The Jade Oracle: Bringing the Wisdom of Ancient Mexico to a New Generation

Divine, Goddess, Goddesses of the Americas, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, Priestess, ritual, Women

“These images would make an amazing oracle deck.” We heard this phrase over and over after our presentations on the Goddesses from ancient Mexico. But moments after the first time it was uttered, we, Veronica Iglesias and Anne Key, knew that this would be a beautiful way to connect people to the deities and customs of a culture that we have given our lives to studying and practicing, a culture that is often misunderstand and little known outside of academic circles and initiates. IMG_0964

The sacred images of ancient Mexican deities are very different than the sacred images of European culture, which we in American – and even Mexico – are far more accustomed to seeing. Instead of a smiling saint in flowing robes, these images have unfamiliar symbols – green feathers, skulls, snakes, nose ornaments – and unfamiliar names: Xochiquetzal, Huitzilopochtli, Tecuciztecatl for example. But these sacred images and names open the door to a profoundly magnificent culture that reveres the connection of the earth and Her inhabitants, that celebrates the small and grand cycles – that infuses ritual and attention to the sacred in daily life.

Both holding advanced degrees in Mesoamerican studies and practicing priestesses, we could translate the beliefs and culture to a new audience, writing a divinatory meaning for each card. But to create an oracle deck, this project needed a visionary artist to design images that were true to their heritage yet inviting to the modern eye, and at some moment we both realized the one artist that we wanted to work with: Ramona Teo. Renowned for her graphic design, murals, and fine art, she was a perfect match for this ambitious project.

Then the two became three, and the Jade Oracle birthed from an idea to reality. This is a story about the interwoven paths from the Northwestern US and Mexico City that converged in Albuquerque, bringing us together to make magic.

Hear the creators tell their story in their own words!

Like tarot cards, the Jade Oracle is a spiritual tool used for divination and introspection. The difference is they are not structured by traditional tarot suits. Each card brings a new form to a universal archetype, giving us a window to our soul, a new lens in which to see ourselves. We named this the Jade Oracle because exquisite green jade was one of the most sacred stones in ancient Mexico, as the color represented the teeming bounty of life. There will be 52 beautifully illustrated cards accompanied by a booklet that guides you through understanding the mythology and interpretations of the cards.

We feel that when we understand another culture, we understand ourselves in a deeper way and are one step closer to connecting with our global family and celebrating this magical land that we share. And for those of us with Mexican heritage, this is a path to understanding, and living, our lineage.

Group Pic crop

About the creators of the Jade Oracle:

Ramona Teo was born and raised in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment” where the diverse culture and thriving arts community has inspired her to explore her creative calling. She earned her Bachelor of Art’s Degree at the University of New Mexico in the Cinematic Arts Department with a focus on Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art & History.

Her passions include painting, drawing, clothing design, jewelry making, graphic design, experimental filmmaking and belly dance. Always the creative entrepreneur, Ramona started Guerrilla Graphix (original art t-shirts, custom design and printing services) in 2008 and Divine Nature Arts (her personal brand of clothing, jewelry & sacred art) in 2015. A constant theme in Ramona’s artwork is sacred geometry and the mandala. In 2015 she became a certified Mandala Facilitator and guides workshops on healing with mandalas.  Ramona is currently a stay at home mother of two (Zena, 11/5/15 and Rafael 2/1/17) and is in the process of illustrating The Jade Oracle Deck.

Maria Veronica Iglesias 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). 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 was initiated in the sacred knowledge of Mesoamerican shamanism and became a Portadora de la Palabra, bearer of the Sacred Word. A Priestess of Ix´Cheel, the Mayan Goddess of Medicine, Veronica researches gem stones and their therapeutic use, Pre-Hispanic medicine, rites of passage and Goddesses from Mesoamerica and is co-founder and guide for Sacred Tours of Mexico.

Priestess, instructor, writer and dancer – Anne Key, Ph.D. has traveled, researched, and written about Mesoamerican culture since 1990; her dissertation investigated the pre-Hispanic divine women known as the Cihuateteo, and she is co-founder and guide for Sacred Tours of Mexico. She was Priestess of the Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, located in Nevada and has edited anthologies on women’s spirituality, priestesses, and Sekhmet as well as written two memoirs, Desert Priestess: a memoir and Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love. An adjunct faculty in Women’s Studies, English and Religious Studies, she is co-founder of the independent press Goddess Ink. Anne resides in Albuquerque with her husband, his two cats and her snake, Asherah.


Shifting Paradigms

Compassion, Culture, Empowerment, Goddess, Women

shutterstock_181963079Yes, there are many things happening in the world, climate change, the #me too movement, political crisis, economic challenges, it can all be overwhelming.  I know for me when I look out at the cultural landscape, it feels chaotic, huge and tumultuous.  A quick looks at the headlines, news hour, social media, podcast or radio show will give you plenty of content for feeling completely overcome with the immensity of problems and difficulties of living in our world today.

So, what is one to do?  Well, for me, I don’t watch the news (I don’t own a TV), I limit my exposure to the internet and social media, I don’t read the newspaper…  )Believe me if it matters someone will let me know).  I also make a point of connecting with nature everyday, Mother Nature is so nurturing, to my body and my soul.  I also recognize and maintain that connection with Spirit, connecting with conscious people and giving myself time to be the person I want to be in the world (mini retreats, healthy food and meditation time).

Why do I do this?  Because I think each of us is an agent of change in this world of chaos.  I am trying to build the world I want by focusing on the things I want:  recognizing the divinity of each person, supporting social and economic justice, living a sustainable lifestyle, driving less and turning down my thermostat because even if it doesn’t “change the world”, I’m tying to do my little part.

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
Maya Angelou

I do think this generation, you and me are called to create new structures that will create a more just world.  One of the reasons I love the work I do with Goddess Ink is that we are trying to create a new paradigm.  One that acknowledges women in spiritual leadership, honoring the divine feminine, and women as change agents for a better world.  A paradigm that recognizes there is power and movement in the soul of today’s women.

I really don’t have any big ambitions (well, maybe to eradicate patriarchy….).  But I have many small ambitions, that I work on daily.  For example, I want a world of peace, an economically and socially just system, that recognizes our actions to seven generations, not just the next financial quarter report.  I want women to step into leadership and power positions and lead us to a new way of thinking…….one that sees the Divine in each person.  I want women to see their own Divinity.  I want a social construct that honors the feminine, collaborative thinking, and women in spiritual leadership.  Wow, what a concept! Personally, I think that’s what “feminism”, the #Me Too Movement, the Women’s March and the recognition of the Divine Feminine is all about.

I hope you’ll join me on this paradigm shifting journey.  Please come visit us at Goddess Ink.


Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

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

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