Way back in the early days, I wrote a post regarding my thoughts on the Broom Closet generally, but I don’t think I have ever really written about it from my own perspective before.
I tend to waffle back and forth between being in and out depending on the situation I find myself in. I think that the concept of the broom closet is a little different for us in Canada. There is considerably less religion pushing here, and most folks tend to just leave it as something that isn’t really brought up in polite conversation.
I grew up on the west coast, but in a small town where everyone belonged to one of our three churchs, the kingdom hall or the sikh temple. Now that I think about it, that is an awful lot of religious buildings for a town of less than a thousand people.
My mother was brought up in the United Church, but went to a Catholic high school. My father was an atheist, and after my parents split up, and we moved back to Canada, I think it became important to my mom that we have some manner of religion in our upbringing.
As with many small communities, the town we moved to was not terribly welcoming to outsiders. The minister from the Baptist Church was the first to arrive on our doorstep to welcome us to town and invite us to Sunday services. We went as a family for a while, but the teachings didn’t really jive with my mom’s beliefs and after a while it was just us kids who went – more for community involvement than anything else.
Anyone who has had dealings with Baptist Churches can probably tell you how pushy they can get — especially with strong-willed girls who have no adults around to back them up.
I can remember the fights and the pressure from neighbours to shut up and learn my place, but I can also remember that grounds were so beautiful and the back field was surrounded by old forests. I can remember watching the moon rise over the barn-shaped building one winter afternoon while I was supposed to be rehearsing for the Christmas play. I remember skipping home in my pretty white dress under the warmth of the late spring sun. I guess we remember the good parts a little easier when there is enough space between us and the hurt feelings.
After a particularly nasty Sunday school session when I was about 12, I refused to go back again. My brothers kept going for a while, but that tapered off as we settled into a religionless life.
As I have mentioned before, I came to the Craft during a time when it was stepping into the mainstream as cool. My mom had concerns regarding the Satanic Ritual Conspiracy crap that for some reason still refuses to die amongst the townspeople where I grew up, but she read the cards, taught me to make my first pendulum (which I have since given to my daughter), and believed in palmistry and various other New Age techniques, so there wasn’t a lot of pressure on me to hide what I was reading about and learning.
Once I was out on my own, I had no restraints at all, and I tended to hit both ends of the scale of *really* in your face and out, and *so deep in the closet you would never guess in a million years*. I think it had a lot to do with my own confidence in my practises and beliefs. In the end, I tend to believe that it really isn’t anyone’s business what I do. I like my privacy, but I don’t want my kids to feel pressured to hide what we believe. In Canada, I can have the best of both worlds, and I feel pretty lucky that I don’t have to choose one way or the other.
If I don’t want anyone to know about my path and my beliefs, I just don’t bring it up. However, if you really wanted to know, all you need do is plug my name into Google, and it will bring you to this webpage.
So, am I in or out … the short answer, I guess, is yes.