A Solitary Practitioner, but Not a Lonely Witch

Today, I was called a “selfish, stuck up, lonely Witch who thinks of no one else but herself.” The accusation was followed by “you can change all that by forming a group and sharing your experiences with us (um… really?); everyone here (everyone being a few ladies who really want a tax exempt organization—so freaking sad) would jump at the opportunity to join a coven led by you. Why won’t you even try?”

Well, the fact that you are acting like a psychotic bitch pack, which I doubt anyone can teach anything to, comes to mind. However, I didn’t voice my opinion in those exact words. Instead, I told them that I didn’t like the idea of organized religion. I understand and respect those who rejoice in the religious aspects of Witchcraft and Paganism, but I am not religious and don’t have any desire to be. “Besides,” I added as an afterthought, which really wasn’t. “You are acting like a psychotic bitch pack. Why would I want to spend any time with you?”

***

I rode the train home. I told myself that I wasn’t going to think about the unsavory episode, but Nature has blessed me with a brain, so the not thinking bit is easier said than done. Me, myself, and I discussed the issue at length… in my head. This is what we came up with:

I don’t need to justify my actions to those a-holes, but I must make sense of them for me… and for myself… and I can’t forget about I. So I asked us, am I a lonely Witch? “No, my precious,” I answered without doubt. “I just surround myself with those I choose, and only under conditions that make me happy. I mean, I’ve reached out and Touched you. I’ve attended blog parties. I’m trying to get others to share, discover, and enjoy Paganism through Fiction. And I’ve just began to accept guest blogging invitations. I am a Solitary Practitioner and a Writer, but I am Not a Lonely Witch.

I like socializing and learning from others, but I’ve never enjoyed the rigidity of the groups or covens I’ve encountered in my path. Or maybe it is just that I love solitary practice too much to give it up. I like people, but I like myself more. I have a blast exploring what goes on in my head, and although I like sharing my findings—through blogging and fiction writing—I usually prefer to do the journeying solo.

I think my choice of career derives from the same preference: I enjoy writing about people, I take pleasure in examining the human condition through fiction, I like reading about what goes on in the brains of those around me, and I LOVE doing it on my own. After I’m done and ready, I like discussing the results—on my own time and in my own way. If my choices make some people unhappy, FREAKING TOUGH! Those who I want to please (me, myself, and I at the top of the list) are very happy with the way I do things; that is all I care about. So in the words of Cogent, LJ, Penny, and many others I’m too lazy to include: “SUCK IT! to me cake.” Fine, they didn’t really say that, but after reading these Wicked Darlings for almost two years, I know them enough to say they probably would. Cogent would flip them off too, of that I am totally certain.

When was the last time someone tried to convince you that their way was better than yours? What did you tell them, if anything? Are there some things (rituals, work, activities, games…) you prefer to do on your own? Some you rather do in group setting?  

38 comments:

  1. Well said, I too am a solitary witch who doesn't like organized religion. I don't have a religion, i have a lifestyle and beliefs.

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  2. Wow. Dickness isn't limited to conservative Christians.

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  3. Whenever someone starts calling you selfish..you know it's never going to end well. People don't understand, some of us like to do things on our own and don't need to be in a group.
    People who manipulate and push to get you to do something is the truly the selfish and lonely one!!!

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  4. Oh my....so let me get this right...they wanted you to come and be a part of their "group"? And then they call you a lonely witch and don't accuse you of thinking of anyone but yourself?????? Wow. Now that's gonna make anyone rethink joining their happy horse shit gathering huh?
    Lonely and being alone in the practice of your craft are two different things.....and thinking of yourself is the only way a stand up, free thinking, getting on down the road human manages to stay ahead of being just a member of a pack. Just flip them off and tell um the Olde Bagg said so.

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  5. I think you hit the nail on the head with the dislike of organized religion.
    There's something about sharing an idea which can take it from being a great idea or concept and turn it into something really fucking evil or unpleasant when muddied by the good intentions of too many minds.
    Religion being top on that list.
    I think that is the reason so many people identify as spiritual rather then religious.
    Spirituality doesn't require the participation of anyone else and is totally malleable as needed.
    The fact that someone asked you to take a train to tell you to your face that you were a selfish bitch is worthy of much more than a fuck you and a flipped finger.
    I would have started the coven and then made my first order of business the kicking out of the woman who said this to you.
    My second order of business would be to disband the coven.
    My third order of business would be to drink a beer in celebration.

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  6. Wow. They need to work on their sales pitch, eh?

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  7. Their diplomatic skills suck!
    By the way, you have handled the situation admitedly much more gracefully than i could ever have!
    WHat is wrong with the world?

