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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Lighting the Way

My daughter and I love watching BBC / PBS shows.  Victoria is the most recent one we are watching.  As I watched how people lived in the 1800s, I considered what it would be like to only have my life lighted by candles and sunlight.  It would certainly make the dark part of the year different.

By 4:00 or so at night, flickering candlelight would be my only illumination.  This reduces my scope of environment drastically.  Right now, if it’s dark I flip a switch and illumination of my surroundings occurs.  But what if I only had dripping smelly candles to light my way?  What would it feel like to be surrounded by darkness?  Would fear well?  Would loneliness envelop? 


There’s a tendency to romanticize the “good old days” but there were certainly drawbacks.  I love the idea of sitting in a darkened room lit only by candles and the light of a warm fire roaring in the hearth.  Yet I’m not sure I could handle it all the time.  Now if I’m alone or afraid or feeling down, a switch brightens my environment and my mind.  A text or a call can bring friends and family close.


Candlemas or Imbolc or Brigid’s Day (whichever belief is followed) is drawing near.  This part of the year is about reigniting your inspiration.  It’s about coming out of the dark, lighting your way out of the inner dialog, inner contemplation of winter and Yule. 


I spent a bit of time being in the dark these last few weeks.  It helps me recharge my batteries after the stress of the holidays.  Meditation, music, calm all help me ground myself, reconsider the path I’m taking and the tasks at hand or those coming up. 


There have been some negatives in my life between autumnal equinox and Samhain.  It made me question some of the things I was doing, some of my long held dreams.  Yet on the eve of Yule, I meditated and took time to find my center. 


The darkness of the season isn’t meant to trap us inside but is meant for us to take a moment or a hundred to reconnect with ourselves.  The darkness helps, comforts, and sooths as we wind down the year and look forward to the new year.  It helps us bring the focus (especially if you’re living by candles) from the outside chaos of life to our inner chaos.  Examining the inner chaos isn’t meant to be comfortable or easy, it’s meant to help us assess where we are, who we are, and what we’re doing.  By making this examination, it helps us take the step outside the darkness and back towards the light in order to focus on the next steps on our path.  


Winter – by its very nature – keeps us inside our physical environment.  When you get a foot of snow or an inch of ice, it’s difficult to go out, socialize.  Certainly modern technology helps keep people connected.  For a lot of people, it’s difficulty to be so physically limited.  Whether it’s because I have a physical limitation or because I’m an introvert, I like winter.  I like the solitary nature of the season.  However, I get cabin fever.  I look for ways to bring the light closer to my life, to shine that light where I need it in my journey of self-discovery.  


Last modified on
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.  
Author's recent posts


  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards Wednesday, 18 January 2017

    I think what the writer is doing is imagining her own modern and urban life - candle lit. I live on a remote farm at 1,000 feet in the Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales. There is no street lighting and if the moon and stars are not visible then it is utterly black. We do have electricity in the house and in the stables for most of the time although the supply can be unreliable, but not outside or in the fields. There it is utterly dark the only lights visible are from one other farm about half a mile away. In mid-winter the darkness lasts from 15:30 to 08:00. Regardless of the darkness or the weather, the livestock still needs to be fed at about 18:00 and the poultry shut up for the night. The hay-nets for the horses still need to be filled in the hay barn and carried down to the fields and the stables. Water troughs still need to be filled even if the water pipes are frozen. There is little time for contemplation or meditation. Nowadays the darkness can be lifted a little with a head torch, but anyone who has spent time outside in full darkness with only a head torch will be aware of how limited such relief is. Our ancestors also had the same jobs to carry out and their only relief would have been a hurricane lamp or a candle - neither of which would have been welcome in a hay barn! For some of us that life continues with the same degree of difficulty of ensuring water for the livestock when the water freezes, making sure they are fed and safe, carrying heavy loads through deep snow or mud, dealing with emergencies. Winter is not a time for contemplation for anyone living a rural life, as most of our ancestors did, it is a time of struggle and testing of our strength and commitment to a way of life and our animals, which I recognise seems outdated nowadays .

  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel Friday, 20 January 2017

    The rural life is never as ideal as it can be made out to be. I grew up on a farm and remember the difficulties year round. Winter was a lessening of tasks in that the harvests were in and field work decreased. We raised dairy cows, chickens, pigs, sheep - animals always need tending. It's a daily struggle to keep livestock safe and tended.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information