Witchcraft: A Social Media Struggle

2E6CA851-4A18-4813-847F-9D3489B6208DSocial media is always changing. Something is hot one moment, then cold the next. The obituaries for Google+ have been around for years, yet it is still going. Perhaps not exactly the way Google imagined, but the people that use it really like it. You can count me in that group.

Facebook is the social media giant. All your “friends” are there, and most people think others are just dying to see photos of their kids, animals, dinner, or to read how great their lives are. Most aren’t, they are too busy posting their pics, showing YOU how great THEIR life is.

Because I’m a witch, I have often had two sets of social media. One for my mundane life, one for my witchcraft life. However, the last year or so has brought about some changes. Largely, I have abandoned my mundane Twitter and Google+ accounts in favor of the Pagan accounts. I use my mundane Instagram is only to follow my family and a few friends, but my witchcraft Instagram gets far more use. I have a Flipboard account under my witchcraft name, as I post a lot of links to articles in my Flipboard magazines. The only kind of blog I’ve ever had has been one devoted to Wicca/witchcraft.

That brings me to the biggie, Facebook. I have mostly stuck with my mundane account, while following a lot of Pagan/witchcraft Pages and a few groups. It’s a bit tricky, but you can hide the fact you belong or follow them from your timeline, but if you “like” something on an Craft (or any) page or post a comment in a non-closed group, people see it. Even if you belong to a closed group, a friend who might stumble across that group will see you are a member of that group. They can’t see what you post in that closed group without joining the group. But they do see you belong to a Pagan/witchcraft group.

About a year ago, I created a Facebook account for my witchcraft life. I was hesitant, since there is the whole “real name” thing. But I saw lots of other Pagans with their Craft names, so I went ahead and signed up. It was wonderful to openly follow Craft pages, join open and closed groups, and freely comment on posts. But I seemed always to go back to my mundane account.

But now I have a decision to make. In the year that I’ve had my witchcraft Facebook account, I’ve accumulated more friends than I did in years and years with my mundane account. My time is spent reading and writing about Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, and other esoteric subjects. I still follow non-Craft pages and news pages, but the majority of time is spent in the witchcraft realm.

I am tempted to make that witchcraft Facebook account my default account. However, this has ramifications. I would miss some family related stuff, some local happenings, and it would kind of screw up Facebook Messenger. Then, there is always the possibility of getting booted out of the account due to the “real name” requirement.

The easy way would be to keep my mundane account as my primary, and occasionally check in on the witchcraft account. The thing is, I’m tired of the dichotomy, tired of leading these dual online lives.

Here’s something I’ve thought about this holiday weekend. I have X number of Facebook “friends” on my mundane account. Our phone didn’t ring this weekend. Not one of my “real” Facebook friends contacted us over the holiday. In fact, the same thing has happened on every major holiday this year.

Conversely, even though I have never physically met the people on my witchcraft Facebook account, I had some really great communication with quite a few of my friends there. I was able to comment on posts I liked, and contribute to some of the groups to which I belong.

I suppose this is bigger than social media. What’s really at play here is that Wiccan and Pagan no longer describes what I do, it describes who I am. And while I’d love to shout that from the rooftops at times, there are real life implications for doing so. My wife’s job, and the effect it could have on her friendships with our friends. I really don’t care that much about me, but she sees them on a more regular basis than I, and I know some would freak about it.

This is exactly the reason I’m always envious of young people finding their Pagan paths early in life. They can surround themselves by people who accept them for who they are, and adjust their life path accordingly. Finding this path in later life, as I did, creates complications. So I’m left to deal with stuff like this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject. How do you handle this? Do you have dual accounts or have you thrown all caution to the wind? Please feel free to leave comments!

Thanks for reading.

Blessed Be!

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18 comments

  1. I don’t have dual accounts, but I am not out yet. I do like lots of pagan posts and I add to the conversation. But I do worry about being outted. I too have real-life implications. I understand your struggle, but I have no solid advice. I hope just knowing others are struggling offers some help.

