Wednesday, October 21, 2009

La Danza de La Pluma

Dancers dancing in the plaza in front of the church in Teotitlan

Closer view of dancers.
Linda's (la malinche) family and support group with beer and fruit to give away at the dance.

The Danza de la Pluma in Teotitlan for the Virgin of
Guadelupe started with a 6:30 AM mass for the Dancers and their families in Teotitlan's beautiful church on December 12. After weeks of preparation the Dancers themselves appeared in the streets around 2:30. They and their extended families went to the church yard where a dance space had been created. Seating around the area went to the support groups, women in the front rows and men in the back rows. All five sections of Teotitlan were represented by one or more dancers. The Danza de la Pluma started at 3 PM in the afternoon. They danced for about 5 hours with very few breaks, dancing in their costumes with tall, round feathered headdresses, scarves and Virgin of Guadelupe capes. I was there to support Linda, Lichita and Ismael's 10 year old daughter, who danced one of the 2 Malinches. She danced the Native part. The other Malinche is dressed in a 16th century Spanish costume. The Danzantes finished their 3 year commitment to this Dance. It seemed somewhat emotional, being the end of their commitment. They are featured in a film on sale at the Museum in Teotitlan, made by some film makers from Santa Fe who filmed them 3 years ago, at the beginning of the cycle. I was there then too as a part of Linda's family.

After the Plumed Dancers finished dancing, their wives and mothers and fathers danced the Jarabe del Valle with jicapetxles filled with various candies..some are made in molds in Teotitlan-- white with red flowers on sticks. After these dances the five groups danced other jicapetxles and threw out sweets and fruit to the growing pueblo audience. Various parts of the ceremony took place with people dancing in a previously decided order called by a master of ceremonies.

The family I was with finally danced at 4:30 AM.
Around midnight I slipped away after seeing various other friends in the church yard. At 4:30 AM I was sound asleep at Tito and Ale´s little adobe house on the edge of town. Reina and Piti Mendoza--Tito´s sisters gave me atole and tamales. That family was there to support another dancer.

Last night( Dec 29) the Teotitecas brought their beautiful costumbres (customs) to the Oaxaca Zocalo. I met up with my friends from there and other places to watch them make a calenda (religious parade) around the Zocalo and then dance--the Danza de la Pluma and the Jarabe del Valle again. The Danza de la Pluma group was the same that had just completed their 3 year term. It was wonderful to see them one more time. Linda danced well. Afterwards the Dancers were being photographed with friends and tourists in their costumes. They were the stars.

I was grinning ear to ear through the whole thing. Finally my friend Alicia (Linda's grandmother) and I were dancing the Jarabe together with others as the dance became public.

El Dia de la Revolucion (post Nov 11)

Mexico I, 1995--gouache painting by Mitzi Linn

This painting is in recognition of the Zapatista uprising on Jan 1 1994. I was in Oaxaca about to go to San Cristobal, Chiapas to see friends. Well, I couldn´t go, as the government of Mexico was bombing the mountains around San Cristobal and the Pan American Highway was closed. I went a year later. Today in Oaxaca there is a big demonstration by the teachers, the Popular Assembly and many others against the policies of the state and federal government. This goes along with the annual celebration of the 1910 revolution in Mexico.

Still, since the violence of 2006 when Federal and State troops attacked peaceful demonstrations by the teachers and others, the most recent uprisings are not distant, romantic history. In the painting an indigenous woman from Chiapas is looking out, wondering what will happen in Mexico in her lifetime. Perhaps she is one of the Zapatistas or one of the many indigenous pueblo people looking to regain power that the Spanish took 500 years ago. Vamos a ver!

