An important question.
How do we approach the subject of witchcraft within the relationships we develop throughout our life? This is something that I have navigated somewhat recently and overall, I think it has been a success! It seems that the stigma attached to the term ‘Witch’ is still very much alive; when approaching my personal beliefs with others who may not of the same mindset, I still find a little awkward. I suppose that it should not really be my problem but I think it will take a little longer than I would like for the stain against us to come out. It is ok to feel slightly concerned about the how others may react to a subject they know little correct information about.
It seems that the stigma attached to the term ‘Witch’ is still very much alive; I still find it a little awkward when approaching my personal beliefs with others who are not of the same mindset. I suppose that ultimately the problem does not lie with me but rather with the misinformed individual. This does not help the ‘meeting new people’ situation, it is out of my control how they will react to the subject and I think it is ok to feel slightly nervous. I am what I am.
I grew up in England; like many children here I attended a C of E school (Church of England) which consisted of morning hymns, reciting the Lord’s prayer and, what I can only describe as, a rather enjoyable visit from the Vicar each Friday morning. Many of my friends attended Church every Sunday, they joined choirs and religious youth groups, and some even visited Christian camps during the summer. The point I am trying to make is that Christianity was, and still very much is, embedded in the culture that I grew up in. There is nothing wrong with this, I had a rather nice childhood although, I must say, that I did not really take part in much of the above. My views and interests were very different to those around me, and to be perfectly honest, this still seems to be the case.
I would describe myself as open and shut when it comes to witchcraft. If you were to visit my home and look closely, you may pick up hints here and there that someone magical dwells within. Growing up in my family home my collections of crystals, books and the pentagram where all on display. If I were to offer up guidance a different suggestion to a problem which could be seen as different from the mainstream, it would often be met with acceptance and understanding, but no questions were ever asked.
I am slightly more guarded when it comes to my friends; I have an idea of who may be more accepting and who would not. I also find the subject incredibly personal and I am, to a degree, quite a private person. So keeping all this in mind, how do we approach this when you get to know someone and begin to look towards the future. The question that ran through my mind (rightly or wrongly) is ‘will they think I am crazy?’.
The method I chose to use was the bandage approach, you know the one ‘the quicker you rip it off, the less it will hurt’. So coming towards the end of our second date I decided to blurt out the question ‘and how would you feel if I told you I was a Pagan?’. I chose the term Pagan as I felt it was less daunting than the less friendly term of ‘witch’ and I wanted to see the reaction. Luckily this was met with interest followed by several questions to which I answered rather vaguely, and we went from there. I still enjoy surprising him every now and again with a little ‘fact nugget’ and I enjoy teaching him small things here and there about my practice.
His beliefs are not the same as mine but what is important the mutual respect regarding this aspect of ourselves. It works in both directions and is incredibly important in all the relationships we hold in our lives, including our own.