Marian & "Dame Bianche" appearances

The analysis of the archetypal aspect of the Marian Apparitions beyond the Catholic dogmas allows us to highlight some unexpected and recurring characteristics that seem not to present a solution of continuity with the pre-Christian cults.

di Marco Maculotti

Cover: Charles Mercereau, “Marian Apparition in Lourdes”, 1896

The celebration of the ritual dedicated to Pachamama, Mother Goddess of the Andean tradition, in the context of Pan-Amazon Synod, held in the Vatican during the month of October 2019 [1]. Many of the faithful and also various ecclesiastics and theologians saw in the ritual a counter-initiatory, idolatrous, even "satanic" celebration, accusing among other things the curia of Rome of aiming at replace the Marian cult with the profane and "ecological" one of Mother Earth.

We do not want to get involved here in theological discourses concerning the dogmas of the Virgin Mother nor to support a conception stricto sensu syncretic between the same and the most varied female figures venerated by other religions, but rather limit ourselves to reporting some reflections aimed at analyze the archetypal aspect of the Marian Apparitions beyond Catholic dogmas, as well as to highlight some unexpected and recurring characteristics that seem not to present a solution of continuity with the pre-Christian cults.

First of all, it should be emphasized that, in the geographical area of ​​Latin America, Our Lady literally replaced herself with Pachamama (also called Santa Tierra) in the adoration of the natives, converted to Catholicism following the Spanish Conquest, thus becoming in the eyes of the Amerindians a sort of post-colonial effigy of Mother Earth. The scene-highlight of the remarkable film Altiplano (2014) [2], set in a small mountain village in the Andes, showing the traditional pre-Easter and sacred procession the ritual immersion of the statue of the Virgin in the Sacred Lagoon in honor of the goddess and her function of giver of life and salvation connected to aquatic symbolism [3APPENDIX] is a splendid picture of how, in South America, the veneration of the Pachamama and the more recent one of the Virgin Mary are grafted onto an archetypal and sacral reality which, disconnected from the changing plane of the space-time manifestation, goes far beyond dogmatic definitions and religious partisanship, as we will try to demonstrate here by taking into account the teachings of the anthropology of the Sacred and analyzing the historical events of the last centuries classified under the name of "Marian apparitions".

Altiplano (2014)

"Comforter of the Afflicted" & Mother of Sorrows:
the two faces of the archetype

More precisely, the Virgin Mary overlapped the Pachamama as the personification of the earth in its maternal aspect, and therefore above all benevolent e comforter, but in a sense also terrifying: Mother Earth gives us birth and sustenance, but is always capable of bringing us back to hers womb at the time established by you [4]. Both of these aspects are also recurrent in the Marian cult: her names of "Comforter of the afflicted", "Madonna del Soccorso", "Our Lady of Eternal Help", "Our Lady of Good Help", "Our Lady of Perpetual Help", "Our Lady of Mercy", "Our Lady of Charity"; to the Virgin in her terrifying aspect we must read her denominations of "Our Lady of Tears" and of Mother of Sorrows

From this point of view, the Virgin Mater of the Marian Apparitions, whether traditionalist Catholics like it or not, embodies to perfection an archetype of the Sacred Feminine known and universally revered, also and above all in pre-Christian and "pagan" cults. Compare, by way of example, the archetypal painting of the Madonna of the apparitions with that attributed to Tārā goddess of compassion of the Indo-Buddhists, or even to that of Yemanjá, mother of all the gods in the pantheon of the Afro-American tradition Yorube, whose cult has not by chance been syncretized, in the ritualistic voudon e candomble, with that of the «Madonna del Rosario» and of Stella Maris:

The charming Yemanjà emerges from the waters of the sea wrapped in a beautiful blue dress, with long black hair moved by the sea breeze, her eyes full of promise and her arms open in the act of giving oneself […]. The queen of the sea Yemanjá is there synthesis of the water element, cradle of all creatures; it is the amniotic fluid in which the being gravitates before becoming such. She is the moon, mother and virgin, sister and bride […]. Lady of fecundity and consolation, Yemanjà represents love and serenity, but in the moment of her anger when her energy lacks balance, she reveals herself as a ruthless and terrible enemy. In her black and deep waters all our hopes are shipwrecked, swallowed up in the frightening whirlpool of Calunga, the unfathomable Abyss, which man will only know after death. [5]

Statue of Yemanjà on the pier in Vitoria, Brazil [via]

It should also be emphasized how traditionally the two aspects of divinity in the Marian cult - the "comforter" and the "painful" one - are not to be seen in some sort of either-or dichotomous, but rather as intimately connected: the merciful spiritual sustenance offered by the Queen of Heaven is usually seen as a direct consequence of a painful situation, distressing, causing the weeping, to which precisely It comes to the aid. Indeed, in the Marian Apparitions it is said several times that the faithful, if he wants to keep the divine help of the Mother of God, must "bear the weight of the cross" that the world has reserved for him.

