Cinderella’s Shoe

Published 12/09/2012 by wakingbeautymystery


Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred,
and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.
~ Ezekiel 16:25

The Hebrew word for legs or feet, as we have seen, is a common Biblical euphemism for sexual genitalia, whether male or female.
~ Jonathan Kirsch (The Harlot by the Side of the Road, pg 257)

When the shoe fits, we have in Cinderella’s slipper, the yonic symbol of the Bride. The story of Cinderella, and her famously missing shoe, speaks to the unbalanced spiritual situation created by the standard Biblical narrative. In the ancient original narrative, the sacred bride played the central role in advancing spiritual unity and peace among the nations, through love. There was no split between sex and love in those days, or between sex and the spirit. Sex, on the contrary, was a vehicle of the spirit!
A vehicle of life and love.  Sex, as a sacrament, was revered.

Sex was also linked to knowledge. Biblically speaking, the Old Testament makes them synonymous: to know someone is to make love to them.

And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
~ 1 Kings 1:4

In the above scene King David has lost his erection: the sacred symbol and original staff of Kingship in Babylon and in pre-patriarchal Jerusalem.  The King James Bible tells us that King David gat no heat and was unable to warm and respond to the damsel’s ministrations.  This scene marks the end of his reign.  His kingship began with his marriage to the land.  It comes to an end with the waning of his regenerative sexual powers.

The word sire refers to the king… who sires offspring. The word desire literally means of the father, and the name David has desire at its heart.  For the root of David is avid… a word that means eager, ardent, or passionate.  This describes the archetype of male sexuality, in specific relation to the feminine.  The balanced union between male and female creates Life, and pleasure in life,  so that in the ancient world sex itself was a ritual path of worship.  This ancient path is remembered within the progressive imagery of the Tarot keys… The Emperor follows the Empress, and faces Her.  His desire is fixed on Her.  In the book of Ruth the ancient rite is performed during a famine in the region.  Ruth makes love to Boaz on the threshing floor of the grainery… and enacts the ritual of  imitative magic that the Sacred Marriage represents… bringing forth new life and abundant harvests.

And it shall be, when he lieth down… thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down;
and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. ~Ruth 3:4

In the Bible, as in Fairy Tale, the foot represents the phallic counterpart to the shoe. When the true slipper finally meets the authentic foot, in Cinderella, a royal wedding commences… and a healing transformation takes place: Heaven and earth unite to reveal eternal joy, and so they live happily ever after.  On the other hand, Old Testament divorce removes the shoe.  If a man refuses to marry his dead brother’s wife (to carry on his brother’s name)  the widow/wife is to remove the offender’s shoe.

Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. ~Deuteronomy 25:9

Cinderella’s missing slipper marks the absence of the yonic archetype of the Bride in western culture. The royal daughter does not know who she is, and is lost in a world of material drudgery.   In Gnosticism, Sophia forgets who she is while in the underworld.  In the fairy tale false feet, in the form of step sisters, would keep Cinderella from knowing her prince.  Cinderella is variously prevented, in the story, from knowing her true Self and spiritual office.   Mother Church appears as the malevolent step mother, who is most unkind toward the sacred feminine.   While the church retains the diminished image of the mother goddess in the semi-divine status of Mary, mother of Jesus… the daughter and sacred Bride has been effectively eliminated.   Yet, our fairy tales remind us that She is imprisoned in a tower.   And, at the heart and center of the Bible, the Song of Solomon still sings to Her.

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels…
~Song of Solomon 7:1

In The Classic Fairy Tales the authors, Iona and Peter Opie say that Cinderella’s shoe is variously constructed of red velvet with pearls, silk, fur, or glass… depending on the version. In 1697 Charles Perrault wrote Cinderella into French literature from a collection of tales told by common townswomen. According to the Opies:

When Perrault heard the story the shoe may well have been made of a variegated fur (vair)
as has been suggested, rather than glass (verre). ~ Classic Fairy Tales (pg 159)

Earlier in the passage the Opie’s suggest that the nature of the shoe itself seems to be of little significance. Yet, the nature of red velvet… or fur… seem far more accurate, than glass, to describe the yoni… and to bolster the symbol of female genitalia represented by the shoe.  The glass slipper, so important to the modern telling, may have been a mere slip in Perrault’s hearing, giving rise to the translation of the slipper as glass instead of fur.  Still, the transparent nature of the glass slipper, along with her gown of moonbeams, reflect the transcendent domain to which Cinderella really belongs.  The Hebrew word El means god.  Ella shows us a feminine form of this word.  In her ragged kitchen state Cinder-ella is a cinder goddess… whose true nature is hidden among the ashes.   As the prince’s bride Cinderella becomes the love goddess that she truly is.  Her goodness and beauty unite the kingdoms, and reflect the true covenant between heaven and earth.   She brings her prince to the eternal realm within time… where they do indeed live happily ever after.

