Episode 126: A Year in Review 2022

Audio

Hello and welcome back. Come join me, Megan, and sit for a spell โ€˜round the cauldron as we talk about witchcraft, polytheism, and the intersection of magic and mundane.

In today’s episode, or video depending on where you’re consuming this particular episode, I’m gonna do a year in review. 2022 has been… 2022 has been a wild ride, I’d say. Much like the rest of the 2020s — 2020, 2021, 2022, even the end of 2019 was rough but I mean — oops, I hit the microphone. I always do that — but I like to do these sort of year in review things as a check-in between me and you watching or listening to this and just see what has changed, what things I did or did not predict in my yearly reading. I’m actually going to do that for you all in this particular episode. I’m not going to get too much into it because a lot of it’s really personal, but yeah.

So that’s what we’re gonna do today, and I want to start off, first of all, by thanking you for being here. I know my channel, my podcast, things have gone through a lot of changes over the last couple of years that I’ve been here on youtube. And sometimes I can never really pinpoint exactly what I want to do. I know I want to talk about witchcraft. I know I want to talk about polytheism. I also know I want to talk about real life, and I want to talk about homeschooling, and my snakes, and my other animals, and living here in florida. I actually have this on my outline — we’ll get to it later — but I am so tired of pandering to an algorithm… So we’ll talk about that later. First, thank you all for being here and sticking with me through 2022, 2021, the couple of breaks that I have taken. I know I went on a hiatus at least once this year, and honestly that massively helped my mental health, helped my work life balance, if there is such a thing. But thank you. Thank you for being here.

On to my yearly reading. If you don’t know, I have a yearly reading spread workbook style thing that is actually available for free on my website. If you want to do it for yourself, I’ll leave a link in the description and in the show notes. But I do that spread for myself every year, every new year. I also do a collective reading for Spells8 and those particular members over there. And I want to go through and talk about how my year went. And I think the main things that I’m going to cover are going to be like the goals, the obstacles, the theme, and I’m gonna like peruse my little reading. Honestly it’s front and back of just this little slip of paper that I have. But just looking at it really quick…

[uncomfortable laughter] 

So I did this reading December, late December of 2021 for the year of 2022. And the first things that I always do are goals, obstacles, and the theme of the year. And I even have written down here for goals I was really confused about this card. Goal of the year was the ten of swords. I wrote verbatim, “confused about how this card is a goal. Do I need to realize betrayals, points of exhaustion, or see that no matter how hard I try I can’t control everything? Card also points to a major disaster.” and let me tell you… Well I can’t tell you all of it because it’s personal life stuff but looking back on this now I am just…i need to pay more attention to the yearly readings that I do because honestly I did this, I put it into a bullet journal that I don’t even use anymore, the one — the plan with me for January or whatever — I don’t use that anymore. But I just stuck it in there and like forgot about it and I never really created the habit of reviewing it, which I should review it every month. That is going to be something that I’m going to do going forward. But yes, that is accurate, more so towards the end of this year than the beginning. But it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me. For obstacles I got the queen of wands and I wrote down, “so joy, determination, and passion are obstacles? Does this just mean that as long as I do things I’m passionate about, the goal of the year won’t happen?” honestly this one hits home too more so in the passion department and not necessarily like love passion, but passionate feelings and being passionate about certain situations and certain people. Definitely rings true for me as well. And then the theme of 2022 was the knight of swords and I wrote down, “charging forward with sheer blind ambition and determination without care of the difficulties or outcomes for myself or others.” ahh… That happened. Yeah I don’t really have much else to say about that.

So just based on those three things alone for the whole year of 2022 I can say that was fairly accurate. Yeah, yeah that’s…that’s been accurate. I’m not going to look at that anymore right now because I don’t know if I can handle it.

