butterfly in the sun

Beltaine: Season of Light

Beltane, Seasonal Greetings

Today is the first day of summer, the cross-quarter day between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, often called Beltane or May Day. 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.   

We are entering the season of light, and the life-giving light of the sun energizes us to the very marrow of our bones. It is a time to breathe in the vitality and vigor of the season and allow it to move us forward on our path and bring our dreams to fruition.

However, in this season of quarantine, unrest, and unknown, moving forward is, well, not straightforward, especially when we are not even sure where the road ahead leads. Uncharted territory can open vast opportunities, but it also stymies the forge ahead.

But, we do know one thing that every single being on this planet can use more of: kindness. As we enter through the gate of Beltane into the light of summer, open your heart’s petals to the rejuvenating and revitalizing light of the Sun, and bring grace, beauty, love and power to all. 

Brightest Blessings to all. May kindness flow from our hearts, and may our hearts open to be filled. 

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. See more here.

Spring Equinox Crown Bread

Goddess, spring equinox

If you have some time for a little baking, try making Crown Bread for Spring Equinox! I love baking the colored eggs in the bread. When you braid the dough together, be mindful of what you are braiding. Are you braiding halves of yourself together? Are you bringing the drop and ocean, the individual and the whole, into one? Are you braiding together peace and prosperity, health and safety, love and and happiness? As you place each egg in the braid, infuse it with what you want to bring to fruition.

I’m going with a profound shift for seeing our world as interconnected, and our responsibility for the whole equal to our responsibility for self. I ask for each person to reach in and find courage, strength, and resilience, to find the deepest love and the widest view.  Blessed Be. 

Spring Equinox- Moments of Growth and Stillness

Goddess, spring equinox

Today is Spring Equinox, the day the sun rises and sets at exact east and west, the day when the northern and southern hemispheres are bathed in equal light. By the Gaelic calendar, this is mid-Spring, halfway through the season. From this point on, the light will continue to grow until we are drenched in sunlight at the Summer Solstice.

This Spring Equinox arrives on a waning moon and amid a self-quarantine for Covid 19. I feel ricocheted between the liveliness of spring with growth all around (our sunny daffodils are up and the scarlet quince flowers are in full beauty) and the stagnation of a city at a virtual standstill (streets are quiet; restaurants closed). The days are longer, but the activities are shorter. The spring energy propels me forward, but so much is stationary. I have a feeling that before this is over that I will have cleaned out the detritus from the vegetable drawers in the fridge.

I am also feeling between the worlds – in stasis yet moving, only marginally connected to life beyond my home, and that umbilical cord being the cable to the router.

At the equinox, the sun rises in exact east and sets in exact west. This moment of stasis gives us time to check our internal compass—is the bearing true? At this time when shoots are thrusting through the earth and leaves begin to sprout, do we know what we want to cultivate? Is our cultivation in alignment with our true purpose? Take this moment to find our deepest love and our widest view, where we truly hold ourselves as both an individual drop and the vast ocean.

Brightest Blessings to all, and wishing health and peace for everyone
– Anne

Imbolc 2020

Brigit, Goddess, Imbolc, Seasonal Greetings

This Sunday, February 3 2020, 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.

The light brings growth, and some of the earliest flowers are pushing forth. Today we have just passed the first quarter and are speeding toward the Full Moon (next Sunday 2/9). The moon’s energy lights a fire under this beginning of spring, propelling us upward.

In the Celtic calendar, this is Imbolc, the “quickening,” the feeling of life growing within us. On this day we honor Brigit—Celtic Fire Goddess and Christian Saint—associated with healing, poetry, and smithcraft.

Take a moment now as we perch on the verge of Spring. Hitch onto the power of the moon and the season. Finish projects, dig in to something new, and take on that thing that you have wanted to do for oh so long.

What you create in the world, what your unique skills bring to fruition, what irreplaceable manifestation you bring forth is needed, is important, is part of what makes everything whole. Brigit, the moon, and the sun all support this work, right now. Do not hold back. Know that there is a place for what you bring.

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 on the dusk of January 31 to the dusk on February 1st, and Candlemas on February 2nd. Candlemas is the Feast of Purification for the Virgin Mary, on which day Brigit accompanied her in the church with a lit harrow on her head to attract attention away from the shy Mary–according to one tale. 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  https://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2020.html .

