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"The part we ignore…may contain the clue to the whole subject." ~ J. Allen Hynek

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Mary as Trickster

 

 

BVM.jpgI

 

I wrote this for UFO Digest some years ago; it seems to have disappeared from the UFO Digest site. Here it is: Mary as Trickster, my speculations on BVM apparitions not always appearing to be what they seem to be.

 

Speculation on Mary as Trickster

An American professor is describing his atheism to a Mexican who is attempting to understand his faith. Suddenly there is a gleam of understanding in the eyes of the senora. 

“We know that you do not believe in Jesus,” she said with a look of sympathy, “but surely you must believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe!” ~ [Virgin of Guadalupe Goddess of the Americas, Patrice Wynne]

There aren’t many female aspects of the Trickster. But I wonder if Marian apparitions can’t be considered a female version of Trickster manifestation.

If we accept that Marian apparitions are a paranormal/anomalous (and not religious) phenomena, and often within the context of UFOs, and that the Trickster is an innate part of paranormal, UFO phenomena, then it isn’t too outlandish to consider the symbol of the “Virgin” Mary as a Trickster.

Demetria Martinez, in a short piece on her relation to the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, considers Mary a “sacred Trickster”: Guadalupe, that sacred trickster who faithful to her Aztec predecessor appeared on the hill where Tonantzin, the corn goddess, was worshipped by Nahuatl-speaking people ~ [Martinez]

I’ve often been struck by the irony of the Catholic Church cracking down on both those church members who believe appearances of Mary is a part of their religious experience, as well as the Marian Apparitional phenomena itself.

It’s clear there is an entire political agenda present in the church’s stance on maintain power in contrast to the appearances of a deity that seems, whether intentionally or as a by product, to mock the church’s position. 

In this way, these apparitions of Mary could be seen as a manifestation of Trickster.

She shares other characteristics with Trickster: 

  •  She appears outside of, and regardless of, the church’s official, authoritarian position.
  •  She appears within the context of paranormal, supernatural, and or UFOlogical phenomena.
  • Her messages are often contrary to what is currently presented by the church.
  •  She continues to appear, despite the efforts of authority to quench those appearances.
  •  The phenomena invites debate, stirs up trouble, and creates divisions among Catholics, the religious, the spiritual and the non-religious or spiritual alike. From church goer to UFO researcher, all groups engage in controversial and opposing discussions about her appearances. Science enters the fray; more debate.
  •  Often Marian apparitions occur on sacred ground or in places where previous supernatural, anomalous appearances have taken place.
  •  The messages of Mary are often urges to reject the church’s official line. Trickster laughs at authority, usurps it, mocks it.
  •  People continue to follow their beliefs, curiosity, and remain true to their personal experiences in terms of Marian apparitions by visiting her shrines, creating groups, communicating with others who share similar views, often in defiance of church mandate.
  •  At times, the church has gone so far as to get the law involved in shutting down pilgrimages, etc. Here the authority cracks down on the anomalous; even, in typical Trickster like irony, that authority is itself anomalous.
  • Paranormal phenomena has occurred in many MAs, (Marian Apparitions) : rosaries turning gold or silver, aerial phenomena, dramatic weather events, the strong scent of roses, etc. These can be compared to various “stunts” performed by UFO occupants, in an anomalous, paranormal context. 
  • Even the symbology of Mary herself, often thought of as only a Catholic icon, is Trickster like.

Mary was not a “virgin” in the strict sense in Jewish and other traditions; Mary, a Jew, was mother to Jesus Christ, another Jew.

Her pregnancy is a mystery; occurring because of a “visitation” of an angel. If these events were placed in a UFO/alien/paranormal context, the presence of the Trickster is apparent.

The Trickster is a joker. From the spiritual aspects of marian apparitions; Guadalupe, Medajorgie, Lourdes, etc. to the pop culture circus like appearances of the Blessed Mother on window panes, trees and tortillas, we see the extremes and contradictions of Trickster.

From the divine (appearing on holy sites) to the ridiculous (appearing on bread, tortillas and oily window panes) the Trickster holds up the image of Mary to all of the folk, while thumbing its nose at the approval of the church, as well as society.

Mary as Political Icon

The Virgin of Guadalupe is a political symbol, not just a religious icon. Her image appears on t-shirts, candles, all kinds of mundane objects.

People put her image on their cars. Keys hang from plastic encased images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, her image is stuck to the front of refrigerators. Other Marys appear in these ways as well. Even non-Catholics, like myself, have taken on her iconography to

represent an oppositional stance towards the institutionalization of spiritually.

Though raised in that tradition and baptized and growing up in part in Hispanic culture, I also come from a Jewish background: you can’t get more inverse than that!

In these ways, we can look at Marian Apparitions as an aspect of the Trickster, and consider the symbol of Mary in all her manifestations as both a feminine and divine side to the Trickster.

