Tag: word of the year

Reflection, Review, and Revving up

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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. 

My Word for 2022

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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?