Sometimes it’s nice to be solitary. The lack of other people in your practice means that you can practice however you want, whenever you want. You can be as eclectic and ecstatic as you like; you can honor the beings you wish. However, solitary Druidry is lonely. There is no one to share rites, joys, and sorrows with. There is no one to talk to about the vision or flash of insight you had one night.
Though I am a member of Ar nDraoicht Fein, I choose to practice as a solitary. This is for various personal reasons. Being a solitary member of a Druidic organization does have its perks. There are other people to chat with and ask questions of. There are clergy who can support you in tough times. There is one major disadvantage: the cliquish nature of groves (local congregations).
Groves are where all the action happens. They host rituals at festivals, workshops, study groups, and more. The people in a grove are usually kind to us solitaries, as they understand some of us just prefer to work alone. I call them cliquish because I was recently in an organization-wide chat where many of the participants were in the same grove. They chatted amongst themselves without bothering to try to talk to the other people there. Since the majority of ADF’s members are in groves (or protogroves, basically a small congregation just forming), solitaries tend to get forgotten a lot. The Solitary Druid Fellowship was one attempt to remedy this situation, but, as far as I can tell, has made little difference.
It is difficult to be a solitary Druid. I hope that perhaps I can make a difference for fellow solitaries. One idea I have is to offer virtual study sessions (something some of the larger groves offer in person), either through text or video chat.
Thanks for reading my ramblings!