep.

Waiting can bring the frustrating feeling that we’re biding or wasting our time.

On the other hand, waiting can a state of availability and openness to what might come at the right time. There is something about sharing a project with the world that involves right timing. How many times have you tried to get a new idea off the ground only to find that it wasn’t the right time? The dormant seed waits for the ideal moment to sprout.

Valuing Rest

Nature knows that stillness must happen before emergence. Our souls and creativity need time for rest and latency. Things need to soak and recharge. We need to oscillate between sleep and wakefulness. It’s unhealthy to be alert and busy all the time.

Our cycles of sleep can literally be times of lassitude, laying around on the couch getting nothing done. Our sleep can also take the form of non-doing. The practice of being, such as meditation and contemplation, serve the soul with rest. We may literally need to isolate ourselves from the world by going on retreat or, at least, turning off our phones. Embracing the natural call of the soul to sleep allows for creative engagement with it.

Hedge of Thorns 

The hedge of thorns represents the ways we protect ourselves when resting and incubating a new idea. However, the thorny hedge can also be an unhealthy defense mechanism. Seen as a shadow aspect, the hedge is a symbol of the ways we protect our heart and won’t let anyone in.

Thorns are a symbol of pain and shame, the belief in our own sinfulness. Jesus’s crown of thorns was a tool of humiliation. We speak of a “thorn in my side” as in an irritation or problem that won’t go away.

The messaging of our own unworthiness builds up around us. This walls us out of intimacy and causes a constant feeling of wrongness. Puberty is when we develop self-consciousness and worry what others think. All of this shame covers our being like a hedge of thorns.

Rose Symbolism

The eruption of roses upon the conclusion of story shows that the deep sleep is a spiritual phenomenon and brings the blossoming of spiritual presence. Throughout history, the scent and appearance of roses has indicated the presence of the Divine, especially in relation to goddesses like the Virgen de Guadalupe and Aphrodite.

Roses are also symbolic of love, of course, but this goes beyond romantic love expanding to self- and Divine love. When embracing the wisdom of Little Brier Rose, consider how you can open up to love in all of its forms. For more ideas, see my article on the lover archetype.

Waking Up Creativity 

In two variations of this fairy tale, called “Maruzzedda” and “Sun, Pearl and Anna”, the prince finds the sleeping girl while hunting in the woods. This is a reminder of the value of our own inner hunter. This is the seeker archetype in us that hunts for who we really are and what we’re meant to create. 

The struggle to breach the hedge is our attempts to truly express ourselves, not in a superficial but an authentic way. In the Brothers Grimm version of Little Brier Rose, princes try to enter the hedge and are strangled to death by the thorns. Remember, that the princes are aspects of our inner selves. We are both the slumbering princess and the bumbling prince. We try and we fail, and we keep trying for as long as it takes.

The impulse to create is persistent and eternal. Eventually, no matter what, we ripen within and blossom. We are able to let self-love in and wake up to our creative potential. 


Looking for the Meaning of Stories
and Symbols in Your Own Life?
Schedule a Spiritual Direction Session with Stacey


seven ravens initiation into mystery wisdom for the soul

The Seven Ravens: Integrating the Spiritual Life

Original artwork by Stacey Couch © 2022


The wisdom for the spiritual life that the fairytale “The Seven Ravens” teaches is:

  1. How to integrate your spiritual life into your daily life. It involves bringing the masculine and feminine into balance and experiencing all the sides of yourself and your life, including the hard parts. We all experience the pain of illness and loss. Suffering continues with burying the pain of loss.
  2. Entering into the mystery (raven symbolism) and unveiling this hidden pain brings healing. Entering into the fragility of life (the glass mountain) helps you find resilience and union. “The Seven Ravens” shows how you can set down the busyness of daily life, enter into the peace of the inner spiritual life, and then blend the two.

Watch Stacey Couch tell the story of “The Seven Ravens” here…


When We Get Too Busy for a Spiritual Life

In this tale we have a couple that has the blessing of not a few, but seven sons. Patriarchy values sons above all else. So why would these two seemingly humble parents bemoan the bounty of sons and wish for just one little girl? And what does this tell us about ourselves?

