You may have seen this shelf before. It is just a shelf in my living room. Or to be more specific it is my shelf in the living room. We have two matching floating shelves and this one has my things on it. As you can see there are a lot of Goddesses on it. If you look closer you will see this Goddess.
You might not know her or maybe you don’t think of her as a Goddess but I do. I know there is a lot of Controversy going on at the moment about Christian Pagans or visa versa, but this is not really about that. Or maybe it is just not in a personal way. I have never been Christian and so I cannot speak about that. I am however Mexican and I live in California and so this Goddess has been part of my existence since I was a small child.
You might think she is Mary and you would be partially right. She is Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.
First her story
According to accounts published in both Nahuatl and Spanish in the 1600s, the image of the Virgin Mary appeared to the indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, in the hills of Tepeyac in the outskirts of Mexico City. It was December 9, 1531, and Juan Diego was on his way to the city from his village when he saw the image of a young woman surrounded by light.
The young woman spoke in Nahuatl and told Juan Diego that a church should be built in her honor at the top of Tepeyac hill, where there had once been an Aztec Temple to the goddess Tonantzin. But when Juan Diego related this to the Spanish archbishop, Juan se Zumárraga, the cleric didn’t believe him and told Juan Diego to go back to Tepeyac and ask the Virgin for a miracle so that she might prove that what she said was true.
The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather Castilian roses at the top of the hill. The Virgin helped arrange the flowers in Juan Diego’s tilmátli (a type of cloak), and he carried them back to Mexico City. When he arrived on December 12 and opened his tilmátli in front of the archbishop, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe had been imprinted on the tilmátli. The tilmátli with the imprint is still on display at the Basilica de Guadalupe, one of the most visited shrines in the world. – latinbayarea.com
She was of native skin color
Shes poke the Native langue
She had roses as her symbol.
She had her church built on a site where the Spaniards had just destroyed a temple of the mother-goddess Tonantzin at Tepeyac.
When I was small and heard this story I knew in an instant the Goddess had found a way and would always find a way. Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is quintessentially Mexican, She is the Queen of Mexico. She is perhaps the best known symbol of mexico often times the recognition of her surpasses even the eagle on the cactus with the snake.
I have loved Her since I have known her. The image itself is beautiful as is the story. I love the roses. I love that she is cloaked in stars. I love that she is dark-skinned. I love what she can teach us about us about adaptability.
The above picture I have of her I got on a trip to Mexico. On that same trip I saw a statue of her on a shell just like the one from the Birth of Venus. It was to large for me to get at the time and to this day I regret it.