Tag: crone life

Retrograde Reassessment

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How is it June already?

Looking at the calendar, the summer solstice is right around the corner. Given that Mercury is moving back direct from its retrograde (I started this post when it was still fully retrograde), I wanted to take some time and reassess how I’m doing on my goals for 2022’s calendar year. 

Back in January I posted that I wanted to:

Curate a healthy existence to keep learning while leaning into abundance that comes with knowledge by consistently practicing mindful Magic and Earth healing while writing it all down. 

Currently, we’re eating more and more healthily. I am literally harvesting in the morning, a lot of what we will eat in the day. And if it’s not coming from the greenhouse or perennial garden, it’s coming from my larder of food put by the last growing season or from my fellow Grow Food neighbors. 

Daily Kitchen Witchery is not only enhancing our life nutritiously, but also spiritually. Living and moving with the seasons feels so natural and right-on that there is a sense of calm I haven’t had in many years. Our healthy existence includes exercise every day by way of yoga, walking, or Tai Chi, the latter of which we are so new in learning, but oh wow is it amazing. I still have to have some dark chocolate, ice cream, or baked goods on occasion, and well those are one of the joys of life. Plus I wanted to lean into abundance. A special ice cream sundae to celebrate goslings being born on the Covenstead is allowed. It’s what makes life worth living sometimes. 

More Flowers all over Villa Westwyk is a Goal for 2022.

Mindful Magic has continued as Runa Troy’s Magical Services & Goods continues to build, slowly but surely. My work doing dream interpretations, Rune Castings, and the like is so fulfilling and its growth has been such a blessing. My intuition is being sharpened by deepening my knowledge of astrology, and intensifying my connection with Runes, my ancestors, and the Spirits beyond the Veil. 

Earth Healing is a huge focus now that Spring is in full force (finally!) here in the Pacific Northwest. We have seven goslings, six chicks, and nearly a dozen duck eggs a day coming in. We have planted hops this year, which is new to us, to aid in The Viking’s brew haus activities. I have finally moved all the raspberries from the very bad, no good spot they were in (not by me) and put them in their own garden, which allows for expansion and UPick opportunities down the road. The space where the raspberries once occupied will be a garden of things just for the Beastlings – everything from amaranth grain to kale to sunflowers to zucchini. 

Eating straight from the land is so healing.

Plans are underway to host gatherings here for friends and family because we have the outdoor space to do so safely. We’re excited to share Villa Westwyk’s gorgeous energy with those we love and to celebrate our Patriarch’s 85th birthday, a girls’ weekend or three, and so much more (Can you say Witch Camp ‘22?). 

Writing it all down not only includes this blog, but my secret project which is gaining some much needed traction in the right direction. Additionally, I’m in a writing group of other Mystics via The Tarot Lady’s Hierophant Writing Group. With their encouragement I have progressed so much further on this work in the last three months than I would have otherwise. This Writing Circle is powerful Magic and I’m happy to have opened the door to this curation. I’m learning so much as well as producing and that aligns with my goal for this year as well. 

Although Mercury Retrograde gets a bad rap and now Saturn is going Retrograde, it’s an opportunity to work with the energies and make even more Magic. Oh and Venus is in Taurus, so love yourself. Love your kindred. And let’s move through the rest of this year taking steps forward curating our truest selves and best life.  

Kitchen Witchery meets Permaculture For The Fur Babies

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In honor of National Pet Rescue Day – DIY Magic Pet Food

Ms.SnickleFritz & Granny Shadow have bespoke food. Lucky Familiars.

May 20 is National Pet Rescue Day. My current ‘Puppers,’ as The Viking and I call them, are rescues. I’ve always preferred to adopt rescues than purchase my pet because I find they are just so loyal and loving. The added benefit that an animal in need is being cared for is a bonus. I’m not about to get into puppy mills and all that nonsense, or the fact that there are likely just as many feral cats in your neighborhood as there are people. Rescues are a kinder way for the animals and our planet. This Witch is all about kinder to animals and the planet.

Enter Kitchen Witchery and Permaculture to solve a problem. In Permaculture, you Design from Patterns to Details and the pattern was non sustainable food for my familiars. The details of what would make it sustainable begin to emerge.

These Witch’s Familiars, our canine yin and yang, are getting up there in age and now have special dietary requirements. Currently they both have medicated kibble. On top of the kibble we put a wet food, because they’ve made it clear the kibble alone is not very satisfying. Kind of how we have to put cinnamon and fruit on our oatmeal to actually eat it. Also much of the nonmedicated kibble is mostly water and does not have the protein that most canines need.