My visit to San Cristobal de las Casas ( post Nov 20)

Kiki and Gabriel Suarez, in front of their gallery and restaurant
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, has changed substantially since my last visit in 2000. There are pedestrian streets which are used by everyone. Buildings in el centro too are painted bright colors giving it a festive feeling. I lucked out and had 4 days of sunshine and though I didn´t make it out to Chamula because I also had a cold, I did walk the back streets some too, with Kiki on her way to her therapy office. I was so happy to be with her again. She and Gabriel and family are doing well with their various galeries, restaurants etc. You can check out Kiki´s work at Gabriel too is a really fine wildlife photographer. Check out his stunning photos
Kiki was diagnosed last year with an eye disease that reduces her sight to tunnel vision. Still she continues painting, photographing, writing and all her other myriad of activities.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oaxaca for the Day of the Dead

I made this little painting in response to seeing a woman from the Istmus of Tehuantepec selling sugar figures of Tehuanas for transplanted Istmenos' altars at the local market. The vendor indicated that the figures were only for sale to people from the Istmus. The female figure here is in full costume of the Tehuanas with their beautiful embroideried blouses and skirts.
I called it "Frida and Diego Return" since Frida often dressed in Tehuana blouses. I could imagine them posing in this traditional manner, man standing with his hand on the seated woman's shoulder. Behind the figures is a house altar complete with marigold petals making a path for the departed from the cemetery to the home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcoming the Dead in Oaxaca

"Musicos del Campo Santo" (The Grateful Dead??) bring the departed ones out of the cemetery and into our lives every November 1 and 2.

Combining both the US and Mexican culture you might notice Jerry Garcia's tombstone and the Dead on top of "Further", the Merry Pranksters old bus.
I made this painting the year Jerry Garcia died.
"Amor Sin Palabras", the bus ran from Teotitlan to Oaxaca. This combination magical bus is tearing out of the graveyard full of musicians tombs. A nod here to my roots as a hippy dancing to the Dead at the Fillmore West before they were famous. Later, going to Mexico, and spending hours riding on "Amor Sin Palabras." (Love without words)--exactly my feelings those first years discovering myself and Oaxaca.

These paintings represent the party aspect of the Day of the Dead. The holy days celebrate several different things. One aspect is honoring and connecting with the ancestors, or the family members who have gone on. Families gather to eat and drink and party-- either in the cemetery or in the home, or both. The living commune with the departed. It is also a harvest fiesta with altars loaded with food, flowers and drinks. And a link to Hallowmas, the old European pagan holy day on Oct 31.

Some people go out to party and celebrate in public with friends. Going out usually includes dancing so we have some images of dancers. The first is a self portrait called "She returns to Rhumba" a nod to my nights at El Sol y La Luna, La Candela, y mas when I happily danced to Cuban music.

The next is a collage called "Frida's Salsa" a word play here on the dance and the sauce. The dancing skeletons are from the Spanish tradition, not the Native American tradition. 'Calacas' or skeletons have been used in political art also, criticizing the local politicians, or national ones. They are playful, making fun of what many people see as something serious--life and death.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Celebrating the Day of the Dead in Teotitlan del Valle

The Montano family gathers on the Day of the Dead. In this older photo various members hang out with their compadres from Mexico City. They decorated their restaurant El Descanso for Halloween that year.

On November 1 various tasks must be accomplished before nightfall. Clean the house, make a house altar and foods such as tamales. Part of the family goes to the "campo santo" (cemetery) to clean and decorate the graves. In this photo flowers, candles, food etc were loaded in the back of their pick up, along with Troy the dog, to go to the "panteon" to visit the dead. The departed souls are invited to return to their old homes when the church bell rings at 3 pm. I went to clean and decorate Karen Turtle's tiny grave and invite her to return too.

Karen(an American) was like a family member of the Montanos, and a very close friend of mine. She died unexpectedly in 1992. After her funeral and cremation in Oaxaca, Edmundo got permission to bury her ashes in this Zapotec pueblo. Karen always wanted to live in one of these pueblos and had longtime friendships in Teotitlan, San Martin Tilcajete, and Arrasola. All her friends from these towns wanted her ashes for their town panteon.

I enjoyed decorating Karen's grave for a number of years. The Montanos also consider me one of their family members so spending the Day of the Dead with them has been a great pleasure. Once, Fidel and Mari and I went to the local mill to have the cacao beans, cinnamon and all ground together into chocolate after cleaning the house. Here is a photo of Karen's grave in 1992. I loved being able to make her little tomb a work of art.

A few years ago another person was buried in the same plot. The cross with her name is still there too, behind the new tomb. The man buried there was a close friend of hers and the plot probably belonged to his family when she borrowed the tomb. Teotitecas are practical people.

In this photo Alicia's mother Viviana is cleaning the family plot. Since the photo was taken, Viviana joined the family members resting in this beautiful sacred ground.

