In this day and age you would think it would be a welcomed practice to be a witch. After all, the world keeps moving at such an intense speed that many of us are longing for a little magic in our lives. Witches bring otherworldly mystery and magic to our lives. But, unfortunately, old superstitions DON’T die and many people still see witches as evil, devil-worshipers or, worse, as a threat. To protect ourselves from persecution, be it foe or family, many witches must conceal their identities and their practices. For those who are still in the broom closet – I salute you and bring you my tried and true broom closet witch tips and secrets.
I’ll bet anything you are here because you come from a strict religious background and are fearful your family will reject or persecute you. I lived thirty years of my life on that crappy boat. I was riding the waves of insecurity and hiding who I truly was, just like you are now. Then I turned thirty years old and hit the proverbial wall – I began wondering why I was living my life in fear. Why was I living to please everyone else around me and watching my true self slowly disintegrate? I was tired of not living my truth. How about you?
I realize there are places in the world where witchcraft is still condemned and in some places women are still put to death for it. If you live in a place like that, by no means should you put yourself in a dangerous position. Survival is number one. BUT if you live in the United States or another first world or developed country, with religious rights, you have the ability to come out of the broom closet. What’s stopping you? Your fears? Here’s how to (and if you don’t want to come out or CAN’T, scroll down to our tips and tricks).
The first thing you need to do is identify what those fears are exactly. Take your time on this. Think about it for a few days, a week, even an entire month. When you’ve identified the root of your fears, write them down. For example, once I wrote down my fears of being rejected or judged by family members, I realized that if those people wanted to judge me for it, they could go right ahead! These were the same people who have judged me my entire life, whether I was doing good or bad, so what would be the difference?
After you’ve identified your fears and the root of your fears, think about the absolute WORST case scenario if you did come out of the broom closet. Would you lose your job? Your family members? Your boyfriend? While losing these things may seem frightening, ask yourself this – do you want these people in your life if they are so willing to judge and reject you for being your authentic self?
I was so tired of living for everyone else that I was willing to sacrifice things if it meant living MY truth. If you’re to that point, you’re ready to come out of the broom closet. Don’t let shitty people hold you back. Because the people who TRULY love you will love you no matter what your beliefs are. They may even love you more for being your true self!
When you decide to live your true witchy life and speak your truth, you don’t have to start by screaming it from the rooftops. You don’t even have to discuss it with people who aren’t in your immediate surroundings. Should you discuss it with your husband or significant other? Yes! This is someone who needs to know what you believe and what your truth is. Do you have to tell your boss or grandmother? NO. Your boss is your boss, they don’t have to know a damn thing about your personal life. And grandma? She is probably from the old school and might keel over from a stroke just hearing the word “witch”. Feel me?
First, choose a good time to speak to your significant other about your true beliefs and your spiritual side. Maybe you’ve been hiding this part of yourself for many years and feel stifled. You need to open up and be honest with your partner about these things. It may hurt them…it may anger them. But they deserve to know the REAL you. If they are a strict religious individual, maybe using the term “pagan” and “nature-based spirituality” is a softer approach than popping on a pointy hat and boasting about your witchy rituals right off the bat.
Here’s what you need to do: be open to answer their questions honestly. Point them to credible resources if they truly want to understand what a “pagan” is. Also, don’t expect them to be accepting of it immediately, but do expect them to be respectful of you and your decision to share this side of yourself. DO NOT allow them to cut you down or make you feel like you’re wrong or evil. This is not a loving relationship, and if you can’t be your true self with your partner, it’s time to move on. My truth was this – my partner would accept me for who I was, and if he didn’t, I decided I’d rather be alone to be free to be my authentic self.
