Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Santa Fe. The second oldest area of Santa Fe is the Guadalupe District, named for the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This particular painting composition is done in an Art Deco style, which was just beginning to become popular during the brief years of the Fauvists, in the early 20th century. It is also a combination of Art Deco and Orthodox Christian Iconography - everything in the painting is one or two-dimensional except for the face and hands, which are three-dimensional. This painting could also be called my “homage” to the Divine Feminine - as personified by Our Lady of Guadalupe (among many other examples throughout history). Before I begin to list all the symbolism I want to point out that every representation of Our Lady of Guadalupe I have ever seen depicts her wearing an outer robe of blue that is covered with stars. Being a painting in my Santa Fauve Collection, I took my star shapes from many I have seen painted by Matisse – arguably the most famous of the Fauvist painters.
- The border: There is a continuing “thread” running throughout all paintings in the Santa Fauve Collection of “flora” being painted with much use of reds. This continues with the Art Deco styled border of vines. I painted them in a style to be reminiscent of Mexican Folk Art – especially as it is found on pottery.
- The 4 corner symbols are ancient designs from Uzbekistan. I selected this to represent the last areas of the planet (Central Asia and the Middle East) to change from worshipping “Goddess” to worshipping “God.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe is always depicted standing on a crescent moon – this may have to do more with the native Indian beliefs and its cosmology than anything “Christian.” An Aztec goddess was often depicted standing on a crescent moon with a solar disc behind her head. (This same symbolism was also found in various depictions of Isis – whose influence ranged from the British Isles to China.) What I do know is that the moon is always associated with the “feminine” and is often used as a symbol for humanity since humanity, like the moon, does not generate its own light but “reflects” the Light of the spiritual “Sun.”
- Solar disc/halo: (I traced around one of my dinner plates to get this shape.) Within the solar disc are seen 3 doves in various stages of manifesting themselves onto the physical plane. The dove is often used as a symbol for Peace. It was also a symbol for Isis. The early Christian Church adopted it as a symbol for the Holy Spirit. For the first few centuries of the Christian Church the Holy Spirit was referred to as “She.” This may have been a carry-over from the Jewish origins where the manifestation of the Creator on the earth plane was the “feminine” half of God. When “She” lived among the Children of Israel “She” was called the Shekinah and was the “pillar of fire and cloud of smoke” that lead the Israelitesout of Egypt.
- Outer robe: As I previously mentioned, in every depiction of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” I’ve ever seen she is wearing an outer robe of blue, covered with stars. One source said this also had Aztec origins but Mary is also referred to as “The Queen of Heaven” (one of the titles also used when referring to Isis – as were the titles “Mother of God” and “Our Lady.” It should not be that surprising to learn that ancient Paris was a major center for Isis and that the cathedral of Notre Dame (Our Lady) was built on the ruins of a major temple to Isis (Our Lady).
- I have painted the hands in the Mudra (Sanskrit for hand position) for Wisdom. One of the most ancient identites of "Goddess" was known as "Sophia." Sophia represented Wisdom. This hand position is often depicted in statues and paintings of Kwan Yin (Goddess of Mercy). The ancient Hebrews attributed the Holy Spirit/Shekinah as the evidence of “Mercy, derived from Wisdom” being bestowed upon the Children of Israel.