According to Native American lore, the white race is allocated the custodianship of Fire. 16  This places the nuclear research undertaken in Los Alamos in yet another light.   Within the grand archetype of the Four Directions, the direction of the South has for its keyword: Light.   If its impulses can be set into contrast and balance with those stemming from the other three Directions (East/Life, West/Love, North/Law), a harmonization of its destabilizing energies might be effected - if the always-implied seventh direction of Center is given its due.  As related earlier, the model here is that any force or energy is not in itself “evil”, but that all influences have their proper time and placement in balance with others and the whole. Our Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe holds the vision for this integration from the South.  Holding the critical vision for the Center are all those who have sustained the link between the Celestial and the Chthonic: Christ first of all, then the still-mysterious Vitzliputzli as one who stepped forward from the South to assist a new phase in its unfolding.  Now, some 2,000 years later, a deep-frequency octave of earlier events is transpiring, and all the old players are returned for their new opportunities and each of us are called to contribute the creative act.
       Whether pro or con on the issues propelled into prominence by “Los Alamos”, one can hardly be immune to the challenges presented by them.  I have tried herein to present various insights that arise from contemplation and study of this phenomenon.

        Many important issues have not been addressed: for example, the relationship between violence and the sacred, the major differences between the Toltec-Aztec and the Maya civilizations, the origins and nature of the primal Olmec culture, or the pathways of the more northern American peoples.   Not even a cursory outline of the all-important emerging Divine Feminine of the UnderWorld is indicated, yet, much that could be said is indicated by an overarching Imagination which spans the entire scenario of Past and Present in New Mexico:
       On the one hand – and on one side of the Rio Grande Rift Valley – is the recently spent crater of the Jemez Caldera and the Los Alamos National Laboratories complex with its icon of the virulent mushroom cloud, on the other is the puissant form of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe/Tonantzin/Corn Mother, and the culture of the peoples - American and European, from North and South - who, under her skirts, have learned to live in relative harmony for hundreds of years.  On the one side: hub of Empire, and on the other: borderlands.  The embracing Vision has not yet unfolded her wings, but it stirs.
       The being of Christ has been mentioned as playing a pivotal role in this drama.  “Pivotal” is indeed the apt word, for a pivot has no extension in space: it is a dimensionless point, almost abstract in its elegance, nonexistent in its pure singularity, yet without it, nothing else has orientation or can actualize its potential.  So with Christ: holding the Center, he asks nothing for himself but continually empties himself of his power for the benefit of those he serves - which is all.  The concept of Servant Leadership reflects this attitude.  So if one asks: “Can one understand the prophecy of the ‘Second Coming’ in these more rational terms?”, the answer is yes: just as Christ came the first time for Gaia as a whole, now he comes for his consort in heirosgamos: to liberate and activate the long-dormant Sleeper of the Divine Feminine.  For those of us in the Southwest, her agent appears as Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

       As for her, treatment in a different key is indicated:

       Paradoxically, just as we focus most closely upon the One Who Holds these understandings in her soul as her soul, we behold, not her finely resolved features, but her dissolving form.   Likewise, her traces in history – conspicuous by their absence at the critical early junctions - seem designed to confuse and confound.  Like the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Wonderland, she recedes from view, indicating for us to pass through into what she beholds.  And what is this?
       We behold the fiery furnace of the Earth, its incandescent core breaking through its black and hardened encrusting shell.  The same engine of the stars is shown to be active within the vast innermost reaches of the planet, but in a dimension beyond the physical parameters – and it is reaching for the surface and wild release!   The similar essence of the Heights and the Depths intertwine in furious delight: this is what she serves, and this is indicated even by the mandola of rays which embellish her popular aspect.  (The person who added these post-1531 details knew what he was doing, although the effect is of the “different, not better” variety.)
       But even more than this, one who accepts her guidance in this passage will also soon find out that the same fierce joy in the liberation of energies at the core of the planet is mirrored and experienced as one’s own in each of the cells of one’s own body: “as above, so below…and inbetween”.  Each cell is a world with a starry center, as each star is a cell in the World-Body. There is freedom and power in the physical illumination that one’s own being is inextricable melded into the dance that sustains all the worlds. This dance is not the entropic death-rattle shadow that sustains the modern materialistic-scientific hallucination; those point-centered forces are only the shock-wave of the life-forces passing through the resistant matter, its fumbling reflective attempt at imitation, no: this is its original life-rich authentic prototype.  We have touched upon the mechanism of our Maya, but that does not interest us now, for we have hitched our wagon to the living star that inhabits every fractal expression of reality. This is truth, the rest is commentary.  Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe now stands in the wings, her midwifery accomplished.
       Still, her subtle trace remains before us, shimmering softly, lover to your spirit-power.  To what does she continue to indicate…to beckon?

