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Lillian Comas

Lillian Comas

As a psychologist, healer, and writer Lillian Comas is interested in spirituality, feminism, and multiculturalism.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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    "Why is the ceiba sacred?"  I learned in school that the ceiba pentandra was Puerto Rico's official national tree.  Mrs. Flores, my elementary school teacher, explained that the Taínos, the island's Native Indigenous habitants, considered the ceiba a sacred tree. 

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"Let's not forget our Taíno culture, " Abuela Antonia said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Guabancex gets angry when we forget our Taíno ancient ways.  You don't want to provoke Guabancex," Abuela said in a strident voice.

I swallowed hard.  My six-year old brain did not understand.  "Who is Guabancex?"

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Jamie: Thank you so much for your question. You are right. There is a Puerto Rican legend about a Taino goddess who fell in
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms Comas, Where I come from, in the hill towns of northeastern Connecticut, frogs are considered a sort of symbol of local identi
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms Comas, Thank you so much for sharing the god-lore of traditional Puerto Rican spirituality with us. I always enjoy your posts.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Jamie: Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your comments regarding the Puerto Rican spirituality. Best wishe

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  "She is dark," I whispered when I first saw our Lady of Guadalupe at the Ponce Cathedral.

   "Yes, she is morena and small.  This is why she is called La Morenita (little dark skinned female)."  Abuela continued: "Most of the Virgins are blond, blue eyed, and white.  But La Morenita is all-powerful."

  I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday.  I was nine years old when I first encountered La Guadalupe.  I traveled with Abuela from my hometown Yabucoa, a small town on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, to Ponce, the island's second major city.  We were going to visit Abuela's relatives. 

  "First things first, " Abuela announced when we arrived. "We will go the Ponce Cathedral to pay our respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe."

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    This is exquisite - thank you for the gift of this column.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Lizann: Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate them.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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      "I have a surprise for you," my paternal Abuela Petra said with a broad smile.  She pulled a set of cards out of her purse and placed it in my hands.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

 

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Huracán was the supreme Taíno god, said Mr. Colón, my history teacher.

As a ten-year-old student, I did not control my enthusiasm:

No, I replied, it was Atabeyra.

What! Mr. Colón shouted, as he hit his desk with a ruler. 

Silence crept into the room like a mouse during siesta time.  

Every child in class seemed to stop breathing.  Suddenly, I felt my face turning red. 

Ruler in hand, Mr. Colón slowly walked toward my seat: What, he repeated as he reached me.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Ms. Comas, Thanks for sharing this! Your grandmother did a great service to the gods, and all her people.
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Thank you so much, Jamie: I sincerely appreciate your comment.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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"You don't know what Día de los Muertos really is until you witness it in Mexico," my friend Nelly said.  "Day of the Dead is a celebration of life, not a mourning of death," she added.

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      "A goddess!" I exclaimed, as I approached a large rounded feminine figure in the National Museum of Ethiopia.

      "No!" A man's voice echoed throughout the room.

   When he noticed people's glances upon him, the museum guide lowered his voice: "That piece is a very, very old", he said hesitantly.  "It is pagan.  She comes from the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group here in Ethiopia."

   I could not peel my eyes off the figure.  The unexpected discovery piqued my interest.

  "Does she have a name?" I asked hopefully.

   Instead of answering my question, the guide told me about Ethiopia's most famous woman:

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