Introducing the Goddess Ixchel and Cozumel, Mexico By Maria Veronica Iglesias

Divine, Goddess, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, Priestess, sacred sites, spring equinox

Editors Note:  Veronica Iglesias will be leading a Sacred Tour of Mexico for Spring Equinox 2017.  

 

Ix´Cheel or Ixcheel, the feminine energy in the Mayan Cosmos.

Cozumel was a place of worship for the Divinity Ix’Cheel or Ixchel.  She is related to the moon, fertility, rains, medicine, divination and childbirth.  Grand Mother Ix’Chel is a beautiful goddess who can teach us to honor our cycles, our darkness, our shadow and our great light!

Ix’Cheel represents the feminine principle of the cosmos and together with her partner Itzamna, are the creative energy of life on Earth. She is the guide of the wise women, of those who heal, of those who read the destiny of the newborns; Of those who weave and narrate cosmic stories in their fabrics.  Ix’Cheel is the Mayan grandmother, guardian of the female mysteries, guardian of the pregnant women, the newborn children, the moon, the medicine, the medicinal plants, the water that cleans and purifies. Ix’Cheel is the feminine divine energy that creates life and also destroys it, specially when she represents the energy of the water. She was asked for rainwater in times of drought and she was also asked to stop the force of water that destroyed houses and crops.

She is the guardian of sacred jade, of life, of the heart of her priestesses who honored her in her two sanctuaries, in Isla Mujeres and Cozumel. There is no doubt that Ixchel and Cozumel have many secrets to unveil.  Recently women from various parts of the world have restarted the pilgrimages to consult the energy of the oracle related to health, fertility, initiation into the medicine, pregnancy and finally, with the weaving of life.

ixchel

Photo of Ixchel banner by Lydia Ruyle in Goddesses of the Americas, available at Goddess Ink or Amazon.

Cozumel

Cozumel was a sacred site of great magnitude, not only because it was the sanctuary of Ixchel but also because its architecture turned it into an earthly reflection of the cosmos, a great Tollan (a paradisiacal  mythical site and center of pilgrimages) in the middle of the sea.  Cozumel was a strategic site in Mesoamerica, its importance is not in monumental buildings but in its place of the cosmos, it was considered another Tollan and was also an oracular sanctuary, where thousands of people of all The Mayan area came periodically, especially women.

Cozumel is the third island with the largest territory in Mexico, located southeast of the Yucatan peninsula. It is known mainly for being a tourist site to which cruise ships arrive daily across the Caribbean, as well as all the tourists who come to enjoy the crystalline beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.  Historically, it has been inhabited since preclassic times (1500 BC to 300 D.C), until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1518.

In addition it has been found that in several settlements in the coast in front of Cozumel are buildings with lunar orientations. These are small temples, with direct views of the sea, including Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Paalmul, Xel-ha, Tancah, and Tulum, as well as Coba. (Sprajc, Ivan, “Sitios arqueológicos en la isla de Cozumel: el papel de la astronomía en la planeación arquitectónica y urbana”, in: UNESCO, El papel de la arqueastronomia en el mundo maya: el caso de la isla de Cozumel, Mexico: UNESCO, 1916. p. 72).

Most of these buildings and those existing in Cozumel were built in the Postclassic period (900-1518). Many of the new settlers are thought to have been Mayan-Chontal or Putun, who arrived after the fall of Chichen Itza (1200 BC).

Mayan Cosmology

As in all Maya territory, the observation of celestial bodies was also very important in Cozumel, “the orientation of it’s location, it’s island character, the evidence of pilgrimages, the lunar alignments of its constructions, the worship of the goddess Ixchel, confirm that Cozumel is unquestionably a center of knowledge production to address the intellectual legacy in Mesoamerica. “(Saenz, Nuria, “El paisaje cultural deleste como patrimonio y desarrollo”, in: UNESCO, El papel de la arqueastronomia en el mundo maya: el caso de la isla de Cozumel, Mexico: UNESCO, 1916. p.13).

The pre-Hispanic architecture of the island shows great alignments with the solstices and phases of the moon, particularly the full moon, whose cosmic force was also linked to the rains and procreative and propitiating energy.  With all these constructions aligned with the earth and moon movements, the spaces in Cozumel are also related to the ritual calendar and to the consecration of the spaces, common practice in the Mayan culture and whose origins go back to the Olmec culture.

Taking into account all the astronomical and architectural marks in the buildings of Cozumel and its relation with the Moon and the Sun, the mystical-cosmogonic importance of the relevance of the Night Sun is remembered, that can be considered like the Sun that during the night travels to the underworld, but also like the moon that shines in the sky at night.  It also highlights the relevance of the four cardinal points and their relationship to the creation and sustainability of the world and the creation of time.

Additionally, for the Maya, the divinity of the Moon was also associated with water, caves and cenotes. The Maya believed that during their absence in the sky, the Moon would retreat and reside in a watery cave or cenote. There are still two expressions in the Yucatec Maya that denote the Moon’s invisibility period: benel u tu che’n, “Moonrise to your cave” or binan u tu che’n “Moon. (Iwaniszewski, Stanislaw, “El tiempo y la Luna en la cultura maya: el caso de Cozumel”, in: UNESCO, El papel de la arqueastronomia en el mundo maya: el caso de la isla de Cozumel, Mexico: UNESCO, 1916. p. 49).

Sacred Tour to Mexico

The Goddess Ixchel, Mayan Grandmother is guardian of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres in Mexico.  We hope you join us on the Goddess Ink Sacred Tour for a wonderful adventure that we will have during Spring Equinox in 2017, visiting the two Sanctuaries of Ixchel, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, where you can experience the magic and wonders of the place.

