Breaking the News

A question I am often asked is "How do I tell my girl/boyfriend that I am a Witch?" I hear stories of apparently wonderful relationships suddenly evaporating when the "unsuspecting" partner learns that her/his hitherto ideal mate-to-be is a Wiccan (or even just interested in the Craft). We know, of course, that there is nothing wrong with being a Witch, or being interested in any aspect of the occult. The trick, then (if any trick is needed), seems to be in the manner in which the news is broken. "Guess what, Frank — I'm a Witch!" is not the way. Poor Frank will choke on his popcorn then run for the hills. No, the best way is through education.

Start by waiting for an opportune time (when s/ he is in a mellow, talkative mood), then lead the conversation into the subject of the occult — the occult generally. Rather than stating your interests, ask your partner what knowledge s/he has. If necessary, explain that the occult is a very much misunderstood field; that late-night movies and cheap novels are largely responsible for the multitude of misconceptions that abound. Then say, "Take Witchcraft for example. Now — what do you believe Witchcraft to be?"

Your partner will then give you a good idea of what s/he knows about the subject. It may be accurate or it may not. The thing is, to then take that as a jumping-off point to explain what Witchcraft really is — how it developed; how it was distorted; its re-emergence; the way it is practiced today. Don't be too down on Christianity — just give the facts. You will almost certainly be asked, "How come you know so much about it?" No, do not say: "Because I'm a Witch!" There is still more groundwork to be laid. Simply state that you find the subject very interesting and you have taken the trouble to read a great deal on it.

The next step is to get your friend to read some of the better books her/himself. Those recommended throughout this workbook, for example. If there is a real "magick" between the two of you, then s/he will be interested enough in your interests to read what you suggest. And if that magick isn't there, then it doesn't really matter what s/he thinks, does it?

From there you can then elaborate on just how interested you are and finally — again at the opportune moment — confide that you are, indeed, a Wiccan. Incidentally, it seems the trend, these days (and I think it's a good trend), to use the word "Wiccan" rather than the older "Witch". It certainly does help overcome the inbred misconceptions, to an extent.

If, after discussion and reading the worthwhile literature, s/he clings to the misconceptions, pointedly ask why s/he believes that way. It is not usually difficult to break down any arguments and show them for the illogic they invariably are.

However, if, in the final analysis, s/he refuses to accept at least your right to your own beliefs, then you should seriously consider calling off the whole relationship. It is fine to disagree, but it is totally unacceptable to have any one person try to impose his or her beliefs on another or disallow the other the right to their own beliefs.

As a footnote to the above, if you are approached at any time by someone who has learned of your interest or activity in the Craft, never start out trying to defend your position. Always put the onus on the other person by saying: "What do you mean by 'Witchcraft'? What do you believe a Witch to be?" This way you are in a position to see where you stand and to correct their views rather than trying to justify your own.

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