First of all, the sons represent the masculine principle, the yang force in the world. The masculine principle is associated with life outside the home, and the busyness of doing. It represents activity, productivity, and drive.

There are times in life when we can get caught up in our lives “out there”, away from home. When we have a number of creative irons in the fire and have a lot of work projects going, we have, in essence, manifested a lot of sons. Our identities become wrapped up in what we are doing and producing. We strive to perfect external, material displays of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with this unless, of course, it is out of balance. And, well, seven sons is quite a lot.

Do you have seven or more important work and/or volunteer projects going? How many interpersonal relationships are you building? If you are feeling over-extended and in need of some introvert time, you are like the parents longing for a sweet little girl.

Longing for the Feminine

The feminine principle represents receptivity, introversion, and the inner life. It values “non-doing” and practices simply “being”. With the feminine principle, the yin force, there is nothing to prove. We simply just are. It is a place of refuge and relaxation. Motivation and drive slip away and peace takes their place. 

From this perspective it is easy to see the parent’s longing for a daughter in each of us when we say, “I need a break.” The longing for the little girl is symbolic of longing for the feminine principle, the soul’s way of telling us it’s time to slow down and turn inward.

As we ask, so we shall receive. The couple receives the blessing of a girl, but she is sickly and weak. This reminds me of the times I’m forced into rest because of an illness or injury. Sometimes a breakdown is the only way we feel okay giving ourselves permission to take a break and embrace the feminine principle of simply being.

Adopting a Spiritual Life

The number seven is a sacred number and shows up in nearly every religious tradition. There are seven chakras in Hinduism, seven sacraments in Catholicism, and seven heavens referred to in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The fact that there are seven boys turned into seven ravens points us to the fact that there’s something sacred happening in this tale.

At the baby girl’s baptism (the first of the seven Catholic sacraments), the brothers go to fetch the holy water. They want to help adopt her into the faith, but they can’t decide who should collect the water. They blunder by dropping the pitcher into the well.

The feminine principle calls for us to adopt the inner, quiet contemplative life. As we look to baptize ourselves into a spiritual life, we try to make this another thing to perfect, strive for, and “do”. We muck it up and fumble around.

Collecting holy water is symbolic of gathering spiritual guidance. This is not something we can do with our intellect and in a competitive way. There is no “right way” to connect with the Divine. This confuses the masculine principle that needs a single direction of focus. We take too long and get frustrated with ourselves for not doing rest and relaxation correctly. We become the father cursing the sons.

Symbolism of Ravens

Why does the father wish his pesky boys would turn into ravens? What wisdom does this choice of curses have for the soul?

The father’s call on the spirit of ravens is an intuitive slip of the tongue, and exactly the kind of trickster medicine that is needed. Ravens are tricksters that turn everything on its head. When the father curses his sons, he’s inverting his family. 

This happens to us when we realize how crazy busy our lives are and decide it’s out of balance. We tend to over-correct and go to the other extreme. In the draw to the interior life and the desire to be more spiritual, we become instant introverts.

While an extreme life of solitude can and does help for a time, it is not sustainable. We see this in how the little girl starts going out and listening to what other people have to say. She has a feeling there is something missing.

Initiation into the Family Shadow

In town she hears some women gossip about her having brothers. Here enters another aspect of raven spirit animal’s magic – the shadow. In this case, it’s an initiation into the family’s shadow. When we take time out for self- and life-reflection we often find secrets about ourselves that we were trying not to face. In raven’s ability to navigate the unconscious, underworld, and mystery, they can help show us what is hidden.

This leads to another sacrament – confession. The parents confess the story to their daughter and now she has a heavy conscience she must absolve. She must bring her brothers home. On a soul level, we realize that we’ve left the world for too long and neglected the call to serve and make the world a better place. The only way to fully embrace a spiritual life is to live it. We re-enter the world and seek out the brothers again.

Moving from Duality to Multiplicity

Every time I work with fairytales as sources of wisdom for the soul, I remember to look at every person, image and symbol of the story as an aspect of me. That means that I have the father, mother, daughter, sons, ravens, sun, moon, and stars in me. 

When the girl leaves home and travels first to the sun and moon for directions, she is seeking higher guidance. When we discover that our parents have limits in the problems they can solve, we seek answers from greater sources. We stop looking to our familial and cultural conditioning for answers. 

