As I explained while introducing myself on this forum I studied and practiced witchcraft several years ago and as we know ‘life happens’. Recently, I found my way back to studying and practicing but it has not been without difficulty. By this I mean the root of faith and that I struggle with this every day. I want to believe, I want to have faith and I want that faith to carry me forward, accompanying me through this life’s journey and beyond. I have always struggled with faith in all facets. Faith in myself, faith in others and faith in spirituality whether it be in formalized religion or wicca. In early July I was forced to resign from my job. I was the fall guy for a very serious situation overlooked by my manager and several others in the company. The blame had to be pinned on someone and that someone was me. I was unable to procure and start a new job until September 13th leaving me incomeless for three months (by the time I receive my first paycheck). This has left me in financial ruin. I did have many interviews and was turned down repeatedly for “lack of CURRENT experience” and in the same breath was told how good the interviewers felt about my overall qualifications. In early August I interviewed for a job I desperately wanted, and I successfully obtained only to have the job offer rescinded 20 hours later. The offer was rescinded for a ridiculous reason never-the-less it devastated me with paralyzing anger and sorrow. Prefacing this, I performed two rituals for success one prior to the interview and one afterwards. I was thrilled when I received the call and the offer. Since then, I have not studied, have not practiced, and half-heartedly attended a Mabon ritual with a local group of witches (not a coven). I felt no connection and even found myself frustrated by things I could no control over (and had no business controlling in the first place). And here I stand, once again, straying from practice and what little faith I had in it has dwindled too nearly non-existent. Now, I am trying to decide where to go from here. I feel there must be an importance to incorporating a healthy sense of spirituality into life, but I have no faith that in doing so it means anything. I sit here in my room as I write this post, looking over at my covered altar with very little feelings other than frustration. However, I feel lost and empty at the same time. As I have always practiced as a solitary having these feelings and no one to share them with has only made things increasingly difficult for me. So, I decided to open myself up by sharing this on the forum in the hopes that someone can shed some light or perspective or experience(s) which might give me some guidance and/or insight into my plight and maybe some advice I might heed to move past this barrier.
Go back to the things that brought you to wanna be here in this faith. The things you hold near and dear. Why did you get into witchcraft in the first place? These things could possibly re-light that fire for you. I suggest doing the road opener spell. Take realistic steps towards your goal. Maybe even a self love ritual.
I wish the best for you and if you need me, I’ll always be here!!
For me it was wicca that brought me recently back to a half-hearted life where the sorrow was cause from my own family situation. As @christina4 try to remember what made you love the faith or even if being solitary is hard you could maybe you could catch up with some of those witches you were talking about. To just be here and expressing your frustration is showing that you haven’t lost hope. So i suggest just keep posting here asking questions and doing the things that interest you and do not worry too much about all the if’s and buts and you may find that after a little time you find that little spark that made you love wicca and witchcraft
Spiritual practices of any kind are ridiculous and full of nonsense, when we are struggling with faith. If you pray, meditate, create spells, or whatever, and there is no relief it can seem silly to continue. It doesn’t help that Western society is interested in Pinterest/TikTok faith. (What looks nice? What can be easily shared and practiced? What trend can I follow so I’m in the in crowd?) Faith becomes meaningless and shallow as we embrace social media’s take on belief systems.
Spells8/Infinite Roots is an online coven for solitary witches. We support each other, share knowledge we’ve gained, and we share our public lives with each other. It’s important because not all of us have people in our “real lives” that understand us. Humans are a social species and not having someone who can grasp who we are and why we do what we do can feel isolating in the short term and depressing in the long term.
Now add to all of this feelings of frustration and stress from life… It’s no wonder you question it all and feel little for what you once loved. My heart hurts for you because I know what it feels like to question everything and to even walk away from “silly” or “childish” ways of thinking. (My words in my darkest moments.)
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to take care of your physical needs. A healthy diet is paramount, as is a consistent amount of sleep. Routine care from medical professionals is a necessity. And a steady source of income for bills and a place to live round out the top physical needs.
Now to your spiritual needs. Start small. It’s time to put the altar, the BOS, the crystals, and everything else away. They are a distraction and can actually cause more pain. Take time for yourself, even 5 or 10 minutes, everyday. During that time, meditate, pray, or remain in the moment. This can be during exercise, as you wake up in the morning or go to bed at night, or even during a shower or bath. As this becomes a habit, slowly introduce things you enjoyed most about witchcraft. For example: candles and crystals are easily incorporated into quiet times. Finally, expand the time you are giving yourself. Remember to keep this time a routine, even scheduling the time if necessary.
How does all of this work? When the physical needs are met the brain can focus on entertainment, relaxation, and philosophical concepts and religions. Neurotheology, as part of the still developing Neuroscience of religion, informs us of the truth that the more one practices a religion the more spiritual they will feel. They will begin to see answers to their questions and they will begin to find meaning in what they believe.
I hope some of this helps. Blessings to you while you travel this road but know you are not alone - you have us.
I agree with the others that it’s time to take care of yourself. Faith is there in the hard times, it’s just difficult to pin down. Right now from what I’ve heard it’s difficult for you to have faith in yourself, much less a higher power. Take care of yourself. Take some courses if you need to, to update your work experience. Maybe look into a different field of work now that you’re not so worried about being incomeless.
If just one person believes in you, that will make you feel better. And I believe in you! You’re here, asking for help and that is a giant first step. Now take some time to love yourself, that’ll be the next step. Before you know it things will be back on keel.
Good luck, I’ll keep you in my prayers.
Thank you @christina4 for responding and for your support. I’m usually the helper and not the receiver so reaching out took me a lot of contemplation and even courage. The courage to make myself vulnerable especially with such a sensitive subject. Thank you! KK
Thank you @TheMuslimWitch for your response and advise. Being solitary is hard especially since I also thrive on social interaction, as do most of us. But as you know wicca and witchcraft, although more accepted than even in the recent past is still very misunderstood and this falls in the days where we are beaten with being culturally sensitive, however witches are not considered a culture in that sense. Anyway, thank you for your kind support. I will definitely take pieces for everyone and move forward at my own pace (without pressuring myself). KK
My perspective is as a non-denominational Christian (I accept certain aspects of Christianity and reject others) and as a witch.
In my view, faith is a belief that does not demand a test to sustain itself. We are logical creatures and most our lives are guided by empirical reasoning. If we bought something and it didn’t work, we wouldn’t buy it again. But the requirement of faith is to put trust in something that may or may not deliver desired results. Faith is not transactional. That is what makes it a spiritual belief. We have no real evidence of an after-life, for example, yet many people choose to believe it. An empirical belief is based on what you observe and determine in your mind to be true. Putting a lock on your door to protect your home is based on empirical belief; putting salt around your home is based on spiritual belief. A belief of faith is something you determine to be true in your spirit or heart that may or may never be supported with evidence or observation. When it is provided, that is sometimes referred to as “grace” in the Judeo Christian tradition - some evidence that is spontaneous, unexpected and not provided on the basis of merit.
It would be illogical for me to expect my spells to work or my prayers to be heard. It’s just something I choose to believe. How does an illogical belief benefit me? Well, for me personally, it is motivating. You know that old saying, the Gods help those who help themselves? There is another saying that goes pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you. That is a value I live by. My work is not over when I say a prayer or a do a spell; it is just begining. It’s an act that helps motivate and focus me to do everything I can to obtaining that goal or to being a better person. Or it is solace when really nothing I have done in my power has helped. It is helping me to accept my imperfection and the imperfection of others or the misery of unfortunate events that and give my grief and longing to the universe to find some sense of relief from suffering.
The prayer or spell is the match that lights the candle but I am the candle. The light continues to come from me after the match is extinguished.
I think there is the value that faith (inciuding witchcraft) incorporates a practice of some kind, as well as values you live by, and that faith tends to be amplified with practices, as well as beliefs. This keeps you from giving up on faith when life goes wrong. “Faith without works is dead.” In 12-step, they say, “It works if you work it.” Most people feel their faith is strengthened by works such as meditations, devotions, offerings (which can be your service to others, money, bread on an altar, etc.), expressions of appreciation and gratitude, and rituals, and sometimes doctrines (e.g., the Wiccan Rede). I think most people would agree that faith will wither unless you, like a garden, care for it, dedicate youself to it, and commit to its growth and improvement. When you grow a garden, it is in full knowledge that there are things that are beyond your control (hail, drought, deer, pests) but you still go for it with hopes and expectations. It does not mean you set aside reason and logic or expect things to happen without your very great effort. So you are dedicated to building on your faith in the way you personally see fit, or your group prescribes, whether that is through practices, devotions, reading, living your values, etc.
I do not believe faith is static. It wavers, it strengthens and it transforms. It is invisible and highly personal. Every spiritual leader has experienced crises of faith; that comes witht the territory. You can make it be what it needs to be to be the best version of yourself without endorsement or approval of anyone else (says the solitary witch) or you can find comfort in the structures of a group. When searching for personal strength to handle setbacks, I find my resilience is improved by dedication to self-care and self-love, identifying and living by my personal set of values and moral code, and personal effectiveness strategies.
Wow @praecog29 thank you for taking the time to respond. I definitely agree with all that you said and realize the best I can do is do for me. I need to have security in my life so that I can recenter. I do not sleep well, my diet is poor and my financial situation is dire. I have a new job but it is lacklustre. Sometimes it is hard to choose a starting point. I didn’t even share with the coven what my life has looked like for the past year… And years even. Even though my faith is in question I will freely admit that when I began practicing again I felt well and I felt that by practicing I was taking care of myself… Through my ritual work. I think you are correct in that I need to go back to simple and small. I also think you are correct in that my altar and all other witchy things cause me stress through guilt. “It’s full moon, I should do a ritual”. "It’s Mabon, I should…"Samhain is coming I need to… " That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself in a time when the pressure and stress in my life is already high.
Fortunately, I am on very few social media sites and what I am on has limits to my friend’s lists, groups etc. I also do not watch regular TV. Although I do monitor world events from reputable sources I do not buy into any of the absolute garbage out there, but I do enjoy a good meme now and again.
The spiritual hole when filled will be attributed to my practice of witchcraft, for that I am certain. But my faith in anything has always been a struggle because I have taken hit after hit in my life and even get kicked while down. (My life truly follows “you just can’t make this stuff up”).
Less I digress… Again, very valuable response and thank you for that. I am working on willing positive and banishing negative which should help. KK
Don’t know if it will help any but my story has some things in common with you, as I faded away from Wicca for many, many years. More than two decades went by in the blink of an eye. The idea of faith can be problematic. When I was younger I felt I “had faith” and then never really had any experiences that justified believing in much of anything at all. I think its one reason I gave up on the practice. Fast forward to two years ago just before I began to practice again. I was at an emotional and spiritual low and had been reading all sorts of spiritual texts from various religions but nothing was connecting and in fact making me feel even worse.
One day I was out walking in the woods and came to this old stone wall that had a stick laying across it. I had a gut feeling to pick it up but was like “I live in the woods, what the hell do I want a stick for?” and I walked away. But I couldn’t shake the feeling about picking up the damn stick. A few days passed before I went back and found the stick still laying in the same spot and as I picked it up it just felt right. This was No major moment of “Aha! now I understand everything about life and the universe!” it was just a subtle feeling of yes, it feels good to walk with this stick. And as I walked along with my new stick in my hand it became a staff and in my head I was Gandalf setting off on a grand adventure…Well actually I just walked into my garage and remembered. “I should do Magic!”
As a then 47 year old telling his girlfriend “I found this stick. Its really cool and I’m gonna get into magic” I took a bit of risk. But she just looked at me and said “That sounds about right for you” and smiled.
Months went by and I remained faithless (and still am), but little by little I kept adding to my practice, not by just reading, but by making offerings, saying thank you for what I have, and talking to the goddess and god, out loud and not just internally. As I began to fall in love with these simple acts of practice, things started to happen. I noticed the joys and pains of nature as I left sunflower seeds as an offering and then saw the birds and squirrels enjoying it followed by the sight of a crow stealing a baby bird from its nest and eating it for lunch. Life is never fair for anyone. But its our life and how we choose to live it up to us. Being sensitive to the little things, trusting yourself when you feel something and listening to the world around me was the key.
Eventually all the little signs I began to see, that voice down deep inside I began to pay attention to, gave way to my first encounter with deity. Again it was no major moment of nirvana or enlightenment but I heard the name “Hekate” whispered in my head followed by “she’s here.” And she was, I could feel her her presence as I stood in my art studio feeling utterly intimidated and just knew I needed to leave her and her companions whoever they were alone in the space. So I headed outside and tried to get a handle on what just happened. Later I returned and started rearranging furniture, throwing stuff out in the studio, pulling certain books off the shelf and tossing them in the trash, changing all sorts of things for some reason. It dawned on me these changes were her guidance. And this sort of thing is still ongoing…
Do I have a point with this rambling? I’ll try to find one, I think its about accepting faithlessness and doing a daily practice however small. Faith is just believing in something you read or what someone tells you. Witchcraft is about experiences we go through as a result of practice, not faith or belief. And when we have them, we know. No words do it justice so we call them mysteries. Thorn Mooney does a better job of explaining this idea of practice being what matters and faith belonging more to other religions. I’d suggest looking at her channel on youtube.
I guess I’d just say be gentle with yourself, find a simple act of daily practice you enjoy, the rest will happen as it happens.
Maybe something I wrote makes some sense, I don’t know, lol. Small, subtle acts can send send you walking down a magical path that would have been unimaginable before.
The simple staff I cast my first circle with, means more to me than any book or any statue or crystal or such ever will.
Thank you so much @Amethyst for your insight. Everyone here has been very welcoming and supportive. I found spells8 for a reason. The support here so far has been great. I have not posted much but I do check in to read the posts of others. Lots of great info and fun stuff, greatly valued and appreciated. Again, thank you! KK
You’re welcome, my friend! I have faith that you’ll find your faith! LOL!
Faith untested isn’t faith at all. Good things or bad things happening have zero to do with faith. You most likely feel empty because you are. We all have something inside us that we can’t fill. We can put many things in there but most of them do absolutely nothing for the condition. The key is to search and find that which fills that space with contentment. Not today because it is a good day but always. When you do that you have found faith. I hope I am not being too out there but the search for something worth believing in is quite possibly the most important thing you can do.
Well first, go re-read @ praecog29 's reply because that is genius.
Second, my experience has been different - always drawn to witch like things, never practicing until recently, and not really believing in the beginning. Then one day I became aware of the effects…holy [language!], this works!
My final comment is more mundane. There is no reality without belief. Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right. You cant even get out of bed unless you believe you can. If you shoot baskeball or hockey, you won’t make the shot unless you believe it is possible. If you don’t believe that you can be successful, you won’t be. You don’t have to believe everything is guaranteed, just that it is possible. My old supervisor told me once that there are no guarantees with people. “If you want a guarantee, go to Best Buy and get a toaster.”
Anyway, I hope you find something in these responses that is helpful.
Thank you so much @Valen for sharing your experiences. Your walking stick is quite awesome and from my angle suits you well. A good amount of what you wrote about matches my experiences, thoughts, feelings, so on and so forth. It us amazing how many people have responded all with different thoughts about this yet the end result of their sharing is all the same no matter their take on faith and spirituality. All I know is that I feel more connected with life when I practice. But, like @jim said in his reply, I am suffering from emptiness remains. But, I do have the insight into myself on how to fill some of that void and it comes from consistently practicing and studying and in that committing to taking care of myself, mind, body AND spirit. Thanks again! I appreciate your sharing. KK
Thank you @jim . Your reply was valuable to my thought processes on this topic. Faith for me comes in the lack of belief that magick and the ability to will the direction of my life and all that is in it through intent. That lacking actually is for me directly related to the ‘bad’ things that occur, often one after the other with no time to come up for air and recover for the next dive. When I have opened myself to ritual work and spell casting, I am careful to do so with the right intentions and I put the time and effort into making each ritual a positive experience with all the love I can contribute. But, as I said, just this past year alone I have suffered huge loss and want desperately to stop the twisty turvy of ‘my’ universe.
Thank you again, your response was very helpful as I gather together all the responses and ponder how I will work to restore my ability to believe in myself which then will manifest many things on many levels. KK
Thank you @Undomeher for your response. Both, my belief and my faith have been a struggle for me. I do not have the faith to believe that things can be just as I want them to be with some work and the ability to ‘go the distance’. In the past year alone, I had surgery last summer (2020) that aside from insurance cost me a lot. Then, in October, I was doing a favor for work and was hit by a distracted drive (in other words I wouldn’t have been there otherwise). The police placed me at 100% fault because they did not listen to my report then made up the details. Aside from the insurance coverage this too cost me some serious money. In November, my daughter was minutes away from successfully committing suicide, the trauma that caused me still resonates every day. In January, another surgery, a new year new deductible needed to be met. In April I changed positions at work hoping to truly make a difference but was met not only with resistance but actual lateral violence. In July, as I described in my original post, I was forced to resign as the company needed a fall guy for a huge mistake my manager made placing the company at risk for losing their primary payment source. A week later I was in a motorcycle accident, the accident cost me more $$$ and I had another hospital experience (boy ERs are expensive even with insurance). Then, procuring and then losing that job I really wanted capped off the year so far. That and having been turned down for all financial assistance and having to seek it from family who have their own financial responsibilities (a pride thing). In August my daughter had another break down but this time it has caused legal implications and many other terrible things. All in all, nearly $30k lost, no job to pay those bills and stressor after stressor after stressor has shaken me to the core. With that said, I am working hard to change that including the releasing of the negative I am holding onto and ushering in all the positive. I know I am worth that much! I am literally training my brain to do this because my thoughts do just as much damage as the events themselves. So, my beliefs are related to my faith that good things are possible and that they are not guaranteed, but are possible. Thank you so so much for your perspective. I really appreciate your time and kindness! I am actually no longer as negative as this reply might sound. Most if this is simply just fact. KK
Okay I do not believe I can add anything more than what is already in many of the replies that is in this post. There are some amazing ones also.
What I will say, is that I think many of us have experienced “faithlessness” and the lack of cradling our craft as closely as we “think” we should. It’s so easy for many of us to disappoint ourselves in doing what we really feel we need to do and just excuse it away or slide it to the back burner. I know I’ve had a few times that I just felt I needed to step back from my craft/practice for reasons unknown to me at the time. I came back each time, more confident and ready, eager to feed on the bounty of knowledge that is here and in our world. It’s okay to step back, it’s okay to question and wonder even doubt, to me that is wisdom a sort of introspection period, where we pause and take in everything we have absorbed and digest it in a sense.
You’re not alone, take the time you need to do what you can, feel what you feel, and rediscover your faith in yourself and the rest will follow. Intention is key.
I wish you comfort in this difficult time and we are here for you always.
Thank you @Rowan . Everyone who has responded had provided clear thoughts on this matter and all of the responses are greatly appreciated! I feel much better about the feelings I am having and I know it is because I reached out and asked. Nightly I have been on the spells8 site browsing all the witchy things and that has been enough for me to get in touch with and remember why I chose to study and practice. That has been of comfort. Thank you again, KK
You’re very welcome! Im glad to hear you’re feeling better, we all have times where it just feels like the bottom falls out from under us in various scopes of our lives. Just remember, your coven will be there as a net if ever you need it.