Covens vs. Solitary Practice

Covens vs. Solitary Practice

It’s an argument that comes up frequently in the Pagan community, particularly among those who identify as Wiccans. There’s one school of thought that says “only a witch can make a witch,” which means you must be initiated and part of a coven — typically a lineaged one — before you can claim to be Wiccan, Pagan, or any other variety thereof. There’s another camp that says anyone can be a witch or Pagan, and what matters more than initiation and coven connections is what’s in your heart and soul.

Will people ever agree on these things?

It’s pretty unlikely.

However, as you begin your studies of Wicca and other forms of Paganism, you may at some point be offered the opportunity to join a group. You may also find that you really prefer working alone. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of covens vs. solitary practice, so that when the time comes for you to make a decision, you can do so with some knowledge under your belt.

Working as a Solitary

 

Many people begin their Pagan studies by working as a solitary. This happens for a number of reasons, but the most common one is that quite simply, most people develop an interest in Paganism long before they meet a coven they’re interested in joining. There are benefits to working alone, to be sure, but it also has its drawbacks.

Advantages

  • You can make your own rules, and follow your own set of ethics
  • You can worship at your convenience, rather than following a schedule involving several people
  • You’re free to work with anyone you like, even if they’re a member of another traditions
  • You’re not under any obligation to anyone but yourself and your deities

Disadvantages

  • You may find yourself eventually limited in the type and quantity of knowledge you obtain
  • It’s often hard for solitaries to network with other Pagans and Wiccans
  • Sometimes, it’s just nice to hang out with other people that believe as you do
  • If you’re looking to grow and learn spiritually, you may feel at some point you’d like a mentor or teacher, which you don’t have as a solitary

Working In a Group

 

Many Pagans and Wiccans find that they enjoy group practice. There is a certain energy that can be experienced in a group that you just don’t experience as a solitary practitioner, and there are plenty of benefits to being in a coven. On the other hand, when you work with a coven or group, there’s a whole new set of dynamics involved, which can create its own set of problems.

Advantages

  • Working in a group gives you the benefit of learning from people who may have more experience and knowledge than you
  • When you’re part of a group, you have more opportunities to network and meet others in the greater Pagan community
  • Coven work typically is more structured and formal, and rituals are usually more elaborate, which some people find beneficial to their studies
  • A coven usually has a pre-determined course of study, so rather than just randomly reading books, you’ll find yourself following specific lesson plans as you move towards various degrees of initiation

Disadvantages

  • Coven work typically has to be scheduled ahead of time, making sure everyone is available
  • If someone is on a power trip, a coven has the potential to be a miserable experience for everyone else involved
  • When you’re part of a coven, there are numerous relationships going on, so there can be issues if one person decides to cause problems
  • If you join an existing coven, chances are good that they’re already set in their ways, and may not be willing to make accommodations to meet your needs

Whether or not you decide to practice as a solitary or as part of a coven is a personal decision. Covens can be hard to find in some areas, but it is possible to do – just be aware that you may have to make some effort and put some work into the process. If you choose instead to be a solitary practitioner, there is nothing wrong with that either. Regardless, choose the path that is the right one for you.

 

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The Solitary Road and Personal Power

The Solitary Road and Personal Power

Author:   Crystal Blanton  

When I came to this path I had been looking for my spiritual self for some time. A new friend introduced me to Wicca, sparking something in me. I read so much information in such a short period of time my brain was overloaded with various traditions, beliefs, gods, goddesses and a host of other things.

I had a fear of joining a coven yet wanted more. I thought that, without a coven, I would not be able to advance and learn. So many books made references to studying in a coven and listed solitary as if it was a last resort. After much internal debate, speaking with my friend and overcoming the fear, I set out to find a group. And I found one.

Recently, after more than a year of study in this group, I decided to leave for many different reasons.

In reflection of my experience in a coven I have realized that I have learned many things, but not specifically about the Craft. I have learned a lot about group dynamics, honesty, integrity and the ability to trust my own instincts.

My experience in a coven, however, isn’t all negative as it has brought me to my own understanding and feelings about being a solitary practitioner. To be solitary is to trust myself, my knowledge and my judgment. To be solitary means that I am responsible for myself and my own karmic return.

It is the realization that it’s not about how much you know or the right or wrong way to do something. It is about my individual connection to the earth, the universe and the Lord & Lady. It is about what feels right to me and not necessarily how others interpret my spiritual growth.

As I am approaching this place in my journey, I feel empowered in knowing that I have the answers inside of me. It doesn’t matter which degree I have or any of the other aspects I consider to be religious politics. It only matters how I feel about my spiritual connections in my life.

So often we are conditioned to believe that everything in life is in black and white, right or wrong. And, with that ingrained in us, we seek outside people to “show” us for fear that we may do it wrong. What we sometimes fail to understand is that right and wrong is a concept. It is a box of morals and rules that are subject to everyone’s individual interpretations. So, in reality, nothing can be black and white because as humans we are all different shades of grey.

This is not to say that covens, groups or teachers are bad things. I think that everything has its place in my learning experience. But it is to say that, when we as pagans go into the world looking for spiritual leaders and/or covens, we should keep things in perspective.

Everyone holds the power inside themselves. Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone has knowledge inside.

A group should enhance and add to your experience, but it is still your experience. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting in circle alone or with the highest of High Priestesses, your connection with the Divine is a very personal one; a connection that no one else can replace or give you.

As a solitary I am relearning how to celebrate alone. When I began thinking about leaving the group I was in, I had the same fears of going solitary as the fears I had in the beginning of joining a group. It is truly amazing how things go full circle.

As a solitary I have really discovered that my attention needs be focused around my connections with the universe and the spirit and away from structure. The freedom in realizing that I can do whatever feels right to celebrate the Sabbats or Esbats is indescribable. Whether a ritual, feast, meditation, prayer, bike ride or walk outside in the elements, anything can be an act of honoring the Lord and Lady and the turn of the wheel.

Personal power is something that everyone has but is so easily given away. In making a decision to be solitary I have decided to keep mine.

When I first began this path I was afraid to do any magical work without guidance. I celebrated the Sabbats and began meditating but didn’t feel that was enough. I realize that I didn’t have the confidence in my spiritual self but that has changed some in the last 2 years and is continuing to grow more solid everyday.

Once I got that I held the power within myself; rituals, meditations and celebratory activities gained more power. I am finding that the key to feeling power and raising energy as a solitary is confidence. The difference in my personal power today versus a year ago has grown and shows itself in my work.

