Love, Pride, and Silence
Article ID: 12335
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 4th. 2008
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People who are proud of their religion want to put it out there in to the world. They want to make the world know that their religion is incredible. But when you’re Wiccan, no matter how much you want to put it out in to the world, you have to consider the consequences of doing so. I learned this the hard way.
When I first discovered Wicca, I was ecstatic about it. I was so happy about it that I could barely contain myself. I knew this was my path. I felt it from the moment I tried the rubbing-hands-together-to-create-energy exercise that every single Wiccan has done.
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day than doing a ritual, a couple spells, play with my tarot cards, and dance in the woods. I looked at every Wicca site on the Internet and got in touch with tons of different Wiccan around the world. I dreamed about being a High Priestess and having my own coven.
I would openly, at school, talk to my best friend about spells/rituals I did, or the amazing experiences I had astral traveling, or problems with spirits she was having at the time. You never saw me without a book on witchcraft or the Celts or magickal herbs.
I would debate with Christians at school about how Christian/Catholic religious holidays—Christmas, Easter, etc—originated from Pagan holidays. I wore my pentacle proudly. I had no problem displaying my religion.
Except for at home.
Now, my family in itself isn’t religious, but my mom and my brother are Christian, and even though he doesn’t exactly have a religion, my dad was raised by Jehovah’s Witnesses. My sister could care less, and my 4-year-old baby sister loved watching movies about witches.
So I shouldn’t have been worried about what my family thought. But I found myself hiding everything I did that related to Paganism. I would lock my supplies in my file cabinet and when I did a ritual or a spell, I did it outside far, far, far in the woods. And in winter when it was too cold to do rituals outside, I told my family that I was studying, and then I would lock my door and do my rituals/spells as quietly as I possibly could, whispering words and replacing some words with hand gestures.
But the problem here wasn’t my family. Once I came out to them, they were surprisingly accepting of my religion, even interested in it. My dad loved Paganism, saying he was more of a Gaia worshipper than anything else, because he loved being outside so much. My mom, while she didn’t want to become Wiccan, agreed to read a couple of books about it so she could understand what it really was instead of thinking it was some Satanist thing.
The people I should have been worried about were not my family, but the students and teachers of the school where I was already out of the broom closet. Everyone there already knew that I was Wiccan.
The town where I live is a very Christian/Catholic town.This is a town in which, on Sundays, all stores but for churches, liquor stores, and grocery stores are closed. Almost every person I knew was some form of Christian or Catholic, save for my best friend and a few atheists in the school.
Nobody did anything to torment me at the beginning, when I was just coming out. They were fine with it, thinking it was just a phase. But it wasn’t long before things did start happening.
I wasn’t exactly pushed aside and ignored or given the silent treatment. On the contrary, people started paying more attention to me. And not necessarily in a good way.
Here’s what happened:
It started with whispers and giggles from cliques as I walked past their group.It progressed to include sarcastic remarks and rumors.
Then people pretended to ride broomsticks as I past them in the hallway.
Even the teachers got into the tormenting instead of trying to stop it like teachers were supposed to do when a student was being teased.
When they saw my pentacle hanging around my neck, they snickered and said, “So, you’re a Satanist now?” or something along the lines of that.
Slowly my grades dropped, not only because I was spending a large portion of my time doing magick, but because the teachers would “accidentally” lose the work I turned in.
Once I found a drawing the devil taped to my locker.
After a month or two of this, I realized my mistakes and began slowly going back in to the closet. Technically I was still out but I was subtler about it.
I stopped carrying witchcraft and Wicca books with me and I stopped bringing my BoS to school. I began wearing my pentacle under my shirt instead of over it. I stopped talking about Wicca openly, but rather, I whispered about it when I was alone with my best friend.
Steadily, if slowly, talk about my religion died down and, although I still got weird looks sometimes when someone saw my pentacle, people stopped tormenting me about it. My grades went up; the teachers stopped persecuting me.
So, I guess what I’m trying to point out here…I learned my lesson. The lesson is this:
Just because you’re proud of your religion, it doesn’t mean you need to put it right out there where it can stare everybody in the face.
Sure, tons of us are tired of Christians and Catholics dominating the world. But if you think about it, a large portion of people, maybe even just as large a portion as Christians, are Wiccans and Witches. We don’t need to show people how beautiful Wicca and Witchcraft is. Tons of people already know.
I know this now. Some people I’ve met, whom I’ve told that I’m Wiccan, didn’t believe me. I used to argue this point, but I don’t need to do that now.
I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m Wiccan, and I’m proud.
Location: Eugene, Oregon
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