Myths are the jewels that keep our lives moving and evolving. They are the jewels that give meaning and direction to our human journeys. It is up to us to give meaning to every story that has been told and preserved throughout time, for these stories are meant to teach us something about ourselves, our past, present and future, our human condition and our evolution.
In the winter season, we move into darkness and heaviness. Everything slows down, even our digestive system. In many ancient cultures there have been symbols that represent this darkness and the journey inward. Some cultures built stone pyramids to align with the sun at specific times. Some performed sacred rituals and offerings to the sun to ensure it would return the next day. The Santa Claus myth may have come from the first Shamans who were of pagan origin and were said to climb high into the upper worlds and return with gifts of wisdom and prophecies (When Santa Was a Shaman, by Tony Van Retergherm)
In Mexico we have a mythological figure that, to me, represented this journey inward. She is called La Llorona, the weeping woman. Growing up, I became both, enchanted and afraid of this mythological symbol of La Llorona. I was told by people around me that La Llorona came out at night from the river she lived in, looking for the children she let go of one day, aching for their absence. For us, as children, she was like the boogey woman who would come to us at night if we misbehaved. I had a fascination with her. For me she was the embodiment of strength, the strength of the earth, but also the darkness, the human shadows that everyone was afraid to confront.
The way I see it today is that La Llorona is the personification of the underworld, the other aspect of our multidimensional being, our deepest shadows. The children she yearns for represent her enlightenment, her flowers, her gifts, her light and innocence that can balance her world and free her from pain and ignorance. She battles her own demons, and, unafraid of the journey, she ventures into many worlds where she is feared, unwelcome, judged and even abused and terrorized. Nonetheless, she remains true to her path and because of this, she becomes a true warrior. The flowing river is the representation of the waters she goes back to over and over, again, for water cleanses her soul and she will not be satisfied until she is completely cleansed and her children found.
I believe all the warrior women I know are on that same journey. They are in the process of awakening, of reclaiming their strength, wisdom, and finding their flowers to give to the world their much needed gifts. I bow to them and their strength, as well as to their resilience and the beauty of their amazing spirits. Together, we remind each other that we are not alone on our path, and that we are free to dance under the moon, to cry by the river, to laugh and love under the sun, to live our own lives as we want and must. La Llorona is the representation of the warrior woman, the desolate woman, the misunderstood woman, who, in spite of all, keeps searching until she can rise and free herself from the veils of ignorance.
The warrior woman becomes true to her values. Overcoming all obstacles she builds the world that will keep her empowered and connected to Spirit. This, I believe, is the woman of today who will not stop until she has created the world she yearns for, a world where she is connected to her true essence, untamed, unashamed, respected, aligned with her highest self and supportive of others who are on the same journey.
La Llorona, and many other myths, intends to bring us back to our innate power and instinctual feminine self, which is wild, feminine, sensual, soft, wise, and fearless. Just like the winter is telling us something in the universe is shifting and the earth is spinning, we must allow ourselves to go inward and to listen. A walk in nature, a gentle and mindful yoga practice, or a limpia ritual with flower and candles may be just what we need in one dark winter night to wake up to another person, with a different mood and emotions, our intuition more awaken. Perhaps we will feel more aligned, more creative, our wisdom awakening as we begin to hear the cries of la Llorona who weeps for her gifts to come forth.