solitary practitioner tips

Solitary Practitioner Tips, Pros and Cons and the Weirdness of It All

solitary practitioner tips

This blog post explores the pros and cons of being a solitary practitioner on any path (or no path). It sheds light on the delicate balance between isolation and compromise. We delve into the experiences, vulnerabilities, growth and sheer weirdness that come with practising alone. Additionally, we discuss the significance of discipline, devotion, and the support we can find in the realm of spirits.

Acknowledging the Need to Belong

Some of us are quite happily engaging in a solitary spiritual or witchcraft practice and others still feel like we need somewhere to belong. It is better to acknowledge this need than try to repress it. Because repressing the need to belong in the past was one of the triggers for my RTS relapse earlier this year. Memories of belonging to a church family haunted me. My subconscious mind was yearning for the power of praying together with others. Group prayer and worship is, without a doubt, a more powerful and connected experience than praying or casting spells on your own but it also comes with a price tag…

When the Cost Is Too High

The cost is too high if we must compromise our core values, what we know to be true and how we authentically express ourselves. Here is the Catch-22: Isolation kills but so does compromising who we are. So where do we even begin to overcome this dilemma? Is there a way out?

I believe there is. Baba Yaga came to me with a message of patience this morning with my daily pull from the Goddesses, Gods and Guardians Oracle. Patience is what allows us to grow gracefully even when we feel lonely as solitary practitioners. Admittedly, patience is one of the main characteristics that I need to work on in my own makeup. Patience is only possible when we trust in ourselves and our inner guidance. And patience becomes a whole lot easier when we learn to work with and trust in the spirits for support.

Because the truth is that we are never alone.

The ancestors, angels and spirit guides are always there for us. So a solitary practitioner who actually practices and works with the spirits will never suffer as much as the armchair occultist who only feeds the intellect through constant learning. How do I know this? I have tried both.

Shifting to Hands On

When I feel let down by humans, it has been my habit to return to the safety of the world of books. Growing up in a chaotic and abusive home environment, this became my coping mechanism as soon as I learned to read.

Being an avid reader is great. Having a large reservoir of knowledge certainly helps whenever I sit down to write a blog post. But knowledge only becomes wisdom when it is put into practice.

And it is the heart, not the mind, that is the crux of any practice. Feelings of devotion that fuel the dedication to our practice are what make it possible to not only endure but thrive if we are still searching/yearning for our soul family. So it becomes essential to focus on expressing our love for and dedication to the Divine and the spirits.

What the latest Taurus Full Moon Lunar Eclipse highlighted for me is how being more of a hands-on practitioner is what helps me stay grounded. A patient, dedicated daily practice will also help me put roots down and establish a better connection with my ancestors.

I’ll still read, of course, but definitely spend more time tending to my altar. And my search for a group of fellow practitioners carries on.

But I Don’t Have Time/Energy

We have all used the excuses of not having time or energy, whether it is for staying committed to an exercise regime or our daily spiritual practice. I’m not going to harp on about it. Instead, I trust that you are clever enough to come up with practices that are chunked down enough to fit in between all the stuff you have to do to stay alive. And by that, I don’t mean social media scrolling or watching Netflix. If you have time for those, you definitely have time to expand your spiritual horizons.

But if you struggle with shifting bad habits in favour of better ones, I recommend Atomic Habits by James Cleary. It’s not a book about witchcraft or spirituality. However, habits are habits and this book changed my life.

The Weirdness of Being a Solitary Practitioner

Being a solitary practitioner may not feel weird at all while you are in the research stage. As you immerse yourself in the literature, you do not feel alone. The voice of the author or podcast/video maker is with you. Your internalised vision of how you imagine yourself doing the things talked about makes you feel pretty good. Some people intuit this and never take the leap from learning about it to practising.

The Weirdness of It All

The weirdness of being a solitary practitioner only sets in when you put the phone and books away and finally start practising. Whether you practice skyclad or not, I can promise you that you will never feel more naked and vulnerable than you do when performing your first ritual. All of a sudden, it is just you and the spirits. What if something goes wrong? There is nobody there to catch you if you fall.

