Where did we leave off?
Oh yes, I had just received an answer...I lit a candle at the Shrine of Juan Soldado and no more than three hours later, he showed me the time of day.
The next day was Christmas Eve...and I was supposed to spend it with the French woman who owned the B&B I was staying at. Her and I had become quite connected since arriving. However, she decided at last minute to take a road trip with her friend, the other owner of the B&B and so I found myself alone on Christmas Eve. In another country...hanging on by a small tiny string. A storm rolled in and with the wind whipping and the house shaking...I sat on the couch dumbfounded. Since my spiritual experience up at the top of the Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacan, I had received news of all kinds of endings. A&E had passed on the production companies show concept. The situation I had surrendered and prayed for at the same time...also concluding. Thought forms...coping mechanisms...belief systems...all at an end. I sat on that couch feeling like I did when I used to go roller skating as a little girl...it took hours for me to make my way to the center of the rink...and I still remember that feeling of not being close enough to a rail to grab onto it. There were no rails on Christmas Eve. No friends. No family. No being able to grasp onto the old...it had all come out from under me. Like one giant karmic swoop of some giant God's hand and just like that...nothing. Except Marquise. Marquise is the B&B resident cat...and if it were not for her snuggles and not leaving my side that night...well, it would have been unbearable.
To quote Matt..." Fucking Juan Soldado."
I say that in jest...I know it wasn't Juan Soldado. It was the reason I had come to Mexico. Why I had been given the opportunity after all these years of wanting to. The Universe knew what was coming...the Universe knew for me to uproot this giant "thing" deep inside me that was a convoluted mixture of childhood...and past life...and present life...and karma...well...they knew they were going to have to tempt me with a few of my favorite things to get me there. And it worked.
Christmas day came with sunshine...and I walked down to my usual café. There I ran into a man I had come to know while being in Tijuana. A kind soul...who introduced me to some amazing things going on...hearts and souls coming together to make some real difference in the orphanage system there. He took pity on me...let me spill my heart and conflicted thoughts...and stayed the day with me. Showing me places in TJ and driving me to Rosarito where we had lunch by the sea. He was my Christmas Angel. And at first, I was sad...because I thought of how a stranger had to be the one who showed up for me...but then I got out of my ego...and into my soul...there are no strangers.
Was the Universe done yet? Not quite...it ended up the B&B owners got into a serious car accident on the way to their destination. They never even made it. So the day before leaving Tijuana to go back to Mexico City...I visited them both in the hospital. They are both going to be okay...but will have recovering to do.
One more night in Mexico City, which I basically slept away because I was so drained. Then a flight home the next day...which I thought would be a flight home...but because of mechanical issues, missed the last connecting flight and was put up in a hotel for the night. It ended up a good thing...more sleep. Which I desperately needed to process this shift larger than I have ever had before.
I got home and enjoyed one day of settling in before sickness hit my body and I was out flat for a week. My body does that though. When I clear, it clears...and this was a massive one...and my body did not disappoint with its display of matching the excruciating inner ripping a part I had already endured on an emotional and spiritual level.
The spirit of Juan Soldado waited patiently...to finish what he had already begun to show me. Juan is not much of a talker. Spirits...they communicate in all different ways to me. Some speak words...singular ones. Some, I have a strong enough connection that I can hear fluent communication. Some show imagery. Some imprint feelings upon me. Some show me as if I am in their bodies...and everything I see, is through their eyes. Juan was that kind of communicator. He showed me, through his eyes. And he impressed his feelings and thoughts...and it was some of the clearest communication I have had with a spirit. It doesn't surprise me though. Having people pray to you...having people send you love, devotion, and gratitude...this strengthens a spirit's ability to connect with someone in body. Having something you need to say...this helps a spirit come through to this plane of existence.
So you are probably wondering...and really wanting me to get to the question...did he do it??
I am just going to start from the beginning of all he showed me, allowed me to see and feel, and what he said as well.
Juan Castillo Morales was a shy man. He could talk and smile and be jovial, but it was all surface. He didn't really know how to be...he didn't have much of a back bone. And he was easily paralyzed when it came to stress or his ultimate fear, a bully. All he wanted was to keep to himself. He was a farmer. He liked to smoke tobacco. He liked to fantasize a lot. It was safer there. So in that world, he was strong. He was charming. He could stand up and lead and he was respected. But that was only daydreams...which he did a lot. He told me it used to get him in trouble with his mother. He would just space out...and she would smack him on the head with whatever she had in her hand to get him to snap out of it.
