The Hidden Spirituality of Little Women

hidden spirituality video Dec 27, 2020

With this video, our Hidden Spirituality series comes full circle to its origin point. While the original conception of the series happened many years ago while watching Airbender, it was in December of 2019 that I went to 3 movies and came out with scripts for each one that ultimately became the foundation of this very series! The first was Frozen 2, which was our first episode, and the second was Star Wars 9, which came out on May the 4th to very varied perspectives. Yeah, I don’t blame ya’ll on that, and the 3rd movie was the 2019 remake of Little Women, showing that Hidden Spirituality can be found everywhere - and this one may very well have been the most mystical story out of the 3! 

Don’t believe me? Check this out. In the original book, chapter 28, we find this line… “Jo rescued his babies, and marched up and down, with one on each arm, as if already initiated into the mysteries of baby tending, while Laurie laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks.”

Let’s have a slow-motion replay in case you missed that. “As if already initiated into the mysteries into baby tending.” I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter what century you’re in - if you’re using the language “Initiated into the Mysteries” of ANYTHING - you know more than you’re letting on about. And it was around this realization that the truth began to be revealed around this story, demonstrating that it’s just that much more in-depth than almost anyone truly knows. 

And for those of you who are still in the dark, allow me to illuminate you for a moment - the language Initiated into the Mysteries stems from the ancient Greek and Egyptian Mystery Schools - where Initiates would be initiated into the sacred mysteries of life, often through purification rituals, holy ceremonies, plant medicine, the revelation of divine knowledge - and it was considered a most pious and religious activity - as Initiates of the Mysteries would go on to become beacons of truth, love, and light in the world, helping others to attain to higher levels of consciousness just as they did. Of course, as it’s used in this particular passage, it’s speaking to the sacred wisdom and knowledge that comes with raising a child, which in-and-of themselves are mysteries to be initiated into, most definitely. The secrets of life, right? 

Now, the original story of Little Women was first written in 1868, so this is saying something - and it has served as a powerful beacon of truth for women everywhere in realizing that there are so many paths we can take. We are not isolated from fulfilling the stereotypical roles that often accompany our genders. and as a man myself… a Patchman that is… I found the story to teach quite a lot about the nature of the divine feminine, and it helped me connect more in-depth with the gender divide that often is found within society. 

Plus, being how I was raised, a patchguy filled with stuffing and all, there’s not a lot of watery elements inside here, but every time I see this scene of Beth getting her piano at Christmas in the 1994 adaption, I can’t help but tear up… Oh god, it’s happening again… It’s so precious… I think for that scene alone - this is my favorite adaption, but we’ll probably go back and forth in this video referencing the different versions.

So straight up, the first thing that stood out upon the revelation of this movie's mystical nature is that four girls are a reflection of the Four Elements. Each sister represents two of the four elements, each starting in one aspect and then transitioning to another through personal growth. The four factors, of course, speaking to Fire - the spiritual will and passion. Water is the emotional body, Air is the Mind and thoughts, and Earth is the Physical dimension. Subtly, because it will be relevant later - the Aether - the fifth element, relates with spirit and the incorporeal. In Little Women, the story takes place mainly over two eras, a period of childhood and a young-adulthood period, which are essentially divided between two events. The death of Beth, and the Marriage of Meg. 

So we have Amy, Beth, Meg, and Jo. Starting with Amy, she begins as a representation of the fire element, the youngest of the four, who especially in the book is described as being very selfish, familiar to the Princess of Wands in the Tarot, focused on her own needs and ideas. She burns Jo’s book at one point, demonstrating more of her fiery energy. 

Next, we have Meg, who begins as Earth. She is very focused on the material future she wants to create, having money and wealth. The story goes that they used to have wealth, but their father went off to fight in the civil war, and the family sank into poverty as a result. Meg yearns for the wealth to return and believes it is through marriage that this can happen. Of course - wedding rings usually holding a stone further adds weight to her representation of the earth.

After this, we have Beth - the soft-spoken, loving, and nurturing one. Definitely water. She is always calm and centered, one who humbles the rest of the group whenever they’re having an argument, wishing the best for everyone and hoping that the group can find harmony and happiness all the time… once again, that piano scene… You can’t help but cry. 

Finally, there is Jo, the often seen “star” of the show. Jo is the different one; she is unique; she thinks very differently than her sisters and most young girls her age. She connects more with her creative energy; she likes to write and tell stories and doesn’t care much for the idea of getting married or having a family. She’s an expression of the divine feminine who actively chooses her reality, rather than just going along with the imposed story that women exist to get married and have babies for the men, and this is one of the essential pieces that contributed to the success of this book, to begin with. It empowered women to think differently about their roles in society and support them no matter what path they chose. 

