Many Wiccans find themselves in environments—schools, neighborhoods, homes—that are not friendly toward neo-Pagan faiths. Whether the influences are subtle or overbearing, trying to practice under hostile conditions is stressful. The fear of being caught mid-rite, of an item being found, or of uncomfortable conversation is a constant threat and that anxiety alone is enough to kill off any positive energy you might be able to gather for spell working. For young adults like myself who find themselves back at home, being called out can be uncomfortable and upsetting; for teenagers who still rely on their parents for everything, it can be a downright petrifying situation.
Let me say first that there’s a fine line between being who you need to be, and learning to respect the beliefs of those around you. That is something we’ll look at in more depth in one of the next articles, but it bears being said now. It’s taken me a long time to realize that even though I’ve chosen a different path than what I was taught, that choice does not give me the right to be disrespectful of others. Treat your situation with the careful respect it deserves—if a confrontation would be detrimental, then be responsible and hide your things well. If you are asked to go to church, think carefully about the implications before you say no.
That being said, let’s look at some practical tips for hiding your Wiccan belongings.
- Hide them in plain sight, or with like items
Inconspicuous things like candles won’t draw much attention if placed carefully, and sometimes it’s comforting to have important items out where you can see them. My oil burner is sitting on the bathroom counter, a place all four of my siblings utilize. When I was asked about it, I said I was burning lavender oil in the mornings to give myself a good start to the day.
- Consider storage at a friend’s house
Things like books and chalices and cauldrons can’t be passed off as something else, so store these in a safe place. If there is no secret nook that belongs to only you, or you fear snooping eyes, ask a friend if s/he would be willing to hide the items for you. This might make them a little harder to get to when you feel like doing a spell, but it will keep you safe.
- Edge your way towards being eccentric
If your family doesn’t already think you’re weird, start trying to give them that impression now. You don’t have to go overboard or make them think you’ve gone mentally ill, but express interest in things that are a little outside their normal box. This takes time, but the longer you keep this up, the less notice they’ll pay to the items in your room or the books on your shelves.
- Collect natural items
Go into the woods or walk along the beach and gather things that attract your attention. To you, these items might have magickal significance, but to others they look just like what they are—items straight from Mother Nature. You don’t need to explain beyond that.
- Understand the risks involved
Most of my Wiccan things are stashed away in a basement far from home right now. But I refuse to let my tarot cards go. And if they’re found, I’m in deep trouble. This was a calculated risk, one I chose to take for the comfort of knowing that they’re close at hand. If you have an item that you draw strength from and want to keep close, think the situation through first. Decided what explanation you will give if it’s found, and under what circumstances you might be able to bring it out of hiding.
- There’s a difference between your siblings finding your things and your parents finding them
When I first dedicated myself to Wicca, I kept really quiet about my opinions, not only to prevent upset to my parents but—I thought, in my young mind—to keep from poisoning my siblings. Even my lack of dedication to Christianity was viewed as a sickness, and to some extent, I believed it was true, and I didn’t want to risk infecting the younger ones. Now that my siblings are older, I believe they are more able to make their own decisions. My seventeen year old sister knows about my tarot cards, and my thirteen year old sister knows I write fantasy, which is edging toward the eccentric-side like mentioned above. Don’t use influencing your siblings as a way to dig at your parents.
- Decided how you will respond to criticisms
When you find yourself in a hostile environment, it’s a good idea to prepare. We’re going to look at this in depth in the next article, but—will you be up front, and if so, do you have the resources to defend your position? Or will you have a story handy? You writers out there can always say it’s for a story, and while lying isn’t noble, it is a choice.
Finally, because I know each situation is different, I want to open the floor to you guys. If you are in a difficult situation or have questions not answered in the article, let me know and I will help as best I can.
Stay in the Mother’s Light,