Tag: crone life

Reflecting Back On 2021

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Yes The Witch Is Still Here

Our test market garden in June 2021

Thank you for still being here. After my last blog post in July (yikes!), permaculture work was demanding and unending. Things have finally slowed down where I can focus some energy back here on my site. And for the most part, I’ll be developing this space more and more through the end of this year and into 2022. When I first started this website/blog it was so I could share my knowledge of the craft and provide a space to share my services & magical items. Sharing that knowledge has been a slow expansion, but it feels strong and sure. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Take a look at all the photos on this post and you’ll see the entire cycle I’ve been living through. So much growth and so much abundance. I’m grateful, but I’m also a bit tired. Not going to lie, this #PermieWitch life squaring with #WritingWitch life trine #RuneCaster & #DreamInterpreter conjunct #KitchenWitchery is non-stop, exciting, rewarding, but a bit fatiguing way to live life. Not sure I’d have it any other way. Chalk it up to my Cancer Moon, Leo Rising, and Scorpio Sun.

Our test market garden in July 2021

So now we’ve tilled, planted, tended, and harvested our way through Summer, and now we’re welcomiing Scorpio Season and Samhain Season. My favorite time of year. It doesn’t hurt that this is my Heritage Day time and Birthday Month. I’m dealing with my double pentagram birthday and currently transiting my 3rd house with Neptune and Uranus trining their natal positions in my chart. ;There’s lots of transformation going on, in other words. But I’m going to lean into these changes and not shy away from it. I know this work will benefit my health, business, and relationships. I’m here for it. Hopefully my sharing of this journey will help someone else down the road as well. I’m planning a trip to reset with nature for my birthday weekend. We’ll take our modern Vardo “Siggi” and park next to the ocean. There will be hours of reading, and lounging, beachcombing, familiar snuggling, until our toes curl in delight. After the challenges we’ve encountered this autumn, it’s a much needed break. Nothing fancy, but perfect all the same. Do you plan an adventure for your solar return? I may also mark this occasion with a tattoo. We’ll see. Given COVID-19 and the fact that I’m in a new community and know ZERO tattoo artists, that may have to wait. After that I’ll be celebrating Astrologic Samhain with a deep ancestor ritual. This actually falls on my Heritage Day, so the energy seems ripe for significant progress to be made in my generational healing. Are you celebrating on calendar Samhain, or later, like me? Tell me how you’re celebrating.

Our test market garden in August 2021.

Every Witch will tell you that the veil is thinning. It’s the time of year that the energy is so strong to connect with those who have gone before us. I’ve been getting messages strongly, especially in dreams. And some of the dreams have given me some perspective on what would be better use of this little cottage on the internet, as I like to call my website. Other dreams have been so potent and unusual I had to share them on my weekly Instagram Live “Solitary Shenanigans.” A reminder that messages don’t always mean we can help. Much like not every spell is going to work out exactly as you intend. Regardless, this is a public record that the universe has spoken, and I’m trying my best to listen as I walk the path to vibrate my highest. Sharing like I do on Solitary Shenanigans has helped to build friendships and relationships and I am so excited to give that space more energy, too. The positive response plus the messages from the Dream Maker frame this a no-brainer for energy consumption going into 2022. So see you Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) on IG Live?

Our test market garden in September 2021.

Continuing to visit me here, you’ll be getting more about dream work; more about being a caregiver of the land and how it aligns with witchcraft, and you’ll be getting regular kitchen witchery as well. If there’s a particular subject you want to know about, please let me know in the comments. I am investigating platforms that will allow me to teach dream work deeper, more practical kitchen witchery, and invite those interested in communing with nature right here to Villa Westwyk. More on that hopefully by Spring 2022.

Our test market garden in October 2021

The past year has been full of so much. My new website here; continued efforts on my business as a dream interpreter, rune caster, and magical goods provider; and tending to the land of Villa Westwyk. In addition to that I’ve found a new community of wonderful people who vibe higher and stronger, which has blessed my life in so many ways.

There are plans a plenty for 2022 to include an expansion of things that were tried out this past year, so hopefully you’ll stick around to find out about that.

In the interim, I’m wishing you all a Happy Witch’s New Year. Deep Samhain Blessings to you.

Eva, Indy, and Willie started small, as does every seed you plant. But look at them now!

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.

Retreating Back To Me

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Our Waning Crescent Moon in Gemini, April 14, 2021 over Western Washington skies.