When exiting the coven I was in, I didn’t exactly understand that. It became apparent to me the minute I did some work as a solitary. “In perfect love and perfect trust” doesn’t just apply in a coven setting. It applies in our relationship with the Lord and Lady, the universe and most importantly within ourselves. I am learning to have perfect love and perfect trust with my spiritual self and my own personal power.

I have a nice group of solitary friends that I hang out with for friendship and spiritual connections. Today when I connect with friends for magical purposes, I come as myself, as my own high priestess. And my journey continues… .

There is this saying that says, “Wherever you go, there you are”. I say that to others in my job on a weekly basis but never applied it to myself.

Whether I am solitary or in a coven, it is my energy, power, knowledge, strength and hope that I take with me. What an empowering thought! I now understand that the power I experienced as a part of the coven was mine.

I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a heart, a human. I am powerful, strong, knowledgeable, spiritual… … … I am a Pagan, I am a Witch, I am a Solitary.

We Who Shall Inherit Ourselves

We Who Shall Inherit Ourselves

Author:  Brannawen Ravenhart

 

Over the course of the past decade or two, the giant surge of information on Paganism and Wicca, and Witchcraft in general has swelled to enormous proportions. Whereas I used to have to scratch pathetically through musty bookstores, or wait patiently for a dog-eared and battered single paperback copy of “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler at the library, or, if great luck would have it, borrow a book or two from some other fortunate soul who not only owned books, but might even know someone who knew someone who might have more; now I can walk into any mall, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks and find many different books in a wide range of topics, depths, and styles. I can surf the Internet and find information on anything I desire. Videos, DVD’s, television documentaries, are all available to me like chocolates in a candy store. What do I want to pick today? What do I wish to learn? What path do I want to know more about? What do I want to know of our own history? The plethora of books and authors allow luxuries today that were unheard of years ago. They also allow a freedom of choice that was never dreamed of. Before, we had to be happy with what we got, and if we did manage to get our hands on something, we often followed that specific information to the people and paths where we eventually ended up. The ways to wisdom had but few trails in the wilderness, and we ended up exactly where they took us.

In a way, this was a very good thing. The hardworking, dedicated individual could find their way only through the mysterious maze of the guidance of others. This led to strength and conviction and solidarity within the covens, groves, groups or even to the Solitary Practitioner, due to the inherent nature of the learning. There are pros and cons about the ‘opening of the Book of Shadows’ to the general public, and there are many valid points to each pro and each con. However, I know what I have felt transform in my own life. I have to base my experience and knowledge on what is real to me. No longer do I have to hide. I may still be cautious, but I know that I can stand in community now, shoulder to shoulder with other battle weary survivors of the shrouded times. I am not alone. I can now say ‘We.’ To that I add “We, who live in the Information Age.”

To me, it is the transformation of having to get up and manually changing one of the three grainy channels on a TV dial to holding the remote control for 400+ stations on digital cable. It is my great luck and fortune to be living in this time, the same way my grandmother and great-grandmother lived through horse and buggy days to rocket ships to the moon. I am a witness. I will never lose sight of that blessing.

This deluge of information, of availability, has propelled Paganism into the face of the forefront of our American culture. No longer complete outcasts, or hidden away, we now have been recognized, have constitutional protections, freedom of speech and religion that is allowed to any other person in this country, as it should be. And we are growing. The information feeding tube has given birth to fantastic amounts of interest, media coverage, watchdog organizations and it is a burgeoning vein that feeds back into itself. By this very exposure we have been given tools and opportunities to defend ourselves against ignorance and segregation, against defamation and harassment (and worse) from other faiths or beliefs who once shunned and persecuted us.

In the same breath, I will also say that I fully agree that now, our own worst enemy is ourselves. Over the years, I have run into many myths about Wicca and Witchcraft, from the days when I wrote my first little book on Witches at age seven (a horrible caricature which makes me squirm due to the naivetŽ it represents — I was equally fascinated and repelled by the wicked witch myth, ) up to today where I see infighting and slander from one group to another. Here is the irony: I conquered my own reservations and cultural enslavement to the myth of ‘evil and Witchcraft, ‘ and then found my way. I conquered my fear of the unknown and of unknown people when I reached out to find others who believed the way I do, and found my way again. I conquered my fear of speaking out and letting my family and friends know about my beliefs, and found acceptance. Now I find myself trying to conquer the anxiety and confusion caused by our own infighting.

I do realize that something this new, this tremendous, this explosive, this controversial will have, by it’s own combustive nature (the birth of a new wave of faith) these types of interwoven battles. Are they of supremacy? Possibly. Jealousy? Of what, I am not sure, but yes, of jealousy too. Does this make sense? No. But I think that at this time, we are not only here to find ourselves, but to find and define each other.

Every single one of us has at this time the potential to make a mark in this path. Relatively speaking, there are so few of us. Human nature makes us want to shine out, speak out, be noticed, be recognized. I have to admit to that. The key here is; what mark is it that we truly want to leave? This is why it is so important to be careful, think hard, and speak wisely. We all have the opportunity here to be heard, if we stop pushing a little. No biting, kicking, scratching or shoving, and as for our kids, well, they just better mind their manners also! We should take the opportunity now of our few numbers, and our own voices, to promote the greater good, rather than ourselves. We can all be heard. Perhaps in another millennium, surrounded by billions of Wiccans, Druids, Shamans and Neo Pagans of all paths, when we are culturally mainstream, we would not have this chance. But now? This is the time to work with each other. To be here and now in this time is such a gift. It is sobering to realize that not everyone can see this.

We are writing our own history. This has been said many ways, many times. This is so true. This is also what upsets me sometimes, when I see someone or hear someone who doesn’t seem to understand or recognize this, or who uses subversion or duplicity to undermine one faction just to promote his or her own. On the other hand, I also feel compassion. We do have to make mistakes to ‘get’ the lesson. That is why we are here, after all. The most we can do is hold onto that thought if and when we do make those mistakes ourselves. All we have to do is notice and thank the ones who do manage to speak out clearly, and fight not only the misconceptions about us, but also the misconceptions we have about each other. We hold in our hands the pen that will leave the mark on the wall of our history. Will it be graffiti? Or poetry? Caricatures? Or great art? We are at the beginning. Our forefathers are living here among us. They could even be ourselves. This is an endowment we should never lose sight of.

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Ten Factoids You Need to Know About Paganism and Wicca

Ten Factoids You Need to Know About Paganism and Wicca

By , About.com

There’s a lot of information out there on Wicca and Paganism, in books, on the Internet, and through local groups. But how much of it is accurate? How do you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff? The fact is, there are several basic things you should understand about Wicca and Paganism before you make the decision to join a new spiritual path. Let’s eliminate some of the misconceptions and talk about actual facts… it will make your spiritual journey all the more valuable if you understand these issues from the begining.

