Keeping the Vision

Classes, contemplation, Goddess, Priestess

pexels-photo-235615.jpeg

When I think of vision, I think clarity and focus.  These are qualities that I very much want in my life, and for my work. They also provide guidance, emphasis and motivation for what I do in life.  Here is the Merriam Webster definition of Vision:

“1a : the act or power of seeing : sight
b : the special sense by which the qualities of an object (such as color, luminosity, shape, and size) constituting its appearance are perceived through a process in which light rays entering the eye are transformed by the retina into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve

2a : something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy; especially : a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation
b : a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination
c : a manifestation to the senses of something immaterial

3a : the act or power of imagination
(1) : mode of seeing or conceiving 
(2) : unusual discernment or foresight a person of vision

c : direct mystical awareness of the supernatural usually in visible form
4a something seen
b a lovely or charming sight”

I really like the thought that my vision can provide me with “unusual discernment or foresight”.  I would love to be thought of as a “person of vision”!

I recently came to realize that my “vision” was clouded by details that really didn’t serve the bigger picture of my life that I am called to lead.  Family details, home details, business details and other peoples projects were leading my list, while my vision, my bigger picture, my best self, was mired in those details.

I recently took a few days off, to regroup, to spend time in retreat, self care and silence.  It was great!  AND, the best part, was getting my VISION back.  I have clarity and focus for where I want to spend my time, my energy and my money.

Of course I will continue to connect with my family, tend to my house, work on my business, my projects and in my community. But there is a lovely clarity that I am doing it remembering my vision, using my voice and arranging my life my way, not based on others expectations or plans.

I also made a re-commitment to my work to honor the Divine Feminine and women’s spirituality.  I am charting my new path to the Sacred as I spend time with my Priestessing, with my meditation practices, ritual and connecting with individuals that support me in my path.

Here at Goddess Ink we provide booksonline classes and sacred tours focusing on the Divine Feminine, women’s spirituality and goddess studies.  We have a daily inspiration that we send out Monday through Friday.  You can sign up here.  We also have a new oracle deck called The Jade Oracle, a beautiful 52 card deck of MesoAmerican deities and symbols.  We will also be at the Association of Women and Mythology conference in Las Vegas, Nevada next month.

Let me know if there are other resources you might need your path to the Sacred.

Begin with your “solitude”
Remember you are
intricately interwoven, circuitry connected, lines open
at all times….
You are simply a star, radiating light and warmth,
Like the Sun
—-From Garden-ing by Andrea Goodman in Stepping into Ourselves:  An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses; edited by Anne Key and Candace Kant

May your vision be clear and powerful

May your attention be focused

May the ways of the Goddess guide you on your path

Genevieve

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Check out our newly designed store at http://store.goddess-ink.com/Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

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Imbolc, Candlemas, Brigit’s Day: Welcome Spring

Goddess, Imbolc, ritual, Seasonal Greetings

This Saturday February 3 is the mid-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This auspicious day heralds the first day of Spring, the day Winter passes and Spring emerges. This is often the day that we begin to notice that it is getting lighter – brighter a little earlier in the morning, and night falls a little bit later at night. And on this day as we celebrate the beginning of spring, we honor Brigit.

Brigit, Celtic Fire Goddess and Christian Saint, is associated with healing, poetry, and smithcraft. At this time of year, when the newness of spring is just under the ground and tucked within the buds forming on branches, I am reminded of the power of creation that bubbles all around us.

On this beautiful morning, I open my arms to breathe in this energy of creation and call upon Brigit to guide. She reminds me to create beauty in this world, and to do it with love. I am re-inspired by Anne Herbert’s phrase: Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

Take a moment now as we perch on the verge of Spring. Hitch onto the power of the season and create beauty, for it is sorely needed in our world. A smile, a kind word, a lovely note, an exquisite image, a heart-felt touch – let Brigit guide us all to honor and utilize our power of creation. Then, open yourself to be blessed by the beauty all around you.

