Last Update: 06-08-10
Solitary, Style, and The Coven.
So what is a Witch?
Simple really. A Witch is a wise-man/ woman. The men are sometimes called Warlocks, but I ain't fussy. A Witch is a Witch in my eyes.
So what is a Coven?
A gaggle of Witches. It is important to remember that a Coven only becomes a Cult when it slides into nasty stuff. Not all Wiccans are good, but it is also important to remember that not all Wiccans are bad either. Actions dictate if you are good or bad.
The Wiccans are big on Covens, so I thought I'd add that in to keep it clear.
So what is a Solitary Witch?
A Solitary Witch is one that chooses to go it alone. Covens are good for learning as a group, but sometimes you have to be alone to get really spiritual. Like the monks and their hermitages. Go it alone for a bit, and see how you do. What you learn and that. It is also how a Faith survives when their meetings are banned. Which is very relevant to our History. How did the old ways survive to become older and wiser?
Simply? Loads of time spent alone and wondering what went wrong. And then learning and adapting to keep the stuff that worked. The Pagan Resurgence only really happened in about 1960. As the churches loosened up a little. The Jews got an easier ride around this time as well, so it wasn't just us.
Solitary Style happened due to our meetings becoming banned when we were conquered by The Romans. We learned to worship alone, as it was much harder to have a get-together. And our Faith survived. And we also had plenty of time to think about what went wrong. So in many ways our faith was able to grow in maturity and wisdom due to this forced change. You did get the odd small coven sure, but it did get risky with numbers. And that could get you killed.
These days it's simply that we are no longer tied to a Church or Parish like some Christians are. We're much free'er, due to having to learn this new style. Something Catholics will have to face if this crisis in their Church does not turn around. If your meetings are frowned on by the locals will you want to show up? So how do you worship if you can't show up? And, like with us in days gone by, what if your meeting is not allowed?
Solitary style has it's strengths. Walking alone sometimes gives you an edge. Same as if your local crowd are Neanderthal Style Pagans and you're a Modernist. You may not like the racism etc etc. And you may not want to be associated with them due to their enemies, and how that can effect the local politics. So at that point there's no local church to go to really.
Knowing how to do Solitary does have its uses. You aren't a 'lapsed pagan' for not attending regular meets/ moots.
We now head into Styles.
Shamanic or not?
Part of Shamanism is getting closer to the Spiritual Realm through the use of substances. So you are wiser for your tribe and that. Or today wiser for your community. Yeah... Bit risky eh? To be honest this did bring around some very good herbal remedies used by Modern Pharmacists now ( like St Johns Wort ), but it also brings in illegal drugs. You test substances on yourself to see what happens. What if one is a poison?
I can't stop you, but at the same time I can warn you. It's a lot stronger these days than in the 60's. Know when to quit. Or, like some of the old Shamans, you'll end up either dead or mad. And you're sod all use to anyone then.
You can't really dress that one up can you? There's no safe guide, and sadly never has been. Even govt laws can be inaccurate over time. Like the difference between Skunk and normal Cannabis. So on your head be it. I can't approve. It's your body. A chat over a couple of pints with a friend can open your eyes to some real depth in life. Alcohol is a poison.
But at the same time if it's a couple of pints of White Spirits then... Will you live to enjoy your new wisdom/ insight?
Well, normally Faiths involve gods. But what if that does not work for you?
Enter the philosopher. Tony Benn is a philosopher, and so am I. He's a Christian, I'm a Pagan. I did have a Shamanic Period, but much as I quit un-injured I was buying it off of someone. Who bought it off of someone, who... Bad crowd you could say.
And it did me no favours. So one to be aware of. You can be a sober Philosopher. And still get really down and dirty into belief and what works for you. Much as substances are not mandatory nor are gods. I found that life experience ( bereavement, loss, and joy ) opened your mind a hell of a lot. And if it's an open mind you need then...
Another option for people. If gods don't work then try Philosophy.
Well, yeah. Science is the exploration of Nature. Nature is creation, and we all live in it. Much as Science has the odd iffy moment morally ( Eugenics, Cloning, Artificial Life ) it can also do some wonderful things ( new hip bone, repaired lung etc etc ). And there is a real beauty to science as you explore the divine. Creation.
It's huge, and you can learn so much by simply remembering your link with Nature. And you'll find this is true for all faiths. All have a link to the land, as that is where dinner comes from.
Don't ask me, I don't do this bit. But what you need to consider is what this god you venerate will give you? The Wisdom of Ganesh is real enough to a Hindu so... Which god works for you? You're gonna have to do some reading up really. No escape I'm afraid. Pick the wrong one and you'll learn little, so you do need to explore.
So what is a god? Well, yeah. My head just exploded. But after that let's look at some basics? A god represents part of life. Reproduction, wine-making and song, war, wisdom, the hunt, and also building things. There will be others as well, not just those few. Each of the above is a very relevant part of life, and each god represents this.
A group of gods is called a Pantheon, and even Christianity has god as a Pantheon of 3 factors. 1 god sure, but 3 factors. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Each one seperate, yet part of a whole. The Hindu's have a similar principle.
This is why you need to read up. But if you are missing something from your life then why not look there? Not confident enough to dance? Why not focus on that? Not confident enough to study in college or Uni? It may well be worth you focussing on that.
I will warn of one thing though. Paganism is the oldest Faith, and has made some real mistakes in the past. Many will not respect your Faith. They call it love, but it's pretty nasty to have to deal with if you've found something that truly works for you and the local idiots decide to nag you as you are not one of them. If the local idiots are BNP Pagans then you may not want to be one of them. Or anywhere near them for that matter. They're old school pagans. They haven't learned a thing.
I'm guessing that's why you're looking at other options. What you're in at present does not work for you. But sadly gangs and mobs can get very pushy and uncaring in keeping the numbers up. They're more interested in size than quality. It's their own insecurities, but it can really bloody hurt. You may even have to leave the area if they get too nasty. Faith is a wonderful thing, but when it goes bad it can make people do some terrible things.
Religious persecution, and how horrific it is for the victims. Why go for someone's Faith when assault or fraud is illegal already? There's no point is there. So it's pretty pointless bullying obviously. If everybody has to be the same or else you'll have The Hitler Youth forming. Societies have to be tolerant to survive. Not 'all the same'.
Does 'believe or else' sound beneficial and useful? Indeed. So choose wisely. In the natural cycle all things die. And sometimes it's good they die. Especially if they're bloody nasty to be around. People move on older and wiser. Like the modern Pagan leaving the old ways behind.