       But let us be magnanimous: even the deadly nuclear forces have their place in the Divine Economy, for even though they are not life-sustaining in the same way as the etheric forces are, nonetheless they are indispensable for maintaining life-as-we-know-it in material form, and this will be proved to have been consciousness-enhancing to the highest degree as events continue to unfold and as we acquire some hindsight-perspective on the mighty shifts in consciousness that are upon us.  So let us be thankful for these catabolic forces and those associated beings who so diligently tend their allotted duties – which include being the Guardians of the Threshold for the essential core energies: Guadalupana’s guard dogs!  They will also prove to be powerful allies in the process of restoring Circulating Balance to the Earth-planet’s energies. When they become re-integrated into the greater Life, we will be more whole than we are now.
       The (not so) ancient Americans knew these things well: that life and death are but mirror-images of each other, and that to be born into life is to die to another life, and that to die to this life is to be born into another.  All indeed is flux.  And they too had their revelations of Heirosgamos – the divine conjunction of polarities at the level of Individual Being: the fusion of Christ and Consort (she still-to-be-named) which passes through and sustains matter…and all the worlds.  They mediate the Universal Father-Mother godhead to the endless variety of expressive forms that exist.  Delight, joy, generosity, encouragement; these are the original initiating virtues of which the blind forces of the physical and sub-physical are only the final fallout.  The details of the American Saturn Mysteries as they were enacted in the past are saved for the future to recover, but the essential shamanism of the magus Vitzliputzli is a strong and simple matter of native intuition for many.

       Do you, dear reader, know these things to be true?  Then trust them, for they will carry you, even as you carry them!

       La Morenita comes to me (6/21/02) as I ask: “Is this how you want to be known?”  She says nothing, but indicates by her shy gaze that I am to linger with this question.  Slowly I recognize her tone as one who has been an intimate confidante and companion for some years now, and one who has been at my side as I have labored to string these words together. She gently reminds me of previous encounters in which she indicated this identity, and I remember them.  She, to whom I once gave my own tender nickname, now encourages me to name her as she is known to all who seek her – and who have found her - with their hearts.
       I do not wish to imply that there are not other Initiatrixes for these realms or these experiences.  As I said in the very beginning, I can only tell my story, and this is how it has unfolded for me.  I have no doubt that Nuestra Señora (in English: “Our Lady”) does much to generate the language and provide the imagery for these things in the Southwest of the USA and for Mexico, and that in these areas, they have their unique flavor.

       Driving back from the San Pedro Wilderness to Santa Fe recently, passing by the immense Valles Caldera, I was struck by the vastness of the vista and the sublime serenity of the crater’s grasslands – a magnificence which forms the dominant feature of the entire Jemez mountain range.   I felt such a calm and repose emanating from it, and thinking that I would soon be passing through Los Alamos, I could not but help chuckle at the thought that for all its hubris, Los Alamos was but a pimple on the ass of the great mountain.
       As they say, “It’s not over “till the Fat Lady sings.”  Mother Nature will have the last word, as the Father had the First Word. What we are witnessing are the first rumblings of a new order of the ages, one which will develop throughout the rest of Earth-evolution.
“This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us. The fact that people have in this sense been cowardly has done infinite harm to life; the experiences that are called “apparitions,” the whole so-called “world of spirit,” death, all these things that are so closely related to us, have through our daily defensiveness been so entirely eliminated from life that the sense with which we might have been able to grasp them have atrophied.”
-    Rainer Maria Rilke

“We are what we imagine.  Our very existence consists in our
imagination of ourselves…  The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.”
 -     N. Scott Momaday

“We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.  The labyrinth is thoroughly known.  We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find abomination, we shall find a god.  And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.  Where we had thought to travel outward, we come to the center of our own existence.  And where we thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”
-    Joseph Campbell

“Why should we honor those that die upon the field of battle, when a man may show as reckless a courage by entering into the abyss of himself.”
-    W. B. Yeats

“If our life lacks a constant magic it is because we choose to observe our acts and loose ourselves in consideration of their imagined form and meaning, instead of being impelled by their force.”
-    Antonin Artaud

“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim – he or she has become a threat.”
 -     James Baldwin

© 2003 Stephen Clarke
Winter Solstice, 2002


1.    Petroglyph 1, Chalcatzingo, Morelos, Mexico.  700-500 BC.  A female initiatrix is seated within a cave which is also a stylized monster-mouth.  h. 3.2m.  An Olmec Demeter, or is the one depicted also, potentially, the one who is looking at the depiction? This image (and discussion from: Coe (1965), pp. 18-19, Miller and Taube (1993), p. 29, Coe  (1994), p. 78, Bernal, p. 139, Taube (in Berlo), p. 150, all Bib. I.
2    Stela 3, Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico (with tracing), mid 1st century AD.  A warrior, helmeted with the mask of his god, challenges an erupting earth-serpent, which is, however, contiguous with his left foot.  He brandishes an empty atlatl (spear thrower) and holds his throwing arm in a passive position while his avatar observes from his spirit-canoe.  Corn sprouts at lower left, counterpart to his discreetly portrayed phallus.  89 such stelae have been catalogued in the Izapa site, many with equally provocative images. This is the earliest known representation of the serpent-footed god motif developed through the Maya representations of Itzamna, K’awil and the God K, and the Teotihuacano-Azteca Tezcatlipoca.  It forms the iconographic (and historical?) basis for all the subsequent manikin scepters which are the ubiquitous emblems of rulership displayed by Mayan priests and rulers. Malmstrom (1997) places the origin of the seminal Olmec culture (usually seen as arising in Caribbean-coastal Veracruz) in the Izapan Soconusco of the Pacific coast, and finds evidence of this in calendar, language, and cultural diffusion patterns, although most researchers interpret the Izapan culture to be a bridge between the Olmec and the Maya civilizations.
Steiner (1916) offers core indications towards understanding the pivotal Tezcatlipoca-
Quetzalcoatl dynamic: Vitzliputzli as an avatar of Tezcatlipoca.  I suggest that this image indicates the mesoamerican prototype for the full-spectrum encounter with the same kundalini forces which, unresolved, wounded the European Amfortas. The overall gesture could not be more explicit in representing the Manichean stance with regard to the “problem of evil.”  This is, in indigenous terms, none other than the role of the shaman.  Note that in the dynamic of the encounter, the “Earth Monster” (as it is described in the scholarly literature, which may be only vaguely and partially correct) faces away from the protagonist, and a flower sprouts from its mouth.  Hardly the typical “Good vs. Evil” battle-to-the-death kind of thing. The first human God-agent on Earth in the Mayan Popul Vuh cosmogenesis also was one-footed: Hunrakan. Thus the Izapan initiate partakes of the original creative and world-sustaining function.  As does the effectively one-footed Hanged Man of Card 12 in the Western Tarot and the 23rd Path in the Kabbalah. This image (and extensive discussion) from: Norman (1973 & 1976), Lowe, Lee, and Martinez (1982).  Also from Stirling (1941), pp. 276-327, all Bib. I.