These relationships match for the first half, but once they transition into adulthood, we see a much different picture. 

Once again, starting with Amy, she transitions from Fire into Air. She becomes more intelligent, more mindful, and travels to Europe to learn the art. Now you might think that she may transition to the element of water because she's doing art - but there is a line in the movie, specifically, that suggests her paintings lack emotion and needed some work. Further, much of her story in the second half revolves around her marriage to Laurie's young man and the choice of whom she should marry. Ultimately, she puts a lot of thought and consideration into this decision, something only a very mindful person would do. 

Now Meg, on the other hand, transitions from Earth into Water. She marries for love, rather than for riches, a potent example of the shift in consciousness from a more worldly state of being. This results in her remaining poor for the rest of her life, and she’s okay with that because she’s happily married, the thing she wanted. At one point, she buys fabric for a costly dress. Still, she does so because of her friend's emotional pressure, and upon seeing the effect that it had on her relationship with her husband, due to how much money they had, she sells the fabric to support her family.

Next, we have Beth… Now, Beth is an interesting example because she passes away in our transition to adulthood. Beth transitions from the Water element into two different aspects: Earth, because her body returns to the earth. However, before she passes, she says she is going to God soon, and herein we see that indeed, she also shifts into the 5th element, the Aether, one with Spirit. Through her, all of the features are covered.

Finally, we have Jo, who steps out of her comfort zone of just thinking about her dreams, but genuinely stepping out and living them. With her Air transition, she moves into Fire, embodying the matured fiery energy as she moves away from home and becomes a published author. Again, it gives a strong and empowering message about how anyone can live their dreams if they’re willing to go after them through its storytelling. 

Not only do each of the girls demonstrate these elements in their transition, but we also see them embodying and educating us subtly about the wisdom we find in the Royal Arcana of Tarot - the youthful and mature energy of each element, from childhood to adult stages, or the princesses into the queen archetypes. 

From here, we can also see some exciting correlations of fundamental differences between the various film adaptions. Greta Gerwig's 2019 edition is much more intelligent than its predecessor, keeping a fast-paced dialogue and consistently jumping in the timeline between past and future. In contrast, the 1994 edition was entirely linear and far more emotional. This version is a bit simpler and more comfortable to follow but conveys a more significant emotional weight. In contrast, the new version is a bit more expansive, covering a greater awareness of the times and gender roles. These differences alone might identify the 1994 edition as relating more with Water and Earth's elements and the new 2019 edition as Fire and Air. 

While the 1994 edition was more concerned with simply telling the story in a meaningful way, the 2019 version carries some other messages that are very important for our collective spiritual awakening. In particular, one line has Amy describing that marriage is an economic proposition, wherein upon marriage, the wife is owned by the man, and when children are born, they too are owned by the man. Of course, while times and collective mindsets have changed a great deal since this period, we need to realize this truth as society continues to evolve. Just consider that in another hundred years from now, what ingrained belief systems we may recognize are ridiculous, but yet today, we deeply cling to. To create a more harmonious future, we have to learn from our past, and this story does a beautiful job of presenting our history for us to digest today. Breaking free from her old reality, Jo says “

“Women have minds and souls as well as hearts, ambition, and talent as well as just beauty, and I’m sick of being told that love is all a woman is fit for,” but then also expresses that she too is lonely, and this is something that we all must face, both men and women alike, balancing the masculine and the feminine within. 

Honestly, even I’m relatively new to this story, yet I recently learned that my mom said she read it nearly 20 times growing up, as there wasn’t very much content available for young girls liberating in this same way. It would have been even worse 150 years ago when it was first published; how many female protagonists were there in storytelling? Women were always the love interest or the wife, but never the hero or the main character. This book shifted the landscape for women’s literature by being something that half of our human population, at least in our western world, could connect in a significant way. 

“It’s just about our little life,” says Jo, of the new writing she is producing. “Who will be interested in a story of domestic struggles and joys? It doesn’t have any real importance.”

“Maybe,” says her sister Amy, “We don’t see these things as necessary because people don’t write about them.

And so - with this, we find perhaps the deepest and most profound lesson we can all learn from this story… it doesn’t matter who you are, male or female if you find important in some aspect of life, something that others seem to glaze over even if it is meaningful… talk about it, tell the story, and who knows, you might start a revolution.

Happy holidays everyone! See you next time on Hidden Spirituality! 

Written by Jordan River
Edited by Zach Bouker

Created by Team Spirit Connect with the team at

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