After finding that most of the softer foods out there are so full of things that my puppers do not need, are horribly expensive, and produce so much waste in its packaging, I needed something more economical, sustainable, and that the furkids would enjoy. About this time last year I started experimenting with making my own canned dog food. The idea to even explore that came to me because I often will make a big batch of stew or soup and I either need to preserve the leftovers, or was finding at least one pint would be used to augment Ms. Snicklefritz and Granny Shadow’s dinner. Much like how I approach the food that The Viking and I consume, I really wanted to know what my dogs were eating. I recognized that the best way to do that was to make it myself. The additional opportunity to make the food a ritual and infuse it with Magic, well, I couldn’t resist that.

Lamb, kale, carrots, and a small bit of sweet potato made this batch of dog food for my pups.

The intentions I put into each batch are all about protection, health, and, of course, love. I’m sharing this, as mentioned in the title, in honor of National Pet Rescue Day and in hopes that it might inspire you to look a little closer into your own food as well as that of your own familiar. As a Permie Witch, doing this follows the permaculture principle of Producing No Waste. Every part of our resources gets used. It is to a lesser degree aligning with two other of the permaculture principles: Obtain A Yield, and Creatively Use & Respond to Change. A weaker argument could be made for the tenet of Use & Value Renewables. As we begin the growing, hatching, and birthing season here at Villa Westwyk, we eat with the seasons here as much as possible. It’s a slow change, which also is within the permaculture lifestyle: Choose Small, Slow Solutions. Needless to say, we’re all in here at the covenstead with this “chore,” which is really a ritual and spell. This is about the moment when my youngest, Dragon Son, would say, “you feel me?”

I basically take a left over chicken carcass, stew bone, or even the remnants of a whole fish, bring it to a boil, then simmer several hours. You just need enough water to cover the carcass…don’t go crazy unless you plan to make soup or such soon, or can the broth (that’s what I do). I make broth in a pasta maker, that way the carcass and the meat still on it is easily drained, cooled, and picked through. Sometimes I will refrigerate the broth overnight before continuing with the pet food batch, so I can skim the fat off and use an appropriate proportion with it to cook the veggies in. But you could use oil, butter, bacon drippings, whatever you have on hand.

This is where my protein to make the pet food comes in, so you could buy store bought, but the bone broth provides so many nutrients and is a superbly economical way to acquire pet food. If you want to go full-on Midgardening Witchery, you’ll can the extra broth for the human pets in your life. 😉 My 9 half-pint batches start normally with about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of protein. y last batch the protein portion was about 2 cups; I let the protein amount drive the rest of the recipe. If you homeschool, this is a great exercise in fractions and parts of the whole. 😉

I cook up the bite-size veggies with a little bit of fat, add the meat plucked from the bones, make a roux, add the broth, let it cook down a bit and can it up. Alternatively, you may freeze it at this point, or if you can use your batch up within a week’s time, you can keep it in the refrigerator.

If you know how to make biscuits and gravy, or any kind of a roux, this recipe will likely be easy for you. The below recipe makes about 9 half-pint mason jars. If you want to make pint or quart, do the appropriate math. 😉

Equipment:

Broth pot (stew pot with a colander in it, like a pasta cooker)

Cauldron (Dutch oven pot)

Pressure Canner with Jars/Rings/Lids or Freezer containers

Ingredients:

1 part Protein (leftover chicken carcass, ham bone, lamb leg bone, etc.)

1/4 part Fat (bacon drippings, schmaltz)

1 part Veggies (cats and dogs need their veggies, too)

1 part Something to help meld it together (sweet potato, beans, potato, brown rice, etc.)

~ 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup Flour

~ 2 cups Broth (double if making quart batches)

Salt (optional)

This batch includes rabbit, chicken, broccoli, and garbanzo beans.