   Oil, Feet and Hair
Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus,
and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. ~John 12:3

Spikenard oil was obtained as a luxury in ancient Egypt and the near east. It is part of the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India. Spikenard appears in the Bible five times during two love scenes. Mary uses Spikenard to anoint Jesus. And, in the Song of Solomon, the fragrance of Spikenard fills the air between the lovers:

While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
~ Song of Solomon 1:12 (KJV)

Beauty speaks to Solomon as the Shulamite woman (translated here as woman of the land of peace). Solomon, as another cognate of the word, represents the Prince of Peace as he enters into the ancient covenant of love that makes him King. The Sacred Marriage takes place lying down, and in the English Standard version, the king reclines on his couch:

While the king was on his couch,
my nard gave forth its fragrance.
~ SOS 1:12 (ESV)

When Mary anoints Jesus, in the book of John, the house is also filled with the odor of the ointment. Here again Spikenard appears as part of the ancient love rite that makes the chosen Prince into a king. It appears that costly Spikenard provided the royal lubrication necessary to perform the rite of Sacred Marriage.  Indeed, Jesus becomes Christ, the anointed one, at this moment.

And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner… brought an alabaster box of ointment,
~Luke 7:37

The new testament hides, in this scene, what the Song of Solomon shows. Luke refers to the highborn Mary merely as a woman in the city who is a sinner. The sin, in question, where Biblical women are concerned, is generally and specifically sexual. The standard Christian narrative demeans this holy rite… yet retains it in the New Testament to employ its pre-Christian significance for Christian purposes. In other words, Luke may not have liked her, but his aim could not have been advanced without this sinner and her alabaster box. Jesus could not become king, and high spiritual authority, without Her.

Luke continues to say that this sinner…

… stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
~Luke 7:38

Remembering that the Hebrew word for legs or feet… is a common Biblical euphemism for sexual genitalia we can begin to see
the kissing of feet, in this scene, in a new light. Jesus’ feet were kissed and anointed.. and wiped with the hairs of her head.
Mary, in her role as John (Yoni), or Beauty, ministers to Jesus… just as Abishag and the Shulemite ministered to David and Solomon. Luke does not say that she wiped his feet with her hair. He says that she wiped Jesus’ feet with the hairs of her head. Why make the distinction, here, between the hairs of the head… and other hairy locations?   The hair that distinguishes the sacred female genitalia (or Yoni) also clothes John…

And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins;
and he did eat locusts and wild honey; ~Mark 1:6

If we extract key features from this passage, we see that John is distinguished by hair, skin, loins and wild honey. Are these not familiar features associated with female genitalia?   The Mystery is found within the skin of the loins… behind the hair… where the wild honey flows from deep within the Sacred Feminine.  Hair, in reference to genitalia, appears openly in Canticles.  In the following Beauty sings of the probing desire of her beloved in the morning, after a night of lovemaking… evident by the lingering drops of the night.  Those damp locks are not, I think, from  the head on Solomon’s shoulders.

I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying,
Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew,
and my locks with the drops of the night.
~Song of Solomon 5:2

The Song of Solomon is easy to identify as an expression of the ancient love rite known as the Sacred Marriage.  He sings to Beauty as the precious fruit of the Tree of Life. This Tree represents all fruit bearing trees, as Beauty represents all fruit.  Indeed, Beauty symbolizes fruitfulness itself as the object of worship.  Here the Tree, with its fruit, is described variously and simultaneously as a palm Tree, clusters of the vine, and apples.

How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.
I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof:
now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;
~Song of Solomon 7:6-8

But Beauty’s Tree of Life and love was to be supplanted by an exclusively male spiritual authority. Devices used in Biblical text to deride and discredit Her, were employed politically to dethrone Her:

But I was like a gentle lamb to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me,
saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut her off from the land of the
living, that her name may be no more remembered.
~Jeremiah 11:19

Once upon a time a people prospered, in Jerusalem, who loved one another.  They prospered because they worked the land together and shared freely of their Mother’s fruits.  They prospered because they sang a song of peace among the nations.  A song of Solomon.  Such a people worshiped in song.  They danced.  They joined earth to heaven through sacred sex. They worshiped Life through Love.  She asks Solomon to remember Her in the Song of Songs.  Remember Love. For love, She affirms, is strong as death:

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death
~Song of Solomon 8:6

As time passed, a dense forest grew over our memory of the prince’s daughter of Solomon’s song. The goddess of love and beauty became Cinderella, goddess amid the ashes. Her prince of peace still searches for what was lost.  He searches for the Sacred Feminine, and for the joy of love to be found in a shoe.

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter!
~ Song of Solomon 7:1


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