A Treatise on Closets

"Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.” 
― Doreen Valiente, Charge of the Goddess


Coming out of the closet is nearly a daily occurrence for me. Doctors, cashiers, the nice lady in the craft aisle asking me and my husband which ribbon might look best for her art project... the assumption is my husband is my brother, or my roommate, or a friend. My interest in engaging with them depends on how much I want to invest of my emotional labor in that moment to correct and educate. LGBTQIA folks and people of marginalized identities know what it's like to be "straight acting" or to code switch when they're in a space that they may not feel accepted or safe to be their authentic self.

For the past several weeks, I have been struggling with those feelings not with my sexuality, but with my faith. I eventually concluded that I wanted to share more of myself with others, particularly the friends, family, and colleagues in my social media circles. In a macro sense, I also wanted to explore the intersection of the work I do as a higher education/student affairs professional (personal development, community building, social justice advocacy, and so on) with my broader faith community.

I've jumped ahead of myself, haven't I?

I'm Pagan. Wiccan, specifically, for the past several years. For some of you, I know this may be your first time seeing those words outside of pop culture. I won't wax on too much about words, but if it interests you, check out this breakdown of Paganism and this summary of Wiccan basics. The quick rundown before we move on: it's not a cult, nor is it a foil of Christianity in the sense of devil worship (fun fact, many groups who identify as Satanists aren't even that), and nobody in the community believes that they can physically levitate or do any of those fun things you see in Charmed or Harry Potter.

Not to make this an autobiography, but I have always felt drawn to spirituality. When I was younger, Christianity was the most accessible and profound way for me to explore that element of myself. I spent many of my middle and high school years invested in my connection with Jesus and God. As I embraced my sexuality, that connection became difficult, and I knew that that path was not mine.

I also knew that living a life without spiritual development was not my path. Thus, as a seeker, it did not take long for me to discover the world of Paganism. Wicca is easily the most accessible Pagan path, and that was the primary focus of my attention for several years. I explored many other Pagan traditions before ultimately finding my way back to Wicca as a spiritual home. 

Why?

Community. Connection. To the divine, but also to humanity. The desire to live authentically in all of my power and flaws. The opportunity to be with people who have a comparable perspective on life and the power we have as animals on this rock hurtling through space and time. The chance to explore the facets of love and affection for humankind that our patriarchal society inhibits. The courage to love myself. I am thankful to have found so much of that in the tradition to which I'm dedicated, Blue Star. I hope that everyone can find similar fulfillment in their lives, regardless of the form it takes.

So, that's it. Kicked my way out of the (broom) closet. I have never been much of a person to broadcast things about my faith at work, in casual conversation, or even social media. I don't expect that to change much (especially since I primarily use social media to spread the cuteness of my cats, anyway). What I hope to change, however, is the level of authenticity and personal truth I bring to my relationships, be it personal or professional. Thus, my intent is for this corner of the internet to be for me to continue to explore such musings.

I recognize that those connected with me may not have gleaned a ton of information about Paganism or Wicca from this post. If you are interested in learning more, I am always happy to chat. You can leave a comment below if you're looking for specific recommendations for further research or insight. If you are interested in updates of future musings, you can pop an email address in the sidebar to be notified of new posts.

Thanks for stopping by <3

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