A solitary is a contemporary Pagan or Witch who practices a tradition and worships alone rather than as a member of a Coven or group. During the early public years of Witchcraft (the 1960s into the 1970s), membership in covens was emphasized. To be considered a Witch, one had to be initiated by another Witch, and that usually meant joining a coven (see Initiation).
As Craft traditions changed and became more liberal, it became acceptable to initiate one’s self. Some Witches feel initiations are ceremonial only and are not necessary to becoming a Witch or Pagan. many solitaries have belonged to various covens or groups and have decided they prefer being alone; others opt to be solitaries to protect their privacy. The number of solitaries is not known.