Think for a moment about where you practice Wicca or witchcraft—your bedroom, your kitchen, your backyard? If you’re brave and without space of your own to connect with the natural world, you might practice in a secluded corner of the local forest preserve. Regardless of the locale, though, doubtless your rites and beliefs are your own—that’s what it means to be a solitary practitioner.

There are two schools of thought within Wicca today regarding how outspoken practitioners should be with their practice. One says silence is golden and the other says to be as loud and obvious as possible. As with many things though, the balance is obviously somewhere in the middle, and it’s up to each of us to determine where we fall.

As a practicing Wiccan and witch, I tend to be quiet about my faith with my family, but I’m perfectly fine with friends and even acquaintances knowing. I wear my pentacle openly, sometimes I’m carrying a Wicca practice book, and sometimes I say, “Mother above!” instead of “God!” Yes, I am trying to get a reaction from others. I thrive on intellectual conflict, and I want to know how others are going to react when I’m outside the norm. This kind of behavior has to be kept in check though because there are dangers. You don’t want to bait someone into an argument, and you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re likely to be attacked. You also want to be careful how you represent Wicca.

I try to represent it as a form of normal.

Because it is my normal. Just because it is not someone else’s normal doesn’t mean that one is right and the other is wrong. They’re just different. And the more we experience and understand differences, the richer our own lives are, and the safer place the world is for every normal.

When you decide to identity with Wicca in a public forum, you take on certain responsibilities. You are not only representing yourself, you’re representing all of us. Me, Cassandra, Morrighan; all of us. You become an ambassador to the rest of the world, representing our deviant nature. So be smart. Be respectful, not flashy. Be strong in your own convictions; don’t let others’ naysaying shake your faith, don’t let their skepticism validate their hatred for the Mother. Keep in touch with the Divine; carve out time for your faith and make it a priority. Don’t preach; be silent, be an example of one way to step outside the box.

And above all, remember that you are responsible for what others think of Wicca.