She’s back. Yep, back from vacation. But it wasn’t a vacation in the traditional sense. There was lots of work. Lots of caring going on for both family, pets, and land. In fact, I worked myself pretty hard and also dealt with the side-effects of my first Covid-19 vaccine shot. So, yeah, no fun drinks with umbrellas or poolside reading. Regardless, it was all work necessary to get me to a place where I can take a break right out my back door, if necessary.

Family emergencies due to injuries and ongoing health stuff aside, everyone is doing well and recovering for the most part. Good energies towards my loved ones are appreciated.

Speaking of appreciation, the outpouring of messages from so many both immediately after I announced my departure from the virtual world — and honestly anything outside the gates of Villa Westwyk seems virtual any longer given the Pandemic world– and the messages continued throughout the week. They were little balloons of caring and were deeply appreciated. I felt everyone’s love and respect for my need to step back for a bit. I felt your love and please know it boosted me through a couple of really dark moments this past week. So, thank you. May your love come back to you threefold. I was so nervous to step away from the momentum that all my Runa Troy work had achieved so far, and people reaching out told me my work is appreciated and valued. My heart is full.

Throughout the week I was also dealing with an avalanche of work, so much of it still needing to be tackled, to get Villa Westwyk up to snuff. There are so many projects, basically left to us by the former residents of this space. We are in the midst of correcting planting mistakes, repairing neglect to infrastructure and landscape, and creating a place of balance and health. Water issues have come to the forefront and how to harness its preciousness is also at the forefront of the work created. But with just two of us working it, mostly on the weekends, things came to a head, especially given our family responsibilities.

But this work of week to care of family and home allowed time for contemplation and understanding of purpose and paths ahead. When we first moved here I understood instinctually that my clan needed a place of retreat. That the Viking and I needed a home we didn’t need a vacation from — something that served all our needs and then some. Since entering my Crone phase, the absolute need for peace and sanctuary has been almost obsessive. Anything that disrupts that is the focus of some baneful words from this witch. I’ve been building and creating so much that I lost sight of even enjoying it. So although I was blessed with beautiful weather to accomplish these tasks, I was feeling overwhelmed and unable to be present and it was raising my stress level. Something had to give. And I knew that the whole reason I work the way I do — writer, artist, permaculturist, and public witch — is so I can do all the things that bring me joy in balance. And balance and living beholden to myself was the lesson of this week. I mean I understood it intellectually, and why I stepped away for a week — and even that time frame may have been pushing it — but to embrace it in my spirit, my heart, took a little bit of time. However, I did get there. It took me all the way until Sunday (funnily enough, a Moon in Cancer day) to really get there, but I got a couple of days of working without grumbling and talking to the earth and the bees and the birds (I have a special story about that I’ll share during my next Solitary Shenanigans), and feeling the sun and the wind on my skin and face. And that was enough. And I was enough. It was all enough. It was good. And it taught me that if I lay good foundations, the rest will follow.

If you’ve made it this far into the post: we in the same tribe! Thank you. This is your message to seek balance, peace, and sanctuary. Step away, take a break, do what you can, and know that if you are doing your best; that is enough.

Blessed Be All,

~Runa

Komo Kulshan in all her beauty during my break.
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 – 4-7-2021

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Your Weekly Rune Casting from Runa Troy

From Left to Right: Turquoise, Calcite, or Chrysoprase

These are intended to find you when you need the message. Instead of actual crystals this week, I was called to use my Crystal Oracle Deck — this Crone doesn’t just use Runes for divination and messages from the Universe. And we’re using everyone’s favorite Bison-Teeth Rune set. Look at the photo. Where does your eye go? Close your eyes or look away and where does your heart say to go? Left? Middle? Right? Turquoise, Calcite, or Chrysoprase? Leave a comment below with which one you choose, please. Thank you again for spending a little bit of time with me on Witch Wednesday! Reveal is below…

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Reveal Below

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Turquoise is a protective stone and promotes spiritual attunement and enhances communication with both the spiritual and physical worlds.

The Rune pulled here is Algiz, the Elk Spirit, full of protection. Given that it’s paired with Turquoise protection is a huge focus for this message. Where is your refuge and sanctuary? Have you ignored making sure you have that space? With our own sacred spaces, we can channel our energy and stand in our power and commune with the Divine. Get yours squared away and nest in its healing protection.

Calcite is a powerful amplifier and cleanser of energy.

