AS asked: Do you ever regret leaving the ‘broom closet’?
Looking back over the years I don’t regret one moment of being out of the broom closet. I realize everyone’s circumstances are different and everyone has to make the decision to be in or out of the closet based on their circumstances. I was fortunate that my mom was ok with it when I announced I was a witch when I was teen. She came along to an open circle celebration and ended up joining the circle I was a member of. I never told my grandmother – the topic never came up and I never felt the need to make any kind of formal announcement to her. I came all the way out when I was working at a college (for 11 yrs), which gave me the opportunity to be invited as a guest speaker at various college campuses. I really enjoyed it a lot and loved meeting all the students. I met my very dear friend Mama Kelly at one of my presentations and she joined the circle I was leading back then, we are still very close today even after all these years. Where I work now (for over 20 yrs) I am also very open about being a witch, qi gong healer, and massage therapist. There are several people who stop by my cubicle from time to time when they have a headache or other situation for a healing. If my working situation was different I most likely would have chosen to not risk my employment and would have had to judge how open I could have been about my religion, after all the bills have to be paid and I have a family to care for. I would never lie about it though, I just would not have brought it up as topic of conversation.
We became a family Oct. 1996. When we brought our daughter home China she was five and half months old. Before that could happen we had to be approved for the adotpion. When the social worker came to our house for the home study the topic of my religion never came up. But I had told my husband I was not going to hide who I was so the books stayed on the bookshelf. As the social worker inspected the house, she gave the bookshelf a once over and I held my breath. As we walked out of that room she made a general statement about one of the authors (it was 15 years ago so I don’t remember exactly what she said), but I let out a sigh of relief because I knew it was her way of acknowledging she had seen the books and it was ok.
As a parent I decided to not mention the “W” word around my daughter until she was old enough to be able to comprehend what it meant and make her choice about whether to talk about it or not with her friends. I stopped doing presentatins at colleges mostly because my time was focused on raising my daughter, but a small part fo the reason was because I was shielding my daughter. I didn’t think she needed the added stress of being a kid in grade school and innocently blurting out “my mom is a witch” and having to cope with what the kids would say and then who knows how their parents would react. Some people may consider that is “going back into the broom closet,” but I don’t. I never kept it a “secret” but there was no reason for me to bring up my religion at PTA or back to school nights. As far as discussing it with my daughter, it’s like anything else – her questions about life, religion, church, etc. were answered honestly in age approriate terms just not using certain terms like witch until we felt she was old enough. Shortly after bringing her home as a Wiccan priestess I blessed her, later there was an event at the “round house” that I brought her too where she was blessed by a 108 yr old Buddhist monk and later she was blessed by a Santeria priest who was a friend of my mom’s. When she was 2 we had a blessing ceremony for her. Her goddess parents (my best friends) and her god parents (my husband’s best friends) held her little hands as she toddled down the aisle of the chapel. The blessing ceremony was performed by an Episcopalian priest, a Unitarian minister, and a Native American Shaman. We respect all spiritual paths and we were blessed to have so many loving friends who shared their blessings with our daughter.
As a parent I felt was true to who I was. My daughter grew to respect nature and all living things, to be kind and respectful to others, and to be true to herself. When she was about 10 years old I brought her to a lovely all day pagan family event at a state park where she attended arts and crafts workshops while I participated in a few workshops for adults and we did a few things together as well. It was a great day. She is 15 now, and she doesn’t feel she needs any religion in her life – and that is fine with us.
For the past few years I have been more open once again now that my daughter is older, for example Mama Kelly and I blogged together at 2 witches blog from mid 2006 to early 2011. I am also a qi gong healer and I will be giving my first introduction workshop at a retreat in November and also doing qi healings for others outside of the family and friends. For me being a qi gong healer gives me the opportunity to do the “work of a witch” (witches were the wise women\healers of their communities) and qi gong gives me a method of healing that has 8000 years of history behind it, it combines body, breath, and mind and blends very nicely with my spiritual path.
Thank you for asking AS.
Bright Blessings, Lady Rose
Ask A Witch is a regular feature here at Blissful Moon. If you have a question or suggestion please feel free to leave a comment, contact me by email, or send me a message via my facebook profile.