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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Page 35 [Beltane] “is a celebration on the union of soil, water, sun and seed.  It is about fertilizing the fields.” Sisters of the Dark Moon by Gail Wood

Growing up on a farm, May was about picking rocks, working long long hours, and falling into bed exhausted.  You would think no longer being on a farm, this time would not be missed but I do miss it.  We would walk the land, barefoot, picking up rocks and being who we are picking out the best to bring home rather than just dumping them in the rock piles.  It was all about the land and preparing for the next crop.  There was a sense of urgency and hope.  We needed the crops to feed our animals.  Our animals kept us in milk, beef, and pork.  There was also our own garden which had be put in, tended, and nurtured as the summer came on.  

No longer on the farm, I miss the connection, the urgency, and the hope.  Most days it is the same as always.  Having mobility issues, I can no longer have a garden and tend it.  My connection to the earth is no longer available in this traditional sense.  

I look for a spiritual connection which brings me back to those moments of walking barefoot through a field.  I apply this connection to myself and my goals.  I think the seed Wood talks about is my goal or idea.  The elements are what I use to make the goal happen.  The fertilizer is my motivation to keep moving forward.  

Beltane, for me, is a time when I celebrate these goals and how I'm implementing them and changing my life to fit the goals.  It is a celebration of my progress towards the goals.  This is the meaning I seek during this sabbat, it is the meaning and understanding that helps me feel connected to the earth, to the urgency I felt growing up and I think my ancestors would have felt.  It helps me be connected not to the act of celebrating but to the act of growing and changing to meet the goals I've set for myself.

Obviously, I'm not a very social person.  The advantage of being a solitary practitioner is I can choose what to celebrate and how.  Setting hard goals is a hard thing for me.  I rarely set New Year's goals.  However, as I'm getting older, there are a few things I keep coming back to - connection to the land and nature is key for me.  

It is difficult for me to even walk out into my own backyard.  There are steps down into the yard - only two - and they make it hard for me to put feet on land.  Yet, when I do manage to make it into my backyard with my barefeet, I find a peace, a calm, which nothing else replaces.  Sitting in the yard, listening to the birds chatter, watching the squirrels scurry around racing up and down trees, seeing bunnies nibbling on the grasses.  All of this soothes me in a way nothing else can.  It fills up my energy, helps me center my energy and refocus my thoughts.  The non-quiet of nature - because really with all those birds, squirrels, and other critters and the wind in the trees it isn't really quiet - helps me find myself again.  This is what spring / Beltane is for me.

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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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