Hey Lyfers! It has been a MINUTE, hasn’t it? Where the hell did I go? I moved in with The Merman! I put my goods in a suitcase, I got on a plane with my dogs, and I moved to Hawai’i to be with the love of my life. *gag*
So while I do apologize for leaving y’all hanging, I am pleased to report that by scaling down and focusing on one thing at a time, I kept my mental state mostly intact and only cried a handful of times. Because I cultivate my need to cry like other people cultivate a garden.
That being said. I have something to tell you.
I chose today to tell you because this is a very important day for me. Because it’s a very important day for my people. Because I had some truly, truly beautiful support from one of my very best friends and it inspired me. Because if Harry Potter didn’t have to live in a closet, then neither should I.
I’m a witch, guys. I am a full blown, altar-having, religious-study-doing, Hail-The-Four-Guardians, As-Above,-So-Below Solitary witch. I follow The Craft.
This is my coming out story.
So Here’s What Happened
Both of my parents are ex-Catholics. I was never brought up religious. We celebrated all the major American holidays, but the only time we ever went to Church was if someone was getting married or if someone died. So I was basically a totally free-agent.
When I was eleven, I was shopping around at the local Borders (RIP) and I ran across this book. And I just…I needed it. It felt right, you know? Like when you see a shirt on the mannequin and you know that’s your new favorite shirt even though you don’t look like the mannequin. It was my authentic Coach handbag at the Goodwill.
So I bought it and promptly gave both of my parents a heart attack. I’m still grateful for the parent chapter at the beginning. I think had that not been there they both would have done their patented “I’m just not going to say anything until my stony silence stops whatever this is,” until I hid it away in shame forever. But they didn’t. They read it, nodded in silence, and let me read.
And I read that book. Cover to cover. Twice.
And I bought more books by the same author. I was thrilled that they were study books. I could take notes and follow along! I could learn! I could explore my spirituality and become one of those wonderful, kind, knowing witch ladies with all the amazing herbs and calming presences. I wanted that so bad. I worked my ass of for it, too. I didn’t even care that a couple of classmates bullied the ever-loving shit out of me while I was working at school.
Then…I wanted to practice. I wanted my knowledge to become real.
I promptly ran out of any and all support once I wanted my actual life to be different. Once I wanted privacy once a month to call down the moon. Once I stopped answering the door while I was crafting.
Looking back, I think my family was just freaked out I was asking for personal, uninterrupted private time when I was twelve. Because Goddess forbid I masturbate in the privacy of my own room. #sexism
I’d like to tell you all that I gave the system the big ol’ finger and did it anyway…but once a classmate came over when I was around fifteen, saw my altar sitting quietly in the North corner of my room, and totally destroyed it…I was done. I’m not bulletproof. That really hurt me. My protestations fell on deaf ears as he poured my blessed salt everywhere. He threw it at me, at my other friends. He totally fucking defiled my sacred space.
So I did what any disenfranchised person does: I hid in the closet.
For nine years.
Yeah. I was tired of people seeing my books and telling me I worshipped a devil I don’t believe in. I was tired of sidelong glances and family members being “worried” about me because I was copying and studying. I was REALLY god damn tired of people laughing at me like I was going through a rebellious phase. Like I just wanted to freak people out. I as the most tired of becoming a fetish object for the boys I dated in high school because, turns out, most of them just wanted to save me.
I didn’t. I just wanted to have my faith. I wanted to come to terms with the fact that I am going to die one day. That shit seems REAL meaningless to me most of the time. I just wanted meaning. I found meaning in the Earth. Worshipping the Earth didn’t hurt anyone.
Apparently…that was the worst thing I could have done.
I got tired of fighting.
I practiced in secret. I had no altar in college. I had one bumper sticker that said “Pagans make better lovers” and my first roommate’s brother called me a freak. Don’t really know why that was necessary. But it was, I guess.
The guy I dated after college was a pretty staunch atheist and he only had to look down his nose at me once for me to know “can I set up my altar in the guest bedroom?” was not an okay question to ask.
I saw my holidays come and go almost one hundred times. Wiccans are a very celebratory people. And I stayed quiet. It would have broken my heart had I not been so afraid people would find out.
But I never stopped believing.
So What Changed, Buttnana?
That guy moved out. I was alone for the first time ever. My house had a beautiful window facing North. That’s important for us. So I set up my altar there. And I started slowly studying again, like a scared animal who wants to trust the kind stranger with the outstretched hand.
I finished grad school. Once school was over I was free to really embrace my witchy side.
I cultivated amazing girlfriends. Women together are magical. We’re not a Coven, not by any means. But we love each other and that only strengthens me when I feel weak.
I caught The Merman reading one of my books. My religious books. And he looked genuinely interested. I watched his Prince Williamesque face hover over the pages and I thought, finally, “I’m not going to have to hide from him.” I teared up.
I am much stronger now. I’ve been through a lot since I was fifteen and mortified. I DARE that guy to come into my house.
But mostly…what changed is that I don’t want anyone else to live 80% of their life.
Bye-Bye Broom Closet!
So there you have it.
I’m a witch. But enough about me.
Today is Samhain! Remember and honor your dead. They miss you, too. ❤
Love you always,
P.S. We still dress up. I was a doily.