As evening arrives the family gathers in their living room in front of the house altar. Here various members wait to greet visitors who come and go thoughout the night. Teotitecas don't go to the graveyard for the night.

One of the first couples to visit stand in front of the altar, having lit a large white candle, and put their offerings of bread and chocolate on the altar. They make a prayer in Zapotec. They came in, made the ceremonial handshake with everyone in line in the previous photo, saying "Shaa". After their prayers, Edmundo welcomed them and they took seats at the long table, men on one side, and women on the other. Then Edmundo started serving shots of mescal, beers, and soft drinks. The party had begun.

Conversations often take place in Zapotec but I enjoy just being present. Later, this couple will be given fruit, bread and chocolate before they leave for another compadres home.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

House Altar for Day of the Dead

Emilia Arroyo took this photo of me standing next to her beautiful home altar during my stay there in 1994.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Virgin of Guadelupe Appears for Day of the Dead

painting---copyright Mitzi Linn

In this Day of the Dead painting the Virgin reappears in a corn field where the unseen shaman/farmer is making a ceremony. A small pre hispanic diety is on the right, an incenser and candles on the left. The Virgin is encased in a grain of corn pollen and holding the Earth in her hands.

Day of the Dead Public Altars

Here's an altar I created with Vicky Ayers who I met while living in Oaxaca years ago. This altar honors migrant workers who died working in our fields and crossing the border between the US and Mexico. It is also dedicated to Cesar Chavez. On the right is a detail of the lower part of the altar. It was installed at Due Fine Arts in 1997 in conjunction with the annual show at Maude Kerns Gallery in Eugene, Oregon.
Below is an altar I created at Maude Kerns for the Day of Dead show in 2003. It is called "Pensando en La Muerte " and is dedicated to Oaxaca

Monday, October 5, 2009

Free to Sail Away

"Oasis (Number 1 )"--gouache painting by Mitzi Linn

My Boat

My boat,
the guru,
pointing towards a shore
I can only trust is there.
Glimpsing it rarely from this
Samsaric daydream
of conflicted thoughts
and feelings.

My boat,
the guru,
pure awareness
clear energy
empty of all desire
and remorse
free to sail
with no shore in sight.

copyright, Mitzi Linn

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Past Autumn Equinox

Photo taken at the Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, NM


Sunlight glitters through spider webs,
glistens in buzzing wings of insects,
glimmers in bird wings rising.

A breeze quakes the golden aspen tree.
The suchness of an autumn evening.

Shadows of winter cross my mind.
The dark, the damp, the cold.....

Meanwhile a shimmering light
occupies my eyes.

copyright Mitzi Linn

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Homage to Tara the Goddess

Taras Reclining gouache painting by Mitzi Linn

I was thinking about the huge reclining Buddhas carved from stone lying on their sides that are being excavated in Afganistan. (Related in size and history to the ones destroyed by the Taliban at Bamiyan)
That inspired this painting. The flowers are descending from the sky and the flowering mountain. (thanks to Martin Prechtel for the flowering mountain idea) The flowers refer to the white flowers that appear on Cazahuate trees all over the Oaxaca Valley at the end of the rainy season. Also they refer to the "Shower of Blessings", the results of a successful practice of a Tibetan Buddhist ceremony.

Tara Drawing by unknown artist

Like an old best friend Tara appears to guide and care for her devotees. Goddess of compassion, protector, saviour, and healer among other things. Tara is worshiped by Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus. She was/is also a Celtic goddess. I am most familiar with the Tibetan Tara, in her most common White, Green and Red embodiments. One mantra I use is
"Om Tare Tam So Ha".

Friday, July 31, 2009

Photographer Marcey Jacobsen 19ll-2009 (Homage)

Friends Marcey Jacobsen (left) and Kiki Suarez (right) at Hotel Casa Mexicana in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Taken during my last visit some years ago after lunch together. Remembering and honoring Marcey today and my two friends.

Photo by Marcey Jacobsen from the street outside her house and garden in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Marcey passed over on July 26, 2009. It was a privilege to know her.

You can find her photos of life in the highlands of Chiapas in her book called The Burden of Time published by Stanford University Press. I believe she lived in San Cristobal for at least 50 years, spending time in New York to earn money to support her life and photography.

