My Mid Year Review

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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

 

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Reviewing the To-Do List by Genevieve Mitchell

contemplation, Divine, Goddess, ritual, Uncategorized

shutterstock_349499291How many things are on your to do list?  What pieces of your life have you left unattended because of the myriad demands on a daily basis?  I had the blessed opportunity to spend a day yesterday, just pondering, sitting, wondering, reviewing.   I spent some time evaluating 2016 intentions and how well I am doing.  I have ten areas of my life I am trying to attend to on a regular basis (ex:  Connection with Divine, healthy me, relationships, work, etc.).  I am able to say I was doing well (8 or 9 on a scale of 10) on some, and only a 5 or 6 on others.  But taking time to review my intentions allowed me to remember all the big hopes I had for 2016.

Fortunately we have 8 more months of 2016, but I want to make sure I spend time doing things that are important, that have value, that will add blessing, grace and light to my life.  I like this quote by Socrates “Wisdom begins with wonder”.  I think taking time to wonder, to ponder and to contemplate certainly allows me better direction and clarity than just charging forward each day with the many tasks in front of me.

What about you?  Have you taken time to envision your ideal world, so you can begin taking steps to put it in place?  I invite you to share how you do your review and how it works for you.  Bright Blessings.

Genevieve Mitchell is Partner at Goddess Ink Publishing.  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/

New Book Release: Goddesses of the Americas by Lydia Ruyle

Divine, Goddess, Goddess Banners, Goddesses of the Americas, Lydia Ruyle, Priestess, ritual, sacred sites, Uncategorized

Front Cover Low Res

Goddess Ink is so proud to announce publication and pre-sale of Lydia Ruyle’s latest book, Goddess of the Americas: Spirit Banners of the Feminine Divine.  This 150 page, full color book features banners and descriptions of over 75 Goddesses and Divine Feminine figures. Accompanying each banner is a description and historical information on each figure. The rich colors and unusual layout make this book a treasure for both the heart and the mind.

 

“Lydia Ruyle’s goddess banners are a joy to behold!  In Goddesses of the Americas, image, symbols, description and place of origin the Americas tell us about each goddess. It is a full-color experience that can be savored.  At the very end of there is a photograph of Lydia in a hallway at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, standing between her goddess-banners that line both sides of the hall. Walking that hallway was like going through the pages of this book, an affirmation of the sacred feminine as embodied and experienced.  “Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, Author of  Goddesses in Everywoman

Save 20% ! Pre-order before 3/19 (book will ship 4/5).  For information and purchase visit www.goddess-ink.com

Mexico City–Land that calls my heart by Anne Key

Divine, Goddess, Mexico, Priestess, ritual, sacred sites, Uncategorized

In 1988 I went to visit my sister and fell under the enchantment Mexico City. One of the largest cities in the world (and the largest in the Americas), Mexico City has everything I love: world-class museums, fine restaurants, hearty street-food, extensive subway, gracious and expansive parks, exquisite architecture, and staggering art. I have traveled through Mexico City annually since that first trip, sometimes for research and other times to nourish my soul.

The opportunity to bring others to this city is a joy. Over the years, I have seen Mexico City change. The air pollution (once a major health concern) has cleared measurably. The creation of more pedestrian walkways in the Historic District have led to an explosion of sidewalk cafes. The excavations at Templo Mayor in the Zocalo (center of the city) have yielded more colossal Goddess statues (the latest an 11 x13 foot Tlatecuhtli).  

Mexico City sits in a valley ringed by mountains, known as the Valle de México. The area has been continuously inhabited from 8,000 BCE. The Aztecs made this area their capital in 1325 CE, with over 200,000 inhabitants at the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors two hundred years later. The city retains the majesty of every culture that has rooted in this earth and felt it quake. 

Join me and Veronica Iglesias on a seven day tour in and around Mexico City this summer. Sunday evening June 26th – Saturday evening July 2nd. Information and registration at http://www.goddess-ink.com/events.html.

Cost: EARLY BIRD: $1199 Register before 4/15/2016 and save!
After 4/15: $1399

Includes 7 nights lodging (double occupancy), all in-country transportation, entrance fees, and guided tours. Optional day tours $99 each: Sunday June 26th to Puebla; and Sunday July 3rd to Mexican market and dinner. Does not include meals, airfare, or transportation from airport. If you want single occupancy, please email Anne (anne@goddess-ink.com).

Sacred Sites Tour In Mexico June 2016!

Divine, Goddess, Mexico, Priestess, sacred sites, Uncategorized

Tour sacred sites in and around Mexico City with Veronica Iglesias and Anne Key, both priestesses and scholars of Mesoamerican culture.

Learn about thirteen of the Nahua Goddesses, participate in rituals a temazcal (Mexcian sweat lodge) and limpias, enjoy guided tours through world-class museums and shopping at an art bazaar. Plus lots of wonderful surprises!

