For 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!