1. Yes, Even Wicca Has Rules

Sure, a lot of people think that just because there’s no Grand High Wiccan and Pagan Council that there must be all kinds of magical carnage going on. Truth is, there are some fairly standard guidelines followed by a number of different Pagan traditions. While they vary from one group to the next, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the concepts. Learn more about the rules of magic before you continue your studies.

2. Not All Witches are Pagans are Wiccans

There are dozens of Pagan traditions, and as many different versions of Wicca. Not all are the same, and just because someone is a witch or Pagan doesn’t necessarily mean they practice Wicca. Learn about the differences in paths found among the umbrella term “Paganism.”

3. Wicca is a Religion, Not a Fashion Statement

Contrary to what many popular movies might have you believe, you don’t have to be a teenage goth princess to be Wiccan. In fact, you don’t “have to be” anything at all. Wiccans come from all walks of life — they are parents and teens, lawyers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, teachers and writers. Pagans come from all different walks of life, all socio-economic groups, and all sorts of racial backgrounds. There’s no Pagan Dress Code that says you have to toss away your polo shirt or khakis in favor of capes and an all-black wardrobe. On the other hand, if you prefer the goth look, go for it… just remember that goth and Wiccan are not synonymous.

4. Religious Freedom Applies to Wiccans and Pagans Too

Believe it or not, as a Wiccan or Pagan you have the same rights as people of any other religion. Despite the fact that some members of other faiths might disapprove of the existence of Wicca and Paganism, the fact is that if you live in the United States, you’re entitled to protection just like anyone else. It’s against the law for anyone to discriminate against you because you practice an earth-based faith. Learn about your rights as a Pagan or Wiccan parent, as an employee, and even as a member of the United States military.

5. It’s Okay to Be Out of the Broom Closet… or Not

Countless numbers of Pagans and Wiccans have made the choice to “come out of the broom closet”… in other words, they’ve stopped hiding their spiritual path from others. For many people, this is a huge decision. You may feel that it’s not in your best interest to make your religious beliefs known, and that’s okay too. If you feel you could be in danger if you reveal that you are Wiccan, or that it might put a strain on family relations, going public might be something you should postpone. Get all the pros and cons on coming out of the broom closet.

6. Wiccans and Pagans Are Not Satanists

Ask any Pagan or Wiccan about the cornerstone of their faith, and they’ll probably tell you it’s a reverence for their ancestors, a belief in the sacredness of nature, a willingness to embrace the Divine within ourselves, or an acceptance of polarity between the male and female. It may be a combination of those principles. It will not have anything to do with the Satan, Old Scratch, Beelzebub, or any of the other names attributed to the Christian devil. Pagans and Wiccans aren’t devil worshippers, Satanists, or Diabolists. Learn more about how Pagans and Wiccans feel about such an entity.

7. Join a Coven, or Practice Solitary?

Many Wiccans and Pagans choose to join a coven or study group because it allows them the chance to learn from like-minded people. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and get new perspectives on any number of things. However, for some folks it’s just more practical or desirable to remain as a solitary practitioner.

8. Parents and Teens

Nothing will set a teenager at odds with a parent quite like coming into the house wearing a giant pentacle, toting a candle, and yelling, “I’m a witch now, leave me alone!” Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Parents, you may have some concerns about Wicca and Paganism… and teens, you probably aren’t sure how to talk to mom and dad about your newfound interest. Rest easy, though. With a little bit of good communication, both parents and teenagers should be able to find a happy medium.

9. You Don’t Need a Lot of Fancy Tools

Many people think they need to stock up on hundreds of dollars worth of incense, herbs, wands and candles before they can even begin to practice Wicca or Paganism. That’s simply not the case. While a few basic magical tools3 are nice to have, the key element of most traditions are the beliefs, not the tangible, physical items. If you’d like to gather a very basic “starter kit” of tools, there are several which are common to nearly every tradition.

10. You Can Write Your Own Spells and Rituals

Despite a commonly held (and generally Internet-based) belief, anyone can write a spell. The trick is to recognize what the key elements are to successful spellcrafting — intent or goal, components, and putting it into practice are all key. Don’t let anyone tell you that beginners can’t write a spell. Just like any other skill set, it will take some practice, but with a little work you can become a perfectly effective spellworker.

Thirteen Books Every Wiccan Should Read

Thirteen Books Every Wiccan Should Read

By , About.com

Now that you’ve decided you want to learn about contemporary Wicca or another modern Pagan path, what should you read? After all, there are literally thousands of books on the subject — some good, others not so much. This list features the thirteen books that every Pagan should have on their shelves. A few are historical, a few more focus on modern Wiccan practice, but they’re all worth reading more than once. Bear in mind that while some books may purport to be about Wicca, they are often focused on NeoWicca, and do not contain the oathbound material found in traditional Wiccan practice.

Adler, Margot: Drawing Down the Moon2

If you want to learn about birds, you get a field guide about birds. If you want to learn about mushrooms, you get a field guide to mushrooms. Drawing Down the Moon is a field guide to Pagans. Rather than offering up a book of spells and recipes, Margot Adler presents an academic work that evaluates modern Pagan religions – including Wicca – and the people who practice them. The work is based on a survey the author took over two decades ago, but the information within is still a worthy read. Drawing Down the Moon makes no apologies for the fact that not all Wiccans are full of white light and fluff, but instead tells it like it is. Adler’s style is entertaining and informative, and it’s a bit like reading a really well-done thesis paper.

Buckland, Raymond: Complete Book of Witchcraft

Raymond Buckland is one of Wicca’s most prolific writers, and his work Complete Book of Witchcraft continues to remain popular two decades after it was first published – and for good reason. Although this book represents a more eclectic flavor of Wicca rather than a particular tradition, it’s presented in a workbook-like format that allows new seekers to work through the exercises at their own pace, learning as they go. For more seasoned readers, there’s a lot of useful information as far as rituals, tools, and magic itself. This book is a classic, and well worth picking up.

Cunningham, Scott: Wicca – A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

The late Scott Cunningham wrote a number of books before his untimely death, but Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner remains one of the best known and most useful. Although the tradition of witchcraft in this book is more Cunningham’s eclectic path than any other tradition, it’s full of information on how to get started in your practice of Wicca and magic. He goes into depth about tools, how and why they are used, ethics, and the concept of god and goddess. If you’re interested in learning and practicing as an individual, and not necessarily jumping into a coven right off the bat, this book is a valuable resource.

