Monday, August 6, 2007

The Solitary Practice of Wicca

For many, being a member of a coven is an indispensable part of being a Wiccan. But there are many who simply cannot be a part of a coven, or who choose not to. These people are known as solitary practitioners. While once almost unheard of, solitary practitioners are becoming more and more common.

Individuals may select a solitary path because of their own personality and religious preferences. For other, joining a coven may be difficult or impossible because of issues like distance or family/work commitments. There are others who have naturally fallen into a solitary practice by chance. Many people who are solitary Wiccans will practice that way throughout their life. For others, there may be periods of solitary practice and periods of being in a coven.

Being a solitary Wicca should not be mistaken for being anti-social or hiding one's religion. Solitaries often have fellow Wiccan friends, perhaps following different paths. They may attend group rituals or perform spells with others, but they are solitaries because the bulk of their practice is independent and they are not a part of an initiated group. The high priestess and/or priest act to initiate members in a coven. Because initiation requires another person to confer membership, a solitary Wicca cannot "self-initiate." Instead, they will perform a self-dedication to commit themselves to the Wiccan faith.

There has, in recent years, been some criticism of solitary Wicca. This is generally coming from the more conservative branches of Wicca. This is not, however, the view of most Wiccans, because Wicca is a constantly evolving faith. The solitary Wicca is a development that helps more people practice Wicca, and that is not a bad thing.

Some of the negative views that a solitary Wicca may encounter come from the notion that those who are not in a coven are not really taking being Wicca seriously. There are many people who call themselves Wiccan after reading a book or two, and claim to have a solitary practice. These people are often obeying a fad or going through a phase. However, their lack of commitment can be very frustrating to oath-bound Wiccans because it does in some way cheapen the religion and taint the outsider view of it.

The best remedy for this negative opinion is for this is for those who are committed to their solitary practice to be shining examples of how it is not necessary to be a member of a coven in order to be fully dedicated to the Wiccan religion.

Carol Lynn Browning has been a sole practitioner of Wicca for many years. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the Craft. Specifically using new technologies of our everyday modern life yet still embracing and respecting the old ways of Wicca. You can sign up for the Wonders of Wicca newsletter at

1 comment:

sb_lvr_22 said...

hey! i recently started learning about wicca, and you seem to be very knowledgeable about it!
so if you maybe have any words of advice for me as to, how to get started in practicing this please let me know! greatly appreciated!!