a hand holding an origami paper heart up to the sun during sunset

Harvest

Divine, Goddess, Priestess, Seasonal Greetings

Today is the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox, at the cross of the quarters. In Anglo-Saxon England, this day was historically considered a harvest festival. But this day makes me think of a different kind of harvest.

This year, the monsoon rains came late to Albuquerque, and our plants have been wilting in the heat. The flowers in the front yard have only a few leaves (and only one blossom from a stalwart purple petunia). Our tomatoes were ravaged not only by heat by also by hookworms. The grapes are only now ripening, and the clusters are sparse, having been hit by hail at the beginning of the season and then a harsh monsoonal downpour last weekend.

My harvest this year is a harvest of the heart. My anniversary is today (celebrating 11 wonderful years of marriage), and I am held and supported by many friendships that are forged by the love of the Goddess, a commitment to connecting with the Divine, and honoring the web that weaves us all together.

Take a moment today to contemplate your harvest. Where are your seedlings thriving? Which blossoms are the fullest and brightest? Give an offering of gratitude to the fruits that nourish your life.

This day also marks the first day of autumn. The days are beginning to shorten, and we will begin to turn within. Take some time in these last days of the season to dance, sing, and enjoy the outward expression of your innermost beauty.

Love and Blessings for this day — Anne

N.B.: This cross-quarter festival is commonly called Lammas (from the Anglo-Saxon for “loaf mass”) or Lughnasadh (from the Irish god Lugh), traditionally celebrated August 1st. Astrologically, the First Day of Fall may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 15° Leo, which currently Falls around August 6th and 7th.

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The Daily Acts of Priestessing

Compassion, Empowerment, Priestess, ritual

The swirl of a cape, the waft of incense, the amber necklace and serpent ring — these are all part of my experience priestessing rituals. In these ritual, I have time to prepare myself to step into the role of priestess, to take up the sacred mantle.

One our recent trip to Mexico of my fellow priestesses reminded me of the daily acts of priestessing. Driving in heavy traffic we passed a car wreck, and she spoke words of ease. I remember thinking that the last thing on my mind were the people involved in the wreck–I was worried about traffic and reaching our destination.

The moments that call for the touch and words of a priestess happen irregardless of my dress and preparation. They happen organically, urging me to swim in the current of life, open to what may happen, rather than my usual habit of driving forward irregardless of what is going on around me. I remember again the words of Jalaja Bonheim:

One of the main ways we (as priestesses) serve our communities is through our daily work….the cashier will sense (that) the thousand daily interactions she has with her customers matter, and have meaning. *

As this morning unfolds, I open to the opportunity of daily acts of priestessing.

Blessings –

Anne

*from “The Path of Priestess and Priest: Initiation into an Ancient Tradition” by Jalaja Bonheim from Stepping into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses.

 

The power of Story

Compassion, Divine, Empowerment, Priestess, Story

shutterstock_250511077“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”– Anais Nin

I’ve spent some time this week thinking about my story, the story I tell myself, and how it is a lens by which I view my world.  I’ve been thinking a great deal about the word “God”, and what that story means in my life.  I’m recalling that Mary Daly, in her writings likened the word God to the word “Man”, by which we then equate man (male) with God…. We also have the story of the of the distant (male) Patriarch, (in my little girl belief was a old white man with a beard), who is all knowing and all powerful who lived way far away, in heaven (not close to us, on Earth).  Males who promulgated such thinking, using their sacred texts to give credence and credibility to their story, disregarded, devalued and allowed the abuse of women using this religious authority.

But what if we extend this story to Mother Earth?  Mother Earth as female, available for use and abuse by those in authority, isn’t that what we are doing now?   Is not that what our consumer driven, environmentally unsustainable economy is doing?

What if we changed the story to honor the feminine, the female, the generative elements of the Earth and “all our relations” (not just human)?  Perhaps it’s time for a new story, to incorporate Mother Earth, Woman and Goddess into the new conversations about how we view and act in the world.  What do you think?

What is your story?

Bright Blessings,

Genevieve

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, 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.

Photo Credits:  Stock Photos

 

We are the Image of the Divine by Genevieve Mitchell

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Goddess, Priestess, ritual

shutterstock_84743155We as women are images of the Divine.  We, young, middle aged, old, of all colors, shapes, sizes, inclinations and temperaments.   When you look in the mirror, I hope you see that you are a manifestation of Goddess, of Light, of Divinity.  Notice the faces in your circles, in your home, at work.  What if we could each see the divinity within each of those faces?  I love the word “Namaste”- loosely translated from Sanskrit to mean “the spirit in me honors the spirit in you”.

