Is There A Broom Closet Door to Open?

previewFor the nearly 13 years I’ve been a practicing Pagan and Wiccan, I’ve been in the broom closet. Until a year or so ago, I was perfectly fine with that. There were a few cracks in that armor. My wife got a little enthusiastic about describing my altar when giving a tour of our house, and we lost a few friends. I know, how good of friends were they, right? I kind of understood. I didn’t come to these paths until I was in my early 40’s, so I can see how that was shocking to some. I would wager that had I been Wiccan when I met most of the friends I now have, we would not have become friends. Even though my birth religion is different than most every friend I have, that didn’t seem to matter. But put Wicca or witchcraft in the mix, and there is an unease.

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had found Wicca in my teens or early 20’s. I suspect it would have been much different. I was so cynical for the first 40 years of my life. But now, when I see people at Renaissance fairs, participating in drumming circles or other public rituals, dressing differently, reading tarot for others, operating metaphysical shops, or otherwise expressing their Pagan individuality, frankly, I’m jealous. I would now love to express my spirituality as openly as some do.

I came to Wicca too late to change outwardly without being perceived as weird by the people who were in my life pre-Pagan. My wife gets it, but I’ve only let others get glimpses of my current spirituality. Pagan is fairly acceptable, because it is vague, and most people just think, “godless.” But to go the extra step and publicly declare myself Wiccan, that is a bolder step indeed.

There are outward signs I fall somewhere into the witchcraft category, but most people miss them. Our home has a metaphysical vibe thanks to both its’ inhabitants and its’ decor. We have witch figurines up all year for goodness sake. Witchballs hanging everywhere, pentagram shaped candle holders, and other trinkets. No one seems to notice.

But I grow restless of the forced divide of my Craft life & my mundane life. I neglect my mundane Twitter account, while my Wiccan Twitter account is buzzing.

But here’s the thing, and I’ve touched on it before. I’m really not that mundane person anymore. Sure, I still love my family, and a few close friends, but all the rest of it has little interest to me now. The nonsensical crap that my “friends” on Facebook post bores me to tears. But my “sneaky” Wiccan Facebook account, which FB would like me not to have, offers me so much more. Nearly everything that I’m interested in online is in the Pagan realm.

So that presents the question, do I have a broom closet door to bang on? Why am I so interested in coming out to those in my mundane life, when I really spend my life in a magickal realm? Why should I make casual Facebook friends privy to my spiritual life on Facebook, when I can express myself so much more openly through my Craft name? Why do I even have a mundane Twitter account, when my @barefootpagan account brings me such great joy?

I know, I recently wrote about balancing witchcraft and mundane life, but honestly, I don’t have a whole lot to balance. It’s mostly a matter of keeping things on a friendly basis with the friends I’ve had before Wicca, keeping the same relationship with my family I had before Wicca, but spending most of my time reveling in the magickal aspect of my life which have become so very important to me.

I’m sure I’m not alone in these identity struggles. While I see these posts as introspection, I also would love them to serve as a bridge to some dialogue for others to share how their lives have been impacted by coming to a Pagan path. Also, I really am interested in hearing how, being on a Pagan path, has affected those who have been on this path since a very young age. Has it set you apart from others not on the path, or have you simply found friends who don’t think much about it? Do you seek out Pagan friends more often, or does that matter to you?

It’s one thing to decide to become Pagan, Wiccan, or a witch, but it’s quite another to live that path day to day. There are a shitload of books that tell you how to practice the Craft, but not a lot of information on how to live the Craft.

Thanks for reading, and please, leave a comment on how you handle all this!

Blessed Be!

 

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10 comments

  1. I grew up in a strict Roman Catholic household. My mother is Italian and my father a Spaniard. At a young age I was intrigued when it came to paganism and witchcraft. At 11 I bought my first book of spells and I think my grandmother freaked. She probably wanted me exercised right then and there.
    I found that after a while I was accepted by my friends and family. I lived a little in the dark like you seem to be. I didn’t look so much into finding Pagan friends. It didn’t matter to me much. When I did look I found one. Her grandmother was Pagan and so she grew up in a similar manner. I knew constantly searching most likely wouldn’t get me anywhere except frustrated and so I instead looked for good people. Growing up my family had a friend that was a medium. I knew if it was hard for me to find a friend, it must be hard for him as well. I decided I wanted to have friends that would be accepting. So I befriended those people. It was after some time when I felt I could truly trust them that I told them. I was never really searching for people, I just came across them. I realized that is how you find the people you are looking for. You shouldn’t really have to search.
    You’re correct, there are plenty of books about practicing the craft and none about living it. There are plenty of judgemental people. I believe you have to go with your gut feeling. It is hard keeping something that means so much to you away from others that mean much to you as well. It’s like you’re fighting a losing battle or as my mom says you’re like a salmon swimming up stream and getting no where.
    I think once you explain it in a way they can understand it may be a little different. They will understand it more. Some of my friends didn’t understand. They heard witch and when I thouroughly explained it to them they understood. They accepted me more and didn’t question it after that. They never ran away or cowered because I was different. I mean, it could help that I also used humor. I tend to do so when I am nervous and during awkward situations. That saying, there are some people who have not been too kind about it. In that case I try to make them understand and when they refuse I see it as a lost cause and don’t see it as worth my time.

    Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your story! It’s so interesting to get a history of someone who found the Craft path at such a young age. I think we will see this with more frequency when young Pagans & witches start having kids of their own, who are born into Paganism. Obviously, they may not choose to follow the path, but I think that because the path is so flexible and open to so many interpretations, these offspring will probably continue the tradition.

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  2. I am in much the same boat as you, (in the interest of time, I just blogged about my current struggles with transitioning to the Pagan lifestyle: https://gipsiwitch.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/and-so-it-begins-still-bitchy/ )

    I, too, am in my 40’s and just beginning my pagan journey, although I have considered myself pagan for many years. To further complicate things for me, my 18 year old son is constantly trying to ‘convert’ me and convince me, with the passion of a young person who has just been ‘born again’, that christianity is the only way. We’ve had short conversations, but he can’t even conceive of anything but what he believes. (Living in a small town in the bible belt definately poses unique struggles for a non christian.)

    I look forward to following your journey as I commence on my own!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting. I read your blog post. Best wishes on your journey. My first couple of years were really fun. Learning all about witchcraft, magick, Wicca. Loved it. You have a further complication with your son, and that makes it difficult. My kids are largely agnostic. I just don’t discuss much of this around them or other family. They know I’m Pagan, and that’s kinda all they care to know. Family can be complicated! Blessed Be!

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  3. I’m in my late 20’s, and since growing up most of my friends were goths, weirdos, or generally not in the “in crowd”. A lot of my friends began studying paganism years ago, so I wouldn’t have the issue of losing friends. The funny thing is that none of them have time to answer my questions. I know everyone is busy. Sometimes I wish that I was more in the pagan community.

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    • Thanks for commenting. I find that the Pagan community is what you make it. Some people love to get together with other Pagans, while the vast majority of Pagans seem content, or at least resigned, to practice a solitary path. I’m the latter. For years, books were my guiding force. Now I enjoy meeting others, such as yourself, through social media. I read some of your blog, & see you are setting forth on the path. That blog is your connection to the Pagan community. If you get stuck on something, write about it. Somebody will help you out! Blessed Be!

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  4. Hello i have always danced to a different beat .. family always said oh the wee ones just odd .. so fast forward 40 odd years and im still me a solitary witch .. my close friends know and accept me as i am .. family have nothing to do with me .. my late mother told me if id been a lesbian she could of taken me to church and got me cured unlike the wicca .. peoples mentality amazes me .. so my thought is whatever path you on ENJOY it x

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  5. I’m just finding this post and I just wanted to share a bit of my story. I plan on blogging about this sometime in the future but I’ll summarize a bit.

    I discovered Paganism about 4 or 5 years ago. I fell in absolute love with it and felt then and still feel as though I found my place in the world. I was raised Southern Baptist and fell heavily into the church in my late teens/early 20’s. I was devout, in church every time the doors were opened. I helped teach bible study class for the little ones, assisted teaching/mentoring during our yearly Vacation Bible School in the summer and was always at the ready to do what I could wherever the church needed me. I prayed and studied the Bible daily, I didn’t do anything that was frowned upon by my church or other members like me in my community. I was often “bragged about” by fellow church members and our preacher for being a “terrific example of what a Christian woman should be”. I thought I’d found my spiritual home for life but on the inside, something ALWAYS felt off…a bit fake, empty, inauthentic.

    I’d always felt a closeness to nature and everything about it. I loved trees, animals, and the natural world all of my life. It always thrilled me and made me feel alive. I have memories as a child of make-believe worlds involving fairies, elves and the like that I reveled in. My church life and family cared little to nothing about nature at all. There would be times that I was astonished to hear them brag that when Jesus came back, nature and all that it involves would burn right along with all of the “sinners” in the world so why would they care about nature. To them it was “worldly” and that spoke trouble. It broke my heart to hear that and to think like that. It started a small flame inside of me. I felt as though I was betraying myself to keep following along. It just gradually stopped making sense. There were so, so many instances like this but for some brevity, I’ll digress here.

    I’m like you in so many ways, it seems. I discovered the pagan path later on in life and I’m at the point of if I was outwardly the way I am inwardly, I’d likely have many difficulties but more importantly, so would my family and I won’t do that. So yeah, I’m closeted. Not happily but it is what it is at this point.

    Thanks for reading. Blessings on your continued journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not having come from a Christian background, I find myself shocked when I read about the internal strife many Christians feel when thinking of breaking away from their faith, especially if they are considering a move to a Pagan path. It is palpable in your post. By the way, you just wrote that first blog entry which you spoke about in your second sentence! I understand your family situation, which many people struggle with. I could not imagine if I had to attend services of a religion I no longer felt met my spiritual needs. I will say that since I’ve been edging out of the closet, it’s either gotten easier, or I just am becoming more emboldened. Perhaps it has something to do with being on the back side of my 50’s… Thank you so much for sharing your story, and please stay in touch. Blessed Be!

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