Othalla is the Rune of Ancestral Property. The message today surrounds around fundamental values, yours, your ancestors, and your descendants. Are you living your values? Your beliefs? If not, the message is to live what you believe, talking about them is not enough. You will not be remembered for the things you have, but how you treat the creatures of the world. What positive deeds can you do today?

Chrysoprase is a great stone for when you want to promote love of truth, hope, and personal insights.

Raidho is riding its wagon on Chrysoprase right now, which means that your progression towards love, truth, hope, and wisdom is moving forward. Remember you decide your path, no one else. Also, you won’t get to your destination unless you have the right frame of mind, so ground, center, and root and move forward again.

Thanks again for allowing me to divine for you again this week. If you appreciate the work I do, please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week,

~Runa

My Praying Mantis Wild Familiars

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The Beautiful Messages From Spirit Through Nature

Look at this lovely. Her messages were just as beautiful.

Since arriving at Villa Westwyk, there’s been many messages from Spirit to let me know I’m in the right place and on the right path. We found this property, honestly, in the knick of time. We had looked at dozens and dozens of properties and this one just randomly popped up on my search parameters and wasn’t even on our realtor’s radar. The property had a pending offer and went off the market, but I found it just as it went back on because the buyer pulled out. It checked all our boxes and although there were compromises (there is in any living situation), the important stuff on our list was met. 

Once here, the abundant wildlife was prevalent. So many song birds, but also bald and golden eagles, hawks, ducks, geese, and hummingbirds. The first weekend we spent here we saw fox, bobcat, and coyote. And the frogs. Oh my, the frogs are everywhere, telling me our property is pretty healthy despite the neglect from the former owners, whose lives took them away from the Villa to other paths. We have a resident raven, for which we’ve named SplitWing, because he has this seeming birth defect that has one wing kind of cattywampus and a deep split in it. You can pick him out of a crowd for sure. He tolerates the dogs chasing him a bit and visits each day to aerate the west lawn and get his fill of bugs and worms. When I put out seed for the birds, he’s always first to come along, but he shares with the others, to include a Pileated Woodpecker who’s call always makes me laugh.

Then there was the visit from my (deceased) Father — one of the strongest clairvoyant experiences this ol’ Hedge Crone has had in her life thus far. He told me to hang onto this property. To my family. To my friends. His spirit seems to hover here often. I’ll be working in the yard and I can smell the pipe tobacco he often smoked when I was younger. The fact that I’m writing this today, his birthday, seems very serendipitous. He would have been 75 years old today.

Then as summer moved closer to fall I was blessed with visits from many, many Praying Mantis. Every time I worked in the yard, I found them. One special time, a particularly beautiful one just landed on my hand as I held a shovel. The strange thing was that shortly before the first one descended onto our property (they fly rather spastically), The Viking (my spouse for those who are new here) had told me he hadn’t ever seen a Praying Mantis in person. Why we were even talking about such a thing, I don’t recall. Therein lies the magic of Divine Downloads.

That clearly was a sign from spirit. Therefore, the visits from the  Praying Mantis got me thinking. What was Spirit trying to tell me? About the time of their visits I was feeling rather verklempt over losing our travel life (this time last year I was in the Mojave doing magic in the desert and looking forward to moving towards Alaska on our sailboat come summer). But Pops message kept repeating in my brain “Hold on to what you have, Betty (his nickname for me).” What I have is wonderful. I love Villa Westwyk, but the restlessness of staying in one place after being nomadic for almost two years was draining me. And then the Praying Mantis came and made their home my home. In many cultures, the Praying Mantis is considered good luck. From a permaculture standpoint, they are an indicator of a healthy land space (much like frogs are) and they reduce the population of harmful insects. If you check my instagram from last year and you’ll see one taking care of a wasp — although wasps are typically pollinators, we had an imbalance of them on our property when we first moved in. The Mantis took care of that imbalance.

Even now their presence is about — I’m finding egg sacs all over the property — even one in our cold frame, which means we’ll be blessed again this year with more. After sitting with the message and meditating and, of course, doing my dream work and divining runes, it all pointed to one thing: Sometimes we give things up, regardless of how that sacrifice came up (mine was prompted by the global pandemic), only to learn that we are stronger and more sure of the path we are now on. This is much like the Praying Mantis, where after breeding, the female often eats the male. Well-nourished females produce healthier eggs. The sacrifice of the mate is returned many-fold by the hundreds of nymphs that emerge from one egg sac.

