You bring out the Mexican in me. The hunkered thick dark spiral. The core of a heart howl. The bitter bile. The tequila lágrimas on Saturday all through next weekend Sunday. You are the one I’d let go the other loves for, surrender my one-woman house. Allow you red wine in bed, even with my vintage lace linens. Maybe. Maybe.
You bring out the Dolores del Rio in me. The Mexican spitfire in me. The raw navajas, glint and passion in me. The raise Caine and dance with the rooster-footed devil in me. The spangled sequin in me. The eagle and serpent in me. The mariachi trumpets of the blood in me. The Aztec love of war in me. The fierce obsidian of the tongue in me. The berrinchuda, bien-cabrona in me. The Pandora’s curiosity in me. The pre-Columbian death and destruction in me. The rainforest disaster, nuclear threat in me. The fear of fascists in me. Yes, you do. Yes, you do.
You bring out the colonizer in me. The holocaust of desire in me. The Mexico City ’85 earthquake in me. The Popocatepetl Ixtaccíhuatl in me. The tidal wave of recession in me. The Agustín Lara hopeless romantic in me. The barbacoa taquitos on Sunday in me. The cover the mirrors with cloth in me.
Sweet twin. My wicked other, I am the memory that circles your bed nights, that tugs you taut as moon tugs ocean. I claim you all mine, arrogant as Manifest Destiny. I want to rattle and rent you in two. I want to defile you and raise hell. I want to pull out the kitchen knives, dull and sharp, and whisk the air with crosses. Me sacas lo mexicana en mi, like it or not, honey.
You bring out the Uled-Nayl in me. The stand-back-white-bitch in me. The switchblade in the boot in me. The Acapulco cliff diver in me. The Flecha Roja mountain disaster in me. The dengue fever in me. The !alarma¡ murderess in me. I could kill in the name of you and think it worth it. Brandish a fork and terrorize rivals, female and male, who loiter and look at you, languid in your light. Oh,
I am evil. I am the filth goddess Tlazoltéotl. I am the swallower of sins. The lust goddess without guilt. The delicious debauchery. You bring out the primordial exquisiteness in me. The nasty obsession in me. The corporal and venial sin in me. The original transgression in me.
Red ocher. Yellow ocher. Indigo. Cochineal. Piñón. Copal. Sweetgrass. Myrhh. All you saints, blessed and terrible, Virgen de Guadalupe, diosa Coatlicue, I invoke you.
Quiero ser tuya. Only yours. Only you. Quiero amarte. Atarte. Amarrarte. Love the way a Mexican woman loves. Let me show you. Love the only way I know how.
There is no doubt that
almost everyone in the world is familiar with the image of Our Lady of
Guadalupe. It has been the face of the nation of Mexico for centuries. Many
different groups have used the image for their causes, whether it be Hidalgo or
the Zapatistas, it has united the peoples of Mexico for centuries.
The image comes to us
by way of an Aztec (Mexica) Indian named Cuauhtlatoatzin. Having just converted
to Catholicism he also changed his name to Juan Diego. The name Cuauhtlatoatzin
means “Speaking Eagle” or “He Who Speaks Like An Eagle.”
One day when Juan Diego
was on his way to attend Mass, he was met by an apparition of a young heavenly woman on
the hill of Tepeyac. This hill was also the site of a temple dedicated to the
Aztec mother goddess, Tonantzin, which means “Our Sacred Mother”. When this
young heavenly woman spoke to Juan Diego she spoke to him in his native tongue which was
Nahuatl. She did not speak to him in Spanish. She identified herself and gave
Juan Diego her name. It was a name in the Nahautl language. When Juan Diego gave
that name to the Spanish they could not understand it. The name that was given
to them sounded like Guadalupe which was a river in Castile, Spain. The name
means “Wolf River”. Why would this heavenly girl call herself “Wolf River”?