Astral – Synch: Wingless Winged Woman

 

I call upon a deity : the winged woman. I ask her for her help.  A couple of days go by, Jim and I are talking in the living room, and a woman strolls right on by. Where did she come from? Long dark hair, causcasin, maybe early 40s. Tall, almost six feet.

She’s the personisfication of the winged woman. She is the Winged Woman. Except, she does not fly, and exhibits no wings.

I am surprised to see her, to know that she appeared.  Her response:  “Well you called  me didn’t you? Here I am.” Clearly she thinks I am one silly human.

At first she is nice, seems harmless. Tells me she is here to help.

Night, we’re outside. .She seems even  taller now. Almost seven feet. She sort of sits curled up on a little pedestal (fire hydrant?) and her vibe seems different. A little more calculating.  Still no wings. But she is definitely “the Winged Woman.” Whoever, whatever, that is. I don’t like her. I’m sorry I every called upon her.

Now we’re back in the living room. I smell something burnig. I look up, on top of our tall bookcase are boxes covered in paper with little birds in them. Baby birds. She set the birds on fire! I can hear them squeaking and sqawking. It’s horrible! I take down the boxes, try to save them. The winged/wingless woman is outside, smiling a nasty smug smile. Tells me she’ll save the birds if I do what she says. When I try to protest she tells me  that “this is what happens when you call upon beings and aren’t sure what you’re doing.”

That last line: “This is what happens when you call upon beings and aren’t sure what you’re doing” is certainly a truism. Be careful of what you wish for. Indeed.

Earlier that day, I was thinking, for some reason, about the winged woman sighting in Vietnam. And then dozed off in my garden and awoke to the awful sounds of crows and jays fighting; the crows attacked the baby jays in the apple tree. Poor babies. I know, circle of life.  Also, lots of packing at work due to classroom moves. And I have a recurring theme of birds; long forgotten birds in cages, boxes, still alive, waiting patiently, and I’m always amazed they’re still alive.

Today, saw this item on the Anomalist: The Frightening Supernatural Story of the Black Bird of Chernobyl.

“According to the legend, rumours went through the ranks of Chernobyl, that five employees had seen a large, dark headless creature with gigantic wings and fire red eyes. Chernobyl employees began sharing strangely similar experiences, some had horrifying nightmares, while others received threatening phone calls,” Maxwell said.

“The second account I’ve heard of this story comes from 2007 which says that people in and around the power plant began to experience a series of strange events revolving around sightings of a mysterious creature — also described as a large dark and mutated creature with large wings and piercing red eyes.

“People affected by the phenomena also experienced nightmares and had first-hand encounters with the winged beast.

1969, Vietnam: Earl Morrison saw, along with his fellow soldiers, a winged woman. The following is from an item by Nick Redfern at Mysterious Universe:

“We watched her go straight over the top of us, and she still didn’t make any noise flapping her wings. She blotted out the moon once – that’s how close she was to us. And dark – looked like pitch black then, but we could still define her because she just glowed. Real bright like. And she started going past us straight towards our encampment. As we watched her – she had got about 10 feet or so away from us – we started hearing her wings flap. And it sounded, you know, like regular wings flapping. And she just started flying off and we watched her for quite a while.” [The Glowing  Winged Woman of Vietnam, Nick Redfern at Mysterious Universe.]vintagewingedfemale.jpg

Green Warty Entities and Capes

Several years ago, I contributed to a blog: The C Influence. Sadly, it is no longer active. Many people contributed to the blog, Rick Phillips among them. Here’s something I wrote for one of my blogs at blogspot.com and cross posted by Phillips at The C Influence.

TCI has a bevy of great thinkers and writers – here I present Regan Lee with The Shaman’s Cape(Rick Phillips)
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This was originally published on Binnall of America’s website on my bi-weekly Trickster’s Realm column on 12/26/05 and reposted on my Saucer Sightings blog, which is an archive of my own UFO sightings and encounters. The article has been edited for this post.
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The Shaman’s Cape

About twelve years ago I was visiting friends who were house sitting for a mutual friend of ours. The home owner traveled to Mexico frequently on business; he owned a store in Oregon, and brought back folk art, books, and ceramics to sell in his store.


As I was wandering around the home looking at his extensive book collection, I noticed a large cape hanging on the wall. This cape was very unusual. It wasn’t made of any type of cloth, but seemed waxy and stiff, with little “horns” or large thick thorns protruding from it. The cape was a darkish lime green color. While the cape wasn’t made from any cloth like material and didn’t look like it’d be comfortable to wear — certainly not practical — it was obvious this was a cape indented to be worn.


