Mid-Summer Illumination by Anne Key

Goddess, Gratefulness, 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. Solstice means “sun ceases” (originally from Latin), 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.

Many times, I view the unrelenting light as invigorating, life-affirming, and joyous. This year, the unrelenting light brings exposure. The politics of the day shine a thousand watt beam on the inequality, injustice, and inhumanity that is often unseen, or that we choose not to see, or that we cannot take in without our hearts breaking.

Today in this moment of stillness as the sun bathes us in its light, I open myself to seeing all that is illuminated and accepting my place in it. I see my power and privilege, and I see the limits of my own capacity. I don’t allow myself to be immobilized by guilt or shame, and I acknowledge what I have done to better the world. I take this day to see the big picture, to see my path in it. And I take this moment to open myself to the illumination of the solstice, without and within, and accept myself as whole, holy.

Whatever you do today, take a moment to truly see what is being illuminated, both without and within.

Blessings on this brightest and longest of days —

Anne

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).

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11698910_10153125848983220_7989607679311699491_o (1)A faculty member in Women’s Studies, English and Religious Studies, Anne 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. She and Veronica Iglesias created The Jade Oracle deck with deities and symbols from ancient Mexico to bring this wisdom to a new generation, and they lead tours to sacred sites in Mexico. See more at www.sacredtoursofmexico.com.  Anne resides in Albuquerque with her husband, his two cats and her snake.

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Greetings and Welcome to the Season of Light!

Beltane, Goddess, Seasonal Greetings

Greetings! Saturday 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?).

We are entering the season of light. It is a moment to allow the life-giving light of the sun to energize 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.

As we enter through the gate of Beltane into the light of summer, what is your heart’s desire? How and where do you want to light up and shine? Open your heart’s petals to the rejuvenating and revitalizing light of the Sun, and may your blossom bring grace, beauty, love and power to all.

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.

Imbolc, Candlemas, Brigit’s Day: Welcome Spring

Goddess, Imbolc, ritual, Seasonal Greetings

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

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

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

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

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

2017: Goodbye and Thank You

Classes, Empowerment, Goddess, Seasonal Greetings

shutterstock_happynewyear 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear 2017,

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

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

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

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

Sending love, light and blessings,

Genevieve

shutterstock_Winterblessings

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

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

 

 

Mid-Winter Renewal

contemplation, Goddess, Priestess, Seasonal Greetings, Solstice

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

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

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

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

Deepest Blessings of the Season to you. — Anne

No Hurry in the Season of Hurry Hurry

Goddess, Gratefulness, Seasonal Greetings

Nohurryplease

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bright blessings,

Genevieve

Photo credits:  Shutterstock.com

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

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

 

Autumn Equinox: Balance

Fall Equinox, Goddess, Seasonal Greetings

The Equinoxes are the points in the year when all parts of the planet receive the same amount of light from the Sun. It is a moment of planetary balance. And, it is the one day of the year that the sun rises and sets at exact east and west. Here in Albuquerque, the Equinox is on Friday 9/22 at 2:02 pm (find your time here  or here).

My daily-life calendar and the solar/earth calendar don’t always match up. For earth, this is a time the harvest winds down; it is the height of autumn, moving us on the path inward for winter. For me instead of winding down, this is the time that things get very busy. School starts, classes are full, and this year I have new projects coming into being.* Finding balance seems an elusive dream.

But this year, I’ve marked out time on Friday afternoon to sit and let the sun and the earth hold me in their balance. Just as plants die away and leaves fall, I’m figuring out what I’m leaving behind to bring myself into balance.

Take a moment to find out when the Autumn Equinox happens in the place where your feet will connect to the earth (find your time here  or here) and mark your calendar. Give yourself even just a few minutes, outside if possible. Feel the gravity of the earth pull you towards Her, and sink into Her embrace. Breathe in the moment of balance and allow clarity to wash over you. Give thanks for the beauty and bounty of our lives.


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.  

*Her newest collaboration is the Jade Oracle deck, featuring deities from Ancient Mexico.  

Harvest

Goddess, lammas, Priestess, Seasonal Greetings

Sunday August 6th is the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, at the cross of the quarters, signaling the first day of autumn (see note below). The sun is rising a little later in the morning, the night coming just a bit sooner; the change of season is in the air. Welcome to the time of harvest.

Here in Albuquerque, our tomatoes and figs are ripening beautifully, and the corn tassels sway in the breeze. But somehow I am not feeling “as without so within.” In my internal garden, I see so many plants that have faltered. Did I not give them enough water? Should I have added more nitrogen to my internal soil? What did I neglect?

Part of this answer is that sometimes seeds do not sprout; sometimes plants do not thrive. Maybe I should consider the two tomato plants that we pulled out this year, or the geranium that just did not make it. Maybe I should come to terms with the fact that sometimes, no matter what I do, that some things will not come to fruition.  And that the two tomato plants and the geranium are in the compost pile, decomposing into the rich soil that will feed the future.

This is the time of harvest, and abundance takes many forms. Let’s celebrate our place in the cycle of life, and ride the wheel of fortune all the way around. Embrace every moment, using its lessons to enrich our lives. Take some time for stillness today in gracious gratitude for our harvests.

With love from my heart to yours-  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 Autumn may be calculated as the date the Sun is at 15° Leo, which currently Falls around August 6th and 7th.

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 .