Reginistas also known as “Reginas” BuendiadeLlaca, Yanitsa
The Reginista movement is a New Religious Movement that follow Antonio Velazco Piña's best-selling novel "Regina. Dos de Octubre no se olvida" as the basis for their believe system and organization. The Movement was officially formed when, after publishing the novel, Antonio Velasco Piña appointed seven women to start the “First Circle of Regina”. The seven women, gathered in Aldea de los Reyes to commemorate Reginas sacrifice on October 2. Each of them, made the promise to recruit seven new women (total 49 new women) next year to make their circle bigger. In the fictional novel, Regina, the main character has a unique life. She lives in several countries (Tibet, China, Mexico) where she is trained by different spiritual teachers. In the book, this messianic character, who through her journey discovers her mission to “awaken” the energy of Mexico, which is believed to have been disrupted after the Spanish Conquest. Regina decided to go back to Mexico to find out how she can complete her spiritual mission. On her return, she encounters Mexico’s social unrest. It is in this part of the narrative, where fiction and history are entangled. The student movement of 1968 is where the author positions Regina’s final mission: not just to awaken Mexico’s energy, but to awaken the female energy of the country. In her meditations, Regina founds that the only way to achieve her goal is to commit self-sacrifice. With a group of followers and Indigenous teachers, she marches on October second, knowing she, and her followers would be assassinated. “Regina. Dos de octubre no se olvida” has been a controversial novel in Mexico. On one hand, it created the religious movement of the “Reginistas” or “reginas”, but on the other, it re-narrates a historical event in Mexican history to de-politicize the event in order to “spiritualized” it. Another controversial event is that Antonio Velasco Piña named her character Regina Teuscher, after one of students that died and whose photo appeared in the national press after the Tlatelolco Massacre. The family members from Regina Teusche confronted Antonio Velasco Piña in a book presentation. However, followers of the novel defend Velasco Piña’s narrative as real and do not separate fiction from reality. The "reginistas" (community members of the movement) gather at least once a year on October second to commemorate the self-sacrifice of Regina, as based on the fictional novel. This annual ritual takes place between Aldea de Los Reyes (2 hours away from Mexico City) and Tlatelolco, the neighborhood in Mexico City where the 1968 student massacre occurred. In Aldea de Los Reyes, the ritual is a night vigil with rituals, songs, and dances (the “reginistas” have created their own dance that is believed to be a combination of Conchero and Tibetan dances). Food is shared at dawn, and a committed then is sent to Tlatelolco to lay down the main offering made during the night with flowers. Since Tlatelolco is protected by the INAH (Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History), “reginistas” request a permit in advance to enter the area, but when not granted they leave the offering outside of the site. In addition to the annual ritual, “reginistas” also participate in “sacred walks” around Mexico City that are meant to “awaken” Mexico’s energy. These walks are organized by older reminisces and the dates for the walks and the map with a guided walk is usually shared through their personal emails or social media. There are two general routes around the city, one that corresponds to the masculine energy and one that corresponds to the femenine energy. For “reginistas”, they main objective is to finish the tasks that Regina herself was not able to complete. Because of the nature of the book, this religious movement is syncretic, mixing belief systems, practices, and material culture from Indigenous Mesoamerica, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Theosophy. The “Regina” movement is a good example of the Mexican New Age, where all these religions collude to form one movement with a nationalistic ideology. Most of the women that joined the “reginista” movement were practitioners of other “non-tradition” (Catholicism is the most practiced religion in Mexico) religious affiliations. Some of them were part of the Conchero Movement (an Indigenous Dance that mixes Catholic belief and Indigenous ritual), The Gran Fraternidad Universal -Universal Great Brotherhood- (which follows New Age belief and incorporated yoga practice), and Theosophy. Although most of the women (and Men) in the “reginista” movement grew up Catholic, there any connection to Catholicism is through the syncretic images used (like the Virgin of Guadalupe). Since the 2020 covid Pandemic, some of the oldest members have passed away, including the writer of “Regina. Dos de Octubre no se olvida”. This is a small movement that is always surprising historians and anthropologists. With Velasco Piña’s passing, some of the main leadership got disappeared, and although it seemed this may be the indication of the movement dyeing, a Mexican production announced in 2022 they are working on Regina, the movie.
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