3.    Stone sculpture of Chalchiuhtlique, Teotihuacan, c. 500 AD.  h. 3.9m, wt. 22 tons.  Museo Nacional de Anthropologia, Mexico City.   “She of the Jade Skirt”, patron of the day Serpent.  Found near the Pyramid of the Moon.   Hardly a lithe form, as would befit the goddess of lakes, streams, flowing water, and baptism and birth, it represents a fossilized or embalmed Persephone-figure.  According to central Mexican mythology, Chalchiuhtlique is the regent of Nahui Atl or 4 Water; the Fourth Sun or World-Age (destroyed by flooding), which cycled over into the Nahui Ollin or 4 Motion; the Fifth Sun upon formative events in Teotihuacan.  As such, she would be closely associated with - perhaps replaced by, perhaps changed into - Teotihuacan’s Great Goddess.  But it is from this Sleeper that La Guadaloupana arises!
This image from Pasztory (1997), pp. 88-89.  Also: Berrin (ed., 1988), p. 50, Coe (1994), p. 101, Pasztory (in Berlo), p. 289, all Bib. I.

4.    “Net-laced figure with claws”; Detail from a mural painting at the Palace of the Sun (zone 5A), c. 200 AD - 700 AD.  Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Washington, D.C.  Jaguar-God figure with mirror-face and regal headdress, from whose clawed hands pour forth all the elements of the world.  As the jaguar was likely totem of Tlaloc, the most primordial of deities and Plutonian male god of the Earth, this might also be emblematic of the Atlantean “Teotl” being referred to by Steiner, Meyer, Stegman, and Lievegoed (all Bib. I). This image (and discussion) from: Pasztory (1997), pp. 214-219, Berlo, p. 140, all Bib. I.

5.    The “Great Goddess” of Teotihuacan; “Spider Woman.”  From the Tepantitla murals in Teotihuacan as discussed in: Taube, The Teotihuacan Spider Woman, and Pasztory, Teotihuacan, Bib. I.

5.    Stone sculpture of Coatlique, late Aztec.  h. 2.5m, c. 1450 AD.  Coatlique was the ancient Earth-goddess of the Aztecs and the mother of Huitzilopochtli.  Dismembered, serpents sprout, replacing her limbs.  Similar aspect to the Hindu Kali and Celtic Sheela-na-gig – here she appears in most malignant aspect – yet she is also the obverse face of the Virgin Mother.  Imagine her unfurled, mobile and resplendent!   
Is this, and the preceding image, Oppenheimer’s “Destroyer of Worlds”?  Note the progression from # 1 to #s 3, 4, 5, and then # 7. This image (and discussion) from: Pasztory (1983), pp. 157-160, Moctezuma, p. 27, Taube (1993), p. 46, Miller and Taube (1993), p. 65, Coe (1994), p. 184, all Bib. I.

6.    1950 A-bomb test photograph, taken at a one-hundred-millionth-of-a-second exposure, seven miles from ground zero.  Dr. Pfeiffer terms this the face of the “Sun of Death” (Compendium I, Bib. III, pp. 129 - 132, Aug. 24, 1952).  From article: The Man Who Stopped Time, Joyce E. Bedi, courtesy Invention and Technology magazine, Summer, 1997.  Similar image, also by Edgerton, in National Geographic, Oct. 1987, p. 472.

7.    Tilma image of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, known to the Nahuatl-speaking Azteca of 1531 as Tonantzin, one of their ancient Earth-goddesses.   Liberated from cosmic exile and the thrall of controlling elites, she is the embodiment of mercy and grace. From out of the cataclysm of the years 1519-1521, she resurrects in 1531, appearing to Juan Diego, a humble personage of significant stature.   Many conflicting details surround this image and its story, which have ascended into the realm of Myth – and descended into the maw of political culture - but the reality of her presence is undoubted to millions of all races and cultures throughout the Americas, and this icon fulfills all the functions of an Icon: to serve as an open door into the Realities which it depicts.  Mini places her in relation to the Aztec Tecauhtlacuepeuh goddess, whose name would have been passably similar to that of the already-existing Guadalupe of the Extremadura Spaniards; hence the apparent conflation, but many other unpronounceable Nahuatl names could also be garbled into “Guadalupe.” Her relationship to the Mary of Palestine is not one of identity, though all goddesses are related to the same Mother. This image (and discussion): Elizondo (1997), Bib. II, p. 63.

