Saturday, August 12, 2006


I just love this picture, don’t you? It’s Cinderella’s Fairy God Mother zapping a pumpkin so Cinderella could ride to the ball in a coach. A major example of Mother-Giving, I'd say (see previous post, this blog). Cinderella needed a way to win the Prince, so her “Fairy God Mother” (really the God-dess Mother, or Great Mother Goddess in disguise) gave her all the gifts she needed – coach, horses, finery, gorgeous hairdo, fab slippers.

When the primitive war god Yaj (Yahweh-Allah-Jehovah) took over Europe, the Great Mother – like any sane Goddess -- went underground to wait for better times. She hasn’t abandoned us – She’s just taking a major siesta until we come to our senses again.

You think I joke? Here’s Barbara Walker on the subject:

The fairy tale of the cinder-maid originated as an anti-ecclesiastical allegory repeated by real “fairies” – that is, pagans. Ella was Hel, or Helle, daughter of Mother Earth, the Goddess with her regenerative fires reduced to cinders. Her ugly stepmother was the new church. Her ugly stepsisters were the church’s darlings, the military aristocracy and the clergy.

“An early German version of the story said Cinderella’s real mother, the Earth, though dead, sent from her grave a fairy tree in answer to her daughter’s prayer. This tree produced golden apples, fine clothes, and other gifts. Thus the ‘fairy godmother’ of later versions seems to have been a ghost of the mother, the dispossessed Great Goddess in retirement underground.

Beautiful with her new riches, Cinderella won the ‘prince’ (humankind), ever easily impressed by the display of finery….

“Like other secret medieval prophecies of the overthrow of the rich, powerful theocracy, the downfall of Cinderella’s ugly stepmother and stepsisters may have been intended as a prophecy” (Walker, Barbara, 1996, Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 168).


NursePam said...

Oh wow! This is too wonderful. Thank you :)

Anne Johnson said...

Best post of all time, excellent! If you look at all of the "fairy tales," they are every one an allegory for some aspect of ancient Goddess-based religion. Sleeping Beauty imprisoned in a tower surrounded by thorns until a prince loves her so much he kills the dragon and wakes her up? Oh yeah, that's JUST a story for kids.

If you haven't looked at Brian Froud's "Faerie Godmother," you should. She's so wonderful I got a print and had it framed and hung where I could look at it every morning. His site is called World of Froud.

Athana said...

I looked and couldn't find her, anne. I typed in all kinds of spellings for "faerie" and "Godmother," too, into the World of Froud search box, and nothing came up. Where do I go on the site to find her?

Anne Johnson said...

You might have to buy his book "Good Faeries, Bad Faeries." But Google Images has her as well. Anyway, I highly recommend "Good Faeries, Bad Faeries."

Morgaine said...

Just a couple of comments - Walker's interpretation is of a much later version of Cinderella. It originated in Asia and is a tale that promotes foot binding. In the earliest versions, the step-sisters cut off their heels and toes to fit into the slipper. I even remember seeing a movie version of Cinderella when I was a kid that included the mutilation of the feet - a bird in a tree gave the stepsisters away by chanting something like "coo coo there's blood on the shoe -she cannot be the bride for you."

Also, Anne mentioned dragon slaying. Dragon is another word for Goddess and is a representation of the Mother Goddess, of matriarchy and woman's own power. The knights who "slay dragons" are "saving" the princess from the horrors of Paganism so they can live happily ever after in a patriarchal marriage. bleh.

The interpretation of the Fairy Godmother as Mother Goddess is the important point, though. Even kids now have a Goddess image they can draw upon if we stop telling them She isn't real and that there's no such thing as Witches and Faeries. Mother Goose is another variant Athana has written about at length - those posts are worth a look through the archives.

Athana said...

Holy hijinks, anne! I found Froud's Faerie God Mother -- what a powerful punch She packs! Froud must be tapped into some kind of holy power source to do the kind of work he does. Anyway, for anyone else who wants to see Her, she's on this site:

Athana said...

morgaine, someone needs to write a book of fairy tales that throws the shroud off the Goddess and lets Her reappear as She truly exists in our old literature! I think it's time, don't you? Too much to do!