Things in my life have definitely been very…what’s the word I’m looking for? Not chaotic because it was sort of like a controlled chaos but it was unpredictable to a certain extent and it really weighed on me. It really weighed on me heavily. And I have been going to therapy. I started going back to therapy several months ago. I love my therapist. She’s great. It’s fantastic. We vibe really, really well together. I’m back on medication. You know, if you’ve been around here for any period of time you will know that I’ve been medicated, I have been not medicated, for like depression and anxiety. I even — I have so many videos I think on mental illness and mental health within witchcraft and spiritual spaces that I can’t even remember them all right now. Maybe I’ll gather them together and leave links for all of them in the description and in the show notes if I remember.

Overall if I try to look at the big picture of the year, 2022 has been very enlightening for me on a personal level and I just… I hope to carry the energy of that into 2023 but with less drama in my personal life, less… Yeah just less of that and more peace and calm.

It’s hard because I can’t really give specifics or I don’t want to give specifics because it’s very personal. I’m not the only person involved in this so you know, not a story to tell the internet. But just moving into 2023, I really want to take an energy of peace and calm instead of drama and chaos and just upending my life because things didn’t work the way that we had hoped and hoped for them to in this specific situation.

When it comes to my practice and witchcraft, I mean, my first priority after going back to therapy was definitely to work on myself and just sort of put a lot of spiritual stuff in the back seat. I was really, really focused on just keeping my proverbial car in a straight line than, you know, worrying about my witchcraft practice or my polytheistic practices. I am… I have been weighing and really trying to analyze my beliefs when it comes to polytheism and paganism and how I really approach the divine or different deities. I don’t think I have my ideas fully fleshed out yet so I don’t… I don’t want to speak too soon, but a lot of my deity work with brigid has kind of taken a back seat. A lot of that does have to do with the fact that I’ve been working on myself, trying to take care of a house, and going through all of the stuff that I’ve been dealing with at home. So it’s been kind of mellow on that end the last several months, just sort of doing small things when I can and not really worrying about oh my gosh, I missed a full moon or I wanted to do a new moon ritual or even like my coffee stuff that I like to do every morning.

A lot of my mornings have just been wake up and go, so I just wake up and make my coffee and just go. And it feels kind of… I don’t know, I feel almost guilty I guess for letting my craft sort of take the back burner and letting deity work take the back burner. But I have to do what is right… That’s not the word I’m looking for. I have to take care of myself and I have to take care of my family before witchcraft, before deity work — and I had conversations with Brigid and really was like hey, I can’t do this right now. I cannot. You’re here, that’s great. And you will always be here for me, if that’s what she chooses to do obviously. She is the first deity that I have really focused heavily on, and that is opening more doors for me as far as education, knowledge about Ireland and Scotland and all of the other places where Brigid is found, and has opened doors to more deities and more information, more cultural knowledge.

I had to put a pause on that and she was okay with it. She — her and I, we have had an interesting relationship because over the course of our relationship I have seen and like come face to face with how difficult it is for me to build habits and commit to something on a deeper level. And that is very much a part of my shadow and it’s something that I’m working on. It’s going to take time and Brigid is generally very patient. I’m really glad that I chose to work with Brigid over a potentially less patient deity at first.

One thing that I like to do in these yearly review things is go over like my best performing podcast and video and my worst performing podcasts and video. For podcast listeners, best and worse are in air-quotes because this metric is based solely on views when there are so many more analytics and statistics that go into what YouTube and Anchor, my podcast hosting platform, determines our good episodes. So I’m basing it solely on views. My best video of 2022 was my apple love spell, which I’m not surprised honestly because love spell is like a buzzword… Buzzword’s not the right phrase. Love spell is a commonly searched term on YouTube and the internet in general. So I’m really not surprised that it got as many views as it did and still continues to get views. However, I’m not sure if that is one I would consider my best performing because it brings in views but like that’s it. So that is my most viewed video of 2022.

