Cuix amo nican nicà nimonantzin?
No estoy yo aqu que soy tu madre?
Am I not here, I who am your mother?
- words of the Virgin to Juan Diego, recorded in the Nican Mopohua
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Tonantzin, Express of the Americas, Tecuantlaxopeuh, Tecuatlanopeah, Coatlaxopeuh, Protectress of Unborn Children, the Woman Clothed with the Sun...Only ten years after the gruesome conquest of the Aztecs, an indigenous peasant was walking by the hill of Tepeyac, past the former temple of Coatlicue, the Aztec Earth Mother, and heard the voice of a noble woman commanding him to come to her. She spoke to him in his native tongue and identified herself as the Mother of Teotl-Dios (using both the indigenous and Castillian Spanish words for divinity). She asked a temple be built to her on that site, and Juan Diego left to consult the Bishop. Thus began a series of visits from the Virgin to the Saint Juan Diego over the next four days. When asked for proof of the vision, the Virgin filled the tilma (cloak) of Juan Diego with Castillian roses, not native to these continents, and in full bloom in December. When he went before the bishop, and unfurled his tilma, the roses fell out and the famous image of the Virgin was emblazoned upon the maguey cloth of his cloak.
This apparition of the Virgin Mary has a profound relationship with the Christians of the New World, and from the beginning of her cult has been a pivot point between the Catholic Spanish and the Indigenous Pagan cosmologies, bridging them, one giving birth to the other and like Mexico herself, creating a child of two worlds. While some might claim overt syncretism, and others, covert masking, the Virgin is considered officially to be an image of the Immaculate Conception, aligning with the Woman of the Apocalypse in Revelation 12:1.
The cult has always been wrought with controversy for its merging of the indigenous and spanish elements. In the late 1570s, the Franciscan historian Bernardino de Sahagún denounced the cult and the use of the name Tonantzín itself:
At this place [Tepeyac], [the Indians] had a temple dedicated to the mother of the gods, whom they called Tonantzin, which means Our Mother. There they performed many sacrifices in honor of this goddess...And now that a church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is built there, they also call her Tonantzin, being motivated by the preachers who called Our Lady, the Mother of God, Tonantzin. It is not known for certain where the beginning of this Tonantzin may have originated, but this we know for certain, that, from its first usage, the word means that ancient Tonantzin. And it is something that should be remedied, for the correct [native] name of the Mother of God, Holy Mary, is not Tonantzin, but Dios inantzin. It appears to be a Satanic invention to cloak idolatry under the confusion of this name, Tonantzin.
In the past nearly 500 years of devotion to Our Lady, a huge tradition of folk magic has been preserved, developed, and propagated that revolve around Her and the miraculous image. These traditions reflect the mythic history of Mexico herself- namely the culture of the mestizaje. It is this blending of Indigenous and European traditions that gives Mexican magic its particular flavor. And this Virgin, who is said to be the Universal Mother that all can approach, has permeated all of Mexican culture itself, both out of attraction and repulsion.
This course will be a three hour exploration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the history of her cultus and a broad survey of magics and folk catholocisms that celebrate her miraculous power. We will explore:
The class will be taught by Jesse Hathaway Diaz, the Goat of Wolf & Goat, whose has been studying the Virgin of Guadalupe's lore and magic in Mexican Curanderismo and Folk Catholicism actively for over two decades, based in familial devotions and continued worship.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
All text and images ©2013-2020 by WOLF & GOAT
Woman Clothed with the Sun:
The Magic of the Virgin of Guadalupe
taught by Jesse Hathaway Diaz
One Night Only, during the Celebration of her Feast Days
Monday, December 9th, 2019
Time: 9:00pm to 12:00 am, EST
Cost: $60 - payment due at time of registration
Recordings of the class will be available for viewing via online streaming for one week after the class.
Upon purchase, you will be contacted via email to complete regristration, and to receive necessary further information. Make sure to enter your preferred email address at checkout.