Solitary: A Self-Directed Spiritual Life

Let's talk. Come sit with me under a tree or by a lake while we chat about being alone in our practice and our beliefs. Solitary practitioners choose this path for many reasons and have a unique perspective. As a solitary witch, I want to share how I keep true to my beliefs and practices whether I'm working on my own, in a small group or attending a large group gathering. Author of Moon Affirmations, meditations based on the phase of the moon.

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Eileen Troemel

Eileen Troemel

As a solitary, I consider myself a pagan witch who is seeking. Residing in rural Wisconsin, by day I work as a clerical worker and at night I spend my spare time writing. Writing is my way of expressing my feelings about my world and life. Raised on a farm, I have a love for nature and am inspired by the beauty and power I find there. I've been married for 33 years and have three adult daughters. Some of my other interests include cooking, genealogy, reading and crocheting.  

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Passing of a Crone

For the past year, my father has been on my mind.  He died 34 years ago on October 25.  Whenever someone is on my mind like this, it usually means I need to do something for them.  No matter what I did, what conversation I had, I felt him hovering.  

I realized on the date of his passing, he was waiting.  My mother became ill after heart surgery November 2017.  At the time, we talked about end of life issues while she was in the hospital, nursing home, and even at the assisted living facility.  I took over her finances and while all six of us discussed health care issues, I took the lead with her care.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    My heartfelt condolences. I recently lost my parents.
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    I'm so sorry for your loss. My father passed away 34 years ago in October as well. So on top of dealing with the anniversary of

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honoring the Dead

Halloween.  I'm not a fan of this time of year.  There's all the horror movies and everything associated with the day.  I never dressed up as a kid or for that matter as an adult.  I never did trick or treat.  We just didn't do it.  

Now when we talk about the day being a time to honor the ancestors, this I can get into.  I'm the family historian.  I've got the genealogy records and do the research.  I've done the DNA through Ancestry (fascinating).  This is a thing for me.

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Tarot

My tarot deck has been replaced a few times.  Each time I've given away my favorite deck, I felt compelled to do so.  I always told myself I'll go pick out something new and different.  Each time, I bought the same deck again.  

Tarot to me is soothing and calming.  I love tapping into the energy of the cards.  I love giving readings though I don't read for others often.  When I read for myself, I look at the cards write down whatever comes to mind and then I look at what the book has to say.  I use both for interpretation.  

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Group Therapy

The room was not dark, there was no mysterious woman dressed in shawls and exotic clothes wearing finger symbols wielding tarot cards (though how you would do both those I’m not quite sure).  There was no veil of mystery.  There were just seven other women and myself, sitting around a dining room table with a box full of tarot and divination decks.  My first group tarot reading - it was a bit scary, a bit intimidating and a bit exciting.  I am not a professional reader.  Since I don’t have all the cards memorized (heck I’m lucky if I can remember my name some days), I use the books and my intuition.  I don’t charge for my readings.  I do them because people ask and I enjoy the process.  My best friend was my first guinea pig and I’d been reading for her for several years when she asked if I’d be willing to read for others in her family.  

We gathered around her grandmother’s old wood table.  I brought candles, tarot decks (and books) and faith that this group of women would make the night interesting.  I have an opening spiel I say to all the people the first time I read for them.  It goes something like “this is for entertainment purposes only.  If you take away something more than entertainment great, it is not evil; you get from the cards guidance if that is what you choose to find.”  I also give a little talk about the two “shocking” cards of Death and the Devil.  These women are all Christians and I knew these two cards would upset or intimidate them.  I wanted them to have a positive experience so before we even started readings I explained about those two cards.  

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Not Pagan Enough

After exchanging a number of emails with an editor (not going to say the company), the woman stopped responding.  She said she was going to contact me after a certain date and didn't.  Now this was for paid work so I was hoping to be able to write for them.  It's always iffy when you nudge people via email - especially publishers because it is almost always we will let you know.  Gently I nudged.  The response I got was you aren't pagan enough for our readers.  

My first reaction was to be offended.  I'm Pagan enough for me.  I live my life according to my beliefs, doesn't that make me Pagan enough?  I've written for them in the past some well researched writing.  Now when you're talking writing.  No is a perfectly acceptable answer.  I've heard it often.  If I printed all my rejection letters, I could probably wall paper my whole house with them.  I expect rejection.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    To all who read and offered words of encouragement, thank you! The support and caring shown lifts me up and reminds me there are
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    "Not pagan enough"? What does that even mean? I hope you can find another publishing company.
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    Because I'm trying to build my income from writing, I was looking for a paying market. There aren't a lot out there. I'll keep w
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    What is meant by "Pagan Enough?" I am a Roman Polytheist, so I guess I would be outside the Neo-pagan community. But I never under
  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal says #
    I would say a Roman Polytheist is about as Pagan as someone can possibly be!

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Spring Rituals

Spring rituals mean for me that it's time to get outside and in the fields.  I've not lived on my family farm for nearly forty years but every spring when the snow melts away but we still have the ice in the breeze, I want to be on the land.

This year, I was driving to work and saw the farmers out with their huge tractors discing (not as invasive as a plow) the soil.  The gray which I relate to winter was replaced with the rich dark coffee color which means it's time to start planting.  There's a smell in the air which I have never been able to describe but it is spring.  

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Spring Moons and Old Wives Tales

Spring Equinox is a time of balance between day and night. In spring Mother Nature is awakening, starting fresh with new growth and new beginnings.  New beginnings mean change and often this means a bit of chaos.  March has always been a tumultuous month for weather being described as coming in like a lion (windy and rough weather) or a lamb (calm weather).  The saying is – in like a lion, out like a lamb – or vice versa.  Perhaps this old wives tale is an indicator of how early societies predicted how nature would behave during a critical season for their well being.  With the ever changing, often erratic weather, one thing which could be counted on to remain constant was the moon.  As usual she cycles through her phases without fail each month.  Offering comfort in her constancy, early societies would naturally name the moons for each month.  Early cultures living off the land would have chosen names closely related to their daily lives.

The March full moon has been called many things including awakening[i], fish[ii], windy[iii], sap[iv], crow[v], worm[vi], crust[vii], and sugar[viii].  All of these names can relate to how people saw their natural world.  March is a time when the ground starts to thaw thus removing the crust for the soil so worms were becoming more active.  Sap in sugar maple trees begins to flow and can be processed to create sugar so it would be a natural name for the March full moon.  Ice is often starting to break up and fish are starting to be more easily accessible.  The natural world is awakening to the new beginnings of the spring season.  Therefore early civilizations named the moon based on the experiences they had with nature and tied it in with what we now call old wives tales.

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  • Ganchgaers
    Ganchgaers says #
    Wonderful season is spring. I like more that. March month is very tumultuous and given wonderful weather. Some of critical season

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