Holy Spider Mother of God

I learned a lot from the Jesuits. From them, I learned the obscure history of the Catholic church. None of my friends’ Catholic schools ever talked about the inquisition, the burning of the witches, the persecution of the Jews, the suppression of science, the utter corruption, and the waged wars that plagued the history of the Vatican.

The Jesuits, however, where exemplary in their brutal honesty, their relentless questioning, the ruthlessness of their historical analysis, and their commitment to true education.

It was from the Jesuits that I learned that there were at one time one hundred and fifty six femurs of the Virgin Mary in the Vatican vaults—each one considered authentic by some church or commission. Collected throughout history, along with enough fragments of the cross where Jesus died and so many prepuces of his penis incensing the lust of his nun brides, these holy bones were sacred relics once belonging to our Holy Virgin Mother of God.

So, my friends and I called this otherworldly virgin who had carried the seed of the Angel of the Lord, the Holy Spider Mother of God.

In my mind, I visualized this image of beauty, extending in tiny, tiny legs touching the different spaces of the universe. I wondered if all around there was this motherly womb surrounding me, touching with spider webs every nerve ending of my body.

Sometimes, when sitting on the roof of my house, overlooking the star-rich Salvadoran sky, I could feel the tiny quiet legs pulling at my brain. One day, I heard a cracking sound and felt the touch of the Holy Spider Mother of God digging its way into my head.

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It is Our Time

It was about ten thousand years ago, more or less, that the big lie was created with the formation of the few major cities. Those who sought to dominate and control got together and created a plan to keep the workers trapped. Producing elements, substances, and thought forms to create a condition in consciousness so that people would remain trapped within the confines of the city and of organized religion—within the bounds of civilization.

They created systems, organizations and the transmission of educational forms; not to impart knowledge and wisdom, but to create in the consciousness of humans artificial barriers on a mass scale to ensure that the consciousness of humanity would remain earthbound for millennia.

Now is the time of the revolution; of the taking what we have, to turn it around and inside out. Now is the time of the waking. Now is the time of the true freedom. Now is the time of the lifting into the space bound era. Now is the time of us of the Star Nation.

Listen to my Toltec Survivor Podcast.

Photography by Sharla Sanchez

The Embers Whisper Oaths of Fiery Storms

Fifty years ago, a man leans over a small fire. Around him, the night hosts shadows and crickets, and the spirits of the old house are joined by the spirits of the volcanoes and the mange. More spirits arrive, of jungle, bays, and rivers––all to see the sorrow of a simple man burning a small book.

I arrive too, somehow I’m here amidst the spirits and things we don’t know anything about. I was born two years before. I see the burning of a diary. It would be some years after I’d learn about this moment; that this man was my father and that he was burning with this diary an icon for hope for a revolution that burned injustice and the raping of a continent, a revolution that obliterates all borders and artificial differences of race, gender, and creed. He was burning a small document, so that it would be consumed and owned by the fire, secretly and silently sentencing it to be reborn in volcanic fires, to spread fiery seeds into the hearts of the people.

When I was two my father burnt the diary of Ernesto Che Guevara. This day, fifty years ago, he was executed in Bolivia at the orders of a CIA operative. A picture was taken of his corpse, as peasants formed a line to pay their respect. The CIA would later consider this picture to be a big mistake, because the site became a shrine of a martyr in the hearts of the people, and the picture became the wind that blew on the embers of hearts long ago quelled with despair––embers that now whisper oaths of fiery storms.

 

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Out of the gutter they returned.

I liked going to the patio of our house in Zacamil, in San Salvador. It was a small square open patio with a pile of water for washing clothes and dishes. In the center of the patio, there was a rain water drain. This was a time when puberty was announcing itself. I liked going back there to burn things. Fascinated by fire, I liked burning paper, wood, and plastic. I liked seeing the fire and how it changed everything into its essential components, ashes, smoke, heat, and colors. I burned things over the water drain, because it was safe there; but also because the burning material would drip into the gutter and make the hissing noise. One day, I got into burning plastic things, because the plastic would drip slowly, announcing it’s descent with a particular petroleum smell and fall as a fire bundle into the rain water of the gutter, and the colors it emited as it fell transformed itself into the most peculiar hissing sound. The plastic would then take unpredictable shapes with strange colors as it cooled down and became hard and ashy black.

One day, I was telling a friend about this, and wondered aloud where these remnants of my fire went. He told me he knew. Braulio told me that just a couple of kilometers from where we were, walking towards the right of the volcano’s skirt, the Boquerón, was a secret entrance to a tunnel. He claimed that this tunnel went on for a very long time, but eventually was united with other tunnels and all the water drains of the city eventually came to this underground labyrinth.