The sacrifice(s) that have brought me to this point in my life have produced hundreds of blessings. These Wild Familiars, not just the Mantis, hold messages when we have questions about our way forward. For now, everything points to I am where I need to be and doing the work I should be doing. That knowledge was brought forward by these Wild Familiars. When you have questions and feel that restlessness about which path allows you to be your truest self and live your best life, take a breath and see the messages about you through Nature and her creatures.

What are your Wild Familiars? What messages have they brought you?

Lent has Pagan Roots

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This Witch Practices Lent

I was watching an Instagram Live hosted by a Witch last week. Don’t know her personally or even abut in her circle, but I’m always curious how other Witches and Pagans are dealing with life in modern times. Especially modern pandemic times. Anyhow, she mentioned something about silly Christians giving up something for Lent and how it’s so ridiculous (silly and ridiculous was language she used). But, I’m here to tell you that what that Witch didn’t know was that Lent has been practiced by Witches and Pagans for a very long time before Christians even coined the term.

For those of you who are long-time Country Dweller Podcast listeners, you know I am an active student of the history of Paganism and Witchcraft. I’ll prattle on and on if you let me. Fortunately for podcast listeners, MareLin always reigned me in. But because I have studied for many years about Paganism, Witchcraft, and comparative religions, I repeatedly learned or found evidence that Lent is actually something Pagans have practiced for eons. Like many other Sabbats throughout the Wheel of the Year which have found their way into the Christian calendar, Lent is as well.

In its Old English form, Lent means “spring” and derived from the formal “Lencten.” So how do we get from a word that means spring to a 40-day fast? There’s a few theories that hold up in many different texts.

Of note is the story about the Akkadian god, the great hunter Dumuzi (commonly referred to as Tammuz, the Hebrews’ name for him). He was killed while hunting a wild boar (this was his second death and his previous story also follows along the mythos lines of Jesus…but that’s another blog post). Followers mourned for him through weeping ceremonies and fasting from meat (boars are bad after all, they killed our god!) for 40 days.

In the old testament of the Bible, we have evidence this “Lent” ritual was even found among the Israelites during the days of Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 8:13-14 it is written:

“He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”

This Lenten Tradition in Italy looks strangely Pagan.

Fasting, pushing the boundaries of flesh, weeping for what has been lost, are common themes throughout the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian faiths, and beyond. Noah et al were stuck in the Ark for 40 days and nights. Musa (Moses) spent 40 days on Mount Sinai where he received the 10 commandments. Prophet Yunus (Jonah) was in a whale’s mouth for 40 days. Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days. Muhammad was praying and fasting in the cave for 40 days. Some Russians, Bulgarians, and Serbs believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for 40 days. Many Christian Filipinos mark the end of the initial mourning period on the 40th day after death, and have a mass said. They believe that the soul remains on the earthly plane for 40 days before entering the afterlife, recalling how Christ ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection. Let’s not forget, as well, the Corajisima, a traditional practice during Lent in Italy, specifically, Calabria and other areas of the south. She is the widow, of Carnevale, the embodiment of the revelries. After Fat Tuesday, when Carnevale dies, poor Corajisima remains alone. Usually depicted as an ugly, skinny old woman with a decidedly witch-like appearance, she represents abstinence in the Lenten period. There is a count-down wherein the feathered broom she rides gets plucked after each weekly mass until Easter arrives.

In Germany, there is also Fasnet, which I have experienced. It is the night before fasting, symbolically “carried to the grave” just before Ash Wednesday. Hundreds of figures clad in white sheets and black top hats form a funeral procession.  A straw effigy of Fasnet is tossed into a stream, and at the stroke of midnight, Witches dance around a blazing fire and throw their brooms into it.  When all the brooms have been burned and turned to ashes, winter is said to have been “swept away” for another year. However, you have to get through the Fasching first. And that takes 40 days.

A Southern Germay Fasching Hexen, aka Witch.

Lent is 40 days. However there is also about 40 days between Imbolc (especially Astrologic Imbolc as opposed to observed) and the Full Moon after the Vernal equinox. However, I won’t bore you with more academic records that suggest the fast indicated by the Apostles of Christ may have been misinterpreted from 40 hours to 40 days. It wasn’t until the Council of Nicea in 325 CE that the modern Christian celebration of Lent even began, and it didn’t quite look then as it does now. Human history can be quite the mishmash, yes?

My personal rearing included a very strict Christian environment. I went to parochial schools. I was required to practice Lent. And it was always very cleansing. I didn’t shy from it during those times and I often have practiced it as a long-time Witch. But, I would have to say that it looks very different from giving up meat or sweets or swearing or all the other things I did as a child and teenager living in my parents’ home. 