Instructions:

  1. Make your broth. Put soup bones, poultry carcass, etc. in a pot covered with water. You’re only going to need about 2 cups tops to make a batch of pet food (I do 7-9 half pints at a time). But make as much as you like. If what you’re making broth with was unseasoned (not often on my covenstead) feel free to add a pinch or two of salt. Salt is good for your animals, too. But just like us, too much is not good either to taste or for their bodies.
  2. Once broth is made, remove the bones and separate any meat/skin/giblets out to include in the pet food. As you do this, put the intention of keeping the sick away from your beloved familiars. You are separating the good stuff versus the discard. Set the meat aside and discard the bones. If you’re going to can your pet food, this is where you’ll need to sanitize your jars, lids, and rings and inspect your pressure canner.
  3. Into your cauldron, add a bit of fat (butter, schmaltz, bacon drippings, oil) and heat on medium heat. Sauté the chopped up vegetables until tender. I put the veggies in saying, “Here’s to my familiar’s health.” Simple, but effective. Each time I stir the veggies I say it again, “Here’s to my familiar’s health.”
  4. Once the veggies are tender, add back in the meat you plucked from the bone(s), and sauté with the veggies until warmed (about one to two minutes). If you have things like potatoes or beans in your batch, give them a squish with your cooking spoon to help thicken things up in the next step. Mashing the ingredients in is optional, but my somewhat toothless wonders love it this way (just like aging people, pets sometimes lose teeth as they age). I do a simple stir three times clockwise (aka sunwise), putting a whole lotta love for these furkids into the cauldron’s contents.
  5. Depending on how full your pot is, you’re going to need between 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of flour. You are making a roux with the veggies and meat. Sprinkle the flour on the protein and veggies envisioning the flour as extra protection and mix it all in and let it cook for about two minutes.
  6. Add in your broth, and simmer until reduced somewhat. You know what wet pet food consistency looks like. You’re looking to get the same. Depending on the size of your batch, this can take five to 20 minutes. My 9 half-pint-jar-batch takes about seven minutes. If you’re filling a canner or freezing quart size containers, then it will go closer to 20 minutes.
  7. At this point you can package up your food and freeze, but if you’re going to pressure can, I always use half-pint (aka jelly) jars and can get up to 9 jars in my canner. Follow the manufacturers instructions for your personal pressure canner. Can the pet food at 11 pounds pressure for 15 minutes for half pint; 25 minutes for pint; 35 minutes for quart (for you folx with more pets or large pets, quart size might work best).
  8. Label your food with the ingredients & date and watch your pets gobble it up. Honestly, this is food that humans could eat, too. So, if you don’t label it, no one will be harmed. LOL. Regardless, you know whether man or beast, they are going to dig it. If I’m feeling particularly Witchy, I might put an appropriate sigil on the jar.
  9. When there’s only one jar left, be sure to make another batch. I also set aside one jar to always have in the pantry to bring abundance for my familiars: food, water, shelter, and love. If you do this “cupboard Magic” be sure to rotate the abundance anchor (your extra jar) so that the food doesn’t go bad. That’s some negative energy there. These will last in your cupboard easily for up to six months.

I hope that this helps you amp up your self sufficiency and self reliance, as well as brings a little Magic for your familiars/pets. Also, please join me in the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy. And please give to your favorite animal advocate nonprofit. The Viking and I support the ASPCA regularly and have been known to gift animal rescue donations in honor of our loved ones.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments. May this recipe bless you and your pets. Now go snuggle your familiar. 😉

Hatching Season!

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Villa Westwyk welcomes goslings!

Villa Westwyk’s Pilgrim Goose Fam.

It’s hard to get a photo of our little goose family all together, because clearly they are SUPER comfortable. Can you spot all seven goslings?

Currently we’re getting ready for an unseasonably cold front coming in. Honestly, Spring really has been a warm winter here in the PNW. But our snow pack is getting above average and that is good for the whole of Western Washington, where our covenstead is. So I’m glad the goslings are filling out and getting all the grass they can handle to stay warm. They also get supplemental feed and vitamin water to help mitigate for problems that can befall them in the early days of their life. Mama Eva and Papa Willie are doing great. Willie even made sure I knew he was still a protective dad when I went to freshen water and gosling feed this morning. It was all posturing, but have you seen the teeth on geese? Literally, Cobra Chickens. hehe.

On Friday the 13th, our lovely Pilgrim Goose successfully hatched seven goslings. She needed a little help with two of them, and we were there to help provide ICU care, which meant we needed to bring them inside and warm them up, hydrate them, and get them to the point of reintegration. Nature is amazing, and the two ICU patients were reunited with their siblings and parents in a day’s time. Eva was busy dealing with 5 other hatchlings and sitting still on the other eggs, so we were happy to do our part as bipedal assistants. Spoiler alert! 4 eggs were nonviable, and 4 goslings perished before completely hatching, which is par for the course. Only the strong survive in nature. Both of those things happen traditionally when you let Mother Nature lead the way. It’s a reason they have such large clutches of eggs. Eva sat on 15 eggs for 30 days! What a trooper! I buried the perished ones in our “forest” and the nonviable eggs went into the compost. Both will return to the land. I find that sentiment Magical. Being a part of this land is so much a part of my Magical practice of Midgardening Witchery.