Maria Veronica Iglesias

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Maria Veronica Iglesias

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.

She 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.  She can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Papalotl,  and at http://papalotl.net/.

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  and Shutterstock photos.

 

 

 

Thank You, I Have No Complaint Whatsoever

Compassion, Divine, Goddess, Gratefulness, Priestess, Thanksgiving

shutterstock_518846149“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving is upon us, as a holiday yes, and in my mind, as an opportunity to remember and acknowledge all the ways I am blessed.

My own personal world has been stunned and shaken by the turn of events in the US political scene, the ongoing concern about how we (collectively) treat our dear Mother Earth, and my own life and how it is evolving.  I keep wondering, how can I best respond to these circumstances?  Gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation for what I DO have, that just keeps coming up.

There is a story by Alan Cohen about a woman Zen Master named Sono who taught one very simple method of enlightenment. She advised everyone who came to her to adopt an affirmation to be said many times a day, under all conditions. The affirmation was, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”

Many people from all arenas of life came to Sono for healing. Some were in physical pain; others were emotionally distraught; others had financial troubles; some were seeking soul liberation. No matter what their distress or what question they asked her, her response was the same: “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.”

Some people went away disappointed; others grew angry; others tried to argue with her. Yet some people took her suggestion to heart and began to practice it. Tradition tells that everyone who practiced Sono’s mantra found peace and healing. 

Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.  http://bit.ly/2galzdJ

I know that we all have the capacity to go to gratitude, but it is so easy to go to the place of drama, trauma, judgment, and complaints.  But I know we are so much more than all of the complaints.  Thanksgiving is an opportunity to practice having “no complaint whatsoever”.  This idea of “Thank you for everything”, is such a powerful concept.  How wonderful it could be if we could just be a vessel of appreciation and gratitude and share that with those we encounter, even when others are complaining.   Yes, I know there is much to complain about, but those things require action, not complaints.  So, right now, that’s how I am choosing to respond, to be a channel of gratitude.

My prayer for this Thanksgiving is “Thank you for everything, I have no complaint”.

Many blessings and a deep bow for this Thanksgiving week.

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/.  Also, please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.

Photo Credits:  Shutterstock Photos

 

Pondering Priestessing

Divine, Goddess, Learning, Priestess, ritual

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What does it mean to be a Priestess?  What is required?  What are the skills and talents you need to be a Priestess?  What tools are necessary to master to walk, talk, act and stand as a Priestess?

I’ve been pondering these questions deeply in my own life.  I have a very full life, I am engaged in a variety of business, work, volunteer, community and family endeavors.  My guess is that if you asked people to describe me; very, very few would describe me as a priestess.  Why is that I wonder?….Isn’t my connection to the Divine and the work I do as a woman walking a spiritual path, isn’t that a Priestess role?

I am really quite interested in pondering this question of what it means to be a priestess.  I have Priestess friends, I have Priestess teachers, I’m in a Priestess program,  I lead ceremony, do invocations, give blessings, I set up altars and call in the directions.  Why do I still ponder what it means to be a Priestess?  I don’t have an answer, but I would be interested in knowing what you think.

As a Priestess, I see a big part of my work is bringing the Feminine Face of the Divine into the world.  Here are a couple resources I use to do that work.  I love the book Stepping Into Ourselves:  An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses, edited by Anne Key and Candace Kant.  It’s a wonderful resource, including a whole section entitled TOOLKIT.  I also look to Kimberly Moore’s Mother House of the Goddess for inspiration, resources and wonderful classes.

If you have other ideas, resources or good things to share, please email me at genevieve@goddess-ink.com.

Blessings to all you Priestesses!

Genevieve

 

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

 

 

 

Fall, Learning and New Endeavors

Classes, Divine, Fall Equinox, Goddess, Learning, Priestess, ritual

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It’s the fall ritual, thinking about going back to school, getting new pens and paper, figuring out what you want to learn about, what classes to take and what topics are calling to me.  Where does your soul want to journey as the seasons change, we nestle down to cooler temperatures, changing colors and Equinox?  What are you called to?  Goddess Studies? The Divine Feminine?  Your own course of Women’s Studies?

There’s so much to learn, so many options available.  From the Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary:

learn  play

verb \ˈlərn
Simple Definition of learn
  • : to gain knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something

  • : to cause (something) to be in your memory by studying it

  • : to hear or be told (something) : to find out (something)

I agree, but to me learning is interest driven, interesting, eclectic and at my age, self-directed.  This fall I’ve added two courses to my schedule.  I’m delighted to be taking a Molly Remer course, and a Visionary Priestessing Course with Priestess and MesoAmerican Scholar M. Veronica Iglesias, and you can learn more about her work here.
Learning has been a passion for me since I was very little.  I read every book in the house, pestered my mother to take us to the library on a regular basis and secreted a flashlight in my bed to read after lights were out.  I love learning about things that interest me, photography, art, nature, priestessing, music, cooking.  I love reading biographies, learning about the knowledge,  times,  feelings, events and places that I will never experience.  I am fascinated by the things people do to earn a living (drive a 18 wheeler, work with women coming out of prison, do surgery…).  I love having a new experience, especially with someone who knows about the topic.  Learning by yourself is good, learning with a guide can be magical!
I’d like to share with you that there are a variety of wonderful classes offered by Goddess Ink.  If that isn’t enough to wet your appetite for new topics, see Kimberly Moore’s Mystery School of the Goddess for some wonderful opportunities.
What are your plans for this fall?  New classes?  A new book?  A new project?   I wish your blessings and success in your new endeavors.
May your fall be as beautiful as the fall colors!
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

 

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.

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

 

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/.

 

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)