Staying in the 'Broom Closet'
This post is going to hit a little close to home for some people. There are many blogs out there with similar posts, and I encourage new witches to gather as many different opinions as possible -rather than relying on the opinions of one blogger or another.
I started down my path of Paganism quite some time ago, albeit quietly. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I decided I wanted to actively change my life, and become a Wiccan. I won’t get into why, for now.
That being said, my entire family is Catholic. Including my partner. (Womp.) I have since told my partner, but he refuses to talk about it so… I continue to hide my objets de sorcellerie. My sister has become my confidante, however she neither lives with me, nor shares my faith.
Now, I don’t necessarily advocate deceiving the ones that you love. It’s a tough road, and it can lead to feelings of guilt. But remember, as I had to, you’re doing nothing wrong. You’re free to believe whatever you want -it’s a personal journey. As long as you are doing harm to none, you have no reason to feel guilty.
That being said… You may still have to hide bobbily-bits of magic from time to time. Here’s how I’ve done so.
- Store what you can in plain sight. That’s right. Totally counterintuitive, but highly effective. In a previous post I mentioned that early practitioners of the craft used tools that, to untrained eyes, would be considered ordinary. Now I don’t recommend leaving your Athame out on the coffee table, but your censer? Why not? Candles are incredibly inconspicuous as long as they haven’t got markings, or runes. Crystals or stones can be set out -I leave mine on the windowsills. It doubles as charging, and it looks pretty! If you have a bookshelf, try nestling pieces in like ordinary knick-nacks. My bell sits on my bookshelf, along with my cauldron (filled with little quartz beach stones) and my fan, horn cup, and other assorted things. I’ve sort of curated my collection of tools to just look like an eclectic antique collection. It fits in perfectly with the rest of my decor. If you try to do the same, and you can’t go wrong.
- For what you have to hide… There are many different places you could hide things that no one would think to look. For a long time, I hid a lot of my altar pieces in a vintage suitcase. Yeah. Which was great because I could use it as an altar itself -just unpack, and set it all up on top. Not glamorous, but it’s effective. I also have a book-safe (I bought mine on Etsy) that I keep small things in like my flying ointment, scrying mirror, pendulum, and a few crystals. It’s also handy because then I can grab these things without having to dig up the whole collection.
- As for what rooms, or spaces to hide things… If you share a bedroom with your significant other, don’t hide anything in the bedroom. You really want to explain why you’re digging through the closet in the middle of the night during a full moon? Hide things in common spaces, ones where you are least likely to be disturbed in the night. Most everything I have is in our office.
- Hide your Book of Shadows separately. I do this for two main reasons. One: If I need to use it quickly, I don’t want to have to dig up the whole suitcase full of altar stuff. It’s more convenient to have it somewhere that’s easily accessible. Two: If my suitcase is ever dug up, it won’t be associated with the magic, because the book isn’t there to further insinuate what it’s all for. I have an antique dress form, and my book sits peacefully inside her. Sort of like an embodiment of the Goddess, protecting it! But don’t over think it! If you have a vast collection of books, put your BOS right in there! Other ideas are: False bottom drawers; inside old board game boxes; above the door jam in a closet (Although I recommend using thumb-tacks and a bit of ribbon to keep it in place); under a table top (again, a-fixed with ribbon); under a loose stair (Nancy Drew style).
- Holiday Fixings… Fortunately, there are very few Pagan festive traditions that stick out like a sore thumb. So just go with it. Outwardly you can appear to celebrate whatever Christian holiday is at hand, inwardly you can celebrate the Sabbat. Besides, who doesn’t love parties?
All of these are ways of carrying on your Pagan ways, surreptitiously, in an oppressive environment. I will say that I do encourage you to practice openly whenever possible. When my partner goes away, I’ll set up my altar and leave it in all it’s glory until the day before he comes home.
Find a confidant with whom you can talk about your faith. Even if they aren’t also a Pagan, there are always people in the world willing to listen. Even if it’s online! Remember that you’re never alone, and that there are people out there going through the exact things that you are!
I’ll share my ‘coming out’ experience another time, for now I think this post is plenty long enough.