Our impromptu ICU: a box with wood shavings and a heating pad on top.

This hatching is a huge accomplishment for our efforts at sustainability and self reliance. This month, we’ve only been the keepers of this land* for two years. (Wow, what a crazy two years!) Every creature, flora and fauna, here on little two-acre permaculture holding, is central to what we’re trying to accomplish here. The geese manage the pasture by being living lawn mowers (no gas or other power needed). We are slowly building safety infrastructure so their protected pasture is larger and larger. What they have is more than enough, but I’m all for giving them as best a life as I can.

When they keep the pasture trim, it’s easier to see invasive species, which was a problem when we first acquired this land* and in turn, lets native grasses and plants flourish. They are great guardians of the property, too. We know when predators or visitors are about. And are they cute as hatchlings. To see them flap their little wings and make their little peep is pure joy making. This Crone Life is more and more about finding joy, so they are certainly a part of it.

Here I will provide a content warning: If ethically raised meat is upsetting for you, please prepare yourself to continue, or maybe go back to the cute photos above.

Yes, some of these goslings will give back to this land* in a different way. They will feed our family. And honestly, eating meat is a personal choice, and one that my family has worked hard to do sustainably and ethically. I know how these animals are raised and they will be dispatched in the most honorable and pain-free way possible. But that dispatching is also for the health of the animals. Too many ganders is upsetting to the geese within the gaggle (I know some Witches out there that are nodding along…). Too many ganders would have the ducks upset, too, because there’s a good chance the ganders would try to mate with the ducks — and although it’s not harmful to them, the size difference could cause injury. And we already have 2 drakes for 9 ducks. Just barely the right ratio there. We also use every part of the harvest, creating not just meals, but bone broth, dog food (a post on that coming Thursday), and even Magical Goods (a post on that coming soon).

Living a permaculture lifestyle is all about diversity, harmony, and balance. This includes the animals on the property (including the humans!). One of the 12 principles of permaculture is: Use and Value Diversity. That’s why we have not just geese, but ducks and chickens, too. Eventually, I hope to provide not just to my neighbors who right now receive harvests from my land in barter, but perhaps the larger community. But permaculture is about using small, slow solutions. After two years we have 10 chickens, 11 ducks, and now 9, but soon to be 3 geese. Slow, incremental growth is healthy.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you learned something here. If you did, please let me know in the comments. I honestly believe that applying the permaculture principles to every part of our lives helps mitigate for and prevent problems and allows for healthy living all the way around. And in the meantime, I get to spam the blog, Instagram, and Twitter with Gosling images and videos.

Papa Willie takes the Goslings For A Walk To Give Mama Eva a 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. I vow to live in harmony with and be a steward of this land and its waterways as they have.

Is This Message For You?

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Divination through Dreams

If you’ve been following me here or on social media, you know that dream work is a main focus of my work and life. Recently I had a dream but it was more than a dream. This dream was a message. There’s no doubt about it. But who it’s a message for, I haven’t a clue. When you have a visitation in a dream it’s so deftly clear that it’s a visitation and a message. It took me a minute to get this posted, but the dream was about a week ago. The woman visited me last night again, just as I was fading back to sleep after another dream telling me that I’m on the right path.

Upon having the dream the first time, I wrote the dream down right away and in my notes I titled this “Message For The Young Man In The Hay Loft.” He was featured in the dream and the visitor, a woman, wants me to find and deliver the message. But this man is not in my life anywhere. So, I’m turning to the power of the internet.

And from the hayloft she was pushed.

Message for the Young Man:

