Hello lovelies, I have a lot of spreads to share with you today for Wolf Women Art. This chapter of The Women Who Run with the Wolves uses three different fairytales to explore women’s wildish natures and I wanted to address all three of them.
The first one is La Llorona (the woman who cries). There are so many versions of this tale. I heard one of them when I went to Mexico and we saw a fountain that was supposedly haunted by a woman who had killed her children. This act is the root of this story.
I chose not to address the children in my rendering, especially because the murder occurs when the father decides to leave with his sons and out of spite La Llorona commits this terrible gesture. I just can’t handle that.
I focused on the grieving woman archetype. Throughout history most stories hold the image of the grieving woman, mother, wife, sister. So many actions come from a woman’s grief.
Think of many of the Greek tragedies. Most God or Goddesses stories have a grieving mother in them. Wars are started because women are grieving. But that often lead to more grieving for them.
This beautiful Chinese paper cut was given to me by a friend and it is a fitting crown for La Llorona, don’t you think?
The second fairytale is just as sad. It is that of the Little Matchstick Girl. She is cold, so cold and when people are not buying matches from her, she burns them one by one to try and keep warm. While they burn, visions come to her, of palaces, of warm clothing, of fine food and of a roaring fire. Each time the match putters out, she gets colder and colder. When finally she burns her last match, her grandmother comes to take her away and she dies.
This is one of stories – like the Little Mermaid – that I remember being so sad about as a child. So angry that no one was helping this freezing child. It felt just as tragic re-reading it now.
The whole thing made me think of Harry Potter when he is spending too much time in the mirror of Erised looking at his parents. That is why the quote is so fitting here: in the end the moral of the story is that losing yourself in fantasies is not always best.
I burned the edge of the the page for the Little Matchstick Girl and I spread the charcoal onto the page underneath. This fits in nicely with the third story called the Three Golden Hairs. This one was unfamiliar to me.
In this story and old, old man makes his way slowly through the forest to the home of an old woman. When he comes in, she takes him in her arms and rocks him through the night. As she does, he grows younger and younger until he becomes a small child.
At this point, the old woman plucks three golden hairs on his head and throws them in the fire. The child crawls from her lap, runs to the door and gives her a dazzling smile before leaving.
This story is about letting things that are not working burn. Leave those old ideas at the door and look at things in a new way. Or burn them and see what the transmutating fire does to them. I like this one very much,
I hope you have enjoyed today’s foray into the Wildish Woods. I am still so enthused by this project.