Sonya Wohletz is a graduate student of Latin American Art History at Tulane University, though she has always loved writing poetry and fiction. Her objects of study—miraculous images of the Virgin, female sainthood, and mystical experiences—have a personal meaning for Sonya, as they inspire much of her creative work. Moreover, Sonya harbors an interest in expressions of femininity from all cultures and from all periods. She takes a comparative approach to her study of religious and spiritual expression. A native of New Mexico, Sonya has lived in several different Latin American countries and hopes to continue travelling and learning throughout her life.
This poem is a meditation on the mystical powers of the moon and her ability to transmutate elements, as well as her ability to facilitate feminine creative cycles and reproduction. The refrain--No one asks where the moon comes from, but she is guided by gravity--is both a call to the mysterious origins of the moon as well as her deep connectedness to earth and its inhabitants. I call the moon the first Shamaness, because she is the ancient one who transforms light, guides our path in the dark, and facilitates creative cycles.
This poem emerged during an academic project in Ecuador, during which I researched miraculous cults and images. Although my research focuses on the colonial period, I also studied local cults, pre-Hispanic religious influences, and other folk practices as they relate to the phenomenology of religious imagery. These local, spiritual practices have continued to influence Ecuadorian culture, even after the transplantation of European Catholicism in those lands.