Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Posted: September 24th. 2004
Times Viewed: 2,906
It took me 55 years to find the exit from the black hole I felt I was in. The exit was the entrance to my spirituality. All the signs now made sense and I started to put everything together. Still I dithered, rationalizing delay and ignorance. I didn't know where to start, so I looked for a teacher. Witchvox popped up and I found a link to a coven in my region. Sadly, it wasn't the right group for me and I continued my search. Nothing suitable: disharmony or wrong path. Mostly, of course, established covens are impenetrable and you can't blame them. So, I read and made the odd foray onto the Internet. Self-teaching by these methods is what, I suspect, most Solitaries do.
Luckily, my first choice of books was Lid Off the Cauldron, by Patricia Crowther. I say, luckily, because since then I have realized the quality of occult literature and websites is variable to say the least. I had already been inspired by the fiction writing of one Stuart Farrar, and saw immediately the link between Wicca and other ancient religions in which I always had an interest. Further reading has given me insights into other paths, for which I am grateful, but I feel strongly drawn to the Traditional way.
I dedicated myself to the Goddess and God in October 2001, nearly contracting pneumonia in the process. You notice I don't say initiated. Semantics, maybe, but to me there has to be an initiator to become initiated. However, dedication is just as powerful an event, including as it did, cleansing, anointing and taking an oath. This was the first time that I experienced the heat generated in a circle. Unfortunately, this did not extend to my feet.
At my first Sabbat, which was Sahmain, I came to terms with the grief that I experienced on losing both my parents earlier in the year. I felt they were disturbed and I wanted to find a method to ease their path to Summerlands. I devised an incantation that I chanted while performing the Mill and, although I was not aware of any magickal event, I felt a great weight had been lifted and the negative energy dispersed.
I use Traditional ritual as my framework and include a few elements from ancestral links. I don't consider myself "eclectic," which I have only recently discovered means something quite different. For example, I invoke the God and Goddess with Celtic names, in common with many other British practitioners. Other than that, I let the Spirits guide me. Those around my garden made Themselves known to me in a very striking way. In order to aid my appalling memory, I used quite a few simplifications in my liturgy but I felt slightly stung by the idea that "proper Witches" would say I wasn't doing things correctly and this worried me. So I added in some more words. A mistake. I started my Circle and got to the point of dancing when, horror of horrors, I realized that concentrating on my new words, I had forgotten to call the quarters. Aghast, I froze. Then I gave an uncontrollable giggle. My embarrassment was soon overcome, because I suddenly felt that the laughter was bouncing around the trees - not spitefully, but with gentle mockery. My witnesses were all there in the soft darkness, awakened and eager to participate. They seemed very happy to be acknowledged and honored, even though They remain nameless to me. The beautiful liturgy devised by Gardner and Valiente has to be adapted for the Solitary, or it doesn't make sense. I can at least recite The Charge of the Goddess and Draw Down the Moon - an event very special to me. However, the Traditional liturgy is just that - devised. Although based on literary and oral research, it is a construct. Nowadays, I don't feel so guilty if I fluff a line or three. I would be saddened to think that some Gardnerians or Alexandrians regard me as a non-Witch. I know that I am one of a long, long line of solitary Witches, stretching back time out of mind.
The first time I worked a spell was pretty scary. I didn't think I was ready, but an acquaintance had cried for help and I knew that it was essential to try. He wanted to alter the outcome of a serious forthcoming event, but I knew that I couldn't manage that. What I did was to give him the strength to withstand whatever the outcome was fated to be, his health being suspect. I decided to do a candle spell and assembled all my tools and read up on the procedure. I spent some time praying before I cast the Circle but I still shook like a leaf calling the Old Ones in to help. As I carved and spoke the words, I felt completely enclosed by a warm pressure. Well, my friend didn't get the outcome he would have liked, but he bounced back and withstood this and later calamities. It could have turned out the same anyway, spell notwithstanding, but my newly honed intuition told me different.
Worship is important to me and to begin with, I spoke almost exclusively with the Goddess. I spoke to the God too, but it seemed a hollow act and I found it upsetting. I then went on a short, walking holiday in an area famed for its forest. Since early childhood, the forest has been both a play and pleasure ground to me and I was looking forward to the break. I am not very fit I'm afraid and I found the going quite tough. Most walking routes went uphill a lot and I struggled. On one excursion, I halted to listen to the wild world a bit and to draw breath. In my head, I asked Cernunnos for strength and then I carried on. Suddenly, a great shower of butter-colored leaves came down across the path and at the same time I heard a loud rustling and cracking above and to my right. I stopped still, thinking that someone was creeping around up to no good. Then, through the undergrowth below the ridgeline, a face with two big soft ears, a glistening heart-shaped nose and liquid eyes peered out. I was transfixed until some unheard signal sent the deer crashing off through the bushes. Later, I was gratefully walking downhill on the last part of the journey when a big dog fox sauntered across the track. He looked straight at me without a care in the world. When I next came to worship, I realized that the God had been there all along, throughout my life. He just had to remind me and the final connection was made.
This anecdote is given simply to illustrate why I no longer doubt my choice of path. Why am I still solitary? I try and put out astral feelers, but no luck yet. In any event, I may be too old to blend with a working group. I attended a moot in my town a couple of times, but always felt on the outside looking in. It had been established a long time and it's unpleasant to feel isolated in a room full of people. So I'll carry on alone and see what turns up.
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Bio: Mooncrone lives and practices in Southampton, England. She followed her parents and later her partner around England and Northern Ireland, never really settling for very long in one place until reaching Hampshire, which has been her domicile for 40 years. She feels her latest incarnation is probably linked with the ancient past, because that is where she always longs to be - somewhere amongst the trees, bow and arrow at the ready with an eye on lunch and the latest henge design.
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