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Switch to Forum Live View Coming out of the 'broom closet' ,how is it done?
10 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 11:16AM #1
Posts: 3
I have been studying Wicca on my own for almost two years and I've just begun studying Wicca with a priestess here in my area because I felt I needed someone with more experience in the craft to help guide me.

Most of my co-workers  and friends know I am pagan. The only family members that know are my son and my sister. I'm seriously thinking about telling my mom.  How do I tell my Southern Baptist mom that I've outgrown her religion and set out on my own path.  I want her to know because I want to share this with her, not because I feel obligated.

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10 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 1:52PM #2
Posts: 1,244

For each Witch, how, why and when (even if) coming out of the broom closet is done will be unique.

What you knew as the Religion of Wicca and what you have been studying with your local priestess may be a factor into sharing with anyone. For example, if you were now studying Wicca as it was conceived and meant to be practised in the 1930’s, then this would naturally limit what you can share with anyone. As a modern mystery religion, Wicca was/is meant to be passed down through lineaged transmission (such as a teacher/priestess) after being initiated into a coven and involves the teaching of oral oathbound information that one cannot share outside of the coven/tradition. As well, the Mysteries themselves and one’s experience(s) of such can never be articulated to anyone, in writing or otherwise. Now if what you are studying as Wicca falls somewhere within the broader spectrum of more recent Neo-Wiccan traditions, then the above may not be a factor. Both the self- and book-taught traditions that have evolved since the early 1970’s, especially those outside of covens, do not have access to the lineaged transmissions of oathbound knowledge within the Religion and therefore no longer include the Mysteries of Wicca. Now many individuals from such traditions and indeed solitary practitioners do establish relationships with the Gods of Wicca (using the later non-lineaged identification of such) and can and do craft profound, dynamic and life-long experiential practices as Wiccans. What obviously will be missing are what can only be experienced through being in a lineaged coven, through being properly initiated and through undergoing the Mysteries of Wicca. There are personal mysteries one can experience of course, just not those specific to this Religion.

The reason I bring up such distinctions (which you may or may not be aware of) is that you would have a less challenging time sharing with any non-Wiccan what are the core, practices and beliefs of your religion if what you practice falls within the spectrum of Neo-Wiccan. Now some aspects of Wicca throughout tend to be less problematic to share with someone from a revealed religion such as Christianity. Explaining the deeper meaning behind the Rede rather than the simplistic sound-bite or some version of the Law of Return, that a Wiccan takes responsibility for one’s actions, that a Wiccan engages in constant improvement, study and practice - those may be the easiest to share. Explaining some version of the Sabbats and the Esbats perhaps utilising generic versions from within the Paganism Movement might be palatable. That Wicca is experiential and not taught and has no sacred texts, just second- and third-hand sharing of experiences in writing, this may be more difficult though again, if your Wicca is no longer a mystery religion, perhaps less problematic for you. It gets a bit more sticky when one gets into being polytheistic not monotheistic and with each Wiccan Witch having an individual connection to Deity added to which are the Great Rite/Drawing Down of the Moon which are essential for Wiccans to practice in some form. One major challenge always seems to be acknowledging that Wicca uses a specific religious definition of modern (pagan) witchcraft (but not the only definition of modern (Pagan) Witchcraft by any means). Witchcraft itself has numerous definitions including those considered valid but only within a Christian context. There are also decisions to be around whether to endorse and support the actual history of the Religion rather than just the mythological history. The latter tends to be what is used within many publications and can be inspiring and motivating yet the mythological history also has no credible historical evidence by which to support its claims. Realistically though, one cannot dismiss either history as they are so intertwined and mutually dependant.

Based on what you are trying to convey and that you cannot provide her with a revealed or written source of proof, you may need to carefully consider not only what you want to share with your mother but also exactly what it is that you may share with her or even what you can realistically share. It is distinctly challenging when trying to share one’s religious beliefs within an experiential faith when one also has to deal with what can’t be included (such as oath-bound information). Or what can’t be articulated except second- or third-hand or what can’t even be validated (not revealed or documented) other than through one’s UPG or unverifiable personal gnosis.

