Solitary Witchcraft

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There are many reasons for performing witchcraft alone: your personal circumstances or the location
of your home may mean that you cannot travel to a group, or you may live in an area where there are
few others who share your interests. Many witches choose to practise alone, drawing in
their family and close friends to celebrate with me on the festival days. Most solitary witches initiate
themselves, though some traditions, such as the Saxon Seat Wicca founded by Raymond Buckland in
the USA, do admit solitary witches.
Indeed, solitary practitioners are said by some to have been witches in seven previous lifetimes and to
possess within them all they need to know about the Craft. Truth or myth, no one should
underestimate the number of private practitioners who do work alone, some coming together
occasionally in small, informal groups.
Solitary witches can use ceremonial magick very successfully, but many do follow the less formal
folk magick, linked to the land and the seasons, that was practised by our ancestors in their homes.
For this reason, some call themselves hedge-witches, from the times when a hedge, often of hawthorn,
bounded the witch’s home, and it is sometimes said that they are walking on the hedge between two
worlds. Such a witch may be in the tradition of the village wise women who knew about herbs and
about the cycles of nature and used the implements of their kitchens rather than ceremonial tools.
She may also be gifted in divination, in spell-casting and in astral projection. Usually a woman, but
occasionally a man, the solitary witch practices eclectic magick drawn from a variety of traditions.
Those expert in brews and potions are also called kitchen witches. Indeed, many of our grandmothers
and great-grandmothers who possessed a remarkable intuition, read the tea leaves and made herbal
concoctions, were jokingly called witches by their own families – and were just that!
All the rituals in this book can be carried out by a lone witch. You have your choice of groves, stone
circles, the ocean shore, your garden or balcony, where you can connect with the powers of nature and
work unobtrusively. Whether you are working alone, or in a group, or coven, you will share the same
aims and will need much the same equipment.