She gave me this print and another as a reward for getting some developing trays to her during the early 90's. I put the large stainless steel trays in my suitcases to Oaxaca. A man I met in Oaxaca took them to Marcey in San Cristobal

link to nytimes blog with Marcey's photos and more information

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mitzi Linn's Annual Studio Sale

Gouache painting "Adam and Eve visit the Happy Angel Resort" copyright Mitzi Linn

Gouache Painting: " Womantrees Dancing: Divas" copyright Mitzi Linn

Gouache Painting "Oaxaca II--2004" copyright Mitzi Linn

Gouache Painting "Oaxacascape: Fiery Sunset" copyright Mitzi Linn

These paintings can be seen at my studio sale in Eugene, Oregon. Please email me at if you'd like more information about the sale or the paintings. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Gouache Painting--Waterwoman visits Sonoma

Deer (excerpt from longer poem)

I have become enamored with deer.
They cross the yard, eating willow leaves
and ground covers. The doe has shown her baby
once, awkwardly standing in the neighbors’
yard with them sitting in plastic white chairs.
The neighbors made no moves.
The old woman talked kindly while
throwing the doe apples. These neighbors fenced
a garden on the deers’ route. The sign
on the gate says “The Buck Stops Here”,

At Sugarloaf Park, in Sonoma, this spring,
I had an eight deer morning.
They graced my isolated campsite.
Only ears and antlers told of their presence
in tall grasses climbing above their shoulders,
green turning golden by early June.
I lay watching their private showing.
I loved them as much as I loved the trail horses
penned at the barn. I smiled at
does teaching their fawns to eat baled hay,
stacked behind the corral.

Loving deer brings joy and sorrow.
They are so quiet, graceful, beautiful......
Those lasting glimpses.
I struggle to accept their suffering, against which
Their grace and beauty offer no shield.

The part of me they speak to is the
One that never wants wilderness to end,
the One who never wants to have to grow up
and fit into the real world. The One
who always wants to disappear into the
shadows of the bay laurel
or backyard weeping-willow.
To be able to forage off the land,
Never be fenced in or out.
And live in perpetual summer.


At a potluck with friends last night Tina reminded me of the painting above. This summer housesitting again where the deer cross the yard daily, and having spent years seeing new fawns, the doe in the poem is at least the grandmother of the current ones that I see leading their tiny fawns through the break in the fence towards Gig and Ken's house where they lounge in the shade.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Bananaleaf Series

Gouache Painting The Bananaleaf Series: Magic Evening

This series started in the spring of 1993 in Oaxaca. Within the tropical landscape, inspired by the Oaxaca coast scenery, you find two faceless say that human beings are part of the earth herself. In other paintings in the series, the bodies are less discernible as female. Still, I value the feminine and the spiritual feminine and the rebirth of that energy in the last 40 + years. We need the nurturing of our Mother Earth and the point of view of feminism and deep ecology.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Blue Dakini

Gouache painting "The Blue Dakini" 1991

For the Yogi

The Dakini danced before his very eyes.
She danced inside him.
He became warm, then hot,
with a kind of passion,
to possess her
to dance with her
to connect with her
to make love to her.

The only way was to dance,
to become one with her
never-faltering energy.

Then, it was easy to let go
to not want
to not have to have
to not need.

Just be

Easter 1991, Oaxaca
From Chapbook "We put our bones together"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

From the Plaza (Gouache Painting)

The first image is my painting, evoking a grand old church, of which there are many in downtown Oaxaca. This one may be in some pueblo in the valley with the magical blue horse hanging out near an anthropomorphic urn with calla lillies. Actually, Templo Santo Domingo was the inspiration for this painting and others in the small group.

The second image (a postcard) is of dancers on the plaza in front of Templo Santo Domingo performing the Dance of the Pineapple. This dance comes from the tropical area of the state of Oaxaca around Tuxtepec. The beautiful young women wear huipiles (handwoven dresses) representing that area. This dance seems to represent young women's puberty dance--presenting themselves to the pueblo (people). The pineapple is the perfect symbol of the matriz.