And my most played podcast of 2022 so far is episode 116, connecting with the land. And I will be 100% honest with you — I don’t really remember a lot of what I said in that episode. It’s kind of a problem I have with my memory but, you know, I got to work with what I have. So my most played episode was the episode where I talked about connecting with the land, and I’m really, really not surprised at that at all because I feel like in a lot of spaces online in general, people are becoming more conscious of the environment, people are becoming more educated, and people are decolonizing their practices, and people are learning how to listen to the world around them and connect with the land that they live on. So I’m really happy that that particular episode is one of the most listened to episodes of mine of 2022.ย 

Now my quote-unquote worst performing video, which I’m not surprised about, is my video about depression invading my garden. And I think it has a lot to do with the title honestly but that’s okay. This video was really emotional for me to make because I was struggling. I struggled a lot and it really made me so terribly sad that my once thriving garden was invaded by my depression, by proxy of me I guess, because depression just sucks the life out of everything that you love. And working in my garden, working the land, me and my daughter and the rest of my family, that was something I enjoyed and depression stole that from me. But yeah, I’m not surprised that that is my quote-unquote worst performing video that I released in 2022.

And at the time of recording this episode, my quote- unquote worst performing episode of 2022 for the podcast is my most recent one for November, episode 125, about labels within witchcraft. I expect that because a lot of my listens to podcasts happen over a longer period of time since I only release new episodes once a month. It hasn’t even been a full month since that episode has been released at the time of recording this. So I’m not shocked. I think eventually it will pick up, but it’s also — it’s a topic that people either agree with or they don’t agree with. And so you know, you’re either gonna love it, you’re gonna hate it, or you’re gonna ignore it because you don’t care about the topic. So totally okay.

I don’t know, I really am excited to move into 2023 feeling much better, feeling energized and alive and just ready to build habits and create the future and the present that I want to have and that I deserve to have. There was so much stress over the last couple of years and it really, really wore me out. I was burnt out so many times — I mean, I’m probably still working through burnout. I’m slowly learning how to relax, okay? I have found a new love for a game called Phasmaphobia that I play with my daughter and we hunt ghosts and we try not to die and it’s just the best, honestly. I’ve thought about streaming it on twitch or here on YouTube just because it’s so fun and it’s so scary and I think it would be a lot of fun to play with other people like watching. But I don’t know if I would consider myself a gaming streamer [laughter] so I mean who knows? Who knows what I’m gonna do, especially considering that like as I move into 2023 with the things that I’m doing here online, since what I’m doing is a passion project and not something that I’m like looking to make a bunch of money from or to get famous or whatever, like why shouldn’t I stream Phasmaphobia on YouTube or upload videos of me playing Phasmaphobia on my own freaking channel? I mean, I know that I have built ’round the cauldron based around witchcraft and polytheism but I’m a real person and I don’t want to pander to the algorithm anymore. And I know some videos people are gonna love, some videos people will hate, some videos people won’t care about, and that was really apparent to me when I released my most recent video about the vlog — or not about the vlog but it was a vlog of a weekend where we went fishing and we saw dolphins and I worked in the garden or whatever. I had several hours worth of footage that I spent — like I worked on that video, editing that video, for days and I got it all down to about 28 minutes worth of video and it just like flopped.

And at first, like my first reaction is to be frustrated, and I’m just gonna be honest with you straight up. My first reaction is to be frustrated because you put so much time and so much of your energy into something that you care about, something that you love doing, and you put it out there and it just does nothing, right? But this is where I’m trying to reframe my mind and reframe my thought process around what I do on YouTube because that video was fun to make. That video — I had so much fun filming and just being more real and raw with everyone rather than like sitting here in my room recording with stuff in the background. I did my hair, although I’m proud of myself. I did not put any makeup on. I just didn’t want to. But I enjoyed making that video and that’s what I have to get back to is doing the things because I enjoy them. Like obviously I hope that everyone listening or everyone watching also enjoys them and that’s why everyone is here. I mean at the point of recording this video I have almost 7,000 subscribers. I’m almost there, but I’m so tired of an algorithm. I’m so tired of platforms picking and choosing who to promote based on metrics rather than showing people that are subscribed to my channel the fact that I have a new video.