Well she didn’t. The name that Juan Diego gave them sounded like Guadalupe to
the Spanish. The name was familiar with them because many of the Conquistadors,
including Hernan Cortes, came from this area. The Nahuatl language does not
contain the letters ‘d’ or ‘g’ so Juan Diego could not have given them the name
There are two names
that have been proposed and one accepted more than the other that could be the
actual name that the heavenly girl gave to Juan Diego. The first is Tlecuauhtlapeupeuh
which means “She Who Comes From The Region Of Light Like An Eagle Of Fire”.
The second and more accepted name is Coatlaxopeuh which means “She Who Crushes The Serpent”. It can be said then by combining the two names that she is ‘an
eagle who crushes the serpent.’ This image recalls the eagle and serpent perched
on top of the nopal cactus which was sign to the Mexica as where they should
build their civilization. Now we know it to be the image of the Mexican flag.
Was the sign of the eagle and the serpent on top the nopal cactus a
prefigurement of the apparition of Coatlaxopeuh to Cuauhtlatoatzin on Tepeyac?
Is Juan Diego the one who ‘speaks like an eagle’ speaking for the ‘eagle who comes
from the region of light and crushes the serpent’?
The image of the tilma
will always be said to be a type of message to the Aztecs. Every image on the
tilma was a symbol or hieroglyph that meant something to the Aztecs as they did
not have a written language, but rather used images to read and write. And this
is true. Everything from the stars to the moon to the colors she wears
represented something to the Aztecs. The sun that is surrounding her
represented the Aztec sun god Huitzilopochtli. Because she is in front of the
sun she is saying that she is better than their sun god. She is wearing the
stars on her mantle which represented the Centzon Huitznauhtin who were the 400 Stars of the South. She is better than those gods because she is wearing them.
And then finally she is on top of the moon which represented Quetzalcoatl.
Because she is standing on the moon she is better than Quetzalcoatl.
THIS IS WRONG! Nowhere
in Aztec literature/codices does Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent represent
the moon. Quetzalcoatl represented the planet Venus as the morning star. The
moon was the goddess Coyolxauhqui not Quetzalcoatl. This is where the
The name given to Juan
Diego by the heavenly girl on Tepeyac was Coatlaxopeuh. This was near a temple
dedicated to Tonantzin the mother goddess. This name was more of a title and
was applied to a few different mother goddesses. However, it was more commonly
applied to one in particular that of Coatlicue which means “She Of The Serpent Skirt”. Coatlicue was also given the title Tonantzin. This name was also given
to Our Lady of Guadalupe and is still used today.
The people of Mexico
still call Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin. They are used interchangeably with
no ifs, ands or buts about it. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, more
correctly named Coatlaxopeuh, is not an image of dominion over Aztec gods, as some would like to think, but of one showing a family. YES! A FAMILY. Tonantzin, who is also ‘sacred mother earth,’ was the mother of
Huitzilopochtli, the sun, who she is in front of. She was also the mother of
the Centzon Huitznauhtin or the 400 Southern Stars
which she wears on her mantle. And she is also the mother of Coyolxauhqui the
moon. The sun, the stars, and the moon were all children of mother earth. The
image is that of a family. Mother and children. This is why Quetzalcoatl does
not fit in here. He is not a member of the family. He does not fit in, but he actually does.
Quetzalcoatl was not
originally a god of the Mexica (Aztec). He was a Toltec god. Huitzilopochtli
was an original god of the Mexica. He in fact led them to where they should
build their city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. He was there from the
beginning. And this would include his family: his siblings and his mother.
Quetzalcoatl was not a part of this sacred family. And this is why she comes as ‘one who crushes the serpent’. He is not a part of the family.
