The sacred feminine in Mexico’s Neopagan women’s circles
Three decades ago in Mexico, spirituality was feminized in a process scholars have referred to as Neomexicanidad (Neomexicanism), a hybrid creation that reinterprets the religious syncretism of indigenous Catholicism from a New Age perspective. The first of the Neomexicanidad movements followed the publication of a novel telling a mythical tale of a real-life woman named Regina, who is depicted as both a Tibetan Dakini and a reincarnation of Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor. Since then, women have joined circles (known as “Reginas”) to discover the sacred aspects of their own femininity. Today Regina circles can be found in different countries across the world, including Spain and Japan. This chapter explores the ritual activities that recover the sacred aspects of nature, social ties, and women’s role in the coming of the New Age. In Mexico, this is referred to as the “awakening of the sleeping woman,” symbolized in the Iztaccíhuatl volcano. Besides allowing women to develop a sense of their sacred selves, women’s circles have also created a marketplace of products and “professional” services with their own accreditation methods. Cultural industries (self-help and complementary health publishers), alternative therapy circuits, and even novel money-making schemes that draw on feminine solidarity (the “Flower of Abundance”) all come into play in this marketplace of multiple services focused on holistic wellbeing for women.