Witchcraft Journal Blog

A resource for information and opinions on the beliefs, practices, customs, and magic of Traditional Witchcraft of the British Isles.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tips for Solitary Witches ~ Part I

[I located this article and I think it is quite good. It is written from a Wicca point of view and with Wiccan references, however a new solitary Trad Witch would do well to pay heed to this important list. This is from Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar 1998. Adrian]

There are a lot more self-initiated Witches out there than practically any other variety. While it is a valid and legitimate spiritual path, self-initiation also poses a few unique challenges to those who would seek the Old Gods on their own. If you are contemplating self-initiation and the building of your own version of spiritual practice based on the Wiccan model, here are some tips to help make the process go a bit more smoothly.

1.) You have every right to initiate yourself and to follow your own, unique path to the gods. - No one has a monopoly on wisdom, nor on the Mysteries. Anyone who approaches the gods with sincerity, respect, and integrity can and will discover their own way to commune with these essential forces of nature. It requires creativity, persistence, and determination--it is a challenging path to take.

2.) Clarify your intent. - Ask yourself "Why am I doing this?" It is wise that you examine your motivations--pursuing such an intensive path as solitary Wicca is not something to do on a whim, nor is it a "fun" hobby. It's work, and plenty of it. You don't get to take advantage of someone else's previous efforts, except for what you can get out of books. You have to build your own foundation, and establish a mythos and context within which to work. You can just declare yourself a member of your own tadition, but what will it mean?

3.) Gather your resources. - You need to establish a set of ground rules--guidelines for what you want and what you plan to do. This will require reading everything you can get. Try to read a diversity of authors, and don't read just about Witchcraft--broaden your horizons as much as possible.

4.) If you find something that you like, adapt it. - Don't just lift it out of its context. Once you have basic framework within/upon which to work, rewrite everything to fit your emerging vision. Don't be worried about perfection--you will re-write things many times as you develop and grow. The more you learn, the more you'll be enhance, refine, and desire to modify your first attempts at ritual. When members of a tradition refer to basic things such as their oaths, the creed of their sect, whatever degree they may have been initiated into or whatever, these things all mean something within that tradition. When you are self-initiated, it's all up to you what it all means to you--in as far as it applies to you and you alone. Develop your own unique versions of those elements of the Craft that you choose to adopt. It's perfectly fine to toss out all the old stuff and start out on your own path. If you do, there's a lot of baggage to deal with, and you might not want to toss the baby out with the bath water. Take some time and reflect upon these things. Make no hasty decisions. Seek to understand your impetus and motivation for removing or including the various bits and pieces of Craft material. Personal creativity is a vital part of the Craft. There's not much room for dogma in an ecstatic, experiential religion.

[This is continued to the next blogging.]


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