A Witches New Year Musings

new year witch obeach woman whipsers kathryn emma the house of twigs thot

Words are like magic, are they not, fellow seeker?

Think about it. Words, writing, is a form of time travel. Here I am on New Years Day, sitting in my living room drinking the last of the Yule wine and writing these words. When you read them, you’ll do so some hours, maybe even days or weeks later.

Words are also like mind reading, or some other psychic ability. Here I am, conveying thoughts and ideas and opinions to you without even speaking. You can’t see me nor I you. Time and space separate us. And yet here we are.

Yes, words are magical things indeed, or perhaps we just see the magic in the ordinary. Haven’t we become accustomed to seeing the magic where others see nothing?

For many who follow Paganism or the wheel of the year, Samhain is the new year, but I do not subscribe to that. For me the new year begins on the 1st of January. We cannot, or I can’t, escape our modern trappings nor deny their influences upon us.

How did you see in your new year? Perhaps you were out, enjoying a party or a drink with friends. Maybe you had a quiet one in, the kids too young to take anywhere and sitters become akin to mythical creatures come NYE, I remember those years well. But now my children are older, do not need babysitters and still the pull of parties draws me not. Give me the wilds any day, the solitude found beneath bare branches, or the dark delights of fellow witches.

The sound of other peoples fireworks splashing across the black sky signalled the turning of the year, from the old to the new, for me.

I was outside awaiting the moment. It was mild and dry despite the season, though here, the real winter is still yet to come. January and February bring the real cold weather. Last year we had more snow than we’d seen for some years. Whilst the solstice just passed celebrates the returning light, whilst the mornings grow incrementally lighter, there is little comfort to be drawn from that cold and wintry light and the golden glow of Yule seems a distant and fuzzy memory. But that will come later.

Inside my family slept.

I waited beneath the boughs of the wild cherry tree that grows in my garden. It’s been here for as long as I can remember, over thirty years and longer still. The garden seems bigger in the dark. It feels different, more wild. The night garden. It’s easier to feel the spirit of the place in the dark of the night, when the world of man is quiet.

I sipped the port that I’d taken outside with me, and as the old year rolled into the new I drank deeply then poured a libation to the tree and the others in the garden, to the land itself. I’d already left brandy and burning incense on my ancestor altar, marking the way for their spirits. I left the door open too, so that they would find their way in. Bread, money and a lump of coal had been placed on the porch earlier. Remnants of time passed. It gladdens my heart to know that others still carry on this practise.

Gradually, the fireworks subsided and quite resumed.

I couldn’t help but feel somewhat melancholic, as I stood there, conversing with the genius loci, thinking that soon, this place would be no more. My tiny scrap of land, my garden, my home, my small oasis in a desert of concrete, is doomed for demolition. Not this year, nor the year after, but who knows how long after that. The knowledge that these trees will be cut down, that this small patch of wild will no longer home or feed the wild creatures saddens my soul.

But that is for later too, For now though, they are still here, and I honoured them as always.

The new year is indeed a bittersweet time. We look back on past failures and success, on loves lost and found, of the hard times and the good. But then there’s that hope that the new year brings; the possibilities, the adventures. And much like The Fool in the tarot, we set out on that journey, learning our lessons as we progress. I also think it’s important for our own witchcraft practises that we take stock of the year gone by and prepare for the coming.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not do resolutions. Such things are like setting yourself up for failure. Instead, by reviewing our achievements and failures within our own practises, it gives us a sound basis for growth in the coming year.

Our paths are ever ongoing, and as such, it is not the destination but rather the journey itself that is important. It is not until time has passed and we can look back at events with cooler heads that the lessons are truly learnt. That we learn by going through those hard times and come out the stronger for them. So as you look back on the old take pride in all you have accomplished, fellow seeker, at the odds overcome and the challenges faced down. Accept the losses and the failures and see them for what they are: lessons to be learnt.

Witchcraft is like anything in life, you get out what you put in. By laying down your plans or goals at the beginning of the year, you give yourself the time and space to get things done.

Take this time now to plan for your witching year ahead. Set out to try new things, or to delve deeper into existing passions. But at the same time, always remember there is a magic in the old, in the roots of your craft, that the new infuses the old, melds to it and creates new and exciting opportunities. These are the chances, the opportunities, the magick missed by so many others. As I’ve already said, perhaps the true power of the witch is seeing the magic in the every day, seeing the magic where others see nothing at all.

Whatever your goals for the year ahead, may your year be filled with light, or delicious darkness if that’s more your thing. Let 2019 be the year of the witch, in all of their beautiful flavours!

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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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