aztec serpent mother

Cihuacoatl: MesoAmerican Serpant Mother (Acrylic 24×36 2016)



Product Description

This creation was birthed from the passing of Adelaide’s snake QuetzalCoatle, aka “the “winged serpent” in Aztec and Mayan mythology. Being Adelaide’s pet, performance partner, and spiritual teacher the death of Quetzalcoatl was a huge catalyst for transformation. As she shed tears over the loss of her baby she was referred to as Cihuacoatl. Looking up the name Adelaide found that Cihuacoatl, which translates into “snake woman,” was the mother of 2 snakes, one of which being Quetzalcoatl. This paralleled Adelaide’s life. Filled with both loss and inspiration Adelaide created this piece to help her through the process of mourning while immortalizing Quetzalcoatl’s life and honoring ancient wisdom. This brought forward a new look, blending Aztec and Mayan art styles with Adelaide’s unique touch. Cihuacóatl was a goddess of motherhood and fertility. In Mayan culture, having a child was viewed as being on the front lines of the battlefields. Adelaide’s creation the pregnant “snake mother” is garbed in armor and carrying the protective sword. Cihuacoatl helped Quetzalcoatl create the current race of humanity by grinding up bones from the previous ages, and mixing it with his blood. Interestingly, it’s suspected that Adelaide’s snake passed on from a disease found in the blood. In the painting the blood drips down from the snake and to Adelaide the blood is an essential element in alchemizing grief into purpose. Although this may not create a new civilization, it has the power to change one. Sometimes depicted as a young woman, Cihuacoatl is more often shown as a fierce skull-faced old woman, representing the fallen warrior women who died during childbirth. This piece was a powerful part of Adelaide’s transformation as a woman and an artist. It just so happens that her 2nd snake impregnated a 3rd snake during a short encounter and there were 20 babies born the same month Adelaide was adding the final touches to the creation. Perhaps this is a coincidence or perhaps this was a part of the embodiment of our modern time Cihuacóatl. In either case the inspiration that this process brought to Adelaide has not only changed Adelaide’s perspective but has manifested into heART-work that can live on for ever.


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