The New Eve of Guadalupe

The New Eve of Guadelupe

This red-headed goddess is currently The New Eve of Guadalupe, but she started life in June 2007 as Madonna Finds Her Voice. At that time, I was opening to the idea that the demure, blue-cloaked Mary needed perhaps to speak up a bit and tell us her story. So I envisioned a Madonna image looking straight at the camera with her throat bursting open with color. And then I painted her. She was indeed looking straight at the camera, but she was much more vibrant than I initially planned. All parts of her came alive with the henna tattoos and bright orange hair. And I realized that all parts of me were opening and coming alive and trying to be sorted out into this my fourth decade, so she became Midlife Madonna. (Oddly enough, at this time I hadn’t yet painted the tattoos on her throat. Everywhere else, but not her throat.)

And then came the gold and yellow background and I thought, “Aha! The Virgin de Guadalupe has entered the picture!” This really excited me because, having been raised Catholic and being a lover of Mexican art, the Virgin de Guadalupe makes my heart open with just one look. So, could this beauty have another name? Midlife Virgin became her new tag, both because its double entendre cracked me up and because I truly did feel like a newcomer to this midlife adventure.

Then a few months later the snake came into being and thus, the Eve aspect of the image. I realized then that this wasn’t one goddess, one image, or one aspect of my midlife development. Rather, it was the Sacred Feminine that has been carried through all ages and images and forms even when silenced like the Madonna, or reinvented like the Virgin de Guadalupe, or shamed like Eve. And since we, the image and me, were trying to unfold the multitude of forces at work within me and embrace the colorful, vibrant, empowered Sacred Feminine, she became The New Eve of Guadalupe.

With that wonderful awareness now part of me, I hung her on the wall and considered her complete for the time being and went onto other things. And in March of 2010 (yes, two and a half years later) I looked at her and thought, “Why in heaven’s name does she have tattoos everywhere on her EXCEPT for her throat?” So I pulled her off the wall and painted the tattoos on her throat. FINALLY the initial bursting open of Madonna Finds Her Voice manifested. Add to that the rewriting of the story of Adam and Eve, the shedding of shame and the embracing of love, and Midlife Madonna is on her way leaving Midlife Virgin behind. Eve is left to speak and act and shift history and the Virgin de Guadalupe stands firm as the loving force and sacred portal to hold the space for her. I can feel it all in the image and writing, this evolution of the Sacred Feminine and of my journey!

The original piece is 24 x 48″, oil on canvas with an apple necklace and beads attached. Completed 2007. Original is not for sale, but images may be purchased at Fine Art America or RedBubble.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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