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Magickal Path: Solitary Practitioner of Wicca
Age Group: Adult
Sun Sign: Leo
Occupation: bipolar, engineer+laptop tech
Relationship Status: Married
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Likes: I view Wicca as a compassionate goddess/god relationship that rings far more true than the "corporatized" religions currently dictating their rulebooks over society.
Dislikes: Everyone has their strengths, weaknesses, and twists of fate in their experiences. However, I find deceit in particular tends to lead to bizarre results occurring.
(NOTE: "Simesa" is a temporary name, not a Craft one.)
The first witch I ever met was a high school classmate named kathe who deliberately befriended me and who we all adored intensely. Kind beyond words, she was truly a radiant being. I knew her about two years before she died tragically -- we were literally devastated. I think of her every day, as I believe several of us do (at least I did until a bizarrely unfortunate event in February 2012, but I've resumed that) . I still worship the ground she walked on.
I've been pagan-oriented since 2008 (attending occasional Beltane and Fires of Venus festivals, and, for awhile, some open Wiccan celebrations) . I was hurt badly (I test to be a Highly Sensitive Person) by a Wiccan-related problem that I had no prior inkling was even a possibility, from which it took so long to recover that I decided to stay a solitary practitioner. My ailing wife of over five years is herself a long-time solitary practitioner because she does not wish to follow anyone else's path.
My profile used to be virtually a resume. I've been to some unusual places in the U.S. and done many things I never expected to. I have, for example, been to the bottom end of the Bright Angel Trail, on the refueling floor of a nuclear power plant, and behind a green door. I have created articles in Wikipedia. Through it all I've always had the greater good in mind, and my lack of self-centeredness has too often led to a large amount of personal heartache.
(About nuclear power : I saw that it was intended to be a better-than-fossil-fuels stopgap solution until the far-cleaner fusion power came along -- which, 35 years since my Physics degree, still has yet to happen. The proper solution is a mix of solar/wind/bio/geo/tidal/hydro, but there simply is no political will to tackle this problem as long as the world remains in turmoil over oil. Fusion power is the necessary intermediate step, that should stabilize the environment, replace the country-side "dirty" power plants with clean ones inside the cities, solve half of the balance-of-payments deficits, and halt the incessant wars over oil.)
Apparently I'm going to remain an uninitiated solitary practitioner, although a well-read one. The reason was not made known to me, and it was only while deep in the book "The Spiral Dance" that I recently found it. Certain personal practices in my marriage and a fetish I've always really rathered I didn't have make me a poor candidate. I've tried to make the best (or at least safest) of each situation as it arose, but that approach hasn't served me well.
I exist to serve others -- not in a submissive way (unless the situation calls for that) , but in a contributory one. That's just the way I am, for if I'm not making others happier I usually am not too happy myself.
I have a preference for strong women (and have asked to work under at least one) . My wife is both easily my equal and superior in several vital aspects (we're both Mensa members, where we met -- only her Chronic Lyme Disease holds her down) . We're not identical people, but we meld our different strengths into a happy marriage.
My greatest failings have come when I've been called on to be the stereo-typical "alpha male". I simply have never believed that forcing situations through into a "win-lose" was preferable to finding a "win-win" outcome. Developing a bipolar condition at age 37 certainly didn't help (the result of overwork and an undesired divorce) -- although under control 20 years later, the shadows of a decade of misery still haunt me. (For the record, one of my brothers had an identical breakdown in late 2007, which dragged me into a different morass.)
I've long had a saying (based on a Shakespeare quote that I've since learned is renowned here) : "A man who will lie to others, will lie to himself as well." However, the most important verse to me is "With our brothers, we will share" from the song "One Tin Soldier". Finally, there's a quote from Cantrell (see below) -- "Witches harm none, not because they fear the consequences of the Threefold Law, but because all is sacred."