The messages themselves and the prophecies revealed by the Virgin to the Seers during the many apparitions of the last centuries they unequivocally highlight the inextricable relationship that exists between the charitable aspect of the Madonna and what we have defined terrifying: the supernatural "call" of the Mother of God is always meant to herald the advent of catastrophic upheavals in the near future, and Consequently to console the faithful for the final outcome of the battle that sees Good and Evil opposed. In several cases, such as that of the apparitions a Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia and to It happens in Rwanda - both started in 1981 and continued until today - Our Lady predicted the advent of the bloody wars which, in about ten years, would have plunged the two states into the most infernal barbarism.

The Madonna as "Mother of Sorrows"

Marian appearances in Latin America:
the two "painful" macro-epochs

In this sense we can better frame the adoration of the Virgin Mother in the countries of Latin America, which on the other hand met a large number of Marian apparitions, starting with the one that is probably the most famous, namely that of the Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in 1531. Putting order among the innumerable epiphanies can be identified first of all a first "line" of events in the seventeenth century, epoch not by chance painful for the Indian collective soul, characterized by the increasingly invasive Spanish and Portuguese colonization and by the Jesuit Missions: in this regard we can recall the apparitions which took place in Chile in 1600, in Quito in Ecuador in 1634, in Uruguay in 1642 and in Komeroto in Venezuela in 1651.

Second, it must be noted how another even more sensational "trend" occurred in the twentieth century, a century of coups and fratricidal wars in which Latin America was largely under the rule of bloodthirsty dictators, starting with the appearance in Campinas in Brazil in 1929 and then intensifying over the period between the 60s and the turn of the millennium: for example we can cite the episodes of Mexico City in the decade 1969 -79, in Betania in Venezuela in 1976, in Cuba and Nicaragua in 1980, in Ponta Grossa in Brazil and in Montevideo in Uruguay in 1981, in San Nicolas in Argentina in 1983, in Guatemala in 1984, in Terra Blanca in Mexico and in Anguera in Brazil in 1987, in El Cajas in Ecuador and in Cachiche in Peru in 1988, in Belo Horizonte in Brazil between 1992 and '97, in Conchabamba in Bolivia in 1993, and so on.

From the incomplete list we have reported it seems that Latin America is linked to the Virgin by a privileged relationship, as confirmed by the many apparitions that have occurred over the centuries and particularly numerous in the last twenty years of the last century. This, if we take into account the above, should not be surprising. In fact, as the great Mexican writer and poet was able to remark very well Octavio Paz ne The labyrinth of solitude, in today's Latin America, the veneration of Mother Earth Pachamama / Virgin Mary is not reduced, from an anthropological point of view, to the traditional Andean context alone, nor to the mere historical reality of the mother of Jesus [6]:

The situation has changed: it is no longer a question of securing the crops, but of finding a womb. The Virgin is the consolation of the poor, the shield of the weak, the shelter of the oppressed. [...] The cult of the Virgin not only reflects the general condition of men, but also a concrete historical situation, both spiritual and material.

Pachamama, unknown artist

Goddesses, Snakes, Moons & Doors

This syncretism between the Santa Tierra and Our Lady, who developed in the countries of the Central and South American geographical and cultural area, should not therefore, whatever traditionalist Catholics think of it, should not surprise us too much: far from presenting "counter-initiatory" or even "satanic" elements, we we can detect how the symbolic and archetypal value of the Mother of God, in whatever way you want to call her, is found everywhere with the same epiphanic modalities.

