Tree City Witch: Stitches, Witchcraft, & Change, With Mercury Retrograde

Tree City Witch: Stitches, Witchcraft, & Change, With Mercury Retrograde April 6, 2017

The crows in the morning sing to me. I sing back. Sometimes I post it on my Facebook, a little song, a little astrology update. I’m a morning person. I’ve been in Florida a little more than a year now, after 15 years in Brooklyn, New York, and discovering, rediscovering, my magic.

This is me: Displaced Witch, Wandering Witch, Witch in Exile, Exodus Witch. This column will be about this journey, resettlement, and the search. Sometimes life rips your heart from the cage of your chest. Then what?

A lot has happened since my return to the South. I lost a beloved feline companion. I gained a book contract. I had my heart mended then broken then mended again, stitches galore. I rented a huge amount of space to live and write and transition from life in the Big City.

"The Embarkation for Cythera" by Jean-Antoine Watteau.  From WikiMedia.
“The Embarkation for Cythera” by Jean-Antoine Watteau. From WikiMedia.

About Me:

I’m an Astrologer and Tarot Reader by trade, and teacher of both. It’s how I earn my keep. I’m a blogger, writer, poet, MFA from Iowa.

The first time I “came out” as a Witch was in 2015 when jovial Jupiter, planet of luck and abundance, was moving through the Twelfth House of my natal chart, a particularly “spiritual” transit.

The Twelfth House is associated with water sign Pisces, mystical planet Neptune, psychic experience, the Akashic Records, secrets, hidden places, addiction, and self-sabotage. And more!

Once upon a time, I had no word for what I was. Once upon a time I had no word for everything I did by instinct, naturally. I had no word for it until I found it.

One day I started writing about it on my own blog. I was working with Santa Muerte at the time. I felt called by her as I do now by (the Virgin) Mary. I had a busy fragrant altar, busy spell life, and I was learning, but my learning felt more like remembering.

I left New York in early 2016, and it took me over a year before I had a new altar set up and considered what I was doing witchcraft and not just setting a mood with relaxing tea lights.

"The Rush Hour: New York City" by Colin Cooper.  From WikiMedia.
“The Rush Hour: New York City” by Colin Cooper. From WikiMedia.

City Witch, Country Witch

In this column, I’ll be writing about my return to magic. I’ll be writing about the spirit of the land here, where I live, what it says, how it feels. I am a city Witch and a city writer no longer surrounded by concrete and traffic and tourists. Now I live with green and trees, lizards and snakes, wildlife flying and crawling and cawing.

I will write to you of the current sky, astrology transits, and tarot thoughts. Divination is daily life for me. What you see is what you get. I will whip out my cards any time, any place. No shame. I will write to you about life as a Jewish Witch and Catholic Witch as I am both and refuse to deny my heart either.

My parents are buried 6 hours south of where I live now. I grew up in Florida. Has this witch come home? I don’t know. But we will explore these questions of home and place and craft and spirit in the months ahead. I hope you will join me each week.

Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.

Astrology of April

The most important thing you need to know about this month is the R-word: RETROGRADE.

We have five planets that will spend a good chunk of the month in retrograde motion. This is rare.

The common wisdom for retrogrades is that we must slow down, take stock, and review our lives, review the “areas of life” where those planets are transiting our charts. It helps of course to know your own natal chart, but if you don’t know it, just keep those RE words in mind: revision, recalibrate, redo, renew. Revolution.

What does this mean for witches? It’s up to you how much astrology you want to learn or live by, but for me it’s a crucial – not just because it’s how I make my living, but because astrology shows us the landscape of our lives, inner and outer.

As witches during retrograde season, we may feel compelled to think about our daily, weekly, monthly practices and rituals and ask questions. What is my magic and why? Has my soul grown dusty? Has my altar? Do I need an altar? Why or why not.

I am a practical Witch. I prefer my spiritual life to be active and alive and tended to, not just a box I check off in my head. Crystal? Check. Candle? Check. Crow? Check check. April’s retrograde planets want us to ask ourselves what works and what doesn’t. Review it.

Craters on Mercury, photo by NASA via WikiMedia.
Craters on Mercury, photo by NASA via WikiMedia.

Two quick examples: Venus is retrograde until April 15th. Do you need or want more beauty or symmetry or art in your magic, in your ritual life? The astrological Venus represents all those things. Does it matter if your magic smells good? Are you a spare and spartan Witch who would benefit from working more with oil or smoke?

Mercury goes retrograde April 9th. Mercury “rules” mind. Are your thoughts and intentions clear? Are your emotions laser sharp or muddy waters? Do you want to spend more time crafting words for spells? Maybe, for you, no words are best. Perhaps it’s time to collect your magical thoughts in a book, like a jar catching full moon rain.

There’s more of course, but hopefully those two examples can get you started. Live with the times. April is for looking back. The lessons are lessons of the past. Assimilate, absorb and move on as each planet goes direct in the months ahead.


I want to dedicate this column to my tribe, which is a new word for me, my on-line family of friends and clients and those who have supported my work over the years since I was a new blogger. I also dedicate this column to the new readers and friends I will make through writing for Patheos. Thank you for the opportunity. I’m happy to be here.

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