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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Witches and other bad things

Halloween is this week.  The kids will be dressing up as ghouls and goblins, witches and monsters.  The world will be on a sugar high for the next week or so.  Mainstream America will be watching all the scary movies they can find and treating the paranormal as freakish. 

During a car ride with my mother, I was making conversation with her when she said she didn't like this time of year.  I said why not - thinking Fall is my favorite time of year and I adore the weather, the colors, the season.  She came out with "all the talk about witches and other bad things."  My immediate response in my head was - hey wait a minute.

My mother is 83 and a regular church goer.  With six of us, she has to put up with a lot of variety in beliefs.  Of my siblings, there are those who are like my mom and go to church but there are the outliers as well.  One of my sisters considers herself an athiest (I think) and one is a Pagan like me (though our beliefs vary greatly). 

You would think with this variety my mother would be used to the different beliefs but she isn't.  Again she's 83 and struggling with memory issues.  I cut her some slack - mostly. 

Diversity in the life means I cope with a variety of beliefs.  Working at a University means there are a lot of people with a lot of beliefs.  In my department, I've got hard core (but not offensive) Christians, Pagan esque, Jewish, and some I'm not sure of.  Since it is a public university, I like to keep my beliefs quiet.  I don't believe in mixing church and state, and since I work for the state essentially I like to keep beliefs private. 

I have to find the balance between what I'm willing to share and talk about and what I'm not.  I don't want to offend people but at the same time I'm not willing to listen to people make statements like my mothers. 

Respect is the key when working in the diverse mixture of people.  I respect their beliefs and let them deal with their beliefs while I respect my own.  Saying this, I have rocks on my desk (I have a thing for stones) dragons on my walls, Pagan affirmations posted on my desk. 

When I've been invited to Christian events, I say no thank you.  There's no need for me to go off on how I don't believe that way or get crabby with them for not comprehending my beliefs.  It was kind of them to think of me but I'm not interested - this is my standard answer. 

When I've discussed my tarot readings or other Pagan events, I am open and honest but not pushy.  I've had discussions about the moon and its affect on energy with some of the people I work with. 

I'd like to say I gave my mother an earful for disrespecting my beliefs but I didn't.  I don't believe she meant to offend.  I think she was talking about how Halloween made her feel along with the scary movies and modern take on what Halloween represents.  I don't think she thought about how it would make me feel to be lumped in as a witch and other bad things.  So this time - I cut her some slack.

Picture is by TJ Jahns

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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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  • Joanna
    Joanna Wednesday, 29 October 2014

    I had a very similar thing today with a work colleague moaning about Halloween being just an 'Americanism.' I didn't have the heart to mention it's an age old festival here in the UK and probably is older than Guy Fawkes' bonfire night.
    Onwards and upwards.
    On a random note I'm wondering whether to suggest to my partner is we could have a wiccan 'christmas' festival this year. I always do the 'normal' xmas thing and think maybe he'd cut me some slack over this.
    I'm asking him to marry me on Friday and I was tempted to suggest hand fasting but don't want to force my beliefs on him (and both our families). I'm settling for Samhain next year for the date to wed. :-)
    Sorry went off on a random tangent . . .

  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel Wednesday, 29 October 2014

    Hi Joanna:

    Oh the negotiations we do in our personal relationships. My husband is Christian per se. He is not a church goer but he doesn't believe like I do. Our kids are adults and out of the house. We negotiate a lot on what each of us wants. We've been married for 33 years and have reached a point in our lives where we want what we want. We've done for our kids so the only ones we have to deal with is each other.
    My stance is - ask for it all and make sure they know you are willing to meet somewhere between you getting it all your way and him getting it all his way...
    Not sure how it is in the UK but here in the US almost anyone can marry people - do a combo style wedding with all the things that make you both happy.
    Good luck with asking him to marry you!

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