The idea, so often revealed during the Marian Apparitions, that the Kingdom of Heaven can be reached only through the intercession of the Virgin Mother, only confirms the hermetic and alchemical doctrines, centered on the ieros gamos between masculine (mind) and feminine (soul) aimed at asceticism towards the world of pure Spirit, on symbolism of the slaying of the dragon and the saving of the princess (two aspects of the Sacred Feminine) by the knight, a symbolism that also recalls that of the snake crushed under the foot by the Queen of Heaven, which rests on a crescent moon. In other traditions, such as the Indian one of the kundalini, changes the esoteric exposition of the Mystery but does not add to it: Feminine and "Serpentine" appear intimately connected for the conquest of immortality [7APPENDIX].

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On the other hand, many elements of the Marian Apparitions of the last centuries seem to recall much more ancient Mysteries than Christianity. This is for example the case of the aforementioned case of Virgin of Guadalupe [8APPENDIX], that the winter solstice of 1531 appeared, presenting herself at the same time as the Virgin Mary and the Inninantzin Huelneli, ie the "Mother of the Ancient God", namely Quetzalcoatl, the "Feathered Serpent", the highest deity of the pre-Columbian pantheon. Therefore, the inevitable "meeting" between Feminine and Serpentine returns also in this tradition, even on several levels: according to tradition, Quetzalcoatl was in fact born of give coatlicue, literally translatable as "Skirt of Snakes", personification of the mother nature and of the feminine aspect of the divinity, which would have conceived virginally, impregnated with a fragment of jade, a particularly sacred stone in ancient Mexico.

«Then the Lord God said to the serpent [...]“ I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring; she will crush your head and you will sneak up on her heel "" (Genesis 3, 14-15)

It will therefore be seen how in ancient times, in the Aztec tradition as well as in an infinite number of pre-Christian cults, the figure of the Mother of God also coincided, among other things, with that of Mother Earth, and therefore he understood ipso facto both the benevolent and consoling aspect mentioned above and the terrifying one, elsewhere found in the form of cults such as the Indian one of Time or, to remain in the Christian sphere, in the counterpart of the so-called "Black Madonnas" or "Sara the Black" for the Gypsies [9], who similarly to the Black Goddess of Hindus combine the two aforementioned aspects in a single divine person, as well as the Santa Muerte so venerated in today's Mexico.

The relationship between the Madonna and death, on the other hand, it is too recurrent not to be noticed: it has already been said that numerous Marian apparitions of the last decades have led to the prophetic revelation of terrible misfortunes such as wars and carnage. Jean Markale, speaking of the "Legion of Mary" [10] existing in Ireland since the early Christian centuries, makes the Virgin (and also St. Anne) a functional double of the ancient Celtic goddess Ana or Dana, homologous of the Italic Diana, selenic divinity; on the other hand, also the Madonna is traditionally represented with the feet above one crescent moon [11APPENDIX].

Goddess of birth as of death, through her "door" (in Latin ianua) birth took place in our world and above all, after physical death, that of the gods into the world and Tuatha de Danann: «The moment you triumphantly cross the door, you enter the world of re going to put, that is to say of the Dead », thus accessing the world of the gods. It is Markele himself who points out that "The abode of God cannot be reached except by passing through the world of the dead" [12], of which Ana-Diana-Maria holds the keys similar to the Reitia of the ancient Venetians, Mother Goddess and Lady of the Hereafter, divinity of nature, fertility, healing and health, or perhaps it would be better to say of salvation (in the conception of traditional cultures the two terms are often confused).

Illustration of the Madonna and child in a medieval manuscript, with the crescent moon underfoot.

«Dame Bianche », Make caves
& «Queens of Purgatory»

It is significant that in some Marian Apparitions, such as those of Heede in Germany (1937-'40), Our Lady defined herself - as well as "Powerful Mediatrix of Grace" and "Queen of the Universe" - as "Queen of souls in Purgatory", in this being able to denote a continuation of the ancient pre-Christian beliefs. It is Markele again who emphasizes how, especially in the Celtic area, the cult of the ancient goddess was somehow made "lead" to that of the mother of the Christian god [13]:

This cult is found in the countless shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Lourdes has only updated the deep convictions of the Pyrenean peasants, especially in that region where Celtic contributions were numerous, in reference to the existence of "White ladies" who lived in caves and appeared at some sources. The official cult of the Theotokos it dates back only to the twelfth century. But this cult did not arise suddenly: not being able to eradicate it, the Church did nothing but formalize popular behavior dating back to the dawn of time.

