Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deviant Moon Tarot: Ace of Wands as Madonna Figure

I've long admired artist Patrick Valenza's Deviant Moon tarot and finally bought myself a deck, which arrived yesterday. After exploring the deck, I find that I love it even more than I thought I would.(I even found myself having a dream last night in which I was wondering through various DVM type landscapes.)  I feel connected. No other deck has given me that intuitive connection, other than animal oracles. I've always found that I go back to versions of the "Waite" deck, much to my own dismay in many ways. Other decks I like a lot, like the Marseilles decks, have been fine as well, but just not...my soul mate of decks.

Ace of Wands, Deviant Moon Tarot, by Patrick Valenza

One card in the Deviant Moon deck that is particularly beautiful is the Ace of Wands. Which is a definite Madonna image. Here is the card on the official DVM site. More discussion on the Aeclectic Tarot forum. And here's an interesting site where two cards are pulled to answer a daily question: one card is from one deck, the other, the Deviant Moon. Creative idea; using cards from different decks in the same reading.

The Vatican and Freemasons | YUFOLOGY

Tina Sena shares her observation on something a conspiracy tinged TV program missed: The Vatican and Freemasons . I agree with Tina, coincidence, I think not. And why ignore such an obvious element? My own theory is that these kinds of shows are purely for the ratings and entertainment value, not informative on any deep level. Under the guise of "Oooooooooooo, conspiracy! How edgy!" they're really just fodder. And there are a lot of nerds out there who sniff at any actual belief of these things; they're interested, they're even scientific -- or play scientists on TV -- but you're never going to see the good stuff. As a Monster Quest producer said to me once, after I suggested she look into the black ops-psy-ops/military-industrial-corporate mind control/engineering etc. history surrounding Mothman in Pt. Pleasant (though I didn't put it such tin foil hat terms), with a nervous laugh: "I don't want the government or anything to come after me." Oops, I think I just went off on a rant here. Anyway, Tina Sena. Read her blog.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Santa Muerte (Saint Death)

One of my favorite blogs, Mystic Politics, has a brief item about "Santa Muerte" the Saint of Death.
"While tens of thousands of Mexicans have lost their lives in the ongoing drug war, millions more have become devoted to death. Saint Death (Santa Muerte) is a skeletal folk saint whose cult has proliferated on both sides of the border over the past decade. The Grim Reapress (she's a female figure) has rapidly become one of the most popular and powerful saints on both the Mexican and American religious landscapes. Although condemned as satanic by both Catholic and Protestant churches, she appeals to millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants in the U.S. on the basis of her reputedly awesome supernatural powers. ~ sources: Huffington Post

Santa Muerte, or The Grim Reapress, is a folk image/entity/icon. As such,like many folk images, she is outlawed by authorities and institutions. Since Saint Death is a protectress of the criminal and the murderous, her images, as well as conspicuous homages to her, are quashed:
The current administration of Felipe Calderon has even declared her religious enemy number one of the Mexican state. In March 2009, the Mexican Army bulldozed dozens of her roadside shrines in the border cities of Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros. But providing protection to narcos is just one of Saint Death's multiple roles. She is also a supernatural healer, love doctor, money-maker, lawyer and angel of death. ~ source: R. Andrew Chestnut,Huffington Post.
'La Catrina' by Rodolfo Cartas
The duality is interesting too: adopted by the criminals, the outsiders, but also by another type of outsider: those needing help in every day matters concerning money, illness, love, the law...and, death, which gets us all. It's interesting the saint is a female. R. Andrew Chestnut, author of the Huffington Post article that Mystic Politics links to, addresses this:
No introduction to Saint Death would be complete without consideration of one of her most unique characteristics -- her gender identity. While folk saints abound in the Americas, and other supernatural skeletons work miracles in Guatemala and Argentina, Santa Muerte stands alone as the sole female saint of death from Chile to Canada. Her asexual skeletal form contains no hint of femaleness. Rather it is her attire and, to a lesser extent, her hair that define the saint as female. Devotees and manufacturers of mass produced images of the Bony Lady usually dress her as a nun, the Virgin, a bride or queen.
(I wonder about Catrina, the famous Day of the Dead skeletal figure -- is she as common/popular? It's not quite the same meaning, from my limited understanding; Day of the Dead, while maybe morbid to some of us gringos, isn't a negative celebration, and it doesn't share the same context as Saint Death. While both are female images, both are of the people, and both are vilified by authorities, they aren't the same.)

Another post I found: Pagan Spirits: Santa Muerte -Saint Death with comparisons to other female dieties of death, including, to my surprise, the Virgin of Guadalupe, who one doesn't usually think of in this context:
The Virgin of Guadalupe’s indigenous antecedent is Tonatzin, the Moon Goddess, a milder aspect of Coaticue. Coaticue was the Lady of the Serpent Skirt, the creator-goddess who gave birth to all the deities and to earthly life as well. At death, she swallowed living things back into her body. She was also goddess of the moon and stars. She wore a necklace of skulls (like India’s Kali) and, as her name implies, a skirt of serpents. She is sometimes depicted as wearing a skirt made from the penises of her sacrificial victims.