People who are unfamiliar with Wicca, or any who genuinely practice witchcraft, upon learning you identify as a witch will inevitably ask perhaps what I consider a rather rude question, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” What the heck kind of a question is that?!
Your new neighbor is a plumber, is the first question you ask him going to be, “Are you a good plumber or a bad plumber?” How about meeting your friend’s new boyfriend and turns out he’s a computer programmer, will you then ask, “Are you a good programmer or a bad programmer?” Or better yet, you discover a new friend is Christian, will you then ask them, “Are you a good Christian or a bad Christian?” Seriously, folks, use a little common sense and quit quoting a silly movie. You’re not Glinda and this isn’t The Wizard of Oz!
I understand that for some there’s no difference between Hollywood’s rendition of witches, historical treatment of witches, and modern day witches. Perhaps they think we’re like a group of LARPers and are taking our mage characters a bit too far? Or because they’d been taught all their lives that witches only existed in fairy tales therefore we’re just fooling ourselves? Or better yet, maybe they think we’re Satanists doing whatever it is they believe Satanists do? (If you read my 1st entry to the 30 Day Blog Challenge you’d know the answer to that one.)
Now, realize, I can not and do not speak for every Wiccan or witch (yes there can be a difference) out there, mainly because we are individuals and may not have the same traditions, practice, or perspective. I will say that I for one prefer to be treated with a basic level of respect, as I’m sure most people do. However, by asking any of us this question it actually shows a certain level of ignorance by the questioner, a tremendous lack of grace, and all at the same time is disrespectful.
I have been asked this question by almost every person that has interviewed me for news or tv. Not all, but most. When I did the Women’s Entertainment TV show “The Secret Lives of Women – Occult” in 2008 I was asked this question. I will admit, it’s the one answer I actually regret. I took the question and gave it a slight spin, more about how no one is absolutely good or bad, rather that we’re all a bit of both. Looking back, I don’t feel I was as clear in conveying that viewpoint as I could have been. Though it wasn’t remotely my first time on TV, it was my first national TV show. Also while the filming for that show on whole was very pleasant, it was still rather stressful and my best reasoning for my answer was that I was just not thinking it out as thorough as I could have. Of course, hind sight is always 20/20, right?
Things that go through my head when someone asks, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”
• This isn’t The Wizard of Oz, idiot.
• Which answer will give me a discount on my Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème? (Yes, even in my head it’s a registered name)
• If I say I’m a bad witch will you then leave me alone?
• I’m good at what I do.
• How did they know I ate that donut when I should’ve had a healthy snack?
• I’m really bad about getting to sleep at a “normal” hour.
• Of course I’m a good witch! Just ask my students.
• Seriously? Were you simply unable to come up with a more original question?
• My name is MistressPrime… you figure out which one you want me to be and then deal with the consequences.
My suggestion is instead of asking that very ridiculous question, be mindful and ask what you really want to know, “You’re a witch? What does that mean?” or “Tell me more about it!” Some people may not give you any further details, but others are happy to explain it to someone who might be genuinely interested.
One of my coven sisters is a big Kristin Hersh fan and brought me along to one of her concerts. I fell in love with Kristin’s music and writing. This is a short film about Kristin Hersh and her live multimedia performance based on her memoir, “Paradoxical Undressing”. This was actually the inspiration for today’s post.