I had a hard time coming up with stuff for this week. . . So I’m just going to ramble a little bit about personal things.
I went to my counseling session this week, and we spoke about my difficulties in making and maintaining friendships. Apparently my proclivity for verbose speech, critical thinking, and frank discussion of oppression politics and social issues all make me ‘intimidating’ to others. That begs the question, would I rather soften myself and be “approachable” or maintain my integrity and outspokenness at risk of being isolated.
Some would accuse me of being an elitist, but I would honestly rather be isolated than be “friends” with people who violate the very basic assumptions upon which I base my ethics. This does not mean that I require those around me to believe exactly as I do on every topic, that is ridiculous. But people who insist upon ignoring critical thinking, hurting those who are members of oppressed groups, and violating boundaries and emotional limits of others really have no place in my life.
What on earth has this to do with witchcraft?
There is an enigma, suspicion, and taboo surrounding witchcraft. I work within a specific cultural context, that of European and European-based American witchcraft. We are beyond the time (at least mostly, hopefully) of actual witch trials and killing. But there is still a suspicion held around those who claim to practice witchcraft, especially those who are not so fluff and love like myself, who unapologetically hex and bind.
I suppose my point is that, as someone who has always had trouble in school, making friends, even understanding social interactions, I feel like being an ‘outsider’ is simply who I am doomed to be. Adding the title of “witch” into the mix only serves to make it more concrete, and perhaps even to give me a place on the outside. I do not call myself a hedgewitch because I do not Ride the Hedge frequently enough to have formed relationships on the Other side. But I often feel that I am relegated to liminal places for many reasons, and it is a position that I would dearly love to embrace. But this silly little part of me still longs for friends. Even outsiders have their little bands and connections. I do dearly love my friends I’ve met online, but it’s hard sometimes when there isn’t anyone here to give me hugs or go to tea with.
I don’t mind the enigma of outsider-ness, and by no means do I mean this to be a pity post (I’ve got many blessings to be thankful for). It is simply part of who I am, part of my life, and especially part of my witchcraft.
EDIT: for some reason, it totally escaped my mind, I forgot to mention the taboo against mental illness, queerness, and being a fat femme and daring to take up space. All of these things contribute to my identity as a witch and as an outsider, though I know I have privileges of appearing to be cis, straight, and (being) white, which saves me quite a lot of grief on a daily basis.