I'd love to shout from the rooftops my Witchy-ness, throw up a sign in my yard that proudly proclaims I do tarot readings, pop up at the local farmers market with concoctions, ointments, teas... but I cant really do that here. Well, not without some unwanted attention from those that I'm just never going to be willing to come out to. (Did I mention that I live next door to my conservative republican fundamentalist parents? It's some sitcom stuff over here.) But should I really have to do all that? Isn't it enough that I just am who I am?
The problem is the default settings just aren't in my favor. Why do I have to announce that I'm a Witch? It's because everyone is assumed to be a follower of an Abrahamic faith until they prove themselves to be otherwise, and even then, you're just choosing to check the "other" box. I hate those moments when a person finds out you aren't what they thought. They stand there with this awkward look on their faces trying to determine if you are in need of immediate Baptising. Maybe the issue then, isn't about labels, but about assumptions. Maybe the world would be better off if we didn't try to fit everyone into neat little boxes in our head, and instead, gave them a chance to surprise us?
I know a lot of Pagans out there who say that they've never experienced any kind of backlash from being a Witch in the Bible belt - but I, sadly, cannot make the same claim. I've lost friends, I've lost work... Yes, people are largely supportive (Or simply keep their opinions to themselves, which works for me too.), but why isn't it okay to just be me without someone assuming I'm one thing or another?
A witch is, a her core, someone who bends to the needs of others. To the world around her. But what do we do when the world doesn’t bend any for us?
We keep to ourselves. We’re tight lipped. We open our homes only our most trusted. But once in a while, we get surprised. A friend will ask how we pray, so that they can send us love in a way familiar to us. A little rosemary tacked onto a classroom door. A co-oworker who’s genuinely curious about our differences and willing to listen.
In the end,
We just. Keep. Going.
Because a witch just is.