Lent is now a time where I hold space for what’s important. It’s a time to refocus yearly goals, to realign, to adjust. It’s more of a doubling down. This season of Lent for me has been focusing on the basics of my personal spirituality. I see it more like after Christ was baptized by John, he skedaddled himself off to the desert to fast, meditate, and pray. And that has been the focus of this Lent for me. After my Crone Crowning and emersion into public Witch life, I am focusing on the voice of Source and its messages for me. Lots and lots of meditation, doubling down on my craft, and praying to the universe to help me use my talents, my knowledge as a Crone, to be my truest self and live my best life. Because when I am doing just that, I am blessing all I come in contact with and you can’t argue that is a bad thing.

Now if you want to give up chocolate or alcohol during this time, more power to you. But my Witch’s Lent, is more about sloughing off winter from self, home, and hearth, and making sure I’m square and centered before the big explosion of growth for Spring.

Regardless of how you observe Lent, I’m wishing these weeks to more light and warmer temperatures go fast and find us ready for all that Spring has to offer.

Blessed Be,

~Runa

Dreams & Deities

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Using Your Dreams To Connect With Your Favorite Deity

Lucid Dreaming can be brought on by you or by a deity who wants to work with you.

Throughout my witch life my craft practice has not brought me to working with many deities. I would occasionally work with a deity as part of a moon circle or other gathered ritual, of which I have done sporadically over the past 40-ish years. There have been times when I’ve been respectful of deities, and provided an occasional offering (e.g. whiskey to Ran & Njord whilst living on my boat). Again, none of this is a regular thing. As you have likely realized and for which I’ve stated previously, I just prefer working my magic alone. Additionally, Nature Spirits and the larger Divinity of the Universe have always been more my jam when it comes to calling in some added magical energy. I’ve always been close to nature in everything I do, and it felt like I was working with my kindred there. It aligned with my own energy. But nothing in this realm ever stays the same, does it?

In that knowledge, I found myself wanting, not just considering, but like this sudden craving, to connect with more complete and powerful energies found often in deities. In short, I was being called. I have always been someone who appreciates the energies representative of certain goddesses and gods but didn’t feel called or the need to work with them.

But since becoming a more public witch, I’ve received many nudges and signs and dreams about working with deities, as well as the seeming involuntary urge mentioned above. As much as dream work, interpretation, dream recall, and astral projection have been a part of my craft and life, working with deities in it hasn’t been a thing. Now suddenly, they are intertwining and I’m finding myself feeling excited, charged-up, and at once, a bit of a nervous wreck. Yet, whenever you go out of your comfort zone those doubts and fears can percolate and swirl up. Basically, these deities are teaching this crone new tricks.

I wanted to share details with you; but, upon meditation was feeling like these deities wanted to keep things quiet between us and I agreed to just share aspects of the experience, including the spell work I did to open up the communications channels, and that working with them in dreams, not just in your magic work, is quite illuminating and satisfying. Standing in power together with them is validating and working with them through dreams can be quite the lucid experience. They are another way to learn more about your personal magic. Want to walk with a goddess and gods? Lucid dreaming is an excellent path to do so. Be prepared for some intense dreams. Not bad, just vivid and ethereal.

One deity that I’ve recently been called towards, sprinkled my dream walk with him with the scent of coconuts and tropical fruit. The journey to the realm we walked together in the visit via my dream was like walking in space without needing protection. We drank mead and ate fresh grilled fish whilst watching the natural activity of the lands between the oceans and mountains, where I currently reside. Another dream was an entirely different deity whom brought messages regarding my public practice and work I need to do to help others stand in their power and live their truest and best life. We weaved magic together and we walked in an ancient forest where I danced with upright cat-like creatures and then got down to the work of crafting spells and rituals. I’m still birthing the items in the Magical Flea Market that they showed me. My gratitude for this is endless and now altars to both these deities reside here at Villa Westwyk.

The beauty and messages were, in short, life affirming and almost professorial or parental. They do have things to teach us and are a resource at the ready if you approach them respectfully or accept their invitation. There is no demanding when it comes to deities, I have learned through my dreams, and any witch will tell you the same: You are called or they answer your polite petition.

Given these testimonies, you may want to open your dreams up to walks with certain deities. This is good magic for any Waxing Quarter Moon, like the one coming in a few days. But honestly doing lucid dreaming work with deities can happen any time.  However, don’t feel like you have to do this. Working with deity energy is a personal choice.

