The energy at the start of 2023 has provided a slow start to the year, at least for me, personally. However, when I query the Witches around me, I find the same. They aren’t charged up to review the last year and prepare for the new. The astrology of the two starts to 2022 and 2023 holds true to these feelings. This year we’re starting the year with Mercury and Mars both retrograde. Last year We started the year off with a New Moon, Mercury in Aquarius, and The Sun trining Uranus and the Moon sextiling Jupiter. We have go vs. pause; plant vs. rest; and expansion vs. introspection.
This slow energy is actually good, I believe. It mimics what nature is doing and seems more conducive to taking stock and moving forward with intention. But I admit that the start of 2023 has me feeling a bit “behind,” especially as I look back on my Word and Rune of 2022 and consider what my Word and Rune of 2023 will be. Yet here I am, well into January and still assessing what happened last year and what I want to happen this year. The whole process has been flipped on its side. It feels raw, real, yet required.
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for weeks now. I wanted to post it right about the calendar new year, much like I did last year. But the review in my mind, in my heart, in my gut, is feeling hard to explain. For all intents and purposes this piece is supposed to be my review of my word – curate – of the year, and Rune – Ehwaz, of 2022, which originally was supposed to be two separate pieces, again, as I did last year. But this year, there’s a strict budget on my time to put content here on my blog.
Regardless, I feel it’s important to show the longer process of doing these rituals annually for subsequent years.To show how they have shaped, molded, and enhanced or changed my existence here on Villa Westwyk, in North County, and on Planet Earth. This is not to suggest that I have anything fucking figured out. I just am showing you what has worked, or even what hasn’t worked in my craft as a Witch and the winding and weird way it’s taken me. There are lessons. Some are easily learned. Some, not so much. Pay attention, Runa! Like letting the land speak to me for what is important and what is not. To slow down, or speed up as necessary. To take the time to really be present, right now, right this minute. To notice the progress even when it is banefully viewed as too slow. To recognize finally that creativity has active and inactive phases – again, just like Mama Earth.
And between us Witches, this is how my solitary practice shows up in earnest. Understanding the energies I have available to me to create the life I want, pushing forward to be the truest form of myself and living the best way I can while writing it all down.
Writing it all down. It’s been a weird dance lately. There’s so much learning that goes into creating a manuscript. Yes, as a Crone, I’m still learning. This manuscript is my first feature-length non-fiction work. I set the goal to be kind to myself while I designed how to create this manuscript. I’ve been doing journalism and other expository writing for years. But, that takes the visible and reports it while hinting at the interiority of any person, place, or thing within that story. Here, instead, I am writing something that is so far in the realm of invisible – energy work via what liquids we put in our bodies. How do you detail the feeling that living with intention and connecting to the unseen, and paint a picture for someone else to read? How do I do this, especially since this is something that can be deeply personal and different for everyone? I have to weave a tale of the invisible into the visible. What does the story of this book look like? Am I sketching it out correctly? Is it conveying what I want? This has proven to be a big ask of my creativity. It’s pushing me out of my comfort zone. And with each step towards accomplishing this goal.. FINISH THE BOOK! FINISH THE BOOK! FINISH THE BOOK! …I’m finding new connections towards how I’m already living. It’s revealing more about my own life, I feel, then the information the publisher perhaps wants. It’s become a balancing act…active, inactive. Write. Do. Think. Rest. Write. Do. Think. Rest. And Onward.
In a manner of speaking, from October, when my book project was born, through the end of December, I’ve been curating a framework for it. Almost like building a house in the mountains. I’ve got the concrete footings poured and I’m framing the walls, but as I’m framing the walls, I’m recognizing that some of the duct work doesn’t provide good chi in the space, or is too bulky or blocking light and I’m redesigning on the fly. This presents new sets of framing challenges. What does it need to include? Is that really all of it? Why is it important to anyone else? Is it too esoteric? Is it too simple? Is it inclusive? Check your privilege, Witch. Why is it even important to do this? Can I expand on this theme and make it something transformative? More questions, less answers. Lots of daydreaming in order to make sense of the breadth of the whole thing. For all my kindred: I know I’m in my head a lot lately. Please forgive me.
It’s not far from this forest of questions, to the meadow where my partnership with Ehwaz resides in the landscape of last year. Ehwaz is the Horse Rune. Divine knew all the power I needed in 2022 to push forward and break into doing something like this book. When I doubted myself, its message would remind me that gradual development is strong development. Small Slow Solutions, just like in my practice of permaculture. Ehwaz would remind me that I needed to invest in myself so that I could have steady progress. It would whisper to me to trust myself, and to be loyal to the systems that support my work.
So from Curate and the Horse Rune, where do I go next? Throughout December through now, I have been scribbling thoughts and notes about where I want to go from here. I know I want to amplify the good I created in 2022. I want to maximize the efficiency that Ehwaz taught me or showed me. Physically there is a lot of construction that needs to be done this upcoming year. We will be setting up a swimming space. We’ll be building a firewood shed. We need to clear what’s not working, like the ancient cold frame and enhance the space with a new laying hens compound. We need to finally rehab the winter barn for the geese and ducks, as climate change is real and in our face each winter we reside here.We are still in need of rehabbing our water systems and drainage, to include a pond for the water fowl. And of course, I am creating my manuscript, which is now due in nine months.
What word encompasses all of that for 2023? It became obvious when I looked at my goals and where I’m coming from and where I’m going. With this in mind, drumroll please…
Compose. This is my word for 2023. It’s going to be a year of taking all that I’ve curated and using it to conduct the next phase for Villa Westyk, my Craft, and my book. It’s time to put the drywall up, and install the floors. It’s time to make this project look like a sturdy house. It’s time to weave it into a home. I need to compose, to form a connected whole by combining various elements and details. I need to compose this book. I need to compose growing spaces, safe and play spaces for my kindred. I need to compose stronger relationships, especially where my community is concerned. I need to compose a song of life for 2023 that includes good health, a well-received book, better growing systems, and kindred spaces. And to do so in a more efficient and/or upgraded approach to this life and sharing it with others.
To do that I’m going to need the energy of the Rune Raidho ᚱ, which funny enough, means ‘ride.” 2023 is apparently a “Chariot” year from the tarot as determined by numerology. The fact that I need to focus on composing in my life in 2023 and that such circular flow, rhythm, and movement towards progression is ruled by Raidho in the Elder Futhark and it aligns with other universal energies. This shores up my knowing definitely that this is the Rune I’ll work with all this year.
Raidho is in Freyja’s aett and I’ve been feeling called by her a lot lately. Deity work has not been something regular in my practice through the decades. I’m hoping that my year-long partnership with Raidho might provide an opening and opportunity for me to understand Freyja’s energies and Magic deeper, to perhaps dedicate some time, space, and energy of my own towards this important goddess to the Runes and to my Craft of MidGardening Witchery.
So there we have it friends, my word of the year 2023 is ‘compose.’ My Rune of the year is Raidho. It will be interesting to see what it helps me
Now if you excuse me I have to ride myself over to my chair and write this book.