In a world that is constantly telling us to be social, connected, and busy, it can be difficult to find time for introspection. Introspection is the act of looking within oneself, and it is a process of self-examination. For baby or beginner witches, introspection is essential; it is what allows us to connect with our intuition and divine inspiration. In this article, we will explore the magick of alone time and why it's so important for witches. We will also discuss why solitude is such a powerful tool for growth and transformation. Being a solitary witch is a fantastic power unto itself, and I've included additional witchcraft for beginners tips below to help you on your journey.
What Is A Solitary Witch?
The solitary witch is someone who practices witchcraft on their own, without the aid of a coven or group. A solitary witch can be introverted or extroverted, but they generally prefer to work alone. There are many reasons why a person might choose to practice witchcraft as a solitary witch. When I describe a solitary witch, it's the typical route that a beginner witch will go down and remain on this path. Most public schools do not offer witchcraft for beginner courses, so we don't even know it's an option unless we research it ourselves. In this modern world, witchcraft is not something people openly discuss.
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In The Broom Closet
Since the Witch trials, anyone who genuinely practised magick kept their mouths shut. In the UK, since the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951, we are now allowed to practise magick openly without persecution. So there is a whole generation of witches who have come into their power in the 21st century, and many of them are introverts and solitary witches. This is not to say that all introverted people are witches or that all witches are introverted. Some treat their magick as a private, personal and ineffable experience that they are not ready and not willing to share with others. I was comfortable and felt safe "in the broom closet" for many years, and it took until feeling safe and supported in my life to step out. The thing about this resurgence of witchcraft in it's "no-persecution-attached" age, is that this doesn't dispel any of the shame, or the guilt, or the worry that can come from practising witchcraft. We worry a lot about what other people think, and there is a term for this phenomenon - the "witch wound". We feel that we are "too much" and that we may still be persecuted, harmed, or imprisoned (all against our will). I just want to share with you right now that you are a magickal af being. You are not too much in this place. You feel this call, and it brings you so much joy, so know that there is a huge community out here for you. We are all with you, coven or not. We witches are your people.
Perks of Being a Solitary Witch
Here are my top five (but I have more) reasons for being a solitary witch:
- It's my personal practise, that I choose to honour in my own way, which doesn't need to conform to group rules or group rituals when I may not have the energy for it.
- Certain covens are not secular, and I am. There doesn't need to be forcing or effort to try to connect to deities/Gods/Goddesses/Universe/Ancestors/spirits, and I don't need to accept UPG as fact rather than experience-based opinion.
- I can work on my own timing and rhythm without feeling rushed or having to adjust to someone else's schedule.
- I don't need to worry about others' comfort levels (or lack thereof) with uncomfortable conversations around sex, death, violence, power, blood, etc. which can be part of the witchcraft experience.
- I can change my path or practise, my interests and my research plan at any stage, and it won't affect others and their journeys.
Solitary witches often find that they are introspective by nature. They are comfortable with their own company and enjoy spending time alone. Some witches prefer to work in groups, while others enjoy working alone. The important thing is that introspection is an essential part of witchcraft.
In order to work magick, we need to understand ourselves and our motivations. We also need to be aware of our own limitations and strengths. This is something that can only be accomplished through introspection. Witches need alone time in order to reflect on their own beliefs and practices. This is a time for them to connect with their intuition and explore their own personal path. Alone time allows witches to focus on their own needs without the distractions of others.
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Ways to Explore Introspection Further
In order to work magick, we must know ourselves intimately. We must understand our motivations, our desires, and our fears. We must be willing to look at ourselves honestly and unflinchingly. This is not a big ask. Witchcraft for beginners should always include spending time with yourself, diving deep into why certain emotions make you uncomfortable (such as jealousy for others, which may impact your manifestation spellwork if you are wanting that "instagrammable lifestyle"), and getting to the root of these triggers. This is part of something called shadow work, and it is essential for witches.
Now, I'm not going to lie - this type of introspection can be incredibly uncomfortable. It can dredge up a lot of shit that we've been trying to avoid or bury for years. But it's worth it. The more we know about ourselves, the better magick we can create. And introspection doesn't have to be done in a vacuum. There are many ways to explore introspection further:
- tarot readings
- astrology readings
- working in shadow work specific book of shadows or workbooks
- taking classes or workshops on witchcraft and introspection specifically
There is no one "right" way to do introspection. What works for one witch may not work for another. The important thing is to find what works for you and to stick with it. And don't ever be afraid to try different things either! Introspection can be a lifelong journey, and there's no wrong way to explore it. Just go at your own pace and don't be unnecessarily hard on yourself.
FOMO? You're Not Missing Anything
The money you save from not having to pay coven or pagan moot fees? Use it to buy yourself lovely witchy items that bring you so much joy
Here are five ways to embrace your solitary witch journey as a beginner witch or experienced enchantress that hypes you up, showing you that introspection is badass;
- Celebrate all that you have learned so far from your journey. It's not been easy, and that's ok to celebrate in itself. In this way, you don't have the extra worry about others opinions about you and your journey too.
- Wear your coziest outfit for your practice - it does not need to be all gothic and ethereal, it can absolutely be pajamas and messy hair buns. The energy you save can go straight into your spellwork!
- Incorporate bath rituals and the elements into your journey; I love working with candle magick and fire divination when in the tub!
- The money you save from not having to pay coven or pagan moot fees? Use it to buy yourself lovely witchy items that bring you so much joy
- Create your own spells, rituals and traditions for your practise that feel the most like "you"; there's no point in utilising spellwork that involves deities if you don't believe in them in the first place. But if you have always loved receiving fresh flowers, why not make it part of your energy-raising tradition to regularly buy or pick your own fresh flowers before spellwork so that you set out with a winning mindset. If you've always loved to draw, why not create sigils that open and close circles for you when casting? If you've always been interested in tarot, why not learn the meanings from a psychological and secular point of view?
If you're a new or baby closeted witch, I hope this article has given you some helpful tips on how to find time and space to practice your beliefs safely without drawing unnecessary attention. I hope overall this article has left you feeling a little bit more empowered, more excited to explore your solitary practice and more understanding of why witches & introversion are so often correlated. You can find exciting additional tips throughout the website and leave a comment below to share your tips too!
This article is lovingly contributed by Lizzie. "I'm Lizzie from Backyard Banshee, a secular witch and divination provider who enjoys big chats over tea, biz triumphs and tarot. You can find me on backyardbanshee.com"