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Not only do Solitary Pagans have to deal with a different assortment of challenges than other Pagans, we also have to take different approaches to Community and Unity. Understanding who we are as Solitaries is critical if we are to be equal partners in the Greater Pagan Community.

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A Pagan Celebration of St. Patrick's Day

Seven or eight years ago, I shocked a large group of my Pagan friends.  I was at a small festival in Oklahoma that happened to take place during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  I was vending and teaching at this festival (as well as performing my first song) and knew most of the attendees very well.  As we were cleaning the dining hall after dinner, I invited everyone down to my vendor table to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a drink of Irish whiskey.  The look of horror on some of their faces was priceless.

Immediately there were old friends standing in disbelief.  How could a good Pagan celebrate St. Patrick driving the “snakes” (i.e. “Druids”) out of Ireland?  Why would a Pagan celebrate a day to honor a Christian Saint?  I assured everyone that I had not turned my back on my heritage and that I had created a simple Pagan ritual to appropriately celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 

Reluctantly, a small group of folk gathered at my table as I poured half a dozen shots of whiskey (“the water of life”) and handed one to each of them.  With looks of trepidation and concern, they raised their glasses as I raised mine and offered my incantation:

“Saint Patrick…UP YOURS!”

Everyone drank and the roar of laughter was heard throughout the camp.  This year, I hope that you and yours will join me in my tradition and have a rousing round of toasts.

It is true that this had absolutely nothing to do with Solitary Pagans or Circles of One, per se, but I hate seeing sad Pagans on a day of celebration!!!

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Carl Neal has walked a Pagan path for 30 years. He is a self-avowed incense fanatic and has published 2 books through Llewellyn Worldwide on the topic. For many years (and even occasionally these days) he was a vendor of altar tools and supplies which led him to write The Magick Toolbox for Red Wheel/Weiser. Carl has been a dedicated “Solitary By Choice” for more than 20 years but remains an advocate of Pagan Unity. He has been deeply involved in Pagan Community building for a considerable amount of his time on this path and remains dedicated to this ideal today. In addition to writing books, blogs, and articles, Carl teaches workshops on a variety of topics up and down the Pacific Coast and is the producer of the “Magick Moment” Public Access television series in Oregon (also available streaming on You Tube). He hopes to empower his fellow Solitary Pagans to live the fullest magickal lives they can.


  • James Taylor
    James Taylor Monday, 17 March 2014

    I literally laughed out loud at this. Thanks Carl, great post.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Tuesday, 18 March 2014

    Wonderful. I'll remember it and use it perhaps next year.

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