How can we honor that spirit in each other?  Take a deep breath, and ask, when do I image the Divine, when do I look like the Goddess?

….When I offer support and compassion to someone who is lonely, needing support or has suffered a sorrow.

….When I spend time in nature and honor “all my relations”, the plants, the flowers, the trees, the birds, the fish, the insects, the animals, the earth, the water, the air and the sun.

….When I choose to do what is right and holy, not necessarily what is easy or acceptable.

….When I work for environmental sustainability or social justice, when I do my part to make the world a better place for my children’s children’s children.

…..When I  look in the mirror and see myself as a manifestation of the Divine.

In these challenging times, I honor you, in your role as priestess, as prophet, as teacher, as leader.  I also honor your role as servant, helper, pray-er, as community member.  I also honor you as one who is weary, sorrowful, scorned, or unrecognized for the gift that you are.  I honor you as a manifestation of Divine Light in the world.

“May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Goddess bless you, and bless you kindly.”

Scottish Blessing (adapted)

Namaste, Genevieve

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, 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.

Photo Credits:  Stock Photos

 

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Summer Solstice and Full Moon: Illumination from Within and Without by Anne Key

Priestess, ritual, Seasonal Greetings, Summer Solstice

Today is Mid-Summer, the Summer Solstice. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are living in the moments of the most light of the year, the “longest day.” As the sun sets today the Full Moon will rise, bringing the “shortest night” filled with the loving light of the moon.

This year, the inescapable light of Summer Solstice and the Full Moon shines in every corner of ourselves, radiating our luminous selves and illuminating the dark hidden spaces, in our most public and most private selves.  This is the moment to embrace ourselves as whole—to love, honor, and cherish each thread of our cloth.

Carve out time today or tonight, in this twenty-four hours of unremitting Light, to spend a moment to find your center. Breathe in to that place, feeding it with love and support; for with a strong stance in our center, we can open wide. Open to being grateful for everything that has been illuminated, the desirable and the difficult. Expand to encompass the wholeness, the holiness, of it all.

This Mid-Summer day and this Full Moon night, let’s hold precious each thread of our existence; breathe in the magic that is the cloth as whole, as holy, and unfurl ourselves to what only we can be. For therein lies the gift to the all.

Bright Blessings to you.

Note on Dates: Astrologically, Mid-Summer may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 0 degree cancer. Summer Solstice (Latin: “sun ceases”) is known as Mid-Summer or Litha (from the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of June) and St. John’s Day (the feast day of St. John the Baptist).

Anne Key is the Founder and CEO of Goddess Ink.  She is a writer, dancer, instructor, Priestess –She wants to live in a world where women are wild, knees don’t age, the fragrance of flowers fills the air,  and we all love—and are loved for being—exactly who we are.

Anne Key’s first book Desert Priestess is memoir of her time as the Temple Priestess at the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet in Nevada.  Take a journey with Anne as she shares her experience as a twenty first century Priestess.   For more information on Goddess Ink visit www.goddess-ink.com or visit us on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.

 

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Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz — finding voices by Anne Key

Empowerment, Mexico, Priestess, ritual

As I prepare everything for the Sacred Tour of Mexico I am leading next week, I am researching Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. She is a name I know well, but as I dig, new pieces appear.

I had not remembered that she was born out of wedlock, listed as a “child of the church.” What an auspicious beginning for a woman who dedicated her life to the church and helped expand its view of women.

A dedicated and highly self-disciplined student,

Cruz, a youth, cut off a lock of her hair each time she failed to remember one of her Latin grammar lessons because, “It didn’t seem right to me that a head so naked of knowledge should be dressed up with hair, for knowledge is a more desirable adornment. (more here)

Her scholarly pursuits, though, brought her under constant attack. She considered her own intellect a mixed blessing:

“I thought I was fleeing myself, but — woe is me! — I brought myself with me, and brought my greatest enemy in my inclination to study, which I know not whether to take as a Heaven-sent favor or as a punishment.” (more here)

And, in forward-looking reference to Lady Gaga, she reminds her detractors that she was born this way:

“Who has forbidden women to engage in private and individual studies? Have they not a rational soul as men do?…I have this inclination to study and if it is evil I am not the one who formed me thus – I was born with it and with it I shall die.” (more here)

In the 1690, as her patronage waned, Sor Juana was not allowed to publish her work and she was forced to give away her library of books. She died in 1695 after caring for nuns that were stricken with the plague.

Her passionate pleas for the education of women have inspired us all. In 1988, Octavio Paz introduced her to a new generation with his book Sor Juana: Or the Traps of Faith.

