Witch in practice: Week 1

 Welcome! One of the things I’ve been thinking about is that there are lots of books and resources out there that talk about all the things we might be doing – and not so many talking about what we’re actually doing.

Today is my birthday (and the first of my personal new year’s days), and also Mabon, so I think it’s a grand time to see if I can do a post once a week talking about what I’ve been up to. I’m not necessarily going to talk about details (some of those are private, some of them involve other people, some take a chunk of explanation) but I will talk about the shape of things I do.

This past week:

It’s been a fairly quiet week magically speaking. I’ve done my basic morning offering devotional every day, and my morning practice. (I’ll talk about both of these in more detail soon, but I’m crunched on time tonight.)

This weekend:

My basic goal for my birthday weekend is to have some good conversation and good food – it fits well with the seasonal celebration.

No group ritual this year – my coven has brand new Dedicants, and their Dedication earlier this month took precedence for our ritual time. (We meet twice a month, on average, with ritual at one of those, and not at the other, because timing and scheduling are complex things.)

Instead, I went out to dinner with a friend last night (this is the friend with whom I go out to interesting restaurants, and we mostly manage to go to somewhere that does farm to table or otherwise seasonal foods a couple of times a year.) We had a lovely meal out, some interesting food, and I came home and settled in to writing. 

I didn’t set my alarm this morning (and thus slept tons, and quite late.) My plans for the day involved a brief walk along my usual route, some ritual work, and then cooking. All of that took me longer than I’d planned on, but it all went well. 

The personal ritual work including a Tarot reading for the year ahead. (I used this one from Ethony) and I’m thinking about the results. I spent a little time journalling about what my ideal day looks like, and thinking in general about what I want my coming year to look like. 

Reflection: 

I also spent time thinking about my past year. It’s been a busy and complex year in some ways. Here’s a few highlights:

On the witchy front, I have a brand new initiate (as of August) in my tradition, the first person where I have been their primary teacher and initiator.

This feels amazing and wonderful and also awe-inspiring in the best ways (by which I mean there’s been a fair bit of self-examination and “Wait, am I doing this right” along the way.) I also have three new Dedicants, studying for our year and a day cycle, and they ask great questions and bring such fantastic experiences and thoughts to discussions and ritual already. 

I’m also working on a local project that’s in the very early stages, but really promising. (We’ve got our second meeting about it on Friday.) 

I’ve self-published four historical romances with magic (set in a magical Great Britain of the 1920s), and they are steadily finding people who love them. This delights me! And there are more books coming (I’m working on editing book 5, and writing book 7 in that series, and I have a lot more planned.) Basically, if I’m not doing witchy stuff, work stuff, or dealing with daily life stuff, I’m probably doing something related to these books.

My day job has also been going well. I’ve been making progress on a couple of long-term projects that are showing great results, and I’m now partly contracted to a federal project in our field, which means I get to be helpful in different ways and learn new things (without it being too stressful.)

My day job is now at a “I could do this until I retire” sort of place. I love my job, I like the people I work with, there are new things to enjoy figuring out, and older patterns that can be improved, but it’s not the rapid learning demand it was my first couple of years I was there. That’s just fine with me – it’s leaving me with brain and mental space for the other stuff in this section and my life! 

My health is doing a lot better. I spent the summer of 2018 doing a lot of time consuming things that helped (including starting allergy shots and doing sleep testing.) The CPAP machine helped a lot, moving to a new apartment helped even more. For the first time in a decade, I’m able to walk a mile (with a short pause somewhere in the middle, ideally) and not feel overwhelmingly tired at the end. (It used to be my stamina would give out suddenly and without warning, which was really annoying and awkward.)

This is really exciting, both because I’m enjoying walking along the bike path by my current apartment most mornings, and it opens up things like “walk downtown to the library” as options for my day. I have more health-related stuff I’m working on, but I’m really pleased with the progress so far.

I’m single (and have been for 14 years, so, y’know, pretty used to that now.) But I have regular time with local friends, a lot of online connections I value deeply, and if I were up to going out more often, I’d have even more social stuff I could be doing. Pretty satisfied here. I have a couple of plans for this year that should help with ‘meet people I don’t already know’ on a more regular basis. 

My finances are not great, however. I took on debt doing that apartment move on short notice, because health issues made it pretty essential. (However, my current apartment is awesome, has a lovely kitchen, and great space for hosting ritual.)

I’m hoping to make a big dent in that debt this year, both through some side work I’ve been doing for a friend, through writing income, and through being a lot more mindful about where and how I’m spending money. 

Coming up:

I’m working my way through a couple of magical courses and materials (Briana Saussy‘s Spinning Gold, which I took two years ago, and am focusing on again as an alumna this year and Alexis J. Cunningfolk’s Lunar Apothecary, which has been on the backburner for a bit), and I’m thinking of adding one more. 

Big goals for the year are still in a formative stage.

Basically, my birthday is when I start thinking about what I’ve liked about the past year and want more of (and what things I can set aside and stop doing….) Samhain is the end of my ritual year, and there’s a fallow time until the first light of Yule. Between Yule and January 1st, I put a lot of data (astrological and otherwise) into my calendars and to-do app, and figure out the big goals for the year in terms of what I want to actually accomplish in concrete terms. 

Next week in specific has a meeting about that project, our second Dedicant class, and hopefully me making some progress on various other witchy projects. I’ll check in here next Sunday night and tell you what I’ve been up to.

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