Up until the last year or so, I have largely kept quiet about my spiritual path. I don’t particularly know what made me start being more vocal about it at this point in my life though. Maybe it’s a desire to find more people like me since I really don’t have any in Georgia. Maybe it’s finally reaching an age where fitting in with “normal” people just doesn’t matter so much to me anymore. Whatever it is, I came out of the broom closet, you could say, with guns blazing.
The problem is I gave society too much credit. I expected that because I’m generally accepting of everybody’s different ideas and beliefs, people would return that courtesy. My granny taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated. That’s not really true though. Even people close to me brush it off with jokes in their subconscious or maybe even conscious attempts to invalidate the way I live my life. I’m no different to myself than I was a year ago but to them I’ve changed and they don’t know what to make of it. Whenever something goes wrong, there are jokes about blaming the witch (me). A lot of people have dumped me on social media. Some have left parting gifts of Bible verses, while others try to engage me in debates that are thinly veiled attempts to prove that my path isn’t as real as theirs.
It’s all very weird to me. I haven’t done anything different with my life except put an open label on what I am. I haven’t suddenly jumped from one religion to another. My family has been living this way for generations but because I attached the witch word to myself in public, I’m somehow tarnished and religiously dirty.
I used to think hiding the fact that a person is a witch is strange but now I see why it’s done that way. We live in a progressive society that is still willing to burn people for being witches. This is not to say I will go back into the broom closet. I won’t. There’s a rebellious streak in me that has to fight ignorance and injustice wherever I encounter it. I am, however, aware that I’m being educated right now in moderation, compromise, and picking my battles. Creating this blog is part of those lessons. I have given it to people in my life and said if you want to learn about what I’m going through, you can read about it here. That way those who are genuinely interested can have a look and those who are not won’t see the offensive witch posts on Facebook or other blogs. Compromise.
As much as there have been people throwing Bible verses at me and challenging me to look silly, there are also a lot of people who have been great about it. I came out of the broom closet and several people said it makes sense looking back on the way I live my life. They don’t live that way but they understand that it’s right for me. Those are the people who give me hope.
On the other hand, word has gotten around my neighborhood and some of my Southern Baptist neighbors are afraid of me. I can’t win them all, I guess.
I’m not looking to convert people at all but I think people automatically jump to that thought because Christianity is big on converting people. It’s what folks down here understand. Spread the ministry, create more Christians, etc. That’s so far from my goal that I don’t even think about it. My goal is to simply be able to say, “Oh, I had an interesting experience with ritual last night,” and that topic be okay like, “Wasn’t Sunday’s sermon great?” is a topic that nobody thinks twice about. I don’t want to have to hide what I am or what I believe out of fear.
I have a tendency toward naïveté when it comes to seeing the good in everyone. My mind likes to think everybody is as loving and accepting as I strive to be. So when I get rejected, it hurts much deeper than it should because I’m often genuinely stunned and taken aback that people can be stubborn and obtuse.
They used to call me The Innocent when I was a child. I think it’s probably true.
(To view my blog specifically about being a witch, please follow The Witch in a Wheelchair.)