It's the first week of May, which -- along with Beltaine -- means it's finals time. Now that I'm a professor I'm on the "grading" rather than the "taking" side of the exams, but I'm not entirely sure that makes things less stressful! In the midst of all the finals time tasks -- grading papers, answering panicked emails, crafting review sheets and exams, and generally wrapping up my classes -- I've been surfing a wave of inspiration for new ideas for my Etsy shop, my Tarot blog, more metaphysical classes I want to offer, and various writing projects I want to undertake. It is quite like me to get very inspired when I have a pile of rather mundane tasks to square away.
When Brigit came up as the Goddess for this week, it was a bit like meeting an old friend. Brigit (or Brighid) has been one Goddess I've worked with consistently in my practice. I like her triune nature, as patroness of poetry, smithcraft, and midwifery. I appreciate that she is the one who brings imbas, the fire in the head that is inspiration. The first circle I ever practiced with was dedicated to Her, and our major Sabbat celebration was Imbolc/Brighid. It will be nice to spend the next week with her, as I navigate the waters of both inspiration and obligation.
Contrary to my usual pattern in the high, bright, Texas Springtime, I've found myself doing a lot of going within of late. I'm facing something of a transition in my career -- not necessarily out of my line of work and into a new one, but into a new relationship with what I do and also the launching of several new ventures. I've found myself simultaneously terrified and excited by the changes, and have been feeling a lot of internal changes and shifts as well.
Add in that I've been teaching an8-week online intensive about the Chakras, with this last week focusing on the Sacral Chakra with all its powers of intuition, creativity, and finding personal power and passion, and it's been a time of really considering what makes me tick, what I need to feel stable and safe (thanks, Root Chakra!), and exploring my relationship with my intuition and ability to trust myself.
I gave a little chuckle when Chang O, Chinese Goddess of the Moon, danced into my life this week. I am a fan of the Chang O card in Kris Waldherr's The Goddess Tarot, as she represents Contemplation -- the equivalent of the Hermit -- and spiritual seeking. I identify greatly with her as a symbol for seeking the Goddess and for seeking my own sacredness as a woman.
It's Springtime here in Texas -- though my friends in Chicago assure me it's still winter there -- and along with the bluebonnets and the longer days, that means it's almost finals time. Somehow this time of year is at least as busy for me in my professor role as it ever was for me as a student. I'm also staring down a summer of uncertain employment, as my faculty appointments are part-time. So it's been a time of excitement at new possibilities but also worries about what ifs, and in my typical fashion I've been internalizing and stressing and feeling as though I have to find a way to figure out an answer to the pressing questions of finances and career.
Thank Goddess that Tara decided to dance into my week!
One of the things I love about working with Kris Waldherr's Goddess Inspiration Oracle is that she includes Goddesses from many cultures, including nonWestern and indigenous ones. This deck has really expanded my awareness of different Goddesses, and I always smile when one I haven't pulled before comes up. (And though I've been working with the cards for nearly three years, I still have new ones come up!)
So I smiled when Benzai-ten, Japanese Goddess of Talents, came into my life for this week. And I chuckled when I saw her message, which is
It's been one of those weeks where it's been a little hard to see my blessings, and all to easy to see my roadblocks. I'm participating in a community on Facebook where we post three things that we are grateful for each day, and it's helping me to stay focused on all the wonderful things in my life -- even when it seems all I can see are the setbacks and the "what ifs." So I chuckled a little when Changing Woman, The Navajo Goddess of the Corn, came dancing into my life tonight.
I've spent much of the last month engrossed in Reverend Lauren Artress's Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as Spiritual Practice, about the labyrinth as spiritual movement and spiritual practice. I've been walking the labyrinth since 1998, and within the last few months I've taken what has been a deeply personal practice and begun sharing it with the Women's Spirituality here in Dallas-Fort Worth, through monthly labyrinth walks at some of the public labyrinths in the Metroplex. Artress writes movingly of the Holy Spirit as feminine, and of the way in which the labyrinth helps us reconnect with the Divine Feminine.
So it seems wholly fitting that my Goddess for this week is Sophia -- the spirit of Feminine Wisdom within the Christian tradition.