Many people who meet me in person are shocked to find out what I do for a living. What I get mostly is – uh, wow, you don’t look like a witch! I often wonder if people think I should look like the Wicked Witch of the West. Since the Goth look is very popular among pagans perhaps that is how they envision a witch- black nail-polish, lots of pentacle jewelry, dyed hair and eccentric outfits. In that case I look nothing like a witch, I look like your average Suburban Housewitch.
It is not that I don’t like the goth look. Well not to wear certainly in my daily life. I am little past the age for costume dressing. However I do like many goth things: books, dolls, jewelry, films etc. It is a wonderful expression of the darker side of life but in a fantastical way and I appreciate that.
For me personally though witchcraft is not a look but a life. Not lifestyle because there is really no style that accompanies how witchcraft fits into my life. It is similar to how Buddhism is part of my life – it just is. It guides everything I do, think, feel. I am aware of it always. Yet to the outside eye no one would take a look at me and think, oh, she’s a Buddhist nor would they think, oh, she’s a witch. I prefer that, especially in a town where most people are practicing Christians who might not have the level of tolerance needed to welcome a pagan believer.
At Samhain however, I do go all out with dressing Goth; we all do in my family! It’s fun to celebrate the dark side of witchcraft on All Hallows Eve. One year my sister-in-law had deep purple hair! This year I am eager to see what my niece comes up with. I think I might use a really red hair dye myself just to shake things up. I do have beautiful pagan jewelry that I love to wear and very witchy outfits reserved just for the sabbat.
Many of my sister and brother witches across the world are low-key like me. You’d never know to look at them that they go home from their corporate and professional jobs to light candles on an altar and practice witchcraft. We are kind of sneaky witches. But we are out here, oh yes. And we are making magick. We just don’t look like it.