A recurrent question I get is « Are you out of the broom closet? » For those unfamiliar with this expression, it refers to whether people know that you are practicing Witchcraft. Another way to say this is “Are you public?”

Am I public?

With the writing of a book, I had to face the fact that the closet was getting awfully tight! I am putting my name, my face and my beliefs in print and on the web. This brings ‘being out’ to a whole new level!

I am private about my religious beliefs. I have always been. I don’t feel the need to let everyone know that I cast circles on the full moon. It is my special place. I don’t want to let everyone in on it and let them trample my sanctuary.

But I no longer hide.

If someone asks me about my religion, I explain that I practice Christianity in a different way. My library is proudly displayed in my living room for all to see. Anyone with a keen eye knows what I am up to.

I have a few rules of thumb when it comes to being public:

1)      I let people get to know me first. This way, they can see what kind of person I am before they associate me with all the connotations of witchcraft.

2)      I speak up if I get that deep intuitive feeling that it might help the person I am speaking to.

3)      I keep quiet if I or someone I love may suffer serious negative repercussions from my association with Witchcraft. No need to put ourselves in danger for no reason. I think it is up to each of us to determine what constitutes a valid reason.

Another question I have gotten is “Does your family know?”

Of course, my husband knows. We are an open book to each other and he knows who I am better than anyone. My immediate family knows, although the extent of this knowledge varies. They know that I have taken magic courses and they know that I still go to church. We have deep spiritual discussions where we debate God and Church, so we are pretty open on exposing our opinions on those subjects. Do they know what a ritual entails, the different celebrations of the year and the specifics of the practice? They do not. If they were to ask, I would explain. I think it is important to respect everyone’s pace. Each person may want to know more or less about it. I think this is fair.

The case of Christian Witchcraft is complex. On one side, you face the shock of people at being a Witch. If repudiating your own faith wasn’t enough, you have to explain that you turned Christianity ‘into’ Witchcraft. Talk about a double whammer! So , we have to deal with the broom closet and its Christian equivalent, which I like to call ‘the confessional’. Both are closets and in both you stay in the dark, pondering the errors in your ways, considering the sins you may (or may not) have committed, marinating in a guilt imposed by others. So for us Christian Witches, there is a double walking out that needs to take place: out of the broom closet, towards the beauty we crave, and out of the confessional, away from the guilt that has been put upon us.

My path is a path of spiritual growth. It makes me better. Whether everyone else knows about it doesn’t matter so much. What matters is that we not feel alone and that we may come out enough to find each other and celebrate the radiance we find. It’s when the closet starts to suffocate us that we need to ask the questions and decide on which side of the door we want to be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Does it matter to you if you are public or not? How do you approach this? Do you speak up? Do you explain and reason it out to others? How do you decide who you tell and who you don’t? Or do you keep private by choice?

So many questions! Well, it’s nice to have someone to talk to for a change!