Tag: ritual

My Word for 2022

No Comments

How you can find yours…

However you find your word, it can be some powerful Magic.

For the last five years or so, I’ve had the short-hand of focus for my annual goals through one word. I’m sure I picked it up on a Pinterest board somewhere and hold no ownership of this ritual. But I learned that it was a great way to provide a theme and overarching feeling for my year ahead. I use it as a quick re-focus on what I want to accomplish. I normally pick a word that is a verb, because I want action for my goals for the year. 

This word served me well in 2021; did you have a word for last year? Comment below and share.

Last year (2021) my word was Explore. It was the thing I missed from my former lifestyle, and wanted to expand those opportunities within our new lifestyle. I spent a lot of time exploring what was going to push me forward to this new life we had been thrown into because the COVID-19 pandemic made our travel life understandably hard. I explored what it meant to be stationary again. What I wanted to accomplish moving forward. Things that interested me: astrology, growing things, new ways of relating, healing, new cuisines, perfecting sourdough bread, creating a Witch Camp strawman, growing Runa Troy’s Magical Services & Goods, raising geese, the list goes on and on.

It was a great year of exploration, this year I wanted to use the new knowledge that I found throughout 2021 to propel my goals further into this year (2022). 

Tell be below what your word of the year is.

This year my word is Curate (or its adjective form, Curative). The short hand description and desire of why I chose this word for 2022: 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. 

Coming up with a Word of the Year can be a ritual/spell in itself. If you’re interested in how to do that, there’s some easy steps. 

Watch for Divine Downloads: First and foremost, the universe may just step in and let you know what that word is. Approaching and maybe even after the first few days of the year, you may be presented with a word that keeps popping up in conversation, media you digest, or even in a dream. Listen to those whispers and voices, they are leading you to what is going to aid you moving forward in the next year. Don’t shrug it off. If you aren’t sure, read ahead.

Free Write: Back in school you may have learned about mind mapping or word clouds, etc. Sit down and just write down words that you think might stand in as quick shorthand for your goals for the year. Don’t judge yourself here. Just write it all down. Let it lead you to another word and another word.

 

Divine:  Pull a Rune, or Oracle Card. Pull out your dictionary and just do a bit of Bibliomancy. Ask friends to give you the first word that pops in their head. Write it all down. 

Narrow The Options: Sit down in a comfortable place. I used my meditation space to just scribble and cross off and reconfigure words that didn’t quite hit the mark. For example, discernment was one of the words that was on my list, but didn’t quite hit the mark. I pulled out the thesaurus as I sat cross-legged on my cushion and found Curative. I added it and then went through some of the other words: temperance, care-free, untroubled, etc. Until I felt this organic resonation. 

Dive Deep:  Once you have a top 5 or top 3, look up the actual definitions and make sure they really speak to you. My top three were Essential, Consistent, and Curate. I did some more mind mapping to decide which felt like it fit within the goals I wanted for the year.

 

No Wrong Answer:  If you choose a word and get to the month of March and find that it’s not working, you can adjust, change, and rechoose a word. This is an exercise for you and you alone. You can share your chosen word, or not. It’s your prerogative. 

Ritualize It:  Hang the word or post it in places that will give you a reminder of what you are trying to accomplish for your year ahead. Have your kids draw a picture of the word for the fridge. Put a sticky note on your mirror. Get one of those Home store signs with the word on it (they seem to have every word worth focusing on in a sign). Get a mug with the word on it for your morning coffee or afternoon tea. You get my drift by now. Put it in your face and make it partner with you for the year. 

Block out Time:  I blocked out an hour a day for my Explore time. And this year it will be Curate. That’s a lot of time. I’m a Crone. I’ve worked my tail off throughout my life so that I could create a life that lets me do something like focus on my goals. But if you only have fifteen minutes, give yourself fifteen minutes. But an hour a day towards anything that will take a year to accomplish is paltry. Blocking out the time makes it sacred and you’re more apt to stick to it. So, schedule your goal making. 

Moon Magic:  Each New and Full Moon, do some record keeping and see how your word is guiding you. Are you making small steps towards your vision for 2022? Where can you realign yourself and your goals? It may seem a simple little spell, but it’s powerful. The more you hang out here on my little Witchy blog the more you’ll find that I love simple and powerful. 

We can only make progress towards our goals when we have envisioned it clearly and focus all our energy on it. Having a Word of the Year is just one more tool towards manifesting that reality we want, and getting down to business to make it happen. 

Whatever your Word of the Year, I wish you a clear path to being your truest self and living your best life. 

I added the word to our Good Things Jar. Did you read about that Magic?

New Calendar Year Magic

No Comments

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.

Best Gifts for Witches Yule / Holiday 2020

4 Comments

It’s the Yuletide season. The traditional gift-giving season for most of the world, whether you celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, or some other “bring the light to the big dark” time of year. I have to say, giving a gift to a pagan a/o witch is easy because we love so many simple things. So here’s a top 13, because, well, we love the number 13 given all its magical energy.