I asked him to take me there, and he did. Behind the rocks under a hill there was an unattended and unkept square stone, which easily removed revealed the rusty hand rails and the stairs leading down to a dark and damp tunnel. We descended, and walked for a little while, just enough for the light of day to still offer a little visibility. After the first turn, however, some shuffling of feet—rodent perhaps, startled us. It could have been the dripping of water, too. No matter. The fact is that in our minds the sound were the steps of boots. Before we could question whether the steps were vermin or human, natural or otherworldly, we were already running back up to the light of day, and ran more to the safety of asphalt and brick.

Thirteen years later, in 1989, shortly before the first light of the sun fell on the rooftops of the poor barrios of Zacamil and Mexicanos, the greatest number of guerrillas to ever invade the capital city of El Salvador were crawling out of the gutters in the patios of the houses of sympathizers and activists. All over the low income areas of the city of San Salvador, the muchachos, the term given to those fighting for the revolution, initiated the last attempt of an insurrection. The experts in Washington were convinced that the guerrilla was decimated, weak, and in its final throes after twelve years of pouring resources, training, and logistical support to the tune of one million dollars a day in military aid to the repressive and cruel government of El Salvador to suppress the revolution.

Some guerrilla units took position in various points of the lower class areas, while other units took over mansions, hotels, and buildings of the Escalon, the area where the rich live and work. Quite predictably, the guerrillas entrenched in the rich areas were able to hold their positions for days, since the army had to proceed with caution lest a stray bullet caused harm to someone with a well known last name or the property of a powerful family. The poor, however, saw tanks and military aircraft bombing the areas infested with guerrillas and poor people without rich names or influence. They dropped bombs in aleatory fashion all over them, destroying many houses. Most families hid under furniture and rubble, forts of mattresses, refrigerators and debris; waiting for the sound of bombs and bullets to end, for respite or death. I spoke to as many friends and family as I could, impotent and with no light sense of guilt I heard their accounts of terror under the bombing, the uncertainty, the resignation to prayer and the “let it be what God wills” of the gentle unarmed.

Others were ready to fight, and taking up arms joined the guerrillas in a last hope for change. Tania, my dear Tania, was among the units fighting. She had gone to the jungle, to join the revolutionary army just a few month before the insurrection. Maybe she was part of the small units that marched under the earth, through tunnels built over the years that led to the rain gutters all over the city; an underground interconnected series of tunnels that took the muchachos from the hill of Guazapa where the guerrillas had one of the strongest strongholds. They marched at night and emerged from everywhere, silent and hidden like the unexpected and recondite workers of change, like the fluttering of the wings of a butterfly whose ripples unite with other insignificant and hidden ripples to cause a hurricane on the other side of the world.

Out of the gutter came back the fire I had sent away 13 years before, bringing back the colors and smells, the heat and the fervor now grown from fleeting impressions into full dreams of a new and glorious new world.

 

 

The night was rich with secrets.

My dad gently shook my left shoulder, waking me up from a nice sleep. I was five years old. His face, close to mine.

“Do you want to help me?”

“Yes,” I instantly replied. What could be better? He was my hero. He was the strongest and wisest man in the whole world. When I was five, my father was not afraid of anyone. He could take anyone in a fight and drink with him later. He was always singing and smiling. Everyone I knew wanted to be around him, and everyone respected him. My father had seen the specter of the rivers, the Sihuanaba herself, and survived with his sanity. My father was strong and brave enough to fight a tiger and roll down a ravine in deathly embrace until the cold water of the river below separated them.  My father knew the secrets of the world and could speak with God, when I was five.

My father was fun, and I could be anyone with him. I could be Tarzan, Ultraman, and Batman when my father was home. When my dad was around, I was intelligent and fun. I was brave, because there was nothing to fear. The world was an open book to me, because he was the window to history, music, art, philosophy, poetry and religion. Nothing seemed impossible, and everything was good. When I was five, the world and I were good, noble, brave, and true–-like my father was.

To his question my response was unequivocal, a “yes” that emanates from the heart of everything I am. For the first time, my father was not there just to guide me and play with me. Now, I also felt part of his world. I left for a moment my own, and entered this new universe. In this new and bigger world, he was no longer supreme and invulnerable. In his world, he had to hide, stalk, and hold the secrets of the night to protect them from the ravaging forces of the human world outside.

It was 3:00 a.m., and we got up with a huge ream of papers. We got into the car and drove around Santa Elena with the lights off. He gave clear instructions before opening the passenger’s window to let the chill and the silences of the night in. “Count to ten slowly in your mind, and every time you come to ten, throw a small stack of papers outside the car.” There. That was my job. It was simple, and fun. But more than fun, it was serious. It was deadly. It was my first conspiracy. It was the threshold into a larger world of secrets and intrigue. A world that would have the mayor chase my father out of town with a gun; that would send their army to look for secret rooms in my grandma’s house; that would chase two Cubans jumping out of the window while riding a motorcycle, from a house my father was renting to them; that would bring many, many encounters with death for my entire family.

