When doing research on the subject of witchcraft, a division exists between solitary witches and those who practice in covens. I love the idea of being a part of a group to share my experiences with, but the solitary path just felt right for me. This brought up the same feelings I had in the music business. I feel like my spiritual path mirrors my musical path. Musically, I use to be in a rock band, work with other musicians, and even felt at home with this culture. Spiritually, I was a part of a Rosicrucian Lodge, worked my way through the ranks, and felt at home here as well. Over the years, my music turned toward electronic/DJ and I began learning audio engineering, music technology, and as many aspects of the music industry as I could. I soon became a solo artist with complete freedom. Around this time, I also began taking my spiritual journey in the same way, breaking away from the lodge and studying on my own. I’ve been lucky not to get any real backlash or hate from “the community” for becoming a solitary witch as many other authors have. In all honesty, I actually felt supported in this decision and never felt like I was kicked out and forced to go solo. The same could be said about the music scene, I was nothing but supported in this decision and encourage to grow on my own.
Being a solitary witch, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is you can explore any topic and idea related to the occult with complete freedom, the bad news is the same, with complete freedom it makes the scope of study enormous and I can easily get off track. For me, witchcraft is an umbrella term for leading a balanced and holistic life. With that definition, even going to the gym can be a part of this journey since it’s focused on my health. This made it difficult to narrow topics down and focus without having a “Oh look! Squirrel!” moments.
For me, a solitary witch needs to understand the “skeleton” of the craft before they can flesh it out with the art and creativity. This makes it a logical study merged with the art of the craft. It forced me to develop both sides of the brain and look at my craft from all sides. At times I felt like Jekyll and Hyde bouncing from one personality to the next. It can be hard work but leading the solitary life does have it’s advantages. It gives me the opportunity to develop both aspects and gain skills I would never explore if I were a part of a group or coven.
With my musical background, I used this as a way to make sense of it all. In music, you have music theory, music technology, and the basics of songwriting that are common in the music industry. The creativity isn’t in the science or structure of music, but what you can do with it to make it your own. The flavor and genre of music is what gives my mix life. I see witchcraft in the same way. No matter what aspects of the occult I study, there is a basic theory that connects them together. How I want to flavor this depends on the mythology and best practices I choose. Once I have a clear understanding of the theory, I can begin to play with the ideas, break the rules, and make it an artistic expression. When I look at my journals and even my music, the most successful moments was when I worked on the theory and then revisited the same exercise or mix with knowledge and a creative spirit. In other words, my best formula is to master concepts twice! Once, to master the logic and science, the second to master the art and expression. This can make for a slower journey, but one that is rock solid. For me, this is what the solitary life is all about, exploring all sides of myself.
Picture: Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
One thing that I obsess about is finding the perfect pantheon. One day I’ll be focused on Greek mythology and the next day convinced that my pantheon lies in the Necronomicon. Another approach I took was the use of “The Underworld” as a blanket term, which didn’t work either. I was trying to find myths with gods and goddesses that fit with my own worlds and personal guides. Needless to say, nothing filled the void and the approach begin to feel forced. My spirit guides had their own names and personalities that had nothing to do with Greek, Celtic, Norse, or any of the traditional paths. I could find aspects here and there, but it wasn’t their names or identities. So how could I continue my path if there wasn’t a tradition or structure to follow?
I finally found a start with the concept of Personal Mythology. Personal Mythology is creating your own heroes and heroines while using this dynamic to create a your own traditions, myths, and journeys. I’ve always been a fan of polarity magick and sex magick, so fusing the gods and goddesses aspect within myself with my own story seemed like a perfect start to creating my own mythology. Once I began to explore this path, my guides came out of the woodwork and I felt connected to my intuition again. I could approach this study as basic psychology of interacting with different archetypes of my personality or use as rituals for witchcraft. Either way, the results were the same, I finally felt like I found my own personal pantheon and began to give it structure and a path.
Since this method is rooted in Depth Psychology, my journey would follow the archetypal hero’s journey that confronts the shadow self and matures these attributes until the first journey is complete and I’m one step closer to self-actualization. I’ve seen other witches use this method but it wasn’t as popular as I thought it would be. For me, this approach made total sense. I can use the psychology aspect to gain a logical perspective while using the tools of witchcraft to develop the intuitive aspects for emotional growth and fulfillment. In short, my inner God would reach towards the psychology of the journey and inner Goddess would reach towards the craft. Together they would create a true sense of Self, one that can be functional and emotional, male and female, and most of all, a path that I can create and that is my own personal quest.
After a few rants and raves, I’ve given some time to begin my journey of coming out of the broom closet and finally start the 2nd degree. This may not seem like a big deal because I’ve been a pagan for as long as I can remember, but never a public pagan. You know what, lets not use pagan, lets use the “w” word, I’m a witch. There it is, I’m a witch and making it known publicly. I’m usually scarred to admit this because
it’s usually followed by some Wizard Of Oz joke or a Harry Potter reference. I’ve always used softeners like Pagan, Goth, New Age,Gypsy, but internally preferred to use witch in secret. Everyone has a coming out of a closet story and I guess it’s my turn. Lately I’ve been faced with a now or never polarity. I want to begin living as a witch with music, life, love, the whole package. But in order to move past the perpetual initiate and stop making passive aggressive remarks or using softeners it’s time to come clean. Let’s face it, after hundreds of years of persecution and now living in a scientific era, it can be intimidating to come out. My ultimate goal in all of this is to finally merge my two identities (Inner and Outer) into one person. No I don’t have multiple identities, lets just say when I’m out in “the real world” I still don’t feel comfortable in my skin. So as a commitment to face my fear and come out of the broom closet, I’m going to blog about my Book of Shadows, Spells, Psychic Journeys, Spirit Guides, and even some of my Personal Mythology. If it a while between blog posts it’s because I’ve lost my nerve. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. So.. CHEERS! I raise up my Rum and Cherry Coke and toast to coming out and calling myself a….wait for it….WITCH!