Dancers gather to celebrate many things in downtown Oaxaca--sometimes for a public show and sometimes for private events, like marriages at Santo Domingo. Oaxaquenos enjoy the colorful folklorico presentations complete with traditional live music from local bands. It is common to see a group of young people practicing dances in El Llano Park. I love the dances, so energetic, sensual, entertaining, vibrant!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

La Alma de Oaxaca

Gouache Painting by Mitzi Linn "Oaxacascape: City Street"

I love the old adobe and green stone (cantara) architecture of Oaxaca's "El Centro". Living near Santo Domingo in 1988/89, and walking daily through the zocalo on my way to the market, I could see the natural hills and mountains surrounding the small city. I never thought of it as a "colonial city" though Cortes himself built a house there and one time I housesat one of the oldest houses in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca has grown dramatically since 1995. It is a world class tourist destination, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1990's. Many of the old buildings have been restored and some are now museums and libraries, as well as cultural centers. Pedestrian streets opened up. Now it is a "colonial city" in tourist brochures.

People from all over Mexico moved to Oaxaca too, increasing the local population in the valley to a million (or more) people. When I started living part time in Oaxaca in the late 80's, the population was under 200,000 in the valley. Then there were hardly any cars on the streets because credit to buy them was not available. Walking in the city was an intense pleasure. The blooming trees, the quiet neighborhoods.......

A small community of artists, musicians and creative types found each other at El Sol y La Luna restraurant for good food and drink, art exhibits and live music. Then we moved on to La Candela and Los Guajiros to dance to Cuban music. We met at art openings at La Mano Magica and Arte de Oaxaca. I felt a welcome part of this Oaxacan and international scene. It encouraged me to become an artist--the midlife choice that gave me a renewed appreciation of culture and creative expression.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Floral Textiles from Oaxaca

I am posting some examples of Oaxacan embroidery from a textile show several years ago in Oaxaca city. Now there is a textile museum which preserves the beautiful works of women and men artisans. An offering for springing into summer.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monte Alban--Sacred Ceremonial City

Gouache painting--Oaxacascape: Mercado below, Monte Alban above

Influenced by the Olmecs, the Zapotecs built Monte Alban(Danibaan in Zapotec) on a mountaintop near what is now the city of Oaxaca. Construction began in 500 BC. The site was abandoned around 800 AD. Monte Alban functioned as an inhabited sacred space for over 1000 years, at least 1500 years before the Aztecs came to power in 1200 AD in central Mexico. According to Marcus Winter, an INAH archaeologist who helped excavate it, Monte Alban was one of the first ceremonial cities built by any culture in Mesoamerica. The top of the mountain was leveled and pyramidal bases with temples on top were constructed on an immense flat plaza. They flattened the mountain top without draft animals, wheels or slaves-- an act of devotion to their pantheon of deities. From Oaxaca city you can look up and see the tree and stone walls of the North Temple Complex miles away.

Although Monte Alban wasn’t "discovered" by outsiders until the 20th century, the locals continued to use it as a ceremonial place after its abandonment between the 9th-11th century. Shamans, priests,kings, midwifes and commoners climbed the sacred mountain to make prayers and rituals on top of earth covered pyramids which looked like mounds. So, Monte Alban, while abandoned as a public ceremonial center, continued to be used as a revered, sacred space.

Linda Schele (The Mayan Cosmos) said that the Mayans destroyed their pyramids on purpose and covered them with earth when they abandoned their cities around 800 AD. It was their way of “closing” down these sacred, energy centers. I assume the Zapotecs did the same. Local farmers started planting corn in the old plazas. Danibaan seemed to return to nature. Hernando Cortez and his soldiers never saw the old city on the mountaintop.

Going to Oaxaca, where the archaic integrates with the modern, I finally discovered our continent’s ancient, pre-European civilizations. Standing on a pyramidal temple base at Monte Alban in 1982, I remembered the overgrown "Indian" mound I played on as a child in southern Indiana--it too was built around 500 BC. I intuitively understood their connection. It inspired me to dig into the mystery of our old cultures in the Americas.

excerpt from "Mi Querida Oaxaca" an unpublished manuscript by Mitzi Linn

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Prehispanic Dance Figure

Gouache painting "Zapotec Star Figure: the Pleiades"

This painting was inspired by a stone carving I found at a museum in Oaxaca. The carving was the figure with a sun/moon eclipse face on a block of stone. The figure looks like a dancer. I added the thunderbolt symbols to symbolize energy, and spirals representing stars.

