The title of this post is the text reply I received from a group of people I love, after I invited them to my wedding. The response was expected, so I’m not too upset. They will be missed.
A good friend said that I should “confront” them; ask them why they chose to decline the invitation. “They should have the guts to tell you face-to-face. At least on the phone,” she said. I smiled at her, and felt super blessed for the loving outrage she expressed on my behalf; and because she looked super hilarious shaking her fist and baring her teeth.
Are you wondering why I didn’t ask for an explanation? I hope so… because I’m about to tell you. Before inviting the group in question, I explained to them what the wedding would be like. I did so in detail. I said “our rite of passage into marriage will be led by two men who are married to each other, whom my Piano Man and I admire. The ritual will take place in a circle formed by friends and family. Things will be short and simple: words from the married couple leading the ritual, ring exchange, tying of the cord and then there will be eating and dancing.”
After I was done with the short explanation, I told them that they didn’t need to answer right away. You see, my Wicked Luvs, this group that I love and I have had many philosophical conversations in the past. I know how they feel about gay people, about witchy living, about dancing… and about many other things their belief system considers a sin.
My Piano Man and I don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable or making other loved ones feel uncomfortable while we are exchanging our words of love. I believe that everything is made of energy, and as much as I might love someone, I don’t want their negative energy—funny looks or long faces—anywhere near our circle of love. June 29th is for me, for my Piano Man, and for those who love us and can be happy with and around everyone we’ve chosen to love. If that is not possible, then I’m very happy that they have chosen to love us on their own terms… and from afar on that day.
I shared the anecdote with L, a girl who asked me the following question: “Ms. Magaly, I am thinking about coming out as a Pagan. I am 22 and going to college for social work in Florida. My parents, family, and everyone back home is very conservative and Christian. I do not think things will go well. I know they will not. This is not going to change my mind. I am who I am. But you have experienced a lot of life, and I want to know if you can offer any guidance for what I will have to face when I go home for the summer.”
I told L that although I’ve been living the witchy life for about two decades, I’ve never actually walked up to anyone and said, “I’m a Witch. You are important to me, so I needed you to know that.” If anyone asks a direct question, I do respond. Nowadays, I might even give the inquirer a link to my blog, telling them that the answer to the question is a complex one and it would take time to share, digest and understand. Being accepted by them never really comes into my mind, for I accepted myself a long time ago.
That is the poetic answer. The more realistic one goes something like this: I didn’t start wearing my pentacle outside my clothes until 2007. I was in the military, working with people who were seriously injured, and I didn’t want questions about beliefs keeping me from giving my Marines the assistance they needed and deserved.
Some people will walk away from a person their faith tells them might be tainted. They would even run, if the first thing they see when approached by a stranger is a shiny five-pointed star that years and years of misinformation, confusion, and fear has labeled evil. My patients, my Marines, didn’t need to know I was a Dirt Worshiper in order for me to help them get to their neurologist appointments. And by the time the pentacle and the little candle I kept on my desk gave anyone a clue about my beliefs, they knew me well enough not to care or cared enough to ask the right questions.
I shared L’s question on Facebook. I did it for several reasons: (1) because of the old bit about “ask 13 Witches to tell you what it means to be a Witch, and you’ll get 13 different answers.” If the asker is lucky, the answers might even be somewhat compatible; (2) I wanted her to see that her question was not exclusively witchy—anyone who kisses individuality on the mouth will have issues with certain conservatisms.
The latter doesn’t mean that the conventional souls who adore our wild selves are wrong or don’t love us back. It only means that they are different: they see the world through their own eyes, experiences, hearts… and make sense of things through their own beliefs. Diane King, a Facebook friend, said it well: “We need not always show everyone who we are inside, some things are just not for sharing [at least not without very specific reasons]… everything has a time and a place.”
My decision to request no explanation from the loved ones who declined attending my wedding came out of respect and caution. I love them. They love me. They don’t much care for the way I live my life, and have nothing good to say about the way some of my best friends live their happiness. They believe we live in sin and are afraid our souls will be lost and burned. Can you imagine holding those emotions in your heart about a person you love? It has to be hell. So I choose to be gentle and let them live the life they’ve chosen. Besides, I’m sure most of us understand why someone who lives by the beliefs described above would rather not be part of a circle where a Witch marries an atheist and are welcomed into marriage by a happily wedded gay couple.
Be Happy. Be Wicked. Be You… And never forget that Wicked only means “evil or sinful” if you choose that meaning for the word. Expand your lexical box, go deep, add some original slang to your tang, and you’ll see that Wicked is also “wonderful; great; masterful; deeply satisfying” and deliciously darling. ;-)