Tag: Witches Heal The Earth

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?

Growing That Witch Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be ready for the Magic.

~Runa