Friday, December 13, 2013

Interpreting the Symbolism of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The imagery displayed in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe comes from Revelation 12, but it bore special meaning for the Nahua, or Aztecs.  Their language Nahuatl, was pictographic, and so the image of our Lady is a multi-layered one announcing the one, true God to the people of the Americas:

Rays of the sun
Symbol of the Aztec’s chief god, Huitzilopochtli - the of the sun and warfare.  The Woman announces the God Who is greater than the sun god.
Standing on the moon
Moon was god of night; she is greater than their god of darkness.
Turquoise color of mantle

The color of the gods and royalty
Stars on the mantle
The Woman comes from heaven
The research of Fr. Mario Rojas Sánchez and Dr. Juan Homero Hernández Illescas of Mexico (published in 1983) shows that the stars on the Lady’s mantle in the image are exactly as the stars of the winter solstice appeared before dawn on the morning of December 12, 1531.
Leo (the Lion, symbol of Judah) would fall on the our Lady’s womb.
Stars are symbol of end of one civilization and birth of a new, often accompanied by astronomical phenomena
Angel supporting the Lady
Royalty – only kings, queens, and dignitaries were carried on others’ shoulders.  She wanted to come to them; royalty told their bearers where to take them.
Rose-colored gown
Color of earth; she is of the earth.
Eyes looking down in submission
The Woman is not God, but his servant.  The gods of the Aztecs always represented looking straight ahead with large eyes.
The Woman’s complexion – she is a mestiza; a person of mixed birth, both Nahua and Spanish.  Face the window to the soul, and this face said to show great compassion.  Age appears to be 15
Hair parted
A maiden, a virgin
We interpret as gesture of prayer; but to the Aztecs it was the manner of offering – she is offering a gift
Maternity band
Sign of a pregnant woman – Someone is coming. The bow forms a four-petaled flower, the nahui ollin, the flower of the sun, a symbol of plenitude.
Jade broach marked with black cross
When a woman bore a son, her husband gave her a gift made of jade.  The Cross on the broach told them that the Spanish missionaries were speaking of her Son.
Cuffs of dress
White fur is a sign of nobility … however, not among the native people, but the Jews.

No comments:

Post a Comment