Astra Anima’s 2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

2017 was my second year writing here on Astra Anima; I wrote for much of the Spring, took some time off over the Summer, (thankfully) found my muse again, and returned to writing in the Fall. This year I feel like I figured out my voice, both in the sense of what I wanted to write, and how I wanted to write it.

Much of the information that I post here is information that goes straight into my own magickal diary: recipes I cook in my own kitchen, information that I’ve researched, and spells that I’ve performed myself (and that have worked). Writing here gives me a better understanding of my own path and makes me a better witch; that you want to read it too is such an honor to me.

Below you will find the eight most popular posts on the blog this year, as well as my eight personal favorites. At the bottom of the page is a look forward to 2018.

Top 8 Articles

  1. A Witch’s Guide to Starting Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows
  2. A Witch’s Guide to Organizing Your Grimoire and/or Book of Shadows
  3. Simple Kitchen Witch Coffee Spell
  4. Eight Samhain Season Celebration Ideas
  5. Full Moon December 3rd 2017 in Gemini
  6. Thoughts on Mercury Retrograde 4/28/16 – 5/22/16
  7. Self-Love and Acceptance Spell
  8. Crystal Closeup: Citrine

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My Current Magickal Book Wishlist

One of my proudest accomplishments of 2017 (the year’s not even over yet, but whatever) is that I started reading more. I’m a teacher, so I’m reading for work constantly, which means leisure reading takes a back seat whenever school is in session. Happily, I found a place for regular reading in my day-to-day life, at the gym of all places, and I’ve been steadily working my way through my magickal book shelves ever since.

This is essentially a Top 10 list of witchcraft and paganism books that I’d like to read before the end of next year. To be on the list it has to be on my Amazon wishlist and I have to not have a copy of it yet. You could use it as a guide to bulk up your own reading list/magickal library, and if you have read any of these, I would love to know what you think of them! They are organized alphabetically by book title; clicking on images opens the cover image larger, and book title links go to Amazon.

Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming the Pagan Tradition by Pauline Campanelli (2014) – There are two Pauline Campanelli books on my wishlist, the other is Wheel of the Year: Living a Magical Life. This book is for the whole Wheel of the Year; most of the books I have are for one Sabbat, so I’m interested in adding another book to my shelves that covers the whole year.

The Hearth Witch's Compendium by Anna Franklin

The Hearth Witch’s Compendium: Magical and Natural Living for Every Day by Anna Franklin (2017) – I am always wanting to learn more about witchcraft, especially around the home, which is where I do the majority of my magickal work. This book is an assemblage of recipes, spells, and tips and it has excellent reviews. I leafed through it at the bookstore and it looks like a really good reference to have around.

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15 Magickal Self-Care Ideas for Witches

Now that we’re in the dark half of the year, ’tis the season for self-care.

I was very intrigued when the concept of ‘self-care’ came to my attention; I teach all day, which I enjoy, but being around people left me feeling drained (classic introvert). At first I thought that self-care meant laying in bed or hiding in the dark for an entire day, so I did just that, but it didn’t help me feel recharged.

In reality, self-care is more empowering than giving in to your impulse to never move. Self-care means that you need to make yourself a priority and push yourself to take care of yourself. The guiding principle of self-care is, in other words, to do something that fills you back up rather than something that drains you. Below is my list of witchy self-care activities, some of which can be done at a moment’s notice, and others that need minimal magickal preparation.

1. Active Meditation – This is doing something that puts you ‘in the zone’ versus traditional, passive meditation (see #13 below). Active meditation can be anything from art projects to walking the dog, but if you lose yourself in it, then it’s active meditation. Active meditation means that you are lost in the moment, that you don’t feel time passing, and doing the activity that enables it can feel very rewarding.

2. Aromatherapy – I don’t know many witches who don’t have at least a few candles around, and filling your space with fragrance can really lighten a mood. I like seasonal smells since the weather doesn’t change much around here, but you can use any scents that help you feel positive emotions. For a magickal boost, use incense that has been charged or has a specific benefit (ie: lavender to calm). Carve sigils into the candles or write affirmations on them to focus their energy release as they burn.

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Astra Anima’s 2016 Year in Review

I thought it would be nice to end 2016 by posting a year in review for the Astra Anima blog, which I really started writing for in February 2016. It wasn’t until October that I really figured out what I wanted the blog to “be,” and after that point posts became way more frequent and focused. Below are my 18 favorite posts from the year, broken into categories.

Articles

Book Reviews

Moon Magick

Sabbats

 Mercury Retrograde