and Mother Earth
by Juan Antonio Revilla
When one contemplates these pictures imaginatively, one can see the silver-white inside that has become sky-blue and light-yellow outside; the tinges of pink mentioned is the love or affection contained in the response of the person that feels blessed and loved by the Virgin. In rainfall the sky is obscured and one can observe imaginatively these colors reversed: white-silver inside the line where the rain hits the plant or the ground, and a wide band of pink on top of the plants with a border of radiating yellow, incarnating the response of the soil that feels blessed by the rain. (NOTE: these colors is only the result of my own imagination at the time of writing when I saw these pictures and focused on "thinking in colors". I could not proclaim them as scientific or objective facts.)
The image of rainfall allows us to understand the reality of the Virgin outside and beyond particular beliefs and religions, and see it as a truly universal human experience. Rain is a blessing for the peasant who depends on the land to survive, and the land responds to this blessing by fructifying, by opening up to the future. For the modern urbanite rain is practically the opposite: it leaves us wet and helpless ("humiliated"), making us seek refuge and confinement. This is a long way from the confining of the act of praying or the experience of the sorrowful mother from which we started our journey, but morphologically they are still the same: the only difference is that one is the existential rain inside the human soul, the other is a phenomenon of Nature.
The intimate meaning that rainfall has for the peasant in the tropics dramatizes the aspect of praying to the Virgin that we had not considered at the start: the fact that the Virgin responds to the prayer, she listens to us filling us with her grace, traditionally characterized as a gentle rain or "rocío". And we reciprocate with our intense selfless affection and loyalty. This is a key without which understanding the phenomenon is impossible. The believer is loyal with the purest form of affection and devotion, loving the virgin and feeling loved in return. This is perceived --for example-- as one approaches the Basilica: the devotion people feel for her can be felt everywhere, there is no confinement, the original dark-blue of sorrow and resignation is gone and all is sky-blue and light yellow, with the scent of beauty and the tenderness of flowers.
The feelings of helplessness, of sorrow and poverty, feeling neglected and abandoned, lead the person to praying and surrender that appears in the soul as an impulse of the will, an act or action, a positioning. This attracts this being with its enclosing blue mantle and the compassionate gesture. This normally remains unconscious, but in the act of praying it is often made conscious. Then sometimes there is a moment that is timeless, silent, and thoughtless, completely pure and incorruptible, where the encounter with this being is experienced by the soul: they touch, and the soul's response to it is the change of colors and feeling loved or blessed. What falls or pours on us like rainfall, and our feeling response to it, are simultaneous, they are not separate, and the virgin is both.
Fresh, flowing, clean water, and rainfall are the garments of this being in the world of Nature: she is the goddess of the bountiful earth, the promise of the fruits, the warmth and humidity of the earth's bosom that guarantee fertility and the continuation of life. In Man and the animals this exists internally as embryonic formations and the experience of motherhood, but the spiritual forces that are behind them are internalized by the *I* and transformed into soul-states and spiritual processes that normally happen in complete separation from the world of Nature. In countries that are very poor, however, where the majority of the population depends on the soil and the seasons, the two remain together. For them the "supernatural" in the figure of the Virgin is as immediate and palpable as the relationship they have with Nature.
>Are these mythical characters or goddesses the same being as Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke?
J: Before I can provide an intellectual answer to this, I would like to consider briefly the visions associated with the apparitions and revelations, which I have not considered before.
The individuals who usually have these revelations or visions have not, as a rule, developed their intellectual faculties, their clairvoyance is instinctive or atavistic. They are being hit or invaded by an elemental force that appears to them as a person, but the appearance of this person --or what the person says to be-- is not what makes it "true"; what makes the vision true in the eyes of the witness is the force itself which is immediately recognized as familiar by the astral and etheric bodies without the intervention of the intellect or of consciousness.
The question of the identity of this person is an intellectual one, and I think is the wrong way to approach the problem. The vision assumes a very specific appearance and language taken from the witness astral and etheric *unused* forces, and partakes of the astral and etheric forces of the place, so we may think of it as syncretic, but in my opinion its immediate appearance or spoken words are not important from the spiritual point of view. The important thing to understand is not the content of the vision but the force itself, how this force interacts with us.
Now I can answer your question. I need to look at it in the following way: Is this elemental force the same as that of the ancient goddesses and myths? -- Yes in the visions, not in my descriptions. Is this force Mary the mother of Jesus? -- Not at first in the visions, although with time it develops or can develop into her; in my descriptions the answer is "Yes, I think it is". Why in both cases? The answer or clue is how we relate to the experience, what role or position our *I* or consciousness and our freedom is playing in the experience.