A young Zapotec looked at it and told me that the figure represents the Pleiades, a star group really important to Mesoamerican cultures. The Zapotec culture at Oaxaca may have created the first Mesoamerican calendar.

I feel a connection to the Pleiades, that tiny kite formation that travels across the northern winter night sky.

Pleiades Fly Overhead (poem)

As if time itself has meaning
and space lies beyond it.
or, as if the brevity of a single breath
encompasses a moment of

Words distract the truth.
Freedom distills moments.
Divine liquor drops onto our
parched tongues.

Whether it is a god of suffering,
a compassionate mother of all beings,
or a flash of colliding angels,

Awestruck, dumb
Grace enters us,
The clear light.

Oaxaca, 1990

Pleiades has a 52 year cycle. The Sun, Moon, and Venusian calendars also come together every 52 years. 52 years is the “century” cycle of the old Mesoamerican calendars-- Zapotec, Toltec, Mayan, Aztec etc. A new cycle was celebrated every 52 years. The Pleiades is also tied to the annual agricultural cycles of Mesoamerican and Mediterranean Cultures)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Amor Sin Palabras

Gouache Painting--Oaxacascape : Turtles Rising

Amor Sin Palabras (poem)
(Love Without Words)


I am riding the bus called
“Amor Sin Palabras”
from Teotitlan to Oaxaca.
I’m seated alone,
the only guera.

Pueblo querido,
Wrapped in your rebozo
of loving-kindness,
Carrying your precious tlayudas,
Washed in the gold of sunset,
Delighted with the afternoon’s visit,
Full of gratitude for your friendships.
I ride in bliss,
Amor sin palabras.


You, shining as we see each other,
Talk with our hearts’ eyes,
Without fear or games.

copyright Mitzi Linn 2009

I always like the way buses are named in Mexico.
"Amor Sin Palabras" and another bus called "Amor de Unas Horas’"or
‘Love of a Few Hours’ ran between Oaxaca city and Teotitlan Del Valle
during the 1990's. The names came from titles of Columbian music hits,
the driver informed me. It was those late afternoon, sunset trips back to Oaxaca that inspired the gold/yellow skies that you see in my painting

Missing Oaxaca from the far north tonight!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Feathered (Plumed)Serpent

Gouache Painting. "The Feathered Serpent Climbs the Tree of Life--Daystars

Serpents, as symbols of wisdom and transformation, have been found in nearly all ancient cultures. Serpent-power refers to the kundalini energy said to lie sleeping at the base of the spine. It rises up the spine (the tree of life) usually through specific meditation practices or dance. The rising of the kundalini brings ecstatic awareness and enlightenment. Serpents are often identified with the feminine principle and call up the matriarchal roots of modern, patriarchal culture. In this painting the feathered serpent climbs the tree of life. This could symbolize ecstatic awareness.

In Mexico, the feathered serpent refers to the mythological and historical priest-king called Quetzalcoatl. He was a culture bringer, magician and said to be an enlightened being who was against harming others. At least one king held the title of the "the Quetzalcoatl" and it seems there were other emanations of Quetzalcoatl. It was probably a priesthood. One emanation is said to be buried at Tule, Oaxaca under the 2000 year old "Tule" tree--a tree of life.

Quetzalcoatl (the priest-king) was tricked by his brother, broke a taboo and had to leave his home at Tollan. He and his followers visited many parts of Mexico teaching people crafts, language, spiritual practices, and agriculture. In the Gulf of Mexico near Veracruz he sailed into the unknown and turned into the morning star. He predicted his return to the same place in the year 1 Reed....the year Cortes arrived. Many thought Cortes was Quetzalcoatl. That is why Cortes was welcomed at first.

Once in my travels while visiting Walpi (Hopi Mesa) where the serpent has important ritual significance, I was showing these images to my guide, a young woman. She said there is a Hopi prophecy--"when the feathered serpent climbs the tree of life,......" Before she could finish the statement another guide interrupted our conversation. I suppose it is secret information. I wonder if anyone can finish that sentence.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Aphrodite as the Mermaid

Gouache painting entitled "The New Mermaid"

Poem for Aphrodite

Borne of wind and spray
Lovely Aphrodite
Goddess of Tantra
Bringer of light

You left your freedom for another time
Mother of the Sea, and Eros.
We cannot listen at once
to all you say. Your sounds calm us
They transfix us in this world of
wind and spray.

