Virgin De Guadalupe

In the last few years I have fallen in love with the Virgin de Guadalupe. I’m not sure exactly where we met, and I had definitely seen her image many times before, but there was a point sometime during my life in San Antonio that I became enamored of her.

Now let me start by stating that I know the Virgin has deep cultural and religious ties for many people. For this blog I am speaking honestly from my heart about my relationship with this important figure, and I mean no insult to anyone.  She is closely tied with the Hispanic culture, and she is an important Catholic icon, of which I am neither. Please understand this blog is about my personal love for this Goddess and the unique relationship I have developed with her. I do not mean to offend anyone or speak outside of my cultural heritage.

Juan Diego first saw the Virgin de Guadalupe in the 1530’s. He saw her standing on the hill Tepeyac, which is a pre-Columbian worship site for the indigenous mother goddess Tonantzin. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers, which she then arranged in his cloak. When Juan Diego returned to the village and revealed his cloak the flowers had been replaced by the image of the Virgin.

What I find particularly interesting about the Virgin is that she seems to be a combination of the indigenous and Aztec deities and the Catholic religious icons. At the time she was first seen, the Aztec people were recovering from being conquered by the Spanish. The Spanish people brought their Catholic religion with them and were actively converting the natives. The Virgin seems to bridge a gap between the two religions and was probably a great comfort to a people who had lost all their familiar gods and goddesses.

Her image demonstrates this connection between Catholicism and Aztec religion. I share the following from the University of Texas- Pan American website:

  • The mantle is blue-green, the color reserved for Ometecuhti/Onecihuatl who are the divine couple considered the creator and unifying force of all creation. The mantle is covered with stars and these reflect the eras of this civilization and the relationship to Ometeotl the god of all duality.
  • The dress or robe is red with symbolic “writings” that tell a story to the Nahuatl people.
  • The belt worn by the Virgin is a maternity band, explaining expectant birth or new expectations.
  • The virgin is stepping on the moon, indicating greater importance in relation to the sister of the sun, Coyolxauhqui.
  • The golden rays of the sun point to the presence of the “sun” god, Quetzalcoatl.
  • The angel who “carries” the Virgin is perceived as the symbol for a new beginning, and also denotes Nahuatl nobility since royalty were carried.

For me, the Virgin of Guadalupe offers comfort and her image fills me with warmth and compassion. I think she also represents new beginnings and new hope. She demonstrates adaptability, and the ability to accept change and adjust to new situations. She is yet another form of a mother goddess, and I love the color and brilliance with which she is depicted.

I have amassed quite the collection of Virgin de Guadalupe goodies. She is quite popular in the trinket department and her image is found on everything from tee shirts to posters. I have Virgin towels, a bedspread, many rings and pendants, posters, art, candles, prayer cards, a holy water vial, statues, and of course a keychain. I must admit that I really love that this Goddess is also a collectable.

Yes, I love this fabulous Goddess. She is the only Christian figure I am truly drawn to, but to me she goes way beyond Christian. I feel like she represents a blended religion, which greatly appeals to me. She lives in my Parthenon with a number of Hindu, Shinto, and Tibetan Buddhist deities, but I think they get along just great. I keep her image with me almost all the time, and she is always a provider of comfort, solace, and joy.

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