Bless his heart, my father is a "Muggle." He can't help it and had a very difficult time raising a daughter who was a witch. Oh, you don't know what a Muggle is? You probably haven't either read the "Harry Potter" books or seen any of the related movies. Well, a Muggle is "a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world." <"Muggle." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Feb. 2010>. Do you see how this might have lead to a few tears, some frustration and misunderstandings on both of our parts? It's not that we didn't love each other, no, if anything we had such an attachment to each other that we each wanted to be "perfect" in each others eyes, which just can't happen between a parent and a child especially between a Muggle and a witch.
I inherited my mother's penchant for magic and all things mysterious. She wasn't a practicing witch, she gained her incredible knowledge and wisdom from books, other wise women, adult education classes, etc..However, she and I always clashed horribly and I never felt accepted or seen which naturally lead to a great deal sadness and insecurity.
I remember when I was about eight years old I believe and watching on television the 1948 film version about "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman. I ended up with me sobbing and traumatized with the unjustice and brutality with her being killed as a witch. I ran out to my parents who were sitting in the living room, hungry for comfort and reassurances that Joan couldn't have been possibly killed as she did in real life as she was in the movie. I asked them desperately, "Did she really hear the voices of the Angels? Why didn't somebody rescue her?" My mother replied, "Of course she heard those voices" to which my father immediately shot hack, "Don't tell her that! We don't want her thinking that people can hear "angelic" voices" And so ensued one of their many typical embittered battles. I was left forgotten and felt like a lost cause, much like Joan of Arc.Life wasn't always that traumatic growing up, but I grew a defensive shell, carefully protecting who I was. I continued to learn more and more about the craft letting everyone know I was a true witch, even though I was just a little girl. Children of my own age, considered me too weird to play with and shunned me. Of course it hurt, but I found consolation in my cats who loved me unconditionally. My father continued to deny that I was a witch or for that matter that any real witch's existed. I knew he was just concerned for me and that out of love he was trying to protect me from a society ruled by Muggle's.
As I grew older my faith in the magickal world grew as well. Everyone whom I met knew right away what I stood for, who I was and too bad if you didn't like "Wendy the Witch". My situation wasn't "coming out of the broom closet", it was more like I was already out and no one wanted to believe that there was a closet in the first place. I really didn't care what the general population thought, however I did care tremendously that the father I adored still wouldn't acknowledge I was a witch.
The year was 1997, and there was a huge, buzz about a book, called, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone."I had heard the premise of the story and read about the characters of the book, but I myself had no desire to read it. It sounded too trite for me. My father however called me sounding more excited and impassioned than I believed I had ever heard from him. "Wendy, you must read this book! It's exactly how you've described yourself." He went on and on and I sat there listening to him feeling very bemused about it all. who's just this wonderful witch!" He now had my attention.
He then said the words, I was longing to hear all my life; "I'm a Muggle, Wendy! You were right, you were the witch and the magickal one, just like Harry!" I didn't know what the heck a "Muggle" was, but I felt all this heavy darkness just spring away from me, erasing years of pain and sorrow. I asked him to tell me more about the story and so he went onto explain how brave Harry was, who the Muggle's are and how they cause "poor Harry". He told me I reminded him of one of his favorite character's from the book , "Professor Minerva McGonagall" a witch who was damn proud of being a witch!
At last, I could go back in my beloved broom closet, cats in tow feeling truly loved and finally accepted and even admired by my father, the Muggle.
Have any of you ever had the experience of being disbelieved or shunned because of your path, Wiccan or not? I'd love to hear it.