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  8. Too many are too quick to judge, tell you how to do things Their way, talk down to and otherwise spread negativity & cross boundaries they have no business doing so in this day and age. I haven't the foggiest idea why people say such things but regardless it's ridiculous. Kudo's to sticking to what you feel is best and right for you!

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  9. you are not a lonely witch, you are a lone witch. big difference. and who the hell were they saying that stuff to you and why on earth would you want to be in a group with people who would say something like that? crazy people everywhere. I'm not a joiner. I tell people that...sorry, I'm not a joiner. obviously, you are not a joiner either. tell them they wouldn't like it if you did.

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  10. LOL. I agree completely with you my lovely one! Organized religion, something I have been a part of, sucks big time. It can be extremely stifling, oppressive and can make worshiping in any way a depressing thing to do.

    The definition of "organized" is as follows:

    planned and controlled on a large scale and involving many people

    Planned...controlled...two things I am not. Large scale?? Err, no thank you very much!

    I am a solitary witch and happily so. I do things different in a way that works for and blesses me in a way I need. I shall keep it as such. If that makes me a sad, lonely, selfish bitch then I say HOOWAH!!!!

    Just an FYI: the middle finger is my best friend. Cog and I are cut from the same finger flippin' mold lol.

    Blessings and hugs babe!!!

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  11. Oh, and "suck it" is a common phrase for me so you quoted correctly lol!

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  12. That was not the best advertisement strike ever. ^^

    I don't know if I would like working with a group - the rituals with my sister and/or best friend were fun, although we're all solitary witches and gather less than once a year. But whenever I meet Pagans who are trying to form a group, they. Creep. Me. Out. It appears most of these groups consist of helpless people up to their neck in the mess they call life, looking for a neurotic, "charismatic" leader and trying to solve their job and money problems by bringing light to the world. Uhm.... really??? If I meet people who seem to be interesting, I will meet with them, but after three or four meetings I will usually make an excuse à la, "Sorry, this is not for me" and leave. (There is a women's group on the other side of the river where reading the blog of their supposed "leader" alone gave me the creeps.)

    I guess I will stay solitary for the time being, and enjoy all my madness all alone. (^v^)

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  13. You guys are wonderful, and so much like me lol. I'm still shaking my head over this one. I just can't understand these people. The most horrible thing is that they say that they want to get together in order to TEACH about our ways. If this is what they mean, then I want nothing to do with them or their INTOLERANT ways.

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  14. I like working alone and don't want to be part of an organised religion. It doesn't feel right to me.

    And who said you have to run a coven to teach? Hmmmm... those guerrilla tactic witches are best avoided ;-)

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  15. I was in a coven with 2 other women for three years. It was formed so organically that it just fell in our laps. Then it was just 2 of us. That too was so organic and real. Now I'm a solitary.

    Each instance has been a learning experience, but I have to whole-heartedly agree about starting a coven with a bunch of psychotic bitchen. In my humble opinion, the level of intimacy in the coven has got to be there and has got to be real in order to reap the benefits.

    A coven can not be made, it just must happen.

    When we fall in love and get married...its is Made? No, it just happens.

    Same thing.

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  16. So, after several times of me saying, "WTF???" and actually having to walk away from this because I was so mad on your behalf, I have to ask.. Do they want you to teach them how to be a "selfish, stuck up, lonely Witch who thinks of no one else but herself” ??? Because honestly, honey.. I think each of them (and collectively) have that down pat!

    You handled it with your usual class and grace.. I'm fuming for you!!

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  17. @Dark Mother, that sounds exactly right.

    @Kallan, I don't think they are interested in learning anything. It is sad, but my feeling is that it is all because of the tax exemption. They belong to a 'mother' organization, and in order to have their own tax exempt chapter, they must have a certain number of people. For some reason (can't imagine why) they can't attract (and keep) enough members. They think people will come if I join/lead rituals. In their dreams.

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  18. Cogent, I adore your brain and it's excellent grasp of administrative efficiency (sends it the fermented grain beverage of it's choice)

    I have found that 94.3% of the time, when someone tells you you're selfish, you should translate that to "you're not putting ME first and doing what I want!" (insert foot stamping here)

    Kallan is dead on too - what's that quote about who is more foolishm the fool or the one who follows him? Some time back I had a community troll inform me that I was a manipulative, grasping, ignorant, selfish bitch, and then two months later showed up for an open Samhain circle. I asked him why he was okay with joining a circuit of energy to invoke both dark faces of deity and Ancestors, and have that energy directed by such an incompetent and unfit person. He didn't have an answer except to splutter about how we were being too judgmental; the absurdity was totally lost on him. Maybe I could send him to them? ;0)

    Rock on. Beer & Cookies on the way!

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  19. Whoa!! People can be so "special" sometimes. I still love you!

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  20. @Snoozepossum, the more I learn about people the more I see that it is just a waste of time to try to understand some of them. That is why I love plants.

