Tag: villa westwyk

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.  

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.

Spring Cleaning in The Craft

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Spring Cleaning time is upon us with the Full Moon in Virgo (3/18) and the Spring Equinox (3/20) right on our Worm Moon’s heels. So I thought I would post a few “cleansing & releasing” tips to make these tasks as magical as possible. Here on the Covenstead of Villa Westwyk, we’re already doing some of these. I hope you’ll join me and start this Aries season off right. 

Spring Cleaning as a practitioner of the Craft is about setting intentions to invite prosperity, peace, protection, and good health into your home and life. But before you do that, you need to clear out any negative energy and funk that has dug in over the course of the winter. 

Here’s a few tips to consider as you begin your own Spring Cleaning in your own Covenstead, cottage, apartment, or boat (I see you, Sea Witches!). 

Refresh Your Broom:  If it’s been a hot minute since you’ve either a) cleaned your broom — or vacuum for that matter (I know people who only have one or the other), or b) replaced your broom or vacuum, now is the time to do it. Now I’m not talking about your spell or ritual broom. I mean the one you use to clean (or do sweeping spells). Every three years, I use the Vernal Equinox to procure a new broom. Why three years? With pets and children underfoot, the three year rule seemed appropriate and has its own Magical energy. The number three is the number of harmony, wisdom, and understanding. It’s the past, present, and future; birth, life, death; beginning, middle, end; maiden, mother crone. It is a Divine number. Just go with it. 😉 Do note: When you move from one home to another, don’t bring your old broom (but that’s a whole other blog post).

Although your local handyman will tell you to clean your broom once a month. When I remember on a full moon, I will do that; however, most people I know hardly have time for that. What to do with your old broom? It is thanked and relegated to the shop or garage or other place it may be useful, and when they are no longer useful there, they often end up in either a Summer Solstice or Samhain bonfire – but I digress. When bringing in the new broom to the house, I like to bless it with an herbal first sweep. What’s an herbal sweep? It’s exactly as it sounds. Sprinkle your herbs and sweep.  Because you’re decluttering, this is a good time to clear out herbs that have lost some of their potency for your Kitchen Witchery, (seriously, 5 year old rosemary is not helping your Spring Lamb Dish), but the herbs’ energies and properties are perfect for “cleansing” spells. As you do this you make a wish (i.e. set an intention). Because our equinox is coming during a waning moon, anything you want to release from your life has an extra powerful oomph. 

Here’s a recipe for a cleansing sweep:

1 part (start with 1 tablespoon) ground bay leaves

1 part dried rosemary

1 part dried thyme

1 part dried citrus 

1 part baking soda

1 part coarse salt

(this is great for an average size room, if you want to do the whole home, feel free to make more)

Sprinkle your herbal mixture where you want to cleanse. Work Widdershins (counter clockwise) and towards the exit of the room/house you’re in. Sweep the herbs and dirt out the door and sweep up into a paper bag. Dispose of this either by burning in a fire (don’t bring it back in the house, so outdoor fire pit FTW) or disposing of it away from your home (e.g. a public trash receptacle in a park). Alternatively you could bury at a crossroads you don’t traverse with regularity. 

Once that’s done you may also carve into or draw sigils, spells, etc. onto the broom handle (keeping in mind the direction of intention) to help you sweep in goodness and sweep out lameness. 

See Clearly. Cleaning our windows after a winter of storms can be eye opening. We want to attract light, abundance, and joy. Dirty windows can’t let all that goodness in. Cleaning windows doesn’t just mean the glass. We need to wipe down the frames, the sills, and those little tracks that just love to collect dust and grime. You don’t need anything fancy to do this:

A sturdy step stool (if you’re short like me)

2 microfiber cloths

A spray bottle of window cleaner (1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil)

One cloth is for the windows, the other for the frames and sills. Again, working Widdershins, clean the first window with one cloth and then use that dampened one for wiping the sills, etc. On the next window, you’ll use the fresh cloth. If the cloth for the sills, etc. gets too dry as you move through your home, just spray one squirt of your homemade window cleaner. Again, because in Spring 2022 we’re releasing, you again want to work from the top down but also from the inside out. Keep your intention of what you’re releasing to make room for attracting goodness in mind whilst you clean your windows. If the weather hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s Spring, at least do the interior and save the outside for perhaps the new moon in Aries (April 1). I play music that allows me to feel free while I do this. Anything that’s meditative may just help you receive some Divine Downloads as you cleanse. I see you Virgos out there, you’ll want a whole playlist. You already have that playlist. Just go clean your windows, Witch. 😉

If you have blinds, this is a good time to wipe these down, too. If you have curtains or drapes, get them laundered, too. 

Refresh Your Sanctuary: It’s time to replace the flannel sheets and extra blankets with something lighter and more befitting of Spring. Strip your bed. Then sprinkle some herbal baking soda (recipe follows) on the bare mattress.  While you do the Air It Out Cleanse (see below) let the herbed soda remain on your mattress. Put your pillows somewhere they can also air out and get some sunshine. When you’ve finished your “Air It Out” go back and vacuum up the sprinkled herbal mix off the mattress. Be sure to dust and vacuum the rest of the room, too. Remember, work Widdershins. Be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner bag and dispose of as you would your herbal sweep (noted above). Put on fresh sheets, bedding, and make your bed. As you do this see yourself doing all the things you love to do in your bedroom: resting easily throughout the season, having your sexy time, or even cuddling with your familiars. Refresh any dream workings, crystals and other Magical Mojo you have in this room. If you have an altar in this room, refresh that as well. 

Mattress Refresh:

1 part baking soda

½ part crushed clove

1 part dried rosemary

½ part dried lemon balm

1 part dried lavender

½ part dried mint

I keep this in a “shaker” bottle for sprinkling (an old parmesan cheese container works great). 

