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The legend of Iron John is an initiatory tale that presents a scenario of a child’s path through life to find his place in the world. It serves as a store of knowledge about self-realization. The tale was written down by the brothers Grimm around 1820, but believed to be more than 10,000 years old. It was passed down by storytelling as a reservoir of experience to show new generations what they could become with the power of self decision. It centers on a child deciding to use a key against his parents wishes to unlock a cage holding a wild man named Iron John, who represents a worldly, shamanistic mentor. The child follows him, growing and learning of the natural world from this mentor. The choice to unlock the gate is a necessary first step in his growth as self instructed, motivated and confident person.

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