8.    South Mural at Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala, Mexico, c. 790 AD.  Brightly colored in dark oranges, blues, and yellows, it represents a strong Maya influence in a post-Teotihuacan region that – within the heart of the later Aztec Empire - successfully resisted its domination and provided a ready army for Cortez.   Identical in both form and function to traditional European images of the Archangel Michael.  
This image (and discussion) from: Stuart (1992), p. 127, Miller and Taube (1993), p. 22, Coe (1994), p. 108, Nagao, p. 83 – 104, and Baird, pp. 105 - 122.  Color reproductions in Coe (1999), p. 24, National Geographic, Sept. 1992, p. 129, arqueologia mexicana, Vol. VI, Num. 32, p. 14, Miller (1996), and Chan, pl. 8 & 10, all Bib. I, and at:
The diptych partner of this image can be seen at:

9.    The Four Inner Temples and their Attributes, private Workshop distribution, R. J. Stewart, 1992.  Copyright and all rights reserved, and used by kind permission.

The inward look unfolds and a world of spin and flame
is born in the head of the dreamer,
blue suns, green whirlpools, birdbeaks of light
pecking open the pomegranate stars,
sunflower isolated, eye of gold that revolves
in the center of a dark pavilion,
glass groves of sound, groves of echoes and answers
and waves, a dialogue of transparencies,
wind, water galloping between the endless walls
of a gorge of jet,
horse, comet, rocket that drives to the heart of night,
plumes, spurts of fountain,
plumes, a sudden flowering of torches, sails, wings,
invasion of whiteness,
island birds singing in the head of the dreamer.

I opened my eyes, I looked up at the sky and saw
the night covered with stars.
Live islands, bracelets of flaming islands, stone burning,
breathing, clusters of live stones,
how many fountains, many brightnesses,
how many rivers far up there, and that remote sounding
of water with fire, of light against shade!
Harps, gardens of harps....

We have to sleep with open eyes, we must dream
with our hands,
let us dream active dreams of the river
seeking its watercourse,
dreams of the sun dreaming its worlds,
we have to dream aloud, we have to sing till the song
throws out root, trunk, branches, birds, stars,
to sing until the dream engenders
and from the side of the sleepers burst forth
the red thorn of resurrection,
the water of birth,
the spring at which we may drink
and recognize ourselves and recover,
the spring of self-knowledge, water that speaks
all alone in the night, calling us by our name,
under the great tree, the live statue of rain,
we have to dream backward, toward the source,
to row up the stream of the centuries,
beyond infancy, beyond the beginning,
beyond the baptismal waters,
to tear down the walls between us,
to join together anew
that which was put asunder,
life and death are not worlds in opposition,
we are one single stalk with twin flowers,
we have to dig up the lost word, to dream inward
and as well to dream outward,
decipher the tattooing on the night, to look at noon
face to face and tear away its mask,
to bathe in the light of the sun, to eat the fruit of night,
to spell out the writing of star and river,
to remember what blood says, what tide says,
earth and the body, to return to the starting-point,
not inner nor outer, not over nor under, to the crossroads,
where the roads begin,
for light is singing with a rumor of water,
with a rumor of green leaves water sings
and dawn is laden with fruit, day and night reconciled
flow like a calm river,
day and night caress each other endlessly
like a man and woman in love,
like an eternal river under the arches of the centuries
flow seasons and people,
farther on, to the live center of the source,
far beyond end and beginning.
--Octavio Paz--


