Hello! And WELCOME to Into the Wild Woods of the Soul. I am Martina Rutledge and I create programs that use the deep wisdom and magic of fairy tale and folklore to illuminate a path for women who are seeking a sense of connection, passion and purpose in their lives. You can think of me as your fairy tale guide.
Although I studied fairy tales and a lot of women's studies when I was studying German Literature in graduate school, fairy tales have been in my life for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, my German Oma used to tell me the fairy tales her grandmother had told her when she was a child growing up in a small village in the Kingdom of West Prussia.
She’d beckon me to her lap, calling me Schneewittchen (Snow White) and weave magical tales of princesses, mermaids and witches without ever opening a book. And that was how I learned the stories and songs that were passed down to her from her mother and her mother before her. And so it was from the earliest age that I learned to loves these stories as little bits of magic filled with lessons and wild wood adventure.
And because of the way I learned them orally, I really do think of them as being imbued with the breath and wisdom of a long line of female ancestors and that makes me approach them with a certain reverence. Our stories hold our history and bind us together. They tell us what it is to be human. It's why our ancient forebears created the stories we call "myth" to explain the world around them and it's even why we are so enamored with television and movies today. Stories are containers for encoding and passing wisdom and fairy tales are no exception.
And here is why I love working with them so much: fairy tales are soul stories. When they take us deep into the forest, they are not just taking us into the woods, but into liminal spaces and into the wild woods of the subconscious. As echoes of oral folkloric tradition, they hearken back to our past and contain universal archetypes and lessons that we can use as a lens for finding clarity and facilitating growth in our own lives, so we can show up in the world as our best selves. In working with fairy tales, we can learn about ourselves, confront and overcome our fears, illuminate our dreams and bring them into being!