According to the Merriam-Webster website, the definition of witchcraft is “magical things that are done by witches : the use of magical powers obtained especially from evil spirits.” An alternate definition by Merriam-Webster is “communication with the devil or with a familiar.” It is no wonder why so many witches are in the broom closet. That fear exists that if they tell anybody about their spiritual practices that people will think they worship the devil. While it is possible for a witch to worship the devil, that is certainly not the norm. Though you may get various definitions from witches of what it means to be a witch, I go by the definition that considers a witch to be someone who practices magickal crafting or magickal rituals. A variety of deities or nature could be called upon to assist with these practices. In some cases, like mentioned in the second Merriam-Webster definition, a witch may have a familiar. However, that familiar is not an evil helper. A familiar is an ally in the magickal practices that lends its energy to the witch. Witchcraft and magick are about focusing intention and energy in order to receive a desired outcome. A spell is essentially a prayer, but to what Source that prayer is addressed to is dependent on the individual. Therefore, a witch does not really have to be associated with any particular religion. A witch may or may not be Wiccan. A witch may or may not be pagan. You could put ten different witches in a room and have none of them worship the same deity; some might not even worship a deity. To condemn someone for practicing witchcraft is to condemn that person for the way he or she prays.
Fortunately, a witch isn’t likely to get burned at the stake for coming out of the broom closet in the U.S. these days. Unfortunately, it is still necessary for many witches to keep that aspect of themselves private. I am happy for those who can be open about their craft without negative repercussions. I am even happy for those who are halfway out of the closet because that means they can at least safely share that they are a witch with somebody. For those who find it necessary to keep that aspect of yourself completely to yourself, I hope that you are at peace with that secrecy or find someone you can safely share your secret with. Being in the broom closet might make it more difficult for a witch to practice his or her craft, but that practice can still continue. As time passes, I intend to provide the occasional advice on how to discretely practice.