"The White Goddess ”by Robert Graves, originally published in 1948, is perhaps the boldest and most comprehensive essay ever published on European pre-Christian cults centered on the Sacred Feminine.

And further on, after reporting a large conspicuous list of Marian shrines of the Celtic area founded above the ancient temples dedicated to the "White Ladies" (in Welsh Y Ladi Wen) of the pre-Christian era, he continues [14]:

It is evident that the various apparitions of the Virgin for two hundred years now, apparitions that have taken place in cavernous places, are not without connection with this location of the sanctuary on the border between the world of the dead and that of the living. […] In popular tradition the White Ladies are the fairies. In a Christian context, the White Lady that a devout child like Bernadette Soubirous encounters at the entrance to a cave can only be the Holy Virgin. It matters little what the objective reality of the vision is, the fact is there: White Lady, Banshee or Virgin Mary, the image of the Mother Goddess is always present in our memory, and always arises from the Other World, and therefore at the entrance / exit of a cave, be it natural or artificial. [...] As Henri Dontenville states: “Verily, Mary succeeds the fairy; not only that, it seems to be the last gift of the fairy".

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, "Regina Angelorum", 1900

Marian apparitions in naturalistic places traditionally attributed to the «Popolo Fairy"

In this sense, the Madonna of the Christians can perhaps be boldly matched to the "Queen of the Fairies" of medieval memory, which not by chance was nominally connected, from the earliest written records, to the Diana of the ancient Roman pantheon. Furthermore, the fact that in the Marian Apparitions the Mother of God is always described as “Luminous”, enveloped in an unearthly beam of light, can only bring to mind the Belisama / Brigid of the Celts, goddess of Light and paredra of Belenus / Lugh, the Celtic Apollo. 

In addition, as noted by Markale, often the places where the epiphanies of the Virgin have occurred in recent centuries are loci traditionally connected in the pre-Christian tradition to the world of fairies and similar female entities such as the Nymphs, the Naiads, the Dryads, etc .: that is, at the entrance to caves, near springs and streams, or still close to certain types of plants known from the Celtic tradition as the abode of the "invisible people" of the gods sidh. For example, in the town of Marienfried in Germany (1924) the Madonna appeared inside a wood; in El Escorial in Spain (1981) above an ash tree; to Garabandal in Spain (1961-'65) within the "Wood of the Nine Pines" (a somewhat toponym shamanic!), while in Beauraing in Belgium (1932-'33) the apparition took place near a tree of hawthorn, the shrub which by definition is considered the home of the Fairies, in turn located near a cave.

The latter naturalistic element - the earthly symbol of "Womb" of the Mother Goddess, so often linked to feral entities such as the Nymphs, Aguane or White Ladies - returns particularly often in the testimonies of the Marian Apparitions: in addition to the famous case of Lourdes (1858), we can also mention the Sicilian one of Tre Fontane (1947) and, in Ireland, those of the Melleray Cave at Mount Knockmealdown (1985) and of the Bessbrook Cave (1987).

Marian apparition in the Grotto of Lourdes

In Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany (1966) the apparitions took place at one fountain, in Banneux in Belgium (1933) in the vicinity of a stream: in both cases the Madonna gave great importance to the water that flowed from the respective sources. During the epiphany that took place in Ukraine in 1953, a woman named Hanya visualized the Madonna near some water sources on the hill of Seredne - naturalistic elements both connected to the working world - despite being at mass at that moment. In the case of Belpasso in Sicily (1986) the Madonna repeatedly appeared at a large stone boulder isolated in the countryside, which once again reconnects us to the naturalistic world, in this case megalithic, usually connected to Fae.

A Medjugorje the first appearance occurred near the Podbrdo peak, a hill positioned exactly in the center of Yugoslavia; a region which, confirming what has already been said with regard to Latin America, within a few years would have been destined to disintegrate following atrocious internal and fratricidal wars in which the religious aspect was not secondary. It may be that Our Lady has appeared so often in recent decades, in the light of pattern recurring that can be identified by studying the casuistry of the Marian Apparitions, express just the character fatal, connected to the inevitability of Fate or Destiny, which in pre-Christian traditions found its privileged emissaries in the Fairies who inhabited the caves and springs, or even alle Banshee, who announced with their sinister lamentations mournful or tragic events that would punctually take place?