1. Pasztory: Teotihuacan - An Experiment in Living.   U. of Oklahoma Press, 1997, pp. 73 - 84, 59 - 61.
2. Franzen: Ein Sieg uber Christ den Sorat.
3. Pasztory: Abstraction and the Rise of a Utopian State, as included in Berlo, ed.: Art, Ideology,
and the City of Teotihuacan, p. 292.
4. Todorov, pp. 49 - 50.  He also astutely observes: "It may seem bold to link the introduction of perspective to the discovery and conquest of America, yet the relation is there, not because Toscanelli, inspirer of Columbus, was the friend of Brunelleschi and Alberti, pioneers of perspective(or because Piero della Francesca, another founder of perspective, died on October 12, 1492), but because by reason of the Transformation that both facts simultaneously reveal and produce in Human consciousness."  p. 121.
5. Schele & Freidel: A Forest of Kings - The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya, p. 130, and accompanying notes #s 3 & 45 on pp. 438, 443-444, also in Milbrath: Star Gods of the Maya pp. 193-196.
6. Hoebel: The Cheyenne - Indians of the Great Plains, Bib. I, gives a specific indication of this. And did the northern tribes make a conscious decision to reject urbanity because of the intuition that: "...the city says everything you must think, makes you repeat her discourse..."?, Calvino, in Carrasco.
7. Steiner: The Fifth Gospel, lecture of Oct. 5, pp. 44 - 45.
8. Fortune: The Mystical Qabalah, p. 175-76.  For an evocative literary treatment of this theme,
from the pagan perspective, one can do no better than the novels of Marion Zimmer Bradley, e.g.; The Mists of Avalon.
9. Moctezuma: Treasures of the Great Temple. Contains the full myth of Huitzilopochtli's birth and subsequent struggle against his evil sister and her cohorts, along with Sahagun's references to Huitzilopochtli as "Vitzilopochtli."
10. Taube: The Teotihuacan Spider Woman, pp. 107-189, and also as referred to in Pasztory: Teotihuacan, pp. 59, 73 - 94, and Berlo.
11. Steiner: The Karma of Untruthfulness, p. 183 (from Dec. 21, 1916), and other places.
12. Steiner: The Christmas Study - The Mystery of the Logos, from Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts, GA 26, Christmas, 1924. Profound reflections on Persephone from an address on the one and only anniversary of the founding Christmas Conference: "Once upon a time, man had seen in the constellations and movements of the stars the deeds and gestures of the Divine beings of the Cosmos, whose words he was thus able to read in the heavens. In like manner, the 'facts of Nature' now became for him an expression of the Goddess of the Earth.   For the Divinity at work in nature was conceived as feminine...."
"When men of knowledge wanted to bring the 'processes of Nature' to the understanding of their pupils, they spoke of the deeds of the 'Goddess'....
"The way in which men looked in this direction in the age of the Intellectual or Mind-Soul is reminiscent of the myth of Persephone and of the mystery that underlies it. "Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, is compelled by the God of the Underworld to follow him into his kingdom. Eventually it is achieved that she spends one-half of the year only in the Nether world and dwells for the remainder of the year in the Upper world...."
"In primeval times all the World-creative activity had proceeded from the surroundings of the Earth. The Earth itself was only in the process of becoming, and molded its existence in cosmic evolution from out of the activities of the surrounding world. The Divine-Spiritual Beings of the Cosmos were the creators and molders of the Earth's existence. But when the Earth was far enough advanced to become an independent heavenly body, Divine Spiritual Being descended from the great Cosmos to the Earth and became the Earth-Divinity...."
"Nature must be recognized in such a way that in Persephone - or the Being who was still seen in the early Middle Ages when the spoke of 'Nature' - it reveals the Divine-Spiritual, original and eternal force out of which it originated and continually originates, as the foundation of earthly human existence." pp. 133 ff.
13. Zengotita: The Numbing of the American Mind. His brilliant description of media culture stimulates a certain elation, yet he can indicate no prescriptive relief - the effect is one of numbing futility.  Also in this regard: Lewis Lapham, Noam Chomsky, and many others.
14. A. E.: The Candle of Vision. 
15. William Sharp, writing as Fiona Macleod.
xvi McFadden: Legend of the Rainbow Warriors. The Christian mystic Tielhard de Chardin foresees the future course of this: "Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love.  And then, for the second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire."   Marcellus BearHeart Williams concurs; he told me: "There is one thing stronger than nuclear energy: love - because only love can melt a human heart!"

- A much more extensive Bibliography is available from the author, for those who wish to make use of my own compilations and notes.

A. E. (George Russell): A Candle of Vision.
Berlo, Janet Catherine: Icons and Ideologies at Teotihuacan: The Great Goddess Reconsidered. In Art, Ideology, and the City of Teotihuacan, pp. 129 - 168, Berlo (ed.). Dumbarton Oaks, 1992.

Brading, D. A.: Mexican Phoenix - Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Traditions Across Five Centuries.  Cambridge U. Press, 2001.  Excellent overall.  Highly recommended.  Best overview of the evolution of the Icon and its interpretations in culture.

Brooks, James F.: Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands.  U. of N. Carolina Press, 2002. Elsewhere, he investigates similar "borderlands" situations in the Canadian northern territories, the South American pampas, and in the Middle Eastern Caucasus.  The parallels are interesting.

Burkhart, Louise: Before Guadalupe - The Virgin Mary in Early Colonial Nahuatl Literature.  U. at Albany Institute for Mesoamerican Studies and U. of Texas Press, 2000.

Dunnington, Jacqueline Orsini: Guadalupe - Our Lady of New Mexico.   Museum of New Mexico Press, 1999.   Very good overall; tries for a balance between fact and belief.  Excellent section on the Spanish antecedents: pre-existing Guadalupe devotions to a Black Madonna in pre-Columbian Extremadura Spain.

Carrasco, David: City of Sacrifice - The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization. Beacon Press, 1999.  "We know that power, whatever its origin - sacred, natural, ethnic, contractual, or democratic - is an expression of violence.  David Carrasco now demonstrates a shattering, unsentimental truth: civilizations themselves are born and maintained by violence. A brilliant, provocative, timely, and eternal book." - Carlos Fuentes, from the back cover.

Coe, Michael D., and Richard A Diehl, eds, with David A. Freidel, Peter T. Furst, F. Kent Reilly, III, Linda Schele, Carolyn E. Tate, and Karl A. Taube: The Olmec World - Ritual and Rulership. The Art Museum, Princeton U. & Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995.  Splendid essays and illustrations by the best in the business.  The Olmec is the Ur-civilization in Mesoamerica and this volume reflects the current high state of scholarship in the field.

Commoner, Barry: Unraveling the DNA Myth: The Spurious Foundation of Genetic Engineering, Harper's Magazine, Feb. 2002.