You have to go into your subscriptions list and go through all of that to double check for videos because not everybody has their notifications turned on, which is totally fine. I don’t have notifications turned on either. Notifications bother me. And this is the same thing with all of the other platforms out there. Instagram is irritating. Facebook is irritating. Tiktok is irritating. I’m not on Twitter anymore. My account is still there but I’m not. It is so heavily based in an algorithm and I just want to see the stuff that the people that I follow post. That’s what I want to see. If I’m going to search for something then I don’t always want to see the top viewed or the most popular. I want to see like most recent because that’s how I like to look at things. And I think… I don’t know. In 2023 I think I’m just gonna say screw it to the algorithm and post what I want to post, talk about what I want to talk about, make videos about what I want to make videos about, and it’s gonna be difficult. It’s gonna be hard for me personally to separate… I don’t know what I’m trying to say.

I can’t get stuck in looking at the numbers because the numbers don’t matter. The connection that I have with people in my audience is what matters to me. There are some of you who will go through and watch like many videos all at once and leave a comment on every single video and I know your names, or your usernames at least, and I look forward to any type of interaction and comment that people leave. I mean, that’s part of why I am here. You know, it’s not just like let’s make a bunch of videos and earn a bunch of money and talk about really niche things that not everybody cares about. So it’s, I don’t know, it’s the community for me. It’s all of you that are watching and listening and that send me messages and send me emails and leave me comments. I know I don’t get back to every single one of you. Honestly sometimes when I have so many comments to reply to it makes me very socially anxious and I like lock up and freeze.

So I guess since I’m talking about goals for 2023 I can continue talking about the rest of them. Along the same lines of not pandering to an algorithm, I’m really, really, really going to try to spend less time on social media, less time scrolling through social media, less time posting on social media. I want to spend more time reading. I want to spend more time crocheting. I want to play games. I want to live life, and social media is such a time suck. And part of social media is how I stay connected to the people that I care about that don’t live in my area. Part of social media is for my content, my videos, my blog, my podcast, all of that stuff. But I don’t know if it really matters. Does it really matter? That’s a hypothetical question, I guess, because the answer is going to depend and that’s a question that I’m gonna have to answer myself. Does it matter to me when I post on social media? What I post on social media? How often I post? What I share? Does it really matter? And I think for me right now the answer is no, it doesn’t matter at all.

I have connections and I have met some amazing people through social media, I am not going to lie about that. Social media can be such a wonderful way to build community and connections, but it’s so draining for me. I can tell personally when I spend too much time on social media in a day. It really affects the way I feel for the rest of the entire day. I don’t like feeling that way so I’m going to spend less time on social media, both posting and interacting, posting and scrolling through whatever it is that I’m looking at. I think that’ll be better for me.

When it comes to the channel and the podcast, like I said, I’m not really… I don’t care about the algorithm anymore. If you want to make sure that you see my videos on YouTube, turn your notifications on. You’ll get notified every time I post a new video. If it’s not really that important to you then that’s fine too. I mean, got to do what you got to do. I’m gonna post more things that I love. More things that I enjoy doing because I get stuck in the cycle of every single thing has to be about witchcraft, which is what I built my channel and my podcast around, but I want to get more real, more real life, more personal and open — as much as I’m willing to be. So that’s why I’m going with that.ย 

I want to — I have an experiment. Not really an experiment, but since I put my practice on the back burner, since my practice went in the back seat as I tried to keep myself afloat, I’m gonna be doing something to sort of reconnect myself to the foundations of my practice and I want to bring everyone that wants to watch along with me. And I want to make it sort of a full year long thing through 2023. And I haven’t decided if I want to potentially choosing land, sea, and sky, the different planes of existence instead of the western four elements in magical systems — some magical systems. I’m going to create sort of an experiment over the next year where I delve into the different planes of existence and to land, sea, and sky, especially with the liminality stuff that came up for me all of last year.

