Coatlique, Tonantzin, and Guadalupe
The title of the last blog was “More on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the New Earth”. This followed from the prior blog concerning Coatlique and Lady Guadalupe. Let’s, in this blog, continue for a moment with this theme as it has to do with finding the way through the decimation of Earth and finding Earth as the Vast Self, the sacred, creating-being that we also are — beings of the sacredness of earth-bodies rather than robotic look-alikes, having the capacity, through awarenes, to BE HERE. The difficulties we face stem from our ignorance — we are not here because for us there is no HERE HERE. We live in concepts, reactions, opinions, mentalness, impulse, tech, and beliefs, and some live deeply connection with spiritual presences while not knowing Earth as such a spiritual presence.
After further contemplation, the interpretation of Lady Guadalupe given by the earth geometer Peter Champoux last time, the sense of Lady Guadalupe signaling the evolution of Earth into the “Sixth Sun” (The name given by the Mayans, which refers to the time of the NEW EARTH), is perhaps in need of just a slight modification. Modification because that understanding does not give quite the right emphasis to Coatlique.
Certainly not to her fierceness. Just look:
She holds her head. and from the place above her shoulders there is the head of a great snake, and Coatlique wears a skirt of snakes! She is the goddess of Life and Death — simultaneously, not life now and death sometime in the future, the literalists view, devoid of actual experience. Earth and all of Nature are the simultaneities of Life/Dearth. Just look and see! And so are we, and we can see/feel that if we did not live in such fear of death — and we live in fear of death because we are no longer HERE!
“Coa” in the language of Náhuatl, means “snake”— And they are FIERCE-Earth.…of the very vibration of Earth herself.
A more benevolent form of the feminine goddess is also the goddess of this same site. She is named
Tonantzin who is the earth and fertility
goddess known as “Our Lady Mother”:
But Coatlique and Tonantzin are the same! Tonantzin’s sacred site was also the hill of Tepeyac, the site of Coatlique on which a temple had been built. When the Spanish conquistador, Cortez, approached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the emperor Moctezuma II met the Spaniards at the temple of Tonantzin. The invaders knocked over the statue of the goddess at that site and replaced her with a Madonna statue from Europe.
An Aztec convert who took the name Juan Diego was walking by the hill of Tepeyac one day in 1531. Even to a convert, this was still a sacred site, connected to the deity of the Moon, and the place where the cosmic kingdom had begun to unravel. Juan Diego’s actual name was Cuauhtlatoatzin (which means “the talking eagle”). Guillermo Schulenburg, in 1996 suggested that he is not entirely a “historical” figure. The first written mention of Juan Diego is found in the “Nican Nopohua” document, almost a century after the events. He is more like an earth-angelic messanger.
As Juan Diego walked by Tepeyac, he was called by a young brown-skinned woman who called herself “Coatlaxopeuh”, “xopeuh” meaning to crush serpents (These are not the serpents Coatlique wears as a skirt or wears as a head.) One pronunciation of this name would be “quatlasupe”, which was similar in sound to Guadalupe, an Iberian Madonna who is sometimes depicted as standing on the head of a bull between its horns. Coatlaxopeuh who is known ever since as Our Lady Guadalupe sent Juan Diego to the bishop asking that a shrine (temple) be built for her where the previous temple to Tonantzin once stood.
Still, the above rings too strongly of a Catholic interpretation. And does not quite match the image of Coatlaxopeuh on the tilma, the cloak of Cuauhtlaotoatzin, Juan Diego (the Guardian of Tonantzin, perhaps?).
In the visual image, she is not standing, for example, on snakes. However, it is a historical interpretation to say, as they do, that first there was Coatlique, who was later “replaced” by Tonantzin, and still
later, replaced by “Our Lady of Guadalupe”. Read imagistically — that is, just staying with what presents itself, and refraining from falling into historical (history is alway his-story, not her-story)
interpretations coming through, for example, Catholic tradition, She is all three of the images — at once. Mother Earth is all three of these imaginal (that is, both image and presences at the same time!
We are working with soul, and soul is image, not history. And this level of soul is myth, and myth is that which never happened but is always happening!
Who appeared to Cuahtlatoazin? Not exactly who we see as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He saw a dark-skinned Woman, not a European Madonna. He did see her as depicted, but the mention
of “dark-skinned” tends to dissolve away in documents and history, which also dissolves away that she is the Black-Madonna of America(s). And, she is FIERCE, and she is EARTH MOTHER, and she
is the LIGHT OF THE SUN IN THE HEART, and she THE CLARITY OF MOON-AS-WISDOM, and she is LIFe/DEATH, and she is THE NEW EARTH, and she is The New BODY.
Yet one more attribute, quality that She is.
The tilma, used as a cloak which she wears, was woven of course maguey cactus fiber. The image is reputed to be a mixture of different artistic mediums, including oils and pastels. It was the perfect image for it equally appealed to both conquerors and conquered. The Spaniards saw in it a confirmation of their Marian devotions coupled with their mandate to subjugate the Americas, to commit mass genocide of the people, to enslave.
The conquered “Indios” saw something else. They identified with the goddess who was so powerful that she stood blocking the rays of the sun and standing on the moon. Yet so powerful, she is still so gentle that her feet are cushioned by an angel holding a pillow on which she stands. She wears a dress adorned with flowers of the region and she is wearing a waist sash indicating that she is pregnant. Mary of Tepeyac is the mother of the ultimate humanity — the humanity as hu-mus, humanity as earth-beings, beings that are HERE.
And that she finds within her being what seems and are violent oppositions – fierceness, nurturing, and love, the harmony of these opposing forces within her being instruct us anew: NO MORE OPPOSITION! It is not possible with her fullness of complexity, to be fully human by setting up………
the spiritual folks on one side
and the villains on the other.
It is impossible to set the tree-huggers on one side and the tree-cutters on the other. That is OLD EARTH.THE NEW EARTH requires that we who claim the ground of ‘spirituality’, are
also those who claim dominion and domination and live and think of the earth as an “it”. Our task then shifts considerably. It is no longer to opposse and fight against evil, for in every instance, to do so requires taking up the tools of evil for the fight. Nor is it to be complacent about evil. Our task is to take it ‘in’, where inner light can shine on it. To do so requires that we see all evil in the world as also within us.