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 is my favorite season.  The cooler weather (not that we've had much of that yet) is a relief after the stifling heat of summer.  The colors, the sense of the season all appeal to me.  This fall I've been so busy writing and editing, I've not had any time for much else.  

My harvest is my writing.  I'm focusing on getting the stories in my head down on paper so I can share them.  It's not tomatoes or corn or pumpkins.  I stopped gardening years ago when my legs stopped working well.  But it's still a harvest for me.  

Fall is about completing projects, taking in what you've worked on all year and putting it to good use.  In the food, it may be canning, freezing, or drying to be used later.  For my writing, I hope the good use is getting my stories out to the readers.  

Fall is a time to finish things, to complete projects, so over the winter you can consider what your next crop will be.  In the old days, harvest had a frenetic feel to it because there was the feeling of will we have enough to last until we can grow more food.  It was about survival and feeding the community.  

In general, survival is not a concern in the winter.  Instead we can look at what we are finishing, what projects in our houses, our lives, our homes need to be finished.  Then moving forward from harvest to winter, it's about reflecting.  

In the old days, farmers would look at what crops did well, what crops failed, and consider what they needed to change.  Winter was a time of rest and planning (unless you had animals then you were busy with them).  Modern times we are busy with life.  We may be shopping for presents or going to school or a myriad of other things.  We still need the reflection.  For me, sitting in front of the fire with a good book to read or just staring at the fire helps me go within, consider where I'm at, what I need to do, what I need to release.  In my writing realm, I look at do I write this sequel, is there a new story, what marketing should I do, continue with or discontinue.  

From now until the end of the calendar year, I'll be working on production of books, finishing editing on several manuscripts, getting book covers together and publishing.  The goal is to share my harvest.  

Writing for me is like breathing - essential.  What's essential for you?  With the last harvest, what are you taking in, shedding as chaff, and storing for further use?  

Lives are busy, crazy insanely busy.  There's work, family, pets, organizations, volunteering, and whatever else is in your life.  They say it's the lazy days of summer but are there any lazy days anymore?  There should be.  

Reflecting on the year and taking time for self is key to keeping balanced.  Recently I woke up grumpy.  I was unhappy with everything, everyone, including myself.  I needed to escape.  I needed to not be in my house, around the people I live with, or anyone really.  It wasn't that they did anything.  It wasn't that my house was in shambles (though it was with all the house projects).  It was I needed space.

Having limited mobility, I miss things I used to do.  I used to hike, spend time outside.  There's this local park with hiking trails, a lake, a creek, and trees, trees, trees.  I love this little park.  I can't get out and enjoy it anymore so I hadn't visited it in a few years.  It saddens me.  

The day I woke up hating everything.  I gathered up what I'll call essentials - my journal, a couple of manuscripts to edit and stuff to write with and on (not journal related but idea related).  I really had no idea where I was going but I found myself driving the country back roads.  In my head the whole time I was grumbling, complaining about everything.  I was in a MOOD!

I pulled into the little park.  There's a lovely parking lot.  There were people there which annoyed me (but everything was annoying me).  I opened my windows, turned off my car, and stared at the green grass, the tall trees, and the lake.  I listened to the laughter of the creek.  People wandered and I ignored them as best I could.  

I wrote in my journal - got out all the grumpiness.  I wrote the opening scene for a book.  I edited a manuscript.  The technology goddess must have known I needed quiet and peace because people tried to call me and couldn't get through.  

I spent two hours sitting in the parking lot.  At one point I kept seeing movement out of the corner of my eye.  I'd look over and no one was there.  Then I realized, I was sitting under a huge tree and it was one of the branches moving in the breeze.  

Leaving the park (very reluctantly), I felt human again.  Taking the time to soak up some of nature (even from my car), allowed me to come back to a more balanced place.  The reflection I wrote, the time I took helped me remember I don't hate everything but sometimes I need a break to take care of myself.  This is my fall reflection, part of my fall harvest.  

I can't hike.  It's difficult for me to walk across grass.  But I can still sit in a parking lot and soak up the joy of being connected to nature and the peace and calm I find there. 

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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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