I guess I’m what I, and others, would consider a solitary practitioner. Having discovered Witchcraft in the way that I did–in an ashamed, secretive way–and bringing in the sort of religious background I have, which is one in which community is absolutely necessary, I suppose I approached Witchcraft thinking that my whole life I could just be a mysterious woman who maybe did spells in her spare time but never shared them with anybody.
As I’ve continued walking down this path, however, I find myself sometimes wishing that it didn’t have to be a secret, and that I didn’t have to do everything alone.
Last summer, I suppose about a year and a month ago, I celebrated my first Esbat. I went outside with my Tarot cards and some water to bless and I felt the power of the Mother shining through me. I even managed an impromptu poetic verse invoking the power of the moon. For my first time, it was an influential experience in my path. It was also a wholly solitary experience, and sort of squirreled away in secret.
The next month I did my Esbat with Ibis, which I posted about a long time ago in one of my first Year and a Day Journal entries.
In that case, I don’t know if I did my Esbat with Ibis because she happened to be at my house, or if I already felt like I needed someone else to share my spirituality with, but regardless, I shared it outright. I’ve always been a very open person, and with Ibis I could even share my new path, which was just barely becoming visible.
Now, a year later, I went outside and stared up at the Buck Moon and bathed my Tarot cards, my journal, some other special items, and some water in the crisp white light. The warm summer breeze was gorgeous and the sky crystal clear–I’ve always been in love with summertime, if that’s not obvious–and even though I’ve been on this path for well over a year, I still felt a shiver as I wondered if anyone could see me from their house or window.
It looked very much like my first, shy Esbat. And I wish it didn’t have to be like that.
I want to go outside and dance in the moonlight. I want hold hands in a circle and light candles and watch them flicker in the wind. I want to talk with people who wholeheartedly understand my ideas and have new ones to add. I may think of myself as a solitary Witch, but it gets lonely being a secret Witch.
About ten minutes after I came inside from my short midnight moon session outside, I turned off the light in my bedroom and saw the silhouette of a person outside on our driveway. I could easily see from his shape that it was my brother. He and I both froze–perhaps he saw the light go off in my window–and waited, feeling, for a moment, we were both being watched. Then, slowly, he put his hands in his pockets and turned to look at the moon.
I watched him for a moment, then I, too, took a step toward my window and peered at the silver circle between the black leaves of the maple outside. And, for one quiet minute, we together looked at the moon in all her glory.
My brother is a self-proclaimed atheist. He believes too solidly in the chemical workings of the brain to be able to accept the concept of souls. But he can appreciate things of wonder and beauty, and in the end, that’s all I’m doing, and maybe I’m not as alone as I think.
I suppose the difference is that when he turned around a minute later, and I heard the front door open and close, I knew that he was going back to his computer desk and I was going to my makeshift altar. But even these things are maybe not so different in the end.
If only I had the courage to open the broom closet so we could all go out and dance.