0: Innocence

An initial description:
The wolf on the path almost blends in with the gray of the trees. The trees at the forefront of the scene are garnled with hidden faces; it almost as if they are the embodiment of the lost souls along the way, watching over the young ferns below them like old mothers. One tree (right) has a snail on it, similarly a spiral snail’s shell is on the path behind Red. Before her on the path are 3 red and white shrooms (reminding me of alice in wonderland), signifying the psychedelic shamanistic nature of the journey before her. Red is a pretty blonde child in a traditional outfit- the blue mary janes, sunflowers and blue/white skirt (Again, alice in wonderland-esque) signify her childish nature. She’s holding a closed flower in one hand and a picnic basket in the other- a red and white tablecloth is peeking out, showing her careless nature. The wolf is grinning friendly like and holding his paws together; his bushy tail is curled like a shepherd’s crook almost. The opposite side of the path is decked in red, white and pink flowers. When reversed the large face that smiles in the tree is frowning.

Preliminary meanings:

The innocent is beginning on a shaman’s journey. Childish and careless, she doesn’t see the wolf waiting to catch her. The trees represent earth and the wisdom of those who have gone before you. The story of red riding hod exemplifies “Innocence” well. It signifies the happy go-lucky individual who floats along in life barely coping and thinking things through.

The basic fairy tale from once upon a fairy tale:
Little red riding hood was going to her grandma’s to bring her food. The wolf tells her to pick flowers and eats the grandma, and then little red. A huntsman cuts him open, freeing them and then fills the wolf with stones, killing him.

personal significance:
Little red is the essence of innocent; she is trusting, gullible and carefree. Despite this, she manages to be very lucky. And luck and innocence seem to go hand in hand; perhaps to be lucky one must be an innocent at heart. Innocence to me means bliss, carefreeness, being naive. An innocent is child-like; full of wonder, hope and joy- all things we lose as the world and life press around us.

book symbolism, etc:
You’re currently wandering the unknown. You rely on impulse. Spirit will help you along the way, but watch for tricksters.

variations of red riding hood:
-Perrault’s: The end of this version is Red and grandma being eaten. The moral is to never talk to strangers. (french)
-Little Red Cap: This is the version that came with the book (German)
– The Grandmother: This one is very different! The wolf and Red eat grandma and drink her blood. Red is a “slut” and gets naked but has to pee and runs away. (French)
– The true story of little golden hood: Grandma’s not home. Red gets naked except for her hood which is a magic invisible hood. Granny comes home and saves her by opening her sack and drowning the wolf in the well. (French)

It’s interesting how many different variations there are of this tale.

Traditional meanings of the fool (From Gray’s book):
A representation of inexperience. Beginning of life’s journey; facing unknown challenges and beginning the cycle. You have ambition for a great goal, but take care to make the right choice.

Both represent child-like inexperience, the care-free attitude, and the beginning of the journey. The similarities in artwork are the presence of the wolf behind (dog in RW), and the rose in hand.

The fool (From Journey of the hero):
Traditionally the youngest, the idiot, the fool. The person who solves the greatest problems is always the one who we doubt- they symbolize the genuineness and integrity of the personality. The dog- helpful powers of instinct- leads him away from the abyss. Fool’s wallet is full of unused knowledge. His goal IS knowledge- he knows nothing or does not use his knowledge. It stands for the cheerful uncomplicated side that tries out new things until it succeeds or loses interest- happily. Archetype is the child/simpleton, and it’s a reminder to try out new things joyfully!

Related to Innocence:
Red is the child and she ignores her mother’s warning, not using her knowledge. The wolf seems to be the opposite of the dog, he leads Red off the path and then eats her. In this role he seems to portray the classic cycle of life; killing and eating. The wolf is a cunning trickster, there to teach Red the importance of heeding advice and using her knowledge. Red is cheerful and simplistic; she is easily fooled by the wolf’s “good intentions” and costume changes. Likewise, her grandmother, a wise figure, is an example of unused wisdom for falling for his lies and letting him in. The trees in the background are similar to the cliffs; they give a sense of the massive, heavy wisdom of an older forest.

Meditation/writing jump off:
The trees stand solemnly, watching. Their bark covered fingers rustle in the stillness, grasping. The wolf stands behind me, his voice whispering twistedly, like the demon in my subconsciousness. The basket in my hand is heavy and the rose in the other, beautiful. Should I pick the flowers or heed mother??

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