A note on date and nomenclature: This day—called a “cross-quarter” day because it falls between the solstice and equinox—is known variously as Imbolg (a Gaelic or Old Irish word meaning “in the belly,” referring to pregnant ewes), Candlemas (originating from the Church of England), or Brigit’s Day (honoring the Celtic Goddess and Catholic Saint). Imbolg is traditionally celebrated February 2nd, or the night before, on February 1st. For the Northern Hemisphere another more exact way of calculating it is when the Sun is at 15° Aquarius (in the Tropical calendar), which this year falls on February 3rd. See more about the seasons here http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2015.html .

2017: Goodbye and Thank You

Classes, Empowerment, Goddess, Seasonal Greetings

shutterstock_happynewyear 2018

Wow!! What a year!  It’s been a year of intense everything!  We have had the politics, the women’s march,  #metoo, climate change, hurricanes, Trump tweets, great inventions and awful social problems, old ones die, new are born.  It’s the cycle of life.

But it seems fitting to say thank you and good bye to 2017.

What happened for you, personally, spiritually, professionally?  What did you learn?  What changed in you?  What did you let go of?  What did you embrace?  What surprised or delighted you?  What was your biggest challenge?  What needs to be forgiven?  What are you most grateful for?  What were some of your successes?  Did you celebrate them?

I love taking time at the end of the year to ponder both how I did and look at the future with hope and honesty.  It’s not necessary an easy process, because it takes time and space in my life.  But it’s so worth the effort,  because I want to celebrate my success and honor the places there is still work to do.

Here at Goddess Ink, we have had a busy and fruitful year, due to all of you who who engage, participate and support us.  Thank you to each of you, for your Facebook likes, your comments, emails and interest.  For the teachers and students in our online classes.  For our colleagues, collaborators and for those who challenge us and make us stronger.  Thank you.

For those of you who don’t know, Goddess Ink offers books, online classes, sacred tours and author services.  It’s our mission to share the Divine Feminine, women’s spirituality and goddess studies with the world.  We recently started our daily inspiration newsletter, you can sign up here!  And we will be releasing our new Jade Oracle Deck in January, stay turned for more information!

I am grateful for 2017.  I learned a great deal about myself, where I need to let go, grow and be grateful.  To close out the year, I wrote a dear 2017 letter:

Dear 2017,

Thank you.  It’s been an amazing and blessed year.  Thank you for my life, my family, my home, my work, my sweet relationships, my health and all the ways I am blessed.

I understand I still have work to do.  There are things I need to release, including my judgments of others, my expectations of how things should be and my disappointments.  I want to be conscious of my thoughts, words and  actions.

Thank you to my partners in life and work.  Thank you to the strong, gentle, caring  people, guardians and spirits who helped guide me, heal me, support me and inspire me.  I am grateful.

Welcome 2018, let’s see what you have in store!

Sending love, light and blessings,

Genevieve

shutterstock_Winterblessings

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

 

 

Mid-Winter Renewal

contemplation, Goddess, Priestess, Seasonal Greetings, Solstice

Tomorrow is Mid-Winter, the mid-point of this season of darkness, where we experience more night and less day, more stars and less sun. As the temperatures drop here in Albuquerque, I crawl under the wool blanket and the down comforter, snuggle them up to my chin, and settle in with a book (I’m in the midst of the Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemison) and more often than not, a bit of peaty scotch.

I move between hibernation and avoidance. Hibernation seems a time to rest, renew, and dream life into the seeds that will be planted in spring. Avoidance, well, that is binge-watching The Crown to avoid the daily barrage of news updates that flash across my phone screen.

There is only have one winter per year, and spring is just around the corner. I do not want to mindlessly waste the time of solstice; rather, I want to mindfully use these quiet moments to reflect and renew, recharge and replenish.

Take some time for yourself for renewal; dream life into the seeds that you will plant this spring. The world needs each of us to be our fullest selves.

Deepest Blessings of the Season to you. — Anne

Shifting Paradigms

Compassion, Culture, Empowerment, Goddess, Women

shutterstock_181963079Yes, there are many things happening in the world, climate change, the #me too movement, political crisis, economic challenges, it can all be overwhelming.  I know for me when I look out at the cultural landscape, it feels chaotic, huge and tumultuous.  A quick looks at the headlines, news hour, social media, podcast or radio show will give you plenty of content for feeling completely overcome with the immensity of problems and difficulties of living in our world today.