Curott, Phyllis: Witch Crafting

Phyllis Curott is one of those people who makes me glad to be Pagan — because she’s really normal. An attorney who has spent her life working on First Amendment issues, Curott has managed to put together a really useful book. Witch Crafting is not a collection of spells, rituals or prayers. It’s a hard and fast look at magical ethics, the polarity of male and female in the divine, finding the god and goddess in your everyday life, and the pros and cons of coven life vs. solitary paths. Curott also offers up a very interesting take on the Rule of Three. Whether you’re a new student of Wicca, or a veteran, Witch Crafting is worth reading more than once.

Eilers, Dana: Pagans and the Law – Understand Your Rights

Dana D. Eilers spent many years facilitating an event called Conversations With Pagans, and from that she wrote a book entitled The Practical Pagan. She then drew on her experience as an attorney to write Pagans and the Law: Understand Your Rights. This book goes into depth about precedents in religious discrimination lawsuits, how to protect yourself if you may be a victim of workplace harassment, and how to document everything if your spirituality is leading someone to treat you unfairly. Eilers is an outspoken woman who has a lot of great advice worth listening to.

Farrar, Janet & Stewart: The Witches’ Bible

[p]The first section of this book is Eight Sabbats for Witches. It goes into depth on Sabbat rites, and the meanings behind the holidays are expanded on. While the ceremonies in The Witches’ Bible are the Farrars’ own, there’s a heavy influence of the Gardnerian tradition, as well as Celtic folklore and some other European history. The second half of the book is in fact another book, The Witches Way, which looks at the beliefs, ethics, and practice of modern witchcraft. Despite the fact that the authors are a bit conservative by today’s standards, this book is an excellent look at the transitioning concept of what exactly it is that makes someone a witch.

Gardner, Gerald: Witchcraft Today

Gerald Gardner is the founder of modern Wicca as we know it, and of course of the Gardnerian tradition. His book Witchcraft Today is a worthy read, however, for seekers on any Pagan path. He discusses paganism in Europe, as well as the so-called “witch cult”, and goes on to demonstrate how many of history’s notable names are connected, one way or another, to what we know today as witchcraft. Although some of the statements in Witchcraft Today should be taken with a grain of salt — after all, Gardner was a folklorist and that shines through in his writing — it’s still one of the foundations that contemporary Wicca is based on. For its historical value, few things beat this book.

Hutton, Ronald: Triumph of the Moon

Triumph of the Moon is a book about Pagans by a non-Pagan, and Hutton, a highly respected professor, does an excellent job. This book looks at the emergence of contemporary Pagan religions, and how they not only evolved from the Pagan societies of the past, but also owe heavily to 19th-century poets and scholars. In fact, Hutton points out that a good deal of what we consider “ancient” Pagan practice can be attributed to the novelists and romantics of the late Edwardian and early Victorian era. Despite his status as a scholar, Hutton’s breezy wit makes this a refreshing read, and you’ll learn far more than you ever expected to about today’s Pagan religions.

Morrison, Dorothy: The Craft – A Witch’s Book of Shadows

Dorothy Morrison is one of those writers who doesn’t hold back, and while her book The Craft is aimed at beginners, she manages to create a work that can be useful for anyone. Morrison includes exercises and rituals which are not only practical, but teaching tools as well. Despite its focus on the lighter side of witchcraft, it’s a good starting point for anyone trying to learn about Wicca, and how to create your own rituals and workings. Morrison also has written a number of other books, including a companion work to this one.

Russell, Jeffrey: A History of Witchcraft

Historian Jeffrey Russell presents an analysis of witchcraft in an historical context, from the early days of Medieval Europe, through the witch craze of the Renaissance, and up into modern times. Russell doesn’t bother trying to fluff up the history to make it more palatable to today’s Wiccans, and takes a look at three different kinds of witchcraft — sorcery, diabolical witchcraft, and modern witchcraft. A noted religious historian, Russell manages to make an entertaining yet informative read, as well as accepting that witchcraft in and of itself can in fact be a religion.

In The End, We’re All Solitary


Author: Chi

I’m not bashing coven practice here – It’s a wonderful spiritual path and way of learning and it works for lots of people. Those people have my blessings and all my best wishes. There are plenty of teens that someday want to be part of a coven, and there are dozens of adults who warn against teen groups (and even several of articles on Witchvox about it) . But if solitary practice is so wonderful, I have to ask myself why no one advocates it, at least not until asked or provoked. That’s what I will attempt to do, to go over some of the things that solitaries have the opportunity for, and even solitary fundamentals that anyone can use.

After all, you are an individual. In the end, you are solitary. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean it in the most glorious way possible. At the end of the day, the Divinity shines down on YOU and recognizes YOU for what YOU are, and takes you into their arms as their child with your own uniqueness and respects you for every ounce of it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There are many people who consider themselves to be solitary Wiccans or solitary Witches. I almost want to say there is a majority – but I don’t have the statistics on hand to back that up, just my observation.

Most practitioners consider it a long-term goal to be able to get into a coven or other pagan group. Even though there are sometimes degree systems in place for covens, being a solitary is usually considered being “at the bottom of the food chain”, so to speak.

Some people are solitary because they choose to be, they know it is the best for their learning and they know it is better to study alone then with people that have the potential to delay your spiritual definition. Others are solitary simply because they have to be, there are no covens around, they are too young to join a ‘real’ coven, they do not have enough experience, or what have you.

I personally am some blend of the two. I began really studying and dedicating myself to “this path” a few years ago. I knew that I needed to study; I believed I had to have every rule memorized if I was ever to reach the glorious rank of a coven member.

However, since that time I have come to realize many things. First, I am not only a Wiccan. I am also Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Shinto, and a multitude of other things…so joining a group of strict Wiccans would probably drive several of us mad!

Second, I know how I learn. That’s not to say I do everything right, but being a solitary has taught me a lot of things about how to self teach, how to remember, and how to adapt that I don’t think I would get if I was being taught by another sole person (or group of teachers) .

Third, I don’t fit into a category that any degree system or standardized test can put me into. I consider myself to be very well-rounded in many types of practice; I meditate at least once a day, I am very accomplished in divination, plus some alternative and spiritual healing…but at the same time, I had forgotten what a “boline” was a few weeks ago and had to Google search it. You might find some of these apply to you and you may find they do not.

My point here is that self-exploration is essential to your learning. I have been self-exploring and self-coaching myself for long enough that I think if I were to join a coven, it would have to be very flexible at the least. And that’s fine with me.

