Maruja the Alebrije

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Some times, when we are at our darkest, our weakest, our most delicate, we are able to enter worlds previously closed to us. With our bodies and consciousness set to fighting the demons assailing us – whether physical or mental – our subconscious is free to explore beyond what we know on Earth. So often we explain away our dreams in the daylight. But in the depths of a fever dream, explanation seems impossible. And unnecessary.

Maruja is an Alebrije, a Mexican folkloric fantasy creature. Alebrijes originated in the fever dreams of artist Pedro Linares. While sweating through an intense and deadly fever, he dreamed of brightly colored creatures. The creatures all whispered one word to him – alebrije. They chanted this word to him and when he recovered, Linares began sculpting them out of wood and paper mache and named them, naturally, alebrijes. At first, people scoffed at these cryptids – contradictions and amalgamations of known animals, odd and arresting.

But our artist continued sculpting. He believed in his fever dream, knowing that the world he had visited was real and full of a truth not found in the here.

Alebrijes have since gained a reputation for scaring away evil spirits and for protecting the home. They exist now in our here, enchanting and inspiring and protecting. Mysticism need not be dark and smokey, my dears. It is in everything fantastical and bright as well as in everything mysterious and dark.

Believe in what you see, especially when it is in your dreams. You can dream. Don’t forget it.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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