Diehl, Richard A. and Berlo, Janet Catherine: Mesoamerica After the Decline of Teotihuacan, A.D. 700-900.  Dumbarton Oaks, 1989.  Papers by Diehl, Berlo, Mastache & Cobean, Hirth, Nagao, Baird, Winter, Santley, Stone, Kowalski, Ball & Taschek, Marcus, Sanders, Cohondas.

Evan-Wentz, W. Y.: Cuchama and Sacred Mountains.   Swallow Press, 1981."Dedicated to the Children of the Great Mystery throughout all the Americas who are nurtured by Father Sun and Mother Earth and taught by The Shining Beings."  By the author of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries.

Fortune, Dion (Violet Firth): The Mystical Qabalah. Samuel Weiser, 2000 (from 1935).

Gandert, Miguel: Nuevo Mexico Profundo - Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland.  Museum of New Mexico Press, 2000.  Lovely.

Goodchild, Peter: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Shatter of Worlds.  Fromm International Publishing Corporation, 1985. Critical biography.

Grabau, Francis Donald: The Christ Bomb, The Gnostic Ring of Power, The Enchanted Bomb, and other writings. Wow.  The Christ Bomb is a full-scale complement to this work, beginning from an astrological perspective.

Hoebel, E. Adamson: The Cheyenne - Indians of the Great Plains.  Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1988 (2nd ed., from 1960).  A concise, sympathetic, and accurate description of the lifestyle of the Cheyenne, an especially noble tribe, which amply depicts their wisdom-filled social organization.

Joy, Bill: Why The Future Doesn't Need Us.  The cover article from the April, 2000 issue of Wired
magazine.  Available at:

Kaplan, Janet A.: Unexpected Journeys - The Art and Life of Remedios Varo.   Abbeville Press, 1988. Unique visionary art by a friend of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.  Varo ran with the wolves and painted with the angels; Mexican art of a different order altogether: the delicate aspect of its artistic and spiritual sensibilities perhaps the influence of the resurrected Aztec goddess.

Keen, Benjamin: The Aztec Image in Western Thought.   Rutgers U. Press, 1971.  Fascinating portraits and documentation of the volatile perception of Aztec reality and how it would shift as it reflected trends and fads in European politics, culture, and philosophy. It seems that the history of the subject has been that the amount of speculation has been in inverse proportion to the amount of information available, careening between rational reduction and romantic projection. Puts current ideologies and agendas of all kinds in a rather strange new light, even the most 'modern.' Many citations of the once-common theme that the apostle St. Thomas was Quetzalcoatl.

Keyserlingk, Adalbert von, ed.: The Birth of a New Agriculture - Koberwitz 1924.  Temple Lodge, 1999 (from 1974). Contents of private conversations between Johanna von Keyserlingk and Rudolf Steiner regarding divine feminine elements within the Earth.

Kurzweil, Ray: The Age of Spiritual Machines.  Penguin Books, 1999.  Scary stuff by one who wants to take us there.

Lafeye, Jacque: Quetzalcoatl and Guadalupe.   University of Chicago Press, 1976.   Subtitled 'The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness 1531 - 1813', this book covers much the same ground and data as Poole's, but with a wonderfully original and imaginative scholarship.   A great read.   

McCarthy, Cormac: Blood Meridian. Random House, 1985 (now from Vintage International, 1992). A novel; a literary tour-de-force.   Violent depths beyond the ken of the usurpers erupt into the psyches and lives of western wanderers.   Beauty and terror beyond the scale of the human make the landscape the main character.  Nobel Prize material.  More from Mr. McCarthy:
    "They rode in a narrow enfilade along a trail strewn with the dry round turds of goats and they rode with their faces averted from the rock wall and the bake-oven air which it rebated, the slant black shapes of the mounted men stenciled across the stone with a definition austere and implacable like shapes capable of violating their covenant with the flesh that authored them and continuing autonomous across the naked rock without preference to sun or man or god,"  p. 139.

McFadden, Steven: Legend of the Rainbow Warriors.  Chiron Communications, 2001.  Many Native American wisdom stories woven into a healing vision.

Malmstrom, Vincent H.: Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon.  U. of Texas Press, Austin, 1997. Potentially revolutionary work placing the origins of Olmec civilization not in Veracruz, but in the Izapan coastal area, with profound implications for the Mystery-Tradition origins suggested by the Izapa stela #3 and Steiner's suggestions.

Milbrath, Susan: Star Gods of the Maya - Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars.  U. of Texas Press, 1999.  References to Star Wars.

Ortiz, Alfonso: The Tewa World - Space, Time, Being, and Becoming in a Pueblo Society.  U. of Chicago Press, 1969.

Ovason, David: The Secret Architecture of the Nature's Capitol.  HarperCollins, 1999.

Owens, Bill: Suburbia.  One of the scariest books in this Bibliography.  Photoessay on the American Dream realized.  Straight Arrow Press, 1973

Pasztory, Esther: Teotihuacan - An Experiment in Living.   Oklahoma U. Press, 1997.  The most thorough treatment of Teotihuacan.    Develops central mother-goddess motif in archeological context.   Much essential data.

Pasztory, Esther: Aztec Art.   U. of Oklahoma Press, 1998 (from Abrams, 1983).  More here in one place than anywhere else.

