Shame on you… you witch!
If we have a look around at what is happening in the world today, we can get a pretty good view of how it has advanced spiritually.
We have all become open minded and have really come a long way from the conformity of decades past. Strange esoteric concepts such as yoga and meditation have become the everyday norm. I even know that the marines based in the Middle East war zones, such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan practice yoga in the mornings and are encouraged to meditate on a daily basis.
The American army has accepted Pagan religions and homosexuality. Wicca is a recognised religion in South Africa and it is legal to become a marriage officer through this belief system. These are just a few examples.
So why do so many of us still feel shame for being who we are? If you believe you are an Out and Proud Pagan, then ask yourself a few questions.
Would you visibly wear your pentacle to the office, or if you went out and you weren’t surrounded by familiar faces?
Do you change your language so slightly as to not accidentally let slip who you truly are? Simple things such as “Bright Blessings” becomes “Many Blessings”. Believe it or not but most people won’t think you are a witch because the wording is a little different to what they are used to hearing.
Do you hide your incense, pentacles, candles, crystals and so on, if someone comes to visit your home? It is your home after all but you feel ashamed to let your guests see who you truly are. I know people from other religions who wouldn’t even consider this notion. When your guests leave, what is left behind from their visit is a strong energy that you helped to create. A Hidden shame, something you feel is a ‘dark secret’ to be hidden from the world.
So in a world that is so open minded, we still create shame.
Here is a suggestion, don’t hide who you are. You understand and know your religious path, let it shine and if a stranger happens to come along and asks a question, “why are you wearing that pentagram? Do you believe in Satan?” or “Why did you say Goddess?” or if they ask about all the funny esoteric goodies that decorate your home, do what we all want to happen in this world, educate them. Tell them truthfully what it is all about.
In safe circles with friends of the Craft (and even in Facebook groups) we mention over and over how we would love for the world to become educated. We want them to know about us and to understand us. Keep in my mind though that it is up to them as to whether or not they will accept it.
What we don’t realise is that each and every one of us is a small link in the chain, if we want the change we are always complaining about then take action.
Every time you put the pressure on the shoulders of some one else to try educated the masses, you are breaking away from that chain.
Keep the chain strong, help educate, even if it is just one person a year that you find yourself explaining the Craft to.
It has been proven that when someone hears something interesting they are on average going to share it with another ten people who, if they find the news interesting, will share it with yet another ten people and a chain reaction of education is has been started.
All you did was educate one person.
The people I work with know who I am and my chosen religious path and guess what? They do not treat me any differently or with less respect than anybody else. The people who come into my life and learn who I am generally don’t run screaming for the hills or start praying for my soul to be saved.
There are many people in my life and only a small handful of them are Wiccan. The bottom line is that they associate with who I am and not my religious beliefs.
Only once in my life have I not got a job because of my religion and that was almost a decade ago. It did not bother me because I knew that when I walked out of that job interview, I had not lied about who I was. That was then and this is now and one thing I can promise you is that a lot more people are open minded about these things.
I discovered that when someone learns for the first time that I am Wiccan, they don’t accuse me of being in bed with the devil or start shouting “Burn the witch!” What they do is start asking lots of questions, people are very curious about learning new things. The world has really advanced spiritually.
Just give it a try, let people know what you’re chosen religious path is, I did. You may just be surprised by the response you get.
Original blog post: 16 August 2011