Because when thinking about it, the points where land, sea, and sky meet is a point of liminality. It is a point of being in between. Walking out onto the beach, putting your toes in the sand and in the water, you are literally in the middle of all three planes of existence and that’s something that I want to explore more within my own practice, that and finding a rhythm, creating my audiobook of guided meditations. That is coming hopefully by Samhain of 2023, if not sooner, we’ll see. That is a really long process and something that I have to find time, find the extra time, to work on because that takes… That takes a minute.

So again, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for 2022, and to everyone who has been here with me from the very beginning, from the very first episode of ’round the cauldron podcast back when I was wiccan and my audio quality was questionable, thank you to all of my new listeners, all of my sometimes listeners who only listen to the episodes that interest them. You know, I am thankful for all of you and everyone that chooses to be here with me through the ups and the downs and life and just the way things go sometimes.

If you would like to join me in my membership program and become a cauldron collector you can. I will leave the information for that in the description and in the show notes. You get extra perks for helping to support the show and the things that I do here. Any money that I make through my membership program goes to pay for hosting fees and equipment upgrades and different things like that. Totally optional. I only have a couple of things that are members only. I have a member’s only forum, and I have some member’s only content of like guided meditations and different spells and stuff that I transferred over from Patreon. Members also, as long as you’re signed into your account on my website, you get ad-free browsing so that’s a plus, because I do have ads on my website. That also helps me pay for hosting the website because that’s expensive.

But yeah, if you want to be a member, cool. If you don’t, that’s okay too. I appreciate the support in any way that you can give it either monetarily through becoming a member, liking, commenting, sharing, all of that fun stuff, engaging with me on YouTube and any other social platforms that you might be on. I just — I’m so, so thankful for every single one of you that listens and watches my videos or my podcasts.

What else? I have a discord server. If you would like to join a community of like-minded and laid back people, you can do that. In the description below or in the show notes there’s a link to discord. Discord is free to download, free to create an account. And if you’re not familiar with discord it’s like an old school chat room with different rooms for different subjects. So again, all of the links for everything that I have mentioned in this episode are going to be in the show notes, in the description, and we are going to end this video, this podcast episode, the same way that I try to end all of them — with a bit of divination.

So I have with me my spirits and shadows oracle deck. Since my camera died I don’t want to redo — I don’t want to redo the reading because I feel like that would be inauthentic. So I had shuffled before and I pulled meditation, and I’m really bummed that my camera had stopped recording. I don’t know what happened. But anyway, I pulled meditation as a card to focus on for the year of 2023. For everyone who is maybe hesitant going into the new year or for anyone that has a message that needs to be heard: meditation, peace, calmness, finding yourself through the struggles, and making time to be still. Making time to be mindful of your surroundings and live in the present moment, not really worry so much about what’s happened in the past or five, 10, 20 years from now. Live in the moment. Live in mindfulness. And with that, I hope you go into 2023 with so much love, so much peace, and find your joy. And I’ll talk to you next time. Bye! 

[music]

It’s the last day of 2022 and holy crap I am ready for it. It’s been chaos and unpredictability in both my personal life as well as my practice, and I’m glad to be starting over fresh with many things come 2023. Things have changed in my life and I’m getting back to why I started making content in the first place — for something I enjoy doing! 

I hope you have a wonderful New Year celebration and a joyous start to your 2023. I know I will!

If you’d prefer a transcript, you can find this and past transcripts here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ATnoPoTD51xY6A46ay0F5moVxki-1X28?usp=sharing

Mental Health Videos

* Are you a Spoonie Witch? https://youtu.be/2BFtTklhUKw
* Witchcraft, Paganism, and Mental Health || You asked, I answered! — Q&A https://youtu.be/pPYp-Lc1ih4
* Trusting your Gut || Mental Health Traps in Spirituality https://youtube.com/live/t7sgevadQek
* Being Safe || Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Safety https://youtu.be/27mx2IgDBxY

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