Over on the facebook group post- conference we are expressing how very good it is to see each other again. Although we only see some of our friends once a year, and although we are often running around from class to panel to class…, it is still soul-nourishing to be surrounded by those who understand, who grok, what we are doing. It happens at CTCW.
Sometimes at work, school, or even in our birth families, we have to constantly self-edit, self-censor, to try and guess whether saying something about what we do is going to suddenly make others see us as foolish, or dangerous, or simply too different to trust. It’s not simply hiding that we are pagans or witches from those who are ignorant about how normal pagans and witches are; some CTCW attendees are devout Christians. It’s not that we have learned herbalism, Reiki and other Complementary healing techniques; those are gradually becoming more accepted. It’s not hiding that we see ghosts, or do divination, or dowse; other people experience all these things. (They do also learn to not talk about them freely.)
You never know. You don’t know who might make some bizarre connection, some leap of illogic, whether from popular fiction, or a story told by a friend, or a personal experience that tno one could explain to them. Tehy might assume that if you believe X, you must be Y. Since they probably won’t say anything about it, you won’t even know that they’ve decided you may attend satanic orgies, or, less dramatically, that you are too gullible to make important decisions at work. We live with this sort of hidden prejudice all the time, and learn to ease into occult topics carefully. “I have a friend who…”
Oh, what a relief it is to be with people who you can tell about the spirit you talked to when you were a kid, or the magickal technique you use to get a parking space, and not worry! Like taking off a pair of shoes that don’t quite fit at the end of a long day, being about to speak without worrying about the audience is so wonderfully comfortable! We hope that, in time, (is a generation too soon?) that this will be possible everywhere, for everyone. Step one is to understand that it is possible.