For many, it is difficult to be a solitary witch, especially if you don’t have any other experienced witches to talk to about it. When I was new to witchcraft, the first thing I did was explore the concept with lots of books. Life was so hectic and I didn’t have any support to explore the subject. In fact, it was the opposite. My boyfriend at the time tried to push me in the opposite direction although he claimed his path was of the Pagan variety and had been calling me a “Natural Witch” for years. I found I could only get so much information from books and back then, I didn’t have unlimited access to the internet.
I found a group of witches who sort of took me under their proverbial wing and taught some basics about what magick is and why we use tools. They taught me things I didn’t see in the books that I actually had access to back then. I had all kinds of wonderful experiences in my newly found group of friends. As I discovered that I already practiced witchcraft and it all came to me naturally because witchcraft is natural, I grew excited about my discovery and wanted to share with my family. My mother wouldn’t even acknowledge that I wasn’t a Christian although she wasn’t exactly a devoted one herself. Most of my family who are Christian grimaced at the idea but overall didn’t take me or my newly found practices seriously.
I quickly learned not to talk about it and that it was a subject that was not acceptable. I got a lot of warnings to change my ways or I will burn in hell, concerns about my soul, and told often that I don’t know what I’m dabbling with. As I grew in my practices, I became more secretive. After about two years with these wonderful Witches, life took me into a different direction. I became a solitary practitioner. Now, after many years of solitude, meeting a few people who were new to the craft here and there, I found myself feeling very much alone and although my growth in my practice has been very personal, I feel it has been limited.
There is something about being able to speak openly about concerns regarding spells and specific ideas and practices. Since I have been both involved with others and a solitary Witch who practiced in almost complete solitude, I have to say, I like being a solitary practitioner, However, I like being a solitary practitioner with like-minded friends. Being a Solitary Witch in a Christian family or in a family of any faith that disagrees with witchcraft of any style, it is difficult to practice with a strong conviction. Not impossible, just difficult. When your family if of a disagreeing faith such as Christianity, there is no support, no one to turn to and having to keep secrets from them makes it even more difficult. It isn’t that all Witches want to keep it secret or that it is a big secret or mysterious path to begin with. It is just that there is no point bringing it up or talking about it with people who not only don’t understand your point of view or practices, but they ridicule you and tell you that you will burn in hell. They seem to play emotional games with you like begging you to change because they don’t want you to burn in hell, or they just treat you like you are crazy.
I don’t talk a lot about Wicca here because I see Wicca as a religion that incorporates the art of witchcraft into its practices. In this case, however, I want to say that favoring Wicca as my own religious belief system has helped me combat the attacks by my Christian family and even Christian strangers. I am personally a religious person to begin with and I like having a spiritual connection with a religious belief. But I am also a Witch that stands aside from religion. At the beginning of my second marriage, a couple years after I began my path in Witchcraft, my practices became an issue. I was open and forthcoming about my practices but when he actually seen me putting my words into action, he had a big problem with it. He didn’t even like the fact that I took the time to meditate. He even freaked out when I burned a little sage to cleanse our new residence.
Suddenly, my new husband decided he was out to destroy me. That I was suddenly the enemy. When he realized that I was actually a practitioner of witchcraft and that it wasn’t all talk, entertainment, and games; things got serious and it was a miserable 5 years of my life. The path of a solitary practitioner can be awesome with the self-growth and personal power that can be had. It can be lonely at times as well. Since Witchcraft isn’t a belief system such as Christianity and is more focused on what is practiced, there really isn’t one way to practice. It is difficult for some people to understand that some practitioners are Christian and a Witch or any other religion mixed with witchcraft. For some, they no longer have families because their families have abandoned them. It was usually for more dysfunctional reasons other than beliefs, practicing witchcraft, lifestyles or sexual orientation, but these things usually get the blame and are commonly found in Witchcraft.
Witches who are from a Christian (or any intolerant religion) background find themselves very often as an outcast from their families for one reason or another and have found refuge in new families made up of like-minded friends when they have found themselves abandoned by their biological relatives. I use Christianity as an example here for two reasons. My first reason is my own childhood background is Christian, and two, it is a very large and loud religious group that is against pretty much everything, especially witchcraft. When the teachings of any religion states to never suffer a Witch to live (Exodus 22:18 KJV) and has a history of killing people accused of witchcraft, it is difficult to find support from those who believe in such things. I have found that, although I may not want to join a coven or fellowship for whatever reason, It is essential to find at least a couple friends who are like-minded and understand witchcraft, who are open-minded people and some other witches, even if they have different traditions or practices. I currently do have that one special someone who doesn’t practice witchcraft or fully understands it, but they are open-minded and respect my practices, my own personal religious beliefs, and my spiritual path.
We can talk about our own personal beliefs even when our beliefs and practices don’t agree. Having that one person I can talk to without being judged or bullied helps when I need that little bit of support. It is important to surround yourself with open-minded people just as it is important to be open-minded. It isn’t easy being a Solitary Witch in a Christian family but it isn’t impossible.
Once you understand what witchcraft really is and how natural it is to the soul, you may find that you don’t really have to give up core religious beliefs and can find solace in incorporating your religious beliefs in with your practice of the craft. It will change how you live, how you think, how you feel and how you handle problems. It may even change who you are. Keep one thing in mind when dealing with people of any background, the best practice of all is to keep an open mind and respect their beliefs and practices too.