Pfeiffer, Dr. Ehrenfried: Notes and Lectures - Compendium I.  Mercury Press, 1991.

Poole, Stafford, C. M: Our Lady of Guadalupe - The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531 - 1797.   University of Arizona Press, 1995.  The initial debunking research into the Guadalupe phenomenon. Alms receipt logs from 16th-century chapels, diaries of missionaries, thorough record of the evolution of the mythos in the historical evidence, etc., as reflecting on the state of devotions at the time.  Raises many serious questions for the believer: on the face of it, the facts seem to disprove the truth of the phenomenon.

Powell, Robert A.: Chronicle of the Living Christ.  Anthroposophic Press, 1996.

Rochfort, Desmond: Mexican Muralists - Oroxco, Rivera, Siqueiros.  Chronicle Books, 1993.

Schele, Linda and Freidel, David: A Forest of Kings - The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. Quill 1990.  Translated inscriptions interpreted by informed and imaginative researchers sympathetic to Maya culture and spirituality.  Notes on "Star Wars."

Steiner, Rudolf: Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy, GA 204.  Lectures from 1921. Anthroposophic Press.  Lecture 14 of May 13 has remarkable predictions extending into the eighth millenium concerning the ominous development of technology and the appearance of other helpful forms of life.  Initial forms of both phenomona can be seen already: the WWW of an asuric Spider-Woman?

Steiner, Rudolf: Inner Impulses in Evolution, GA 171.  Especially lectures of Sept. 18 & 24, 1916, Dornach.  Anthroposophic Press, 1984.  The starting point for indications on Vitzliputzli and the "Mexican Mysteries" according to spiritual insight: relatively brief and perplexing, but capable of stimulating profound insights if worked with.   The English edition contains seven lectures, from Sept. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, and Oct. 1, 1916.  The German edition of GA 171 contains additional lectures from Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 7, 14, 15, 21, 28, 29, and 30, 1916: this group is entitled Goethe and the Crisis of the Nineteenth Century.  An additional lecture from Dec. 10, 1916 is also grouped with GA 171, although it appears as part of The Problem of Faust, GA 273.  No mention is made in the English edition of the abridgements and associated material. Online at:

Steiner, Rudolf: Karmic Relationships, Vol. II, GA 236.  Rudolf Steiner Press, 1974 (from 1924). The lecture from May 29, mentions Mexican culture and the god Quetzalcoatl in connection with Eliphas Levi, and "a curious man" who might possibly have been Eduard Seler. 

Steiner, Rudolf: The Fifth Gospel; GA 148.  Rudolf Steiner Press, 1995 (from 1913).  Prior to the Baptism in the Jordan, the initiate Jesus contemplates the wholesale corruption and impotence of all existing mystery streams.    How is one to place those of America in this process?  Many observations on spiritual-religious evo/devo-lution.

Steiner, Rudolf: The Karma of Untruthfulness, Vol. I, GA 173. lecture 8, Dec. 21, 1916.  Rudolf Steiner Press, 1988

Steiner, Rudolf: Agriculture, GA 327, lectures from 1924, Koberwitz.  Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, 1993.

Steiner, Rudolf: Concerning Electricity. Lecture of Jan. 28, 1923, Dornach. From The Anthroposophical Newsheet # 23/24, June 1940.  Extract from unrevised stenographic notes, emphasis in the original.  Scanned to digital format version available on request.

Steiner, Rudolf: The Etherization of the Blood, lecture from GA 130 (as included in Steiner's The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric, AP Press, 1983, and elsewhere). Steiner's most succinct exposition of the relationship of the higher ethers and subnatural forces.

Steiner, Rudolf: Youth's Search in Nature, GA 217a, Mercury Press, 1984, aka: "Address to the Young People" (given at the Koberwitz Agriculture Course in 1924): "May the words of this address by Rudolf Steiner become active in your hearts: 'There is something more to it than the mere forging of Michael's Sword.   It is a fact that in the occult regions of the earth what is prepared by the forging of Michael's Sword is carried to a subterranean altar in the process - to an Altar which is invisible and which really exists beneath the earth.
'To become acquainted with nature-forces under the earth, to get to know the divine beings working in nature leads to an understanding of the fact that the Michael Sword, in the process of being forged, is really carried to an Altar under the earth. The dead take part in this. It has to be found by sensitive souls....'
"These words were spoken to the young people because it is they who have forces for the future, impulses which penetrate into the soul and at the same time into the interior of the earth....  It is not head forces but heart-forces fructified from the depths which will be able to lead us out of the present crisis...."
 "...Holderlin...knows the Christ in the depths.   So he does not rise up to the stars as other dead people do.  No, he prefers to penetrate to the depths to the Sun Being at the center of the earth.
"...Then this land will rise up to us and man will bind himself to a new world day in the light of the sun, when he sets free from their enchantment the spirits of the elements who have darkened his vision and rendered the earth solid and opaque...."