The thing is that we can cannot solve this problem from a dual mindset. Neither the masculine sun or feminine moon can help her. The stars have the multiple perspectives needed to reveal the path ahead.

This is not an either/or, good/bad scenario. A truly soulful approach goes beyond duality and accepts that there is no “right” way to integrate the inner and outer life. To live ensouled is to accept multiplicity and a world that is not so black and white. And, it presents confusing images like a chicken leg that’s a key.

Chicken Spirit Guide

Why in the world does the morning star give the girl a chicken leg? How is this the key to freeing her brothers?

I just can’t shake the feeling that the chicken leg is more than an inanimate object. In shamanic tradition, carrying a piece of an animal helps us connect with the spirit of that animal. The stars are giving her a guardian for the journey in the form of a chicken spirit animal.

Chicken symbolism contains the protection of the mother hen. She incubates her eggs and guards her clutch of chicks. Hen spirit animal is connected with creativity, brooding over creative projects, and hatching new ideas. The girl receives help in learning how to think for herself in many different ways. 

On the spiritual path, we often find a teacher, a mother hen, to follow around for a time. We rely on her ability to hatch new ideas, but eventually need to integrate the creative potential into our own being.

The Finger as Key

Chicken spirit animal can only help so long. Eventually, the girl must have her flesh in the game. She must sacrifice a part of herself. The definition of sacrifice is “an offering”. It is a way to make something sacred. By giving up a finger she consecrates her quest.

It’s important not to take this part of the story literally. We are not meant to hack off our own fingers on the spiritual path – thank goodness. Fingers symbolize dexterity in how we handle delicate situations. They allow us to grasp and point.

Sacrificing a finger is symbolic of giving up our need to manage (grasp) and know (point to) everything. On the spiritual path, we cannot solve everything with the intellect. Many things are non-rational, ungraspable. To embrace this truth is to gain entry under the mountain and grow closer to our goal.

The Glass Mountain

Now we come to the last perplexing symbol in this story. The glass mountain. I wonder. Is this a transparent, glass cone? Is it a mound of broken glass? 

There are other fairytales where the insurmountable glass mountain is the endpoint. How curious that this is a recurring theme.

Mountains loom large. They are obstacles in our path, ladders to the heavens, and keepers of great treasures at their heart. We speak of having “mountains” of work to do when overwhelm hits.

Here, the girl must gain entry into the mountain rather than passage over it. She goes inward rather than up to find the masters of the skies, the ravens.

This speaks of getting to the heart of the matter. What is the matter here? Fragility and pain. Glass shatters. Shards of broken glass cut swift and deep. Resolution for the soul comes by first looking through the glass and then going into the heart of our fragile lives. Right when everything is great and going smoothly, it all falls apart. The sons are lost and girl is alone. 

Wisdom for the soul teaches us that life is fragile and it hurts. By finding the courage to enter into our own vulnerability, we find our strength rooted deep like a mountain.

Union of Daily Life and Spiritual Life

Another repeating pattern in fairytales is that of the ring dropped into the glass. When the lost party finds the ring, the separation ends and union occurs. A cup is a vessel, a container for experience. With the journey to the glass mountain, the girl has gained the capacity to hold the fullness of her experience. Her inner vessel, inner space, has grown to hold the full spectrum of sorrow to joy. The brothers too, in their time as ravens, have grown in their capacity to hold mystery. The circle of the ring brings this all together. 

For us in the spiritual life, the fragments of our selves come together. Our inner and outer lives, still and busy selves, unite within the never-ending circle of our souls.


Want to work with Stacey to discover the
symbols and stories that touch your soul?
Schedule a Spiritual Direction Session


You can read the The Seven Ravens by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm here:

Princess and the Pea Story: Valuing Sensitivity

Princess and the Pea Story

The Princess and the Pea story is a tale about a young woman who is too sensitive… Right? This sensitivity seems to get her in trouble. Do you cringe at the prissy princess who is easily wounded, never comfortable, and always complaining? Doesn’t this story perpetuate the misogynist myth of the feeble female who needs to be coddled and sheltered? As a child I saw the princess as a wussy, and secretly vowed to be tougher than her. I didn’t like this story. Others I speak with share the same memories.

