Season of the Witch

My interest in “witchy” things hasn’t been that big of a secret, at least not with those close to me (outside of family, though). It’s an interest that has waxed and waned over the years, but recently has definitely growing. There are some compelling reason as to why witches, the archetype of The Witch, and witchcraft have drawn me in recently.

For the sake of this, I’m using “witchcraft,” unless otherwise specified, to represent that threefold aspect of the practice, the archetype, and the aesthetic.

Witchcraft is intention. Moving, being, acting with intention.

This is something that has resonated with my Quaker roots (and yes, I’m still an active and practicing Quaker). We speak of doing all things in the Spirit. It’s why Quakers do not do sacraments or rituals, typically, because everything is to be done in remembrance and at the level of “ritual” or an act of worship. It’s not something that I do or remember all the time, but this idea that no one thing is higher in God/The Divine’s eyes than another.

Acting with intention means being cognizant not just of what I am doing, but why am I doing something. It invites me to look beyond myself and consider that ripple effect of how my choices, behaviors, and actions flow from me. It’s a process of mindfulness that has been missing in this day to day trudge of just getting through.

Witchcraft is about power. Reclaiming, creating, honoring that personal empowerment.

You can, and people have, write whole books on the reclamation of power associated with witchcraft and The Witch. This is especially true when you look at The Witch through a feminist lens. She is the person in the margins, too often demonized because she does not conform to the patriarchal societal norms. Often she represents “forbidden” knowledge (the midwife was seen as a witch because of her knowledge of the woman’s body).

The Witch often attracts those who feel abandoned by mainstream society — from The Craft’s famous line, “We are the weirdos, mister!” The archetype of the witch becomes the champion for the outcast. For me, it means not only accepting my “weirdness” or my “brokenness” but also honoring it as a piece that makes me whole. In a society that is actively criminalizing bodies, saying that people’s mere existence is wrong and in some cases illegal — it’s actually a little terrifying. Who wouldn’t want to fight back, maybe strike some fear into the oppressive system and its leaders?

To me, there is nothing antithetical of witchcraft and my personal faith and beliefs. If anything, I feel more connected to my faith. This hands-on aspect helps me slow down and, again, be more intentional about my actions and prayers. (To me, I see no difference, in their fundamental structure and intention, between prayers and spells.) I use tarot for reflection. Correspondences of stones are physical reminders of mindfulness. A lot of my books have the same recipes as you’ll find out there for a lot of DIY home and self-care. They have face scrums, floor cleaner, wines, soups, incense, shampoos — all using herbs and oils that are fairly easy to come by (thank you internet).

It may have taken me a while to come to accept and actually be ok with the label of “witch.” Yet, looking at the history, the sociocultural implications — yes, hello, I’m a witch.

11 Year Blogiversary + Some Reflections

It’s late into the evening, I’m relaxing on my bed, listening to a twitch stream after a kind of emotional discussion with a friend about our upcoming travel plans this week to San Diego.

And suddenly I notice on my phone’s calendar: It’s my blogiversary.

While I may have been blogging for 18 years, I’ve spent 11 of those years here. And while my post frequency has definitely waned a lot of over these last few years, this space still means something to me. It’s something I do really see me not doing. It’s kind of weird to think about all of the people that I’ve met, friends that I have made, opportunities that I’ve had — all because of this blog. I’m still friends with some of the people from those early years, which for someone who’s kind of a hermit and feels like they’re bad at friendships, means a lot to me.

July 2012 – Nintendo’s WiiU Experience in Chicago (I’m holding the Goomba in the back)

Blogging had it’s hayday, and I jumped in full force back then. It’s something where I wonder now, “has my life actually gotten that boring that I have nothing to write?” Which, I wouldn’t say that. I spent almost a month this summer in England. In two days I fly off to spend a long weekend at a beach house with 14 other people for TwitchCon. Has most of my life been grad school these last few years? Yes. But there’s been some amazing times. I guess the thing that has changed is me. (Which, duh, of course I have.) Rather than share everything here, it’s been mostly on Instagram. I’m sharing my life in different ways — and as a personal blogger, it’s felt weird to essentially reiterate what I’ve already put out there.

So where does that leave me?

Well, not leaving this blog, of course. I’ve already stated that. But I definitely do want to find my “thing.” In other early days, 10+ years ago, it felt like personal blogging was easier. Granted, we were also almost all in our young to mid-20s, which is a massively transformative time in one’s life. Now that I’ve promptly settled into adulthood and my 30s, maybe my life is a little boring in that sense? It feels like those who have stuck around in the personal blogging sphere ended up focusing or mildly niche-ing a bit.

Kate has Cleveland. Stephany has books. Abby has writing. Terra has travel. Erin‘s always been about food. And me? I guess I never really knew what my thing was. Fail dates? Being awkward? Now, you could say it was grad school — but that’s almost done.

I’ve been contemplating a rebrand for a little while now. Even bought the URL. If I can get twitch to make the change, I think I’ll flip the switch. It’s not a huge change, and I’ll likely keep the design and new colors that are currently in place. But a new name that maybe fits more with how I feel about everything.

Reminiscing

I don’t know if it’s the beginning of the month, the Black Moon, my roommate moving out… or a whole host of other things… But I have definitely been in my head a lot this past week with quite a bit on my mind.

One thing that has been nice is setting up the apartment going back to solo living. I’ve almost forgotten just how much space I have in this apartment. So much that I’ve been tempted to sprawl out on the floor. It’s also been nice to pull things from storage and prep things for another round of purging. (Or at the very least, moving them from my room to the now empty closet in the other.)

But as I look around my home… I still find myself longing… remembering things from earlier this summer. My short-lived stay in England. I found a kind of peace there. Even amongst having almost no personal space in my family’s home. For the first time in a while, I found a piece of myself I didn’t know was missing. This sense of comfort and contentment.

I don’t know if I could put my finger on it exactly — what it was about England and English life that just felt so right. The fact that you could kind of walk through any field you want. Or that they don’t really mow wild grasses at all. The lack of exorbitantly large homes with pristine, untouched yards — or equally excessively sized vehicles. It could have been the food. Or the access to good tea pretty much everywhere. A sense of nationalism, or maybe just pride, that didn’t feel toxic. Even the traffic rules were better there.

Oxford England

I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring some of that sense of England to my daily life here in the states. As of right now, tea and biscuits aren’t quite cutting it. I wonder if maybe it was more a sense of freedom — freedom away from bills, my thesis, my roommate. Just a massive change from everything I had been surrounded by for so long. Maybe that is what I needed more than anything.

I’m here til the end of January. I only have a couple of months to finish and defend my thesis if I plan on graduating in December. I still have no clue what comes next. Where I’ll end up. Maybe if I’m lucky, it’ll be a big enough change to give me a new sense of contentment.

Quick Updates

I’m back from England! It was a great trip, and I cannot wait to tell you more about it — especially to give context to all of the pictures and videos I’ve posted on Instagram.

Some really quick things that are going on, or have happened…

I’m employed! I have very gladly accepted a position with StreamerSquare as their Communications and Operations Coordinator. The past few weeks with them has been great, and I am ready to fully dive deep once we finish GuardianCon. We have four amazing shows, our discord, patreon, and youtube… and a wealth of knowledge for anyone who is interested in live streaming — either as a hobby or professionally.

One year older! Officially 35! Still kind of surreal, but at the same time enjoying it as always. Birthdays are still a weird thing, and I’ve stopped expecting them to go anywhere near a plan or anything. But I think giving up on this idea of having a “good” birthday is too defeatist and not something I’m going to be doing any time soon yet.

Balance is something I’ve been actively working through. I have no idea what this will look like for me, but I know it’s something I need. There was something in England, small moments, where I felt more like myself than I have in ages. And I didn’t even realize I was missing anything, that I was missing myself. But I’m working on figuring all of that out.

I’m not working on turning anything into a side hustle, but I am looking for a second job (or potentially another twitch client). With my roommate moving out this month, I’ll have the full rent and full utilities to pay myself — on top of my car payment and insurance. So the need for balance will be especially important as I work and also try to make the time to finish my thesis and thus my Master’s degree in the next couple months.

Since I’ve been gone fore basically most of June… What’s new with you? What’s going on? How are you doing? Let me know! Let’s catch up!