You may be wondering “so what?” or rolling your eyes at this statement, but it is a very important one to me. I am Wiccan and have been for five years.
If you do not wish to hear my thoughts as to why me coming back and embracing this side of me is important to me, don’t mind me. For those who do, it is under the cut.
For those of you who have been around for a long time probably remember when I had “Wiccan” in my bio. However, I have removed it a few years ago for reasons I am not proud of. I was ashamed of it. There has been so much negativity regarding Wiccans, and I did not want to be associated with it. I spoke up against those who I felt were wrong – wiccan or not. I remember once I kindly told someone that saying only Wiccans can be witches is not correct, and I attempted to educate this person. They did not listen or budge. Then they started calling me a disgrace and how I cannot be a witch due to not being Wiccan. Fed up, I notified this person that I was. Their reaction quickly changed.
It should not have to be that way, though. There should have been respect whether I was Wiccan or not. Sadly, many (not all) Wiccans have this mindset- that they are in some way inferior due to their religion. Some Wiccans are not even Wiccan, and are simply witches who think that witch is a “dirty word”. Here is an example where someone treats the words witch and Wiccan as synonyms, claiming that all Wiccans are witches. Not only that, but many Wiccans have been seen gatekeeping, as well as telling others how to do their own craft- mainly the anti-curse side of things. This is the kind of thing I am against and made me embarrassed to call myself a Wiccan.
Now, I am not saying that Wiccans are the only group with major issues in the pagan community, nor am I saying anyone else is saying that. However, Wiccans seems to have taken a toll on both the pagan and witchcraft community. It almost felt like the moment someone says they are Wiccan, nothing they say tend to be taken seriously.
You are probably wondering, what happened for you to want to publicly announce this, then? Or, why do you still consider yourself Wiccan after all of the points you have made?
After a bit of time spent gathering all of my thoughts and getting into my path, I felt something was out of place. I adore the god and goddess I worship, and I felt lost in a way. Upset, I asked my god and goddess to guide me as to what I am doing wrong, and they both clearly pointed out that I have lost myself spiritually. I have forgotten how much my religion has meant to me, and now it is my turn to reclaim it for myself.
I realized how silly it was for me to abandon a path that brought me so much happiness, because of a few bad apples. Negativity always pops out more than positivity, and I for one will admit I have fallen for it. Every group has its own bad apples, and I should not have turned away from something I love, especially since the principles of it are quite the opposite of all the negativity. Once I accepted this, I noticed how much happier I became.
I am Wiccan. I am proud.
I am upset that I have spent quite a few years feeling unable to embrace who I am. While I was able to follow the same ethics/morals/guidelines of a Wiccan, something just felt empowering to say it. I am not saying that this has to be the same for everyone, or maybe it is when it comes to your own path you choose (or if you choose to have no religious path!) I have supportive friends, and that really does help and I can really say that I would have probably been in a whole other place if it were reversed.
For those of you who have read it all, what I want you to take is to know you can love what you want, as long as you are not hurting anyone. Do not let the negativity in a community hold you back from enjoying something, but do not engage in the discourse, as it will only add to the negativity. Allow yourself to be happy, you deserve it.
Also, please try to be supportive of your friend if they are not harming anyone with what they love. It is always ok to try to educate, but while doing so try not to shame them for being involved in a community where there are problematic individuals since there are problematic people in every community. However, it is more than fine to warn them, and explain why it is problematic and why they should avoid that side of the community to have the best experience.