Everything changes when we arrive at the story with soul.

Let us call on the soul’s ability to see strength where cultural conditioning reads weakness. 

The fact is that the princess proves how REAL she is by detecting a tiny object under twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdowns. For a refresher on how the story goes, you can watch my oral telling in this video…

Realness and the “Real” Princess

What does it mean to be “real”? In today’s world to be real is to be honest, authentic, candid, vulnerable. Realness is show who we really are rather than who we think everyone wants us to be. The real person is comfortable in her own skin. Realness has to do with knowing the true Self. I use a capital “S” here for self because, well, I am speaking of the Divine Self. That which is God within. Christians call this the “child of God” and Hindus name it “Atman”.

A real person finds this Self through deep, often excruciating, sometimes troubling, and always challenging self-reflection. She cultivates spiritual wisdom. She has grit. The layers of conditioning and illusions are burned away in the fire of discernment. Everything that is unreal peels away to expose what is real. 

Another important fact is that the story starts out by telling us that the prince is searching for a real princess. He won’t take your average run-of-the mill princess. No, he wants a real one and he’s willing to wait for her.

Not only is the princess in this story a real, awakened human being, but she is desired. The prince marries her the moment he learns she is authentic. The royal family embraces her and makes her one of their own.

How does it feel to read the story this way? What if instead of fearing exile upon authenticity, you could imagine belonging? Authenticity definitely grants sovereignty. 

This is the magic of bringing soul to fairytales. We see another way through.

Who Are You in the Princess and the Pea Story?

Now let’s get something straight. Reading the story from the soul is to read the symbols and archetypes of the story, and to carry them into our interior. We are the princess, prince, king and queen. 

The prince is not a literal man looking to marry a literal woman. He is an aspect of your psyche (remember the Greek word “psyche” means soul, so I’m not just talking the intellect here). The inner prince is the part of you that strives to be worthy of the throne, and that seeks sovereignty over your interior kingdom. The prince wants to reign your thoughts, emotions, and inner landscape wisely. He seeks an education in how to be authentic, thus the reason he wants a real woman for his wife.

I imagine the prince as a late-twenty something bachelor staying home way too long. You’d think his parents might be ready to kick him out of the castle if he doesn’t marry and take over the kingdom soon. However, they are patient as you can be with yourself.

Maybe in his search for the real princess, he’s also doing the important inner work of finding himself. Traveling the world and coping with failure definitely help self-actualization.

Your inner prince is the part of you that is seeking your true self. He knows there are aspects of you that are missing and he won’t stop looking for them.

Forces in Our Souls

Symbolically speaking, the prince, princess, king, and queen reside within each of us. They are forces in our souls that assist us on the path of liberation from the tyranny of the outside world. For the prince and princess to marry is to wed the masculine and feminine qualities each of us possess, to put them into right working relationship. The prince is symbolic of action out in the world and the princess symbolizes the wisdom we can bring to action. There are other ways to read them symbolically, but these are the basics.

The king and queen are the old guard, the ideas and myths we carry that are ready to step down. They assist our evolution by answering the call of the princess (old king opening the gate for her) and setting up the test (queen placing the pea under the bed). This shows us that not every shift in consciousness requires an insurrection. Here is a map for a peaceful transfer of power from the false self to the true Self. There is a seed of realness in the false self for even the old queen knows that the test is needed.

The castle is a symbol of one’s soul. It is our interior fortress and what we do to fortify ourselves. What happens in the castle of The Princess and the Pea story gives instruction for how to fortify our spiritual selves.

Symbolism of the Pea

The symbolism of the pea in The Princess and the Pea story is most intriguing. First of all, it is a seed. Symbol of birth and new beginnings, the pea as seed in this story can stand for many things. It can be the seed of a new idea, a new life, a new job or career, and so on. What new seed is lying dormant under your bed right now?

The queen could have put any number of small, round objects under the bed. Why wouldn’t a pebble, marble, or pearl do? Why a pea?

