Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Well, happy new year! 2022 was a very busy year, and things don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. Sadly, we ended the year with the loss of a very dear family member on the Winter Solstice, which was utterly heartbreaking. It really brought into focus the time of year, and how the seeming “death” all around us in the heart of winter here in the UK is not just an abstract concept, but something very real, very visceral and which changes lives forever.

Yet the cycle continues, and even in these dark days I can notice the longer daylight hours, the difference in the birds’ song in the mornings, the buds slumbering on the tree branches and the beginnings of snowdrops. There is always hope, if we just know where to look.

This year will be a year of writing for me. I already have this blog, and I write for my community at Patreon, but I am also starting my new book: a follow-up to The Path of the Hedge Witch, which came out in October 2022. I’m excited about writing again, after over a year of editing, fine tuning, marketing and all the other bits and pieces that come with releasing a book. It’s nice to get stuck into a new project!

I’ve still also got my YouTube channel, however I think I will only be posting about one video a month there, as my time will be devoted first and foremost to my writing this year. It’s been a wonderful experience working with the medium of video, and I thoroughly enjoy it.

My own personal practice continues, both as a Druid and a Hedge Witch. With regards to teaching, we had a great time at the Introduction to Wicca and Witchcraft sessions in Woodbridge, Suffolk last autumn. It was nice to teach in-person again, locally too! The Introduction to Druidry online course is going well, and I also offered an Introduction to the Goddess, Freya on my Patreon community last autumn, which was well received. I may make that course more widely available this year, so keep an eye out for it here and on my website.

This year for me, personally, I am focusing on deepening my relationship even further with the gods, and also my connection to the land where I live. I’ve always felt like my heart has been in two places at once, having grown up in Canada but moved to the UK in the late 90’s. I need to carve out more time from my busy schedule to commune with the land and its inhabitants. I also need to re-establish a daily meditation practice, as that slipped away bit by bit last year. A daily practice of communion with the gods through prayer and meditation is always a good thing. I’ve also made a little space for my house wight next to the hearth, and hope that they like it – I’ll keep you posted!

Our garden still has its regular visitors, day and night. The muntjac deer always come round late afternoon for tea (bird seed and peanuts), the magpies tagging along as well as the ubiquitous pigeons. We also have collared doves, the occasional small group of fallow deer, jackdaws, crows, hedgehogs, pheasants, owls, badgers and various neighbouring cats each day. Yesterday I even spied a falcon, most likely a young kestrel, sitting deep in the branches of a massive ash tree on a neighbouring property behind my hedge. Wonderful!

I spent the winter holiday period with my family in Canada, and it was so good to see and be in the snow again. It’s been five years since I’ve experienced snow like that, and the colours, the sounds, the smells were all just such a joy. I adore snow, but we don’t get much, if any at all, here on the Suffolk coast, and so I was delighted when the plane landed in a blizzard. We had several feet of snow over the holidays, and when I left we were flying through yet another snowstorm. Great for outdoor lovers of winter activities in Quebec!

I hope that this year brings you joy and abundance, peace and lots of good will. May your words be kind, your thoughts be clear and your voice be strong. Blessings to you!

3 thoughts on “Looking Back, Looking Ahead

  1. Thanks for sharing your news Joanna.
    So sad to read about your Solstice loss but glad you got time with family, friends and your beloved Canadian snow (the pictures look great).
    Hope your renewed daily practice is taking root and showing shoots and that 2023 is kind to you and yours (and all of us, I guess).
    Blessings for the year ahead.

  2. Good luck and ‘happy writing’ on your new book Joanna. Looking foreward to read it!
    I really admire the way you choose and follow your path(s), evolving along the way.

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