Your mother’s frame of reference I would expect would be from within a defined Christian paradigm and depending on the level of fear and misinformation that this might represent, you may simply not be able to validate what you believe in, in any way that makes sense to her. From within such a paradigm, her love may well be naturally expressed through her desire to ensure your spiritual safety based on what she believes is true and equally, what she believes is false. So there is that aspect to consider when trying to share with her. If this isn’t an issue for your mother in particular, then perhaps you may wish to consider revealing what you believe in gentle stages while avoiding as long as possible any labels that she would define differently. For example, that you are not Christian to begin with, later on that you are more pagan and then Pagan (as all Wiccans are Pagans even if all Pagans are not Wiccans). Gradually offer various explanations on aspects of your faith that could be revealed in a generic fashion. This approach works for some Christians but it remains important that such is a truthful unfolding with nothing that would contradict where one is heading. You may also need to consider the larger implications as to who your mother might feel obligated to share with as well.

Now your eyes have probably glazed over by now. I am typically longwinded, I’m afraid. I do hope something in that will be helpful.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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10 years ago  ::  May 03, 2008 - 3:08PM #3
Posts: 3
I noticed from other posts of yours that you are long winded LOL, that's fine though. I can be longwinded from time to time myself.

All I want to share with her is that I am now a pagan. She already knows I go to occult stores or she calls them 'witchy' stores. So she may have some idea. She's also made a comment one time about how she raised my sister and I but that my sister and I both now have our own ideas about religion. She also knows that I have no interest in organized mainstream religion.

I'm preparing for " Do you worship the devil?" or "You worship the devil!"  Then the subsequent " Your soul needs to be saved"  Which I went through at the age of 13 when I was baptized into the Southern Baptist faith.  Which I later realized, as I read more and became more educated, was not the path for me.

I'd like to wear my pentagram with out her calling it the 'Star of David'.  ::giggle giggle::  I'd also like to mention my mother, for being 68 years old, is very naive when it comes to a lot of what she calls 'worldly' things and I find myself having to explain a lot of things she should be explaining to me.
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10 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 8:54AM #4
Posts: 3
My sister thinks I'm nuts! Any way I dont want to tell her too much. What I do tell her depends on the kind of questions she might ask. If she illudes that I'm brainwashed well....I honestly don't know how one can brainwash themselves since I started out on this path alone. That would be my answer to her on the brainwashed bit.
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10 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 1:17PM #5
Posts: 1,634
It is completely up to you whether to tell her or not. You should also consider your mother's feelings on the matter. Would it be kinder not to tell her, and let her come to her own understanding, as she seems to be doing anyway? What will you gain from telling her? What will you lose? What will she gain from the knowledge, and what will she lose?

You stated in your original post that you have 'outgrown' her religion. I would suggest that if this is how you see it, you still have more growing to do, yourself.

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10 years ago  ::  May 24, 2008 - 12:59AM #6
Posts: 9
[QUOTE=Thia_Silvermoon;474738]... I want her to know because I want to share this with her, not because I feel obligated.


I know exactly how that feels...I'm in the same boat right now.  I didn't really want to talk about it yet because I'm new here, but I relate so well to your problem O_o;

If you haven't already done something, here's a suggestion I received from someone wise: Instead of trying to tell her about Wicca, tell her what YOU believe.  I've found that when I try to tell other people what Wicca is, I'm giving them a broad generalization of all the research I've done, rather than telling them what I personally believe in.  After all, you are not trying to educate her on Wicca, you are trying to share with her an important part of You! 

I hope if I'm too late to offer advice, maybe someone else will find it helpful.

Please let us know how it went?  I'm really curious!
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