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Statue of the Madonna unharmed despite the bombings in Cassino, during the Second World War. Photo by LH Ross, 1944 [via]

The Seers… And the techniques of ecstasy

Also miraculous powers who often and willingly come attributed to the Seers in contact with the Mother of God they are identical to those exhibited by the so-called fairy-doctors Celts of the pre-modern era, that is, those people who, considered in possession of the second sight ("Second view"), were able to enter into communication with the spiritual entities of the gods' world sidh and with White Ladies, female entities of light dwelling in the astral element of places such as water sources, caves, lakes and woods, as well as analogous to those attributed to shamans in the traditions of Asia or the Americas. Upon experiencing the epiphany, the Seers fall in trance, estranging from the outside world e assuming the most bizarre positions, sometimes falling to the ground without getting hurt in the least, as happened repeatedly for years, for example, in Garabandal; in this state they they do not perceive pain and, among other things, they are not even burned by the fire (see the so-called "Lordship over fire" well known in shamanism or between yogi Indians) [15].

There is often a change in tone of voice, which becomes unnatural, up to the possibility of suddenly expressing oneself in other languages ​​not known by the subjects in ordinary life (eg children who speak in Latin). Sometimes, in this non-ordinary state of consciousness, the Seers begin to murmur songs "received" at the moment by the divine interlocutor, similarly to the Asian or Amerindian shamans. Not to mention the most exceptional cases in which undoubtedly supernatural abilities are testified, such as miraculous healings, bilocations and levitations. It will be noted how these "powers" coincide, in addition to those of magical operators such as shamans, medicine-men, Druids, fairy-doctors and even "witches", even with those traditionally attributed to them Christian saints.

One of the Garabandal Seers during the ecstatic trance.

Mary's "Mask" and the "thermostat effect"

But then, one might ask, why in the last centuries (and especially from the twentieth century onwards) these epiphanies of the Sacred Feminine, once incontrovertibly connected to the world of "Mask" of Mary, mother of the Christian god? An answer could be ventured, referring to the theory to which Jacques Vallee gives the name of thermostat effect. On the other hand, a series of "visions" that can be found in the Marian Apparitions - such as supernatural lights, lightning bolts, phenomena of "doubling" of the sun, etc. - they allow us to insert the latter into the bed of "paraphysical" experiences, in which the French researcher does not catalog only the ecstasies known from the history of religions (shamans, yogi, saints, fairy-doctors, etc.) but also the "Encounters" with any kind of entity other, usually ascribed to the field of Ufology and Alternative Reality.

According to Vallée, the supernatural entities residing in the "subtle" dimension close to ours and yet which sometimes, although very rarely and only in certain areas, comes into contact with it - that dimension that connects the John Keel he called superspectrum, but which we could also call astral world - they would present themselves to us humans with different Masks, adapting to the background of beliefs diffused according to the cases in the various historical epochs and in the different geographic-cultural areas. These entities from the Other World, which only a few "chosen" ones have the opportunity to meet face to face in the course of earthly life [16],

[...] always and in any case want to maintain a "mood"And one"welfare"That allows them to manipulate humans, which is why when they realize that the socio-cultural climate is undergoing changes that could create problems in their goal of controlling and manipulating human beings, immediately, as does the thermostat in a house, they work to re-establish a socio-cultural climate, a "mood”Compatible with their objectives.

Vallée and Keel's vision of these enigmatic entities from the Other World is rather pessimistic, based on somewhat sinister hypotheses and certainly not encouraging from a human point of view: hence, the use of the verb manipulate, which places "subtle" entities in a deceptive position towards humanity. This idea was also supported by a Jesuit priest, Salvador Freixedo, which in his book The Marian apparitions [17] he had hypothesized that the latter were nothing more than the latest malevolent deception in order of time by which self-styled alien entities affected the collective psyche of humanity, as the cowherd does with his flock (a metaphor that was very successful in the context of the Alternative Reality of the second half of the twentieth century, and which is believed to have been invented by Charles Fort).

The idea, however apparently crazy it may seem, has found a decent following in certain circles closer to traditionalist Catholicism than to fans-club di Lovecraft e Bergier, to the point that some argue that only from this point of view can we understand the reticence operated by the Vatican in recognizing the actual reality of the Marian Apparitions, excusable precisely by virtue of the supposed nature demonic or even extraterrestrial of epiphanies.

