Solitary: A Self-Directed Spiritual Life

Let's talk. Come sit with me under a tree or by a lake while we chat about being alone in our practice and our beliefs. Solitary practitioners choose this path for many reasons and have a unique perspective. As a solitary witch, I want to share how I keep true to my beliefs and practices whether I'm working on my own, in a small group or attending a large group gathering. Author of Moon Affirmations, meditations based on the phase of the moon.

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Eileen Troemel

Eileen Troemel

As a solitary, I consider myself a pagan witch who is seeking. Residing in rural Wisconsin, by day I work as a clerical worker and at night I spend my spare time writing. Writing is my way of expressing my feelings about my world and life. Raised on a farm, I have a love for nature and am inspired by the beauty and power I find there. I've been married for 33 years and have three adult daughters. Some of my other interests include cooking, genealogy, reading and crocheting.  

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Not Pagan Enough

After exchanging a number of emails with an editor (not going to say the company), the woman stopped responding.  She said she was going to contact me after a certain date and didn't.  Now this was for paid work so I was hoping to be able to write for them.  It's always iffy when you nudge people via email - especially publishers because it is almost always we will let you know.  Gently I nudged.  The response I got was you aren't pagan enough for our readers.  

My first reaction was to be offended.  I'm Pagan enough for me.  I live my life according to my beliefs, doesn't that make me Pagan enough?  I've written for them in the past some well researched writing.  Now when you're talking writing.  No is a perfectly acceptable answer.  I've heard it often.  If I printed all my rejection letters, I could probably wall paper my whole house with them.  I expect rejection.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    "Not pagan enough"? What does that even mean? I hope you can find another publishing company.
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Because I'm trying to build my income from writing, I was looking for a paying market. There aren't a lot out there. I'll keep w
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    What is meant by "Pagan Enough?" I am a Roman Polytheist, so I guess I would be outside the Neo-pagan community. But I never under
  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    I would say a Roman Polytheist is about as Pagan as someone can possibly be!
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Thank you for the support. It's nice to know there are those out there who are supportive regardless of whatever level I am Pagan

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spring Rituals

Spring rituals mean for me that it's time to get outside and in the fields.  I've not lived on my family farm for nearly forty years but every spring when the snow melts away but we still have the ice in the breeze, I want to be on the land.

This year, I was driving to work and saw the farmers out with their huge tractors discing (not as invasive as a plow) the soil.  The gray which I relate to winter was replaced with the rich dark coffee color which means it's time to start planting.  There's a smell in the air which I have never been able to describe but it is spring.  

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Spring Moons and Old Wives Tales

Spring Equinox is a time of balance between day and night. In spring Mother Nature is awakening, starting fresh with new growth and new beginnings.  New beginnings mean change and often this means a bit of chaos.  March has always been a tumultuous month for weather being described as coming in like a lion (windy and rough weather) or a lamb (calm weather).  The saying is – in like a lion, out like a lamb – or vice versa.  Perhaps this old wives tale is an indicator of how early societies predicted how nature would behave during a critical season for their well being.  With the ever changing, often erratic weather, one thing which could be counted on to remain constant was the moon.  As usual she cycles through her phases without fail each month.  Offering comfort in her constancy, early societies would naturally name the moons for each month.  Early cultures living off the land would have chosen names closely related to their daily lives.

The March full moon has been called many things including awakening[i], fish[ii], windy[iii], sap[iv], crow[v], worm[vi], crust[vii], and sugar[viii].  All of these names can relate to how people saw their natural world.  March is a time when the ground starts to thaw thus removing the crust for the soil so worms were becoming more active.  Sap in sugar maple trees begins to flow and can be processed to create sugar so it would be a natural name for the March full moon.  Ice is often starting to break up and fish are starting to be more easily accessible.  The natural world is awakening to the new beginnings of the spring season.  Therefore early civilizations named the moon based on the experiences they had with nature and tied it in with what we now call old wives tales.

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  • Ganchgaers
    Ganchgaers says #
    Wonderful season is spring. I like more that. March month is very tumultuous and given wonderful weather. Some of critical season

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Where Does Religion Start?

Where and how does religion start?  With my mother's recent illness, I've been thinking about this a lot.  My mom is straight up Christian, go to church every Sunday, go to bible study, be a member of a circle.  She's involved.  Being part of her church gives her great joy and peace.  When she was going in for a surgery years ago, the minister from her church showed up and prayed with her.  I saw a change come over my mother, a peace and an acceptance.  It was beautiful.  However, I've only ever hated going to church, listening to ministers and all of it.  It all felt off to me.

My father, who passed 33 years ago, never went to church except for weddings and funerals.  He always told me god wasn't in a building.  Now being a farmer, he was close to the land and had a connection to the land.  Growing up, there was nothing better than outside chores.  I hated housework and loved being in the fields or with the animals.  I would rather clean the barn than the house.  Spending an hour cleaning the milk house was better than ten minutes of doing dishes.  The only time outside chores wasn't better was in the depth of winter when it was below zero. 

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Bring on the Light

We've passed the solstice so each day a little more light comes into our lives.  This sounds like everything should be lovely.  The light has returned.  In the north, we still have months to slog through frigid, snowy weather.  Weather which goes a long way in keeping us inside.  In essence, we are hibernating in our own way.  

It may be the light part of the year but the light is in its infancy.  It builds a little every day like we learn a little each day as a child.  It will be baby steps until Midsummer.  Each day will bring a little more enlightenment into our lives.

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Letting Go

Winter is upon us – in the northern hemisphere.  Harvest is done (hopefully). Nature is shutting down to rest and rejuvenate.  It’s a time when I look within to see what needs to go, what I need to let go.

This year is difficult for me as my mother is experiencing some health issues.  Now I’m the youngest of six and we all have strong opinions.  We don’t ever agree – or rarely.  But then there’s mom.  Mom is 86.  She’s feisty, sassy, stubborn, and frail in some ways (though don’t call her that or you’ll get an earful).  

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  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Thank you. Mom is in a nursing home in the city most of my family lives. We are each taking a little time to go visit her (at le
  • Angela
    Angela says #
    I want you to know that I understand with all my heart and soul what you are going through. Last year, at this time, my sister an

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honoring the Dead

Silly costumes, trick or treating, horror stories have never been my thing.  Even as a kid, I never really liked Halloween the way it’s celebrated.  My father died in late October in 1984.  The grief from his loss lingers and always makes me a bit sad during this time of year.  Instead of celebrating with the silliness of trying to frighten yourselves, I find ways to honor the dead. 

The veil between worlds thins and allows a connection to bridge across the worlds.  For me this bridge is always there.  No I don’t see dead people.  I’m not claiming to be psychic.  I do attempt to honor those who have passed.

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