Within the coming week, you will find a new spell bag in my Magical Flea Market that will assist you in opening up your craft to such lucid dreaming and deity walks. It is a new-and-improved version, including instructions, of what I’ve used for my own lucid dreaming to walk with the deities I have been called to work with these days; it sits charging on my altar through the waxing quarter moon, then it will be in the shop. It was something that has helped engage me with deities while providing protection and additional magic and energy to connect us.

Whether you decide to work with a deity or not, as always I wish you the courage to be your truest self and live your best life.

Blessed Be,

~Runa

Astro Profiling

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We Are All The Signs

Witches and Pagans are typically a very inclusive group, until people start mentioning zodiac signs and talk astrology. Then it’s “those Geminis!” or “Are you kidding me? A Taurus?” As someone who has their Sun in Scorpio, I have heard all the things about how I’m “such a typical Scorpio…” and think about nothing but vengeance and sex. However, I’ve never been one for vengeance, it’s not worth my magic; and well, sex…sex is good. I mean, it’s a delicious part of life as a human, but I hardly think about it nonstop. My very first astrologic reading (decades ago) was very much what I have come to term as “Astro Profiling.” The reader seemed to pick not just every stereotype about Scorpio, but all the negative ones. Fortunately, I was not about to listen to that.

As we entered Aquarius season, I’m hearing all the things about how Aquarians are this and that. Married to one, I can attest that they are not these analytical, stand-offish creature; nor are they simply some kind of air-headed hippy child. Also, so many people were like “He’s an Aquarius; you’re a Scorpio, it won’t work.” After 15 years, I think we can prove that myth wrong. In short, none of us are the one thing! No two signs are exactly alike. If you know any twins, you know they are not exactly the same. Just because they look a like, they are not the same. No, they are individuals. Each of us is unique. We are not one thing or the other. We are multifaceted. Like any kind of profiling, Astro-Profiling is really not appropriate. I’m working hard to not fall into the trap of it. I’m hoping others will as well. In general, my hope with this post is to help us all spotlight and highlight where we have unhealthy patterns where astrology is concerned and how we might improve.

Now we’re all guilty of it. I mean, as much as I defend for all the Scorpios out there, or for the sun signs of all my loved ones — Aquarius, Pisces, Virgo, Libra… I’ve been known to talk shit about the Capricorns and Aries in my life. They make it harder to defend… but wait, see? That’s not all Capricorns and Aries. I know some pretty bitching people who are Capricorns and Aries. But many of them I’m not related to. Just kidding. Or am I? I mean if I was an Aries or Capricorn, I’d have a hard time believing some Scorpio was kidding. But that’s my point exactly. You have to believe a Scorpio is saying something nice about an Aries, and that Capricorns aren’t always as grounded and all-business as some people think. Think about it, have you used your sign as a crutch? Have you caught yourself saying, “Oh, sorry, I’m a Cancer, I can’t help it.” If you recognize that and your behavior is questionable, um, maybe you can help it.

This past year I decided that becoming even more versed in astrology was a path I needed to walk. What a blessing the Painted Goddess’ Astrologic Lab has been. The first class I attended was called “Everyone is a Virgo!” We happened to be in Virgo season during that, but each “season” our lovely professor astrologist brings that theme forward again: “We are all X sign.” Why is that? Well, of course there’s the influence of your rising sign and your moon sign, too. Then you have to know where the planets were when you were born. Does Mercury in Virgo affect how you communicate? You betcha!. How about where Venus was? Did it sit in Sagittarius when you were born, you better believe that will affect how you interact with people. Each planet, its aspects, how it sits and in relation to other planets and signs, they are a whole other piece of the pie that makes you who you are. So literally we all have more than our sun signs influencing us. There’s also Pluto generations and planetary returns (oh, hello Chiron!), and on and on. (If you want to know more, come join the lab!) You can see that it isn’t all one sided, or one-sign-ed.

I had just finished typing that paragraph and got pulled away from my studio because the familiars needed some outside time (oh my goodness it’s freezing out!), while I was waiting for them, I was scrolling Instagram and BAM! Serendipity how I adore you. @QueerCosmos (Colin Bedell) posted a quickie video about people basically doing the same thing, again RE: Aquarians. That Long Island accent makes it all the more poignant, don’t you think? <3 Ah, the collective conscience. It’s vibrations are everywhere. I felt so validated when I saw that post. Thank you, fellow astrology lover.