A visual comparison between Our Lady of Fatima and Artemis of Ephesus. Curiously, it was during the Council of Ephesus, in 431, that the Church proclaimed Mary "Mother of God", thus filling the void left by the "demonization" of the various goddesses of pre-Christian cults.

Final notes

However, as far as we know, sticking to facts that are not always tragic such as in the case of the many miraculous healings (which took place in places, we recall, which in pre-Christian cults were already sacred because they are connected to the Fairies and the White Ladies), in no way detracts from the fact that the mystery of the Marian Apparitions can be read by a a more balanced and less sinister point of view: in that case it could be argued that what we have called thermostat effect is indispensable to these spiritual entities for get in touch with human beings and be fully understood by them, depending on the weltanschauung of the epoch in which They reveal themselves.

It goes without saying, therefore, that she who when Europe was predominantly "pagan" presented herself under the guise of a White Lady, in the twentieth century, in a context that is now completely Christianized even in the most rural areas (the cases of Lourdes, Fátima and Garabandal are eloquent in this regard), presents herself as the Virgin Mother who gave birth to the Christian Redeemer, thus adapting the external and nominal appearance to the background cultu (r) ale in vogue in our age, but leaving the inner and "occult" one unchanged, ultimately focused on the ability you alone have to give Salvation to the individual who knows how to bear the pain deriving from the anguish of the world and of the historical situation where he lives [18].

In this sense it can be said that the Goddess - whether you call her Maria or Pachamama, Tārā or Yemanjá, Fairy or White Lady - remained alive and present in the sacred epiphanies of European and extra-European peoples despite the passage from the ancient traditional cults to the Christian, why fatally linked to the destiny of humanity from a sacred and archetypal point of view that goes beyond religious "supporters", always accompanying the human being in his solitary and collective battles against suffering and anguish, accompanying him up to the Golgotha in the Way of the cross towards the much desired immortality and finally welcoming it, in the moment of the last farewell to the world, again in her womb, in the "amniotic fluid in which the being gravitates before becoming such", and after having been such -

She, the Moon, Mother and Virgin, Sister and Bride.

Bas-relief on the Sforza monument in via Olocati, Santa Maria Maggiore (from Carlo Romussi, “Milan in its monuments”, 1912). Milan Cathedral is the only European cathedral that has a statue of the Madonna instead of Christ at its highest point, as it was originally built above a Celtic sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Belisama.

Notes & Appendices:

[1] On the "Pachamama case" see, for example, ALOISI, Giuseppe: Church, all that is hidden behind the Pachamama, in «Il Giornale», 14 November 2019; Vatican silences critics accusing Pope of idolatry: Pachamama is not a divinity, in «Il Mattino», 12 November 2019; CIONCI, Andrea: Between Pachamama and Santeria: the "dangerous relations" with the pagan cults of the church of Bergoglio, in «LiberoQuotidiano», 17 July 2020

[2] See MACULOTTI, Marco: “Altiplano”: the pangs of Pachamama and the Anima Mundi, in «AXIS mundi», May 2019

[3] A rite, moreover, identical to that which the ancient Germans performed in honor of the goddess Nerthus, and the Egyptians of Isis; in this regard cf. ZIGARELLI, Federica: Germanic Isis, in «AXIS mundi», January 2020, of which an excerpt follows APPENDIX which anticipates several points touched on here:

"In Germany the cult of a goddess known as Nerthus is mentioned, linked to a ceremony in which a votive chariot appears - a manifestation of the goddess herself - pulled by cows and adorned with sacred fabrics. It was led by the priest of the divinity to the population, then brought back to the sanctuary of Nerthus, located near a sacred wood, in an unspecified insular place to the north; finally the chariot was immersed in a hidden lake for a ritual washing. This last operation was entrusted to some participants of the rite (servants of the goddess) destined for death and swallowed by the lake itself. A link is believed to exist between Njördhr and Nerthus. A hypothesis - towards which Dumézil and Chiesa Isnardi are inclined - identifies Njördhr and Nerthus in the same divinity. This idea would not seem unfounded: first of all the etymology leads Njördhr back to the proto-Scandinavian root * Nerthu- “in which a concept of vivifying and procreative force is understood”; both are gods of water, which can take on terrorist aspects and engulf men (whether they are the servants killed in a lake during a ritual ceremony or the sailors drowned in the waters of the sea during the navigation); both figures are related to fecundity and to the Third function: Nerthus is defined by Tacitus as “Terra Mater” and only while the goddess is with men would they know peace and prosperity ».

