It didn’t occur to me why the contractor was looking over my shoulder and fidgeting nervously. It didn’t occur to me until after he’d left. I wonder how long he’d been staring at the Anubis statues and the ritual dagger sitting next to a piece of parchment dotted with my blood. Across from that, the offering bowl with burnt bits of paper and two black candles. The silver pentagram stood stark against the black backdrop of the altar cloth. To me – this altar in my living room is just a normal part of everyday life. I often forget that house guests, especially those unsuspecting, might find my altars and offerings and occult themed items left in plain sight somewhat disconcerting. So far my eccentricities as an occultist (as some people coin it) never scared anyone so bad that they never came back. But it makes me wonder. What do people think when they see the inside of my home? I’ve been so “out” as a magician, daemonolatress and witch for so many years that I often forget that maybe I should keep some things to myself.
While I’m absolutely thrilled that I am finally at a point in my life where I am at peace with what I believe and who I am, I wonder when it all changed. At what point did the occult become such a normal day-to-day part of my life and routine that I forgot how taboo it may be to other people?
When I first started out, I had to hide everything. Admittedly there was a great deal of excitement in guarding the secret. As a matter of fact, I can honestly say that part of the reason I delved so deeply into the occult as a young teenager was because of the thrill of doing something taboo. But the thrill wears off after so many years and what you’re left with is a belief system and a practice that either fulfills your spiritual needs or it doesn’t.
While I did grow out of the thrill of guarding the secret, and the phases so natural to occult involvement, I still kept part of the image going into adulthood. I finally gave up dressing in black in my early 20’s. About the same time I got my first and only tattoo before tattoos were cool. But also on reflection I realize that I got into the occult for the right reasons (supernatural experiences and an interest in divination) even though I went through the phases (i.e. curse happy, dark and scary, devil worshiper) just like everyone else. But now, now it’s who I am and what I do without prompting or second thought.
Probably a dangerous habit if the fundie Christians take over this country. So then the question is – do I re-train myself to hide it? Or just go with it? Last Samhain during our Rite to Eury we ordered a pizza. The pizza guy saw the ritual set up and began inquiring.
So what say all of you? Do you work hard to hide your “alternative” beliefs and practices? Or do you often forget yourself and constantly find yourself in situations where you have to explain your jewelry, altars, or ritual set up to the pizza guy (or anyone else)?