I mean it’s fun to see things about our sign we identify with, for sure. I’m guilty of sharing such things. How many of us have giggled and raised our hands and re-shared one of the  tons of cute tik-toks and IG Reels that are like, “here’s my impression of all the signs ordering food in a restaurant”? Again, in the case of many of those, I think, “hey, that’s not me.” And that’s because…yep, you guessed it, it’s a stereotype, generalization, or just a weird interpretation (outlier) of the natal data. I would be remiss, as well, to not point out that our circumstances as we develop into the person we are impact us immensely,  especially where all the “isms” are concerned — racism, classism, sexism, capitalism, and the like. These systems and applications to who we are hugely impact the kind of person we become, without a doubt. It’s not just about our birth date, time, and place.

Instead of astro-profiling, what we learn about tendencies in astrology about a particular sun sign are things we can use to understand ourselves better. Note I didn’t say judge ourselves better. Nope. Understand. Because isn’t that what the goal is of any of the paths we walk: understanding? Understanding of ourselves, our family and friends, our place on this planet and universe? When we reach that understanding we’re able to be our truest selves and live our best lives. So if you understand you’re a Cancer and you’re probably going to “mother” too much, you can check yourself before you wreck yourself. Follow? Understanding those tendencies lets us work towards a healthier way of living.

As with everything in life, as I’ve entered this crone phase, so much of what I deal with daily has become clearer, more focused, and I give much side-eye to anything “established,” except food forests. Established food forests are a good thing. 😉 Astrology and some of the profiling conventions which have been readily accepted are not established food forests. Let’s break that down and dispose of it like last week’s horoscope. If you can compost it, even better.

And let me clear the air right here, I don’t bite, even though I’m a Scorpio. ;P

~Runa

Psychic Hangovers

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How They Happen; How to Avoid Them

You didn’t know that witches have special hangovers? Yep, we do. Just like overdoing it with alcohol, overusing your psychic energy can produce what feels very much like a hangover. When experiencing a psychic hangover, you may feel physically sick: fatigue, have a headache, feel nauseous or actually vomit, and or experience an extended period of malaise. Even the most practiced witch, medium, healer, and the like may fall to it, but if you are disciplined (oh, look, there’s one of the guiding principle words), you can prevent it. But to do that, we need to first understand how they happen.

In recent months as I’ve become a more and more public witch, my energy/magic/psychic output has spiked. If you viewed it in some sort of measurable graph it would look something like this:

And those highs notably follow a crash. And crash I did. How did I let it happen? I was feeling good and plain and simple was not careful. This is what happened, right around Samhain, I was doing rune casting/reading after reading, I had started Solitary Shenanigans, and was doing daily dream interpretations. Additionally I was making magical things for my Magical Flea Market. The output was high and I was loving it.

Now, I’ve been doing those things for most of my life, but they were weekly at best, and sometimes I would go a good amount of time without doing any kind of psychic output. Life today is very different as I’ve found my new path with a constant focus on a magical life. Then the crash came. I was dumbfounded by why I woke up one day just absolutely drained. I felt hung-over but had not imbibed in my traditional nightcap of a shot of whiskey in the nights before. I couldn’t eat because I felt almost a sea sickness. My head throbbed and within a few hours I had a migraine as I’d not had in a very long time. For three days I could do only the bare minimum in my life. I had to cancel Solitary Shenanigans. And reschedule clients. Everyone was understanding. My clients were gracious. My Viking was supportive. During my recovery, it didn’t take me long to figure out what had happened. I had a magic hangover. My psychic output had been so intense, I’d overdone it. I burned my hedge witch candle at both ends. I got burned. And it hurt.

When I started coming out of the fog, I reached out to some of the other witches in my life, asking them how they deal and, more importantly, prevent such psychic crashes. All of them could relate and had lots of advice. All of them had learned the hard way, even when they had protected themselves, grounded themselves, and done other prevented measures. What I also gleaned from talking to my fellow witches is that appears that we all need to push ourselves to know where our limit is. Much like most adults know they can have “X” number of drinks so they stay away from a hangover episode.

MareLin, the PNW High Priestess, for whom I have partnered with for three-plus years doing magical work and The Country Dwellers Podcast, told me that many a witch can find themselves getting sucked in and drunk on the craft. She teaches new witches all about this through her Path Of The Moon Initiate – Foundation and its initiate course. Preparation and protection are key, she said.