Throughout this week, we will be honoring Brigit as we approach Her feast day. To celebrate, the definitive Brigit anthology, Brigit: Sun of Womanhood, edited by Patricia Monaghan, will be 30% off in our Goddess Ink store, and a free download with a Brigit invocation. Peruse all of our Celtic offerings, including the Weaver’s Oracle and the Celtic Goddess Oracle, Starr Goode’s fantastic book on the Sheila Na Gig’s, and Patricia Monaghan’s Red-Haired Girl from the Bog. 

Là Fhèill Brìghde sona dhuibh uile! Happy St. Bridget’s Day to you all!

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Brigit, Divine, Goddess

Brigit (or Brigid, Brighid, Brig, or Bride) is a Celtic Goddess, later a Catholic Saint, associated with healing, poetry, and smithcraft.

In all her forms, She brings inspiration (a fire quality) and provides the spark for motivation. Her fire associations are so strong that a perpetual fire was set at Kildare in Her honour. The fire still burns there today. She also became the Goddess of the hearth-fire, the fire of the home, since She contains the mother and fire aspects.

The festival of Imbolc on February 1 is dedicated to Brigit. The Christianized festival is St. Bridget’s Day in honour of St. Bridget. (from Brigid’s Flame).

Read about Brigit

Brigit: Sun of Womanhood

Brigit: Sun of Womanhood offers a holistic picture of Brigit from her beginnings as a Celtic Goddess to her role as a Christian saint. The contributors to this anthology hail from all parts of the globe—including Ireland, Scotland, the United States and Canada—reflecting the widespread influence of Brigit. Readers will be transformed by this inspiring collection.

This newest anthology from Goddess Ink is edited by Michael McDermott and Patricia Monaghan and features writers from Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the US including Carol Christ, Sr. Rita Minehan, M. Macha Nightmare, Dolores Whelan, Joan McBreen, Matthew Geden, and many others.

Get your copy from Goddess Ink, Amazon, or other online retailers.

Resources to connect with Brigit:

n 1993 the flame of Brigid was re-lit and has been tended by the Brigidine Sisters in Solas Bhride ever since. Located in Kildare, Ireland. 

The Daughters of the Flame began their Brigidine flame-tending on the same day as the Brigidine Sisters relit her flame in Kildare. This non-denominational, international, women-only group can be found through their website or their Facebook page, or through their founder, Mael Brigde.

For classes with Mael Brigde, see Mystery School of the Goddess

beat me on your anvil Brigit

melt me in your pot

knit me solid

make me whole

bring from me a fine bossed cauldron

offering to your endless round

in this life and the next

this life and the next

From “Goddess of Smiths” by Mael Brigde in Brigit: Sun of Womanhood 

Summer Solstice: Bathe in Light

Seasonal Greetings, Solstice, Summer Solstice

Today is Mid-Summer, the Summer Solstice. As penned by Shakespeare in his famous play, this is a time of high spirits, magic, and love. It is a time to surrender to the bright energy of the sun. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are living in the moments of the most light of the year. Solstice means “sun ceases,” and it is at this point that the sun stills, rising and setting at its northernmost position on the horizon the few days before and after Mid-summer, drenching us in almost unrelenting light.

I love the slowness of the solstices. The effects stretch out for a few days (unlike the equinoxes which have one moment of balance then quickly move on).

This can be helpful, for opening to the light can be a bit of a process. What do I want to show others? What do I want to illuminate on within myself? It can sometimes take a bit of time to work up the courage to look at the places within that are usually in shadow. Sometimes I take the take of “if I don’t look for it, it isn’t really there.” But, as we all know, it is there. There are the places of unresolved and sometimes ever-growing doubt, anger, jealousy, desire, greed, envy, resentment, just to name a few.

My challenge today is to hold all of these pieces of me in the light, for each precious bit adds to the being that I am. I am less than me without this. Each aspect of myself is a treasure. Let me fortify it, energize it, charging it in the sunshine. And, whole and holy, may I walk with arms outstretched and heart open into the unremitting golden light of the sun today

Bright Blessings to you –



Photo: Ian Flude. Anne and Lori in Conwy, Wales, Summer Solstice Eve.

Spring Equinox and the Full Moon: Illumination and Alignment

Goddess, spring equinox

Today is Spring Equinox, the day the sun rises and sets at exact east and west, the day when the northern and southern hemispheres are bathed in equal light. By the Celtic calendar, this is mid-Spring, halfway through the season. From this point on, the light will continue to grow until we are drenched in sunlight at the Summer Solstice.

Today, we bask in both solar and lunar energy. The full moon – so beautiful and bright this morning! — is in Aries/Libra, bringing an extra charge of balance and moving forward.

