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Revisiting The Spiral
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Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
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The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 12592
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,020
Times Read: 5,375
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 18th. 2008
Times Viewed: 5,375
I have been openly practicing and out of the broom closet for several years. I had made the decision to be whom and what I was openly. I knew there would be a number of people, when finding out I was a Witch, who would be extremely uncomfortable around me.
It’s not like I have a big glowing pentagram hanging in the front yard or I wear my black pointy hat while pulling weeds out of the flower beds. I just happen to be as proud of my faith, my beliefs and my heritage as anyone else may be of his or hers. I am proud of being a Witch and Pagan and that seems to freak a few people out. I guess it is all right to be one… as long as you never talk about it.
I think it is funny. I have never gone door-to-door telling people I am a Witch or asking them to convert to my beliefs. I don’t have a sign in my front yard that says, “Witch Here.” But still, as my small subdivision grew around me and new people moved in, I heard more and more talking about the ‘Witch down the street’.
People who had never met me and didn’t even know what I looked like were talking about the Witch Lady. These people were saying things about the Witch in the neighborhood as if they knew me. I have to say: If I had pulled off one-percent of what I was supposed to have done … Wow, what a Witch I would be!
I enjoy celebrating all holidays, Sabbaths and Esbats with my friends and family. I tastefully decorate my home inside and out for all of them: Samhain, Yule, Ostara, as well as some of the other non-pagan holidays. Since Pagan holidays coincide with the other holidays, and the decorations are basically the same, no one really notices.
While decorating for the upcoming holiday of Ostara, I was working in the front yard when a lady from the neighborhood walked past. She looked at the large window, brightly decorated with spring colors, and at the sparkling lights shining from the oddly shaped tree inside. A puzzled look came over her face as she stopped, took it all in for a moment and then said in a sarcastic tone, “It’s a little early for Christmas, isn‘t it?”
Instantaneously and without hesitation I said, “I guess it would be if I celebrated that holiday.”
Rudely she asked, “Well, what is it then? Something for Easter?”
Again, I calmly replied, while placing some big eggs carefully in a basket on the front porch. “No, I don’t celebrate that holiday either. It’s an Ostara Tree… for the calling of Spring and the Spring Equinox.”
“What is that?” She exclaimed, as her face contorted from thought.
“Ostara is my holiday for spring.” I wanted to explain that even though my holidays for a great part concur with others, in many ways they were not the same.
Then she smugly stated as she turned and walked off, “Well, I never heard of it and don‘t think I care to. I’m a Christian!”
I stood there for a moment trying to unscramble the last few minutes from my head, when I realized, Why? Why do I care? Why do I work to explain my faith, hoping for just a little consideration from such narrow-minded people? Why? So many “why’s”, on so many questionable moments, ran through my mind as I stood there contemplating what had transpired.
Why do some people consider their behavior unobjectionable if they add the word “Christian” to it? That word or title alone seemingly excuses them from their own, impolite, ill-mannered and rude behavior.
Why is it acceptable for those of one faith to come up to me on the street -- or even come to my front door -- and ask me, “Have you found Jesus?” Then, upon hearing that I am not interested and have no desire to change my own faith, they either back up in fear or tell me I am going to hell.
Why is it totally acceptable for some religions to press their beliefs on another person but I am not to speak a word of my beliefs aloud or I will be perceived as evil and trying to convert others to the ways of the devil?
Why is it ‘reasonable’ to these people to ask me if I worship Satan or if I have witnessed a human sacrifice? They would undoubtedly look at me in unacceptable astonishment if I were to ask them if they enjoyed drinking blood and eating flesh each Sunday morning during communion.
Why is it that because I take pleasure in my beliefs and am proud of them, I must be practicing something wicked?
Why do these people believe guilt must be associated with everything within religion? There can be no gladness without what they deem as “sin”.
Why do some religions believe just being born is somehow wrong? They say, “You are born into sin and sin cannot be escaped from.” Why, would I want to be a part of that?
Why do the people who believe in a physical heaven also say, “No one is good enough for this heaven, worthy of god’s presence or able to live without some kind of sin?”
Why do some people need so desperately for me to believe in their vision of a god and then tell me, “You shall always fall short of the kingdom of god?”
Why would they think I would want to have anything to do with the god they speak of?
