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Mysteries of Ávila: La Soterraña

Mysteries of Ávila: La Soterraña

January 2020 · 3 min read · Ávila

Those of us who belong to that generation whose gaze, like the sun every sunset, goes to the mysterious waters of the sunset, there, in that sublime place of the Finisterre, where the pilgrim is symbolically reunited are his ancestors, we have always sung it in our corrosions and children's games.

Simple and its letter and unaware of its authentic meaning, the figure of the Virgen de la Cueva has always been associated with fertility rites, which turned rain into the seed of God the Father Heaven, who promptly fertilized her consort, Goddess Mother Earth.

Hence the prayer of the farmer, inherited from mythology, which claimed that of 'rain, rain, Virgin of the Cave', conveniently Christianized with the subsequent refrain: 'the angels sing, the clouds rise' and the subsequent ' Amen ', which generally in the neighborhood where I grew up, was replaced - who knows, if by the prevailing socialism in an eminently humble neighborhood, against which the papal and state powers mitigated to another side, considering it without law - by a curious gibberish , which said: 'a chupé, a chupé, I sat down.'

Actually, to talk about the Virgin of the Cave, also known as the Soterraña or the Underground, which is really what this word means, is to talk about those first manifestations of Celtic origin, which venerated Mother Earth under a female figure , of black color, whose sanctuaries used to be located in caves, which were, apart from these figurative life-generating Pisces Vesicas, places that possessed special qualities, due, mainly, to a phenomenon little studied and recognized by modern Science, as It is telurismo.

These images generally used to be accompanied by the legend ‘Virgine Pariturae’; that is to say, 'the Virgin who will give birth', a legend that was subsequently replaced by a sentence from the Song of Songs, of the wise King Solomon, in which the Sulamite or the Queen of Sheba, addressed the suspicious women of Jerusalem, telling them that: 'I am black, daughters of Jerusalem, but beautiful.'

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On many of these sanctuaries, Christianity built temples, taking advantage of the magnetism that such places aroused in the populations, eminently of agricultural origin, recreating those sacred spaces, where Ceres, Cibeles, Ataecina or Proserpine, among others, received worship and veneration.

One such place is located in Ávila, capital of the arévaco world, in the crypt, reused of the original, on which the imposing collegiate church of San Vicente, possibly best known for containing one of the glories of the Gothic art of Our country, such as the Cenotaph of the Holy Martyrs, which highlights the recreation of a Pantocrator, where Christ not only seems to emerge from the same place where later the Italian Renaissance artist Bottichelli placed the birth of his famous Venus, but also shows in his face and in his hair a hyperborean and solar aspect.

In this place, and possibly kneeling in front of the image, considered as very miraculous of the Soterraña - whose appearance, due to the curvature of his torso, seems to respond to a frank or French model - we are warned that he even prayed one of the saints most recognized and popular of the Spanish Golden Age: logically, our Teresa of Jesus.

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NOTICE: Both the text and the accompanying photographs are my exclusive intellectual property.

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