Bless Me, Ultima Questions and Answers
by Rudolfo Anaya

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Does Ultima pass the witch hunt test in chapter 12?

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Technically, we cannot be sure if Ultima passes the test. It appears that she passes, because she has passed through the doorway with the needles shaped like a cross pinned above it. However, as she passes through, her owl (which we later find out houses her soul) gouges out Tenorio's eye. Antonio also notices that the needles are no longer pinned above the doorway, but he does not notice how or when they fell. Maybe Ultima used her sorcery to knock the needles off of the doorway, or maybe they simply fell on their own. Tenorio's gouged eye and Antonio's inability to understand how the needles fell are both symbolic ideas. They are both blind to her powers and witchcraft, and they do not understand how her magic works (or if it works at all).

However, the test is only inconclusive to Antonio because only he notices that the needles have fallen. So this leads us to question: Is Ultima's magic only real to Antonio? Is it simply a tool to teach him about the world, about right and wrong? To Tenorio and Narciso, Ultima has proven she is not a witch. But perhaps along with the rest of the world, they are not worthy or understanding of Ultima's magic, because of their adherence to the social norms of Christianity and their unwillingness to consider alternate faiths or beliefs.

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