The dream opens in the hayloft of a barn, although it also has kind of a clubhouse vibe to it. So maybe it was a hayloft at one time, but isn’t really used as that any longer. Dreams, you see sometimes are a kind of movie, like reels, and other times they are snapshot collages. This dream was like watching an episodic program. First episode, there’s this young girl (late teens, early 20s). She has dark hair. Glasses. She wears a long thick braid. She is sad. The energy is all dark and desperate. She isn’t crying but looks very much like she is crying. She can look out that hayloft window (many barns have an opening at the roof’s peak to make sure the stored hay gets air to not combust and to move the hay more easily to the animals below). She is looking out across a farm and an old two lane road leading to the property. I can see a big Elm tree — at least I think it’s an Elm tree. It looks to be maybe the beginning of fall because some of the fields in the background across the road look like wheat ready to harvest. She is wearing a flowered top and blue jeans. I get the sense from the clothing maybe this is the late 60s or early 70s. She’s breathing in the air and I can see she’s trying to calm herself. She is not bracing herself, but letting the light breeze blow on her face. One navy sneaker, like a classic Ked, perched on the sill of the loft opening, the other on the loft floor. She has one hand on the wall of the loft opening and the other is on her heart, as if, again, she’s trying to calm herself. And from behind, I see, feel a presence. In an instant, you see that there is a hand on her back. The nails are painted a light pink. It reminded me of the color my mother would allow me to use as a young teen, because it was very sheer. The hand pushes. And the young girl falls to her death. In the dream I see her on the ground. The leg that had been on the floor of the loft is bleeding. Her eyes are open. She sees the shadow in the hayloft. 

The visitor then guides me to look in a different direction and I instantly know I’ve moved perspectives and it’s like a stage change. New episode. In the next scene there’s a young man. Dark hair. Glasses or maybe they are some kind of safety glass? Thick black frames. The young man is plain in that country sort of way, but he is strong, from working the land or learning to blacksmith? I’m not sure. He’s also like in a barn, but only three-sided, more of a lean-to. He’s learning to be a blacksmith, maybe even a farrier, as there’s horses in pasture not so far from this lean-to. He has kind of a cloud over his head. He knows he needs to be here, but he’s just so sad. There’s an older man, I feel like they are related, and perhaps this is an elder uncle or even grandfather. The familiarity between them as I observe them work metal and the older man instructing this young man gives the watcher (me) the sense of relationship. At any rate, the young man has this tool. It looks like a hammer, but there’s a sharp edge on the one side and a weird type of funneled-shape head on the other. The two men are taking a break, drinking tea or coffee, the mugs look like coffee but there’s a kettle in the background. Anyhow, the young man is sitting on a stool at a two-person table kind of in the opening of this lean-to. I can see an anvil to the side of him, where the older man has his mug resting. The older man is talking. I can’t hear him. And likely I can’t hear him because the younger man has my POV and he’s not listening. He’s thinking of the girl from the barn. You know how “in love” people have that far away look. I feel it without knowing it. Intuition is strong here. He’s thinking of the one who was pushed. But he thinks that she jumped. He feels guilty. I suddenly see the spirit of the dead girl, her leg still bloody in her flowered shirt and ked sneakers. She’s trying to tell him that she was pushed. She didn’t jump. She loves him. She wanted to be with him. She tries to reach the mug to push it, to get him to see her. But instead she moves the tool he’s holding, and the sharp end begins to swing toward him, but just in time the older man is there to catch it and he berates his younger to pay attention, that this craft is not something to mess with. I see the dead girl’s face. She’s talking to me now. Tell him, she says. Tell him I didn’t jump. Let them all know that she pushed me. She killed me. I loved him. We were supposed to be together. Then she screams this awful, awful cry of someone in so much pain and torment. 

I wake up. 

I have received dreams like this before. Messages from beyond. But I have known who the people are, or I get a name that I can then relate to whomever I come in contact with that day. I don’t know these people. I don’t recognize their landscape. I was super distressed by the scream at the end of the dream. Waking with a start. Disturbing the Viking. I often have nightmares as I am a survivor of much trauma in my life. He patiently asks me to talk about my dreams. I tell him. But the distress after relaying this particular dream is more about how do I reach the people who these messages are for. My intuition says that the old man is likely passed on. The young man is probably receiving social security now. What of the woman’s who’s hand with pink-painted nail pushed the other woman? I don’t know. I only saw a hand and the nails. Why I didn’t get to see the face? I don’t know. My distress again is that I do NOT know who this is a message for. I do now I’m suppose to relate this message. Tell him, she said. Tell who, lady? This is a gift that is to be used, although for so many years I dismissed it because I didn’t understand it and it can be perceived as unhinged.

My Viking suggests that I should write about it. Post it as a message knowing that the person who is supposed to receive it will see it. Ah, my Tech Witch Hubby is brilliant. So here we are. I’m posting it here. Who knows, maybe it will find the intended receiver. 

It’s all I can do, I suppose. But on the night of the Virgo Full Moon March 18, 2022, I had this message come through. 

Is it for you?

Rune for the year…

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For you and me!

In conjunction with my Word of the Year 2022, I have a Rune that forecasts the year ahead. This is a Rune that I will meditate on, write about, wear, work Magic with, and etc. through the whole year. 