If you can source these gifts from other pagans and witches and they are local, you just scored even more good karma not just from your recipient but the universe in general. Throughout the article, there’s links for some of the markets and shops of goods from witches I know. Support other witches and you know the karma is tenfold.

These are not necessarily ranked from good to great, since most pagans practice attitude of gratitude and are more likely to be giving you any of these things as opposed to worrying about receiving them.

Magical Runic Vegvisir Ornament from the Magical Flea Market.

13. Candles. Whether it’s just to up the ante of Hygge in the home during winter, or for ritual or spell casting. You can never go wrong with giving candles to a witch, especially if they are self contained. Those 7-day candles at the corner market or bodega? Those are inexpensive and a staple in so much craft work. Get your pagan friend a set of them and you will glow with the light of thousands of candles to them. Is your witch siSTAR a tech witch? or travels lots? LED candles are awesome, too.

12. Incense. I prefer cone incense, because it’s easier to make black salt with. But I still have a few stick incense holders, too. Know which kind your witch prefers and get them one in several scents. Ritual work often requires sage incense or frankincense or dragon blood. But, some good ol’ nag champa or patchouli will work, too.

11. Herbs. Dried or potted, you can’t go wrong. Herbs are used in so much of the craft, from kitchen witchery to spell bags to rituals. If you’ve grown and dried your own, that’s even more magical. Some to focus on? Whole cinnamon, star anise, whole clove, rosemary, sage, lavender, and bay. Also, aligned with this category is things like garlic braids or chili pepper wreaths. These are many a kitchen witch’s dream.

10. Crystals. Whether raw, polished, a grouping, altar tools, or in jewelry, crystals are loved by witches. I honestly don’t know any pagan or witch that doesn’t love any and all crystals. Some all around good ones to give include rose quarts, black tourmaline, selenite, and citrine. You also could consider things like quartz or amethyst book ends, which is on my wish list

9. Books and Calendars with a Magical Focus. Whether it’s a book by another witch about how they became a witch, how they practice, or a particular subject like astrology, numerology, healing, or another path of magic, books are well loved by most pagans. On my wish list is actually a pagan book of poetry by Jason Ralls called The Oath: A Heathen Poet’s Journey. Additionally, calendars that focus on moon cycles and wheels of the year are well-loved, too.

8. Gifts For & From Nature. Whether it’s a beautiful sea shell, an unusual feather, berries or mushrooms you’ve gathered, pinecones scented with essential oils, animal skulls, or handmade seasonal garland, the witch on your list is going to love it. Even better? Take her on a hike and do these things together. If not directly from The Mother herself, give something to your favorite witch that is kind to Gaia: a reusable water bottle, wax food wraps,

7. Essential Oils. I go through a lot of essential oil. Most witches I know do as well. Rose oil, lavender, orange and lemon, and clove are some favorites. I use bay oil to create a safe “anti insect” spray for around my property and gardens. Tea tree is used medicinally and with lots of beauty recipes. But just about any are great.

6. Divination Tools:  Tarot Decks, Runes, I-Ching, Pendulums, Scrying Bowls/Balls, and Oracle cards. You name it.

5. Readings. Get them a reading by another witch. Witches love supporting other witches, so have their natal chart read, get them a deep tarot reading, or rune casting for the next year, or even a Reiki session. If there is a service one pagan provides that your giftee would love, you hit a gift homerun.

4. Statuary & Art. Art work featuring gods, goddesses and other figures that speak to their path are great gifts. I would add book ends that represent the outsider, too — owls, gargoyles, or the like.

3. Altar/Ritual Cloths, Runners & Tools: There’s nothing like keeping your altar in sync with the Wheel of the Year and to symbolize things that mean lots to witches — nature, the heavens, and symbols of the season. Altar Tools are always appreciated. Does your favorite witch have a wand?

2. Decorative Containers or Jars. Containers to keep candles, tarot cards, an athame or pendulum in are always in demand as well. Many can be used as travel altars if they have secure latches. Jars to store dried herbs in (maybe include things from item #11), potions, and tinctures are always appreciated. If there are protective sigils or runes on the outside of it, you just upped the magical-ness of it as well.

1. Witchy Clothing. A modern witch cap, a ritual cape, a scarf, oh, and the always favorite, striped socks or tights! Is she a seawitch? Maybe it has sea symbols on a shawl. Is she into astrology? How about some fingerless gloves with constellations on them? Anything earthy or ethereal will likely be a hit. You know your witch best. Or even something in her favorite color, even if it’s just black.

Whatever you gift or receive, may you have a blessed season and a healthy 2021. May the next year bring us back together again.

Witches Prayer / Meditation Beads from the Magical Flea Market.