A Time of Reflection
With Samhain falling behind us and the Wheel of the Year taking its turn into its darker half, I now have time to reflect on what has taken place for me this Witches’ New Year. Looking back, I began with a resolution: to step out of the broom closet and follow the path laid out before me with strength, courage, and persistence.
And so I did. At least, with one foot forward.
Witches and witchcraft are on the rise. And I took this as a fail-safe, sure-fire encouragement from the Universe to be inspired and follow suit. All my life I have lived in a protective bubble, by birth, by choice, and by circumstance. Witchcraft was a faint shadow that followed me around, but it never took the forefront. My Christian upbringing and the age-old stigma surrounding the history of witches and witchcraft around the world, across many cultures, was enough to instill fear and shame in my heart.
My journey toward this nature-based belief system began 15 years ago. It was a combination of reading, study, research, experimentation, ever-shifting paradigms, moments of aha’s and oh-no’s, trial and (mostly) error, and finally finding space for the wonder and magick that I left behind. There is a reason I am still here. I believe that even during times when I have forgotten my magick, my magick always remembered me. Like the tides of the ocean drawn back and forth by the gravity of the moon, so too have I followed the ebb and flow of witchcraft in my life; no matter how far away I go, it always draws me back.
The Year of the Witch: Questioning and Reckoning
For a long time, I felt comfortable in the safety of my broom closet. No eyes to pry nor judge. I can do as I wish. I can make my own rules (even break them). Books were my teachers. I was a solitary witch and I was content. But only for so long.
What is knowledge when there is no one to share it with? What is wisdom when there is no one to impart it to? What do I have to lose if I choose to come out of the broom closet? Soon I started reaching out to other witches online on various social media platforms. It became apparent quickly that most of the witches I met were in the closet too. Each one of us has a similar story – with unique nuances, of course – but the common thread was fear and shame.
With everything else going on in the world, I began to feel that there is no sense of control when I look at external issues. The questions that plagued me on the inside, were reflections of what I thought mattered from the outside. What would people think of me? Would they care? Would they hate? Would they be indifferent? Where do fear and shame come from? Are they real or perceived? How will I tell the difference? What do I have to lose? But most importantly, what do I dare to gain?
Gradually, I began sharing my views in a community blog called the Witches’ Circle via the Amino App. It was a “coven” of witches and like-minded spiritual people who have been in hiding just like me. Most of them are new to the path. Novice witches searching for meaning and a place to safely explore their burgeoning spiritual truths that have called to them despite various religious upbringing and social constraints. I discovered I had a voice among them. I was no longer alone.
Stepping Up and Coming Out
Coming out of the broom closet online was a start. My witch persona gave me a sense of courage; knowing that others share similar experiences. I discovered that many have even been brave enough to live their inner truths in their day to day lives. This inspired me to attempt the same. I slowly dropped hints to my closest loved ones to measure their reaction. I would casually mention something about a full moon ritual I was doing. I began celebrating the holidays “differently” sharing tidbits of pagan beliefs with my family.
The fear was still there. The process was slow. In the midst of it all, I started to doubt if I would ever have the nerve to share this other side of me. My secret life as a witch was deeply important and I felt incomplete knowing that there might never be a time when I can share myself fully with the people I loved the most.
But as magick would have it, the revelation burst in before I had the chance to react. I didn’t plan for it. It happened unexpectedly by accidental discovery to the one person I was most afraid to reveal myself to. The one whose approval and validation I needed most: my mom. She saw a post I made on Instagram about the latest books I was reading (I completely forgot she was following me!).
At first, I was excited when I saw that little heart pop up. Then I was aghast because suddenly I realized I had to justify it somehow. I outed myself! There was no way out of it except to step up and own it.
And so I did.
I was surprised when my mom responded with nothing but love and acceptance. It was more than I could ever hope for and my heart smiles because now my closest family is part of my magickal world, too. My path has opened up another door, and now with my mother’s blessing, I can walk through it with renewed courage and bravery knowing that I can finally be my whole true self (at least to the ones who truly matter).
I write as a way to express gratitude to my ancestors, spirit guides, the benevolent energies, and higher beings that continually encourage me along the path of the Witch. I write to record and share my journey with my loved ones. Most importantly, I write to hold space for the creativity I’ve been blessed with so I can reach out to kindred spirits who may be traveling a similar road.
It feels as though the stars have aligned and the magickal promises at the beginning of 2020 have manifested in multiple ways, against all odds. I honor this blessing with this resolution. Words hold power, a spell in itself.
Fear and shame I cast away
Self-doubt no longer holds sway.
In the dark of night or light of day
Uphold my truth with dignity and grace.
With my words, I hold this space
Deep in my Soul, a sacred place.
On the tips of my fingers, magick awaits
Witch I am. Come what may.
© Copyright 2020 The Hidden Hedge Witch