How to sum up a year like 2020?
For me there is a prevailing theme: gratitude. For while it was a year of epic ups and downs, twists and turns, I was frequently reminded just how lucky I am to live in a place like Western Australia. The city I live in is one of the isolated places in the world and sparsely populated: next to Aotorea, it would have definitely been one of the more desirable places to live in the world during a global pandemic. We underwent a brief moment of panic-buying and doomscrolling, but as the apocalypse became the new normal, I also released it was something that would unfold largely ‘elsewhere’ as the ripple of the tsunami would occasionally topple over small but important norms of my old life.
From a witching perspective, it has been a strange one. At the start of the year, I had a lot of focus on community. I had expectations to broaden my horizons by attending events interstate, and to take the next step in the group I was working with. Now at the end of the year, I find myself having spent the year relying on Zoom conferences, online salons, Facebook group comment threads, Twitter void-shouting and YouTube vlogs to be my main connection to the wider community. I have also pivoted entirely as the year progressed post lockdown, to transition to solitary witch life. And then suddenly I was starting an incredible new coven with some close friends. Whiplash might describe that journey – or perhaps a rollercoaster! I continued my drive to investigate the Reclaiming tradition and build a different kind of witchcraft community here in Western Australia. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and it’s been wonderful to see the seeds finally sprout.
Artistically, I had a good, solid year. It was my Jupiter Return in the 5th House, the house of creativity. Of course, Saturn has been hanging with Jupiter, the constrictive-expansive odd couple smiling down on me from Capricorn as I made a lot of work, staying on the same train tracks I have been for years: my tarot deck, the Penumbra Tarot. This journey, however, is finally coming to a close. I am now on the home stretch of the court cards and looking forward to working on something completely different in 2021, and of course, finally releasing my deck into the world.
2020 has had some sad moments on a personal level. I lost a couple of family members who, while they weren’t very close, they had a tragic effect that has impact those closest to me. Also, I’ve had enough of funerals. Death has been a spectre hanging over both sides of my family for some time. I’ve also been estranged from my sister and my nieces, as they live on the other side of the country. I’m looking forward to celebrating more positive moments and to reach out more to the ones who are important to me. You never know when a moment may be your last with that person. I’m normally quite independent and isolated from my family, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. I’ve been examining my relationships at every level and wondering what my legacy is going to be.
Speaking of legacy, I originally chose ‘Queen’ as my word of the year. In that moment I didn’t fully conceptualise why I had chosen this word or what it meant. But the result of it has been a prevalent theme of claiming my power and owning my domain as a ruler of my own destiny. I made some important decisions regarding my career life and also had some realisations around responsibility and influence. Sometimes you just need to be that element of stability and guidance in someone else’s life. Family, career, and home were really highlighted, but I knew this was a time to work on the soil that my roots were in so I could branch out more in the future. I felt Hekate, my matron goddess, grasp my wrists and shove my hand that was wielding a flame higher up into the air, several times. She has forced me to step up and to self-initiate in a metaphorical sense, and to lead the way in ways I did not expect, that are still unfolding. It’s been a slow, tentative few steps into what I feel will become a determined striking out in 2021. I haven’t chosen my word of the year for 2021 yet, but I think it will be something to do with this theme.
My card of the year was ‘Justice’ in tarot. Over the year I have come to evolve what my understanding of Justice means and how I relate to it. Working on being more anti-racist and incorporate social justice in both my spiritual life and everywhere else has been a journey I’m really grateful to be on, and I’m learning to shelve my scruples of “not wanting to do it wrong” as an excuse to do almost nothing at all. This is work that will continue into the next year and is something to unpack over a lifetime. We’ve all grown up in this societal soup, and it’s impossible to change the recipe but we can change how we deal with it.
I was originally going to talk about more mundane topics in a sort of year-in-review fashion, like my favourite books, tv shows and music. How I spent a good chunk of the year on Animal Crossing living my best life creating a cottagecore fantasy. How my aging millenial ass tried and continue to fail at figuring out Tik Tok. How I put on many kilos like we all did in what I affectionately like to think of as ‘padding for the apocalypse’. But I guess the light and the funny will wait for a future post in what I hope will be a regular schedule.
Gotta shine that flame, after all. It’s been real, and I’ll see you again very soon. I promise.