Air It Out. Take some incense of your choosing (I love something like cedarwood or sandalwood in Spring), if you have some other form of smoke cleansing, this works as well. I have a small vessel that holds a cone incense and allows me to carry it easily as I move about. Again working Widdershins, open each window of your home. It does not have to be wide open, especially if you live in a climate where you’re still running your heater. Just a crack will do. Start at your northernmost window and work counterclockwise. Imagine again, all the negativity in your life leaving, and that you and your home are attracting prosperity and protection. As you move through your home, you could even say something as simple as:

I banish gloom and doom (insert your own adjectives if these don’t speak to you);

This is my will, so it is.

Move to the western side of the house, then the south, then the east. You will leave each window cracked until you’ve made your way back to where you started. By then the incense has likely burned down, if not, I like to place it at my entry way altar. You’ll intuitively know where to put it. Then working in the order you opened, close all your windows. It’s amazing how quickly you can change the energy in your home with this small and simple Magic working. 

Here’s a few more practical things that you can do for your Spring Cleansing:

  1. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Counter-clockwise for the warmer weather to come (I hope you were running them clockwise during the cold weather to help bring the warm air back down). 
  2. Change the batteries in your Smoke Alarm. 
  3. Clean your refrigerator (that eggnog from Yule is long past its prime, darling). 
  4. Clean your cleaning machines: dishwashers and washing machines need cleaning, too.
  5. Replace any light bulbs that have burned out.  

There’s so much more that could be done. Do you have a Spring ritual you do without fail? If so, share it below in the comments.

I hope Spring brings welcomed abundance and new paths of enlightenment for all you. May the season bring you unexpected delights and a surer step into the future. 

Touching Lives One Animal At A Time

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Saweetie.

The call of nature to those who follow the path of The Craft is strong. You may find yourself surrounded by orphaned animals, or unusual sightings of uncommon creatures. Your home may host plants that can survive no where else. It’s because these children of Gaia know that you are a healer. Witches heal the earth and the earth heals us. But sometimes we need a little help.

Recently we had this 16-year-old Australian Shepherd wander onto our property. Now, we live in a very rural area. Farmhouse after farmhouse. Farm dogs wander, but they always go home. So when they wander onto our property, we normally greet them without objection. However, it doesn’t take long for our own two dogs to exclaim annoyance with the interloper and loudly. To keep the peace, we calmly tell our farm dog visitors to go home. And they depart with no fuss.

Saweetie, as we would come to call her, kept coming back. Repeatedly. Our two dogs, Granny Shadow and Ms. SnickleFritz, were not happy with the visitor, who was calm and clearly unbothered by our smaller dogs. When she came back the third time, I noticed she was walking kind of crooked. She wasn’t aggressive or even crying. Just not looking like a dog should, even a senior one.

My Viking, aka The Dog Whisperer. He’s not pleased with the state of this dog’s health.

When she came back the third time, I called the Viking from his shop and asked for assistance. Anyone who knows my spouse knows he’s a big animal lover and very much a dog whisperer. He has mused often that he would be happy to be reincarnated as one of our dogs. What a great life they lead! Without hesitation he leaped Into action regarding Saweetie. She easily came to him and we leashed her and tried to assess if there was a collar or tags or what not. She was not in good shape. Her hair was matted badly. She was in need of a bath. Her nails hadn’t been taken care of in a long time. When we tried to give her water, we began to suspect that she couldn’t hear or see very well. And then there was the matter of looking like she might be injured because of the crooked way she was walking, which was very slowly, and her constant panting, which can indicate stress in a dog.

The only tag she had was a rabies vaccination tag. So The Viking called our local Humane Society. It was the weekend and we were thinking it might be not until Monday until our message was answered. We began to create plans to house Saweetie until we could get her help. Before we could even set up a dog house, the Whatcom County Humane Society called us back. They had received another call reporting Saweetie missing. Not too far from our home as well. She was a farm dog, like we suspected. They offered for us to take the animal back to the owners, or have the owners come to us, or they would dispatch an officer who would come out and retrieve the dog and take the animal back to its human.

We chose the third option because we felt that once the animal control officer saw the animal, some counseling to its owner would be more well received from them rather than The Viking and Some Crone Witch lecturing said alleged neglectful owners. We also had no idea if the people who have had this animal for 16+ years were some how unable to care for her appropriately. Whatever the case, if more was needed for Saweetie or her humans, the Humane Society said they would help. That sounded good to us. Within the next hour, the animal officer arrived at Villa Westwyk.

The officer arrived quickly and observed all the factors about Saweetie’s situation that we did. Such a good dog in not a great state. Next up was to return her to her licensed owners and provide some feedback to help Saweetie live out her life in a bit more comfort. This isn’t the first time we have rescued an animal and how the officer handled Saweetie showed what a good natured animal she really was. She even got to ride up in the cab with the officer because she wasn’t taking her far (less than a mile) and the dog was too injured to get into the kennels in the back. Saweetie went home and was reunited with a grateful family, which learned some valuable lessons about the needs of their lovely pet.

Saweetie got to ride in the cab because she was so old, feeble, and just an true testament to the name we gave her.

I share this story with all of you so that if you are in a situation where you want to help animals but can’t be a full-time care giver to one, then supporting an agency like your local humane society — and wow! is ours a great one — is definitely a path to helping animals on the daily. Along with our local Habitat for Humanity’s program of Homes for Hives, we will be supporting this local agency in as many ways as we can. Not just because of the good work they did this weekend at Villa Westwyk, but all over counties everywhere.

If you’ve had an interesting animal encounter lately, let me know in the comments. How did it align with your path of The Craft?

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.

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.