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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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Fall Reflections

Samhain or Halloween, the year is waning. The sun is out less and less (in the northern hemisphere).  The weather is more unpredictable (depending on where you are).  The dark of the year is coming. 

What does this mean?  What are we meant to do with the dark of the year?  It’s a time to harvest all the things you’ve been doing for the spring and summer.  It’s a time of year when you start to pull your energy into yourself to reflect on how you’ve been doing, where you are with your goals, and life in general.

 

For me, autumn is my favorite time of year.  There’s a bit of a bite in the breeze.  The oppressive heat of summer is over.  It’s busy.  It’s a busy time of year with lots of harvesting.  Part of this comes from my childhood where I worked in the fields to help bring in crops both for the farm and for the household in the gardens. 

 

The kitchen always smelled of cooking tomatoes, corn, and a lot of other vegetables and food.  Batch after batch was processed in our kitchen with all of us working together to harvest the food, clean, prep, and can or freeze it.  The smells permeated the whole house.  Apples, bought by the bushels, were peeled, cored, sliced so throughout the winter we could have pie or they were cooked down to make applesauce.  Pumpkins baked to harvest the scrumptious fruit for pies.  The smells were intense and wonderful.

 

We worked hard, up before the light and often not in bed until well after sunset.  Yet it was a good time, a healthy time.  Too tired to do more than fall into bed.  Now I miss the comradery of the shared work.  I miss the home cooking and canning.

 

Instead of looking at the harvest of the land, I look at the harvest of my own skills.  What have I accomplished this year?  For me, it’s the number of books I’ve published, the amount of crocheting I’ve done, and the time spent with my family. 

 

I’m not big on setting goals.  I feel I need more flexibility.  I’ve tried writing my goals out.  I either forget them, never look at them again, or I don’t finish them, which is depressing.  Instead at this time of year, I focus on two things – honoring those who have gone before me and reflecting on what I have managed to do. 

 

If I start listing all the crocheting I’ve gotten done – it is ridiculous.  In my head (and now on my phone) I have a list of projects I want to get done.  There’s always more.  As I think about this, I know this is my need to give and please others with my work battling with my creative side wanting to produce different things. 

 

If I look at my writing, I’m writing all the time.  Some of my work just blows my mind.  Some of it makes me wonder where it came from.  Some of it is trash.  I always feel like I can do better and more.  As I ponder why – because it’s the time of year for me to ponder such things – I don’t know if it’s because I’m the youngest in my family and still striving to gain my parents (or maybe my own) approval.  It could be because my father instilled in me a need to work hard, try harder, and keep improving – damn those work ethics.  It makes me wonder – if I stopped being critical of my own work, would it stop being as good as I think it is (or as others tell me it is)?  I don’t know.

 

When I look at these two aspects of myself, I consider - Do I need to change these things?  Are they benefiting me or harming me?

 

My father passed away 31 years ago this month.  I know he loved me and was proud of me but for some reason he’s my measuring stick.  Would dad like who I am now?  Would he be proud of me?  I miss him and at this time of the year, I miss him more.  I’d give almost anything to hear him say he loved me and was proud of me.  I know I won’t, he’s gone.  However, I can honor his memory.

 

My dad was a rock hound.  Wherever he went, he would usually come home with a rock (more likely several of them).  I don’t know if it’s his early influence or hereditary or what but I too love rocks.  The finished and polished ones are beautiful but I find more depth and messages in the untouched rocks. 

 

On my desk I have a calcite point – it’s white (ish) on one end and the orange / yellow at the point.  Inside there is a bright spot – looks like a light shining from within the stone.  Calcite is for protecting, grounding and centering.  It also helps in healing.  The part which shines out reminds me to find my own light, find my own center and not let others push me out of balance. 

 

The rock and the message make me think of my dad.  He’s not here but he is.  He’s in my heart and he’s here in spirit.  So while I reflect and consider during the fall all the questions, I know he’s looking over me, helping me, and I honor him. 

 

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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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