Kenaz was my Rune for 2021

Last year, although I didn’t post about it, my Rune for the year was Kenaz. Kenaz is the K in the Elder Futhark and resides in Freyja’s aett. It deals with love, happiness, enjoyment, fertility, and beauty. I chose Kenaz because I wanted to shine a light on what is most important in my life, what fuels my passions, and what I needed to spotlight my energy on more fully. Having spent the prior year(s) doing so much shadow work, I was ready for the light. Kenaz gave me the regeneration that I needed to focus my creativity and harness my powers into new strength and passions. 

Slow and steady wins the race in my head.

This year, I pulled Ehwaz. Ehwaz is the E in the Elder Futhark, and has the energy of the Horse. Considering how much work I see ahead for this year, I think the Universe knew this was exactly the Rune needed for me. Just like last year. Like always.

Ehwaz is in Tyr’s aett and has to do with our intellect, our understanding, our spiritual growth. In Norse Paganism, Tyr is a god as strong as Thor, but he’s got a few more smarts. He’s also a bit more noble. He sacrificed so that the rest of Asgard and those he cared about could survive. Recounted in the Gylfaginning, the first part of the Prose Edda, the story of Tyr losing his arm to Fenrir, the giant wolf shows his bravery, and his strong sense of justice. All the other gods ran from Fenrir. Not Tyr. I’m not going to run from the opportunities before me because they are scary. Let’s just hope I don’t lose my hand. Ha! 

In all seriousness, Ehwaz represents the harmony I’ve been focused on since Samhain. Balance is great; but it’s too rigid. And life under COVID-19 requires more than balance. It requires harmony. It’s also a reminder to me about steady progress, gradual development. The things I want to create, manifest aren’t going to balloon overnight. It’s going to take trusting in my small steps daily to walk the miles I have to go. 

This special Rune pull is in addition to my year-ahead forecast I do for myself and my clients. The whole year ahead outlook is more detailed and includes a full casting cloth and cast with the horn. But Ehwaz rules over all of that. The rest of my cast is to determine guidance to implement the movement forward that I want. 

Right now in my RT Magical Services & Goods shop you can get your own Rune For The Year reading or a Full Year-Ahead Casting. Right now if you get the Full Year Ahead Casting, I’m including the Rune For The Year in addition to that. 

The Rune For The Year offering is a limited time*, as is the addition of the Rune For the Year within the Full Year-Ahead Casting. When Aquarius Season Starts, this offer will be passed. So book today. Find out what your ancestors, gods, and the natural divine have in store for you for 2022 so you can be your truest self and live your best life. 

Get yours today.

*Rune for the Year offering ends Jan. 21, 2022.

New Calendar Year Magic

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Three Easy Rituals To Incorporate for the Beginning of 2022

We are still within the 12 days of Yule, even if you now find yourself ‘back to business.’

Blessed Calendar New Year, All You Magical Beings! The Winter Solstice is just past and we’re three-quarters through the 12 days of Yule.

If you want to add more Magic to your life in 2022, these three simple spells/rituals may just get your started!

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to share with you some easy Magic you can incorporate as you freshen up your Muggle calendars from 2021 to 2022. These are traditions that have been a part of my life for years and decades and they bring lots of good energy and abundance for me, I’m sure they could do the same for you. It is my privilege to share this magic with you and if you find some use for it or begin to incorporate it in your own traditions, please take a moment and comment below to let me know. Do note that although this says new years, there’s still time, especially with today’s (recent) Capricorn New Moon, to apply any or all of these to your energy and magical practice for January 2022.

Our ‘Good Things’ Jar.

The Good Things Jar/Attitude of Gratitude: I don’t know exactly how long ago we began working this intentional magic of recognizing our embarrassment of abundance and allowing it to energize us to be our truest selves and (thereby) live our best lives. We set the jar up early in our now 16-year marriage (I reckon 2007, but not sure) and put it in a prominent place in our home, one where everyone could access it. Each time we recognized something we were grateful for, you know, the good things in your life, we’d note it on a small piece of paper, fold it, and store it in the jar. Each person was responsible for tending the jar with their gratitude throughout the year. This little ritual of gratitude that happens spontaneously (see photo of examples), typically happened when any of us were alone. I rarely would see The Viking or say, Dragon Son, anyone, honestly, put something in the jar. I often feel like tending Magic is a very personal thing. This ritual that we do seems to follow. But it is “gathered” together to make it stronger. Setting up the jar can be a group activity, or like in my household, the Head Witch In Charge (me!) decorated or created the jar to store the nuggets of thankfulness. It can be as simple or ornate as you like. You don’t need a special jar, ours is just a left-over pickle jar. However, others who I have taught this practice to have made theirs very fancy-like. You do you, Witch. When the kids were younger it was a great New Year’s Day activity that could be done indoors and feed their creativity. During the New Year celebrations – some years we did this New Year’s Eve, some years, New Year’s Day, this year it was NYD –  we gather around the fire, typically with cakes and ale (this year it was sparkling wine and Yule cookies), and read out loud each note of gratitude stored in the jar.

