We had been driving the desert route on I 40 between Arizona and Santa Fe New Mexico several times in the past few years. Along the way I notice a chapel that was been built into a rocky mountain ridge. Old adobe ruins doted the landscape as they seem to slowly return to the dust of the earth. This town of Mc Carys is considered a ghost town. Mc Carys is the gateway to the Acoma Indian Pueblo. This lone chapel called out to me and sparked my curiosity of what was there.
Santa Maria Mission was built in 1628. The present church was built over the older foundation in 1933. The Spanish conquistadors had their own bad habit of raping and pillaging the Indian tribes of the time. They were known to sell the Indian women into slavery. This just did not sit right with Pueblo Indians. Thus there were many Pueblo up rising over time. The Native Americans tribes were not about to swallow Christianity hook line and sinker with this type of behavior displayed. And who could blame them. How can one preach the doctrine of Christ’s peace and love when actually the opposite was being experienced. It goes back to Christ words ” Many will die in my name” I don’t think Christ was just talking about the martyrs of church when he said these words.
Our country’s history is not that old just a few hundred years . When one goes to the deserted areas of this land you can still feel the presence of this type of suffering locked within the earth. And if you look at the genealogy of the Native American people or any people that have gone through such a genocides, it takes many generations to change the family trauma. The trauma of a genocide gets recorded in the bloodline. And it takes each individual and community working on themselves to finally over come the devastation of such events and restore the dignity of the Human Spirit.
When such separation occurs where can one begin? to heal the deeper wounds of the people and of the land……my only answer for this is in the Great Mother.
It is at the feet of the Shrine of Lady Guadalupe I find myself offering the wounding of this Earth and it’s people. A primitive shrine of Guadalupe is the first thing you find when coming to the Chapel of Santa Maria. The rock ridge that the chapel is built up against is a major ley line, also known as dragon-lines. A large rock rest at the foot of this open air shrine. This sleeping rock is nothing short of the head of the dragon. Head of the Dragon Ley-line Eye of the Dragon.
This is the story of Guadalupe: A Indian, by the name of Juan Diego had a miraculous apparition of our Lady Guadalupe on Dec. 12,1531. Lady Guadalupe appeared to him on a hill where once the temple of the Aztec Goddess Tonantzin was worshipped. Tonantzin was a Mestizo deity worshiped as The Earth Goddess. Tonantzin had many forms; one of her wrathful forms was Cihuacoat the serpent woman. The Divine Mother miraculously appeared on the tilma, the clothing of Juan Diego. This was brought to the local bishop and a cathedral was built over this older sacred site.
I have worked with many Native American people over a course of ten years. During this time, I meet an Indian man from Mexico who told me about the different aspects of the Goddess Tonantzin whose name translates as “She who has a Skirt of Stars”. He said she was the Mother of the Americas and her skirt of stars covers both North and South America. And maybe it is under this aspect of the Mother we can find healing in our historical differences.
This area is rich in ley-lines and can be seen in the lava beds on the outskirts of the town of Mc Cartys. Harden black lava rises out of the earth creating caves that were once used as hideouts for outlaws of the Wild West. The Navajos have a legend of a Great Giant that was slain by Twin War Gods in the Zuni Mountains. The lava flow was the blood of the Giant.
You can see the curve of the back of the dragon-line. The pointed rock is the ear of the dragon with his nose still buried in the Earth.
The chapel was not open but I peaked through the window and was able to see inside. There were chalices made from exquisite Zuni pottery under the stations of the cross. A handmade Navajo rug was before the altar. I saw two icons in the corner. One was the Virgin Mary dress in the old Spanish style of the 1600s. It was during this period of history they dressed sacred images in ornate clothing like a royal princess. I have seen this both in Europe in some of the older chapels in the French Alps or the Southwest of France closer to the Spanish border. The next icon was the Native American, Saint Kateri Twekawitha known as the Lily of the Mohawks. This sacred site has a primitive purity about it infused with Indian Art, old adobe ruins and a unspoken history that still lives within the land.
The chapel is only opened for Mass on Sunday at 8:00.
Feast Days Sept 2, Dec 26, August 10
I 40 New Mexico take the Mc Cartys, Acoma, Big Sky Exit 96