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[4] OXIO, Juan M .: "Religious life of contemporary Peruvian indigenous people", in AAVV: Indigenous cultures and religions in Central and South America, edited by SULLIVAN, Lawrence E., Jaca Book - Massimo, Treatise on Anthropology of the Sacred vol. 6, Milan 1997, p. 192

[5] BOCCHI MODRENE, Andrea: Iemanjia Rainha Do Mar (Queen of the Sea), in «il Crogiuolo», February 2012

[6] PAZ, Octavio: The labyrinth of solitude, SE, Milan 2013, p. 68

[7] See MACULOTTI, Marco: The snake and the dragon: morphology of ophidic symbolism, in "The Age of the Serpent, Valusia # 2 », Italian Sword & Sorcery Books, Summer 2019, or the extract published on the MACULOTTI website, Marco .: The symbolism of the double serpent and the "guardian of the treasure", in «AXIS mundi», February 2020, of which an excerpt follows APPENDIX useful to better understand what we have hinted at in a rather hermetic way in the text of the article:

«In this regard, especially in the medieval versions of the mythologem, the importance of the female figure in order to save which the hero faces the dragon is not secondary. The latter is to be related to that principle soul or female part of the Self which, according to Jung, the subject must necessarily integrate into himself in order to reach the Higher Self. Nevertheless, being both thesoul represented by the "princess to be saved" that the dragon two aspects of Being in its feminine state - preformal-abyssal and aquatic-underground -, it will not be difficult to understand how both one and the other are to esoterically represent the two poles' extremes of the soul principle that governs the human soul like a tyrant in its most unconscious dimension, in its most beneficial aspects (the princess) as well as in its most malevolent ones (the dragon). Princess and dragon, therefore, are once again exemplary dichotomies to be brought back to the aforementioned symbolism of the double serpent on the hermetic caduceus, of Jachin and Boaz, of going e pingala, the "Way of the Right Hand" and the "Way of the Left Hand", and so on ».

[8] See MARLETTA, Gianluca: The Virgin of Guadalupe, the Feathered Serpent and the "hidden river" of history, in «AXIS mundi», March 2019, of which an excerpt follows APPENDIX significant here:

«If great is the astonishment that the mantle of Guadalupe still knows how to transmit to scholars as to the simple faithful, much greater, however, was the true" revolution "that this miraculous sign aroused in the dying soul of the Indian people. Other messages, in fact, other "signs" were contained in that poor agave fabric: signs that no computer can help decipher - and that even the Spaniards of the time ignored - but that burned themselves into the souls of the children of the defeated, transforming their destiny. These are signs that belong to theother story, the hidden and underground history that we are following, but which speak a language that is all too clear for those who, like the Indios, were used to living in a universe of symbols. First of all the place of the event. The hill of Tepeyac, in fact, was sacred from time immemorial to the goddess Coatlicue, the generous but terrible mother earth who for the peoples of Mesoamerica represented the sacred feminine in all its forms; the same goddess he was born from virginally the god Quetzalcoatl. The very name "Our Lady of Guadalupe", which indicated an image highly revered in medieval Spain, was perhaps chosen precisely because of its assonance with the name of the ancient Aztec Divine Mother. It is on the mantle itself, however, that the symbolic language takes on an unparalleled meaning, precluded as we have said to the Spanish occupants, but well understood by a hieroglyphic civilization like that of the Aztecs: a "language of signs" like the one we are gradually discovering behind this whole affair. On the mantle of the Lady, in fact, a complex map of stars appears which, according to the most recent studies, represents precisely the aspect of the sky visible from Tepeyac during the winter solstice of 1531: constellation of Virgo in the foreground just at the height of the Virgin's hands. But the highest and at the same time clearer concept is expressed by a small hieroglyph, the Nahui Ollin, placed at the height of the belly: it is a small flower with four petals, which in the ancient pictographic writing designated the Center of the World or the most ancient Divinity: the meaning that an Indian could therefore perceive was, unequivocally, that of a Mother who ... is about to give birth the Divinity. The Cloak of Guadalupe is therefore a perfect example of a "spiritual encounter" between two cultures so distant in the only way in which such an encounter is possible: the eternal plane of symbols. From this point of view, the Guadalupe event appears like the "mouth" of a long underground path which, reading the symbols, would seem to cross the heart of a culture, even though it is so different from ours, like a karst river. A non-human encounter but, if we believe in the event of Tepeyac, directly divine, in a historical era in which certain contemporary "ecumenism" was far to come and patristic reflections on the "Seeds of the Word" were too distant in the past. . A hidden yet real story that perhaps, as a last "sign", even the name "Guadalupe" seems to want to seal: a name of ancient Arab origin, like many in the topography of the Iberian Peninsula, but with a very evocative meaning: "Hidden River"».