"Steiner...said: 'Yes, if you want to sink vertically into the depths, you will reach the centre of the earth, and it is of gold.   Faust also stamps with key in hand and sinks into the depths, into the realm of the Mothers.' "

Stewart, R. J.: The Underworld Initiation.   Mercury Publishing, 1998 (from Aquarian Press, 1985). "This stimulating and important study provides evidence for a potent transformative tradition within the esoteric consciousness of the West. "Drawing on material from hitherto disregarded sources, Bob Stewart reconstructs the key to a true understanding of Western esoteric lore, suggesting that the bulk of so-called Western occultism is an intellectual fabrication deriving mainly from nineteenth-century sources.
"The authentic magical tradition of the West, the author claims, is concerned with the UnderWorld Initiation, a powerful system of altering consciousness in a dynamic and far-reaching manner, the central symbols of which survive in songs and ballads whose roots are in the Celtic or pre-Celtic past."   - from the back cover. Direct, experiential access to transpersonal realms by one who knows that 'the map is not the territory'; magic without claptrap.  Has excellent article by Caitlin Matthews: "The Rosicrucian Vault as Sepulchre and Wedding Chamber" not included in the later Mercury Publishing edition.

Taube, Karl A.: The Teotihuacan Spider Woman.  Journal of Latin American Lore 9, no. 2, 1983.

Taube, Karl A.: The Teotihuacan Cave of Origin.  RES, 12

Todorov, Tzvetan: The Conquest of America - The Question of the Other.  U. of Oklahoma Press, 1999 (from Harper & Row, 1984, and the original French edition of 1982.).  He has a brilliant and most relevant observation on the different ways in which Mesoamerican and European cultures handled social stresses: Mesoamerican attempted to transform them through sacrifice and hence was a sacrifice-culture.  Europe attempted to subdue them through wars of obliteration and hence was a massacre-society.  This is totally congruent with my view of the different ways in which the two cultures handled the explosive nature of the Double.

Tomberg, Valentine: Meditations on the Tarot.  Element Classic Editions, 1993 (author given as anonymous). An attempt to integrate white magic into the anthroposophical-hermetic stream and to initiate a rapprochement with the Catholic Church, among many other things. The first five chapters are an excellent precis of the praxis of 'Manichean shamanism'.

Tompkins, Ptolomy: This Tree Grows Out of Hell - Mesoamerica and the Search for the Magical Body. Harper SanFrancisco, 1990.  Splendid imaginative investigation of the inner nature of mesoamerican spirituality, coincident with modern archeological scholarship. "Several readers of this book in manuscript have expressed puzzlement at the title.  What exactly do I mean when I say this tree, and what sort of hell am I claiming it to grow out of?  Though the word predates Christianity, for most people "Hell" conjures up a specifically Christian place, and I perhaps would have been wiser to use a Native American term for the underworld such as the Mayan "Xibalba" or the Aztec "Mictlan."  Neither of these roll off the tongue with the ease that "Hell" does, however, so for the sake of esthetics I decided to stay with this term despite its heavy Christian connotations. The tree of the title is a general reference to the world tree, or axis mundi, which, throughout Mesoamerica and the ancient world in general, served as one of the most popular ciphers for designating the universe.  The lore of the world tree is extensive, and there are any number of possible explanations for this analogy.  For my purposes, however, one stood out in particular: trees are living organisms comprised of three separate yet intimately connected parts.  Even without a sophisticated knowledge of the complex chemical interplay carried on via the capillaries of the trunk between the roots buried in the ground and the branches and leaves that spread out far above them, it must have been clear to the early human observer that each of a tree's three general areas somehow needed the others in order for the whole to continue to flourish.  Likewise, the tripartite world of over-, middle-, and underworld, which together comprised the universe of the ancient Mesoamerican and which the image of the tree so admirably stood for, demanded a similar situation of continuous fruitful interaction.
    As I try to show in the following pages, many of the disasters that beset Mesoamerican civilization throughout the centuries of its growth can be understood as resulting from breakdown in this system of constant circulation and interpenetration.  Like the invisible matrix of roots that feed nutrients to a tree's trunk and branches in exchange for the fruits of photosynthesis, the labyrinthian underworlds of the Mesoamerican cosmos held powerful spiritual forces without which the middle world of mortals and the upper "angelic" realms to which the souls of those mortals ultimately aspired could not long function properly.  Modern psychological theory is thinking in similar terms when it suggests that the psyche is itself comprised of three or more generalized areas or levels.  The "lower" regions of the psyche are described in many models as being dark and initially unappealing, yet it is generally agreed that these regions must nevertheless be courted and addressed openly if real psychic growth is to take place. It was out of an appreciation for this ancient and variously stated belief that, both in the micrososm of the human psyche and the macrocosm of the universe itself, what grows toward the light does so through and by means of the darkness that I arrived at teheformulation of my title - this tree grows out of hell.

- Ptolomy Tompkins: A Note on the Title.

Trevor-Roper, Hugh (ed.): Hitler's Table Talk - 1941-1944.  Enigma Books, 2000 (from 1953).

Weber, David J.: The Spanish Frontier in North America, Yale U. Press, 1992.

de Zengotita, Thomas: The Numbing of the American Mind.  Harper's Magazine essay, April, 2002. The header quote is from Nietzche:  "...the massive influx of impressions is so great; surprising, barbaric, and violent things press so overpoweringly - "balled up into hideous clumps" - in the youthful soul; that it can save itself only by taking recourse in premeditated stupidity."  Zengotita: "Everything is firing message modules, straight for you taste buds, your vanities, your fears. A second of your attention is all they ask."

© 2003 Stephen Clarke