Greetings for Beltaine, the First Day of Summer!

Beltane, Goddess, Priestess, ritual, sacred sites, Seasonal Greetings

Greetings! Tomorrow (Thursday) 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 (am I the only one waking up at 5am?).

One European tradition is the maypole, a lively celebration which includes circling a tree with ribbons in hand, which mirrors the growth and verdant fecundity of the season. Though we don’t have a maypole, our flowers, shrubs, and trees are blossoming and leafing, bringing the feeling of life, hope, and joy to my heart.

Snakes also enter in the celebrations at this time of year. The sun warms the stones, and the snakes begin peeking out. In some parts of Italy, snake processions still take place.

My snake Asherah and I have been spending a lot of time together lately. She is awakened from her winter slumber and ready to dance in the season. As I held her last night—her long body coiled around my waist, spiraling up my chest and head atop my shoulder—I was reminded, once again, of wholeness. Snakes live in the ground and climb high atop trees, connecting us from the underworld to the heavens above. When she holds me, I feel whole, connected to deep within the earth all the way to the stars above. And within myself, I am united from my base to crown chakra.

Take a moment today to revel in the beauty of the verdant abundance that surrounds you. Dig your feet into the earth, feel the strength from your base, and let your crown chakra bloom, sparkling like star-fire in the night sky.

Bright  Blessings! – Anne

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.

Spring Equinox 2017: Ready, set, grow!

contemplation, Goddess, Gratefulness, Seasonal Greetings, spring equinox

Spring Equinox 2017

Today is the Spring Equinox, when the northern and southern hemispheres are bathed in equal light. It is a day to search for balance within and without. Spring is the transition from the dark womb of winter to the brilliance of summer, and we are at the moment when all the underground growth breaks surface.

I’ve had a bit of a dark womb winter this year, and I feel like a part of myself was either hibernating or hiding. There have been times I have wanted to come out of the cave, to pull back the heavy blankets, but I just wasn’t ready.

But now, I’m ready. The sunflower seed bursting from its shell:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.  Cynthia Occelli

This is where I am today, just beginning to break open through the seed. Its carcass is still on my leaves.

Take a moment today and consider where you are. Let growth take its natural course. Breathe into the beauty, vigor, and newness that is Spring.

Blessed be – Anne

PS: This sunflower seed was planted at the full moon during a wonderful and powerful ritual. I’m ready to shake myself awake!

More about Spring Equinox: Spring Equinox is often called Ostara, or Eostre, named for a goddess of Germanic origin who is the namesake of Easter. For the Northern Hemisphere, Spring Equinox is Mid-Spring, signaling the height of the season, occurring at 1° Aries in Tropical system. History and ritual ideas: http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/spring.html .

Autumn Equinox

Fall Equinox, Goddess, Seasonal Greetings

Los árboles nos están apunto de mostrar cuán hermoso puede ser dejar ir el pasado.

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let go of the past. 

Thursday September 22 is the Autumn Equinox. It is the point of balance, when all parts of the planet receive the same amount of light from the Sun. It is a moment when inward and outward balance is possible.

However, I feel the exact opposite of balanced. The fall brings new classes, new students, the rush of work. While the Autumn Equinox is at the apex of the fall season when growth is finished and readying for winter begins, my work is just beginning. I already feel behind.

And, just like in the picture above, this fall I am wrapped in leaves of my past. They seem embedded in my very pores, and I am not sure how to let them go. Will I feel naked without them?

But, if I am ever going to dig my toes in the rich compost of my life, the leaves must fall.  The equinox provides us with a day of balance, a moment of clarity. Let’s take stock and see what we need to release.

Bright Blessings of the season to you.


Historical and Astrological Tidbits on Mid-Autumn:  Mid-Autumn is the Fall Equinox. Equinox means “balance”, and this is the point when the dark and light of the day are most at balance. On a global scale, the equinoxes are at the points of the year when the entire world is in balance, with both Southern and Northern hemispheres receiving about the same amount of light. The equinox has another important feature as well: it is the only point during the year that the Sun rises in exact east and sets in exact west.  For while the Sun “stands still” at the solstices, the Sun moves very rapidly across the horizon at the equinoxes, leaving only one day to calibrate to the east and west. The Fall Equinox festival is also called Mabon (derived from Welsh mab meaning “son” or “boy”);Harvest Home (in British Isle traditions the time when the harvest is complete); and the Witches’ Thanksgiving. Astrologically, Mid-Autumn may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 0° Libra, which usually occurs between September 21-22.

Award winning writer Anne Key is the author of two memoirs. The first, Desert Priestess: a memoir, relates the three years she spent as Priestess of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, located in Nevada. Her second, Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love: A Memoir of Life under the Albuquerque Sun, recounts her time in Albuquerque performing under the stage name Annie O’Roar. She is co-founder of Goddess Ink

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.

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/.

 

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).