PECADOS Y MILAGROS
This Series is derived from a simple willingness to imagine a world less dreary. It is a world full of stories and superstitions, a world where fantastical creatures morph into symbols of different cultural beliefs. For instance, Nahuals are ordinary people that turn into animals under a full moon. In my fantastical world, I provide them with the opportunity to choose what they want to become rather than what their society expects them to be. A simple businessman can discover a creative way for reinvention by becoming a new life form that eschews the ennui of the everyday revealing instead a celebration of our human/animal instincts.
A horse or a mule can symbolize man as a workhorse, a man who "works like a mule" or it could instead symbolize travel and a prayer about a journey. A horse or a mule can symbolize a prayer or charm meant to overcome stuborness in oneself or in another. A sheep can represent the concept of togetherness, the fealty one feels for one's group or even family. The parable of the Good Shepherd comes to mind as well as the Agnus Dei as the Lamb of God. A sheep can be a charm to eradicate the servility of passive behavior in the face of negative peer pressure. The family dog becomes the symbol of loyalty and in some cases protection such as a sheep dog provides a herd. The pig can symbolize nourishment such as in "bringing home the bacon" or alternately, a pig can symbolize gluttony.The Native American culture features many customs incorporating votive offerings, talismans, and amulets which are often referred to as milagros. So too with the Afro-Brazilian culture where milagros are primarily amulets and talismans. They are used as prayer offerings to bring the nahual the bird or animal reflective of his or her personal spirit, the animistic alter-ego.Milagros as votive offerings accompanied the Spanish into the New World. Its use and prevalence is most noticeable in Mexico where entire altars are coated with tiny silver milagrosand where statues of saints are literally festooned with them. In Christian belief, the nahual has been replaced by a guardian angel. It is believed that the moment a child is born an animal comes into the world simultaneously to accompany and protect the human. As the child grows there is the natural instinct to imitate the animal; a kinship forms. Thus an individual may be aggressive or passive, nervous or calm, shy or outgoing, flamboyant or passive, serious, graceful, or even clumbsy - all depending on the nature of the animal spirit. Because of Christianity’s skepticism about the veneration of animals in prehispanic cultures, the images of animals were banned.