So, what is one to do?  Well, for me, I don’t watch the news (I don’t own a TV), I limit my exposure to the internet and social media, I don’t read the newspaper…  )Believe me if it matters someone will let me know).  I also make a point of connecting with nature everyday, Mother Nature is so nurturing, to my body and my soul.  I also recognize and maintain that connection with Spirit, connecting with conscious people and giving myself time to be the person I want to be in the world (mini retreats, healthy food and meditation time).

Why do I do this?  Because I think each of us is an agent of change in this world of chaos.  I am trying to build the world I want by focusing on the things I want:  recognizing the divinity of each person, supporting social and economic justice, living a sustainable lifestyle, driving less and turning down my thermostat because even if it doesn’t “change the world”, I’m tying to do my little part.

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
Maya Angelou

I do think this generation, you and me are called to create new structures that will create a more just world.  One of the reasons I love the work I do with Goddess Ink is that we are trying to create a new paradigm.  One that acknowledges women in spiritual leadership, honoring the divine feminine, and women as change agents for a better world.  A paradigm that recognizes there is power and movement in the soul of today’s women.

I really don’t have any big ambitions (well, maybe to eradicate patriarchy….).  But I have many small ambitions, that I work on daily.  For example, I want a world of peace, an economically and socially just system, that recognizes our actions to seven generations, not just the next financial quarter report.  I want women to step into leadership and power positions and lead us to a new way of thinking…….one that sees the Divine in each person.  I want women to see their own Divinity.  I want a social construct that honors the feminine, collaborative thinking, and women in spiritual leadership.  Wow, what a concept! Personally, I think that’s what “feminism”, the #Me Too Movement, the Women’s March and the recognition of the Divine Feminine is all about.

I hope you’ll join me on this paradigm shifting journey.  Please come visit us at Goddess Ink.

Genevieve

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Check out our newly designed store at http://store.goddess-ink.com/Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

No Hurry in the Season of Hurry Hurry

Goddess, Gratefulness, Seasonal Greetings

Nohurryplease

This is the season of hurry, hurry, hurry.  We go from this thing to that thing, to the many things that are calling for our attention.  We live in a culture that values busy.  We live in a society that give you kudos and recognition and honors busy. Many people have an urgency addition.  It makes them feel important and valuable.  But if we can understand that we have value, just because live.  Our worthiness comes from our Divine essence, not from how much we get done today.

I am a blessed woman, even when there is much to do.  When I get in a hurry, overwhelmed or too busy I try to remember sage advice from a wise teacher, “Remember, no hurry, it doesn’t help”.  I spent much of my early life running fast, creating a sense of urgency for getting it all done, trying to do everything FAST.  But I am trying to appreciate what I have now, without that sense of urgency.   I am trying to recognize that if I am clear about my intentions and focus, then I can do those things, and the rest just fades away.  Because really, there are things in my life that really don’t matter, that can take up so much time, space and life energy that are not really all that important, OR, they are not mine to worry about.

But what might happens if we allowed ourselves to slow down? What happens when we stop to listen to what’s really inside?  Often it’s uncomfortable, it feels overwhelming, or humbling, or sad.  But honoring the truth within is a powerful practice.  It also allow you time to get your bearings.  For me it’s a bit like getting a break in the middle of rafting river rapids or after being on one of those old wooden roller coaster.  My insides are so jarred I just want to stop!  When we stop then we can  recover, regroup, and recuperate.

Slowing down may take awareness, consciousness and intention, but maybe the No Hurry breath is inside you, available to you if you just slow down enough to tap into it.  Breathe, see if you can see the No Hurry sign in your soul.

There’s an old Zen saying that goes something like “Meditate for an hour every day unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for two hours.”  It’s reminder when we are too busy, the very thing we need to do is slow down.  I also love the quote “Goddess is never in a hurry, but She is always on time”.  Or a good one for me is  from Lily Tomlin “For fast acting relief, try slowing down”.

It is my hope, wish and blessing for you in this season of hurry,Meditate for an hour every day unless you are too busy. In that case meditate for two hours. that the best gift you could give yourself is to slow down.

Bright blessings,

Genevieve

Photo credits:  Shutterstock.com

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

 

In Thanksgiving for You!

