In a nutshell, Rumpelstiltskin is about a dwarf who spins straw into gold for a maiden to meet the demands of the king. He spins, though, on condition that she give him her first child or else guess his name. She discovers his name, and he destroys himself in a fit of rage by stomping his right foot into the Earth so hard that his entire leg is drawn into the Earth. He then grabs his left leg, and pulls so hard that he “tore himself in two” (from The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Pantheon Books).
I think the Earth here is the Great Goddess, and the maiden Her daughter. Her baby is us, the human race. And I think ol’ Rumpel is none other than the Daddy God himself, Mr. Jehovah (or, actually, ‘JHVH’).
So what is the message?
I’m not sure.
Is it “Just wait long enough and Daddy’s rages will finally destroy him”?
Or could it be “Just keep seeking info about Daddy and you’ll eventually break him”?
Or could it be this: “The Daddy’s not a god, he’s just a name. He keeps his name secret ‘cause if you’d discover it, you’d see he’s nothing but a big bagga wind.” (Daddy God’s name is really a big, fat secret. All you’ll find in the original Old Testament texts are the consonants “YHWH” or “JHVH,” which stands for the “incommunicable name of God.” For more on this, go HERE).
1. When the maiden/queen snoops around, she finds Rumpel’s house near “A high mountain” at “The end of the forest” … “Where the fox and the hare bid each other goodnight” (symbolic of peace, as Jan pointed out). Also all symbolic of Goddess.
2. Transformation is everywhere in this little tale. The maiden is the daughter of a miller – who transforms grain into meal. Rumple transforms straw into gold, and later grain/yeast into bread and beer: When the maiden’s messenger finds him, Rumpel is “Hopping on one leg” around a fire and singing:
“To-day I bake, to-morrow I brew,___________________
The next I’ll have the young Queen’s child.
Ha! Glad am I that no one knew
That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.”
Thnx to thecabaretdolly for the foto