According to what I have been told by these people, he is unreachable and non conforming. He killed his son to prove he was the best among gods. He is jealous, full of rage and hate. He requires you to fight for him and go to war and kill those who do not believe in him. Yet, at the same time, they profess him to be a ‘god of love’. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.
Why is it allowable for anyone to wear any kind of a Christian cross? It can be any size and as distastefully hideous as desired, but it is an acceptable expression of their religion. However, when someone is seen wearing even a small pentacle, he or she is looked at as if he/she has three eyes or perchance the mark of Satan. (Satan being whom they want to believe in as their king of hell.)
Why are we told that if we are going to wear a pentagram, we must put it away so it will not be seen as others might be bothered by it or it could cause problems with people who saw it?
How about the problems we might have with the big gold cross hanging around their necks? If we complained would they stop wearing them? I don’t think so. What if we asked them to start wearing that cross inside their shirts?
Why do some members of some religions believe themselves the judge of what is to be considered morality and any differing faith immoral?
What does it say about a religion that teaches that a person can do any depraved dreadful thing, then go to church on Sunday and have it removed as if by magick. How can these people judge me morally wrong?
I understand that whatever I do, I am responsible for, now and in the next life. I live morally right because it is the right thing to do. Not because some cruel god is going to punish me and make me suffer.
Why do some people believe that Pagans and Witches are vile and corrupt? Is it because we don’t believe as they do… so we must be working to destroy all civilization? Oddly enough, some people still believe we are lurking in the dark to steal their souls and capture their children.
Why is it acceptable for perfect strangers to express disapproval of me because of my beliefs? Yet, I am to be, not only tolerant of their beliefs, but also somehow ashamed of my own. Why do these people think that because I walk a different path, I must have made the wrong choice? Why is it their ‘duty’ to get me back on the so-called “right path”?
Why is it acceptable for some people to criticize others for being different? How sadly heartbreaking. They make their minds up about who and what we are without ever speaking a word to us.
They lose the possibility of having a good and true friend: someone to share their hopes and fears; someone who could stand with them in good times and bad, not judging them for the choices they made.
Why do people believe that because they ‘pray’ and I ‘work magick’, that mine is somehow less real? Why is the belief in magick somehow ‘bizarre’ but then embraced if called a ‘miracle’?
Why should I be forced to hear what other religions view about god when at the same time they will not even acknowledge the possibility of mine?
Why is it that the books of the Bible are called ‘historical fact’ yet mine are called ‘mythology, fables and folklore’ when every part of their religion is rooted in my history, my past and yes, my religion? How is it that one religion can somehow consider itself to be more believable than another?
Why are some holidays recognized with days off from work and school and mine don’t even get mentioned in most calendars? Why, are some ideas of religious devotion considered the only way and my beliefs are looked upon as silly superstitions?
Why would anyone think that their belief system is somehow better than any other? Why, would they assume that their religion gives them the right to be rude and malicious? How can they believe that calling themselves ‘Christian’ will somehow justify their gossiping lies and spiteful behavior?
So why do I care? Why do I work to explain my faith to others?
Why? Because I do care.
I know that unless we embrace an understanding of each other’s differences we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Hatred and intolerance are easy. It is a disease that will quickly overcome you if allowed.
It’s okay to get mad. How can you not get mad when you have someone saying stupid and hurtfully foolish things to you as the ‘truth’?
So get mad and then get over it. Let the mindless hilarity of what is being said bring laughter to the truth. Then, turn and walk away; just let it go.
We don’t need to waste any time on the brainless things that have been said and most certainly will be repeated again. Inside, you know the truth.
Sometimes the blind ignorance of others is hard to shake off. We want to grab a few of those self righteous people by the backside and give them a good swift kick in the ___. But then we are lowering ourselves to their level, thinking we have all the answers.
I have to believe that someday, more will listen than walk away. That a few will say, “I didn’t know that”.
Sometimes we have to stop and ask, “WHY”? Then as we sort though the endless, sometimes unfair, and yes, stupid things people say, we still do our best to show others that any one of us may be ‘the Witch who lives down the street’. We are also good neighbors, friends and people who can be counted on.
Sometimes they will hear us and some times they will obstinately walk away. It is their choice how they handle the truth and ours how we deal with them.
Stand strong, stand true and you shall never stand alone…
Copyright: Lady Abigail ~
High Priestess; Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN area
copyright © 01012005
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
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