The Obsidian Butterfly
The Amazon is burning. the world as we know it is dying. borders fortified, children in cages, the list of endangered species, growing. rich cultures with strong ties to the earth being wiped out and replaced by something more “profitable” in man’s pursuit of modernization, wealth, fame and power. I think… what kind of people do we have to become to take this on? where are the gods and goddesses inside of us and how do we utilize their magic? and, on my own personal, spiritual, physical journey, who, and what, am I?
The Feminine Warrior will change the world. In a balance of divine masculine and feminine properties, it is a spectrum so broad, it lies within all of us. The ability to be emotional, intuitive, nurturing, soft and introspective while simultaneously fearsome, strong, ugly, deep and dark as death itself. It is the power to create or to destroy. I ask the goddesses for guidance, and make space in my life for their stories. Kali, the Hindu Divine mother of protection and destroyer of evil forces, often depicted wearing a necklace of severed heads and a skirt of human arms. Medusa, transformed from beautiful, sought-after maiden into a “monster” with looks that kill. Isis from Egypt, who breathed life back into her husbands body and immediately had sex with him. And lately, I am drawn to The Aztec warrior goddess Ītzpāpālōtl, the Obsidian Butterfly, who rules over Tamoanchan, a paradise where human beings are created. She appears in the form of a beautiful, seductive woman, or a terrifying goddess with a skeleton head and butterfly wings tipped with volcanic glass… and I thought THIS. this is who i want to be. not just a delicate, sensual creature, not just a weapon, but both. both queen and warrior. peace and war. soft as a cloud and tough as the skin of an elephant. beautiful and ugly. dark and light. mother and murderer. protector, gardener, singer, stripper, love-maker. I want to be everything. life and death. sex. rebirth. you can do it all.
and so it is.
Written by Tawanda, Captured by Alizayuh.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Model: Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, 23, Los Angeles
MUA: Angelique Martinez
Photographer: Isaiah Vigil, “Alizayuh”, 22, New Mexico