This is just a sampling of what we took note of in 2021…yes, even finding toilet paper.

We take each note as they are read and place them in a paper sack. Reading the notes often spurs on conversation about the event (e.g. We got the vaccine! Appeared three times in the jar this year). The result of this energy is strengthening bonds within the household/family. After the reading of these strips of written blessings, they are burned in the fire. We hold and pause for an organic amount of silent time imagining the smoke as the energy of our annual recognition & focus on gratitude is set off into the universe to spread that positivity.

My Viking takes the small package of gratitude slips to the fire.

We may pray silently, individually for how we want things to improve and grow for the coming year, or just hold space to welcome any and all abundance. We hold one another and thank one another for all we do for one another throughout the year, describing often, in detail, what we appreciate about one another. Then it’s time for eating and drinking and talking about our hopes for happy memories (this year’s conversation was all about creating more gatherings for family and friends here at Villa Westwyk). In short this is about acknowledging the good of the previous year and carrying those good feelings from one calendar year to the next. Each year I have done this gratitude work has helped me get deeper and deeper into the life I’d prefer with the people I love. I am hard pressed to see us stop this well-loved ritual and magical work.

More on this year’s Good Things Jar in a future post. Farewell 2021.

Hoppin’ John and Johnny Cake: Food is definitely a focus of my life. I love creating meals for family and friends. Kitchen Witchery is where I could practice a magical life hidden from the well-meaning view of Muggle and Christian friends and family. I’m way more open about my lifestyle and beliefs now, although there are only a select few who know all about the Magical AND Muggle me. This is a decision in my practice that was long passed down, you know, the whole I am the daughter of the Witch you didn’t burn. Will ever shall the two meet? I have no idea. But for now, Kitchen Witchery is so pronounced in my everyday life, literally, I have meal times each day to create magic through Kitchen Witchcraft.

Hoppin John is part of our New Years Tradtition.

On New Year’s Day, without fail, you will find me blessing those in my household with foods that bring abundance. Eating this on New Years is a ritual to bring a prosperous and healthy new year. Yule Ham is stretched to make the Hoppin’ John broth and meat the stew. Greens from the garden – we had kale this year – reminds us that the Earth still gives us fresh foods that are so nutritional. Stores from the larder are also used (canned carrots, if there are none in the garden), and of course the dried peas. Although this is traditional for many folx in the Southern United States, born out of the African diaspora, you will find pockets of families in the Midwest (especially Detroit & Chicago) and throughout the Rockies that cook a version of this meal for New Year’s. I continued this tradition when we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Here’s the key ingredients: Black-eyed peas: these legumes symbolize the coins we have in our piggy banks. If you host a Hoppin’ John meal on New Year’s Day, the host leaves a lucky coin under their guests soup bowls. These coins have been blessed and should be carried by the receiver throughout the year to increase their abundance. Leafy Greens (collards, mustard, turnip, kale, chard, etc.): These are the color of money (at least here in the United States). As I mentioned above, for a good portion of North America, you can still be growing these veggies in your kitchen gardens or in mini hoop houses and such. These greens are not only good for you, but keep you healthy so you have more earning potential. Visualize money coming to you. Ham Hocks: As winter approached, smoked meats were a pantry staple for many. Throughout the winter months, bacon, beans and rice are often served throughout the southeastern United States. Hoppin’ John is a celebratory version of this. Note: you can make this vegetarian, or even vegan, but unfortunately, I don’t have a tried-and-true recipe for such. Perhaps I’ll explore that this year. Tell me if you want me to figure one out. Rice: If you have rice, you have a meal, is a school of thought for many cultures. So to eat rice on New Year’s was done to insure your cupboards were full throughout the year. Onions & Garlic: Again, we’ve hit the time of year when long-storing foods would be more plentiful than fresh. Onions & Garlic in Kitchen Witchery are long thought to help repel negativity. Nutritionally they are great antioxidants, decrease inflammation and boost immunity. All good things during winter.