So you’ve come out the broom closet to your closest loved ones and friends, but what about the rest of the world? The choice is yours. The way I handle it is that I don’t hide who I am but I am also somewhat discreet about it. For example, if you are a friend of mine on social media, you’re going to figure out my beliefs. But if I’m in the grocery store, the only way you might know is if you’re a witch yourself and notice my crystal pendant or moon tattoo. I don’t typically discuss religion with anyone who doesn’t ask for my opinion first. But then I’m always willing to share. Remember – witches don’t proselytize (preach/convert). So even though your Christian family might talk about Jesus and the Bible openly and constantly, that doesn’t mean you have to be the same way with your beliefs.
I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes the coming out of the broom closet journey isn’t easy. Sometimes its downright painful. You may lose people you love and whom you thought loved you. But in reality, if you lose them, they were never true to you to begin with. They never truly loved you. And do you honestly want false people like that in your life, anyway? I sure don’t! So, when you’ve stepped out of your hiding place, step out with pride and just remember to breathe. Be yourself no matter what. And, you might find that you’ll begin to attract others of like mind, OR your family members and friends may be a little witchy themselves!
First of all, it needs to be said it’s perfectly okay to be in the broom closet. You don’t need to explain your beliefs or practices to anyone. Not your father. Not your friends. Nor your roommates. The reason I’m able to share so many secrets with you all is because I spent nearly fifteen years in the broom closet! I found ways of working my magic no matter who was around. Without further adieu, here are MY tried and true broom closet witch tips and secrets.
While some of us have the ability to create elaborate altars, those in the broom closet don’t have that luxury. So how do we practice without a large altar? With a bit of discretion, darlings. Discreet altars are out in the open and no one knows the difference. Choose the top of a hutch, buffet, nighstand, etc. and decorate with natural items. Choose some or all of following: candles, seashells, stones, and vases with flowers. Would anyone question seeing a decorative display with a candle, a shell and a vase of flowers? I’ve had my altar out in the open for YEARS and never had anyone say a word, except for the people who know who I am and have altars themselves.
A portable altar is kept in a box under your bed or in the closet, that you take out when ready to practice. It’s as simple as a shoebox with your magical items. You can also use something as small as an altoid tin! I’ve seen Etsy shops selling these! Portable altars can also be taken with you on vacations. Remember, your pagan ancestors once hid their beliefs from the Church who sought to convert them. Another tip: make a natural altar in your yard somewhere out of sight or in the woods. The altar surface can be a large rock or a tree stump. Your offerings to the gods and nature spirits can be anything perishable.
Something most witches want lots of – BOOKS! We love the feel of a book in our hands, particularly one that has to do with witchcraft. BUT some of us don’t have the ability to hide a whole bookshelf of witchcraft books. Keep them digitally on your tablet or smart phone. It keeps them concealed and all in one place. Now, if you have to share a tablet or computer with someone then its probably best to keep everything on a device that is all your own (like a cell phone).
Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have apps you can download for free and store your e-books. PLEASE NOTE: if you’re sharing an Amazon account with someone else who doesn’t know about your practice, you’ll want to create a separate account or go with a different app because your books could show up in their digital library! Keep your Book of Shadows in a notes app or in a Word doc to keep it secret. Or keep a journal and tell people that it’s off limits. It’s personal.
I can’t stress this enough for the broom closet witch – if you’re a homemaker or feed your family (or yourself) from your kitchen, kitchen witchery is the perfect practice. Add herbs and spices to your meals with intention. Kitchen utensils become wands and athames. Pots and pans and dutch ovens become cauldrons. If you’re really brave, add an old school kitchen witch doll and tell your family she’s just good luck! The secret is – you’re kitchen witch doll also serves as a magical guardian of the hearth. You can offer her a cup of coffee in the morning or a tiny bit of your dinner at night. Set it to the side and clean it up when the rest of the family is done eating. No one is the wiser.
Another secret way of making magic is to brew magical teas. Again, something you can do in the kitchen with fresh herbs and no one would know. Totally a “normal” thing to do! Brew specific edible herbs for their magical properties and drink it to take the magic into yourself. For example, if you want prophetic dreams – drink mugwort (add a little mint to curb the earthy flavor). Want more money? Drink basil or chamomile tea. Want to add more love to your life? Red hibiscus and rosebud tea is your spell. In addition, make herb-infused magical oils to use in cooking, herb-infused honey, vinegar, sugar, and more! When someone asks why you’re so “into herbs and cooking”, say you’ve taken up a healthy hobby.