Peas are a common, lowly food. They are not rare delicacies, but functional staples. Split pea soup is mushy, green and ugly. The pea under the bed could symbolize what is uncomfortable, wrong, or unwanted – a seed of discontent in the kingdom. If that seed is disregarded it can grow into a vine that turns everything into a tangled mess. The prince and his family are trying to sweep this discontent under the rug, but the princess cannot ignore it. This is the little things our intuition picks up on. The small voice in the back of our minds that keeps nagging at us. Remember how the princess was bruised by the pea? She can’t escape its message. This is her gift.

Seeds of Change in the Princess and the Pea Story

The princess’s ability to detect such seeds is a great asset to a kingdom’s longterm health. She’ll point out where the rebellion is brewing and help serve the whole kingdom by bringing the discontent into daylight. The pea seed isn’t bad, is nearly problematic for the status quo. The pea can be symbolic of what’s new and different which is threatening to what’s comfortable and stable. These seeds of change foster beneficial growth in us when addressed and incorporated.

Pea plants are nitrogen fixers. They take nitrogen out of the air, and fix it into a form that provides fertilizer in the soil for other plants. They give back. By looking at the problem and collaborating with the seed’s growth, we enrich our environment.

We also have the flowers that grow from the pea. Sweet pea isn’t just a phrase, it’s also a plant. Women are taught to be polite. to be “sweet peas” and not make any trouble. The princess and the pea has us confront our own politeness. In the innocence of the princess’s sensitivity there is a sweetness. She is not judgmental or critical. She simply names what is.

The Value of Speaking Up

In the morning, when asked how she slept the princess gives an unexpected response. As a guest in a new castle the polite thing to do would be to lie and say she slept well. After all, the queen did go to the trouble to provide the luxurious bed. Instead, the princess complains about the pain it causes her.

Surprisingly, speaking up gets her CROWNED rather than kicked out of the castle. How does this happen? She proves her authenticity by sharing her experience. I’m not saying we should all go around rudely telling people about how terrible their hospitality is. This is a soul exploration and about our interior. We all benefit from being honest with ourselves about what makes us uncomfortable, even if it seems as small and trivial as a pea.

The fact that the discovery of the pea happens in the bedroom speaks to the need for time alone, for privacy. In those quiet moments we have the chance to listen to that which is nagging us before bringing it out into daylight.

The ridiculous amount of mattresses can be seen as symbolic of “fleecing” of our interior – All the ways we try to dampen or soften a problem with material comforts and distraction. The princess’s inability to sleep speaks to her staying awake to the unconscious messages she receives. Although, for her sake I do hope she gets many nights of good rest in her “happily ever after”. 

Final Thoughts on Sensitivity

Many people see the princess on the pea as sort of mascot for empaths and highly sensitive people (HSP). Her sensitivity makes her a good fit for this roll. She is not the weakling many make her out to be and this can help people who see their sensitivity as a curse.

The princess shows up in the middle of the night soaking wet with water running out of her shoes. Clearly she lost her royal entourage and managed to make her way in the dark and through a nasty storm to the castle gates. This speaks of the ability to navigate the wilderness of the unconscious alone. That takes enormous strength, courage, and wits. As I explained before, the spiritual path to being a “real”, authentic person is not for the faint of heart. All of these insights to the princess’s character can help empaths and HSP develop a profound level of self-respect.

In addition, the real princess speaks to those of us with chronic illnesses that cause hypersensitivity. I have ME/CFS, a neuro-immune disease that causes me to be hypersensitive to sound, visual stimulus, smells, and foods. I feel like I’m always telling my husband to turn the music down or make the food less spicy. This hypersensitivity could be seen as a vulnerability, but I’ve come to embrace it as a testament to my strength. Listening to my body when it says something is too much is authentic. Speaking up for self-care without shame is part of accepting and loving the body I have.

Everyone is Intuitive

And… the princess is a beacon for us all regardless of how we rate or realize our own sensitivity. Everyone is intuitive and has an interior life. Inner growth and the spiritual path call us all in different ways. By following the lead not only of the princess, but also the royal family who knows her necessity, we all have a chance to listen better to the Divine Self within and find wholeness. With The Princess and The Pea story we learn that we are sensitive AND strong, and that by marrying the two we progress on the spiritual path.

Read the original story written by Hans Christian Andersen:

Read other stories from around the world about the search for a sensitive wife: 


Want to work with Stacey to discover the
symbols and stories that touch your soul?
Schedule a Spiritual Direction Session