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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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.


By the time I was 18, I’d lost my grandparents, a couple of cousins, an aunt, an uncle.  Death seemed to walk with me. 


One of the ways I honor those who have passed is to remember them, to keep them in mind.  I use my grandmother’s doilies in my altars and to decorate around my house.  I have pillow cases and pictures done by another grandmother.  My father’s love of rock and stones infected me early and has been passed down to my daughters. 


Another way to remember them is to learn about them.  I’m the family historian.  I do the research, compile the information and store all the family genealogy.  I’ve gotten through a small portion of what one of my grandmother’s collected.  I dig up information and add it to my software program, scan documents and pictures.  All in the name of remembering who my people are and where I come from.


To start your own project of getting your family history here are a few steps:



  1. Write down everything you know about your family.  Start with data like names, birth dates, marriage and divorce dates, death dates.  Other facts which may be interesting education, health, hobbies, and anything unique.  One of my great great (a number of times) grandfather won an ugly baby contest.  Is this relevant?  No but it is sort of interesting.
  2. Talk to your relatives.  Anyone in your family ask them to help you out.  Be respectful and not pushy.  My uncle got offended because I asked for girls he dated before he married my aunt.  It was a passing question but he took offense to it. 
  3. Go to local government to look for things like birth, death, marriage certificate and land owner documentation.  If you aren’t local to where your family is, you may need to plan a trip.
  4. Go to the cemeteries.  Cemeteries have a wealth of information.  Here is one online source which may help out.  Make a point of talking to the caretaker.  They keep records which may help.
  5. Go to the churches.  Churches will have baptismal and marriage information. 
  6. Document, document, document.  If you go to a cemetery, make note of it when you add in the information.  
  7. Online.  Ancestry is the biggest but can be costly.  There are others but be careful.  You might end up with inaccurate information. 








I use the Family Tree program but there are others out there you can use.  There are a bunch of programs out there.  Here’s a link to an article about the top 5 programs


Knowing where I come from, who is in my history, give me a sense of self.  Knowing the stories of my ancestors helps me be strong when things aren’t going well.  I think of my great grandmother who left home at 16 to travel to a new country to marry a man she never met.  Fortunately, she married my great grandfather instead.  She was petite but strong, feisty, and determined.  The connections to my ancestors forms a link, a bond of sorts, with them and becomes part of my foundation.


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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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