The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. ~ W. B. Yeats
“But what do you do?” I am asked, quite often, once the subject of my being a solitary witch comes up.
“What kind of habits do you keep…how do you invite magic into your day?”
I am quite solitary by nature but do love to share about magic. Magic is meant to be shared.
If someone is thrown by the word witch, I tell them that it really means “wise woman” or, quite simply, someone trained in the arts of communicating with nature and whatever you call the invisible power that spins the planets and governs the tides.
For me, that is Universe, Goddess, God, Creator, interchangeably according to my needs or mood.
My days flow like anyone’s, with the added exception of the following disciplines. Mine are suited to my own personality and the magic I need to perform any given day. I’d say that all of us, solitary as well as witches belonging to a coven, would find these practices useful.
Anyone could incorporate these things into their lives and experience what magic really is: a co-operation with universal energy to attract or shape events in our lives.
When I engage in a magical ritual, I am not commanding the Universe to do my will, neither am I acting out of ego as some kind of force that by-passes natural laws. No, I am working with nature, with Goddess, working spells that combine my prayer with my intention to create an outcome satisfactory to me.
But without being disciplined in these seven daily habits, I would find it difficult to create magic of any kind.
All wisdom can be accessed through meditation. By practicing no mind and falling into the abyss of All That Is, I find internal peace and detach from internal conflict.
I crave silence. A great part of my day is spent this way. While I love music, and to speak with others, without silence I would not be able to access my truth.
A daily meditation practice allows me to tap into my creativity. It’s food for my spirit. It’s a connection to my guides who often use my meditation time to speak to me. Within the Void, I become. Only in silence can I meet my true self.
Silence and meditation leave me open to magic. Without it, I would be attempting to make magic by using my mind and things I have learned from books. With silence, I create magic from a place of remembering.
It’s very important to ground daily. This keeps me from feeling too spacey and disconnected, as sometimes dabbling in the ether can do.
I ground by first greeting the outside world, speaking to nature…usually I say “Hello Mother” as I wander outside to take a breath of fresh air. It’s my time to fill the bird feeders as well.
Often, I have already been greeted by a crow or squirrel or the feral cat who visits, all calling me in their own way to rise out of bed. My partner has had to get used to these loud interactions; they’ve all figured out which is my bedroom window and set up court around it.
If the weather co-operates, I sit with my favorite tree and take three deep breaths while imaging growing roots and connecting to the Under World. Other times I imagine these things while sitting in meditation pose inside. Before moving on to morning chores, I thank the tree I have connected with and ask it to impart any messages it may have for me.
The forest is at my doorstep, and I am fortunate to have access to the magic that happens there naturally. I can call on elementals while I ground by walking the paths. After awhile one develops a sensitivity for the fairies and gnomes that walk along…and forgive them their pranks, such as tripping you with sticks or stinging you with nettles if you’re not paying them any mind.
Smudging is a practice that I have borrowed from the aboriginal peoples of my country (Canada), using sage, cedar and sweet grass. It is a way of clearing energies in my home and also my own personal energy field, invoking spirits who guide me on my magical path and asking for a cleansing of my aura.
I smudge over my heart center, my eyes, my mouth, my throat, my crown chakra, all the other chakras and under my feet.
In this way I hope to keep to my true path for the day, and to keep my words sweet, my eyes honest and my energy balanced.
I love the exquisite aroma of the smoldering herbs, and always thank the deva of the individual plants for gracing me with her wisdom and healing.
I sometimes make my own smudge and at other times I purchase some from a magical supply store.
Nature as my Teacher
Each day is a new connection to Mother Earth. I take time to appreciate the sun’s rays through the trees. I delight in the birds singing their morning song. I play with my collection of crystals, holding them, seeking their wisdom, I use herbs in everything I cook.
I have a collection of mortar and pestles that I use to grind seeds for my breakfast cereal or herbs to season my eggs.
I mix teas from what herbs I have collected and dried in the garden. I pick mushrooms and add them to savory dishes. Nature keeps me in touch with what is real in a complicated world. By using herbs for health, I tap into answers hidden within nature’s bounty.
Over the years I have made my own vinegars, infused oils, concocted skin balms, tinctures and cordials to stay healthy or treat a physical ailment. If you listen closely, nature will speak in volumes, and guide you to a deeper understanding of the connection between humans and the planet we live on.
Consulting With My Oracles: Runes and Tarot
Every witch has her favorite oracle. I use runes and tarot cards to communicate with. Some use crystals or a gazing ball, some tea leaves, some the flames of a fire, some throw sticks, or the I Ching.
If used faithfully, one develops a special bond with their oracle, and can count on it for true guidance.
I like to keep my oracles on my bedside table to consult with while I astral travel during sleep. The unconscious mind is very open to magical connections, much more so than the conscious. If I wish to know more about a certain tarot card, I will place it under my pillow. My runes often lay scattered beside me while I write, offering inspiration.
While writing my novel, the runes kept me connected to the characters in my book. My hand would occasionally glide over the cool stones if I needed to ‘feel’ the essence of a specific character.
If you would like to use an oracle as part of your daily life, take your time choosing the specific one. It’s a truly lovely process discovering who your oracle is.
Connecting with my Magical Tools
My altar is decorated with all the tools of my trade. I like to honor my altar space by cleaning it now and then, touching my tools, lighting candles, smudging the area, adding or removing crystals as my needs change or the sabbats arrive.
The tools you will use as a wise woman are your own and not to be touched by others unless you give special permission.
I do not show my altar to anyone who would belittle its beauty or relativity to my work. It is a scared space. Sometimes I kneel before it in prayer sometimes it is my meditation place. It is a place for me to lay my heart open and work the best of my magic.
Once you have created such a scared space, you will wonder how you ever made do without. It is home.
Journaling: My Book of Shadows
I have many journals, all with a specific purpose.
But the most important journal I keep is my Book of Shadows.
In there I record dreams, inspirations, spells cast and results, prayers, intentions, and all necessary information to my magical work.
The Book of Shadows is a special recording of my daily witch’s activities.
As time goes on, magic grows within the pages. It is a mystery how this happens, but there is a strength that gathers from what has been written, and I can peruse the contents to find wisdom that has escaped me before. This is one journal that I do not share with anyone, not even my beloved.
I like to include quotes from writings of other witches in there as well, and so invite their knowledge into my work.
A Book of Shadows is the blueprint of a witches practice. Like the altar, it is a very sacred space. Creating such a book is very satisfying and I promise that if you were to begin one, you would discover yourself between the pages.
On their own, these practices are seemingly benign and, as you can see, anyone can do them. Together, they gather into a ritual that opens pathways to realms normally hidden from the conscious mind.
Magic is simply an intention come to fruition. We are all wise women, it’s in our bones. Perhaps you would like to enter this magical world by following the seven habits of a solitary witch.
Author: Monika Carless
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Images: Author’s Own