I was raised a strict Catholic and therefore familiar with the Divine Mother’s appearance outside of Mexico City in 1531. She spoke to the humble native man she had chosen to be her messenger in his language of Nahuatl. Although intellectually I knew that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was Jewish still deep in me she was Catholic. I have come to believe she was a highly evolved being and clearly was a mystic. The celebration of her appearance, miracles and healings are celebrated in Mexico as a national holy day with masses and elaborate festivities each year. A unique tradition is the torch bearing runners seen on the thoroughfares throughout the country on December 12th.


I had planned to publish this poem on the twelfth but circumstances intervened. Now posting on Christmas makes sense since Christianity, as well as most other major religions, highlight the Divine as male. It is obvious to me that this world needs a resurgence of female qualities such as receptivity, empathy, nurturing,  devotion, patience and radiance. These attributes will lessen the massive suffering caused by the eons of domination by the masculine’s negative qualities such as arrogance, aggression, insensitivity and violence. The survival of the human race is actually dependent on us making this shift.

“She is not Catholic”, the wild-haired shaman announced.

Of course!

The Great Virgin is not Catholic I realized,

What does that archaic term even mean?


You are not Catholic!

You came to end the Aztec’s sacrifice of humans

Including many a infant,

Which can never be holy.


You came to stop the Catholic

massacre of a deeply religious people.

Missionaries forcing their beliefs and traditions on them

So Spaniards could worship at the altar of greed.


The indigenous survivors called out to their Divine Mother Tonantzin.

The soldiers to their Blessed Woman.


Distressed by the sobbing of her children,

Rivers of blood having soaked the precious Earth,

You came to a poor Indian at Tepeyac

An ancient native site dedicated to their Goddess of Compassion.


Juan Diego was pure enough to perceive you.


Again and again you dispatched this simple middle-aged peasant

To the bishop

Until he got it through his sophisticated and educated head,

Who you were and what you needed from him.


Your love is vaster than all of the oceans, Great Mother of Tenderness.

Su amor es gentle and unimaginably deep.

The Indians needed their Goddess’ protection and

The church was forced to acknowledge you.


Esta la Madre de Cristo,

You love us all-perpetrator and victim alike.


As I walked your shrine in Mexico,

Where fragrant Castilian rose gardens appeared magically during the winter frost,

Where water sprung from the parched desert to grab their attention,

The Catholic co-opting of you made me cringe.


You are greater than all these man-made institutions.

Spaniards and Aztecs now both bowed to you.

You brought unity to all your people,

This is the power of the feminine.


The beautiful accounting of Mary’s appearance was documented in the Nican Mopohva. You can read an English translation online at: http://ndclmurray.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/6/2/3162790/nican_mopohua_english.pdf



3 thoughts on “Honoring the Mother on Christmas

  1. My Christmas Day Inspiration from the Holy Mother: On my spiritual journey I can see and feel in this moment a great wave new possibilities washing over me. Everything is changing in my life. The schedule of family visits is going to get me up and traveling over the next 12 months much more frequently than anytime in the last 20 years. My career is going to need to change, adjusting to this travel schedule and long periods away from the office. I have stopped the complacency of routine and excuse, and made a commitment to adventure and the unknown interpersonal associations of my grandchildren. And this lifts my heart! I feel increased duty and passion at the same time.


