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The Mother Mural

It is hard for me to remember that “La Virgencita of the Dreaming House” was once just a white wall where I had been asked to paint “a few clouds or something.” When I stand in front of the wall now in its finished state, the mural seems like a gift from the Divine Mother.
I feel so blessed that She should have chosen me as her vessel, to paint herself into a glory of color in front of my eyes.

Virgencita de Guadalupe mural th the Dreaming HouseOur Lady of Guadalupe is the Mother of Mexico, but She is also the Mother of us All, and in this way She has always spoken to me. In a historical context, this version of Mary appeared to the humble indigenous man Juan Diego shortly after the Spanish conquest, at the old temple site of Tepeyac in Mexico City.

She asked him to implore the bishop to build a temple in Her honor in this location, and after 2 failed attempts,She gave Juan Diego proof of Her appearance to present to the bishop. She had him collect roses from the hill in his rough tilma, or cloak, and when he showed the roses to the bishop, the tilma revealed a miraculously imprinted image of the Mother. Juan Diego`s tilma hangs to this day in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, to which millions of devotees make pilgrimages every year.Her indigenous Nahuatl name is “Tecuauhtlacuepeuh,” which means “She Who Comes Flying From the Regions of Light like an Eagle of Fire.” Sounded like “Guadalupe” to the Spaniards, so the name stuck.

When I first came to Teotihuacan in July of 2004, Guadalupe appeared to me in the pyramids between the columns of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl and told me she was part of my true essence. In October of that year, having rid myself of my worldly possessions and moved to Mexico to paint murals, I sat in the barren salon of the Dreaming House, staring forlornly at the wall where there was supposed to be an altar and “some clouds.” Suddenly She came to me again, reminding me of my previous vision of Her in the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, and in no uncertain terms asked me to paint my vision on the wall. Who am I to say no?!

After some sketching, it seemed possible, and I began the tedious process of measuring out the symmetrical exactitude of the Palace columns onto the wall. I toned the wall with colored washes and sketched out every detail of the columns, with their watchful eyes and graceful conch shells, owls and quetzal birds standing guard like archangels over the Virgin. I sketched in graphite first, then I traced everything again in thin paint. Then I began what would take me a year to finish – to paint every square inch of 9 ft. x 17 ft. as best I could, to breathe life into the red oxides and earthy stone of the columns, into the vibrant night sky blue of the Virgin`s cloak,into the tender rose petals growing beside her. There were days when I thought I could not go on, when my legs fell asleep from being perched on a ladder, when the power went out and I painted by flashlight, when my Mexican pop music station couldn`t help me out of solitude and loneliness, when I felt I had bitten off way more than I could chew, when I wanted to paint over the whole thing in white paint again.

But whenever I had one of those days, I would remind myself of the gift I had received, and I would commit myself with new intention. I intended that every brushstroke be an offering, that each mark be in service of humanity. It was my gift to pass along, and I wanted to do it with all my love, all my heart.

Now that the mural is finished, it awes me to see how She interacts with the world. It humbles me beyond words to witness people in Her presence. I invite you to visit her. She is a gift to me, and it is my greatest joy and honor to pass the gift along to you.


Experiencing Teo

Knowing the transformational power of Teo is best done with an experienced teacher.

A teacher will guide you with loving support as you move through sacred areas here at Teo. You may participate in a variety of meditations, ritual, and ceremonies, depending on the teacher, the group, and even the time of year – truly, no two trips to Teo are the same!


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