And here are a few words from one of her most famous poems, Hombres Necios:

Males perverse, schooled to condemn
Women by your witless laws,
Though forsooth you are prime cause
Of that which you blame in them: (more here)

My Mid Year Review

Uncategorized

It’s the first of June (sort of), and a chance for me to review the first six months of 2016.  I keep a couple of journals, and in one, which I start at the beginning of each year, is my intention setting journal.  It’s where I explore how I did the prior year, what I completed and what I didn’t complete.  Then after much writing and pondering I put together my intentions for the year.

This year I had several categories, my connection to the Divine (always the first item on my list), my relationship to myself, my family and relationships, my work, a special project, money, house (sacred space), play and travel.  I spent time, over several weeks, pondering what I wanted for myself in each of these areas, and how I hoped they would unfold over the course of the year.

I try to at least take a look and check in with my list monthly. I journal about my successes, challenges, experiences and observations. The other thing, of course, I look to check off and complete items on my list….isn’t that what you are supposed to do with To Do lists?

This morning, after reviewing my goals and intentions I had a fortuitous encounter with one of my mentors.  We were discussing the many and varied (and overwhelming) pieces of my life.  My old pattern is to plan, organize, make lists and check off the list.  She suggested the possibility that perhaps I could let go of my old pattern, and be open to just allowing all the myriad pieces of my life to unfold….Wow! What a concept.  I have to say, it’s a new lens to look at life, to be with what is, and allow it and me just to BE, without an an agenda or a goal at the end.  I’ve never had a mid year review quite like this, permission to not check off the list, but rather, just allow my life to unfold.  It’s quite a new way to view my life….I have to say, I like it.

Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, 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.

Photo Credits:  Stock Photos

 

Memorial Day Reflections on Grief

Compassion, contemplation, Divine, Empowerment, Goddess, Loss and Grief, Memorial Day, Priestess

Today is Memorial Day, a day we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers, our veterans, and those who served our country and died in war.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day).

Today, I want to honor those who have passed.  I also want to honor those who grieve.  I want to honor those who have lost someone to war, who had to go on living after that loss.  For mothers and fathers, who sent their daughters and sons to the military, and lost them to war.  For kids who grew up without a parent, because of war.  For sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends and neighbors, who have grieved because of war. I also pray that the Infinite Source of Light and Wisdom will surround us as we grieve our loss.

Blessings- I send you each a flower with Blessing and Light, to honor your loss and to honor your grief on this Memorial Day 2016.

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Genevieve Mitchell is a Partner with Goddess Ink Publishing.  She is a Priestess, a Network Weaver, 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.

Photo Credits:  All photos by Genevieve Mitchell.

Coyolxauhqui, Embracing that you could be broken, that your heart is in pieces by M. Veronica Iglesias

Goddesses of the Americas, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, Priestess, ritual, sacred sites

CoyolxauhquiToday I want to talk about archetypes, forces that we re-create during our lives. When we know them, we can begin to understand ourselves and to take the next logical steps to continue on our paths.

Here is an excellent definitions of the archetypes:

The term “archetype” has its origins in ancient Greek. The root words are archein, which means “original or old,” and typos, which means “pattern, model or type.” The combined meaning is: “original pattern,” that which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are derived, copied, modeled, or emulated. The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that universal, mythic characters —archetypes— reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolve; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions.

Although there are many different archetypes, Jung defined twelve primary types that symbolize basic human motivations. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits. Most, if not all, people have several archetypes at play in their personality construct; however, one archetype tends to dominate the personality in general. It can be helpful to know which archetypes are at play in oneself and others, especially loved ones, friends and co-workers, in order to gain personal insight into behaviors and motivations. (http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html)

Archetypes exist in every culture, and I want to share about one that is from the Aztec culture: Coyolxauhqui. The name Coyolxauhqui means “painted with bells” since she is commonly depicted with bells on her cheeks. The Aztec mythology tells the following story about her:

“As the pious and virtuous primordial mother Coatlicue (“the one with the snake skirt”) swept the temple at the Coatepec, she found a bundle of precious feathers, which she put away under her skirt. Without her knowing, these feathers made her become pregnant. This mysterious pregnancy embarrassed her children, the Centzon Huitznahua (“the four hundred – or uncountable Southern”), and her daughter Coyolxauhqui, who decided to kill her mother. When they arrived at the Coatepec, Coatlicue had already given birth to Huitzilopochtli in full war armor, who decapitated Coyolxauhqui, throwing her body down the hill, smashing it into pieces. Only a few of the Centzon Huitznahua could escape to the South, where since then the can be seen as stars in the sky.” (From Karl Taube Aztekische und Maya-Mythen, Stuttgart 1994 (http://universes-in-universe.org/eng/art_destinations/mexico/tour/templo_mayor/12).