  2. 12/26/16 More Thought on the Mother.
    Every time I go deeper I wonder, have I reached the end? I never do.
    In all matters of inquiry there are two different dimensions that concern the Shamans. One is called the horizontal and involves considerations constrained by the assumptions of that dimension. The other is the vertical dimension where I go above and below the field of assumptions looking for the metalogic of the matter.
    For example, if I want to inquire about money, then in a certain plane of inquiry, I might ask about interest and dividends, supply and demand, investment risk and reward. These would be horizontal questions.
    It is a very different question, a different sort of inquiry to ask about the morality of usury, the need or purpose of tithing, and the relative virtues of fiat verses hard currencies. Questions of this nature require a vertical analysis of the domain of money, and relative to the horizontal inquiry, looks at matters obtuse or simply not addressed without asking a different type of question.
    Inquiry into specific subjects, the operation of a certain type of equipment or the effect of one action or another on an outcome lend themselves quite conveniently to both horizontal and vertical analysis. If I want to know how a car operates I read the manual a purely horizontal investigation. If I want to know how to get somewhere, I jump to a new level, make a vertical shift, and then I look at maps. One vertical shift followed by yet another set of horizontal investigations. The matter takes a decidedly different flavor when I ask: why do I want to go? Now, the vertical shift goes to a domain that has no “map” or “manual” but depends on my will, desire, intuition, and duty, responsibilities, and of course, the operation of the car and the maps that tell me where things are located. The inclination is to treat this vertical change as just another movement into a horizontal plane. I might not write down the directions, but I can, if so inclined, prioritize my values or intentions, and create a kind of psychological road map that I can use to answer the question: where do I want to go? As if it were simply one more problem on a horizontal plane of similar problems, and when I know what the right formula is for prioritizing my objectives, then I can go back to other planes and align everything with my desires. So far so good, but not necessarily a solution. Creating additional horizontal planes of priorities does not actually resolve the substantial question of why I want to go one place and not another, or any place at all.
    In the horizontal plane, infinitely increasing resolution results in infinitely smaller and smaller difference in the results. Knowing how the battery turns the starter motor does not substantially change the relationship between turning the key and the motor starting and greater horizontal inquiry is only required to solve specific problems that resolve themselves in the functional value of a series of yes and no questions. Maps are the same way. Look at a freeway map to get the general direction, zoom in with a street map to find a specific location. No need to see the floor plan of the home or business, that is self-evident upon arrival. More detail simply takes one further within a zone of inquiry that is fixed from general to more and more specificity. Vertical analysis gives no such comfort. The deeper or higher the plane of inquiry, the further one gets from the solution in one dimension, and entirely new constraints and new opportunities present themselves that make prior resolutions potentially irrelevant. You don’t need a road map if where you want to go is some place with blue skies and clean air. Once the horizontal dimension has been breached, finding answers can take on an entirely unfamiliar tone. Answers no longer use the information so carefully accumulated and catalogued in whatever horizontal plane seemed so powerful and useful. Of course, you can always turn the “blues skies and clean air” back into a kind of horizontal question, and ask where are the places where such things can be found, but that misses the point. If the true intention is to “experience the freedom and liberation of spirit that open road provides” and blue skies and clean air are just symbols of something at yet a deeper level in the vertical analysis, then the matter goes further still into domains further afield from maps. Great effort in vertical analysis takes the inquiry further away from and outside of the solution boundary constraints of the horizontal and therefore is, by definition, unsettling, in the opposite way of horizontal analysis that settles matters and makes things less obtuse and more certain with greater effort.
    This simple explanation has profound implications. Spiritual inquiry is both horizontal and vertical. Horizontal inquiry of religious belief, of course, can often times be comforting but devoid of substance as it becomes more and more specific. Like finding a house on a map of city, but having no desire to go to that place! The vertical analysis can be so emotionally and mentally disturbing that only when forced by crisis does one willfully go through the limiting assumptions of religious belief and dogma, and question the entire realm and find, what may come, call it epiphany or existential morass, depending on what matters are discovered on different planes of investigation.
    I will say this, all true spiritual inquiry depends on vertical analysis. Horizontal analysis of religious belief being merely an afterthought. Not everyone likes to admit this the case. Many believe that, once in lifetime they can be “reborn” and then, of course, the matter becomes simply a horizontal problem of knowing which levers do what, and what happens when A, B, and C take place. I don’t see it that way myself. I am, forever finding new rabbit holes and falling, like Alice, into deeper dimensions of the same place, all changed, all made new with new eyes. Rebirth is possible in every moment. Disturbing as that sounds, it is the journey I am on.


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