Knowing this, I am often surprised at the number of Solitaries who practice only silent rituals and spells. While even silent rituals often use words, they are thoughts and not spoken aloud. There was a time that I also performed rituals in virtual silence, perhaps only speaking to cast my circle. Sometimes not even then. One day while explaining the power of words to someone, it struck me how wasteful most of my silent rituals were. Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for silence within rituals and also a place for completely silent rituals. I was just surprised at all of the opportunities I had squandered with my silence. Since I was alone, as is the accepted norm in American culture, I tended not to speak aloud. After all, nobody else was there to hear the words, right?
But there was more help given to me than that and I want to try and thank as many people as I can from the Pagan Community. In less than 1 day after my accident I was able to get online and, very slowly, type a message with one hand. I sent out that email letting folks know what happened and asking for any spare energy to help me with the extraordinary pain as well as energy to heal. The response was overwhelming and nearly immediate. Within an hour of sending that message, I began to feel the energy pouring in. I know that there were groups or covens who sent me energy and that was an immense kindness that truly made a difference. Even more surprising was the energy that continued to come to me for weeks, much of it being sent by Solitary Pagans who had never met (or even heard of) me and who lived hundreds or even thousands of miles away. That Community of Solitaries, without any coordination whatsoever, continued this outpouring of love and energy for months.
The beauty of nature can be found in the most unusual places and teach us the most unexpected lessons. A few days ago I was returning to work from a lunch (half) hour spent going through the neighborhood thrift store. I pulled into traffic and then had to wait at a long light. While sitting there, I looked up and saw an amazing and unexpected sight.
My significant other considers Mother’s Day (along with Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) to be a holiday created purely for commercial reasons. As a result, she will not celebrate any of those ‘holidays’. I brought a different view of Mother’s Day when we got together. She and I are both Pagans and when I explained this alternate approach to Mother’s Day she wholeheartedly embraced it. I have to thank my friend Amy in Oklahoma for teaching me this Mother’s Day tradition that she and her son have followed for many years. I think her clever reinterpretation of this holiday is perfect for most Pagans.
I admit that I’m a fairly thick-skinned Pagan and don’t take offense when someone uses the word “Witch” in place of a naughty word they can’t say on television. I don’t get upset when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas” (and I almost always spare them my lecture about how saying that is actually casting a spell). The other day I used the phrase “come to Jesus meeting” and later I was thinking about it. Should I have been averse to using this phrase? Am I an insensitive Pagan?
Pagan activities with a group of people can draw strange looks and even the occasional nutter who wants to “save” everyone. I have discovered that, sometimes, practicing your spirituality alone can lead others to think you are actually insane. I suppose I should add this to the list of differences between Traditional Pagans and Solitaries. It isn’t that we are crazier than Traditional Pagans (at least I don’t think so), it’s just that Solitaries seem to be more suspect than groups.
Perhaps when someone sees a group of people doing something out of the ordinary it is viewed as strange but nothing more than “a bunch of wackos”? Perhaps when the same behavior is practiced by an individual it crosses the line into “crazy”? Let me give an example.