Have you wondered how you’re going to cleanse your home if you can’t smoke-cleanse with herb bundles? Using smoke to cleanse is only one way to cleanse a space. Try this method, it’s discreet and won’t set off the fire alarms: set a pot with 2 cups of water on the stove to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add a few cleansing herbs like basil, rosemary, or mint (or combine them!) Next, allow to simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Then use a sprig of an herb, a spray bottle, OR your fingers to gently sprinkle all around your space. It’s cleansing and won’t irritate anyone’s allergies or alert anyone that you’re doing witchcraft. Playing high vibrational music or ringing a bell clears your space. I also like using a Himalayan salt lamp AND dropping some essential oil drops on curtains then letting the wind carry the scent throughout the house. Wait until everyone’s out of the house to ring a cleansing bell.
Not into cooking? Choose a hobby or passion of yours that can fuels your witchcraft practice. Do you enjoy knitting? Sewing? Painting? Writing? Whatever your hobby, use that in your magic. If this hobby is something you’ve been doing for years, who would question you? With each stitch, each paint-stroke, each written letter, infuse your art with witchcraft. It might sound like a difficult feat, but use your imagination and intuition.
For example – if you love quilting, why not make a quilt infused with protective intentions? Choose fabrics that have a protective nature to you. Maybe its the color of the fabric you chose or maybe its fabric from the family’s old clothing, etc. Whatever hobby you enjoy – make that into your witchcraft practice. No one will know otherwise.
True witchcraft is about connecting with the world around us. With nature. So, in its essence, witchcraft is nature. Are you in a situation where you can’t practice witchcraft at home at all? Then go outside! Have a park or nearby forest you can hike in? During your nature walks, commune with wildlife. Learn the plants and trees in your local area. Gather tokens of Mother Earth’s love on your walks and use them in your natural magic at home. Even just keeping a few acorns and placing them on your dresser is enough to honor nature and bring abundance into your life. Witchcraft doesn’t have to be about fancy tools and elaborate rituals.
Looking to connect with your ancestors in your practice? Guess what? You’ve now taken up a new hobby called genealogy. Build your family tree online, print out photos of your ancestors and place them on your altar. In truth, genealogy is a large part of my ancestral practice but no one questioned why I was so interested in my ancestors. Most of my family members helped me! Want to set up an ancestor altar? Hang a couple of pictures on your wall or place the on the mantle. Instant, discreet ancestor altar. Pray as you walk by in the morning or keep an ancestor photo album and use it as a portable altar.
The same concept applies to researching gods, goddesses, and old school witchcraft practices – you don’t need to tell people why you’re interested. If they ask, you’ve developed an interest in history and folklore. This gives you the ability to research mythology and folklore online, borrow library books, and take notes without anyone wondering why. If you’re in school and have the opportunity to do a research paper on a similar topic, what a great way to expand your witchcraft knowledge while also keeping up your academics! You can’t have witchcraft books lying around, but what would they say about mythology books? American or European folklore books?
Often witches come to the craft and have a desire to wear a big-@ss pentacle around their neck. Or hang a pentacle altar cloth above their bed. But they’re worried what their family members or roommates might think – will they think I’m a devil worshiper? Will they see the pentacle as something negative? You don’t have to use a pentacle in your craft. Use symbols that have meaning to you, but aren’t as blatantly obvious. Examples include: elder runes, Celtic symbols, element symbols, sun and moon, animals, etc. Something to think of – a lot of the Celtic symbols have been re-purposed into Christian symbols. Like the triquetra and the cross. Use any of the Celtic symbols and judgmental people won’t be the wiser.
The mist filled path leading to an ancient moss-cloaked graveyard. The feeling of your soul …September 24, 2023