Every human organization has its down side and this is also true about the Craft. As a Christian Wicce, I have experienced many different problems with other disciplines who close their door and knowledge to me because I am a Christian Crafter. Because of this, I have always looked at any human organized group with a sort of healthy skepticism. I have a feeling this is why I love and cherish my solitary practice.
Just as I have experienced resistance and prejudice for my Catholicism, so have I experienced problems with some members of the Crafting community. While I don't take it personally, because I know there are some Crafters who look down on solitaries and gay witches as well, I see this as a sad state of affairs because because there is so much we can learn from each other.
I remember I went to a Metaphysical Fair years ago in the central part of the state while I was in college. This was just when I was Craft curious and searching. I was having a wonderful time, buying celtic crafts and music and incense and candles and broomstick skirts and blouses. I was talking to a lady who was selling tarot decks and I was looking to buy an inexpensive set with a guide book. I bought them and started toward a booth that caught my eye. This lady was selling beautiful pewter cups, swords and athames and crystal balls.
Everything at her stand was very beautiful and somewhat expensive and beyond the Crystal Ball, I really hadn't a clue how one would use a chalice or an athame. The propriatress was a gothic Stevie Nicks type in a black corset tied with red silk ribbon and leather boots. She came over to the place where I was standing. I could feel her looking at my Celtic style Crucifix. I knew I was in trouble. I said hi.
"I'm Lady Midnight Gloomy Gus," (that was not her real name, I don't remember what she said her name was, but I am a big fan of Dickens, who gave his characters names that sort of described who they were.) "I belong to the celebrated Temple of the Insufferably Doomed. To what magikal tradition do you belong and what is your magikal name?" I was a bit taken aback, as you can imagine.
"I don't have a magikal name. I study with my friend, Celeste, over there," I answered, nodding my head toward Celeste, who was juggling wax candles to amuse a small group of kids while she taught them about spiritual concentration and balance. She was always good about a teachable moment.
"What discipline?" she asked. Now, Celeste had been the one to call me a Christian Witch or Wicce, so, I said : "Christian Witch," You know how you have just committed a faux pas and you know you have offended someone? This lady certainly had that look on her face. Sort of a face that I would recognize later as the look Malfoy gives Hermione just before he calls her a mudblood.
On the way home, as I fingered the holes of the wooden flute I had bought, I told my friend Celeste about the woman. She shook her head and rolled her eyes a bit as I told her about the single blemish on my day.
"Aslinn," she said, as she explained her take on this situation. "The Craft comunity is split into two groups. One group is very militant and very public and confrontational. They are primarily men and women who are angry and have come into the Wicca/Pagan religion as angry former Christians. They want to be the direct opposite of their families. The usual Lord and Lady of Darkness are the witches the newspapers and TV reporters want to interview. They dress like Dracula and Vampira 24/7/365. They tend to do what they claim to hate about Christianity, they hate anyone who is not like them," she said. "Then you have us. We're the hippy dippy witchies, the fluffy bunny witches. We are more tolerant but not any less passionate about our beliefs. But we acknowledge magik exists in all religions. We may look side ways at your pentacle and your cross and your Marian devotions but we also know that we can rely on you to help us with a magikal problem and you kow how to use most any herb. You are a part of what I call the universal coven and your Craft is just as important as anyone elses." she finished finally.
From then on I was never self conscious with my Craft and I offer no explanations or apologies. I always strive to be better as a person in and out of the realm of the Craft. I believe there will be hard times ahead and we will all be in trouble, regardless of what you believe in. Someday it will be against the law to practice any form of religion, whether you are Christian or Pagan, Wiccan or Jew, Muslim or Buddhist or a little mix of everything and we will all have to stand together with whatever magikal or spiritual tools we have and fight a monster that would have no God before him at all. Let us all be Brothers and Sisters, in and out of the Craft and may we all stand together.
And to all I say,
Bright Blessings Be
Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk