Part of the symbolism is that the history of the world and also of the Jewish people is contained within each story. A person's individual history is also contain within each of Rebbe Nachman's Tales.
Just reading or hearing any of the 13 Tales is spiritually healing and can cause you to have musings of teshuvah, even if you don’t realize it—particularly The Lost Princess.
And while I’m a clam compared to Rebbe Nachman, I thought I would take his basic idea and tell over the story of my life as if it was a fairy tale with my soul providing the symbolism.
Furthermore, there must be a reason why Rebbe Nachman chose symbolism and why he specifically chose fairy-tale symbolism. (After all, he could have just as easily used farm animals like Orwell did.)
So I figured witches, giants, talking animals, and princesses were the way to go.
I didn’t plan anything or officially assign any specific characters, i.e. “I will be a princess and my 10th-grade English teacher will be a troll…” Nope, it just ended up being very stream-of-consciousness (and fun too).
And it was unexpectedly effective.
I did this in a long session once, then invested another couple short sessions trying to work out the symbolic knot (“How do I get the Sunflower Princess out of the ice tower?” - not my actual visualization.)
By the way, I think that the symbolic struggle to work out a solution to the symbolic obstacle is an important part of the healing process or the process of inner progression. You are gathering kindling to light a fire at the base of the ice castle to slowly melt it and release the Sunflower Princess, but your subconscious/soul-conscious mind is doing something else, something that your struggle or solution represents.
Anyway, two things happened:
1) I got clarity on certain issues and where I was stuck in life. The fairy tale symbolism allowed me to see things from an outsider’s vantage point, giving me an objectivity that I didn’t have otherwise. It was also very validating for some reason.
2) I noticed a difference in myself a couple of days later, as if something had been solved or healed without me actively causing it. After that, things just started to come together.
I did this orally with Hashem, but you can certainly write it down.
Maybe you can even paint or draw it or play it on your violin or do an interpretive dance about it, if that’s where your soul-expression takes you.
How to Do It
- Just sit down and start talking or writing (or whatever your preferred method of expression is).
- Let your soul guide you and see what comes up.
- If you get stuck, try to work through the obstacle or “knot” according to the fairy tale symbolism.
While I did a life-story, I assume you could also do this over one specific situation.
For example, if you’re having problems at work (“And then the ginormous eternally hungry troll came stomping through the tulips, while the little Tulip Prince had only his matchstick sword to defend himself…”) or your marriage or neighbors or children (“And then the king and queen gave birth to a banshee…”) or your health…or anything.