Some reflections on the life of a solitary practitioner of the craft.
The title of this work is taken from one of the Craft Laws of both the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions of the craft. As one of many solitary practitioners of the Craft, I take exception with such a bias Law, which at its best is a corruption of the basic ideals of Wicca.
Are we expected to accept the word of these two that their form of the craft came complete with a coven? No need for either one to start alone? Absurd at least, is it not. No the two forms of Wicca mentioned above, have themselves undergone many changes and there are several hundred solitary practitioners in the United States alone.
This is, however, not an attack on these fine traditions, but just an illustration of how misunderstood the solitary practitioner can be. We hold our circles, alone. We send forth our energies, alone and in many instances we celebrate the festivals, alone. Inherent in all this is the fact that being alone, I feel we achieve a closer feeling with our own being, than those who practice within a coven.
A coven does allow for the raising of more power (the collective efforts being greater than a single one) but it also allows for the increase in conflicts and disputes between the members. Such disputes can, and in my experience, frequently do, limit the effect of the coven and inhibit the abilities of the members.
A coven makes for a more festive celebration during Beltane or Samhain, but unless great care is taken, the celebration finds itself drifting away from the meaning of the festival.
A coven places hidden pressure on the individual to appease her or his peers. Although most all members of a coven will refute this, deep within their being, they are all aware of times when their actions were affected by their desire to please other members.
Solitary witches suffer from none of this. No peer pressure, no disputes with a group, and a more focused celebration of the Sabbats and festivals.
But being solitary does include a sense of isolation, a lack of like minds with which to communicate. Inevitably the solitaire immerses him/herself deeper into the craft, attempting to find solace in Nature, within the Goddess herself.
History illustrates that the majority of known practitioners were solitary. Completely in tune with the forces of Nature, but out of step with the mainstream of society.
I have been practicing the Craft for the past 20 years, some as a member of a coven, but most as a solitaire. My own experiences in a coven were quite good, and I gleaned much from the teachings of a collective group. But as a single practitioner I have come to learn the importance of self, within Nature and the unimportance of dogmatic things such as which tradition a witch is initiated into. For it is certain that the traditions change so frequently, that a member of a certain tradition, initiated 20 years ago, would hardly recognize the manner in which it is practiced, today. For this is the true beauty of the Craft, the ability to avoid dogmas, to change, and to grow.
I welcome any and all comments on this short essay. You may leave e-mail on AOL to DJW113. Blessings on all of you. Merry Part until our next crossing of paths.
Originally posted 2009-11-10 02:44:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter