O is for On Your Own

I could do this topic under ‘s’ for Solitary Practice, but I’ve already got Samhain and Sobek down for my S topics, so this is what I’ve got left. And I think ‘on my own’ is broad enough to cover all the various ways in which I’m on my own, so perhaps it’s better I write about this here than under ‘Solitary’.

I’ve always been a solitary Pagan. Mostly out of choice, and partly out of having no one else to practice with. I think practing with someone else only works if you share enough of a religious path to feel like you’re both doing the same things. But I think my path is one that is so much my own that finding someone else with enough in common would be quite difficult.

I’ve talked about it before, that there is a serious lack of Pagans in Australia. The last census had that number at about 30,000 declared Pagans in the whole country. That’s all the regognisably Pagan groups noted in the census, at any rate. And out of those groups, Wicca was the most popular. So the likelihood of finding anyone compatible enough to practice with is realistically difficult. Because of that, I’ve never bothered seriously looking for a group to practice with. Added to that is the fact that I’ve never particularly wanted to get involved with group practice anyway, so all in all, I was always going to walk a solitary path.

I mean, there’s still a small part of me that would like to experience group ritual one day, if only so I know what it feels like, but it would have to be the right kind of group, and rather than seek them out, I’d rather just leave it in the hands of the Cosmos. If it happens, it’ll happen. But this is very much an optional part of my path, so I don’t feel like I can’t continue practicing unless I’m with a group.

The groups I have been involved with have all been online groups, and pretty much what made me initially join them was a desire for fellowship. I was just starting out as a Pagan, and I wanted other Pagans to talk to, so I could learn from them and figure out what on earth I was meant to do when worshipping Kemetic Gods. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a shared religious tradition to be a part of. I found one in Kemetic Orthodoxy, but it wasn’t what I originally went there for. And even then, I stayed until I’d learnt all I could from them. For me, it was never going to be a forever thing.

I still think about that sometimes. Why I end up with this group or that, why am I drawn to this religion or that one, why is this important. So much of my path is about spiritual wandering. I’ve spent the last three months researching Judaism for a big bang fic, and in the process, learnt a bunch of things I can use for my own path. Perhaps a Jewish Archangel otherkin AU fic wasn’t as accidental as I thought it was.

I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m very much of a group person anyway. I walk alone, and don’t expect anyone to be with me. It’s just my path, and it goes where it will. And, yeah, sometimes, that can be lonely. The solitary path is a lonely one. I think that’s why Amun wanted to be companions. So I’m not walking alone. Which is an odd thing to realise, but there you go. Because that was the word He used. He wanted us to be companions. That’s… more overwhelming to realise than I’d anticipated. A God I’d never worked with before didn’t want me to be lonely, so He turned up and asked to be friends. Wow. That’s… really amazing, and humbling.

It’s not like I was short of Gods either. I’ve always got Sobek with me, and Aset/Isis, and I had Hekate with me at the start of the year. But I was thinking about this before. There was a threat over at The Cauldron asking what people don’t feel comfortable going to their Gos about. For me, there’s not much I wouldn’t tell Them.

But at the same time, I do see a difference between the act of going to my Father, Sobek, and going to Amun, who’s outside of all that. He never came up in my RPD, and I never had a Beloved divination for Him, so He is completely outside the family of Gods I got at my RPD. And there’s a different dynamic between telling something to your Parent(s), and tellling something to a friend. I did realise that as I was writing up my reply for that thread. I didn’t know I needed something like that, that there was an impartial God watching over me who I could talk to if I needed it. Which is weird, because, mythically, Sobek and Nit are addressed as the impartial judges. But for me, I have Amun. He’s just there, if I need it.

Did I mention I’m making Him a box shrine? He wants an empty box shrine, which I’m going to paint/craft/make for Him. I’m not sure where it’ll sit, but if He wants one, He’ll get it. I’ll probably have some sort of candle that goes with it, but that’s about it. …I might put some ears on it. He’s just indicated He wants ears. So I can whisper to Him, and He will hear me.

(This entry has gone in a weird direction. Did anyone else notice that?)

I mean, I know how Amun fits into my worldview now. And Sobek is Amun etc. I suppose I just didn’t realise how important Amun was going to end up being when He first turned up in my life a couple of years ago.

…2010 was a weird year, looking back on it. Everything fucking changed then. Then again, it was the Year of Zep-Tepi, of the first time. I shouldn’t be surprised that’s when my Gods started leading me down a new path. I mean, I even called it when the Oracle of Aset came out that year. But in some ways, I’m still bloody surprised at just how much has changed.

This path is still a solitary one. In some ways, it isn’t to be shared by other people. Sometimes with, depending on what can be shared, but I’m it. I’m the only one who can walk this path. The only one expected to walk this path. I think that’s why I cherish online communities so much, when I find ones I like, because even if we’re not walking the same path, I’ve still got companions to talk to, who’ll understand when I talk about spiritual things. Sometimes I need that, to be able to talk to people who’ll understand. I think that’s what I need out of a group more than anything else. Support and friendship, even if we’re all doing completely different work.

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3 comments on “O is for On Your Own

  1. A lot you have written here has struck a chord with me.
    I’m solitary by choice – something which came after the realization that although I may find people I can relate to (mostly in online communities), I need to walk this path alone. There is no other who can walk it with me, although at certain moments mine and others; intersect – perhaps even for very brief moments.
    I’ve also never really felt the need to work with a group, I’m used to working alone and I’m very comfortable with that. So much so I believe it’s come to the point where even if I’d try working within a group it would not prove ideal.
    And also there’s the fact we’re not really alone, we have the Gods and the Spirits with us, even if they don’t always manifest in some way or another. They are always watching and guiding in ways so subtle we don’t always realize it 🙂
    Lovely post, thank you!

  2. […] 1. O is for On Your Own […]

  3. AusGaia says:

    I spent many years wishing to find a group to practice with but in Australia it’s rare to come across another Pagan in the country let alone be along the same path. I’ve become comfortable on my own in the last few years, so much so that I don’t want to join others in group work. I’ve grown more on my own being able to explore where & when I want 🙂

    Nice post! I always enjoy reading others experiences.

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