Classes, Compassion, Goddess, Gratefulness, Thanksgiving
Candle

Thank you!

It’s the time of the year to remember all the people in our lives and all the blessings of the past year.  It’s also time to remember why we have this day as a national holiday at all, that is, the Native Americans were kind and compassionate enough to keep all pilgrims from starving.  In case you didn’t know, November is National Native American Heritage Month.  Something that many of us don’t know, but perhaps something we should remember!

For us here at Goddess Ink, it’s also a time to remember and thank our partners, our collaborators, our contributors, our customers, our supporters, our connections and of course you, for being part of this movement to share and offer a new way of thinking that includes honoring the feminine and recognizing the Divine Feminine as part of the new cultural norm.

We offer books, online classes and sacred tours to expand the awareness and focus the importance of recognizing the Goddess, the Female Face of the Divine.  We want to honor and promote goddess studies and topics related to feminine spirituality.  Thank you to all of you who support this work.

We wish you the blessings of love, light and joy in these days of autumn and deepening darkness.  May Goddess fill you with wisdom, grace and courage to be you, the grand and amazing gift you are to the world.

Bright Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Genevieve

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Photo credits:  Shutterstock.com

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

 

 

 

On Being a Presence (of Grace) in the World

Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Gratefulness, Intuition, Priestess

shutterstock_416982001I had a lovely chat with a dear friend recently.  She was lamenting about her work at as a catering assistant.  She longs to do meaningful and significant work in the world.  She encountered a situation during a very elaborate expensive event where the man who hired the catering company had a meltdown and was quite ugly with the waitstaff.  She was feeling powerless and very bad for her colleagues.  But what I recognized in her was her ability to stand in grace and caring during a difficult situation.  She could bring love, blessings, a gentle spirit and a calming influence to time when no one else seemed to able to garner those qualities.

I think it’s the same for all of us.  No, we usually don’t do amazing, big or monumental things in the world.  But we can do small, meaningful and loving things as part of who we are and what we do.

I love this quote by Helen Keller:

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. —-Helen Keller

We are the vessels of change in this world, and mostly in small but important ways.  For me, it’s what I call being an agent of transformation.  It’s how I try and walk in the world, it’s gives meaning to my interactions and my work.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving week manifesting your Presence in the world.

Love and light,

Genevieve

Are you looking for a support on your Priestess Path?  This is a wonderful resource, full of history, personal stories and a tool kit for your path.  Stepping Into Ourselvescover_sio

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Seeker, a Flower Essence Practitioner, a photographer, a socially responsible  investor, a mother, a grandmother and a devotee of God/Goddess/Divine/Spirit. You can contact her at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Solitary Ritual at the Cross Quarter

Goddess, ritual

Tomorrow is the cross-quarter day between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice, often called Samhain (traditionally celebrated on Oct 31/Nov 1). This day heralds the beginning of the Season of the Dark, the first day of Winter.

Though daylight savings brings more light in the morning, we feel the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer. There is a part of me that longs for this cozy-curling-up time of year, ready to put aside the hustle of the last season of harvest and incubate until the light returns at the beginning of February. But, alas, at the breakneck pace of all of our lives, that is not entirely possible.

While the traditional celebration of Samhain, All Hallows Eve, and Halloween are often in groups, I find particular solace in a ritual at the actual cross-quarter day. My obligations as priestess and costume-fancier are over, so now I can spend time in solitary ceremony. At our full moon ritual last Friday, we cast the circle with salt. I had forgotten how powerful a salt circle can be; I felt completely held and protected between the worlds. So tomorrow night, I am going to make time for a solitary ritual: me, a salt circle, a candle, and flowers as an offering.

Take a moment for yourself at this powerful cross-quarter day. Release some of the excesses of the harvest season; anything that you do not need for the coming winter should be left behind as compost for the spring. Lighten your load, and get ready for the curling-up time of year.