However, most solitaries, including myself…no matter how much we love our individual practice, we want some sort of structure, some group or support system. This is not a bad thing, if anything it shows us that we are realistic. I myself have daydreamed about starting a teen Pagan study group (notice I did not say ‘teen coven’) before…leading group meditations and having workshops to carve our own wands and such…sounds glorious doesn’t it? But I know that in the end that is not what a group is for.

I have joined many Pagan forums and websites…some of which are like my own online Grimoire. I say almost nothing to members but comb through hundreds of information pages and topics, completely in awe. On others, I have a group of elders or mentors that I ask for help quite often, whether it’s “Can I use this pretty dish my mom gave me instead of a chalice?” or “Who can tell me in detail the exact workings of the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram?” (And to be fair…some of the websites out there are total B.S.) . Many casual groups have the potential to help you.

This is the first rule of being a solitary. Solitary does not equate to being alone. I like knowing that I can plan my own rituals, or re-schedule a Sabbat, and that I can adapt coven rituals to my practice. But I also know that there are always people I can turn to. I might talk to my non-Wiccan parents about finding spirituality in ‘everyday’, or ‘mundane’ life (as I found out in recent months, my sort-of-ex-hippie Dad and New-Age-Spiritual Mum are great for those kinds of things) . I might go on the Internet if I want to construct my own ritual. I might ask some online Elders for their book recommendations or good websites.

The thing about being a solitary is, instead of having a coven Priest or Priestess as your teacher, the whole world is your teacher. You usually have to ask several people about one question and go through each answer until you can combine the facts you need and get your own. You may find spiritual answers in simple social contacts or in the workings of nature.

Not to say that coven members “miss out” on this, but it is often unrecognized. I suspect that since Covens are a quick resource, that problem solving may not be emphasized as much, especially with limited resources.

One of my mottos that I have come to revisit often is this: everyone has something to teach, everyone has something to learn, and everyone is sacred. So even if you’re in a coven, a solitary might be a good person to ask about making up your own rituals. Maybe that seemingly fluffy teenager over there really does have some good books to lend you. If you have no one teacher, you have to branch out to anyone that has the potential to give you knowledge – that means you have to find that potential in everyone.

There are pros and cons to every kind of practice. If you’re in a coven, you still need to be willing to branch out and seek information from people who don’t have the label of a third degree high priestess. Maybe those with less experience do have things to offer you. If you’re solitary, don’t assume that you’re 100% on your own, there are Pagan festivals and new age shops everywhere that are likely to have people willing to teach you a thing or two, and there are plenty of online communities or websites that list meet ups and moots in your area.

In the end, we all have to do our own self-teaching of a few things. No matter what path we’re on it’s always nice to have some sort of mentor to turn to, but keep in mind in the end it is you who decides what is best for your learning, and you are responsible for comparing and gathering information, and adapting to your learning needs.

A good example is taking a hike in a mountain forest. You can take an experienced Guide, or you can go in with your supplies and a map. If you take a guide, you’ll probably get where you want to be without wasting time, and you’ll learn a lot – maybe you’ll be able to become a guide for someone else someday if it’s really your shtick. However… You might go through the path with your backpack, flashlight, and map. This is riskier, because you have less experience. You have tools at your disposal and you need to know how to use them. You might get turned around. You might take longer than the tour group. But there is a potential for you to learn a lot of things that the tour guide will overlook.

Okay, so you might not get the mountain path right off, and that’s okay. But maybe you can learn a lot more about forests in general. You’ll learn the skills in how to find your way through the thick forests, and you might discover wildlife the guides will walk right past. Maybe you don’t know the mountain path so well, even by the time you’re done with your hike. But, by the end of it, you probably know a lot about finding your way when your lost, telling directions without a compass, using your resources, marking your paths, and you’ll even know your own strengths and weaknesses better.

Not to say that the tour group missed out, I mean hey, they had their fun too, and they get to do all kinds of stuff in groups that you simply don’t have the energy/time/resources for. But ultimately, it depends on what’s best for you.

In keeping with the metaphor, forests can be dangerous. Some more than others. Some places you simply shouldn’t tread without a guide, at least for a while. And never go in alone without supplies in the dark, when no one knows where you are to a place you’ve never been. You can ask a guide every now and then even if you aren’t in a tour group. And there is no reason members of that tour group can’t go on their own hikes.

Back to spiritual paths, that translates to this: go at it alone, if it suits your fancy. You will learn a ton, I guarantee you. You might not learn as much about traditional paths, but you will learn a lot about what your spirituality means. You will have the chance to dissect it, analyze each piece and synthesize it along with the paths of others. But be wary of where you go, and always be safe. You will need to learn to self evaluate, and other life skills.

Coven members may have these skills and they might be better at it than you, but you still have the chance to grow and explore your own self-definition.

I admit whole-heartedly that I have no coven experience to back this up. I have let several coven members read this and give me their thoughts, and I have spoken to many about coven practice. I am not bashing anyone who is in a coven – it is a wonderful way to learn, and I hope to have a similar experience someday. But I feel the need to stress that somewhere along the line we all need to self teach and self-explore. And if you make that self-teaching and solitary practice part of your everyday life, it gives you a lot of potential in the long run. You can learn things in unlikely places, and I think solitaries know that lesson quite well.

Remember:

Everyone has something to learn, everyone has something to teach, and everyone is sacred.

Blessings.

Good Saturday Morning, my luvs! I Hope Your Day Is Off To A Great Start!

Saturday Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Saturday Morning, my sweets! I hope everyone is having a fantastic day so far. I am having one of those lmao days! I been playing on Facebook. And I won’t say anymore about that, lmao! But as you can tell I got a good tickle out of it.

But on a much more serious note, I won’t to talk about an article that I posted the other day. It was about Witches being able to recognize other Witches without the pentacles, pentagrams and the such. I went to Wal-mart yesterday and I had the strangest thing happen to me. I was back at the candle section and there was this very handsome man there also. He was looking at bulbs for a wax candle warmer. Anyway, I told him that I had bought a bulb one time and it blew up in the warmer the minute I turned it on. Well he said he would take care of that right now. He opened up one of the boxes, as he did so we continued to talk. After he had checked the bulb and closed the box. He turned and looked at me and said, “You’re a Witch, aren’t you?” I looked at him and didn’t say a thing. He told me he could feel my power so I shouldn’t deny it. I told him I wasn’t denying anything yet. He just laughed. We talked some more, he had a few questions like was I a Coven Witch, if so what Coven and he went on and on about Covens. He told me if I was in a Coven, I had to be the High Priestess. I stopped him in his tracks and told him real plain, “No, I was a Solitary Practitioner.” He informed me he had been looking for a Coven in the area to join. I told him I only knew of one and I wouldn’t recommend it (here comes the hexes now, lol!). But I wouldn’t, why lie? Anyway he went on to say it was a shame I wasn’t in a coven. He would love to do a fertility rite with me. I liked to have fallen out in the floor. I told him it was nice talking to him but I really had to go. He followed me for a bit and I finally turned around and told him to go away.

