Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Come Out! Come Out! Come Out of the Broom Closet!

Because I am very public about my practice of Witchcraft, people frequently ask me where they can find a coven, a grove, a circle, or other group with whom to study, worship and practice magic. It’s not always easy.

In America (at least until the next election), we no longer condemn Craft practitioners to capital punishment. But make no mistake, there are still many, many compelling reasons why our Pagan brothers, sisters and children remain hidden and in “the broom closet.”

A person’s worship of the Gods and Goddesses is widespread fodder for personal threats and intimidation, discrimination in the workplace, cruel child custody disputes, and harassment and bullying across the board.  There is limited support for fighting against these forces (the ACLU is pretty swamped these days) and it takes very deep pockets to defend us.

And the current trend towards ignoring intolerance and passively letting bigotry of all stripes slide unchallenged (other than fuming with our friends on Facebook, or blogging about it like I am here) is deeply disturbing.

Adding both insult and injury, stunningly ignorant, malevolent depictions of Witchcraft, like in this week’s dumb and creepy new TV series on the CW channel, continue to pile on the hurt and misunderstanding of our people. Who knows how many actual Pagan teens will now pay a price for such ugly stereotypes of our religion!

Like our gay brothers and sisters thirty years ago, we need to learn that hiding in silence does not make the problem go away. In fact, it is likely to get worse.

The rise of support for a fundamentalist theocracy in America is a fact. You need only take a look at the fanatical forces behind presidential candidates like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Our silence and inaction boil down to complicity, folks.

We must not roll over. Instead, it’s time to come out, come out, come out and be openly who you are. Let’s show America that Witches and Pagans are the people they have worked with, been married to, lived in neighborhoods with, and known for years. We are many and we are here for keeps.

It’s time to step up and speak the truth to the insults, the slurs and the ugly jokes that we have swallowed in our silence and grief.

It’s time to get your Pagan Pride on! 

On Saturday and Sunday this weekend, at the Raleigh Fairgrounds, the Central North Carolina Pagan Pride celebration is happening. Admission each day is at least one item for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.

Here’s the deal: we have the second biggest Pagan Pride event in America, y’all. It’s so big, a couple of years ago, it had to spill over into a two day event.  Paganism, Witchcraft, Druidry, Shamanism, Goddess worship, Asatru, Voudon, and more are all thriving right here in the middle of Bible belt North Carolina.

It’s a family friendly festival with music, vending, workshops, information, and big fun for all. It includes sword-fighting contests from Ren Faire folk, hooping, belly dancers, henna art, live concerts, rituals, and retail therapy for every age and tradition!

But it’s more than just a two-day party. Pagan Pride is a place to find your community; to get the facts; to gather information and make connections. To come out of your broom closet and remember that you are protected (for now) under the American constitution.

You and I have rights and we have a responsibility to exercise them. Use them, or lose them.

Come out this weekend and stand with us.  Maybe you will find that you can stay out. With pride.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • September 16, 2011, 10:46 am Phaedra Bonewits

    I’ll be there! Thanks for bringing this up, Beth. It’s a topic I feel strongly about.

    I think about how many other religious groups — it’s not just us — are marginalized and demonized. Muslims, Santerians, all kinds of groups get hit with prayer wars and discrimination. You can’t build your house of worship in our town. You can’t perform your rites without police suspicion.

    Every time one of us stands up and says I’m here, I’m the new normal, it expands the definition of normal. We create a new mainstream. We don’t join the mainstream, we widen the mainstream to include us and bring a lot of other folks with us.

    Coming out is an act of courage. It’s an act that sometimes produces martyrs, it’s an act for community, and it’s an act for the Gods.

    I’ll be there, and I hope I have a chance to chat with many other folks there. After all, that’s the normal thing to do.

  • September 16, 2011, 10:52 am Beth

    Well said! Blessings and thanks Phaedra!

  • September 16, 2011, 12:01 pm Carey

    Thank you, Beth.

  • September 17, 2011, 3:48 pm Mariah

    Witchcraft is dumb

  • September 18, 2011, 5:39 pm Beth

    Sorry you feel that way, Mariah. In my experience, some of the smartest, most creative people I have ever met (and I have met a LOT of amazing people) are Witches and Pagans.

    But there isn’t much use trying to have a conversation around such a blanket, unhelpful comment. And intelligent discussion, or attempting to learn something new or different is probably not what you had in mind anyway, is it?

  • September 18, 2011, 6:37 pm Mariah

    Some of the smartest, most creative people you’ve ever met?!?!
    You probably don’t get out too often huh

  • September 18, 2011, 10:07 pm Otter

    Mariah, you obviously haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about. Educate yourself.

  • September 18, 2011, 11:58 pm Heather

    Mariah, If you think witchcraft is dumb why are you reading a blog that is clearly written by a pagan woman of amazing wisdom?

  • September 19, 2011, 12:10 am Mariah

    Mein Kampf was read by millions, doesn’t mean much though, does it? Or perhaps Hitler was a man of amazing wisdom also

  • September 19, 2011, 11:43 am Beth

    Wow. I never thought I would be compared to Hitler. Thanks for the laugh, Mariah. This is one of the funniest things I’ve read lately!

    Meantime, for everyone else …
    Please don't feed the troll.

  • September 19, 2011, 4:45 pm Danielle

    Hi Beth!

    Thanks for the awesome call to action! I just recently attended my local Pagan Pride day in Central NJ, and it was wonderful to meet so many others nearby and build community! I think that is really important in these scary times, for people of all religions, especially when our very existence is being threatened by fundamentalists in places of political power.

    Many blessings,

  • September 20, 2011, 1:28 am Laurie

    I attended the NC Pagan Pride Days and I had a blast. I am planning on going every year now. The people I met are some of the nicest people you would ever want to spend time with.
    For the people who say unkind things about Pagans and people who practice the craft they do not have a clue of what the real world is about. They are the ones who miss out on the special and magical moments we share. What a shame for them!

  • September 20, 2011, 4:06 pm Saffron

    Hello Magickal Friends!
    Hello Fall!
    Just sending a Smile your way!

  • September 20, 2011, 5:19 pm Beth

    🙂 back to you!