Ugh. Eight years later and I've yet to release the charge I get from that memory. But I've been gearing up for the those naysayers because mostly they need to be educated, aware of their myopic thinking, preferably before their ignorance hurts another. And this is what happened at the Costa Mesa Scottish Highland Games (where you get a marvelous mix of Catholics and pagans).
A older woman scooted in her wheelchair towards the shortbread pans next to my piles of books and demands to know where the tartan information can be found. While the shop owner scurries off to find her the right book, I smiled serenely at her from where I sat behind the display of my books. A man in his early forties reaches over and begins flipping through The Teen Spell Book. He had just walked by with a teenage girl, so I'm assuming he's glancing through the book to check it out for her. The woman in the wheelchair glances down at my book titles, scowls, and whispers loudly in the direction of her husband. "Wicca, that's Witches." She looks up at me and says "Demonic."
"Oh really?" I reply calmly. "And what have you studied of Wicca? What experience do you have with Wicca and what can you tell me is demonic about it?"
She fidgets in her chair a bit then answers confidantly. "There are good witches and ... the other kind.. bad witches."
To which, I respond, "There are good Christians and bad Christians."
Then without skipping a beat, the man thumbing through the teen book says, "And there are Christians who are in the KKK." He smiles at me. "And some rapists are men, but not all men are rapists."
"You just can't judge a witch by her broom," I replied.
I then smiled at everyone and walked away to float on my little cloud for a spell, so happy to have stood up for myself and magic, to not have shied away or crumbled or fought back with mean words. But to be proud of the mystical, magical faery Wiccan that I am.
Artwork by Jessica Galbreth