Then you say the words or invocations and cast the spells out loud, hoping someone is listening. And most likely, you are too tense and nervous about making mistakes to even hear how Spirit/the spirits respond. Relax. This is normal. However, I have yet to come across anybody else talking about it. Most of what I see only about being a solitary practitioner is about the benefits or even the glamour (lol) about it. I hope to normalise feeling weird as a beginner on any spiritual path.

I felt super weird doing my first Wiccan*** ritual back in 2003. And I felt super weird again when I started my devotional altar practice again earlier this year, twenty years later. But a few months into it, my outlook has changed completely. The whole atmosphere of our home has taken on a more positive charge thanks to the spirit work I’m doing. Still, whenever I introduce new elements to my practice, there are awkward moments. This never stops. But with grace and acceptance, any weirdness or awkwardness quickly passes.

***Folk magic is more where I’m at right now.

Discipline, Patience and Devotion

There are three keys to progressing from the awkward stage to feeling supported by your solitary practice. Discipline (daily dedicated work), patience and devotion. You also need to cut yourself enormous amounts of slack at the start. Because your practice will not feel or look anything like the aesthetics presented to you via social media. (As an aside: Those aesthetics are mainly presented to you by people who don’t have muggle jobs to hold down.)

The Pros of Being a Solitary Practitioner

But, of course, being a solitary practitioner can also be utterly glorious. For me personally, there are two main pros to being a solitary practitioner: freedom and focus on service.


You are not bound by dogma and nobody will look sideways at you for changing your practice, incorporating a new way of doing things or letting something that no longer works fall by the wayside. No resources are off-limits. You can keep learning and growing for as long as you like. If you are anything like me, you’ll still be growing and changing in your 50s.

Focus on Service

Because you do not have to worry about the approval of others, you can focus 100% on your mission in this lifetime. Let’s face it, this is the exact reason why many of us are still solitary practitioners. Once we start trying to fit into a group, our mission starts sliding and we find that we are indeed better off on our own.

Self-Reflection Questions for The Solitary Practitioner

  1. How do you feel about your current solitary practice? Are you content with practising alone, or do you yearn for a sense of belonging and community?
  2. What compromises, if any, are you making in order to feel a sense of belonging? Are these compromises aligned with your core values and beliefs?
  3. How can you develop patience and trust in yourself and your inner guidance to navigate the challenges of being a solitary practitioner?
  4. Are you actively working with and trusting in the support of ancestors, angels, and spirit guides? How can you deepen your connection and relationship with them?
  5. How do you prioritise the cultivation of devotion in your practice? Do your feelings of devotion fuel your dedication to your craft and help you thrive as a solitary practitioner?
  6. Have you experienced the weirdness and vulnerability that comes with practising alone? How can you embrace and normalise these feelings as a beginner (or someone who is starting over) on your spiritual path?
  7. Are you practising consistently/showing up in your solitary practice? How can you create a daily routine that supports your growth and progress as a practitioner, while also allowing for self-compassion and flexibility?
  8. What are the pros and cons of being a solitary practitioner for you personally? How do these align with your overall goals and aspirations?
  9. Are there any changes or adjustments you need to make in your solitary practice in order to feel more fulfilled and supported? How can you chart a path forward that merges your individuality with your need for connection?

I encourage you to sit with these questions and journal what comes up for you. You can also pull cards (or use any other divination method you are comfortable with) for any blind spots you have.

love raven liora

Comments 2

  1. “Being an avid reader is great. Having a large reservoir of knowledge certainly helps whenever I sit down to write a blog post. But knowledge only becomes wisdom when it is put into practice.”

    This was one of the first lessons ever taught to me when I began my journey back in 1986.
    ( obviously not the blog part).
    I purchased and read as many occult books as I could but when I was told the above, it shook me. It seems easier to gather knowledge than to actually put in into practice. But, with time comes confidence . And, not letting your emotions rule you.

    I’ve never had the experience of praying with a group. I would like to experience it but don’t think church is the place for me.

    It’s a shame you and I don’t live closer to each other. I think we’d be great in a group with a few others.

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