I touched the cape,rubbing my fingers on its smooth surface, being careful of course to avoid those white yellowish stud things that were clearly sharp enough to really hurt if touched. I appreciated the cape for its history (whatever that may be, since I didn’t have a clue) and was drawn to it for some reason — I couldn’t stop running my hands down the cool smooth surface. Even while I was attracted to the cape, I felt uncomfortable around it at the same time; I didn’t like it. It was big and ugly, a sickish green color, and subconsciously, it annoyed me. It just seemed out of place.


I had planned on staying to visit with my friends but suddenly felt extremely tired. It was the middle of the afternoon and a beautiful day, but I had to get home — I was just so suddenly exhausted. Fortunately I didn’t live far, just a couple of miles. Yet riding my bike home on that beautiful day was so damn exhausting. I was losing focus; as if I were coming down with the flu yet I didn’t feel sick, as in ill, just … unexplainably tired.


As soon as I got home I headed right for the bed, flopping down and grateful to finally make it home. Almost immediately I began to leave my body; one of those OBE states that happen to me spontaneously and that I haven’t been able to control since I was a child. I wasn’t asleep, but not awake exactly, yet I was consciousness of the bedroom, the open window, the sun coming through the screen and other mundane things. At the same time I was paralyzed but felt myself rapidly leaving my body. I could hear the sound of whistles and flutes coming from a distance away, then getting closer. These musical sounds were not coming from outside (like a neighbors house or stereo) but from whatever place my astral body was going towards…


The next thing I knew I was in a deep sleep. I remember visions of chanting and signing, the flutes and whistles again, the cape draped around someone, a man. I couldn’t see his face. We were somewhere in the desert, or some rural country area. It was night and the stars were numerous and very close to the ground; I could touch them if I just reached out far enough. This was no dream; it was as real as this moment now, sitting here typing this. The memory of the desert ground; so hard, with dusty brown bits of soft dust, the coolish night air, the smells of earth and night, the music of flutes, bells, chanting. I was next to this man in a cape, his cape, face unseen, doing a jerky kind of wheeling, turning movement beneath the stars.


When I woke up, it was dark, and I felt as if I’d been poisoned. Not actually physically sick but I mean, I felt as if someone had given me some kind of sleeping pill or drugged me in some way. It took me a very long time to get back to reality. I felt sluggish and my tongue felt thick. This feeling lasted for a couple of days.


A day or two later I found out that this cape was from Mexico and had belonged to a Shaman. It was used in special ceremonies. I hadn’t mentioned this to my friend; it was the other way around. He had told me, quite spontaneously, that he was told that the cape was used for magical purposes that involved whistles and dancing, and was performed out in the desert, away from towns and especially the Church. How or why our friend managed to get this cape I don’t know, except that was a collector of what we call folk art and folk religious items. To those that participated in these dances and ceremonies, those are just labels used by outsiders.


Desert Visitation: The Green Warty “Man”


This incident happened about twenty-five years ago or so. I was sitting on the bed reading. I wasn’t in bed; it was still early. I was simply on top of the covers, dressed, reading my book. My husband was in the other room. I had what I call a “mind post card,” — it’s an experience that happens every so often, where the picture, absolutely vivid 3-D full color image, is “inserted” into my mind with a sharp suddenness. It’s as if someone had literally slid a postcard or a slide of an image (and very often a moving image) into my head. I don’t know where it comes from, or why it happens. Usually it’s a telepathic thing: a preview of something that occurs later that day, or within a day or two. This time however, it wasn’t a prediction of something; it was a “visit.”


This “mind post card” was of a dirty lime-green being with warts or bony stubby nubs all over his body. He had two little stubs or buttons at the top of his forehead; not horns or antlers, but the suggestion of such. I just “knew” that this being was male. It wasn’t human, but it wasn’t animal. It was maybe closer to human than not, but definitely not human. He was sitting in profile to me, squatting down actually. We were out in the desert — or, he was. At this point it doesn’t matter; it was as if I was transported, or his whole world superimposed itself onto mine. I was there with him/it. We had entered each other’s realm of existence. Somehow I had been transported to his desert, and his desert had moved closer to my world.


He “saw” me and turned his head to look at me. He slowly grinned at me, but this was no happy smiley expression! He was a nasty piece of work! It was clear he knew exactly how I was feeling, and thought it very funny in a sadistic way. He was also a little irritated I was there — or, he was here — that we were in each other’s worlds.


I was so damn startled that I screamed. With that scream he popped out (or I was snapped back to my own reality.) And again he seemed irritated, it as if he wanted me to stick around so he could toy with me. He was mad I had screamed and ruined the fun. Such a temporary and special event gone in a flash.


To this day I remember that experience with a chill. I don’t associate any UFO experience or connection with this (although, with all the high strangeness that often accompanies UFOs who knows) and I wouldn’t say it was alien. Not alien from another planet; not even alien from this earth. But I had the sense it very much belonged here and was of the earth, and it belonged here, if such judgments can be made on these things, more than humans. I had the feeling it was indigenous to the earth.


Image: Brian Froud

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