From ancient Mexico 

  

“Hail to our mother, who caused the yellow flowers to blossom, who scattered the seeds of the maguey, as she came forth from Paradise.

Hail to our mother, who poured forth flowers in abundance, who scattered the seeds of the maguey, as she came forth from Paradise.

Hail to our mother, who caused the yellow flowers to blossom, she who scattered the seeds of the maguey, as she came forth from Paradise.

Hail to our mother, who poured forth white flowers in abundance, who scattered the seeds of the maguey, as she came forth from Paradise.

Hail to the goddess who shines in the thorn bush like a bright butterfly.

Ho! she is our mother, goddess of the earth, she supplies food in the desert to the wild beasts, and causes them to live.

Thus, thus, you see her to be an ever-fresh model of liberality toward all flesh.

And as you see the goddess of the earth do to the wild beasts, so also does she toward the green herbs and the fishes.”

  

The goddess to whom this hymn is devoted was called Teleoinan, the Mother of the Gods, Toçi, our Mother (maternal ancestor), and also by another name which signified “the Heart of the Earth,” the latter being bestowed upon her, says Duran, because she was believed to be the cause of earthquakes. 

   
Her general functions were those of a genius of fertility, extending both to the vegetable and the animal world. Thus, she was the patroness of the native midwives and of women in childbirth (Sahagun). Her chief temple at Tepeyacac was one of the most renowned in ancient Mexico, and it was a felicitous idea of the early missionaries to have “Our Lady of Guadalupe” make her appearance on the immediate site of this ancient fane already celebrated as the place of worship of the older female deity. The Codex Ramirez makes her a daughter of the first King of Culhuacan.



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