Juan lost most of his immediate family in a matter of a few months. Different circumstances...all tragic. And he wound up alone. At 20 something years old. This, he expresses, is the reason he joined the military. He had no choice. He went from a small town in Mexico where he lost one relative after the other in a short period of time, to being transferred to Tijuana.
This is where he flashes me the face of a man. This face is one he will continue to show me throughout my connection with him and this face, this man, is one that I would see up to three more times just randomly pop into my dream state. Square jaw and facial structure. Dark, thick mustache. High cheekbones. Deep set, dark piercing eyes. Thick eyebrows. Chain smoker. Big beefy hands. Broad shoulders. Ominous. Sometimes he is smoking a cigarette...sometimes a cigar...all times, he makes my hair stand on end.
When I connected with Juan Soldado, he always started by showing me his feet. His boots. As if I am looking down at my own feet. I understand what he is showing me. He was smaller in stature...not a huge guy...but his feet were huge. They look like boats sticking out as I look down at my feet...his feet. And even bigger with bulky boots on. This will matter at a later point.
He goes on to allow me to feel his personality...which for a lack of words...is quite mousy. He was not a leader. He did not stand out from anyone. He got tongue tied and nervous when confronted...this is by both men and women. So much so, that he would just shut down, become paralyzed. Tuning into him...he was a blaring, shining, target to anyone who had a sadistic side to themselves. Anyone who liked to see someone squirm. Anyone who liked to toy...like a cat with a mouse.
He goes on to allow me to feel, see, and he also speaks of his dislike for his wife. He was married, but this was another one of those things that he got roped into. Why? Because he couldn't stand up for himself. He allows me to see and hear her. She is doing the same thing his mother used to do...but way worse. She hits him with rolled up newspapers. Always nagging. Always nitpicking. Always complaining how he never does enough and how opposite of "manly" he is. She pushed the envelope. Saying some very mean things...that he was like a girl. A coward. Spineless. I just keep hearing insult after insult being hurled in his direction. So he liked duty. As boring as it was...it was escape. He could smoke. And daydream. Day in and day out. Be away from her.
The climate in Tijuana was heating up though...and things weren't as easy as they were at he beginning. There were groups pitted against the police and the military. There were worker disputes. And right around the time of little Olga's murder, tensions were high and military were called in to one of the nicest and most luxurious hotel destinations in Tijuana. Were there was a casino...and all kinds of amenities...and catering to across the border folk. Never the less, Juan Castillo Morales...the soldier...he always tried to fly under the radar. He did what he was told. He stayed quiet. He obeyed for the most part. He just wanted peace.
Fast forward to February 13, 1938. A young girl, eight years old, dressed in the prettiest dress and her hair in ribbons...Olga was her name...she walked down to the meat store from her home. A short distance and something she did every Sunday. Sunday was family dinner. So this Sunday was no exception. She was to get meat for the dinner. And so she walked...and the butcher remembers her smiling face and handing her the paper wrapped hunk of meat she purchased. He remembers her leaving. The only problem is, no one remembers seeing Olga after that. She never returned home. Worried, her mother sent Olga's father and others to begin looking for her. Word quickly spread and a whole group of people are looking for her. One elderly woman in particular....some might say she was bruja. She had visions...and she heard the little girl crying out to her...and it was this old woman who made her way to an abandoned garage...where the brutally murdered body of Olga lay. I will spare the details...but it was a grotesque crime scene. There was a bloody boot print by her body. There was a hand print in the meat that she had purchased for Sunday dinner. There were red hairs found too and skin under her finger nails. She had fought hard for her life.
The afternoon of Olga's disappearance...Juan Soldado stands...leg propped up...back against the wall of a building...smoking. This building, only a stone's throw from where her body was found. Someone had seen him there...and someone came forward to say so. That they had seen a soldier smoking near the building that day.
And that is true. Juan admits he was near. He was every day...that is where he hung out when off duty. It was close to what he called a "station"...maybe where privates check in and out of for their instructions or for supplies.