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  2. I do not have dual accounts and I’m very “out” as they say. It’s not like I walk around in a dark cloak professing Wicca, but if religion comes up in conversation I’m an open book. I guess you could say I have thrown caution to the wind because I could care less about how other people view me. All I truly care about is that my family loves me and that my partner supports me in all my passions. I am fortunate to have a very logical partner who is not spiritual but unconditionally accepts my spirituality and I’ve even seen it rub off on him some too! I have two Instagram accounts, one that’s personal and one for my blog, but I’ve pretty much lost sight of my personal account. I write a lot on my website http://www.thefleetingparagon.com and it’s truly part of my ethos and identity. I’ve noticed that people who are totally in the dark about paganism get interested in things I like, for example crystals, tarot, the moon..so they find they don’t have to be a witch to appreciate everyday magic. I think that’s a very special gift to give people who are less educated on the matter. Thanks for your post, interesting read! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel very similar. I don’t hide it anymore, but I don’t go out of my way most of the time to tell people. I have switched accounts on social media to hide from people so many times that at this point I have just decided to keep what I have and be who I am.

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  3. Hi, I have dual accounts, they are linked together, one is my personal account & the other is my spiritual account. As open the latter, I was very hesitant, not so much about the spirituality, but I’m on the border of wanting to follow & join some of the pagan & Wiccan accounts. I worried about liking or making comments on these accounts, on my personal account, I have friends from my Christian day, not wanting to hurt feelings. I made a decision to live my life for me & not for others. Slowly I have added a post here or there in regards to pagan & Wiccan communities. I have felt the pull for some time to start adding more posts with this community as well as in my personal life. I have no answers for you, other than to do what your intuition is telling you.

    Blessings, Light & Love
    Sherri (Mysticalwriter)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have on fb page but might open another just for my store. My fb is definitely pagan but also sometimes political as well as I use t be a gamer until I realized how much time I was spending on fb playing and decided that was ridiculous. I still keep some of my fellow gamers on my friends as they became internet friends but will never go back in full bore to the games like they all seem to wish. I feel as pagans we desperately need to be politically active in trying to help with the environment and rights. It kinda makes me crazy to see so called pagans claiming to worship the Goddess while they are ding nothing to preserve and nourish her creations.

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  5. Witchcraft is not what it used to be all the knowledge books spells Lost in Time burned people nowadays think it’s cool that they would like to be a witch get a grip that time is past very few are

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  6. I disagree with the idea that starting younger is better. Remember everyone’s situation is different. For me (and I know a lot of other people), starting young wasn’t even really an option, being from a christian household, unless I pretty much wanted to destroy my world as I knew it. You’d have to have a lot of balls to do something like that. Now that I’m older, and independent, I can strive to surround myself with people who don’t care what my religion is, and distance myself from people who would have a catatonic seizure if I told them I’m a witch.

    Meno<3

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    • Sorry, I just saw your comment. Don’t know how I missed it. You touch upon the flip side of the coin. I guess I was thinking about instances where the parents were open to giving their children room to explore other spiritual paths. My parents were open to that, but I do realize that there are parents whose spirituality runs so deep within them, any deviation by their children simply isn’t even a choice. I wasn’t suggesting that young people purposely create a chasm within their family. But if their parents are open to the idea, and if a younger person is responsible enough to make a conscious choice, I would think that experiencing the world through the spirituality of their choice from that age, could be an advantage. I think that would be preferable to finding this path later in life, where such a change can be so jarring to one’s friends, that they have to walk away from long-time friendships.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No apology necessary ; )
        Honestly it warms my heart to hear about people like you who have had good experiences, with open minded parents. I agree that if you can start early, and safely exploring the world through your chosen religious outlook, it it beneficial. At the same time, I think these take time to really figure out….
        Thank you for taking the time to answer. ❤

        Meno

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  7. I only use my Pagan name on Facebook, (I abandoned my muggle one because my ex and the home wreaking b*tch are stalkers). but since then I have made a lot of fantastic friends and joined a lot of groups that enrich my life. I feel that my witchy identity is my true self and my muggle identity exist only to pay the bills.

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    • Thanks for commenting. I decided to go back to my mundane Facebook page. One day I was looking at my friends on my witchcraft Facebook page, & I realized I had more than I did on my original Facebook account. However, I realized that I really knew nothing about these people, except that they were Pagans/witches. Some of them could be not what they represented themselves to be. Facebook is different than following people on blogs or on Twitter. It’s somehow more personal. While I’m sure most were fine people, I was concerned enough about showing up as a “friend” on someone’s Facebook page could have more far reaching consequences. So I decided to close that account.

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