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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In the Beginning....

All my life I went to church for others.  My mother made me go when I was a child.  I would sit in the church and argue with the minister in my head.  I’d ask questions the Sunday school teacher didn’t want to answer.  When my mother finally stopped making me go, I stopped until my children came along.  My oldest daughter loved to sing, loved music.  When my mother took her to church she fell in love with the children’s choir.  For my daughters, I went back to church.  I sat in the pews arguing with the minister in my head being more and more annoyed.  However, my kids wanted to be part of the choir and the pageant, so I went.  I volunteered to work in the kitchen for the youth group’s Wednesday night program because my kids wanted to be in the group.  One day when the youth minister asked if my husband and I were members, I said no.  He asked if we’d like to join and I laughed.  It was a good conversation when I explained to him I considered myself agnostic (at the time). 

When my kids stopped wanting to be in the church choir, the church group, I stopped going with great relief.  After they stopped, I did nothing when it came to spiritual or religious beliefs.  I didn’t believe the way my mother believed.  I didn’t experience faith in the same way she did.  I decided religion wasn’t for me. 

Until my sister said a small spell as she worked in her garden and explained she was a pagan.  I listened and we shared books.  We shared similar beliefs though not exactly alike.  I started reading books I had never even heard of.  One of these books – A Witch Alone by Marion Green – talked about religious experiences and how two people can be standing next to each other, experience the same event but interpret it in a completely different way. 

She talked at length about how she or anyone else can explain the experiences they have but that doesn’t bring other people into their experiences.  This struck home for me.  Even as I listened to ministers talk about how a certain bible verse meant something I would argue in my head about how it could be interpreted in a different way. 

Even as a witch, I can explain the feelings and experiences I had while I initiated myself and during different rituals but even if they resonate with you, you cannot experience it like I did because we are separate people. 

This revelation lead to my choice to walk my path alone.  I love my sister and we share a lot of the same beliefs but she practices her beliefs differently than I do.  She isn’t wrong because she is following her path.  I practice my beliefs my way.  I’m not wrong because I’m following my path.  Sometimes the paths cross and mix and other times they do not. 

It is the same with other religions.  I’ve read bible verses which give me goose bumps and move me.  I’ve read other religions’ texts and been moved by their teachings.  I see similarities amongst the religions yet I don’t see my path in any of them. 

I see my path my way.  I can hear the critics saying that without proper guidance, I’ll stray from the good and just road (or whatever nonsense they use to try to scare me to their beliefs).  The thing is, I’ve always had a good sense of who I am (all the good and bad that entails) and what is right and wrong.  I look within myself to make that determination.  I look within myself to find balance and guidance.  I find it there in the form of my guides – my dragons, my dolphin, my panther.  In the voice that offers up guidance and smacks me hard when I don’t listen.  Call it intuition, divine or not.  My inner voice has never been wrong.  It’s just when I fail to listen to it that I get in trouble. 

Here is a list of books which have helped me along the way.  This is by no means a complete and full compilation of books, it is just the ones I remember off the top of my head.

Life Magic by Susan Bowes

Notions and Potions by Susan Bowes

A Witch Alone by Marion Green

The Wiccan Handbook by Susan Bowes

Paganism by River Higgenbotham and Joyce Higgenbotham

How to be a Wicked Witch by Patricia Telesco (in fact any of her books I’ve found to be useful)

 

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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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