to the spells and enchantments of real life.

Spells in Fairy Tales

In the first of this three-part series with Hannah Custis of the Immanence Journal (Spring 2017 edition) Michelle discusses what fairy tales can tell us about how we come under spells in life.

Hannah's Reflection
“I’ll admit that I came into the topic of “spells” with a certain amount of pessimism – in some ways, it was easy for me to accept all the different ways that we can become spellbound by people or institutions, all the ways we can become enchanted against our will or without our knowledge. I could certainly see how this related to my life. However, Michelle surprised me into thinking more deeply about the purpose of spells for protection, growth, or transformation. I think the greatest hope for me came during our second and third interviews when we began to talk about how the all the characters in a tale reflect parts of our psyche. Some of the characters have windows of conscious awareness and can see the situation more clearly than the spellbound characters. With their help, the spellbound characters can complete seemingly impossible tasks and free themselves. Thinking with fairytale-logic has helped me see how solutions are embedded in a problem, though it may take time, patience, and assistance to find a way through. Now, months after our interview series, I still find myself thinking over parts of our conversations and discovering new insights. Thank you Michelle!” – Hannah Custis, interviewer for Immanence Journal, Spring, 2017


An intimate conversation with Toko-pa Turner, a gifted dreamworker and author of Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home. Weaving their way through the story of The Briar Rose, Toko-pa and Michelle discuss the subject of exile and the ‘dark gift’ of suffering and loss.

An Interview at the Creativity Café

Katie Curtin, who founded the Creativity Café, talks to Michelle about the healing power of fairy tales.

Meet Michelle Tocher

An introduction to Michelle Tocher and her work with myth and fairy tales.

The Healing Power of Fairy Tales

Michelle discusses the healing power of fairy tales and the way the story of Rapunzel helped her to meet the challenges of chronic pain.

Real Imagination

Michelle talks about two different uses of imagination, and compares it to two types of “wands”.

Seeing with New Eyes

How can fairy tales change the way we look at the world? Michelle talks about the way we can engage fairy tales to broaden our perspectives and see other points of view.

Fate and Fairy Tales

Michelle talks about the relationship between fairy tales and fate,  and the themes in the stories that are common to all human beings.

Breaking Spells

Michelle talks about how fairy tales can become guides to breaking spells and re-animating life.


Michelle briefly tells the classic story Rapunzel to illustrate how the elements of the story speak to our deeper narratives.

Dame Gothel in Real Life

Michelle reflects on the relationship between Dame Gothel and Rapunzel and how it spoke to her about the real life situation of being imprisoned by an external authority.

Towers in Real Life

Michelle talks about how the story of Rapunzel changed the way she saw towers in the world.

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