Capricorn season often brings about reflection and while my parents and sister send a holiday letter every year, and felt inspired to send my own. You know, to be a main character rather than a sentence in someone else's story.;)
This website is *technically for my business, as someone who is self-employed those lines get very blurry.
In January 2024 it will be 14 years in the Bay Area and 4 years in Marin County. It was hard to leave the city, but now I am surrounded by nature while having access to all the fun happenings in San Francisco and Oakland/Berkeley. Though I still miss my rent-controlled apartment in SF for a decade (insert cringe face here)...
Note: I organize my goals and to-do lists by five main topics I call “areas of attention.” So, this update is grouped by those same categories.
This year I felt a lot of contentment and doing my best to just have fun--concerts, game nights, dancing, mini adventures. And I continually feel amazed by all the close connections--particularly with other women--I’ve built over the past 14 years in the Bay. I’ve never felt more intimately related to some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met who feel more like sisters than friends. (Though of course, my sister Jen Jen is my fav.):)
I also hosted my third annual “Hygge Happening” in November with around 30 people in my small apartment. It has become my favorite seasonal gathering to honor the Danish practice of being cozy when the Daylight Saving Time begins.
This year I completed UNtraining Level 2, an education program for white people to work through a lot of shame around internalized racism and white conditioning. I feel less attached now to doing things the "right way" and more concerned with separating my relational trauma from the larger systems of oppression. They also have different groups for different ethnicities and identities, highly recommend it if this sort of thing interests you!
I also spoke at the Fates and Graces Mythologium in July, an annual gathering of mythologists and academics at Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara. My topic Archetypes of Ecstasy from Witches to the Muse: Negative and Positive Transformational Figures of the Feminine in Myth, was an inquiry into the portrayal of women in mythology as either inspirational or demonized.
Health-wise, the past four years have been the most difficult of my life and I finally feel myself coming up for some air. In 2019 my health took a terrible turn and since then it feels like I’ve been pushing myself uphill for so long I hadn’t realized just how much I was struggling in survival mode, trying to run a business while barely having energy to even feed myself let alone work.
While I continue to uncover new layers of healing my body has become my greatest teacher and my greatest medicine has been combining naturopathic and allopathic modalities. For me, that looks like qi gong and meditation, daily long walks in the woods, weekly sauna time, therapy, acupuncture, and antibiotics when I have a bad Lyme flare and my immune system is weak.
This year my business hit some milestones with more collaborations and expanding services from one-on-one to more events and private parties. This year I worked with brands and teams such as Meta (Facebook), Grey (one of the largest advertising agencies in the world), and Sephora. My words were also featured in Readers Digest, Bustle, and SF Gate. In addition, I gave a few lectures including speaking for the San Francisco Astrology Society on one of my favorite asteroids Ceres.
If I could do it all over again, I’m not sure I would have chosen self-employment or the healing arts, but I’m incredibly grateful for all the support and the amazing group of clients I have built over the past decade with Wild Witch of the West.
While my adventurous parents and sister traveled the world this year, I stayed closer to home. I drove down to SoCal getting to see my sister Jenny a few times. Who is also now officially engaged to her partner Karl! And also ventured to the Central Coast for the conference and met up with Mom and Dad who flew West to visit. I showed them one of my favorite light exhibits (photo on left) and happened to be there at the same time as some friends from Colorado Springs and even had tickets to the same classical concert at an old Mission that had been on my bucket list for at least a decade. (Image above)
2023 was also a year of loss, as my sister’s dear dog Kali and my fur niece passed in late July. Her absence in our family has been notable at holidays and on family Facetime calls--I miss her and I know my sister does too. In November, we also lost my Grandmother on my dad’s side and had a service for her in early December. I’m still processing how much her presence impacted me and I still want to understand the best way to honor her legacy. Right now, I feel connected by wearing her jewelry and having several photos of her up in my apt.
My kitties Freyja and Sophie continue to do cute things and bring playfulness to my life. I suppose some might call me a cat lady, but I’m more and more aware that archetype might also just be women who like solitude, most likely have trauma, and enjoy the oxytocin hits of petting a cat.;)
My hopes for 2024 include more writing, continuing to focus on my health (physical and mental), and cultivating more financial stability. On a larger scale, I hope for world peace (as cheesy as that sounds) and to find new ways forward collectively that create greater equity among humans and honor our relationship with the planet.
May your 2024 be filled with love, peace, and contentment.
Love and Peace,