The point of this whole wild situation is that you don’t have to advertise being a Witch. Another Witch can pick up on your energy and automatically know you are what you are. We don’t need to wear our pentagrams, pentacles and whatever for each of us to recognize a brother or sister of The Craft. We are all bonded by blood whether kin or not. We are bonded by blood through the Goddess and most of all Her Love. Her Love and Goodness is what shines through. You know sitting here writing this I just thought of something. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the mundane could see us for what we truly are? Think of all the pain and suffering over the years that would have saved. Think of all the lives of our beloved Ancestors that would have saved. If only the world could see us for what we truly are. Then they would know us for the beautiful being we really are. Not the monsters that Hollywood and all the old myths have portrayed us as being. Perhaps one day, the real world will see. Perhaps one day, we will be accepted no matter where we are. Perhaps that day is coming…….soon!

The People You Meet on the Pagan Path

The People You Meet on the Pagan Path

Author: MissElphie

There are always people who leave a mark along our path in our Pagan path. Those people who supported us and who taught us things that, probably, we wouldn’t have learned in any other way. These people are essential and must not be forgotten. After all, no matter how many books we write, how many thesis are made and researches done, there is always space to learn and embrace knowledge that we get through experience and by the teaching of others. That is what I’ll be talking about today.

The solitary path is a path that is often chosen, especially in today’s society in which most Pagan practitioners live in the big metropolis and cities, and where finding a coven is getting harder and harder. These good covens hide themselves more often than you think. And, if covens do ‘go public’, much of the time, they aren’t that big of a thing or there is a high chance that they are not what the practitioners are looking for. Good covens are hard to find. Not only due to their shortage but also because it’s complicated for a solitary to fit their eclectic costumes and already acquired traditions in a group that is as well defined as a coven. It ends up being complicated. Additionally, today’s individualism and our consumer and technological society oft results in isolation from the community around us (in favor of a virtual community) which may lead to a disconnection.

These factors plus the routine and daily busy life of the metropolis leads to shortage of time.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that may stop a solitary practitioner from joining a coven. There is, also, the possibility of the practitioner himself/herself not wanting to join a coven (like my case, for example) .

Don’t judge me wrong, I believe that life in a coven can be amazing and very enriching and, if possible, I recommend the experience if you are so inclined, since all paths teach us something. But, in this article, I’m focusing more on the solitary side of the Pagan practice.

For a solitary, magickal practice requires a routine by which the seeker learns things by himself/herself. We must alone search for authors, read books, research sources, etc. It ends up being our daily lives, so, after a couple of years, it becomes second nature. We know that author X is good and author Y is not that good. We prefer the works of X and not of Z. And so on.

However when we do meet someone who may be able to help us, such as someone with more experience, it’s always great. And, my advice is to take that opportunity. You can share what you know with that person and that person will share her knowledge with you. You can have arguments about a certain theory and, by debating it, reach a common and satisfactory answer. You can read books and discuss opinions on the subject or go to public events and find more people to talk to and learn from or teach.

With the help of others, our path only gets richer. It is still a solitary path and ours in the practical terms, since it is created and followed by us alone, but we always learn a lot interacting with others.

Throughout the years, I’ve met several people (not only online but also in person) who have taught me so much and helped me grow. I’m no longer that girl who thought that Wicca was all fairies and pink and that all other Pagan paths were a simple minority. Today, I have a clear notion of what Paganism is, of Wicca and of several different pagan paths, not only when talking about Neo-Paganism, but also pre-Christian beliefs.

I’m not saying that everyone whom you will meet will teach you something good for you to use in your daily path. But they will teach you something. They might, at least, teach you not to follow their path (if they are one of those crazy nut-heads that go around or a scammer) . Everyone has something to teach you and you must, along your path, learn everything you can from people, whether they are Pagan or not (Yes, even followers of other religions have a lot to teach you, especially when it comes to respecting other people’s beliefs) .

But of course, be careful. Don’t try everything people tell you to try. There are a lot of people who are amazing and who will teach you things that will last for a lifetime but there are also may be people with bad intentions who only want to harm you, scam you or worse. Trust me, I’ve seen people whose only interest in helping others was to gain money or fame or just use that “wanting to help” as a way of scamming them. Always be careful and always be very alert during any conversation. Think for yourself and, if necessary, ask for the opinion of someone older or with more knowledge than you, in whom you trust. .

Life has a lot to teach us and there are so many things to try and learn from. Don’t keep yourself entirely locked away from the world by not socializing, by not meeting other pagans. At first it can be hard to see so many points of views. Some you might even think “What is this?” but that will also teach you to respect others. There is so much you can learn by meeting and by talking to other pagans.

Find some events in your area or, if you are going on vacation to somewhere, search if there are any pagan gathering nearby and plan a visit. Or find an online forum and join up, meet some people and learn new things.

My simple conclusion: Socialize. Talk to people, enter social networks of Paganism, sign into forums and meet people. Learn with them and discover new worlds filled with knowledge. Who knows? You might even find a coven that will be your future family. You never know what plans the Gods have in store for us.

Live life to the fullest; know the world and live your religion.

Goddess Blessings,
MissElphie

‘Pagan’ Safer Than ‘Wiccan’?

‘Pagan’ Safer Than ‘Wiccan’?

Author: Shadow

So I’m up at the student union at my campus, watching from the sidewalk as our local fundamentalist group is preaching in lieu of Mardi Gras. While I’m there, my friend from high school, Adam, comes up to me. We were never really tight, but still, we were pretty good friends. One thing that he didn’t know about me until that moment was that I was Wiccan (I wasn’t exactly out of the broom closet in high school).

Now on campus, I’m pretty much open about my Wiccan beliefs. Generally, nobody asks, even when they see me wearing my pentacle – it’s simply implied, and nobody cares. This time, however, Adam gave an exasperated sigh and asked what I was wearing. “Um, a pentacle.” I responded. He began to laugh. When he asked why, he said something to the effect of Wicca being a fad. Needless to say, that struck a chord in me.

What’d I say? “Actually, I Pagan.”

He didn’t know what being Pagan entailed, so I explained my beliefs a bit. I did say that my practices and beliefs were influenced by Wicca, but that I dealt more with the Egyptian deities, and I believed that all religions were right in their own way. He took this definition more seriously than Wicca, and moved on.