Some of the sites we will visit: Teotihuacan, Basilica de Guadalupe, Tepotzlan, Museo de Antropologia, Templo Mayor, Casa de Frida Kahlo, and many more!

We will experience thirteen Mesoamerican goddesses: Tonantzin, La Gran Diosa de Teotihuacan, Coatlicue, Cihuateteo, Itzpapalotl, Coyolxauhqui, Tlaltecuhtli, Malinalxochitl, Xochiquetzal, Mayahuel, Chantico, Cihuacoatl, and Tlazolteotl.

Sunday evening June 26th – Saturday evening July 2nd
Seven day tour in and around Mexico City.

Cost: EARLY BIRD: $1199 Register before 4/15/2016 and save!
After 4/15: $1399

For more information and registration: http://www.goddess-ink.com/events.html 

Includes 7 nights lodging (double occupancy), all in-country transportation, entrance fees, and guided tours. Optional day tours $99 each: Sunday June 26th to Puebla; and Sunday July 3rd to Mexican market and dinner. Does not include meals, airfare, or transportation from airport. If you want single occupancy, please email Anne (anne@goddess-ink.com).

Divine Feminine? Feminine Face of the Divine? Goddess? What’s in a Name?

Divine, Uncategorized

Reflections by Genevieve Mitchell

I’ve given much thought to what to call the Divine in my life.  I want something that is a reflection of me.  Who am I?  I am a female, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a priestess (or am I a woman priest?).  I am one who tries to walk in the sacred connection with that vast world of spirit, grace, mystery and the unknown world of Gods and Goddesses.  But the cultural and societal face of God to me always comes back looking very much like a male, ie using “He” Him”” His””King”, “Lord”, “Sovereign”  That view of God is not me, it’s not a reflection of my face, my body or my experience, Spirit is SO much bigger than the cultural definitions that I grew up with.  But when I am talking with others, how should I refer to the Divine?  As “She”, as “Goddess”, as the Feminine Face of God?  As the Divine Feminine?  It’s not clear to me…Perhaps it’s the connection that’s more important than the name.  What do you think?shutterstock_134796932

Genevieve Mitchell is Partner at Goddess Ink Publishing, www.goddess-ink.com, offering books, classes and resources on feminine spirituality, goddess studies and the Divine Feminine. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/goddessinkbooks/.

Brigit and the Nut Fed Fish by Mael Brigde

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Brigit is the poet’s goddess, just as her sister, also named Brigit, is the goddess of healers, and their sister, Brigit, the goddess of smiths.

In this month, which began with the festival of Imbolc, we are blessed to put our attention on the many gifts that Brigit brings. Let us look now at the poet.

To the ancient Irish, the poet was not only a crafter of words. Wisdom and inspiration—imbas—arose, with the blessing of the gods, through hard work over many years; these were the pinnacle the poet aspired to. Though the poet held the genealogy of the people, all their history and every story, and knew the reason for every feature of the land, he or she could also create, and through these creations bless or curse the object of their words.

The hazel, in Ireland, is the fruit of wisdom, and it falls into the stream to be eaten by the salmon, who is eaten by the poet, and thus the wisdom of the fruit enters the poet—with great good luck.

Pray to Brigit at her pool. Study hard the lore and wisdom of land and people. Dedicate your heart and let inspiration rise.

In the following poem I imagine Brigit at her sacred spring. Though nothing in the literature directly links her to the salmon of wisdom, her connection to springs and wisdom and poetry seemed reason enough to me to set her here.

Beannachta Bhríde Ort.  Blessings of Brigit Upon You.

Nut-Fed Fish

 brown hazels ring

the leaf-laced waters

nine sweet cracking maidens

elbow to elbow grow

branch twined in sisterly branch

around the sacred spring

 

Brigit   bestower of wisdom

drops hazel-mast

fat nut-meats

into glint-back salmons’

waiting mouths

speckles blossom

imbas grows

 

they who would be transformed

they who seek the second sight

they whose hearts yearn for sober

enlightenment of truth

toil for lifetimes in their poetic quest

in hope of one brief taste

of the salmon’s nut-fed flesh

 

come the black of night-time

Brigit slips

through the smoke-dense thatch

of the poet’s darkened hut

touches the brewing cauldron

foments the brewing cauldron

of the dreamer’s sleeping thoughts

 

pours in the stream

of sweet dark bounty

from the fairest of the trees

from the salmon’s

willing flesh

 

hears the poet’s gasp of insight

smiles

withdraws again

© Casey June Wolf

Sanas Cormaic (9th century): “Brigid, that is to say, a poetess, daughter of the Dagda. It is that Brigid who is the goddess of poetry and the wisdom contained therein, that is, the goddess whom the poets used to follow. Her craft was magnificent & splendid. Therefore they called her the goddess of poets, whose sisters were Brigid, the goddess of medicine, & Brigid, goddess of metalwork, daughter of the Dagda; the goddess Brigid was called by these names by almost all of the Irish.”

