The tiny town of Chimayo was founded in 1740 as a type of penal colony for Hispanic troublemakers. In Tewa, the word “tsimayo” means “good flaking stone”, and it was indeed an obsidian quarry used by the Native Americans that gave the town its name. But today, it is not its quarry that for which Chimayo is famous. Chimayo is a place of miracles – which is why it is known as the Lourdes of America, for the number of miracles that have been witnessed here. However, the origins of the miracles are not linked to any apparition of the Virgin Mary, but to a left-over of the Native American religion: the so-called sacred dirt.The earth itself is a tool or instrument of power.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Philip Coppens: The Lourdes of America
Philip Coppens on a "The Lourdes of America," a sacred spot in Chimayo, New Mexico. Native Amercian history and sacred beliefs, and a "veneer of Christianity" intermingle to add strange and powerful energies at this place. Interesting aspects are the physical ones, reminding me of the deserts where contactees met UFO occupants. Even though, according to Coppens, no Marian apparitions have taken place at Chimayo, it is nonetheless considered holy and magical because of the red sand, or clay, that is believed to be infused with healing properties: