**Content note: I use adult language (aka swear words) a LOT in my daily life and in this blog. If that bothers you, you may want to stop reading now.**

a blue-eyed raven totem carved out of obsidian sits on a fox-shaped pedestal with a piece of black tourmaline, a hagstone (stone with a naturally occurring hole in it), a piece of howlite (tumbled white stone with gray veins), and a tiny found bird skull, on a dusty desk cluttered with other tumbled stones, candles, and a small ceramic bowl containing strips of brightly colored watercolor paper.It’s the new year! I don’t know about you all, but 2023 has not gone any which way I thought it would yet. And we’re barely through January! I hope you’re all finding your groove and feeling grounded and connected to your purpose so far this year.

One thing I’ve discovered in the process of living life as it comes at me these past few weeks is my “word” for the year. You may be familiar with the practice of choosing a word to be your focus for the year. The idea is that you choose a word to focus on for inspiration, instruction, whatever you’re craving or have a need for. A meditative mantra if you will.

Anyhow, mine this year is a phrase, actually. “Slow the fuck down.” In the past few weeks, this is what the universe has been shouting at me, whether it’s through owning up to mistakes I’ve made in my work that I should be capable of avoiding, or in missing out on a moment of joy because I let it breeze past me and didn’t take a moment to acknowledge it, or in dealing with back pain because I was rushing a movement in strength training and neglected to focus on proper form.

“Slow the fuck down” allows me to be fully present. It prevents many mistakes and can keep me from harm. And more importantly, slowing down allows me to experience real joy!

witches calendar

If you’re like me and feeling a little whipped around by this month in particular (in good OR bad directions), I have an offering for you. Because slowing down and finding the rhythm you want to follow can be difficult for life-long rushers or sweepers (those who get swept along by the current), we need guideposts, a way to set intentions or mark the passage of time so that when we look up, we’re not surprised and asking “How did I get here?”

Pagans and people from before the digital age marked the passage of time through the turning of the seasons. That connection to the rhythm of the natural world offered space for community, and grounded presence.

We now live in a digital world, extra connected, and at the same time disconnected from the pulse of the Earth. I thought it would be useful to bring some of the connection of the Earth into our digital space, to serve as a reminder of where we come from, and where we belong. So I created a witches calendar that you can subscribe to via Google. It’s very brand new right now, and will likely morph as I gather more wisdom and inspiration for it. But for now it lists the major seasonal pagan holidays and the names and focuses for each month’s full moon (plus one extra this year in August!). It also includes some information and links to learn more about the pagan holidays, if that’s something that interests you.

Rhythms of the natural world

You don’t have to be pagan to mark the passing of the seasons. Maybe all you care about is knowing when there’s a full moon. That’s wonderful. Use the witches calendar to serve whatever needs you have. Just giving yourself a way to recognize the beauty in our world is brilliant. 

I am thankful today for the lengthening of the days, for the warm sun on my leg after weeks of rain, for the absence of back pain, and for the chance to acknowledge my mistakes, to try again, and to make space for growth. I’ll be marking the seasons more intentionally now, thanks to my witches calendar. May you all have the freedom and safety to slow the fuck down and connect to the preciousness that is your life.

1 thought on “Rhythm of the natural world and a witches calendar

  1. Sherris Goodwin says:

    Great essay! And wish I’d found your Mantra in my earlier years. Age seems to have automatically caused me to “slow the fuck down.”
    And love your idea of a word for the year. Mine is “GRATITUDE.” Had a small bracelet made with that word. When feeling vulnerable I rub it during the day. Thank You for thé great ideas.

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