Little Red Riding Hood
“The Fool represents inexperience, innocence, and spontaneity.”
ONCE UPON A TIME…
“There was a girl named Little Red Riding Hood. She had to take a basket of goodies across the forest to her ailing grandmother. Her mother wrapped Little Red Riding Hood in her hooded cape and warned: ‘Remember, do not stray from the path. Go directly to Grandma’s house’. As little Red Riding Hood was walking through the forest, out jumped a wolf from behind a gnarly tree. Little Red Riding Hood was not frightened in the least, because the crafty beast spoke kindly to her.”
“‘Where are you going?’ insquired the wolf.
‘Hello, wolf, I’m going to Grandma’s house’, she answerd glibly.
‘Humm…and where does she live?’ asked the wolf with a sparkle in his eye.
‘It’s through the forest and directly over the hill.’ pointed Little Red Riding Hood
‘Why don’t you pink Grandma some flowers?’ suggested the wolf.
Little Red Riding Hood looked at the beautiful flowers that spread across the forest floor. She skipped off the path to gather them. Meanwhile, the wily wolf ran to Grandma’s house and knocked on her door. He disguised his voice as Little Red Riding Hood‘s and tricked the old woman into letting him in. The wolf tiptoed inside and sprang onto the unsuspecting grandmother. He gobbled her up with one swallow. Then he put on a cap and gown that he found by the bedpost. When Little Red Riding Hood finally arrived with a bountiful bouquet, the wolf cleared his throat and told her, ‘Come in, child. I’ve been waiting for you.’ Little Red Riding Hood thought her grandmother sounded strange, and when she saw her, she thought she looked strange too. Perhaps it is her illness she thought.”
‘Grandmother, what big ears you have.’
‘The better to hear you with , my dear.’
‘Grandmother, what big eyes you have.’
‘The better to see you with.’
‘Grandmother, what big arms you have.’
‘The better the see you with.’
‘Grandmother, what big teeth you have!’
‘The better to eat you with!’
“And before Little Red Riding Hood had time to gasp, the wolf had devoured her and smacked his lips with delight. Now, after a heavy meal like that, the wolf grew sleepy and fell into a deep snooze. A huntsman who happened to be passing by heard loud snoring and decided to see if the ill woman was okay. When he came into the house, he saw the swollen-bellied wolf lying on the bed. The hunter, guessing that he had made a meal out of Grandma, took scissors and cut the wolf’s belly open. There he found Red and her grandmother, frightened but alive. Little Red Riding Hood quickly gathered rocks from the yard and refilled the wolf’s belly with them. When the wolf started to rouse, he tried to get up but teetered back and forth because of his rock filled belly.”
SYMBOLS AND MEANING
“Little Red Riding Hood represents the unrealized self, her red cape symbolizing potential vitality. She has stepped out from the safety of the womb (home), so to speak, and has ventured down a path where her animal nature awaits. The wolf is this animal, the shadow initiating the awakening of the ego. It embodies our wild, untamed nature and the drives that are imbedded in the psyche. By encountering the wolf, she has begun to connect with her own animal spirit, thus expanding consciousness and mental vivacity. But she must exercise caution in the presence of such a powerful force. The forest of gnarly trees symbolizes ancient wisdom. They line the pathways with knowing amusement. The faces are aspects of our collective unconscious, holders of past experiences. The ferns grow wild and serve to distract the traveler from the task at hand. The flowers signify innermost desires. Little Red Riding Hood’s braids embody innocence, naivety, and restrictive thinking. The brown leaves on the trail represent the eternal cycle of life. The red mushrooms remind us of the magical opportunities that lie ahead.”
“When we first travel down the path of life, we tend to be naive and perhaps unaware of the dark forces that may lurk in the shadows. At this stage, you are wandering into the unknown, relying more on impulse than decisive action. Your adventurous spirit will help you cross into thresholds of new possibilities, but be aware of tricksters that may cross your path along the way.”
Today’s guidance comes from The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt.