RESTING THROUGH RETROGRADES & READYING DREAM WORK

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If you follow astrology, have friends in it, or are daily tuned into what the Cosmic Weather is, you’ve probably heard about this big Saturn retrograde, Pluto retrograde, and the impending Mercury retrograde (summer will bring a Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus Retrograde, too!) and the energy that it will deposit upon us Earthlings.

I spent the last week reading, divining, and reflecting on exactly what these mean in the midst of Gemini season, typically a season that has me focusing on what my legacy is because Gemini splits my 10th and 11th house. In that reflection, it became clear that Saturn’s retrograde was that we are being given time to take the time to reflect and honestly re-everything: re-evaluate, renew, revise, reflect, and REst.

This is the perfect Cosmic Weather to pause and think. There’s not much to do — yet. First you get to have a think. For me that deep think was prompted by the realization that hit me whilst working the land and listening to Cory Hawkins and The Feral Strega do their Feast of Saint Rita’s Instagram Live. The realization is that I’ve been moving towards being able to live more simply, quietly, and basically alone. As a deep introvert (another reason I’m a Solitary Witch), you’d think that would be an easy path. Not really. A family nest is central to my Natal Chart throughout my life. And, yes, I have The Viking, gratefully, but I have to be okay with being alone more often, depending only on self. I realized that the family that I chose, what I came here to learn (i.e. Akashic record), is all about living more simply, humbly, and in harmony with the planet. In this goal is the peace I am desperately trying to achieve.

When we moved to Villa Westwyk*, I was in the “seeking peace” mode (my chart at the time was all about slowing down and seeking peace, too) and I set the intention that this property would be a sanctuary, that we would live peacefully here and in cooperation with Mother Gaia. Our goal was/is to add value to our lives and healing ourselves (from decades of trauma), and healing the property. This retrograde season is going to give me so much opportunity to re-invigorate that goal.

For me this Saturn retrograde in Aquarius falls within my 6th and 7th house, which means I need to re-evaluate my work, routines, health and partnerships. And I’m doing that. With this super full moon total lunar eclipse on May 26, it’s about what am I going to step away from and step closer and what I need to lean into. I am stepping away from those who cast doubt on my goals or zap my energy. I am stepping closer to my word magic and my book revising and writing. I’m leaning deeper into my health focus. And I’m doubling down on my efforts to deepen my most important relationships.

I am also going back to basics with my Craft practice, especially dream work. I expect that I and all of us are going to have some deeply psychic dreams given the aforementioned Full Flower Blood Moon Total Eclipse in Sagittarius. We all need to be prepared for that. Now many will tell you that doing Magical work on an eclipse is not advised, this is because the energy is so powerful. So if you feel any intuition to not do something — listen to your gut. But for me, dream work renewal — reviving my dream bags, herbs, crystals and the like are going to be done and beefed up. I also have prepped my calendar to handle extra dream interpretations, because I know my regulars and complete strangers (to me) are going to be hit with a wave of dream messages revealing deep truths. The Dream Maker likes to work extra during these energetic times. So be ready.

For you your retrograde season reflections and dreams may look different. But the re-evaluation and investments should definitely be done to take advantage of this. But do it slow-mo. No rushing. Listen for the messages in the strangest places. Don’t know what questions to ask yourself? Don’t just take my word for it, check out what others are sending out to help us all navigate this season. May I suggest that you check out Foxy Astrology’s blog post on this. She poses some good questions there for personal reflection and some directions to look at in your personal astrologic chart. You may also find that @risingwoman has the message you need to hear. Or my latest astrology love, Jessica Lanyadoo. And of course, if you’ve been reading my blog here long enough, you know how much I love The Painted Goddess’ Astrologic Lab, where I’m learning astrology on a deeper level.

Remember, move slow and deliberate. Work with intention and mindfulness. We’ll get through this and on the other side we will be Retrograde Bad Bwitches! Summer 2021 is going to be very interesting. Are you ready?

Wishing you healing, peace, and transformation.

So it is,

~Runa

*I would like to acknowledge that Villa Westwyk resides on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. I hold the deepest respect and gratitude for our Indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.

Pick-A-Rune 5-21-2021

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Welcome to Gemini Season and your weekly Pick A Rune. In honor of Gemini Season, we have a special Rune & Oracle Card reading for you this week. Take a look and pick Left, Center, Right and then look below for the reveal and message. This Crystal Oracle Deck is by Toni Carmine Salerno and published by Blue Angle Publishing. Birchwood Runes made by my Viking.

Pick A Rune this week in honor of Gemini Season, double twin everything!
Crystal Oracle Cards and Birchwood Runes. Individual readings below.

Jasper Red & Tiwaz: You may soon find yourself drawn into a situation in which you feel compelled to care for or protect someone who is in need, due to some traumatic event. This wound is one you unfortunately can understand because it’s something you have experienced either in this life or a former life. Do not dwell in the past however to help. Trust in the healing power of love. You’re not required to give anything more.

Wulfenite & Hagalaz: Your instincts are telling you to burn it all down and start again. Wulfenite is feeding your psychic awareness. Follow your gut. External voices don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. Listen to the guidance that stems from your own soul. It will all work out to your best and highest good.

Beryl & Raidho: You have been plagued by an ongoing problem or dilemma and the energy of the Chariot Rune is there to let it be resolved in an unexpected way. Time to kick stress and anxiety to the curb and charge down this new pathway that has opened for you. Open your heart and know that you have unlimited creativity to achieve your goals.

Thank you for allowing me to read for you. Hope your Gemini Season brings the expansion and transformation you have been working so hard towards. Do that shadow work and I’ll see you next week.

Blessed Be,

~Runa

Categories: Pick A Rune

Weekly Magical Flea Market Spotlight: 5-13-2021

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This week’s spotlight is all about that Viking Beard Balm. I’ve been making a version of this for more than 7 years for my beloved Viking and all the compliments and people who are just enthralled with his sexah beard get told all about this. Now you can also have or give your favorite bearded warrior some of this small-batch vegan goodness. Be advised a little goes a long way and can last up to six months, sometimes longer depending on the length of beard.

From an heirloom recipe handed down from our Nordic Ancestors, this small-batch beard balm is made with all natural, vegan ingredients and includes instructions for use. A little goes a long way so this 4 oz. size has you and your facial hair and skin taken care of for some time to come.

Heimdall’s blend has subtle notes of orange and Peppermint, while providing all the goodness a healthy beard needs. The balm is always included in a positive charging ritual and gives thanks to the heavens for all the goodness it contains. Odin’s blend has subtle notes of cedar and clove, while providing all the goodness a healthy beard needs. The balm is always included in a positive charging ritual and gives thanks to the heavens for all the goodness it contains.

Just two left in the Magical Flea Market, so jump on this deal today.

Growing That Witch Life

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I had a reminder this past weekend about what it means to be a Witch, to live as a Witch, and how I’ve been doing that most of my life. The philosophies I’ve been living consistently in my life is all about what most, as well as myself, call Witchcraft. To wit, I have been living the Craft all along, even though at moments or in periods of my life it may not have looked like it outwardly. I mean, I knew that pursuing a life centered on Magic is what I wanted; but, It took me deeply dedicating myself to living the life of a Witch, centering my lifestyle and livelihood as a practitioner of the Craft, even achieving Crowned Crone status, to understand that it was all Witchcraft the entire time. 

I am so mostly self-taught in my practices as a Witch. And when I say that word, Witch, I mean that wise woman who moves with the environment around her in harmony and deep care and love. That Crone who wants you to learn what she learned so you can live so much better. You don’t make the same mistakes. Make new ones, because that’s how we learn to be a Witch, only doing that for which creates complimentary energies, like that in Permaculture. Please understand there was no coven initiation for me as a Witch; there was no big ceremony, even though I could have done one as a Solitary Practitioner, ala the Crone Crowning I did in October 2020; and there was no direct openly known “hereditary” Witch for me to be taught or told, “You’re a Witch.” Yet here I am, clearly a Witch.  

Figuring out how to live my life and with whom has been such a long fucking journey. I just knew that some things felt right. Move here — yes, I’m learning, exploring, trying out new things and lifestyles. Take this job — again another level of exploring, trying out new things and lifestyles. Yes, these people; oh, maybe not. Yes, these lovers; oh, maybe not. I love this dress; nope, I hate this dress. Hell, I own like one dress. My life seems to require pants more. You get the drift.

Some of my best memories of my childhood were when our family was outdoors or camping, or working in the garden or kitchen together. They also were some of the most stressful, but that’s part of the journey, too. We all wish those times were less, but they teach us, too. It takes a long time to become grateful for those terrible times. For many of us it taught us to be someone who fights for justice, or to be a lightworker/healer, or  to just be our truest selves and live our best life. And when you are not to the point of having gratitude for those times, the good memories still stand out. And if my family wasn’t outside, we were inside, surrounding ourselves with stories: writing stories, reading stories, hearing stories —especially when family visited— or even sometimes in the evening at home in front of the television or on a Saturday afternoon at the local matinee, we were watching stories. 

So I would, in my own way, seek out the activities of that which I have benevolent memories. I would garden. I would cook. I would seek out nature as entertainment. I would gather a family; sometimes, that was all the “Deadbeats” at a particular college campus, or a bunch of lost single Soldiers in the barracks, but family nonetheless. I would create some sort of nest whether for myself or for these hobbled together families. I wrote. I read. I experimented with story in audio and video form. I had articles published; short stories published, even a book (with number two coming soon). I worked in radio. I worked in television. I found that I would repeat this pattern, in slightly different ways. Maybe in this town? With these people? Surviving by myself above in an antique store in Casper, Wyoming. Working as a journalist and editor. Or in a condo with two addicts before heading off to the military. Then finally as a wife and mother wanting to make something work so hard, that I didn’t see how it very much was not working.

Throughout all of that, I would turn to the Craft. It’s mysticism that felt so natural and as an undoubtable fact in my brain. That first seemed to just be whispered to me as a confused 13 year-old, “You feel different; you think differently; you are different: You are a Witch.” I could see and feel the energy in things my family and many peers could not. I was called foolish for talking about colors around people. Spirit visitations were considered imaginary friends and making up stories (it didn’t help that I wrote and wrote and wrote stories from the time I was about 8 years old). When we camped, the animals, birds, and insects would appear when I was about or I would notice them before anyone else.

But as I traveled through life, and about this planet, I found people who felt like me, dug deeper like me, tried to connect and provide the stories of living in our times. I wild foraged or grew food. Then I would make sure that lifeforce is forged into the food to feed our bodies, minds, and souls. We do so with purpose and intent, holistically. It’s Magic. When I finally learned about shadow work and I started to bring all these joys, delights, and lifestyle into fruition. And it’s so high on the scale of good so often that I feel flabbergasted. I can’t believe this is my life. How did I get so blessed? Easy: The Craft. Now before I come off sounding like a privileged ass, my life is not all sundae cones with unicorn sprinkles. I have had to travel some dark roads of abuse, trauma, war, discrimination, rape, loss, grief, sadness, depression, and unbelievable pain. I mean, we’ve all been through a year of death while having to act like things are normal. However, I persevered. I pushed and fought to move forward, with the help of the Craft ala the Runes, my rituals, my knowledge that my words are Magic, that my Energy changes things. As a Witch, you learn, sometimes even naturally understand, that transformation, doing the work to achieve our best and highest good, can be like a ravaging forest fire. From its destruction, new life forms.

Here I am, in another iteration in my life. A new home. A new town. A new direction (Permaculture). Basically, me, but a new me. A new Witch. As I was in the garden this past weekend—our experiment with a perennial growing and market garden space (something to double our efforts and reap a yield) such a knowing of purpose and self washed over me. I was preparing the land to grow onions and cabbage. It has been patiently waiting for me to tend to it, and for which I was patiently waiting for the weather to be right. And out of no where, Spirit (perhaps Gefion or Freyja) whispered to me again, “Yes, Witch, this is good and right.” Of course the dork in me is like, “What’s good and right?” Because Witches are not Witches unless we’re also questioning, yes? 

Within a heartbeat of that message, I realized that living like this — to live with the land in a healthy fashion and provide basic needs and then, with luck, needs of the community, is part of the tenets of Witchcraft as well as Permaculture (a deeper blog post on this connection soon). Furthermore my work is that of many witches: to see the good in the world you wish to see, remove suffering, care for, and certainly love. All of those things started with camping trips, loving stories, and picking green beans in the garden. It evolved into a mishmash of Hedge, Green, Kitchen, and Intuitive Witchery that I live and work to elevate everyday, hence practice. And now that Crone-level mix of Witchery is married to Permaculture, and still writing. And if you look at my natal chart, you’ll like say, “but of course that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.” 

As if to punctuate it this a-ha moment, I saw my first true butterfly of the season, followed closely on its tail with two dancing dragonflies. That told me my ancestors were behind me. That even if in life they may have disagreed with what they knew about Witchcraft, they could see how I am living is divinely led. And just to really put me in awe and make sure I remembered this moment, the Pileated Woodpecker that I often hear hammering away nearby came and landed in Villa Westwyk’s ancient Willow tree. His visit let me know that I needed to share this moment of self understanding and reassurance of purpose with all of you. To let you know that even when things are confusing or seem hopeless, there is strength in perseverance and doing the work.  And the work is good. The confusion, the hopelessness, even fear has taken a backseat to some really spectacular Magic. And I’m here for it. For the long haul.

Wow, what a life. What parts of The Craft am I going to learn next? I’m sure it’s going to be something that continues this journey of peace and harmony and plants, food, and stories, with Magic the center of it all. 

How about for you? When have you been reminded of who you are, or who you should be, and how you’ve been living? And if you’ve made it this far to the very end, I send you good Witchy energy for many blessings to you.

Be ready for the Magic.

~Runa

Pick A Rune – 5/7/2021

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Pick a Rune: Left, Middle, or Right. Hag Stone, Aragonite, or Bloodstone.

Want the Runes to give you even more messages and guidance? Consider booking an annual, quarterly, or triple Rune Casting from yours truly. You can message me to book at Runa@CountryDwellers(dot)com or via my Etsy shop, Magical Flea Market.

See the reveal and the reading below:

The Hag Stone on the Left, formed by the strong energy of water, it is used for protection and warding. Aragonite in the center is helpful in grounding, performing Earth magic, or Root Chakra work; on the right we have Bloodstone, used in Craft work to strengthen intuition and find the path to healing.

The message today from Fehu has to deal with your spiritual wealth. If you have not protected your sacred time to enhance your spirituality, this is your message to focus on your spiritual life to increase the abundance you receive from such work. Quit making excuses and set the time aside for craft work, meditation, yoga, and even just walking barefoot in the grass. Perhaps you need to wander along the water’s edge and find your own Hag Stone.

Aragonite has brought Sowilo forward, which is the Rune of personal energy. You have the inner drive to transform, but you’re going to need self-control and discipline to continue the positive direction. Keep your ego in check. Always be humble and kind.

The Bloodstone holds up the Rune Wunjo Merkstave (reversed). This is your reminder not to isolate yourself. Everyone needs some solid interaction even in small doses. Do be mindful of possible betrayals near you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, just like your mama used to tell you.

Thank you for allowing me to provide this divination for you. I hope the messages lead you to your truest self and best life.

Blessed Be,

~Runa

Weekly Magical Flea Market Spotlight – 5-6-2021

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At this price and this quality, this item won’t last long. The Magical Flea Market Item of the Week is: Hand beaded necklace, bracelet & earrings featuring Tigers Eye w/ size extender. Designed by My Viking and hand beaded, tiger’s eye beads with onyx and obsidian. A full set. Ever wanted to feel like your jewelry is as put together as you are? Want to let your inner Tiger out? This set is made to show the more wild side while still being put together. Better than any power tie or suit. Blessed under the Scorpio Full Moon and ready to help you rock it!

You may find it here: The Magical Flea Market. Wear it in power!

Have a great week!

~Runa

Personal Harvest Day Reflection

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This week, in the astrology of my life, I reach the end of my 9th house and arrive to my Harvest Day and then my 10th house. I am transitioning from the House of Fruition to the House of Harvest, as laid out in The Book of Houses by Robert Cole and Paul Williams. In this great guide to the harvest cycle as it applies to your personal astrology, they recommend that you pause on your Harvest Day and reflect. To look back on what the seeds you chose in the 11th house and how you manifested. Reflection is often the seed of epiphany, so it’s a good practice, and one that Witches weave into their lives constantly. The Wheel of the Year — Lunar & Solar Cycles — bring us such opportunities in monthly and quarterly and biannual cycles. But to focus solely on your astrological harvest cycle is a new thing for me, but very fertile all the same. Allow me to share in summary that reflection and its harvest.*

At the end of May 2020 we had just moved into Villa Westwyk. Our nomadic life of travel had come to a screeching halt with the persistence of a global pandemic, and we needed a place to hunker down and be safe until we figured out our next move. We came to realize fairly quickly that a nomadic life no longer appealed to us given the state of the world and it was going to be a very long road to get back to a place where a life of constant travel was copasetic. That realization coincided with my 11th house, and we knew that making a home that we didn’t need a vacation from and which was self-sustaining was our path forward. But with the addition of a mortgage payment again on top of our other responsibilities, we were going to have to get creative in how we lived. I recall doing a pretty powerful spell right around Beltane 2020 to help me find my path forward.

It was then that I imagined an online marketplace to present the magical gifts I have to offer others and the magical tools and specialty items I find so endearing. My Magical Flea Market was born. It took a bit of time to get it moving forward, living among boxes and not having anyplace to sit to eat meals and the like was quite the distraction. That seed choosing also found me desiring a Crone Crowning Ritual, which many of you were privy to via Instagram. And that status has allowed me to embrace a role as wise woman and mentor to a choice few and its been such a circle of blessing. We also made put our sailboat up for sale and are taking some time to explore our new community, including the wilderness surrounding Komo Kulshan (the big mountain we can see from our property).