Preparation can just look like scheduling things in a more meaningful and relaxed manner. My fellow witch, Jennifer Hryciw, aka Painted Goddess, who has the fabulous Astrologic Lab, told me that after her lesson of trying to do 30 readings in 30 days, she now knows she needs to only do three readings a week. Your mileage may vary, but other folks I spoke to have restrictions on how much they put out. It’s also why readings have the cost they do. If you’re making your living doing magical work — it’s still labor and skilled labor at that (but that’s another post…stay tuned).

Protection can be done by wearing specific wards, crystals, or casting a circle. When I do readings and do magical work, I call on my guides for protection and wear all the protective crystals, specifically black tourmaline and carnelian. I save circles for big ritual work, where I tend to expend a lot of magic. But I can put it in my playbook for later, if I’m feeling like I need a boost. However, I know many witches that don’t work unless they cast a circle, often calling forth the deities they prefer to work with. My circles tend to use elemental energy instead. But it’s a protective resource regardless and available to prevent a psychic hangover.

MareLin’s advice was echoed in Mat Auryn in his book Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation. He writes about the possibility of burnout and relays a story about his own experience with a magical crash. His experience was related to not grounding before practicing his craft. He also warns that continued pushing of the psychic limits without recovery or preventative measures can make you literally fry your ability to function. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

So how do we prevent getting a magical burnout or psychic hangover?

Like Auryn says in his book, the first thing to do is ground yourself. If you are unaware of how to ground yourself, there are a ton of resources out there. If you are wanting some guided grounding and meditative practices, besides reading books like Auryn’s mentioned above or Astrea Taylor’s book, Intuitive Witchcraft: How to use Intuition to Elevate Your Craft, I recommend you seek out someone like Tina at The Evergrove for guided meditation services which also incorporate grounding techniques. If you hurry you might be able to participate in a free session she’s giving Feb. 6 (2021).

But in my experience related above I did ground myself and still experienced a crash. So what do you do if you crash and need to recover? The Universe has just told you to sit you ass down, witch. You are going to have to rest. Much like recovering from the flu or a hangover. You need to hydrate. Drink some healing teas with a bit of honey. I know it sounds cheesy and cliché, but it works. Feed yourself whole foods. Nothing too high in fat, sugar, or carbs. Definitely nothing processed. As your energy expands, look at doing some light exercise like restorative yoga or a gentle stroll in nature (this is not the time to try to climb a mountain!)You can also look at doing some energy healing, like reiki or sound healing. I can recommend sessions from Steph Ananda, and her Ananda Industries offerings. Also, take a bath, if you’re able. A cleanse to purge the after effects of a magical binge is very healing.

A bath was a highlighted tactic and tip that Hryciw gave me when I reached out feeling blindsided by my psychic hangover. She told me, “If I could, I would do my readings from a bath, soak in those Epsom salts, and just charge me under the moonlight while I’m (doing) readings.”

I like it! Do your readings from a restorative bath!

But most importantly, you’re going to need to abstain from doing any magic. Seriously, give yourself a cease and desist order from anything magical. For some of us that may be tough. I mean I didn’t even do my daily coffee ritual or any kitchen witchery. We ate frozen leftovers and ordered in because I’m at the stage of my life where all kitchen work includes magical energy. For how long? Well, like everything in your practice that depends. You know you and your practice best. For me, the incident above took almost four days total to recover from. I didn’t even pull an oracle card or any small thing. Hell, I was in bed or on the couch for two of those days. You may need less time; you may need more. One thing to note is that magic hangovers get harder to process the more powerful a witch you are, or just how hard you tied on your psychic overdose. Make sense? Think back to how you could party in your younger days and still go to work in the morning (or for me, run in formation for six miles); but today, a hangover means you can barely get through the day or need to call in sick. It’s the same with your psychic (magical) energy.

Lastly, this whole experience made me recall the witch I learned the most from back in the day (you know before the internet, social media and people hearing the word witch daily), oh dear “LBT,” who wrote to me from her “Mushroom Cottage” responding to my gushing fangirling letter regarding her work. Told me to trust my gut and to rest as much as I work. And that’s how I’m playing it. In addition to preparation and protection, I’m balancing work and rest. Therefore, if I’m doing readings, for an hour. I rest for an hour, or two if  necessary.

Appreciate you reading all the way through. If you have things you do to prevent a psychic hangover, please leave a comment below. And stay tuned next week when I tackle the subject of Dream Hangovers! Yep, there are those, too.  

BB

~Runa