    @Just A Gal, "special" is a very good way of putting it. And I luv you right back ;-)

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  21. The only times I have every really enjoyed group work, the group acted as an amplifier to boost a signal I was perfectly capable of creating on my own. I'm perfectly happy to be in egalitarian groups like that, but petty politics and all that other drama is a dealbreaker for me. I'd much rather be solitary by choice than have to conform to someone else's idea of what a Witch is/does, or risk someone clinging to my idea of Witchcraft as some sort of "one true way".

    This is a fabulous post. Thank you!

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  22. I was part of a lovely group in Washington, DC. We were all Solitaries and came together to hold public rituals, the themes usually being spirituality through storytelling and dancing. We were great together; we were absolutely different (a Druid, a Hindu Pagan, two Wiccans, and a Witch (me) two men and three women). I have never found the same.

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  23. That's... I'm not sure there's a word for it. Lunacy? Yeah, that seems appropriate.

    It's been a while since someone tried to convince me that their way was better. Perhaps because I'm as hard-headed as they come, and not exactly approachable. I prefer doing nearly everything on my own. That's where the stubbornness comes in again.

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  24. Lunacy seems appropriate indeed.

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  25. Very well said Magaly, and this one I really <3 :
    "I just surround myself with those I choose, and only under conditions that make me happy."

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  26. What good is free will if we don't use it?

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  27. Bliss Doubt1/31/2011

    Woof, who'd want to belong in a circle with someone who uses that kind of vicious emotional blackmail to get you to form one?

    When I moved back to San Antonio from Dallas many years ago, an old friend invited me to join the drum circle she'd been attending, whose mission statement was to meet once a month to pray for our planet. Using my "start where you are" theory, I attended, and loved it, and have been an enthusiastic regular ever after. It has all kinds of women (women only), some witchy, some churchy, some new age, some who are just wonderful people who care about our Mother Earth. I've always known there's a Wicca coven that meets regularly at a certain book store here in town, and have wondered about it, but I think the universe directed me to the circle I'm in, for a reason (or many reasons).

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  28. I attend a local Drumming Circle/reading group/dancing maimedness/whatever we feel like doing that day. We are eclectic when it comes to age, gender, religion, even political views, but one thing we share: tolerance and a thirst for knowledge. We don't get together all the time, but when do the room glows.

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  29. I'm glad you told them exactly what they needed to hear! People need to realize that if someone doesn't feel like being all "join in" and "organized" then they shouldn't have to be. There's nothing stuck up OR lonely about it. Solitary just means, we prefer no one else's input. Those ladies are sorry assed, that's for damned sure.

    I mentioned not too long ago that I also frown on being more high profile and more organized. I'm just not looking to be mainstream.

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  30. I like mingling when I want, and like you, organized/grouped things is just not me.

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  31. If this is how they treated you right out of the gate can you imagine how you would have been treated had you agreed? Today I was feeling kinda lonely about not practicing with a group but since I read your post I have to say that you have made me remember why I am solitary and very happy for it. Thanks for this. Kudos on being true to yourself!

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  32. There are some wonderful covens out there, I'm sure of that. I just haven't had the chance to run into them. If I ever do, I might become a visitor, I doubt I'll ever be a member; I kind of value my witchy independence.

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  33. If this is how they treated you right out of the gate can you imagine how you would have been treated had you agreed? Today I was feeling kinda lonely about not practicing with a group but since I read your post I have to say that you have made me remember why I am solitary and very happy for it. Thanks for this. Kudos on being true to yourself!

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  34. That's... I'm not sure there's a word for it. Lunacy? Yeah, that seems appropriate.

    It's been a while since someone tried to convince me that their way was better. Perhaps because I'm as hard-headed as they come, and not exactly approachable. I prefer doing nearly everything on my own. That's where the stubbornness comes in again.

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  35. Whoa!! People can be so "special" sometimes. I still love you!

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  36. Cogent, I adore your brain and it's excellent grasp of administrative efficiency (sends it the fermented grain beverage of it's choice)

    I have found that 94.3% of the time, when someone tells you you're selfish, you should translate that to "you're not putting ME first and doing what I want!" (insert foot stamping here)

    Kallan is dead on too - what's that quote about who is more foolishm the fool or the one who follows him? Some time back I had a community troll inform me that I was a manipulative, grasping, ignorant, selfish bitch, and then two months later showed up for an open Samhain circle. I asked him why he was okay with joining a circuit of energy to invoke both dark faces of deity and Ancestors, and have that energy directed by such an incompetent and unfit person. He didn't have an answer except to splutter about how we were being too judgmental; the absurdity was totally lost on him. Maybe I could send him to them? ;0)

    Rock on. Beer & Cookies on the way!

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