I know of many witches that practice in secrecy. I was one of those witches. I did it not because I was ashamed of practicing, but because I wanted to be spared of the stereotypes and stigmas that are attached to the word 'witch'. I didn’t want to have to explain myself or even defend myself. I just wanted to enjoy my practice and I wanted to practice in peace. Of course, as I have aged and entered the crone phase of life, these things are not so worrisome to me anymore.
I do what I want. (lol) Of course, I take into consideration others feelings, but I need to worry about me and my own mental health and happiness first and foremost. Only "I" can make ME happy.
However, with that said, I am also not skipping down the street of my town screaming, “I’M A WITCH! BWAHAHAHA!” from the top of my lungs. I am not hiding it, but if someone asks, I'll tell.
In fact, I never made an "official" announcement. I’ve only felt compelled to tell a select few people. It took many months for me to even build up the bravery to do that and even now, not everyone I know, knows. It’s not because I am ashamed or even trying to hide it at this point, it’s just that an opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet for certain people I associate with. Although, recently I had an amazing opportunity to play a big part in a magazine, so I am definitely "out" in the open now!
It’s not an easy topic of conversation. Not typical dinner table chat: “So hey, fyi, I’m a witch, pass the potatoes please.” Back in youth, that probably would not have gone over to well in my house. Ha!
When I first decided to speak about my practice, I did it gradually, starting with a few close friends, and surprisingly there were a few of them that were closet witches too! They were relieved when I came out because they felt they could too! And it really does feel like a weight was lifted. It felt 'freeing'. It felt right and it felt good to finally be completely me.
Now mind you, I was raised Catholic, but have not practice that religion in many, many, many, moons. It was forced upon me so I've got a bit of PTSD from it. Ha!
Because of my upbringing, I was extremely apprehensive to explain my witchy ways to certain family members. I thought for sure I would get lectured and told I was going to hell, etc. etc. Then one day I had the perfect opportunity present itself with my parents, so I took the leap and to my surprise those conversations were well received.
All this time, I stressed and worried about nothing. Worried about my own scenario that I had created in my head about how this conversation would go down. It went nothing like how I hyped myself up for it to be. I was thankful and lucky to have both parents & stepparents be very accepting.
Once it was out in the open, I then explained to my parents what it meant, and what I was doing in my practice. Of course, I am following an Electric Green witch path, so I view myself as a healer & energy worker. Since I am not sacrificing small animals or virgins, and I am not the "typical" Hollywood portrayed witch, the whole conversation went extremely well with my parents. In return, questions were asked, and I was happy to give the answers.
An entire educational process occurred. They were extremely interested in what it meant. Of course, not ALL parents (or even friends) will react this positively. I think intuitively, if you really think about it, you will know deep down how it will go. And if they respond, “I don’t believe in that stuff”, that is perfectly fine, they don’t need to believe it, and nor do you need to convince them otherwise.
I honestly believe, after being a practitioner for many years, and knowing the path that I have chosen, there is just too much good stuff to not share! A lot of misconceptions are still alive and well and I feel that part of my path is to educate those who have fallacies towards the craft. Again, not all people will be receptive to what you have to say. Learn to pick your battles and use your gut instinct. That gut feeling is there for a reason. Learn to listen to it. Do not ignore it. Those messages are there and put into place to be received.
When you are ready to inform family, friends or even spouses, remember to keep your cool during the conversation. It’s not uncommon to be criticized, or be met with passive aggressive comments, or get interrupted because there will be questions to be had. Keeping a calm state of mind will de-escalate the situation and keep YOU on track. Don’t get defensive. And remember, this conversation is a means to be open about your spiritual path, and that your goal isn’t to ‘hurt’ the people you love by coming out of the broom closet. Your spiritual journey is not up for debate. Be firm in your convictions, but remain calm and confident when you spill the cauldron.
If you feel you can not stay calm because emotions are high, continue the conversation at another time. If they protest, stop and calmly say, “I am not in the right mindset to continue this conversation.” and walk away. And of course, always thank those who took the time to listen to you. Thank them for allowing you to share an important part of your life with them.
When you are talking to others about your spiritual path, keep in mind to respect their beliefs as much as you wish them to respect yours. So, throwing a temper-tantrum, crying, kicking, and screaming that Christianity (or insert any other religions here) is the worst religion on the planet is probably a poor way to go about making your points.
Just remember though, you are under no obligation to tell or not tell anyone about your spiritual path. That choice is yours and yours alone. Do what you are comfortable with. However, I am not going to lie, as I said previously, it is very freeing to be out of the broom closet. It is very empowering and feels as though a weight has been lifted from my soul.
If you do decide to come out of the broom closet, you can do so gradually like I did by telling small groups of people at different times or you can go full throttle and tell anyone who stands in your path. That is the beauty about this practice, you can do what feels right to YOU. Period. You certainly don’t have to rent a flashy billboard and broadcast it to the world in one fell swoop. You are not obligated to wear a T-shirt that says, “I’m a witch!”
In fact, even when you “come out” that doesn’t mean you have to be “out” and on “display” all the time. There are times I go out in public and I don’t WANT to be “ousted”. It’s those times, I am cautious about what jewelry I wear and what tattoos are exposed. Even though I am at a point in my practice where I don’t care what people think, I also like the fact that I can still be private about it. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to accept the witchy way nicely and quite frankly, I don’t want to waste my own energy on those who are vile and closed-minded.
There are ways you can practice privately if you are not ready to come out of the broom closet.
You can create an altar inside a bureau drawer. Hidden away. Discreet but a beautiful little place for all your witchy tools! No one will be the wiser. Unless of course you have a busy-body roaming around your home! ;)
Plain white candles. Burn them. This will protect your home from negative energy that anyone may bring with them when they come to visit.
Incense - Most people do not see this stuff as spiritual or having metaphysical properties.
For example: Even though my husband knows I practice and he supports me, he does not believe any of it. He sees my incense as a horrific smelling stick. Ha-ha!
Salt bowls – salt is for protection. Those can easily be placed discreetly throughout the home. Just make sure your animals do not get into it.
Mason jars filled with water. You can easily leave one on the windowsill during a full moon. Hidden away from prying eyes behind the curtains. Use this water for teas, or coffee. Bless doorways. Use in ritual baths. Etc.
You can also fill up the mason jar with plain water, cover the jar, and place a crystal on it overnight to charge and infuse your drinking water with all sorts of good intentions! Rose quartz, amethyst or black tourmaline…all great stones! Do not place tourmaline INSIDE the water. It can be toxic.
Wear jewelry! Consecrate or bless the jewelry and wear it! No one will know! It’s just ‘plain’ jewelry, right?
Create tiny spell jars and keep them in your purse or pocket! No one will see those, and these little jars enable you to practice right out in the open.
Washing your hands! Say a little chant inside your head while you wash away the negative energy. With Covid-19 still hanging around, no one is going to think you are weird by washing your hands for a few extra minutes!
Check out this video about witchy discretion!
Don’t ever feel you have to come out of the broom closet. This article is not about pressuring you to do so. Come out of the broom closet all the way, partially, or not at all. Do what feels right for you and your practice. Just know you are not alone. Blessed be and happy witching!