In this bigger world, my father was running for the office of governor for the progressive party, and while seeking that office was perfectly legal, it would get him killed by the ruling party––a party that never lost any elections because they would cut your fingers, rape your wife, or massacre your priest to stay in power. In this world, my father had to hide in order to do what was right. He was part of a vast conspiracy to subvert the power structures of the world. He was working with the guerrillas, the muchachos, to make a just and sane world.

Later, he would tell me about the struggle and the thirst for justice. He would tell me about the injustices of the holders of economic and political power, and the heroes that gave their lives fighting the good fight. Later, I would see him cry while burning the diary of Che Guevara, and I would listen to the secret history of the world. He, my hero, would tell me of his heroes: Camilo Torres, Fidel Castro, and Jesus of Nazareth. I remember worrying that these stories meant that I was supposed to one day also take arms and kill for this utopia. The fear of death and torture would come much later, many times over. But the fear of killing people became present there, and I knew I never wanted to kill, but I wanted to work for this world. This seed of desire became a life-long answer to his question: “do you want to help me?” Because now it is no longer about helpin him pass subversive propaganda, but help clarify his vision by discovering it within myself, and work in this vast conspiracy to make of this world the sacred kingdom we secretly know we can make.

The dark world outside the car brought in hints of future chills of death through the open window. It hid like an invisible wall the human world of conspiracies, power struggles, and crimes. But the shadows outside held much more than that. They held, in this larger world where my father was not God but just a man among many, the mysteries of realities beyond conventional reality. These shadows whispered to my unconscious that my father was vulnerable, and later I would come to understand that while he was a good boxer and outstanding arm wrestler, his real opponents were his thoughts; that the tiger he was fighting was his alcoholism and depression; that his heroic adventures were stories to entertain me, but hid in their shadows a soul struggling with insomnia and suicide, guilt and a clamor for freedom.

These struggles I would see him fight, and win as in his stories to his son. I saw him struggle with the demons of thought, jealousy, and belief. I saw him thoroughly defeat the tiger of despair and meaninglessness. In the end, it was the shadows and phantoms of his mind that proved the harder demons to cast out. True to his word, he proved every single story to be true, and every one of my thoughts about him as a five year old, have become justified now that I am a man in his fifties. The other ones, the ones I feared as a child, the brutal soldiers, I saw my father truly dispel them with one word. It was his own mind that brought the real enemy, and my father prevailed.

I was only five, and I had a full life ahead of me, there, in the darkness of a loud silence outside an open window. There, in the night, the shadows were pregnant with secrets. There would be a time for me to face the dark, a time for me to struggle and face. For now, at the age of five, at the threshold of time, all I have to do is breathe calmly, count to ten, and send printed papers out the window for the secret beings hiding in the shadows of the night.

 

Why this blog?

I hail from a very small town in the smallest country of this American continent. My home town, Santa Elena, was named after a woman who married a Roman emperor and was promptly left aside for a second wife with much better political connections. Her son eventually ascended to the throne to become Constantine the Great, and brought his mother home to be honored. Santa Elena dedicated her life to healing the sick, and now with the power of the empire at her disposal formed a group to search for the True Cross where Jesus shed his blood. She unearthed three, according to legend, and brought them to a dying woman she had been helping. When the sick woman was touched by one of the crosses, she immediately recovered, and Santa Elena declared this to be the True Cross and founded a church on the spot.

This legendary woman is the patron saint of my birth place, and the birth place of as many as five generations of ancestors that I have been able to count. The name was given by invaders of a strange continent with a strange tongue. They also called us all “guanacos”, the same name given to the dromedary of the Andes who spits at anyone and takes any kind of burden on his back, and named the country as a whole after their savior himself: El Salvador.

I was born in a town named after the mother of the church that ruled Western civilization for almost two millennia, in a country named after the man-god who is arguably one of the most influential in human history, none other than the savior of the world according to his followers. This is the same town renowned for its violent people, even in a country infamous for being one of the most violent.

I was born in the smallest, most bloody country in this continent. El Salvador is known for having started a war over a soccer match. It is known for the worse performance in the the soccer World Cup, the only time it managed to qualify. It is known for a massacre of 30,000 indigenous people in 1932, and a death toll of close to 100,000 in a brutal civil war in the 80s. It is now famous for the deadliest gang, the Mara Salvatrucha.

Yet, it is the “thumbelina of America”; the most insignificant, irrelevant, forgotten, poor, and bleeding country that still exists in this magnificent continent so bathed by two oceans and soaked in the blood of its people.

I want to write this blog because the true story has not been written.

I wish to write the history of my ancestors. I wish to tell the stories my eyes have witnessed.

Ultimately, I will to write this blog because my blood, meant to be shed, now wants to unveil its true color. It wants to tell the wisdom of the jungles and the visions of volcanoes. It wants you, my people, to remember the lost stories never told.

I will write every day, with tears and laughter, with sorrow and joy. All so that the invisible may be known, and the silence of my people may penetrate the walls of this false world.