Unfortunately, now I felt bad, because I felt like I was denying something I felt so passionately about. I love the Wiccan religion, and am glad to be a part of it. Yet when Wicca is put in a bad light by someone I know, I’ve been finding myself reverting to saying I’m just Pagan, instead of defending my choice of faith.

In my experience, this doesn’t just happen with non-Pagans, although those who do find fault with Wicca tend to be more vicious or mean about it than Pagans who look poorly at Wicca. In part this is because of my age – teenagers like me who are serious about Wicca are nonetheless almost always perceived, especially at first impressions, as fluffy bunny, angst-driven teens using Wicca for attention.

But this can be compounded by non-Pagans who don’t think of Wicca as being a real religion. They see the vast number of people who follow this path (in their eyes, predominantly teenagers) as being part of a hippie fad. In most of their eyes, they see Wicca equated with Witchcraft, and since most of them don’t believe Witchcraft to be real, they seem to dismiss Wicca as being a fantasy in and of itself.

When it comes to these people, I do tend to be quieter about my beliefs. As with Adam, I just say I’m Pagan, explain a little bit about what that is, and go about my regular business. And for the most part they tend to accept my being Pagan more than my being Wiccan. Why? In my opinion, it’s because Paganism hasn’t received as much media hype as Wicca has. Wicca has been played up in our modern pop-culture, whereas Paganism is resigned to just being a real religion. Simply put, Paganism sounds more real than Wicca to those who think Wicca is a fad religion.

This problem isn’t resigned to just non-Pagans. I know some Pagans who feel that Wicca has indeed been far too hyped in our culture, having overshadowed other Pagan religions such as Asatru, Reconstructionist religions, Afro-Caribbean religions, etc. In this case, they see new Wiccans as being part of that hype. And the general attitude is that Wicca has indeed become a fad and as such needs to be ignored.

Then there are the elitist and fundamentalist Pagans – yes, such Pagans, and even Wiccans, exist. As with the above groups, I can’t speak accurately for everyone, but the general consensus of this group of Pagans is that most people who call themselves Wiccan are in fact fooling themselves, because most of them are not a part of the original Wiccan traditions, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian. If not this, then it’s because they’re solitary practitioners, or because they’re eclectic in their practices, or, heaven forbid, they’re publicly open about their beliefs. Woe be to the Wiccan who fulfills these criteria, for in the eyes of the elitist, they are regarded with great contempt.

Truthfully, all these negative attitudes towards Wicca, at least in my experience, have been minimal. But when faced with such adversity, is it any wonder I wouldn’t want to say that I’m Wiccan? I know it sounds like a cop-out, but I’m not the kind of person who likes to make waves. I’m a pacifist at heart who looks for ways to avoid conflict. And it is my belief that if someone truly has a problem with my Wiccan beliefs, then it’s none of their business, and they’ll just have to live with what I tell them. In these cases, it’s a matter of peacemaking and protection as opposed to stirring up arguments and hurting feelings.

Still, no matter how much I justify my lying, it doesn’t erase what I feel inside – that I’m not being true to myself. Anybody who lives a life hiding a secret about themselves knows what I’m talking about, and I’m sure many of you in the broom closet know this feeling all too well.

And at times this conflict has made me question my commitment to Wicca. While I’m completely in love with the religion and the philosophy behind it, what does it say about me when I deny loving it? Is it a sign of shame? In the eyes of the above groups, yes, because let’s face it – Wicca holds a stigma about it that other Pagan religions don’t. Otherwise it’s just a matter of safety, in which case I’m not ashamed. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not in a place where I can be proudly open about being Wiccan with everyone.

But it is a growing problem when saying you’re Pagan is more appropriate than saying you’re Wiccan. It’s a sign that we’re willing to let ourselves be ignored, that we’re willing to hide ourselves under the umbrella of Paganism. In short, when we allow this, we’re turning into doormats, letting everyone walk all over us. I for one no longer wish to be a doormat. I’m working very hard to stand firm in my Wiccan beliefs, not just hiding behind being Pagan. I’m careful about who knows, obviously, but I am making a commitment to not be afraid of being Wiccan. After all, those who matter won’t care, and those that care won’t matter, right?

BECOMING A WITCH

BECOMING A WITCH

Many people just discovering the Craft have asked me how does one become a Witch

. The answer to that is one does not become a Witch…..they are a Witch, and it
is just reaching down and finding it within them. It is not a matter of
“becoming” a Witch, but finding the Witch within and, while the answer is quite
simple, yet; to some, it can be quite complex. It is really not difficult once
you find that inner Witch within. But that is where it must come from and not
from any book that you read. Reading books, joining covens and/or someone who
initiates one into Witchcraft does not make one a Witch. It is you and you
alone. Once you discover and decided that you are a Witch, you are deciding to
embrace a life-enhancing and joyful spiritual path. You are declaring that you
are willing to experience the wonders of the magickal web and encounter the
Goddess. You are daring to be different in a way that facilitates your growth
and empowers you. Most importantly, you are stepping into the spiral dance of
life, celebrated by Witches all over the world.

Becoming a Witch means learning how to work ritual and magick, methods of
raising, containing and releasing power, how to work with the energies of the
moon and earth and the principles of sympathetic magick upon which most
Witchcraft magick is based.

Witches are very unique individuals and some, no……. many, might call us
strange. We look at life differently; we live life differently; and we
experience life differently. We find beauty and laughter in the simplest things.
We believe that magick is in life itself.

Some people who become interested in Witchcraft have expectations that Witches
are gifted with amazing powers as the result of a particular ceremony or spell.
The truth is more mundane than the fantasy. Witchcraft is about growing within
your own spirituality, making contact with the web of magick, learning how to
weave, and observing the way the world works. Witchcraft is about working with
natural energies, observing how they work, and determining how you can gently
divert them and not about moving things around at will.

The decision to become a Witch is not one you should take lightly. It is not a
persona you can put on or take off at will. Witchcraft becomes your whole life
and can drastically change your perception of the world in which you live.
Becoming a Witch will affect everything and everyone around you. That it will
affect them positively does not alter the fact that you will relate to them
differently and you should be prepared for this.

To become a Witch is to become changed within yourself and a changer of things
outside you. This is your inner magick. Encountering the Goddess, working with
magick and connecting with nature will take a lot of time and energy until it
becomes second nature to you. You may find that you get angry with those people
who do not understand Witchcraft or paint it as “evil” but you will have to
resist putting them right until you have grasped some of the key concepts for
yourself. This can be achieved only through experience and this means practicing
patience which means embracing the Crone energies of wisdom and patience, and
this can take quite some time.

