A Solitary Path

Being a solitary means you will have freedom to practice without worrying about coven social dynamics, performance ritual and be limited to a coven’s traditional system. However, being a solitary also means ‘you’ have to come up with all the rituals and traditions yourself. Developing your tradition will take time.

You have to start thinking about how you will celebrate the Sabbats/Esbats, your deity concepts, magical ethics and rules, spirit guides, spell working, etc. Its sometimes feels like an overwhelming task but you do get an opportunity to explore and learn more about your spirituality and beliefs.

The best way to start is to just sit down and start writing out what you believe and want in your ‘path’. You may find that ‘this’ way is not ‘your’ way when you ‘examine’ your beleifs. If it is, you can try researching good ‘starter’ books like Scott Cunningham’s book,_Wiccan, a Guide to the Solitary Practitioner_ and the next in that series, _Living Wicca_. Not the only books available for beginners, these are good basic books to start with.

It is easier to tackle your tradition creation if you break it up in a few parts.

Deities and general beliefs: Do you have specific deities you are interested in? Do you feel drawn to one cultural pantheon (Celtic, Asatru, etc.) or are you more eclectic? If you are unsure, research may help you find what you are looking for. Explore how you feel about the Goddess and the God in their various aspects.

How do you feel about reincarnation? Develop your own theory of life-after death.

How do you feel about magic and how energy works? More or less, ‘what’ do you believe and why?

Rules: Explore the “Thirteen goals of a Witch”. Modify it toward your liking if needed. The spiritual goals you have for yourself are very important to keep track of. How do you feel about the redes ‘harm none and do as thou wilt’? What does ‘harm’ mean to you? What do you consider as non-ethical magic? Think about the threefold law. Consider issues such as teaching minors, sexual orientation, charging for classes, proselytizing, protecting the earth and the concept as all religions different but equal paths to the Divine.

Ritual: How we feel about the holidays can be one of the main things that make us witches. It is very important to celebrate them in some way. If you were to make a holiday ritual, would your ideal ritual use a lot of tools, incantations and music, or would you prefer to light a few candles and say a simple silent prayer or a guided meditation that recognizes the holiday? Do you want to pre-write all the prayers and read/memorize them? Do you wish to celebrate all the Sabbats or only the four greater Sabbats? Do you want to have full moon and new moon Esbats or only full moons?

For non-holiday ritual, consider prayer, meditation and magic. You may want to set a daily/weekly/ monthly time for prayers and meditations. Will your prayers be at an altar and will you give an offering? As far as magic goes, do you like a particular system of magic? Do you want to create a few ‘spells’ before they are needed and keep them on hand, or create them as they are needed?

Tools, spaces and dress: Consider your alter. Do you want a permanent one and how/where will you set it up? What will you use in your circle? What will your circle look like? (candles to make the corners, an outdoor stone circle, were the altar will face, etc.) Do you wish to use magical tools, and if so, which ones would you like to acquire and what should they look like and be made of? What do they mean to you and how should they be used? During rituals you may want to go skyclad or wear a special cloak or clothing. You may also want to reserve jewelry for rituals only.

*Starting out as a Solitary means starting out alone. For some, it is the only way to start. Enjoy the adventure, learn, and grow.

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