Warning message

This content is filtered. APPPAH membership is required for full access to journal articles.
-A +A
Publication Date: 
March, 1997
Page Count: 
Starting Page: 

Evidence of birth and prenatal memories has been postulated as revealing itself in myth, fairy tales, and works of art. This paper presents natalistic symbology as previously proposed by Otto Rank (1929), Nandor Fodor (1949), T. W. Dowling (1988), and Michael Irving (1989) and proceeds from there to the natalistic analysis of two fairy tales; "Mother Holle," and "Pitcher's Bird." The analysis of "Mother Holle" relies primarily on previously established symbols, whereas the analysis of "Pitcher's Bird" moves into the more esoteric realm of very early prenatal symbols and is an incomplete analysis. It is hoped that this contribution to natalism in myth, fairy tales, and art will add to the growing body of literature in this area and help to establish this as a vital part of understanding birth and prenatal experience.


Bourgeois, Louise (1994). The Locus of Memory Works 1982-1993. The Brooklyn Museum. New York: Abrams.

Chamberlain, D. (1988). Babies Remember Birth. Los Angeles: Tarcher.

Dowling, T. W. (1988). The Use of Placental Symbols in Accessing Pre- and Perinatal Experience. In P. Fedor-Freybergh and V. Vogel (Eds.): Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, Park Ridge, NJ: Parthenon Publishing Group.

Emerson, W. (1993 to present). Personal communications as part of training program.

Grof, S. (1985). Beyond the Brain. Albany, NY: State University of New York.

Irving, M. (1989). Natalism as Pre and Perinatal Metaphor, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, (2) Winter, 1989, pages 83-110.

Janov, A. (1970). The Primal Scream. New York: Putnam.

Verny, T. (1981). The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Von Franz, M. (1980). The Psychological Meaning of Redemption Motifs in Fairy Tales. Toronto, Canada: Inner City Books.

Zipes, J. (1987). The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Bantam.

Jeane Rhodes, Ph.D.

Jeane Rhodes completed a Ph.D. in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology through The Union Institute in May 1997. She trained in infant and child Birth Refacilitation with William Emerson, Ph.D. She teaches at Red Rocks Community College in Lake wood, CO and also has a private practice. Address correspondence to Jeane Rhodes, 611 S. Simms Street, Lakewood, CO 80228.