The “One Who Crushes The Serpent” came with a message of family. Hold close your family. Keep them
together because there are horrible times ahead. This is the true message of
Coatlaxopeuh to Cuauhtlatoatzin. This message still holds true today. The
Spanish came with weapons – guns, swords, and canons, but what was the most
dangerous weapon was their lust, heartlessness, and greed. We see that today with the
immigration laws and how they are trying to split our families up. Stay true to
yourselves and your culture. Stand together and fight. Stand together with each
other. Stand together with all Mexicans because we are all one big family. Look to hope. Look
Burrowing into the rock, the wyrm-god men call Odin ascends the mountain, writhing his way into the giant maid’s chamber. Did you really think it could be otherwise? A distant wanderer in far off lands, at home in Jotunheim or the walled garden of Eden.
Fork-tongued wisdom-bringer hanging from the tree.
Fixing the volatile elixir, bringing the healing mercury; quixotic, changeable, protean.
A snake came crawling, it bit a man. Then Woden took nine glory-twigs, Smote the serpent so that it flew into nine parts. There apple brought this pass against poison, That she nevermore would enter her house - The Nine Herbs charm
“But Sigurd said, “What will betide me if I be before the blood of the worm?”
Says Regin, “Of what avail to counsel thee if thou art still afeard of everything? Little art thou like thy kin in stoutness of heart.”
Then Sigurd rides right over the heath; but Regin gets him gone, sore afeard.
But Sigurd fell to digging him a pit, and whiles he was at that work, there came to him an old man with a long beard, and asked what he wrought there, and he told him.
Then answered the old man and said, “Thou doest after sorry counsel: rather dig thee many pits, and let the blood run therein; but sit thee down in one thereof, and so thrust the worm’s heart through.”
And therewithal he vanished away; but Sigurd made the pits even as it was shown to him.
Now crept the worm down to his place of watering, and the earth shook all about him, and he snorted forth venom on all the way before him as he went; but Sigurd neither trembled nor was adrad at the roaring of him. So whenas the worm crept over the pits, Sigurd thrust his sword under his left shoulder, so that it sank in up to the hilts; then up leapt Sigurd from the pit and drew the sword back again unto him, and therewith was his arm all bloody, up to the very shoulder.”
And so it was that Sigurd the wyrm’s heart and learnt the language of the birds, after the Old Man’s counsel.
So it was that Odin wyrm-god, chthonic dweller at the roots of mountains, lay with the giant-maid who is called War-foam by men. Thus was the mead of poetry won.
Thus did the healer-harmer, the skin changer, the pierced and hanging god take wing - rising towards the sun on the thermals of heated earth, burnt blackwhile his foe fell flaming.
Down also fell the eagle-shit onto the tongues of men, making poets.
This most furious of Mercuries:
Mercury is the deity whom they chiefly worship, and on certain days they deem it right to sacrifice to him even with human victims. - Tacitus
The Magic Serpent (or “The Mystic Dragons’ Decisive Battle”) was based on “The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya.” The same story provided some inspiration for the tokusatsu television series Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiyaas well as the popular manga and anime Naruto.
The monsters depicted in the movie were not traditional daikaiju. The Giant Eagle, the Giant Toad, and Giant Dragon were all originally humans that used shapeshifting ninja magic. The Giant Spider was summoned from a hairpin via magic.
In the English dub, all of the creatures’ generic roars were replaced with kaiju sounds from Toho’s Godzilla franchise: Rodan (Giant Toad), Godzilla/Gaira (Giant Dragon), Mothra (Giant Eagle), and Ebirah (Giant Spider). The creatures were capable of human speech, too, but the dub removed this aspect.
Binding illustration for The Eagle, The Jaguar, and The Serpent: Indian Art of the Americas by Miguel Covarrubias, 1954. For a 50 Watts post I’m working on. [Latino Toons helpfully added: “Mitla (city of the dead), Oaxaca waves on the left, and a Kachina indigenous drawing on the right”]
The crested serpent eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey from the tropical regions of Asia. Its genus, Spilornis, is a member of the Circaetinae subfamily, which comprises all of the snake-eagles. As their name suggests, these birds subsist mostly upon snakes and reptiles, and as such most of them live in warmer climates, where serpents are plentiful.
A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains. John Gould (illustration Elizabeth Gould), 1831.