Once your decision is made, you have already stepped onto the path of
Witchcraft. The next step depends on the type of person you are. If you are a
fiery, adventurous sort of person, you will probably wish to throw yourself into
studying everything at once. You will want to read everything you get your hands
on, hoping that the more you read, the more experience you will have and the
wiser you will be. Unfortunately, experience and wisdom work together and that
comes with life experiences which comes with age. That is why so much emphasis
is put on the Crone for her having wisdom. She has experienced life; she has
stumbled and fell and picked herself up over the years until she hardly falls
anymore. She has learned when it is time to speak and when it is time to be
silent. She is the Raven and the Owl all rolled into one. The Raven is very
vocal whereas the owl practices silence and is silent in everything that it
does. If you are more cautious or laid back, you may wish to learn gradually and
thoroughly. One of the lessons that the Craft has to teach is to be resourceful.

So, I think the best place to start is within your heart and soul. I am not
talking about being a pagan but a Witch. Being a pagan and being a Witch are two
separate things. Pagans tend to work more with the Sabbats and attend
celebrations and many now call themselves Wiccans. There are many pagans who do
not have anything to do with magick. You may have heard that old saying that all
Witches are pagans but not all pagans were Witches. That is because before the
God of Abraham came and then later Christianity, most people were pagans and
their beliefs were centered around agriculture, because most were farmers.
However, you then had your mid-wives and healing women, who were pagans, who
attended to the towns people when they were sick or when a woman became with
child. These wise women were also consulted when women wished not to have a
child. They consulted these women from birthing to healing the sick through
herbs which were grown and tended to by these women. The wise women grew and
harvested their herbs by the Moon and lived also by the Moon. These wise women
were also consulted for divination purposes and potions. Years later these wise
women were called Witches and later on, they were tortured and burned. See Crone
Turns Witch for a more in-depth reading.

My first suggestion would be to get in touch with the Moon and knowing when She
is full and dark, and when She is waning or waxing. Notice how you feel when the
moon moves through the phases. Do not feel that the only time to do magick and
work with Her energies is when the moon is waxing to full. You can work with Her
energies any time of the month. I seem to come more alive when the Moon moves
into Her waning phase and up to Dark Moon, whom many call New Moon. But that
might be because I was born on a Balsamic Moon (Dark Moon). I prefer to call the
Moon what it is….dark, and give it back to the Crone, where it belongs, and
give the New Moon back to the Maiden, where it belongs, when it is the first
thin sliver in the sky. I also burn a white candle when the Moon starts to wax
in honor of the Maiden; I burn a red candle when the Moon is full in honor of
the Mother; and I burn a black candle on the Dark of the Moon in honor of the
Goddess. You will be surprised how this helps you to be connected with the Moon
and with the Goddess all at the same time.

My second suggestion is to read and read as many books as you can. We are so
fortunate in this day and age to have the abundance of books on the Craft. Even
if you are not Wiccan, there is a lot of material to be found in books on Wicca.
I think the most informative book and a must to have in every Witch’s library is
Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca, A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.” His book is
very easy to follow, and he explains the art of ritual design, the Witch’s tools
and many other important things. If it is magick you want, then besides Hecate’s
Cauldron, you will find Scott Cunningham’s Book of Incense, Oils and Brews is
yet another must to have sitting on your Witch’s cupboard. But keep the spiders
away, as they love this book! There is also another wonderful book by Shekhinah
Mountainwater entitled “Ariadne’s Thread.” It is a workbook of Goddess magick
and many Witches today are discovering this wonderful book.

I would also suggest to jump right into ritual work and doing spells as well. As
mentioned above, Scott Cunningham’s books are excellent for the beginning Witch.
Remember, practice makes perfect. There are many new in the Craft who are afraid
to do magick, fearing that they might do something wrong. Witches of yesteryear
lived quite, simple lives and their magick was simple as well. Many did not even
do rituals when they performed a spell. They were Witches and not magicians. If
you follow the cycles of the moon and do magick according to those cycles, you
have accomplished half the battle. A little homework, and you will be fine.

If possible, growing herbs not only for cooking but for medicinal purposes as
well is very rewarding for a Witch. Did you know that during the Burning Times,
any woman having the herb Basil in her cupboard was considered a Witch? I love
Basil and have it growing in my herb box, as well as Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary,and Dill. Learn to know the magickal properties of herbs, and as you sprinkle these herbs in the cauldron on your stove, cast that magick into the food that you and your family eat. When I drink hazelnut coffee, I charge my coffee for my psyche, as hazelnut is good for psychic abilities. Cinnamon is also great for psychic abilities. . I always drink cinnamon tea before I do tarot readings. As you sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon into your apple pies, charge your pies as well to help you in your psychic ability. If you cannot grow the herbs, there is always fresh herbs in your local grocery store. However, one small potted plant of a particular herb will give you much satisfaction. There is so much a Witch can do while cooking on the stove in her cauldrons!

As far as computers are concerned, I consider my computer a form of cauldron
where I conjure and stir things up. There are many Witches who have a special
magickal name for their computers, as do I.

There are more and more Witches wishing to connect more with the Moon and Her energies and walking Her path. Walking the path of the Goddess is a very simple one and it is very spiritual and brings you inner peace because it is through the Goddess that you will find this. So, get out in the fresh air and see all Her beauty and nature all around you and that includes the leaveless trees in
winter to the bursting foliage in the spring for the Goddess is not only the
Moon but nature itself and She is Mother Earth, and She is the seasons. More
information on the Goddess path can be found on The Path of the Goddess.

You can also start each day with a prayer to the Goddess to give you strength
and wisdom throughout the day and at the end of each day say a pray thanking Her for giving you the strength and wisdom. You can also light a sacred candle in Her honor each night when you get home from work. You can burn a scented candle as well. I burn a scented candle depending on what the Moon is doing. When the moon is waning, each night I light a candle scented with cloves to banish negativity and when the moon is waxing, I burn a scented candle to bring abundance into my life.

I would also like to add that you really do not need “magickal tools” in order
to be a Witch. Tools are nice to have and work with; however, they are not
necessary. Everything you need is inside of you. Tools belong in the category of
ceremonial magicians and Wiccans. Gerald Gardner was a Free Mason and belonged to the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn pulled things from The Key of Solomon.

Witches of yesteryear were simple folk who used what they had in and around
the house. And during the Burning Times, it could cost them their lives to have
“magickal tools.” Witchcraft is of the heart, mind and soul and not from
magickal tools.

The sky is the limit, because we Witches reach for the sky~so fly!

Author unknown
(WitchCraft)