Blessings of the Season to you – Anne

A note on seasons, names and dates: The Greeting of the Dark is the first day of Winter, celebrated on the cross-quarter day at the midpoint between Mid-Autumn and Mid-Winter. This day is at the cross of the quarters, the quarters of the year being the equinoxes and solstices. Astrologically, the First Day of Winter may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 15° Scorpio, which currently Falls around November 6th and 7th (Other methods for determining the cross-quarter days and charts showing the date ranges for the seasons can be found at: http://www.archaeoastronomy.com.) This festival is commonly called Samhain (pronounced sow’ en, from the Gaelic, meaning “the end of summer”), traditionally celebrated October 31st. The term Halloween, common parlance in the United States, descends from the Catholic tradition of All Hallows Eve, or Hallowe’en, which is observed on October 31st, literally the “eve” of All Hallows Day. All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows Day, occurs on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd.

Dia de los Muertos :Origins and Altars By Maria Veronica Iglesias Ramos

Dia de los Muertos, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, ritual

dia-de-los-muertos

Origen prehispanico de la festividad

The Dia de los Muertos celebration has it origins in the Prehispanic Mexico. In that area the people used several calendars, the solar calendar with 365 days, the ritual calendar with 260 day called Tonalpohualli, they also used another types of calendars.

The Mesoamerican cosmogony is based in the philosophy of the opposites and complementary, this means that we have energies that complement each other.  In this cosmology, Dead is a counterpart of Life and vice versa, we need both in order to have harmony in the Cosmos.

Here are some examples:

MOTHER/MADRE
9
Down/Abajo
Cold/Frío
Female/Hembra
Humedity,Moistness/Humedad
Underworld/Inframundo
Dead/Muerte
Night/Noche
Ocelot/Ocelote
Oscurity/Oscuridad
FATHER/PADRE
13
Up/Arriba
Hot/Calor
Male/Macho
Drought/Sequía
Sky/Cielo
Life/Vida
Day/Día
Eagle/Águila
Light/Luz

Historically, during the harvest season, the people celebrated and shared food and the harvest of the year, with their ancestors.  They believed that their ancestors were also helping to plant and take care of the plants, so when they were collecting the fruits of the harvest it was normal to share with all those that helped with the planting and tending of the fields.  To celebrate, they created altars, with flowers, especially Cempoalxochitl, a beautiful yellow flower (marigold), they feasted on tamales, mole and turkey.

As part of celebrating the ancestors, the people recognized that when someone died, they could go to different places:

– The Tlalocan, was a kind of paradise where the people who died for causes related with water went. Their bodies were buried.

– The Omeyocan, the place where for the warriors who died in war as well as women who died during childbirth (cihuateteo). It was the place of Tonatiuh the Sun and Huitzilopochtli the deity of the war. Their bodies were buried.

– The Mictlan, the place of Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl the lord and the lady of the Mictlan lived. The people who died for natural causes went there, the soul took 4 years to arrive. The dogs or  Xoloixcuintles were the guides, that is why was very important that every person during their life had at least one dog who will help in the transition.

– The Chichihuacauhco, this was a place where the babies who died before eating corn went. They believed that in that place was a tree with uncountable breasts where the babies were having milk.

dia-de-los-muertos-2

Altars:  Following the arrival of the Spaniards several elements changed, the celebration was changed to the day of All the Saints. Currently the altars dedicated to the dead have some these elements:

  • A picture of the loved one
  • Water is important because the souls are thirsty after their journey to this world
  • Salt
  • Bread, pan de muerto.
  • The food that the loved ones used to eat
  • Liquors
  • cigars
  • Candles
  • Flowers, cempoalxochitl or cempasúchil
  • Sugar skulls with the name of the people who is still alive, because we never know when we are going to be gone
  • Sweet Pumpkin
  • Fruits of the season
  • Mole with turkey
  • Sometimes the music that the deceased loved is played

The Day of the Dead of Dia de los Muertos is very alive.  I feel it is very important because it offers us the opportunity to feel the presence of our loved ones who have passed.  Creating an altar for our deceased loved ones is a good reminder that we will not be here on this plane forever.  We will transcend at some point, so to do what we love to do , to love our loved ones and follow our path toward happiness and love.

I want to close with a prehispanic poem:

Does no one know where we are going?
Do we go to God’s home or
do we live only here on earth?
Ah ohuaya.