We left the world of noisy machines
to listen to the insides of shells.
Your secrets reveal us to ourselves
We lie washed up, entangled
in what is and what we dream.

Washed up, about to take wing
You hold our hearts.
You give our spirits wings.

copyright Mitzi Linn, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Womantrees: Spring Exuberance

This gouache painting expresses the feelings I have seeing plants flowering and springing forth again, another year, another cycle. Let's join these Womentrees in their springtime dance.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Title: Little Blue Flying Horse by Pop Chalee --Native American artist-- painting on wall of the New Mexico Statehouse

I Ride a Windhorse Across the Sky of Change

An enormous full moon
demands I look up from headlights and
street crossings to acknowledge
our wild beginnings.

I see that our Animal ancestors paused
as they masked themselves as humans,
then stood on two legs to dance together,
no longer recognizable to themselves as Bear, Monkey,
Tiger, Coyote, Turtle, Deer, Snake, Horse, Bird......

They made an evolutionary leap of faith,
Were not able to take off their disguises,
nor return to walking on four legs or flying.

They are mourning their choice, their loss of
connection to the high, dry wild and wetland, forests,
no longer part of their lives.

They relate their stories to each other while dancing,
never stopping to remove their too human faces.
Perhaps the Creator no longer recognizes them,
as they no longer recognize themselves.

Now they dream of liberation through technology,
to move into outer space star worlds,
liberated from their earth animal nature,
encapsuled weightless in a spaceship box,
looking from control panels
into the blackness of passing stars.

The dance goes on and on.
Molecules freeze into passages of unwritten books.
We will only read the lines much later when
the remains of this civilization, this story,
lie buried beneath ash and earth.

Then, as before,
At the openings of dark earth tunnels,
under cliff outcroppings, shelters, past and future,
homecomers from that outer spacebox
will put on animal masks,
pick up the drum and dance Bear, Monkey, Snake
Bird, Coyote, Tiger, Deer, Horse
back from oblivion.

copyright Mitzi Linn, 1997

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coyote Woman's Passion

Gouache Painting: Pause in the Journey

"Follow the path your heart takes" was the advice given to Carlos Castaneda by Don Juan in The Teachings of Don Juan.

Coyote Woman and her contemporaries read the book while ingesting hallucinogenic substances. They followed Don Juan's advice and started journeys of self discovery, rejecting the materialist environment of the mainstream culture 40 plus years ago.

They created a counter culture within America--based on spiritual values of integrating heart, mind and spirit. Their search continues to experience transcendence within a grounded ideal of community and caring for others.

When you follow your hearts' path, your life will be full of a passion for living, for being awake and making everyday an enlightening journey of awareness, energy and love (compassion). Transcendence is the ultimate goal behind any passion, the source of all creativity.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tibetan New Year

Here's an old photo of Venerable Gyaltrul, Rinpoche initiating Kyote--Coyote Woman's longtime dog friend.
Rinpoche once mentioned that Kyote would be reborn as a human being--someone I would know.

It is Tibetan New Year, Losar, on Feb 25.
May all beings be free of suffering!
May all beings be happy--have the causes of happiness!
May the Tibetans be free to practice their religion and culture in Tibet without repression.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coyote Women Meet in the Zocalo

Painted in Oaxaca in 1993 for El Dia de los Muertos

It's afternoon, the Coyote Women gossip with the Feathered Serpent under a tree in the main square. What could they be talking about? Perhaps the up-coming Mardi Gras comparsa and fiesta that precedes Lent. But then again they could be laughing about their latest adventures or who they are meeting at Bar Jardin later. I can only speculate!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coyote Womans bouquet for Valentine's Day

Here's a little present for El Dia del Amor,
In Mexico, we celebrate all kinds of love,
not just romantic love. It is love that heals us.

The painting is of calla lillies in an ancient
anthropomorphic vase, like those found in
tombs of ancient Zapotecs.