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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Shadow Work

Dreams can take you to heaven and drag you through all the levels of hell.  They can help you solve problems and relieve stress.  In dreams, you can be anyone and do anything regardless of any limitations you have in the physical world.  You can meet anyone or anything.  In dreams our guides come to us to assist with life’s difficulties.

As a child, I’d often have nightmares, even though I shared a room with two sisters.  At some point a black panther began appearing in my nightmares.  You would think this fierce hunter would frighten a child even more but I always drew comfort from the black panther.  Each time she appeared in my dreams, I knew I could change the dream to be something better than the nightmare.  I knew whatever was scaring me I had a choice to let it scare me or I could overcome it. 

This black panther brought me courage and strength.  She gave me confidence in myself to change whatever wasn’t working for me.  She showed me the dark was a place of comfort and peace.  As I learned to make choices and changes in my dreams, she would appear less and less, but I knew she was there in the shadows watching, protecting, and guarding me.  

Our dreams often reflect the turmoil in our lives.  When my life became tumultuous, my panther comes back.  Each time I have to make a difficult decision she returns as a reminder of the inner power I hold to define my inner strength and path.

A recent question on one of my groups about guides brought this powerful and loving creature into my conscious mind.  A quick search had me laughing to realize the black panther has been there all along teaching and guiding me even before I became Pagan.  The black panther, in particular, is a symbol of the night and dark moon.  She gives the power to eliminate fears. (  

When I came to Paganism, I felt out of step with mainstream Wicca.  They were all love and light, I’m not.  While they were energized by the full moon and solar energy, I was overloaded by it.  It makes me jittery, no matter what grounding techniques I used.  Then a book grabbed my attention – Dark Moon Mysteries by Timothy Roderick.  This book deals with the energy of the inner shadow and how to embrace it.

I began to discover the power of the dark moon and the shadows.  I found myself energized and my stress gone during this time.  Each time I do shadow work, I feel the black panther there watching over me.  She’s become a familiar friend guiding me through the changes in my life and companion as I travel my soul path. 

Having learned all of this, I see the black panther has always been my guide to find this path.  She started early, coming to me in dreams to sooth me and make me face my fears in order to be stronger.  The panther has allowed me to explore shadow work in my dreams and embrace a path that goes into the darkness with confidence. 

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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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