Saturday, December 20, 2008

Virgin Territory

Friday a week ago, December 12, was the Festival Day of our Lady of Guadalupe. As part of the celebration, I was asked to read aloud a part of the book I'm writing, Virgin Territory. It's about moving to Mexico and discovering the heart and power of virginity.

The event took place at the Xaltemba Restaurant and Gallery. Juan Gonzales filmed the event for You can find some of the clips at the following link.

The ancient meaning of the Greek word translated virgin in the New Testament, didn't have anything to do with physiology. It didn't mean being chaste or physically untouched. Rather, being a virgin meant belonging to oneself. A virgin was someone who had authority, who was the author of her own experience because she was not defined by any human relationship. She was un-captured, intact, self-complete, whole, self-governed. Virginity was power.

While the book is the story of my own spiritual journey, I hope it conveys that everyone, man or woman, revolutionary or rebel, has an “inner virgin.” The spontaneity, liberty, autonomy and free expression The Virgin represents has stirred individuals and movements throughout history. Father Hidalgo raised Guadalupe's banner when Mexico declared its independence from Spain, and the Virgin of Czestochowa inspired Lech Walesa's Solidarity Movement. The image and ethos of The Virgin may be just what we need in our own revolutionary times of change and challenge.

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