My favorite song is "Time Will Tell" from (appropriately) "Wizards" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwlgNT-vDEA (note that the commonly-reprinted lyrics say "break the spell" when the song is clearly "bring the spell", and that the MP3 file has a lot better sound than the Youtube video) . I've also watched other videos, and one I've long admired still strikes a chord -- The Impossible Dream ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgzXwpePTTU )
The books (of our 133 Wicca/paganism books and 25 associated ones) and albums I've found most useful so far are listed below. However, in the end the Goddess is right -- if that which you seek you find not within you.....
-- Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance" (1979/1989/1999) (re-read in July 2013)
-- Murphy-Hiscock's "Solitary Wicca For Life" (2005) (re-read in August 2013)
-- Cabot's "Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment" (1989)
---- (read in December 2013)
---- (a very powerful book, but my opinion is that it needed a chapter up front on ethics and morality)
---- (Caution: Chapter 6's "Crystal Countdown" takes 5 weeks of practice to master)
-- Starhawk & Valentine's "The Twelve Wild Swans" (2000)
---- (a brief fairy tale with perspectives and exercises)
---- (re-read all of The Elements sections in February 2014)
---- (re-read all of The Inner Path sections in February 2014)
---- (Caution: see the next paragraph below before reading this book)
-- Holland's "Wicca Handbook" and "The Spellcaster's Reference" (both used frequently)
-- Raven Grimassi's "The Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings" (re-read in August 2013)
---- (Caution: Chapter 16 has ten questions which require going back over the previous chapters)
-- Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" (1988)
-- Cantrell's "Wiccan Beliefs & Practices" (2001)
-- Zukav's "The Seat of the Soul" (1989) (read in November/December 2013)
-- Wildman's "Wiccan Meditations" (2002)
-- Klein's "The Flowering Rod -- Men, Sex, and Spirituality" (1993)
-- "Shamanic Journey Solo and Double Drumming" (an album for journeying)
-- "Celtic Trance" (an album for special energy-raising)
-- "Two Worlds One" (Lisa Lynne -- I have 10 of her albums -- http://www.LisaLynne.com )
CAUTION: I think I want to advise against most novices reading "The Twelve Wild Swans". The reason for that is that it likely will interfere with their training and evaluation by their coven leaders. For someone like me going Solitary, "The Twelve Wild Swans" is a valuable book -- but for a young novice, reading it might derail the desired process (so ask your coven leader first) .
COMMENT -- Alexander's "The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book" (2008) seems to be a significant improvement on the original 2002 book of the same name (which was by Singer) .
SPECIAL MENTION -- Penczak's "The Three Rays of Witchcraft" (2010) (read in September 2013)
SPECIAL MENTION -- Campbell's "The Power of Myth" (1988) (read in November 2013)
SPECIAL MENTION -- Collins/Raeburn -- "Building a Magickal Relationship: The Five Points of Love" (2002) (read in January/February 2014)
NOT RECOMMENDED -- Elsbeth&Johnson's "The Silver Wheel" (1996)
---- (Chapter 2 has, at best, bizarre psychology based on a minority viewpoint)
NOT RECOMMENDED -- Chauran's "Have You Been Hexed?" (2013)
---- (There are many better ways to break hexes than by prayer alone)
RE-READING PAUSED -- Penczak's "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft" (2002) (read 8 chapters of 17 -- these chapters take practicing)
Currently finishing "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tarot" (which is a decent 101 book, although very weak on the implications of combinations) , to be followed by Pollack's "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot".
NOW READING: Maitland's "From the Forest: a Search for the Hidden Roots of our Fairy Tales" (2012) (read 3 of 12 chapters)
NOW READING: McCoy's "Inside a Witches' Coven" (1997) (read 5 of 11 chapters)
RECEIVED: McCoy's "Advanced Witchcraft" (2004)
--- "Religion is for people afraid of going to hell -- Spirituality is for those who have already been there." ---
--- "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." ---
--- "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." ---
--- "Never look down on someone unless it is to help them up." ---
--- "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." ---
I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in invites -- my beloved wife would divorce me instantly. She has had incredibly atrocious experiences with two covens now, and is adamantly a Solitary.
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