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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Abraham Maslow


red riding hood Once Upon A time (earlier this week) I was scanning through dozens of blogs. Searching for something to hold my attention for a few moments. Searching for some inspiration, knowledge or just interesting facts that I didn’t know before. Some people are excellent writers, who I feel are wasted on blogs – those are the ones that I want to write books so that I can read more. And learn to write like they can. I may have an A level in English Literature, but the story telling and descriptive abilities of Dickens, Shakespeare and Hardy haven’t rubbed off on me. I just enjoy reading.

As my gift to share with you all relates to colour therapy, and how it can be used in everyday life, and seeking a tenuous link to  literature, I searched out books with ‘red’ in the title. And noted that the only one I had ever read was “Little Red Riding Hood”.  Which was a perfect place for me to start this post. The inspiration began to flow.

On a basic psychological level, the colour red relates to survival.  We each have a tendency towards a certain colour.  Red is Averse. It pushes away – things and people. There is a fear of letting anything close. A red child may have been beaten, so they push others away because it is not safe. Red is also danger and warning,  and the lesson in red is about detachment.  In the story, we have both Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother as victims of the wolf.  A story of innocence and criminal intent.

Red light has with the shortest, slowest wavelength (think infrared at one end of the colour spectrum and ultraviolet at the other.) Within our own body energy system (the chakras), red is the colour of the base chakra. Our survival energy.  If you are familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will know that our basic survival needs support the rest of the pyramid, just as your base chakra supports the rest of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs in the other chakras. Interestingly this portion of Maslow’s pyramid is usually illustrated using the colour red.

Red may lead you to thoughts of speed, danger, blood. The entire persona of the wolf is red. Traits that we can identify in certain people, as red in the positive is also leadership, ambition, assertive, energetic, active and wealthy. A passion for life as well as sexual passion. An appetite for life. It is also the colour of suppressed anger. With Red Riding Hood, the positive aspects revealed are ‘giving’ in that she was visiting her sick grandmother to give her a basket of food and ‘doing for others’.

Within our story, we have the fight or flight issues of red. Should Little Red Riding Hood run from the wolf, or stay and fight? We can assume the Granny just gave in, and was eaten quickly by the wolf (some of the modern versions for children have Granny being locked in a cupboard, but that was not intended to be the moral of the original story).

The more negative aspects of red are aggression, intolerance, irritable, greedy, ruthless and materialistic. We can see those is the persona of the wolf.  With Granny, she also reveals lack of life force, martyrdom, sacrifice and struggle. And that was before the wolf ate her! These are also red issues.

But apart from her choice of clothing, does Little Red Riding Hood show any other red traits?  If I jump quickly to mention past-life regression therapy, a preference for red tends to reveal a past life in Russia, where historically you would be either very rich or very poor, as there were no middle classes. The story, which has the scene set in a snowy landscape, with wolves prowling the forest, certainly feels Russian to me. Red is also linked to birth trauma and separation issues from mother. We have all gone through this as we take our first breath in the scary new world, having only ever known the warm, comfortable redness of the womb.  When doing colour readings for clients, therapists have found that red choices may reveal issues with a relationship with a mother who didn’t protect them as a child from an abusive father/male. Which links back to safety, survival and betrayal.

So what happened at the end of the story?  The wolf eats Granny (victim), puts on her clothes, gets into her bed and impersonates her. Little Red Riding Hood politely compliments Granny on her appearance, ending with the size of her teeth. All the better to eat you with (ruthless). Which he then does (greedy).  Having had such a big meal, he falls asleep and begins snoring. A passing huntsman hears the snoring and goes in to check on Granny, only to find the wolf asleep. He cuts open the belly (confident) and Little Red Riding Hood jumps out (physical energy), followed by Granny. He then skins the wolf and uses the skin as a cloak (materialistic).

In the colour red sits the victim. Helpless and with suppressed anger. In order to resolve these feelings, they need to be allowed to feel the anger. You need to feel it to heal it. And then you might be able to LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

You might like to explore the colours that you are drawn to, and the meanings behind the colour combination. Just click here to access my free interactive information.

If I can help you explore issues in your life, giving you insights in to your own colour choices, please get in touch.

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