A Solitary Wiccan is one who does magical and spiritual work by him or herself. In that regard all Wiccans are Solitary at least some of the time, but the term usually refers to someone who does not belong to a coven or other magical group. The Solitary may decide not to join a group for many reasons. Some Solitaries choose to work that way simply because they want to. Others may be unable to find a compatible group, or have tried working with one or more groups and did not like it.
We believe that developing the knowledge and confidence to work by yourself is essential even to those Wiccans who do belong to a coven. The coven is not always available when you need to do magical work, at it is the confident solitary who is most valuable to a coven.
A lot of books (and over-eager beginners) skip right over what I consider to be important basics. Wicca is about spirituality, magic and enlightenment. So, the basic steps involve getting to know who the gods are, where the energy to do magic comes from, and how enlightenment fits into the picture.
There is a lot to understand about the craft before you get to the point of doing spells or magic. At the very least you need to develop a relationship with a goddess, a god and the elements. You need to know where Wicca comes from. You need to know various options for setting up an altar. You need to have a very good understanding of energy including where it comes from, what it is, and what it can do. You need to understand the consequences of each possible magical act. You need to know how to divine what those possible outcomes can be. Most of all you need to understand how to live magically.
If you have questions feel free to e-mail us.
The basics are the same whether you plan to work Solitary or with a coven. We suggest the following order for working through our website:
1. What is Wicca? - This page gives a basic overview of Wicca. This page is also good to share with friends and family who are concerned about you studying Wicca. Before you decide to tell someone you are studying Wicca, please read the first section of our page on Public Awareness in Wicca, entitled, Coming out of the broom closet. Also read this page on the Oaths of Secrecy written by a HPS of another tradition.
2. Frequently Asked Questions - These questions are frequently asked by people who's only exposure to witchcraft has been through movies and television. This page clears up many misconceptions.
3. Spells - This page will not tell you how to do spells. It will explain why you should not be in a rush to do them.
4. Religion of Wicca - Wicca is a religion. At the center of Wicca are the relationships which are established with the gods, goddesses and elements.
5. Introduction to the Gods - This page will help you get started on understanding who the gods and goddesses of Wicca are.
6. Living Magically - Some of this page will be better understood if you begin working through the Classes and come back to this page as often as necessary.
7. Meditation - The sooner you begin to practice meditation the better you will understand what Wicca is about. Practice at least 15 minutes per day if you can.
8. Classes - work through them in order from 1 - 10.
9. History and Mythology - This is a page of links to websites containing information on a variety of topics. In learning Wicca you will have to get to know some gods and goddesses. This is done through reading mythology. This page is not intended to be a complete reference for all you will need to know, but it will get you started.
10. Enlightenment and Magic - Enlightenmet is the most difficult aspect of Wicca to work through without a teacher since feedback is so helpful. We recommend books on Zen as the best substitute to one-on-one work with the mysteries. It is important to understand all the possibilities which Wicca contains. Not everyone begins their study of Wicca with enlightenment in mind, but it helps to read through this page as food for future contemplation.
11. Read the book, The Heart of Wicca, by Ellen Cannon Reed. Ellen was a well known and respected Wiccan author and High Priestesss for more than 30 years in a traditional Wiccan path. Ellen felt strongly about preserving the Wicca as an initiatory mystery path and her book is still the best available for helping understand what that means. We (teachers of traditional Wicca) believe it is important for students to understand that Wicca has been an established, respected religion in the pagan community for many years, and we do not want to see it become just a fad. Whether you practice solitary, or with a group, you can be proud to be a Wiccan as long as you understand the roots and the depth of the religion.
12. Oath of Secrecy - This page explains the issue of confidentiality and secrecy which is part of traditional Wicca. Even if you are working solitary this page is helpful for understanding why some parts of your studies and practice might be kept secret. If you are working with a group the page helps explain how to be respectful of the privacy of others members of the group and the privacy you can expect for yourself.
13. Self Dedication - At some point, if you find yourself sure that Wicca is the path for you, you may want to do a Self-Dedication ritual. This is not the same as initiation. (a person can only be initiated by someone else who was initiated). A Self-Dedication ritual is between you and the gods. Suggestions on what to include in a Self Dedication ritual and detailed explanation of the differences between Self Dedication and Initiation are found on the Self Dedication and Initiation page.
You will find a Self-Dedication Rite in Scott Cunningham's, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. This is a book we recommend for anyone beginning to study Wicca. It contains rituals for all the Sabbats as well as recipes for incense and simple instructions for safe spells. Other books are recommended on the introductory page to our Classes section.
We recommend strongly that you do not try any spells until you have worked through all the above reading material and you have bought a copy of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Unless you can find a trusted teacher to work with you in person on learning magic, then stick with Cunninghams books.
Re-read Living Magically, and do not forget to do your self-blessing and write in your journal every day.