Out of the Broom Closet
Article Specs |
Article ID: 2646
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 7,288
Times Read: 13,653
Author: Agona Darkeagle
Posted: February 6th. 2000
Times Viewed: 13,653
"Sow-wen, " I pronounced blatantly, plucking at a bowl of candy with annoyance. "Halloween was originally a pagan holiday called Samhain."
"All Saints Day, " a shrill voice on the phone argued.
"Samhain came first. It's a pagan holiday."
"Well, your religion's stupid."
It was October 31st of my freshman year of high school. And that was my bestfriend . . . ahem . . . my ex-bestfriend on the phone with me. She was Catholic and I had just recently officially converted to Wicca. I had performed a self-initiation at Mabon of that year.
What brought me here? Well, I have always held a strong interest in Greek mythology and the ancient gods of Greece. An environmentalist at heart, I would write to politicians protesting acts of animal cruelty and habitat destruction at the tender age of ten. And some of my best summer nights as a child were spent lying down upon the grass, staring into the inky blackness of space, awing at the glittering star field, and cursing the all the mosquitoes that bit me.
Strangely enough, it was my Catholic friend who brought up the subject of witchcraft in the 7th grade. Actually, she wasn't truly Catholic. Not with shop-lifting as a hobby and the belief that prostitution should be legalized, anyway. But of course, that's just my opinion. Anyway, at that point, I was a pantheist without realizing it. I studied the Greek gods deeply, but whenever someone asked me what I believed in, all I would say was, "Spirits."
The first book we had wasn't so bad, now that I think of it. Its focus was ceremonial talismans such as the Solomon Seals. However, the book left our adolescent minds thoroughly confused. So, we picked up another book.
By that time, I had done my research. I knew the difference between non-spiritual witchcraft and the Pagan religion of Wicca. However, my friend and I weren't interested in spirituality. The laws of the Rede seemed too constricting. We wanted something with no strings attached.
I still remember the book, too (which was vehemently chucked into the trashcan by freshman year). It was The Modern Witch's Spellbook by Sarah Lyddon Morrison. Ugh, the WORST possible book on witchcraft ever printed. Ms. Morrison's still daydreaming about the medieval period, I think. Every bit of information she gives is twisted, deranged, and all together unhealthy. Luckily for me, I recognized the misinformation immediately and quickly wrote BS all over the book and stuffed it at the bottom of my locker (before it went into the trashcan). To illustrate, Ms. Morrison claimed that spraying sugar water to attract a swarm of mosquitoes upon a person was an act of magic despite the fact that most all insects are attracted to sugar. Anyway, this essay isn't about her. It's about me coming out of the broom closet.
Well, like I said, that book was pretty disappointing. So, being a typical child of the Y Generation, I went on the Internet and began researching witchcraft. Every time I stumbled upon a Wiccan site, I skipped past it. Then I saw it. Artemis. A Greek goddess? What does she have to do with witchcraft? So, I actually started reading past the initial FAQ's and the Rede posted on most Wiccan websites. And it was like someone had thrown a lightning bolt at me. Reverence for nature? Honoring the ancient gods? Oof, sounded too good to be true. Never knew religion could be this intriguing. I mean, I've been to church before. Of course, I nearly fell asleep that time. Never could memorize anything. Always made fun of what the Sunday school teacher was wearing. Pfft.
Anyway, I figured I must've been missing something for religion to be that intriguing. I went back to Yahoo!, went under the religion category, and slowly began reading about every religion listed there. I went into chat rooms and asked questions. Got snapped at a couple of times. Never ask a Hindu how many gods exist in their pantheon without first mention you're pagan. I remember the first guy I asked shut me down immediately with, "They're all but ONE god, " and said nothing further. I guess it was because a couple of Christians were harassing him at the time, but hey, I'm rambling again.
I noticed that about a lot of religions, especially the monotheistic ones. You ask something about their theology, and they snap at you, preach at you, insist that they're right and you're wrong, call you blasphemous if you argue with them over philosophy. I felt like a little kid getting hit with a ruler every time I reached into the cookie jar. Eventually, a kid is going to stay away from that jar if you hit the kid enough times. Sheesh. Anyway, all that did to me was turn me off. Not the best way to seek converts, guys. I'm just glad Pagans believe against actively going out and converting a person, that's all I have to say.
So, anyway, Wicca. I was walking on clouds. I bought a ton of books and read them constantly. Never saw me walking down the hall without a book in my hand, if not opened and being read. I didn't hide it. Why should I? I was learning, wasn't I? Isn't that what everyone tells you? Learn as much as you can, share as much as you can? And I didn't hide it from my "friends" either. After all, it was my Catholic friend who brought up the subject. But after a while, I began to notice her aggravation every time I mentioned it. The look she gave me when I had a book in my hand. It went from silent aggravation to verbal comments and finally, to public hazing. It got to the point where she loudly screamed, "Catholic witches are the only TRUE witches, " and hung up the phone on me. The teasing from my friends soon turned into a cold shoulder, and then, I finally found myself dropped from the clique. Ouch.
Well, I know what true friends are, and now I knew that my Catholic ex-bestfriend was NOT one of them.
See, coming out of the broom closet was different for me because I didn't realize there was a broom closet to begin with! I found something interesting, literally went, "Hey, this is interesting!", and shared the information I found with my friends. I never realized religion could pry apart friendships. Well, now I know. So, you know what I do? I wear a large silver pentacle necklace to ward off the ignorant. It works. People who are naturally close-minded aren't interested in being friends, so you skip that entire step of spending time with each other and then finding out the other doesn't approve of your beliefs! I'd rather not waste time with these people. But of course, if they do ask questions about my beliefs in a sincere manner, I happily answer them. Education is important.
Location: Augusta, Georgia
Author's Profile: To learn more about Agona Darkeagle - Click HERE
Bio: Agona Darkeagle is a 17 year-old Wiccan who worships the ancient Greek gods. Her hobbies include cheerleading, the martial arts, and the studies of mythology, theology, and anthropology.
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