I have had two terrible experiences trying to make friends as a witchdoctor.
First, let's have some back story. Most of you who follow me know that I had my private witchdoctor practice quietly in the background of my life for about a decade, honing my skills and donating my time, knowledge, and ingredients to helping others and the spirits around us. I spent an amazing 20 years in the performing arts as a director/choreographer and instructor, experiencing all kinds of twists and turns from working with the National Guard as an education trainer to directing CATS, to performing for one night with Cirque Du Soleil, and back to teaching hula, African dance, ballet, voice, and acting in the classroom around the world.
The pandemic changed the course of my life with a giant push to flip my past-time (as a secret psychic witchdoctor) and my career. So now, I work fulltime as a witchdoctor, out of the broom closet and enjoy the performing arts on the side (like most 'civilized' people), as a hobby.
However, the world of witchcraft and teaching in this area has made it difficult to make friends. I work from home as Headmaster at BearBridge Academy of Witchcraft and Psychic Development, since it's an online school, my private practice is at home, where I treat and help people remotely, and I am working on my book series in the subject of indigenous metaphysical. Basically, I'm a psychic magical house plant.
A friend of mine invited me join a gay men's group, which had mostly New York City men, but there were people around North America there, so joining zoom from Austin was no big deal. I cleared my scheduled so that I could make friends. I used my real name, because, why wouldn't I, right?
Well, one of the members googled me, and you know what comes up? Yeah, first page is going to show you a whole lot about me as a witchdoctor, a psychic, and in the performing arts. This one member reached out and wanted to be friends, but instead of genuine friendship, asked me for psychic favors, trying to learn about other men in the group (for which I refused), and divulged that he was a gay priest, in the closet and afraid of losing his job if anyone found out, and felt he needed a friend, even if that friend was a witch. I still keep his anonymity, even with his nasty betrayal.
Fast forward one month and I get a call from the moderator of the group, who by the way is the sweetest man ever. He had the integrity to reach out and tell me that there were complaints from members (as in several) who are 'afraid of you because you are doing black magic on them.'
I was honest, that yes I teach dark magic, and that in many cases, what I am hired to do, although is none of anyone's business, is for people who have no other options but to reach out to a witchdoctor for help. These people who find me have no help from the police or the justice system or are trapped by their oppressors. Someone who reaches out to me has run out of options and needs help to turn their life around. So in what world am I 'cursing' people I don't even know with the time and resources I don't really have to spare? In what egotistical world do they think they are so important in my life to assault them with the craft? And in what way did I give the impression that I didn't like anyone in the group?
I didn't. This was created by fear. A demographic who is told that by others who they are is persecuting me. Let's be serious: there are tons of people who decide what gay men are and what gay men do or don't do, or like and don't like... There are laws being made about gay men based on no fact and just assumptions. So you'd think that these men would be more mindful to make judgments about someone they don't understand? No.
I left the group because although the moderator knew that I had done nothing wrong, I would never be allowed to face my perpetrators and require an appology for their defamation of my character. Their anonymity was safe, and I would attend knowing that people hate me, unjustly, without recourse and without correcting their behavior. They were not kicked out for gossiping about a member. Why? Because it happened to a witch.
Similarly, when I told another new friend of mine what I do, his comment was, "Did you put a spell on me to make me your friend? Did you choose me?"
This hurts folks. Are we still so ignorant that every witch is nefarious? And even if they are, let's make the rash and illogical decision that they are (which is not backed with any historical anecdotes), what time do you think we have to spell every single person and what makes you think you're so important?
This doesn't even count all the people who find out I'm psychic and ask me to do a reading like a parlor tick or a circus freak. (at least once a week), I'm asked to perform like they are owed access to my body's unnatural sensitivities. For public consumption. They don't know about how I bump into someone at the grocery store and see someone's violent childhood where they hit their dog with a shovel, or someone's fear of heights, or the desire to do something terrible to.... No, they don't know that I'm already coping with trying NOT to read, that I need to pick a number or phrase out of their head, or tell them about their sister's future. Yeah. Not a friend...
I don't know if I will make friends, or if I will only be the little elf-looking witch who lives in the woods with no friends. I tell you, I love my students and my friends in the craft, but I would like friends who are varied. I thought making friends as an adult was hard... it's harder for a witchdoctor.