Little Red Riding Hood as the Red Bird
23 Wednesday Jan 2013
Balancing the Masculine Feminine Energies, Dream Speak, Dream-Speak Journal Issue Eight, Honoring your right to say no, Meaning of the Cardinal, saying yes to life, Symbolism of Little Red Riding Hood
The subject of the masculine/feminine energies has come up in several conversations lately, so I thought I would share this article here. Little Red Riding Hood as the Red Bird was originally published in Dream-Speak Issue Eight / Satori.
Two bright red cardinals sat on the gate beside me.
One flew away and the other hung back.
He looked right at me and in a clear voice said,
“You are getting closer to what I have to say.”
And one morning I awoke with the rest of the riddle in my head,
“Little Red Riding Hood is the Cardinal.”
Little Red Riding Hood is the young, immature feminine archetype. Too young for the awakening of her better judgment, still finding protection in the mother’s nest, still seeking play in the grandmother’s house.
One might say she is waking to her sexual nature by confronting the wolf. She is reaching the awareness of her senses, the eyes, the teeth, the ability to sense and know things beyond her physical reality, outside of the safety of the mother’s house.
Little Red Riding Hood is the awakening feminine, a representation of growth and maturity.
Red is the core and the color of the base chakra, the flame that sparks ideas and new life. The fire of red will smoke us out, destroy and give new life. It is the Phoenix burned to ash and born again, from red to black and red again, the cycle of life and death and life.
As we reach our awakenings on individual levels we also arrive there collectively. Some of us on horseback, some in bare feet, some are straggling across an illusionary finish line, out of breath, beat down by our own winds. There is no wrong way to arrive. It is the showing up that matters.
The world is changing and traveling at a speed we can barely keep up with. For those who are ready and awake it is most alluring, but for those unprepared and distanced from their own red hoods, it is a scary journey.
A streak of red across the sky,
hearts skipping through the woods,
stripped of the innocence that once existed.
All awakenings and imbalances manifest from our two internal energies; the masculine and the feminine. The feminine always protects and creates – the masculine always expresses and exerts. They need each other.
Collectively we are on the verge of sleep and we are suffering from an imbalance. We don’t understand ourselves, thus we don’t understand each other.
A feminine imbalance presents itself when we don’t give ourselves the privilege of saying NO or just as acutely we say NO to everything. How many times a day do you sacrifice your intuitive self to obligations or put your own wishes aside to appease others?
A masculine imbalance manifests when we don’t allow ourselves to say YES to life, to opportunities or to our dreams, when we cannot express our creative or instinctive promptings. It appears when we shyly suppress our disappointments or opinions out of fear of being disliked or being reprimanded. On the opposite scale a masculine imbalance presents itself when we don’t honor the wishes of others to say NO. Circumstances of rape or molestation are extreme case of this.
Think of the power we hold in learning how and when to use those two words for the good of ourselves and others.
The awakening of sexuality has nothing to do with gender, it is not merely a physical outgrowth. It is a deeply spiritual growth. Confronting the wolf is an internal awakening. It is a merging of the two primary forces and energies in the universe.
The wolf is a messenger of our primal instincts. The internal voice urging us to protect yet express what is inside the basket. There is always risk involved when we expose ourselves, our secrets and our feminine space. The balance is about honor and finding our own boundaries of safety and heart centered action. As well as learning to honor the boundaries of others.
The awakening is about learning to say NO so we can finally say YES.
Of course, Little Red Riding Hood is the Cardinal!
I have been followed by Cardinals all my life. They are the squeaky hinge of the opening gate, the awakening of passion, of sexuality, of creativity, of the spirit.
When I see the bright red Cardinals hanging on the fence I don’t merely see a male presence. I see both – the feminine and masculine together. They have always appeared as a union of spirits to me.
As a society we confuse gender roles with our roles of the spirit. But if we watch the birds, what we perceive as a female trait of color and plumage is often given to the male. The male bird expresses and the female protects.
I don’t know what word the Cardinal holds in Indian myths or in the texts of animal totem work. To me the Red Bird says, “Awake!” as he stirs me from my sleep.
In my dreams I am the girl in the red hood. In my waking life I am the streaking red bird I feed every day, and I am coming closer to what it is he has to say.
This article was originally published on October 10, 2012
in Dream-Speak/Issue Eight/Satori. Digital copies are
available for $3.95 – by clicking the hp link below.