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Embracing Your Inner Witch … Outwardly

Embracing your inner witch is a transformative act, one of defiance against historical prejudices and personal fears. It’s a difficult path, laden with societal judgments and personal tribulations, but it’s also an enlightening one, imbued with the joy of self-discovery and the freedom of authenticity.

Witchcraft, Women, and Historical Bias

The vilification of witches has roots deeply entangled with systemic gender bias, particularly against women who dare to challenge societal norms. Far from being mere footnotes in history, witch trials were calculated acts that served to suppress women, shaming those who exhibited intelligence, independence, or nonconformity.

This isn’t mere antiquity; the resonances of these events ripple into modern times, impacting how the term “witch” is perceived and used, especially against strong, independent women. Is it any wonder that many women today, particularly older women who have grown up under this gender bias, still feel that they can only embrace their inner witch if it is done in secret?

However, if simply by virtue of being a woman, you are already considered a witch by many, you might as well embrace it. After all, what do you have to lose?

The Societal Chains: The Term “Witch” Reconsidered

“For so long the word witch has been a term that’s been used to demonize, stigmatize, and repress women,” says third-generation hereditary witch and wellness practitioner, Lisa Lister. “But right now, the word is being reclaimed.”

The reclaiming of the term is happening at a curious juncture in history, where personal freedoms are expanding, yet also revealing the darker aspects of human nature. This reclamation isn’t just a cultural trend; it is an urgent necessity. In a world increasingly polarized, the wisdom and equanimity often found in witchcraft provide not just personal but societal balance.

“Why are women reclaiming the term? Because it’s been used to denigrate women, and, really, it’s a term of empowerment. A witch is a feminist.”

~ Elif Armbruster, English professor, Suffolk University

Coming Out of The Broom Closet: A Personal Battleground

The family dinner table might seem mundane, but for many, it’s a battleground of identities, particularly for those concealing their spiritual leanings. ‘Coming out of the broom closet’ might not involve physical danger in most Western societies today, but it risks estrangement, humiliation, and misunderstanding—fates that can be emotionally devastating.

While I identify as a witch and talk about it openly with some, I still keep it hidden from many, particularly my mother, who often talks very negatively about witches and the occult. I do not believe that my employer would understand either, so that is another reason that I remain pretty much “in the broom closet” and do not like or share anything that might reveal my true identity on my personal social media accounts.

Before you decide to openly identify as a witch, you need to confront the possible backlash. Emotional readiness is crucial, but so is financial independence, especially if your family is not understanding or accepting. For those wrestling with internalized shame or fear around witchcraft—often a remnant of religious upbringing—shadow work can be an invaluable tool for inner reconciliation.

When Hearts Close: Finding Your Tribe

It’s a painful truth that not everyone will accept or understand your spiritual path. When met with resistance or outright rejection, it’s crucial to have a support network. Whether it’s a formal coven, online communities, or simply friends who understand, knowing where to find emotional shelter is crucial for anyone walking this path.

The Courage to Be, The Bravery to Declare

Embracing your inner witch outwardly is a transformative act, one of defiance against historical prejudices and personal fears. It’s a difficult path, laden with societal judgments and personal tribulations, but it’s also an enlightening one, imbued with the joy of self-discovery and the freedom of authenticity. Your magic is not merely a personal affair; it is a collective call to a world in desperate need of balance and understanding.

I hope one day that I will be brave enough to come out of the shadows and reveal Grandma’s true identity.