Yo Soy Chicano. Hijo de mi madre. La tierra. We are all children of the Earth. Everything that ever existed and still exists in our realm on Mother Earth is all around us. Her atmosphere and electromagnetic fields hold the entirety of human existence. We are wrapped in the folds of her fabric; submersed in the vibration of her storms and gentle breeze. Everything that provides for us comes through her elements and humans don’t create anything but baby humans. We manipulate the four elements and fashion tools, utilizing the earth’s Four kingdoms: Mineral, plant, animal, and human. I don’t consider it creating when people “invent” stuff, but we do have an imagination and our ideas, and our dreams could be seen as our creation. Maybe even our ideas of divinity?
For 487 years, there has been a disagreement about the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One side believes the Church made it up, because for ten years not one single Aztec had willfully converted. The other side said that it was a miraculous event that proves the belief and narrative of the church. The middle road of these extremes points us to the persona that delivered her message. A Nahuatl speaking Toltec named Cuauhtlatoatzin, who we know as Saint Juan Diego. The Catholic church canonized him in 2003. His name means Blessed Eagle who speaks.
His story reveals an esoteric relationship between humans and nature. A questioning of the divine and a path to awakening. Guadalupe is pregnant and behind her, the new Sun is returning and all of her imagery has clues to the Toltec wisdom. Her dress carries those images – Atlachinolli and the Cruz de Quetzalcoatl (quincunx). Hidden in plain sight and adopted into the fanatical religion of those invaders. There are ample studies that illustrate and explain the synthesis that Guadalupe is Coatlicue-Tonantzin.
Our beloved Anahuac is the landscape our ancestors developed and cultivated for thousands of years. God did not just give us all the richest foods and medicinal plants. The corn we eat was not even a wild plant. It was two plants that we germinated side-by-side long enough to get cross pollinations. We developed Amaranth and Chia, which only recently have been promoted for their health benefits. We crossed the continent on river systems and built pyramids as far north as St Louis, MO that you can still visit today. In every geographical area of this continent, we developed a symbiotic harmony with our natural environment just as every other mammal on Cemanahuac (Planet Earth).
Our governance models were taken and remodeled into the democracy, communism and Libertarian ideologies. Professional sports would never have moved outside of the gladiator ring if not for our balls. Still, the rich tapestry of this American continent was not a simple natural occurrence. Even our Sonoran desert is full of life. Geologists map out millions of years of sedimentation and plate tectonics and these ideas have merit, but our ancestors had oral histories that explain many geographical anomalies and they are not fairy tales. They are metaphors and lessons that illustrate the relationships that we share with earth’s mountains, canyons and natural spring waters.
Without a balanced perspective of roles and having one sex dominate another, there will always be disrespect for the earth and conflict in the domestic realm.
Many authentic observations of the human form can explain phenomenon within the environment and even beyond into the universe. The simple comprehension that our body is made up of many organs united into one single form. Equally, the Planet is composed of many organs like – forests, rivers, atmosphere, insects, fish, foul and filth; all these systems have a function to the natural processes that sustain life and death. Our self-discovery is also mapped through the time cycles of Anahuac as the image of Tezcatlipoca holds all the twenty day signs to guide us through the process. There are foundational steps that lead to the wisdom of Toltecayotl, yet remain unknown to the majority of us because the system oppresses and represses our ancestral knowledge. There are many today that try to follow a Toltec path. Just be cautious of those Broken Eagle Feathers.
Life begins in the womb of mother. The conception of life begins in mystery explained through Ometeotl—Ome is 2—Teotl is potential energy. Two potential energies – one being male, one female, they generate a third new entity (sometimes a fourth) and the new nucleus family is formed. The embryo begins the 273 day (nine months) of gestation. This is the proper human cycle count. Codified in our bodily form with 20 digits (fingers and toes) and 13 articulations along the body from ankles, knees and hips, shoulders wrists and elbows and the neck in the center. With six right and six left joints, the head is center 7th and has dual attributes like Ometeotl – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two sets of teeth. You also have two arms, two legs, you even have two butt cheeks!
Just as nature divides and multiplies through Ometeotl the Image of Guadalupe presents us with two realities. One of immaculate conception and the other of carnal passion. When you take a distant look at the overall image of Guadalupe it is in the shape of a vagina. The church has demonized that instrument through which all human beings pass through into this realm and our male dominant society abuses the women through subjection and objectification of sexual perversion. Of course, his-story loves to paint native women as promiscuous, likely another justification of Spanish rape and plunder. Real research will indicate that native women were more conservative in child-bearing by limiting their birth rates and having full reproductive rights. They also divorced their husbands when they determined it was for best. And when, in rare cases, that men had more than one wife, it was because of her consent and choice. Author Sandra Garza gives some excellent research in her essay: “Decolonizing Intimacies; Women of Mexican Descent and Colorism”.
I tread lightly with this subject because I am not a woman and I believe that men are incompetent to write correctly about women’s experiences’. But we all have a mother, and my mother specifically believed that she should teach us unconditional love. We all know there are people that “only a mother could love” but most importantly is the need for our civilization to honor the women. Without a balanced perspective of roles and having one sex dominate another, there will always be disrespect for the earth and conflict in the domestic realm. Cuauhtlatoatzin knew this.
Let’s begin researching our native beliefs by requesting the voice of our women to be lifted. Never forget that our mothers’ guidance has most closely retained the essence of our original ancestral teachings. Next week, we will discuss how some of those lessons have developed into modern day cultural traits that need to be explained again. Chicanos have had a poor self-image for too long but we’re getting better. ¡Sí Se Puede!
Daniel Stange is the Grant Manager with Sisters of Color United for Education in Denver, Colorado. Read the third edition of Cuentos De Mi Chante Chicano here.
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