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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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.

The stories in the family I'm drawn to are the women and what they tolerated.  One ancestor traveled with her husband the ship's captain.  They had six children none of whom made it to adulthood.  She divorced her husband - rare in the 1800s.  I found the story fascinating and absorbing.

I'm drawn to my grandmothers and one of my great grandmothers who came from Ireland.  The stories of the women draw me in as I want to honor them.  One of my grandmother's wasn't allowed to continue school after eighth grade and yet she went on to run her own business.  One of my grandmothers had a lot of miscarriages (Rh factor which they didn't know about in her day) but still managed to be loving and caring.  

My father died in October.  His death drastically changed my family.  The effect of his death ripples out even to his grandchildren who didn't know him.  He's always on my mind during this time.

My grandfathers I don't remember.  I have one family story about the funeral of my one grandfather.  I was five and very unhappy about his death.  I apparently had the entire church in tears.  I do not remember this.  I remember he used to tickle me and hug me.  

These are the people I honor during this time of year.  Whether it's through learning more about them, gathering the information so others in the family can learn more about them or having a conversation with them, I make a point of remembering them and giving them thought.  

Honoring them is important.  The older I get, the more I wish I could talk to them.  I'd like to sit down to see what their views were on some things.  When my grandmother was dying from a brain tumor, I remember telling her we were talking about her.  My husband and I were moving in above her.  She was feisty and determined.  Sadly, she died before she returned to her apartment.  

Honoring my ancestors can be as simple as putting their picture out so people can see them.  It can be a complicated ritual to draw them closer to you.  For me it's important to remember them.  By the time I was nine, I only had one grandmother left.  

During this holiday I don't carve pumpkins or put out skeletons.  I remember those who have passed and who I miss.  I think of those I only know because of a grave stone or as a name on a family tree.  I wonder who they were and what their life was like.  

It isn't much.  It's a small thing but I try to remember them all, to root out as much information as possible so they are remembered.

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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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