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.

Balance and Re-calibrate: Spring Equinox

Goddess, spring equinox

Today is Spring Equinox, the day the sun rises and sets at exact east and west, the day when the northern and southern hemispheres are bathed in equal light. By the Celtic calendar, this is mid-Spring, halfway through the season. From this point on, the light will continue to grow until we are drenched in sunlight at the Summer Solstice.

No matter the weather and temperature outside, the sun is stretching its life-bringing light over more hours each day. In the last week, more “seeds” have sprung open, more “shoots” have pushed their heads into the daylight, and more “flowers” have bloomed. This growth spurt can be exhilarating and dizzying.

Take time today, in this moment of balance, to re-align yourself. Is your internal compass true? Take a look at all of the green shoots sprouting in your life. They won’t all come to fruition, and some might crowd what you’d rather have bloom. Consult your inner compass and decide what needs to go to make way for the new. Use the energy of the season for a bit of spring cleaning, within and without.

Brightest Blessings to you at the turn of the wheel — Anne

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: 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.  

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).