Translated by Antone Minard.

“Coll, the hazel, is one of the premier symbols of wisdom in Irish and Scottish traditions. References to it abound throughout the lore, and the literature regarding poets. Nine hazel trees are found surrounding the Well of Wisdom in the Otherworld realms, and its nuts fall into the well to be eaten by the salmon that dwell there, each nut eaten adding a spot to their sides. The salmon themselves are the carriers of wisdom and in many tales a Fili or Draoí might spend years or a lifetime waiting for the opportunity to consume the salmon and gain enlightenment and poetic ability from this profound source.”

From Ogam:Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie (2007) pg 89.

 Mael Brigde is the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, an inter-faith, all woman flame-keeping group which lit its first candle to Brigit on Imbolc 1993—the same day, she learned much later, that the Irish Brigidine sisters relit her perpetual fire in Kildare. She maintains the blog Brigit’s Sparkling Flame, which points readers to Brigit-related websites, books, CDs, and so on, as well as offering reviews and original materials. Feel free to contact her with suggestions for future postings.

She is currently working on an ever-expanding book of poems and prayers to Brigit. Some of her poems, and those by other lovers of Brigit, can be found at Stone on the Belly. Mael Brigde lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Daughters of the Flame (flamekeepers): http://www.obsidianmagazine.com/DaughtersoftheFlame/index.htm

Brigit’s Sparkling Flame (general Brigit blog):http://brigitssparklingflame.blogspot.com/

Stone on the Belly (Brigit poetry blog):http://stonebelly.blogspot.ca

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mael.brigde

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/

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Power comes from within

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From Anne Key: “I hold my power in my hands…my security lies within.” This is the phrase that accompanies the 4 of pentacles in Mary Greer’s Tarot For Yourself. In my morning ritual, I asked for help on a new act I’m creating for our Oct. 3rd burlesque show in ABQ. You’ll get to read about my journey with burlesque in me second memoir (coming in Oct! Squee!), but for now, the act I am working on is based on the Descent of Inanna myth (see more about the myth here).

In this particular act, I have the costume, music, and props all worked out. What I don’t have worked out is, well, the “internal engine” of the act. Me. While I feel comfortable entertaining audiences with my smile and charisma, this will be the first time I have asked my audience to take a journey with me, a journey that they might not have signed up for.

I so admire artists that are brave enough to move their work out into the world without admirers, without support, without applause. I am able to do this in other realms (writing, for instance). So my work here is to root deep into myself, for my security lies within, and open my eyes, for I will see the power in my hands. Inanna’s descent strips me down, figuratively and literally, to the raw, unadulterated, authentic, naked me.

THE SEEKER OF FLAMES: JOURNEY TO SEKHMET Featured Deck: The Sirian Star Seed Tarot, Patricia Cori

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The Seeker of Flames: Journey to Sekhmet

Featured Deck: The Sirian Star Seed Tarot, Patricia Cori

In this beautiful deck, Patricia Cori calls what is traditionally the Court Card of the Page, the Seeker. The Seeker is that part of each of us that is awakening to our greater purpose in life. This might come after years of walking a spiritual path or it could be our first awareness of personal transformation.  Wherever we are on the path, the Seeker in us is opening up for more information and needs guidance. 

The Seeker of Flames is learning about the Tarot suit of Fire. This is passion, fiery will, and our personal power. At times in our life we can honestly say we are in good stead with our own power. We know who we are. We have owned our mistakes and made atonements as best we could. We have forgiven ourselves and others. We are passionate about what we want and who we are. We are in love with life. Other times we are lost, seekers on a dark path desperate for even a small glimmer of light to guide us. 

I invite you to become a Seeker of Flames today and embark on a journey to discover more about your personal power….set your INTENTION for this journey to be guided to a higher knowing of the transformation going on within you…take a few deep breaths…feel the place within you that is seeking, desiring guidance, power, wisdom, and awakening…breathe in and out… 

You find yourself traveling back in time…back to ancient Egypt…you are walking along the banks of the Nile…perhaps you can feel the dirt under your feet or smell the rich odors of the river…the sky above is a rich blue…take in the beauty of Egypt. You can see how the gift of the river makes the land green with date palms and crops growing out of the rich, back soil…animals come to the water to drink…perhaps a donkey or ox…there are beautiful white birds resting on the water lilies in the river…As you take in the sensory banquet, you hear someone call your name. A beautiful boat, a felucca, has pulled up next to you…it is brightly painted and has a canopy providing shade to the boat man who easily guides the felucca into the grassy area next to you…the captain reaches out and offers you a hand to come on board….you feel a wonderful sense of adventure and excitement, and you feel safe and trusting. Can you see who the boat man is? Do you recognize him or her?  Remembering your intention to be guided, you accept the steadying hand and step aboard the felucca.

