Alternatives for the Solitary Practitioner
There are those of you who practice as Solitary simply because you prefer it to be such.
Then there are those who haven't quite come out of the closet, or those who don't have groups in their area, making the Solitary choice the only real choice.
And there are those of you who would love to participate in a group but just haven't found your way.
So what options are there?
Covens and other magickal groups seem to be the obvious choice. While most Wiccan or New Age covens will accept most people for membership, its important to take into consideration the time involved. Most require regular attendance and regular study. Those of you with busy lives, may find attendance and time to study a bit difficult.
Those of you who are looking for a more traditional group are going to find it MUCH harder to gain acceptance as most traditional or generational covens only allow membership based on your family ties to the group OR generational membership, meaning that your mother, grandmother, father, grandfather, aunt, uncle, or another member of your family has or had to be a member before you.
There are also groups that may not quite fit in with your tradition of beliefs. The wrong practice, the wrong group, or the wrong people can make for a volatile situation and are just a plain bad idea.
If you know another person or 2 that also practice, there is nothing wrong with learning together.
Any good study group starts with a plan. Even if there are only two of you, go
over what you want to do. Discuss interests, books and authors, practices and
beliefs. Here's an easy way to do it: Write down what you discuss and work a
plan out from there. Do not limit yourselves to what you know--be willing to
explore the unknown. Be flexible, allow for time off, time lost to
uncontrollable issues, and allow time to work together when you do meet.
Remember, an hour for shopping or lunch is fine, but you really should put aside
at least one afternoon each month to work on a practice or spirituality as a
group, or one afternoon every two weeks to work individually.
Make sure you have everything you will need to make the most of the time you
spend together. Supplies should be thought out in advance, written down, and
responsibility for bringing the incense or the "eye of newt" should be decided
before you meet. A phone call a few days before can assure that everyone brings
their Book of Shadows and supplies.
Supplies can bring up the issue of money, but sharing supplies means that you
spend a little and everyone benefits. Mixing a brew or making mojo bags can be
a shared expense, and buying in bulk can lessen the fiscal responsibility. Find
economic suppliers and make sure you have enough for everyone.
Not only can you share the burdens of practice, but you can also share your
successes. Compare notes, discuss flopped kitchen experiments, or just work on
elements of your practice. As you discuss problems with your friend or friends,
you will find that issues you may not have been able to work out yourself can be
worked out easily as a group.
Look online and/or at your local New Age shop. Lots of Pagans gather publicly and in this case, anyone can attend. This is a good way to meet other practitioners as well as gaining some knowledge as these public events often feature speakers, crafts, demonstrations, etc.
There are TONS of witchy groups online. Witch Vox is just one of the many websites that offers a list of not only online groups, but also covens, groups, and practitioners by area.
Much information can be gleaned online if you are willing to spend just a few minutes each week surfing.