Dear Brave Souls: from Women Who Run with the Wolves UNCUT:

Cinderella and her shoe. Some of the old French tales say it was a shoe made of fur. I find interest here. Whence the Christian Grimm Brothers took hold of Ault Marie’s and other farmwomen’s tales, and glossed them by ‘christianizing’ them often, it is said… they let this pre-Christian remnant of the shoe made of wild fur, slide.

The ash women of the German and French forests seem similar in tone to the forest gurus of India, covered in smoke and earth and ashes, hair wild, clothings few… and the old people of our family told me that Cinderella was not at all inept, sweethearted and naive… but a wild thing imprisoned by an indenture, as was far and wide common for motherless children in previous centuries, let alone this century…

and that the prince was a wild green prince of the forest, a huge forest spirit that came seeking his love, a holy woman, for she had disappeared… thus he roamed, bringing the woodland wild mare’s fur trimmed shoe… (‘shoe’ being a pun in our family tale, meaning horse shoe decorated with trim for holy ceremony to the old Hunnish gods who are horsemen)

… and thus likely the Cinderella story, in part, may carry remnants from stories far older… related to the great horse headed Goddesses such as Demeter and others in the idea that they are mothers with mare’s milk replete, and life giving in seasons to foals.

That the wild shoe was made of fur can be understood that the Ashenputl, little Ash Girl, also called Cinderella, has connection to the animals and water and trees… in other words, she is a huge female spirit who wore the aegis of the Great Mother, that is, Mother Nature overall, whether by name Baba Yaga or GrossMutter or the Norns, the three sisters of fate.

In our family, the story is told that the shoe of fur, was like the tussocks of long glossy hair that grow near the strongest horses’ fetlocks.

And that it was Cinderella’s long wild hair that would not be tamed. no matter what mere or petty or lowly work she was put to, that –her wild hair and her shoe of fur, were the giveaways that she was a holy woman of the forest, beloved by her wild prince, and–

though some would say, beloved too by her non-human Mother. But it would be more accurate in mythos and in matters of true psyche to say ”beloved by her *more than human* Mother.”

In all, the difference between this story of our family from the farmlands in the Old Country, and the so very beautiful but pastel version known in film and modern children’s storybooks in our time, tells the story of how the wild was indentured, how easy it can be to become captured against one’s better instincts.

And/ But, it is important to remember, even in the wild holy woman of the forest is lost, there is still in a woman’s psyche, the wild one of the forest who comes seeking to return her true shoes to her… remembering in symbology, ‘shoes’ represent ‘standing for something, having cover for what one stands on and for, so one is not cut or hurt or made unable to walk one’s own walk. So too, thee