You sit down on a comfortable cushion and settle in for your trip. Your able captain pushes the boat back out into the river. You can feel the current of the water move the boat along. It is very peaceful. What do you see along the banks of the river? As you are enjoying the ride, you feel a rising sense of yourself as a seeker...you have come here to seek and find guidance to help you … 

You notice ahead of you a large building is coming into view…it is shining in the Egyptian Sun…you feel a great sense of power lies within it…you sit forward on your cushion, eager to arrive for you know that surely that is your destination…yes…as you draw nearer, the temple grows larger and larger until the full magnitude of it is amazing…the captain has steered out of the main current of the Nile and is moving toward a dock at the temple.

Your boat bumps into the dock and the captain jumps out to secure it. Then he turns and offers you his hand, helping you step out of the boat and onto the dock.  Notice all you can about this moment…what are you wearing?  What do you look like? How are you feeling? There is a definite shift in your perception as you walk over to the courtyard of the temple…notice the large columns, the beautiful carvings on the temple walls, the vastness of this place.

You come to the entrance of the temple. No one else is in sight. You take a deep breath and walk into the cooler, shaded interior.  As your eyes adjust to the dimmer light, you again remember your intention for this journey. You walk deeper into the temple…how does it feel? Notice all you can about being here…

You now have come to the heart of the temple as you approach the Holy of Holies, the sanctuary of the goddess whose temple this is…you stop, remove your shoes and take a deep breath. Your skin prickles…your senses go on high alert…you are not alone after all…in the darkness you see two greenish lights and hear a rumbling sound…gathering your courage you walk forward towards the altar…and then, from the darkness the lights come closer…the rumbling grows louder…until you realize you are looking at two eyes…and hearing the breathing…of the goddess herself.

Yes…it is Sekhmet – great lion goddess of Egypt! She has heard your plea for guidance and has come to help you. She may appear to you in her lioness form, or she may appear as a woman with a lion’s head…stand in the presence of Sekhmet…feel her awesome power…look into her eyes…how do you feel being with Sekhmet? What part of you is drawn to her? What part of you fears her?

Sekhmet’s power washes over you – through you…and connects with the power within you……her very presence enters into you and goes into your heart…it is like a great explosion as your heart and her heart connect…feel Sekhmet within your heart…

As your hearts combine, her power moves through you to the very places within you that are in need of guidance…your emotions…your mind…your body…your relationships…all the places you have felt out of control, powerless, heartless are consumed in Sekhmet’s flames…

Her flames have total power…where you have felt your own power out of control, perhaps as rage or flaming ego, her flames come in and equalize you, bringing balance……..where you have you have felt fear or lacked courage her power comes in to give you strength…….where you have been abused or negated she enters in bringing a reassuring flame………You realize this is the most intense love you have ever experienced…it does not matter to her that you are imperfect…the flames of her power are flames of love and compassion…..allow this powerful love to fill you…….

As your heart expands you realize this is what you have been seeking, what you set out to find…it is your own heart you have needed to know…this is where your true power lies, this is what will take you forward in your life. Your heart entrains with Sekhmet……..let your hearts beat as one…….listen to any guidance Sekhmet has for you…….accept the wisdom she offers you……embrace the power you are feeling from her and within your own heart…….ask her any question you might have for her…….offer up to her that within you that you desire to be empowered…….Sekhmet embraces not only the beauty within you but also those dark, even shameful places…….give them to her…….let her flames purify and empower you…….

Sekhmet has a special blessing for you now…receive her blessing…….

And you have a gift of gratitude to give to her…offer her that gift now, thanking her for this time with her today……..

And now, Sekhmet begins to withdraw back behind the altar, her green eyes glowing……you find yourself once again alone in the temple but her presence remains with you in your heart, forever infused with the power of love.

Feeling this power within you, you turn and walk back through the temple.  As you reach the courtyard, you turn and look behind you knowing that even as you are leaving now, this will always be available to you…Sekhmet will always be with you.  Standing tall and fully in power, you are able to return – at will – to this temple…to your own full and unique life……

Take a few breaths, grounding yourself back into your body and your life.  Congratulations, Seeker, for you have indeed completed a quest of power.

NOTE: Dear Friends…it is nearly impossible to share in this short space the fullness of Sekhmet.  She is an incredible goddess of power, compassion, and strength. I hope this brief visit today has been a rewarding journey for you.

…..Kathryn Ravenwood  2.17.14    http://www.KathrynRavenwood.com