It is not documented how Juan was called in for questioning. How he states it is that they showed up at his house and took him away. He had no idea why. They did not tell him what was going on. They simply ordered him to stay calm, not speak, and do as he was told. And if there is anything I have learned since connecting with him, those last two were the easiest things in the world for him to do.
He was taken to the "Fort" which was the police headquarters at that time and questioned. They asked him if he was around there smoking that day, in which he said yes...he always was. They asked him if he killed the girl. He said no. They asked him if he was involved. He said no. As he is being questioned, a mob is forming outside of the fort. All chanting his name. Screaming for him to be released to them so they can tear him from limb to limb. It is documented that everyone inside the headquarters could hear this. And it was growing louder and louder...and more frantic.
Let's go now to square faced, evil eyed, chain smoker man. He keeps making his presence known to me...long after Juan first shows me his face. He is taunting. He is so dark energy...I can't even put it into words. He still is. Even in afterlife. He shows me himself in different attire. One, almost looks like a Persian emperor of some sort. He shows me his military uniform from his lifetime in Mexico. He is a high ranked officer. And he is evil to the core. So is it Juan that shows me all of this? No...it is square faced bragger. Because he can't help himself. He shows me how he orchestrated a "genius" outcome. How does one get away with almost decapitating and raping an 8 year old girl? Let me tell you straight from the source.
Let's call him "The General".
There is nothing that escaped the eye of The General. He was a master. It is what allowed him to be in the position he was. He knew how to manipulate people. Like chess pieces. He would view the whole picture from his position and then place the people...the "pieces" where he wanted to in order to accomplish whatever it was he was wanting the outcome to be. He did this often. He was sadistic. All of his officers knew it. All of them were scared sh*tless of him. He commanded respect and he got it. He could give one look...and you knew one more wrong breath and you were gone. Off the earth kind of gone.
Imagine a mob of 200 people outside of The Fort...blood thirsty. In a rage. All they wanted was someone...anyone to pin it on so they could get out what was pulsing through their bodies...what needed satisfaction in order to stop. The gossip...the rumors...the exaggerated details. You whisper one thing and it spreads like wild fire...and by the time it reaches the end...it is nothing like the story it had been from the start. The General made sure one small whisper was made concerning Juan Soldado. So much so...no one really knew where it had started. No one had truly witnessed it...they had only heard it...no one could say "I saw it with my own eyes!" That whisper? Juan Castillo Morales had a thing for young girls.
Hours pass, and all the sudden Juan's wife comes bursting through the doors...yelling accusations about her husband. There is no record of her name...who she was...if it was even properly documented...just that she came in with a shirt of his that had blood on it. It is however, documented that she quickly left and disappeared from that day forward. Many believe, even at that very time, that she was paid for her testimony. And it is so.
Juan did not receive a trial. He confessed....after the crowd outside had now grown to over 500. They let one reporter in...and that reporter asked Juan behind bars if he had killed the girl and Juan stared blankly with zero expression on his face and answered "Yes".
Why did he confess if he didn't do it?
He confessed because The General came in...just he and Juan. All else left the room. And the General...in his slitherine like influence told Juan that he was in a real bind. There was evidence. Witness of him being near the area. There was a bloody boot print matching Juan's boot and size. Conveniently, The General wore the same...and was the same size. The General promised Juan that he would do all he could to protect him. But if he kept sitting there for much longer...eventually the mob was going to be able to break through. They had already set the corner of the building on fire trying to get to him. What did Juan want? To be torn apart by the mob...or be escorted to a safe place where they would make sure he was able to go free? All he had to do was confess. Confess and The General would take care of it. He had ways. They would take him far away and let him disappear and start a new life. But the mob had to be satisfied. So if Juan did The General a favor by confessing and satisfying their rage...he would make sure Juan was protected.
Juan...bless his heart...a deer in headlights. His mind raced. What The General was saying made sense. How was he ever going to make it out of there alive? They were already convinced he had done it. He didn't have it in him to fight. That was not his way. He only had it in him to conform. And that is what he did. He confessed and he trusted. Because that was his only choice.
Little did he know that The General had already sealed his fate.
