I began reading about Witchcraft when I was in my early teens. I remember my introduction, the first book I picked up. It was at some store in the mall, and was Raymond Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. This book is now a classic and I still have mine, though it is so beat up…..
When I purchased this book, I knew that my father would protest. I knew that it was necessary to hide it from him. He, being a fundamentalist Christian preacher, he was of the close-minded sort. I knew that my interest in anything other than his brand of Christianity. I essentially was saying “F#%* You!
At first when I bought the book it may have been an act of rebellion, but as I began to read about it, I found it intriguing. Parts of it truly resonated with me. I began to dig deeper, knowing that it was something I was interested it “trying out.”
I knew that my father’s house was not a place that I could learn freely. Information was guarded in the hopes that we would not be led astray. However, I never believed that my school would be hostile toward my pursuit of new information.
I lugged the book with me to school. I was an honor student with good grades. I was feature editor of our school newspaper, and I hung out with every “type” of person. I had always held school as sacred and a place where I could explore information and, ultimately, learn. I could not have been more wrong.
One day as I was reading my book, a student caught site of it and ripped it from my hands (literally ripping the cover). She ran to the front of the room and gave it to the teacher. I was angry and asked for it back. The teacher was mortified, after looking at the book, and told me to sit down and that I could get it from the principal.
That day, after school, I had to do the Walk of Shame, right to the principal’s office. There she proceeded to lecture me on “good decisions.” She told me that she had half a mind to call my father, which really did frighten me. Eventually, though, she did give it back to me only on the condition that I not bring it to school. She said that such an act was “disruptive,” as if I had intentionally caused a commotion by reading a book in class.
This incident showed me how fear is bred into us; how people fear indiscriminately. They allow hearsay to dictate their beliefs without ever delving deeply and finding the truth of or about what they are being asked or told to fear. I realized that by studying Witchcraft and other Forbidden Knowledge, whether I liked it or not, I was in a sense saying FTW!