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!

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I have just spent four years steeped in the writing of ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’. Writing about your spiritual path is the most exciting of journeys, but it is also the most unforgiving of mirrors.  It gives you the great privilege of exploring every nook and cranny of the spiritual world you belong to. It also demands the utmost honesty. You have to really look at yourself and answer one critical question:

‘What do I believe in?’

So, after all these years of searching and synthesizing, I came to realize that I could summarize my practice into three basic concepts: To worship, to seek and to love.

To worship:
My whole life has been moved by a need to acknowledge the divine force that inhabits everything there is. A life of worship is living with the knowledge that there is something greater than yourself. This Greatness both transcends the world and permeates the world. The reverence for such greatness defines my actions, my interactions with others and the respect I have for the world around me. Looking back at the years that I have spent defining myself spiritually, I realize that the precept of ‘worship’ encompasses all that I believe about God and the universe. It re-affirms that God is infinite and almighty. This infinity, I can understand it best through an infinite number of faces and names. The call to worship moves me to exalt the divine within me, the ever-present Goddess from which all blessings flow.  It also acknowledges the ebb and flow of the universe and the very magic that I have learned to wield. All these contradictions between Christianity and Paganism that have taken me so long to reconcile, all summarized in one word: Worship.

To seek:
Christian Witchcraft is a path sprung of experience. It takes place in the real world and deals with real life. It is not locked away in an ashram or a monastery. It takes place at every moment.
To live in the world, you need to know the world. Every skill I ever learned and every book I ever read forged the person I am today. I am the central tool of my practice. Every bit of knowledge and every skill builds my arsenal of tools that I can use in magic rites and in service to others.

Seeking knowledge is also the main way we have to build our tradition. As a Christian, it is essential to be critical about what we read and how we interpret it. We have to be educated enough to read between the lines of what ‘officials’ tell us is the truth about Christ and what empirical research shows. Alternative Christian studies have become my passion. Every tid bit of information that I collect unearths something else to look into. It is the work of a lifetime. And don’t worry, I will share with you every little scrap of knowledge I gather!

To love:
Love is our credo, our new commandment, our way of life. Jesus was the absolute example of that. He was the embodiment of compassion and service. He said that it is what identifies us as Christians to the rest of the world. ‘That is how they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another…’ Love, always and above all. No less is acceptable. It is so simple. There is no more to say about that.

I wanted to start this blog by defining these concepts that are central to my practice. I know I leave much unanswered in terms of how I got on this path and how I deal with the contradictions between Paganism and Christianity. Much of this is addressed in ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’. I will answer all these questions in time, as this blog develops. So, please be patient. We have much to talk about!