Updated: Dec 23, 2020
“Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virilethe. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, and Isis were all considered virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence.” [wikipedia]
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ From Sky Alexander’s “Your Goddess Year” Dates for Inviting Her: December 11–17
This week we honor the Goddess of Guadalupe. In Mexico, the goddess’s festival is celebrated on December 12, the day in 1531 when she is said to have appeared in a divine visitation in a location north of Mexico City. On this joyous holiday, revelers thank the goddess for her protection and for providing abundance throughout the year.
Also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, this goddess of love, mercy, and compassion in the face of the Virgin Mary, -revered in Mexico and other parts of Latin America— but she bears a strong resemblance to the Nahua/Aztec goddess Tonantzin. Mythology tells us this goddess appeared to a Nahua/Aztec man named Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac, a location sacred to the Nahua people. For centuries they had worshipped the earth goddess Tonantzin, whose name means “sacred mother,” at a temple there—before the Spanish invaded and tore it down in 1520. The goddess didn’t want the native people to forget her and asked Diego to build a place where they could pay their respects.
Her Animal Totems Artists and folklore sometimes depict the Goddess of Guadalupe with a serpent, a creature that symbolizes wisdom but also sexuality. Given Christianity’s views about the serpent and its appearance in the Garden of Eden, this association may have caused complications for the Church in its attempts to transition her from pagan goddess to beloved saint.
According to folklore, the goddess told Diego to convey the story of her visitation to the bishop, which he did. The bishop, however, didn’t believe him and demanded proof. So the goddess directed Diego to collect rare Castilian roses from the hill—although these roses aren’t native to Mexico—and give them to the bishop. He carried the flowers in his tilma (poncho), and when he opened the tilma the bishop saw an image of the goddess imprinted on the cloth and was convinced.
Legend tells us flowers blossomed at the goddess’s feet even during winter, apparently nurtured and protected by her divine love. The story of her meeting with Diego suggests that red Castilian roses are among her favorite flowers. Roses, of course, symbolize love.
The Goddess of Guadalupe, like Tonantzin before her, is a mother deity who nurtures and protects her people. To Mexicans, she’s both a religious and cultural icon. Often the goddess is depicted surrounded by the sun’s golden rays. Her shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, is one of the most popular sacred sites in the world, visited by millions of people each year.
Are there areas in your life that could benefit from nurturing, kindness, or compassion? Do you seek validation and understanding, someone to encourage you and let you know you matter? The Goddess of Guadalupe will come to your aid with her generous and boundless love and support you in your endeavors. She’ll also teach you to respect yourself and to honor the deities who watch over you. This benevolent mother goddess can safeguard you and your loved ones in the coming year—you only need to ask for her protection.
As you mark her holiday this week, focus on the things for which you are grateful—family, friends, good health, work you enjoy, peace, and safety. Let the goddess teach you how to increase your blessings by expressing gratitude for the gifts you’ve already received.
How to Invite Her
In Mexico, the goddess’s festival includes feasting, music, and dancing. On December 12, invite her and her powers into your life by preparing a ritual meal of traditional Mexican food. Welcome friends and family into your home to share it with you.
You can serve dishes such as Tacos Chicken mole Black beans Rice Guacamole Flan Cover the dining table with a colorful, embroidered cloth and set a vase of red Castilian roses at the center. Display an image of the goddess on the table too. Wear a flowered Mexican shawl and pin a rose in your hair. Toast the goddess with tequila (or fruit juice if you choose not to drink alcohol) and give thanks for the blessings in your life.
Throughout the week, play mariachi and traditional Mexican music. Each night light red and gold candles in the Goddess of Guadalupe’s honor, or attach her picture to a large pillar candle and dedicate it to the goddess.