New Mexico Crosses

by Bridget Harrington - Michael Moore March. 09, 2018 595 views
Cemetery in Galisteo

Cemetery in Galisteo

We see many crosses in our travels. As the roots of Christian faith run deep in New Mexico, this is hardly surprising.

Cemetery in Colonias

Cemetery in Colonias

Abandoned church in San Acacia

Abandoned church in San Acacia

In addition to symbolizing Christ crucified, the cross is an archetype found in all cultures. The symbol of the Aztec creator god, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, was a cross. The Aztec weather goddess also carried a cross, and at Cozumel it was an object of worship. Native Americans marked their boundaries with a magic cross. In many cultures, a cross was placed upon an initiate’s chest as a symbol of rebirth. In around 100 BC, crosses were set up above the graves of the elect by the ancient Scandinavians, who also used them as boundary markers. The staffs of the Norse priests were crosses combined with the caduceus. In many pagan religions, the four branches of the cross stand for the four elements of antiquity: air, earth, fire and water. The cross, therefore, can be considered a universal symbol of faith.

Pueblo cemetery, along NM-371

Pueblo cemetery, along NM-371

Steeple in the moonlight, in Villanueva

Steeple in the moonlight, in Villanueva

Cemetery in Santa Rosa

Cemetery in Santa Rosa

Both of us have strong faith in a power greater than ourselves, and to us, our photographs are evidence that our faith is not misplaced. We often feel a quiet, gentle presence when we walk through cemeteries or encounter these crosses on the roadside. Although we processed the color on some of these, the lighting effects you see were not created by us.

Cemetery in Vaughn at moonrise

Cemetery in Vaughn at moonrise

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