Let your hearts know,
oh princes, oh eagles and jaguars
that we will not be friends forever,
only for a moment here, then we go
to Life Giver’s home,
Ohuaya ohuaya.

vero

Maria Veronica Iglesias Ramos

I would like to invite you to join us for Dia de los Muertos in Mexico in 2018! Immerse yourself in the indigenous traditions, and find your own connection to your ancestors. “Los muerto tienen sed, los vivos culpas. The dead are thirsty, and the living are culpable.” –Ricardo Arjona. For more information on Day of the Dead please see:  our Pinterest Board .

Maria Veronica Iglesias Ramos was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She has a Bachelor´s degree in Library Sciences and a Master´s Degree in Mesoamerican Studies from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico). She grew up in a family that always honors the Earth, the plants and all the living beings.Veronica was initiated as a sahumadora (bearer of the Sacred Sahumerio) when she was 8 years old. She studied about medicinal plants, crystal therapy and healing with gems. She also was initiated in the sacred knowledge of Mesoamerican shamanism and she became a Portadora de la Palabra, bearer of the Sacred Word. She is also a Priestess of Ix´Cheel, the Mayan Goddess of Medicine. She is currently researching gem stones and their therapeutic use, Pre-Hispanic medicine,  Feminine Shamanism in Mesoamerica, Feminine rites of passage and Goddesses from Mesoamerica.

For more information and to follow Goddess Ink Blog visit www.goddess-ink.com  or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo credits: Veronica Iglesias

This blog was originally published in November 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dia de muertos:  Origins and Altars

By Veronica Iglesias Ramos

 

Origen prehispanico de la festividad

The Dia de Muetos Celebration has it origins in the Prehispanic Mexico. In that area the people used several calendars, the solar calendar with 365 days, the ritual calendar with 260 day called Tonalpohualli, they also used another types of calendars.

 

The Mesoamerican cosmogony is based in the philosophy of the opposites and complementary, this means that we have energies that complement each other.  In this cosmology, Dead is a counterpart of Life and viceverse, we need both in order to have harmony in the Cosmos.

Here are some examples:

 

 

MOTHER/MADRE
9
Down/Abajo
Cold/Frío
Female/Hembra
Humedity,Moistness/Humedad
Underworld/Inframundo
Dead/Muerte
Night/Noche
Ocelot/Ocelote
Oscurity/Oscuridad
FATHER/PADRE
13
Up/Arriba
Hot/Calor
Male/Macho
Drought/Sequía
Sky/Cielo
Life/Vida
Day/Día
Eagle/Águila
Light/Luz

 

 

 

 

Historically, during the harvest season, the people celebrated and shared food and the harvest of the year, with their ancestors.  They believed that their ancestors were also helping to plant and take care of the plants, so when they were collecting the fruits of the harvest it was normal to share with all those that helped with the planting and tending of the fields.  To celebrate, they created altars, with flowers, especially Cempoalxochitl, a beautiful yellow flower (marigold), they feasted on tamales, mole and turkey.

 

As part of celebrating the ancestors, the people recognized that when someone died, they could go to different places:

– The Tlalocan, was a kind of paradise where the people who died for causes related with water went. Their bodies were buried.

– The Omeyocan, the place where for the warriors who died in war as well as women who died during childbirth (cihuateteo). It was the place of Tonatiuh the Sun and Huitzilopochtli the deity of the war. Their bodies were buried.

– The Mictlan, the place of Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl the lord and the lady of the Mictlan lived. The people who died for natural causes went there, the soul took 4 years to arrive. The dogs or  Xoloixcuintles were the guides, that is why was very important that every person during their life had at least one dog who will help in the transition.

– The Chichihuacauhco, this was a place where the babies who died before eating corn went. They believed that in that place was a tree with uncountable breasts where the babies were having milk.

 

After the arrival of the Spaniards several elements changed, the celebration was changed to the day of All the Saints. Currently the altars dedicated to the dead have some these elements:

  • A picture of the loved one
  • Water is important because the souls are thirsty after their journey to this world
  • Salt
  • Bread, pan de muerto.
  • The food that the loved ones used to eat
  • Liquors
  • cigars
  • Candles
  • Flowers, cempoalxochitl or cempasúchil
  • Sugar skulls with the name of the people who is still alive, because we never know when we are going to be gone
  • Sweet Pumpkin
  • Fruits of the season
  • Mole with turkey
  • Sometimes the music that the deceased loved is played