The sun symbolizes our consciousness, how we “show up” in the world. The moon is our inner world, and the full moon brings light to our innermost chambers.

At this powerful solar and lunar moment, take time today to balance and re-align. For some cultures, this is the new year; treat today as a beginning. Allow the light of the moon to shine in all the spaces deep within you. The sun, rising in exact east and exact west, shows our true path. Check your internal compass—is it true? At this time when shoots are thrusting through the earth and leaves begin to sprout, do you know what you want to cultivate? Is your cultivation in alignment with your true purpose?

We may not know the answers, but open yourself to the powerful energies of this day. Allow the sun and moon to guide your thoughts. I pray today for clarity for us all—may the pathways open, and may we feel true in each step.

Brightest Blessings to you at the turn of the wheel — Anne

Copal — 5 Things to Know

Divination, Goddess, Jade Oracle, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, The Jade Oracle

Copal is the aromatic resin from the Copalquahuitl tree (bursera bipinnata). This sacred resin was used in religious rites and healing rituals. Here are 5 things to know about Copal:

  1. Copal is from the Bursera Bipinnata tree, which grows from Mexico to Central America. In Nahuatl, this is called “copalquahuitl,” the “copal tree.” In Nahuatl, copal is “copalli.”
  2. It is used for healing. The truly magical scent of copal is immediately relaxing, balancing the body. This can reduce blood pressure as well as increase  sahumando cenoteconcentration. The scent has also been used as a treatment for insomnia and headaches as well as increasing one’s creativity. It can be drunk as a tea, sweetened with honey, as a treatment for respiratory problems.
  3. It is used as an adhesive and binder. Copal resin is found in mosaics from ancient Mexico, often used to adhere turquoise and other precious stones. It is also used as a binder for pigments in murals. The murals at Bonampak, for example, utilized copal as a binder for the pigment, making them encaustic murals as opposed to frescoes.
  4. It comes in different colors. Copal Blanco, white copal, is usually the highest quality. The smoke from this copal is white and billows out. Copal Blanco has been associated with honoring Tlaloc, the rain deity, as the white clouds of smoke call out for rain. There is also yellow, black and red copal.
  5. It is used in ritual. When copal burns, magnificent clouds of fragrant white smoke


    Traditional drawing of  a ceremonial bag of copal

    billow out. The white smoke is sometimes called “the white lady,” and the smoke itself is considered evidence of the dialogue between the heavens and the earth. The column of smoke is transformed into the axis, or center, of the world, representing the turning of the universe and all of the beings.

In the Jade Oracle deck, the divination for drawing the card Copalli is: When you choose copal, you are asked to make an offering. The deities are ready to hear you, ready to communicate with you.

IMG_2372How to use it: Light the charcoal with matches or lighter for about 20 seconds until it self-ignites. Use tongs to hold it up (never hold it with your fingers alone or you might get burned). Place the lit charcoal in a bowl or incense burner filled with sand or dirt. Let the charcoal warm for a few minutes. (It turns gray around the edges when it is ready). Now you are ready! Add a small amount of resin on top of the charcoal. The resin will burn and soon release essential, aromatic oils through the smoke. Put more copal on the IMG_2377 charcoal as it burns out and smoke decreases. If you do not have charcoal, here is a great place to get it.

Ritual uses: Use copal as a smudge to cleanse before ritual. Perfect for honoring ancient Mexican deities and for Day of the Dead ceremonies. A truly beautiful way to begin your reading with The Jade Oracle!

How to break it into smaller pieces: Put the copal into a small freezer baggie. Freeze it overnight. While still in the baggie, hit it with hammer or mallet to break into small pieces.

How to clean your hands after using:  Put a splash of olive oil in your palm and rub it between your hands. Then apply a small amount of liquid hand soap or dish soap to your oiled hands. Rub until you do not feel the stickiness anymore, then rinse with warm water.

Where to purchase Copal: You can purchase superior quality white and black copal from our store!

IMG_6430Anne, a native Texan, visited the borderlands during the 1970’s and 1980’s, but after a trip to Mexico City in 1990, she began annual sojourns and research trips criss-crossing the country of Mexico and into Central America. Her doctoral studies centered on Mesoamerican spiritual practices and the Cihuateteo, divine women honored by many ancient Mexican cultures. She and Veronica Iglesias created The Jade Oracle deck with deities and symbols from ancient Mexico to bring this wisdom to a new generation.

