Book blog: Fairy tales are true, by Claudio Tomaello

A doorway to the subconscious, spirit world

This short, readable book opens a doorway to different ways to see everyday life, through the medium of fairy tales and fables. Claudio is passionate and persuasive about the power of these stories, perhaps overlooked because modern commercial versions trivialise them.

Fairy tales are true aims to empower the reader to find their own meaning, rather than prescribe it. These stories are full of symbols, which each heart can interpret. He writes that “the symbol is not to be analysed, it is lived”, and the symbol’s power is to communicate directly with our subconscious, and thus connect our daily reality with the spiritual dimension.

Claudio offers helpful ways to explore symbols by ‘amplifying’ them: through circumnavigation, “bringing to the surface as many aspects as possible”, and by “constellating it with other images, recollections, … emotions” that arise in us. He observes that symbols and fairy tales “are made to be played with… because play is the best way to change perspective…”

He offers another way to explore fairy tales, by seeing every character, including animals, birds, and fairies, as aspects of ourselves. The central figure often starts as a victim: the orphan, outcast, disparaged younger son, but he suggests that this character frequently represents our soul in its search for direction, truth, power.

Claudio is a great admirer of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and sees the shape of that journey embodied in many fables. He comments “our divine part… awaits us… in our underworld, behind the dragon to be defeated”. The dragon or life challenge can take many forms in these tales, but in facing it, we grow “in love and awareness, and feel the nucleus of eternity that resonates within us”.

His YouTube video is also worth watching: he believes we’re all constantly affected by spells, in the words we receive from other people and the media. See it at: For example, Cinderella was for a long time under the spell of her evil stepmother, who told her constantly that she was unworthy. Another idea Claudio offers us is to write a Personal Fairy Tale, as a way to understand and progress towards our life purpose. He comments that when you start to write such a story, you shouldn’t know how it will end! Let the story guide you, and ask for help from the characters and creatures in it.

Claudio’s book is readily available as an e-book or print book. His website is The theme of adult insights from fairy tales has been explored by various people: I recommend Robert Bly’s book More Than True: The Wisdom of Fairy Tales, and for elders Allan Chinen’s book In the Ever After: Fairy Tales and the Second Half of Life. This is a rich territory to roam in!