[9] Markale, Jean: Celtic Christianity, Arkeios, Rome 2014, p. 169

[10] Ibid, p. 150

[11] In this regard, we can also mention the illuminating article by FERRARO, Ciro: The Virgin, the serpent and the crescent moon, on «PsicologiaAlchemica», of which we report below an extensive excerpt APPENDIX that clarifies the Virgo / Serpent / Crescent Moon triad in the sacred Marian iconography:

«The sense of the relationship between Mother and Matter is all expressed in this image. The moon as an expression of the mutability of the same matter, its time cycle and above all its reflection of the star par excellence, the sun. The snake, as a force of nature itself (the force itself is an expression of movement and therefore mutability, the snake in fact changes its skin), a symbol of the knowledge inherent in the matter itself, that "chaotic" apparently separatist energy, disharmonious but necessary in the concept of " vital movement ”, which also refers to the“ spatial ”dimension of life. But the virgin bride of God seems to rise above both, the moon and the serpent seem to be "tamed" by the purity of the Virgin. Time and space, life and knowledge are subject to an implicit harmony, well represented by the whiteness of the Immaculate Conception, which raises matter itself towards the sky and whose crown of stars, twelve like the months, the zodiacal signs, the tribes of Israel descendants of the sons of Jacob, seem to incorporate the complete sense of the world (last tarot card). Even if the reference to the biblical text justifies the iconographic image of these representations, the relationship between the woman and the snake and the same moon is also found in the same Lilith (of Mesopotamian-Jewish origin) and the Sophia dark Gnostic (the femme aux serpents) proto-archetypal figures of the feminine, where in the first the snake envelops the complacent woman, in the other it is even suckled, without forgetting the reference to the biblical Eve herself. On the other hand, the passage from the black virgins, raw material well represented by the aforementioned "dark" derivations of the feminine to the image of the white virgin recalls this duplicity of the same Matter / Mater which among other things is well represented in the Gnostic "Thunder, the perfect mind "better known as a hymn to Isis and the"Nigra sum sed formosa”Of the Song of Songs. The two "material" realities (Virgo and moon-snake), the two antithetical visions of the feminine, the two opposite qualities of matter (chaos and harmony) and of the soul itself "embodied" are therefore not so distant from each other, that same raw material, chaotic, well represented in the alchemical context by the Dragon / snake, which "has in itself" its own "lady of the philosophers" correlates well with the "alchemical process" of passage from nigredo toalbedo. Recognized by the Church instead as a triumph over Satan and Evil by the candor and purity of the Virgin, the image therefore seems to have more archetypal and even operational meanings, showing the potential and transmutation of the soul incarnated in this world. The material world aspires to its own order and the serpent like the moon undergoes a hidden harmony, a light "absconditaWhich turns out to be the instrument and purpose of his own movement. Therefore the alchemical dragon, the serpent, vital energy of movement and knowledge, needs to be "sublimated" in order to be transfigured into the image of which it is reflected, that moon that can reflect an authentic solar light, which only "virgin" matter can unveil…. the pencil-Christ, the son of Man ».

[12] Markale, op. cit., p. 156

[13] Ibid, p. 159

[14] Ibid, p. 162

[15] See ELIADE, Mircea: Shamanism and the techniques of ecstasy, Mediterranee, Rome 1974, p. 504

[16] PILGRIM, Giovanni: Some reflections on John Keel's superspectrum theory, on "NEXUS"

[17] FREIXEDO, Salvador: The Marian apparitions, Hobby & Work, Milan 1993

[18] See ELIADE, Mircea: “Religious symbolism and the valorization of anguish”, in Myths, dreams and mysteries, Rusconi, Milan 1990

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