A faculty member in Women’s Studies, English and Religious Studies, Dr. Key is the co-founder of the independent press Goddess Ink and co-editor of two anthologies: Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses and Heart of the Sun: An Anthology in Exaltation of Sekhmet. She has two memoirs, Desert Priestess and Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love: A Memoir of Life Under the Albuquerque Sun. Anne resides in Albuquerque with her husband, his two cats and her snake.

For more information, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Monsoon Season – an excerpt from Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love: A Memoir of Life under the Albuquerque Sun


As we celebrate Summer Reading, here is an excerpt from my second memoir, Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love: Life Under the Albuquerque Sun. This excerpt describes the glorious monsoon season that brings most of the rain for the year:

Late summer in Albuquerque is monsoon season. The word brings to my mind palm trees bending in hurricane-force winds, sheets of rain filling roads and flooding over the curbs, storm drains choked and gurgling. But nary a palm tree is to be found in this semi-arid climate, which is populated with high-desert plants like juniper and sagebrush that thrive at the city’s mile-high altitude. The average rainfall of eight to nine inches per year happens mostly during this season, sometimes in brief torrents, lowering the temperature and providing a respite from the summer heat.

This first Wednesday morning in August begins as a typical monsoon-season day. Ben and I are sitting in the backyard, hands around warm mugs of tea and coffee. Our chairs face east, and over the tops of the mulberry trees and cottonwoods we see the day begin on the eastern horizon with a few cumulus clouds edged in vivid orange and pink over a bright blue sky. In only a few minutes, the clouds turn golden as the sun rises. One moment more and the entire sky is awash in light, white clouds against sapphire: a beautiful start to the day.

I cannot believe that it is already time to prep for fall term. At mid-morning I take a break from setting up my online classes and go outside to drag the trash can up the driveway and back to the garage. A little of the morning coolness lingers, but it is quickly being burned off by the sun, shining completely unimpeded in the cloudless sky. I squint upwards; some clouds lie on the distant eastern horizon, seemingly chased off by the blazing sun. Inside the house is warm and stuffy. I turn on the swamp cooler (the colloquial name for the “evaporative cooler,” a device that cools the air using evaporation of water) and hope the humidity outside doesn’t negate its effectiveness. It is going to be a hot day.

By noon, as I get in to drive to yoga, there is no lingering coolness. The inside of the car feels like an oven and the searing sun commands the sky. Every now and then a breeze musters enough strength to carry a bit of cool moisture, but all else retreats under the fierce midday sun.

Later in the afternoon, a few white puffy clouds appear on the horizon; by 5 o’clock, half of the sky to the east is crowded with clouds. A gray-ness grows. We have skylights throughout the house, and as the clouds cover the sun, the house dims. I turn on the light over the sink and peek out the kitchen window. The clouds darken and, as their edges merge, they deepen to gun-metal gray and lose their individual shape, banding together and covering the sky. I turn to look at the western horizon, seeing white and puffy cumulus clouds form, belatedly mirroring the earlier pattern in the east. I’m loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counter, surveying the contents of the refrigerator for dinner, when suddenly the smell of rain floods my nostrils.

Rain in the desert smells of dust and longing, heat and relief, and the security of knowing life will continue. I swear I can feel a part of my brain being triggered at the smell of rain. I am awash in a sense of well-being. Does this activate my endorphins somehow? Fixing dinner and cleaning the counter are completely forgotten as I am drawn outside. More than drawn—I cannot help but be outside to witness the coming storm. A fresh cup of jasmine tea in hand, steam wafting the delicate scent toward my nose, I get comfortable on the front porch, ready to watch the show.

Ready to read more? Find it at our store and on Amazon.

FINAL_Key225.jpgIn Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love, author Anne Key invites us to walk along the glittery rhinestone encrusted path of self-discovery as she confronts, and transcends, the established norms for middle-aged women. Set in picturesque Albuquerque, this memoir explores what it means to connect the body, mind, and spirit through yoga and burlesque. By the end of the book, you will find yourself traveling outside of the shadowy corners of fear toward a brighter light where there is freedom to be found in accepting yourself and learning to love what you find. Find it at our store and on Amazon.

Anne’s first memoir Desert Priestess recounts her time as the Priestess of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet in Nevada. She co-edited Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses and  Heart of the Sun: An Anthology in Exaltation of Sekhmet. She performs with Unicorn Productions in Albuquerque, New Mexico under the stage name Annie O’Roar.  She teaches under the name Dr. Key as an adjunct faculty offering courses in women’s studies, religious studies, and English. As well as writing, she is also the co-founder of the independent press Goddess Ink.

Anne blissfully resides in Albuquerque with her husband, his two cats and her snake. When she’s not writing or grading papers, you can find her pushing taffeta through a sewing machine or strapping on her heels for rehearsal.

