I am born of the Earth.
Daughter of the Mother and Father.
Honestly, I’m just a woman, wife, mumee; living life quietly. It’s hard to make waves when you barely cause a ripple, yet here I am. Making waves. Being Wiccan is not something I share with those around me. It’s not something I hide about myself either. It’s public knowledge to Facebook friends if they are so inclined to peruse the ‘about’ section of my profile. I also openly wear religious symbols, my altar makings are openly displayed, and I make celebratory sabbat/cross-sabbat posts for any given holiday. That being said it is still not a topic of discussion unless there is a significant amount of trust that I will not put myself at emotional risk.
Until this moment, I have comfortably lounged in my Wiccan closet and, though I have always been in my closet, the door has always been open.
I have been more than happy to invite someone into my closet. We talk, we philosophize, we discuss the nuance among our respected religions. Sometimes, someone comes into the closet purely to educate me in their religion. I listen and I don’t debate. I just want to know. It is only when I am directly asked that I am willing to speak to my own beliefs. For they are my own and belong to no one else. I am mindful that I do not speak for the religion as a whole.
Religion and Spirituality
If you were to ask me to describe myself in so many words I don’t think my religion would even make the list. It’s just not how I define myself. However, my beliefs are still a part of me. They are part of the foundation that guides my morality, my humanity. I think it confuses a lot of people that I choose not to openly talk about myself as a religious person.
It should be no surprise, then, that I am by no means devout in my craft. I tend to focus on religion primarily on Samhain, Yule, and Ostara. I have children and those three sabbats tend to be the fun holidays to celebrate. I do try to observe the other five but I don’t get bent out of shape if the day goes by and I’m just remembering the significance as I’m going to bed. There is no lunar casting, no daily spells, and sometimes my focal candle is a color I have on hand, not what is called for.
The religion itself is only a physical expression of a deeper spirituality. It is personal ritual; some that I have made up but most pieced together from the dozen or so books on the bookshelf and the internet. So, I keep religion deeper in the closet. I’m sure that it may be interesting to some to learn about the ritual aspect of the craft but that is like me asking another person how, exactly, they pray. I’ll go there with my conversational companion eventually. However, there is much more meat in being spiritual. I’d rather have intimate discussions focused on spirituality than explaining the nitty-gritty of religion.
Don’t get me wrong, I very much look forward to being able to write about and share my knowledge of practical spell work and how to tie the craft into every day, boring life. The significant role of the altar will definitely be a topic of discussion; especially around the three aforementioned sabbats. I even can’t wait to write about how we can be better parents using Wicca. I relish the thought of really digging deep into being a Wiccan parent because, if you haven’t noticed, the subject is lacking in content. That is for another time I suppose.
Usually, when someone comes to sit in the closet to talk with me awhile we focus on spirituality. As long as I feel like the conversation is authentic I could spend hours upon hours talking about spirituality; mine, yours, the philosophy of other bigger-than-every-one things. Faith is a big topic that is interesting to cover with another person, especially if we are talking faith versus science. Or, faith and science together because perhaps one does not have to be exclusive of the other… or maybe they do?
Then again, isn’t faith synonymous with spirituality? That is always a tough question. One I really like to hash out with another spiritual person. I am a spiritual person. Meaning I have more belief than I do action. What I lack is faith. I don’t like to give up the control. It fascinates me to learn about another’s faith because, even if in the context of a main religion, I may have something to learn. I feel challenged to put thought into it and explore my own faith. There is always spiritual growth to be done. Oftentimes, even after many conversations, I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of the spiritual.
Spirituality is overwhelming at times. It deserves more than passing every day conversation. It deserves more than being a defensive tool against perceived religious attacks. To be clear, I by no means feel that drive-by proselytizing is an okay way to reach out to people. However, I yearn to believe that type of behavior is, at root, a well-meaning gesture. On the other hand, it is a behavior that keeps me in the sanctuary of my closet. It is so easy to spout off our own spiritual beliefs as a defense mechanism. No true conversation and exchange of knowledge can happen this way. That is why, as I’ve said before, I need to know you and trust you to welcome you into my closet. The door has always been open but I’ve been selective of who gets to come in.
So, here I am. Making waves. Stepping out of the proverbial Wiccan closet.
It’s scary out here. I’m vulnerable and easily damaged. I have a handful of friends and a couple handfuls of acquaintances that I don’t wish to alienate; and I definitely do not want my children to become pariahs. I didn’t just step out of the closet, but I stepped out and put myself under the scrutinizing eye of the Internet. I’d be lying to say I wasn’t scared.
Terror does not own me. For as much as I have stepped out into the journey for myself, I know there are other who are like me. They are Wiccan (or not), parents, every day people, modern, urban, private; in the closet with the door open. I am here to offer a voice and invite others to parlay with me because, even though I hope others can learn from me, the best way to truly understand one another is the exchange of ideas.