Stuck in the Broom Closet? - Tips for coming out as a Witch, living authentically and staying safe
If you identify as a Witch, whether you’re Wiccan, Pagan, Christian or even if it’s just the Witch archetype that appeals to you, at some point, you’re going to want to come out of the broom closet and stop hiding.
What is the Broom Closet? Well it’s the hypothetical place we hide our true selves. Much like the gay closet, the broom closet doesn’t always feel nice but sometimes it is necessary.
In this post I’ll be going over some of the reasons people stay in the Broom Closet, Signs it’s time for you to leave the Broom Closet, how to come out as a Witch and most of all how to stay safe whilst living life as your true authentic self.
What Is A Broom Closet And Why Does it Matter?
The term ‘Broom Closet’ is relatively new to pop culture. It refers to those who hide their spirituality, or Witchiness away from the world. You may choose to share this side of yourself with a select few, but do not yet feel ready or are not able to express yourself fully in the way that you wish.
This can look like;
- Cleaning up or hiding your altar and tools when people come to visit
- Telling half truths about what you’re doing and where you’ve been such as “I was hanging with friends” rather than “I had my moon circle last night”.
- Still attending other religious services and pretending to pray/worship in the way that is expected of you due to social or familial pressures
When You Need To Stay In The Broom Closet
I knew it was time to come out of the broom closet, when I noticed how excited and passionate I was about Tarot/Crystals/Astrology when alone, yet felt blocked, ashamed and constricted around my friends and family. It became quite obvious that this significant part of my life, was being crushed under the weight of secrecy and it was so uncomfortable I knew the only way out was to be open and honest about it.
You may feel the same or you may have that fear of being ‘found out’ and want to take the control back into your own hands by coming out instead.
Either way, you will just ‘know’ when it’s time to open up with your loved ones about your spiritual identity.
It can be helpful to know that this isn’t just an issue for Witches, but that most people who find a new religion go through a similar dilemma of “I’ve changed, but no one knows it yet, will they believe me, laugh at me or scorn me?”. What you’re feeling is NORMAL.
When You Need To Stay In The Broom Closet
Now, as much as I’d LOVE to tell everyone to be their authentic selves and screw what anyone else says, this sort of advice simply isn’t safe for everyone.
There are numerous times when doing so will impact your safety.
Places like Saudi Arabia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and various parts of Africa have strict laws in place for those who the government or general populace believe are Witches. Saudia Arabia actually has a dedicated police unit for fighting “witchcraft crime” and can land you with the death penalty! The best policy is to lay VERY low or leave the country (if possible). It is not worth your life.
Similarly, countries or areas with a heavy Abrahamic religious influences like the Middle East (featuring majority Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths) or even the Bible Belt in the United States of America can all be dicey places to be a Witch. Hate crimes can and do still happen, plus the social repercussions can be dire such as having your business boycotted or becoming a social outcast.
The best course of action here is to move, or practice in secret.
Sometimes it is our own families who are our worst enemies. Particularly if your family has strong religious inclinations. When you live under someone else’s roof, or if you are still underage it can be risky to let them see your Witchy side if you think it may end with you being thrown out on the streets or even subjected to physical or mental abuse.
In this case, it is best to err on the side of caution and wait until you have left home and are financially stable to support yourself before showing your true Witchy self to your family.
Some people even decide to remain in the broom closet when they’re around their family members but be out and proud with friends or the public. This is totally OK to do and something I do myself with my grandparents!
How To Come Out Of The Broom Closet
Once you’ve established that there are no safety concerns around coming out of the broom closet, the next step is to actually do it and this can be SUPER intimidating.
Most of us tend to hide our Witchiness so well, that when we finally come out of the closet it can be a big shock to our friends or family. Therefore I recommend going slowly.
You may decide to wear more crystal jewellery and tell your Mum that your amethyst earrings are helping with your anxiety levels on your upcoming exam or brew your brother a cup of healing tea when he’s unwell, when he asks you can wink and say “a Witch never tells” – keep it light.
You could slowly create a larger altar space that someone may stumble upon or even offer to do a tarot reading for a friend in need. Use these small moments as an opportunity to invite questions and inquisitiveness from your loved ones, without forcing it on them, and make sure to tune into their body language to see how comfortable they’re feeling too, whilst we want them to respect and accept us, we need to also allow them the space to get there and respect their journey too.
These small steps may help you gain the confidence that you need to show more and more of yourself too.
Listen To Your Intuition
If you notice someone close up, or a look of genuine shock make sure to reel back in a bit. They may need some time to digest the information you’re telling the.
You may also intuitively know who you can and can’t tell, and need to trust that. We don’t want Grandma to have a stroke that her baptised in the Holy Spirit grandson is now a Witch and in her eyes “going to Hell”.
Use Your Tools
If you know it may be hard to communicate with someone, wear a blue kyanite necklace or carry some blue calcite in your pocket to open the throat chakra for clear and honest communication.
Make a sigil for acceptance and draw it on the seat your friend will sit on before they get there or you can brew a chamomile tea for your Dad to keep him calm.
You have so many tools at your disposal and not to mention MAGIC! Use what you have in a way that doesn’t impose on their free will.
Not Everyone Will Be OK
Some people may decide not to associate with you, or that it’s too weird. That’s OK. That is life, and if they can’t love and accept all of you, then do you really want them in your life?
Still, it’s a super tough situation to go through, the alternative is to change who you are, or walk on eggshells with that person for the rest of your relationship with them – not ideal.
In the end it’s up to YOU to decide if it’s right for you to come out of the spiritual broom closet. How you do it will depend on your path and the type of person that you are, as well as the individuals you choose to open up to. It won’t be exactly the same for everyone. Just remember that you are still a badass Witch whether or not anyone knows!