Ley Fuga. This style of execution had been banned in Mexico. It was considered inhumane. Cowardly. It is the permission to execute someone who is fleeing for their lives. By shooting them in the back. Most times, they weren't fleeing for their lives. They were told to run. So instead of executing them to their face, they would make them flee...and then shoot them in the back.
Juan was put in the back of a truck with his peers. And he shows me, tells me, allows me to feel that he knew something was not right. He could see it on the faces of his fellow soldiers. None of them would look him in the eye. And it wasn't because they thought he was a child rapist and murderer. No, they hung their heads in shame. The silence, he says, was unbearable. And when the brakes of the truck squealed to a stop...just a short distance from the Fort...his heart was pounding audibly in his ears.
A soldier in the passenger seat got out of the truck and walked around to the back where he opened it up...and bayonet pointed toward Juan...demanded he get out of the truck. I am seeing all of this from Juan's eyes...I am feeling all of it...I am hearing all of it. He could hear the sound of the mob outside of the truck. He knew they were there...although, there was a hushed silence...with just a few voices being heard. The air was thick...if you can imagine...all his soldiers sitting around him knowing what was coming to him. Knowing they were going to be the ones to do it. He had served with him. He had smoked with them. Most of them knew he wasn't capable of the heinous crime he was accused of. All of them knew who was...The General.
Juan was given several moments of refusal...which seemed to last forever to him...everything was in slow motion. He really wasn't even hearing words anymore. Just the sound of his heart beat...deafening...in his ears. Eventually, he was pushed out of the truck...by a soldier behind him...being poked in the back with their guns. It was then he saw the sunlight...it was morning...and he squinted his eyes and put his hand over his eyes to block out the glare...that is when he saw the massive group of people standing...staring. He asked for a smoke. A soldier nervously and shamefully pulls out his pack and puts the cigarette in Juan's mouth...lights it...you see, Juan's hands were tied behind his back at that time. Juan takes a few puffs and one of the higher ups got tired of the stalling and ripped it out of his mouth. He then freed Juan's hands and told him to run. Juan stood still. Frozen. Paralyzed. Until the blood hurdled yell rang so loud in his ears... "RUNNNNNNNN".
Juan took off into the cemetery. He knew...he knew what they were doing...but he ran...leaping first over a stone small wall that was impeding his path. That is when he saw a young boy...up ahead...at a grave. A young innocent boy...and it is then that Juan began to yell to the boy...his hands and arms flailing about...telling him to run...get away. Juan focused on that little boy...and his own life no longer mattered anymore. It was as if that little boy was an angel sent from God...because in that moment, Juan had almost forgotten that he was about to die. He was so focused on saving that boy. It wasn't until the first bullet hit his back that he came back to reality. And then another. As he stumbled forward...he didn't allow himself to fall. This was the first time in all of Juan's life that he fought. The fighter in him...that he always fantasized he could be...but never was able to conjure up...he finally came forward within him. And he ran...further still. More bullets sprayed...more hit him. He finally fell. Face forward into the ground. His breath shallow...his fight leaving almost as soon as it had finally made its entrance. Then came the mercy shot.
Did Juan Castillo Morales...Juan Soldado, kill Olga Camacho Marinez?
No. No, he did not.
Here we are in 2017...and people are still speaking his name. Juan the Soldier. Juan Soldado. He has... in a very special and unique way...been exonerated.
I came home from Mexico...and I unpacked. So much stuff and I was proud of myself that I had managed to only leave one thing behind the weeks I was gone...a sandal. I sat there unpacking and I asked Juan Soldado...why his answer had been so harsh for me...just hours after petitioning him for help. His answer? He gave me my mercy shot.
I left more than my sandal in Mexico. I left my heart. I left a memory of a time in my life where I met with the Gods...at the top of the Sun Pyramid. I laid my sacrifice down. They tested me...and took me at my word...and they took from me...that which I had relied on most of my life as a structure and way of being and all of the things that mattered to me from that point of belief. And Juan Soldado...well, he ended my suffering quickly by giving me an answer I could not contend with.
I look forward to rising...to rebuilding...to the gratitude that comes from being given a chance to create from a brand new foundation. Not one that is rooted in wounds and patterns and beliefs that no longer serve me.
And Juan...I hope this brings you even a speck of the justice you deserve.