It was no accident that the home we landed in has plenty of space to host friends and family, as well would allow us to return to the micro-farming and permaculture efforts that we undertook in our last sticks-and-bricks home. I quickly carved out a small space and planted greens and herbs — because it’s something we eat daily and you can continually harvest. We were blessed with bumper crops of all the berries and fruit trees that already called Villa Westwyk home and we slowly made this place spark with spirit that is inside me and my partner, lovingly dubbed The Viking. We cleared away trash, overgrown brush and weeds, and lots of negative energy that was allowed to fester whilst the former residents’ energies were elsewhere.

A year later now and the house is mostly furnished, save a few odds-and-ends, and we’re in planting mode, enlarging the kitchen garden and establishing a perennial bed and market garden. We’ve brought home a small flock of chickens and a trio of goslings. Ducks should be here in a month or so. The Magical Flea Market is building slowly and my craft has helped a many people clarify and illuminate paths, understand ancestral and divine messages, and untangle the confusion of dreams. I am comfortable in my Crone skin and status. My home is filling again with jars of dried herbs and tinctures; the larder is full of cherries, black currants, apples, peaches, pears, and all the things to make One Spooky Witch and her Handsome Devil healthy again. My studio allows me to be creative, spiritual, and meditate regularly, as well as host Solitary Shenanigans on Wednesday mornings. The dogs love being able to explore without leashes and are learning the command “take cover” since we have a healthy population of Bald Eagles in the neighborhood, not to mention coyote and fox. We are gifted with mountain views and some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

That is quite the harvest, yes? And contemplating those blessings and the appreciation of all the hard work that went into reaping this harvest will help me decide what seeds we will choose in a a few weeks when I reach my 11th house again. I’ll be spending a good chunk of the month of May trying to figure out what seeds for my personal harvest cycle I need to choose. But for right now I’m fairly content with what I have and am feeling blessed to have found my way here to Villa Westwyk and a life that allows me such time to heal a small plot of land, as well as myself.

Where are you in the harvest cycle of your natal chart? Did you celebrate your Harvest Day? If so, how and what did you learn? If you’re celebrating your harvest day soon, take advice from Granny Shadow below and take some time to rest and reflect.

*A big shout-out to The Astrologic Lab for inviting me to learn more about myself via Astrology. If you want to learn Astrology, you need to join the Lab!

I would like to acknowledge that Villa Westwyk resides on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. I hold the deepest respect and gratitude for our Indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.

Pick-A-Rune, 4-30-2021

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Today’s Readings was done after making an offering to Freyja, and all the energy she represents. Since these readings will now take place on Friday, it seemed only right. The Buffalo Teeth Runes were used, hosted by (1) Chalcedony; (2) Lilac Kunzite; (3) Apache Tear.

Thank you all, once again, for honoring me with providing this reading for you. The energies following the Full Moon in Scorpio this past week are still strong. Messages have been clear and many. If you’re new here, for this reading, please pick one of the Runes. Look at them, understand that the stones next to them hold energies that very much may be calling to you. Look away or close your eyes for a moment. Open your eyes again. Where did your eye land first? Was it to the left with the stone, Chalcedony? Was it to the right with the Apache Tear? Or did it land smack dab in the middle with the Lilac Kunzite? Whichever you picked, the reveal and reading is below.

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From Left to Right, the Runes cast are: Laguz, Ansuz, and Kenaz. For their messages, see below.

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If you chose the Chalcedony Rune, you are wanting to bring your mind, body, and spirit into harmony.

Laguz is the Rune that has been cast for you. It is full of water energy and understands you want relief from hostility and to transform your melancholy into joy. What you dream of is not a fantasy. Laguz bears the message that if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. Pay attention to your dreams for more information for the path forward.

If you chose Lilac Kunzite, it’s likely you are needing some free expression of your feelings or needing to connect with people who have experienced what you have.

Your choice has brought you a message for Ansuz, the Rune of ancestors and the Allfather. Your inner child is in need. It longs for creative expression and to live the vision of life you know you want. Forget the heartache, it is blocking you. Align that Heart Chakra and go for that which you desire. What battles did your ancestors already fight so that you could live a better life? Honor them by living your best life as your truest self.

If you chose Apache Tear, you are seeking protection and grace.

If you chose Apache Tear, you know that grief must be shared, and the wrongs of old healed. Kenaz is the Rune cast for you today and it is a Beacon of New Strength. You recognize the gentle support you have been given to move forward past that which is no longer serving you. You know the guiding light in your life directs you to vibrate higher and to harness your power. Fry Scrying may provide you further direction forward.