Discovering sex as like discovering writing. It was powerful in a way couldn’t explain. Like writing, you had to go beyond the guilt and shame to get to anything good. Like writing, it could take you to deep and mysterious subterranean levels. With each new depth I found out things about myself I didn’t know I knew. And, like writing, for a slip of a moment it could be spiritual, the cosmos pivoting on a pin, could empty and fill you all at once like a Ganges, a Piazzolla tango, a tulip bending in the wind. I was no one, I was nothing, and I was everything in the universe little and large—twig, cloud, sky. How had this incredible energy been denied me!
When I look at la Virgen de Guadalupe now, she is not the Lupe of my childhood, no longer the one in my grandparents’ house in Tepeyac nor is she the one of the Roman Catholic Church, the one I bolted the door against in my teens and twenties. Like every woman who maters to me, I have had to search for her in the rubble of history. And I have found her. She is Guadalupe the sex goddess, a goddess who makes me feel good about my sexual power, my sexual energy, who reminds me that I must, as Clarissa Pinkola Estés so aptly put it, “[speak] from the vulva … speak the most basic, honest truth,” and write from my panocha.
In my research of Guadalupe’s pre-Colombian antecedents, the she before the Church desexed her, I found Tonantzin, and inside Tonantzin a pantheon of other mother goddesses. I discovered Tlazolteotl, the goddess of fertility and sex, also referred to as Totzin. Our Beginnings, or Tzinteotl, goddess of the rump. Putas, nymphos, and other loose women were known as “women of the sex goddess.” Tlazolteotl was the patron of sexual passion, and though she had the power to stir you to sin, she could also forgive you and cleanse you of your sexual transgressions via her priests who heard confession. In this aspect of confessor Tlazolteotl was known as Tlaelcuani, the filth eater. Maybe you’ve seen her; she’s the one whose image is sold in the tourist markets even now a statue of a woman squatting in childbirth, her face grimacing in pain. Tlazolteotl, then, is a duality of maternity and sexuality. In other words, she is a sexy mama.
To me, la Virgen de Guadalupe is also Coatlicue, the creative/destructive goddess. When I think of the Coatlicue statue in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, so terrible it was unearthed and then reburied because it was too frightening to look at, I think of a woman enraged, a woman as a tempest, a woman bien berrinchuda, and I like that. La Lupe as cabrona. Not silent and passive, but silently gathering force.
- Sandra Cisneros - Guadalupe the Sex Goddess (via cloud-scapes)