Johnny Cake – corn bread – helps focus goals towards wealth.

Johnny Cake (aka Cornbread): It’s the color and shape of gold coins. Again, eating abundance to attract abundance. Besides tasting delicious and pairing nicely with Hoppin’ John, Johnny Cake is a great way to get phosphorus for bone health. Other ingredients within the cake/bread are also natural antioxidants as well as boosting sodium in the body, which in winter can be an issue. Eating this to start off the new year is all about not only setting abundance intentions for the new year, but also about stretching the abundance to share with others. If you have enough , and I’ve always known the pot of Hoppin’ John to feed us for a few meals, and you eat it the next day (Jan. 2), it’s called Skipping Jenny and is said to reinforce the magic of eating it on New Year’s Day. Whether you feed a whole tribe or just your love and you, focusing intent into something going inside of you is powerful Magic. Adding the extra fun of the lucky coin (one year I charged the coins under the Solstice Full Moon in the mint bed) for Hoppin John Diners to carry for luck through the year just amps up the ritual. To your health and abundance, include this practice in your New Years! Break that corn bread together in love!

Reinforcing the Magic of Kitchen Witchery with Skipping Jenny.

Fire scrying: Every new year, just sitting by the fire with a warm beverage and just meditating, if not getting into full-on trance mode and divining through fire scrying is a traditional part of my magical work and targeted reset for the calendar year. As a Witch, I often do “new year’s” work on Samhain. So the calendar year offers a great check-in time on how I’m progressing on my goals and to redress any tangents that are not serving me. Don’t have a way to sit by a fire? A candle dedicated just for your New Year’s magic works, too. This year we upped our connection to the fire, and did a short yoga practice next to the fire place. If you live where it’s warm and have fire-ring access, this could be such a beautiful ritual. Connecting with your breath before you gaze into the flames is such a great grounding action before letting your higher self take over. Some years, when my psychic energy was lower on the calendar new year, I just did a visualization exercise instead of scrying. I would stare into the fire and see myself accomplishing what I want to do for the coming year. This is a great way to hone your intentions for the new year – being lost and not knowing what direction to go in, often blocks our path. You are not alone, and I offer these alternatives for those times. It happens to every Witch at one point in time in their lives. Sharing my rituals and experience is again why I’m doing this blog.

Warming Our Magical Lives with Fire Scrying.

Bonus- Journal Practice: Each new year I give myself a new journal and again, dedicate time to write down all I’m experiencing in my life and organize my thoughts, feelings, ideas, goals, etc. This year, my journaling practice is going to include more focus on my magical practice, specifically Runes, their meanings and using that medium even more definitely in my life. Your mileage may vary. You may want to focus on something else within your journaling. For years, I’ve added to our family’s collective Good Things practice by starting each day in my journal noting three things I’m grateful for. I’ve also kept track of things like sleep data, other personal health issues (e.g. I didn’t get help for my migraines until I kept detailed records of them and had ‘data’ to show my medical teams and holistic healers), to simply new music I like. It’s amazing how much comes into clear understanding just by writing things down. Synchronicity breeds off of energy put in black and white. Trust. 

I tend for more functional and high-quality journals for my practice; you can get as plain or fancy as you like. You do you, Witch.

I hope these little New Year’s rituals are things you can easily use to be the Magic of the World, to be your truest self and live your best life. 

Editor’s Note: This post and many more to come will be labeled under what I’ve discovered is my personal type of eclectic intuitive witchcraft: MidGardening Witchery. Yes, that’s a riff on Midgard, the Norse Mythos realm that is Earth. This particular leaning of paganism is where I find myself called as far as working with deities, magical tools (Runes). Combine this with Gardening as a nod to my Permie Witch* efforts as an Earth Healer, and of course all that I find myself doing in Witchery as a Crone Hedge Witch. All this cooks in the cauldron and becomes the spiritual stew that is MidGardening Witchery, my personal craft practice. It’s founded in being the Hedge Witch I am, but combines all the passions in my life as well. My introversion has allowed me to pursue living a life that is more suited for me to be my true self and living my best life. Working with the Earth, divine, magic, food, dream interpretation, rune casting, and of course writing, have all brought me here. 


*Permie Witch is a term I’ve been using to mean a magical viewpoint on the Permaculture Principles and applying them as a path towards my desire to directly care for and live with the earth and its creatures. Look for future blog posts detailing this deeper.

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 welcoming 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.