For more information about Goddess Ink, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

5 Sacred Sites in the Maya Lands

Dance, Divine, Goddess, Goddesses of the Americas, Jade Oracle, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, Priestess, ritual, sacred sites, The Jade Oracle

There are so many beautiful sites in Mexico, but the Maya Lands are truly stunning. Deep verdant jungles, carved stone temples, turquoise waters and white sands, and over all the spirit of IxChel, Maya Goddess of medicine. GettyImages-165804300_comp

For this blog we are doing a “virtual tour” of the sites on the Sacred Tour of the Maya Lands  and Winter Solstice Priestess Retreat at Isla Mujeres with Anne Key and Verónica Iglesias. This December join Sacred Tours of Mexico and Dive Deep into the Beauty and Mystery of the Maya Lands. Are you ready to make this Winter Solstice the moment when you dive deep, breathe it all in, and return renewed?. Book before July 31 and save $300!

  1. Chichen Itza

chichen-itza-ruinsOne of the largest Maya cities, Chichen Itza is located in the Yucatan, near the colonial city of Valladolid. The site is resplendent with fine stone temples that exemplify the height of Maya art. “El Castillo” is the largest pyramid, and the shadowed shape of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, can be seen rising the stairs at the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. The “Cenote Sagrado,” a pilgrimage site for ancient Maya peoples, is 200 feet in diameter, surrounded by sheer cliffs. These ruins and this cenote retain the deep beauty and sacred vibration that stems from millennia of ritual.

The feathered serpent, Kukkulcan in May and Quetzalcoatl for the Mixtec/Aztec, represents the highest level of precious knowledge. When Quetzalcoatl appears, you know that you have reached your highest peak. You are the master-creator, able to move between worlds. You can stand at the center of the four winds, strong and able to handle any situation. You are in control of your life.

  1. Tulum

These impressive ruins are situated along a cliff, overlooking the turquoise waters of thetulum Caribbean. Because it faces east, Tulum is also known as “the city of dawn.” As one of the best-preserved coastal sites, the architecture and frescoes is stunning.

Many who have climbed the steps of this pyramid talk about its power to release the old, allowing the seeker to return to the earth renewed.

  1. Ek Balam

ek-balam-pyramidLocated north of the city of Valladolid in the Yucatan, is Ek Balam. The stucco work, such as the jaguar jaws leading to the palace, is unforgettable. Cenote Xcanche is very near main pyramid. From the top of the pyramid, the vista is the gorgeous canopy of the jungle.

The name Ek Balam means “black jaguar, one of the most important animals. A nocturnal hunter and excellent swimmer, the jaguar symbolizes the night and the underworld and is associated with water. Usually spotted, but sometimes black, the jaguar is a symbol of power, and many deities sit atop a “jaguar throne.” While the eagle is considered masculine energy, the jaguar represents feminine energy.

Jaguar brings you the power and understanding of the underworld, amplifying your intuition. You are invited to embrace your feminine side and the magic of the cosmos. The jaguar brings the energy of personal empowerment through divination and ritual; if you are a woman, this power is amplified. Above all, jaguar opens the door to transformation, assuring you that you can safely walk through the dark underworld.


  1. Isla Mujeres

For millennia, Isla Mujeres has been sacred to the Mayan Goddess Ixchel. Surrounded byDSCF3345 turquoise waters and ringed by white sand beaches, Isla Mujeres holds the energy, and an ancient temple, dedicated to Her. We will spend Winter Solstice on the beaches of Isla Mujeres, with a Temazcal and rituals to Ixchel.


  1. Kaxan Xuul Eco Village

At Kaxan Xuul Eco Village, we will partake in Mayan rituals such as the Balche Ceremony and a Temazcal. Balche is a fermented beverage made with honey and the bark of the kaxansacred balche tree. When the Spanish arrived, they quickly banned the making and drinking of balche because of its strong religious significance. However, when the Maya showed the Spanish its healing properties, the ban was lifted, In ritual, the drink balche has healing properties, both for self and society. When drinking it in ritual, balche connects us to the cosmos, bringing messages from spirits and ancestors.


IMG_2258Join Anne Key and M Verónica Iglesias and Sacred Tours of Mexico this December and Dive Deep into the Beauty and Mystery of the Maya Lands. Are you ready to make this Winter Solstice the moment when you dive deep, breathe it all in, and return renewed? http://sacredtoursofmexico.com/2018-tour-schedule/ . Book before July 31 and save $300!