The patriarchal system started around 3,000 of years ago, since then feminine energy was pushed aside, bringing great imbalance to the planet and the entire universe. Pilar Manzanares believes that the myth of Coyolxauqui represents the female rebellion against patriarchy, explaining the defeat of the feminine. (http://www.miriamlopezhernandez.com/uploads/1/1/7/6/11767522/pres._libro_pilar_alberti_mujer_divina_mujer_terrena_jul_2012.pdf) Discussing the patriarchal order, Jean Shinoda Bolen observed “there is not room for vulnerability, tenderness and innocence. There is not room for empathy or compassion for enemies, competitors or rivals” (Gods in Every Man).

Coyolxauhqui appears into your life when you feel broken into pieces, and the patriarchal system has pushed you to your limit. She comes when you feel that the care of the mother has disappeared leaving you an orphan, experiencing great loneliness, isolation, sadness, disappointment and fears. You feel unable to continue for fear of being attacked by society. Coyolxauqui invites you to stand up for yourself, be in your feet, reclaim your birth right of existence on this Earth and be acknowledged, honored and respected as a woman. Her energy is about becoming your own mother and taking care of and nurturing yourself. She helps you to re-create who you are or who you want to be after a personal crisis.

Thoughts, Affirmations and Meditations to work and embrace her energy.

“To become the mothers of ourselves is to sustain ourselves, to take care, guide and pamper ourselves, to believe in ourselves and give birth to ourselves as courageous women, and open to life and nurture our inner feminine wisdom.” Germana Martin http://lapalabrachamanica.blogspot.com/

Affirmation

“Today I’ll take care of myself; today I begin to be born”.

 

Meditation

Light a candle and some incense of sage or cedar to ready yourself for ritual. Sit down in a comfortable position and start breathing deeply. Visualize yourself surrounded by a blue light of protection. Call in your personal guides and Coyolxauhqui.

On a piece of paper write your full name. Remember a difficult situation that made you feel broken, hurt, and in pain. When you remember the details start cutting the paper in pieces. Let the emotions come freely. If you need to cry, to scream, or feel angry, let it come. When you are done, put the pieces of the paper back together so that you can see your full name. Use some tape to put all of the pieces together.

Now visualize a beautiful nurturing energy coming to you, and bring that energy into your hands. Cover the paper with your hands, surrounding your name with this sweet energy. Bring the healing that you need.

Take a deep breath and honor this moment.  Now take that piece of paper and put it in your altar. This symbolizes that you can be broken in pieces and that you also have the power to bring you back again.

Close the meditation and say “thank you” or “Namaste”.

If you want to experience a more vivid and close connection with the healing energy of Coyolxauqui, I invite you to a sacred journey in Mexico where we will visit different sacred places for ceremonies and meditation. See more information: http://www.goddess-ink.com/events.html

Blessings, love and light.

Maria Veronica Iglesias

About M. Verónica Iglesias:  Maria Veronica Iglesias 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.

She was initiated as a sahumandora (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.

Web site:  www.papalotl.net

 

On FBhttps://www.facebook.com/Papalotl-Honoring-your-transformation-1544095532529769/

Goddess Ink:  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/

a hand holding an origami paper heart up to the sun during sunset

First Day of Summer

Beltane, Goddess, Priestess, ritual, Seasonal Greetings

Greetings! May 4th is the First Day of Summer, the cross-quarter day between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. If we think of the summer as the Season of the Light, then we can see that now it is definitely lighter in the mornings.  This holiday is usually called Beltane, but I think of it as the Greeting of the Flame because this is the season that heralds the beginning of the long bright days.

Living in Albuquerque NM, today feels like the first day of summer. The sun is warm and inviting. The roses and wisteria are in bloom. This is the beginning of the season of Light.

This first day of Summer, I feel as if I’m finally getting traction. My feet are hitting the ground, and I am beginning the sprint. It seems there has been so much preparation this spring, so many things to work out, so many complications, so many things holding me back. And now, the long days illuminate the path. Indeed, the way is open. Take a moment at this cross-point in the year to revel in the light of your own accomplishments that have brought you here, and give a word of thanks to those that have illuminated your path.

Note on Dates: Traditionally Beltane is celebrated on May 1st or the eve before. Astrologically, the First Day of Summer may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 15° Taurus (Tropical system), which currently Falls around May 4th to 5th (this year on May 4th).