Warning Signs in Witch Communities
Readers, this is not a subject that I like talking about. But, this needs to be discussed. All communities have their fair share of predatory or untrustworthy people, and magical communities are not exempt from this.
I moved back to my home state in 2013, and decided to dip my toe into the local witchcraft community. And there was already plenty to be wary of. I made a post to an online community for my local area, stating that I was looking for a beginners group or a group class. I’d learned enough by 23 to know never to meet someone I didn’t already know well in a private, one-on-one situation and that public spaces were the safest place to meet someone new in.
Less than an hour later, someone responded to me in private messages. He said he was delighted to take on a new student, and how he had so much to personally teach me. When I responded that I was looking for a group, not a one-on-one mentorship, he ignored it. He kept saying how we were going to have a wonderful connection, how much I’d learn from him personally, and how close we were going to be. I blocked him.
There are several warning signs that a single person or a group within a magic community might not have your best interests in mind. Here are some of them.
Insulting or Demeaning Other Interests
This goes beyond someone not having the same interests as you. When I talk about this, I mean someone actually discouraging you from your other interests in a manipulative fashion. I’ve encountered a group before who said liking anime, manga, and videogames was ‘childish’ and implied that someone who liked them wouldn’t be as good of a witch as someone who liked more ‘mature’ things. This is a bullying tactic, pure and simple.
Limiting Your Time Outside the Group
I used to be part of a larger, local witchcraft circle. But, the leadership in that circle flat out told me that I should eschew time with other groups and pass-times (even ones I had planned a year in advance) in order to ‘prove’ my commitment to their group. They said I wasn’t taking witchcraft seriously enough, like the others in the group. This is manipulative, and another bullying tactic.
The biggest reason I left a group was general homophobic, transphobic, racist, and bigoted behaviors. Their opinion on non heterosexuals was that their soul was ‘confused’ from a past life, leading to a non-standard attraction. That was their opinion of transpeople as well. Also, their opinion of marginalized communities and races was that ‘oh they must have asked for this struggle before coming down to this life, and their negativity attracts more negativity in their lives.’ Bitch, please. I can’t begin to unravel how messed up that is in this post. I could probably write a book on it.
Witchcraft should never put you in a situation like this. As much as I wish this wasn’t true, you have to protect yourself from this type of human bullshit. There are other warning signs of dangerous groups and people. These are just a few.
If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment.
Stay safe, saplings.