So it happened yet again. I met a new girl at work just a few days ago. The first thing she said to me was "Hello". The second thing was "Are you a Witch?". Considering I have been asked this question over and over again my entire life, I just naturally answer yes now. I was not wearing my pentagram necklace that day so I asked her "what makes you ask that?" She answered "your eyes". Technically she is right, I identify as Pagan so I do consider myself a witch. But my coworker who was standing nearby was shocked at her question. She thought it was incredibly rude to just blurt out a question like that. Basically she was asking a very personal question. I normally wouldn't have thought twice about her asking that, but my coworkers reaction to the question made me think it over a little more closely.
You see, I have been asked that question so many times over my life that I have started to think it's normal. I do realize that the way I dress has a huge effect on people, however in this case it really was a form of discrimination. I have naturally red hair and green eyes. Throughout history redheads with green eyes were thought to be either witches or vampires or both. If I were born 200 years ago I might have been burned at the stake for having red hair. Considering it is 2016 now, it's downright shocking how many people still think that way. Not only have I been asked multiple times if I'm a witch but I can also remember one guy many years ago asking me if I was a Vampire. He said this with a completely straight face. He was serious. As a child, my best friend growing up was terrified of Vampires. She slept with a crucifix above her bed. She actually confessed to me one night at a sleep over that she was worried I was a Vampire and that the crucifix would keep her safe. We were 10 years old!
So when this new girl blurted out "Are you a Witch?" It didn't shock me. I'm used to it! Unfortunately for her, she had a disaster of a first day at work. She went on to insult at least three other people that day. This is definitely a no-no on your first day at work so she didn't last long at all. In my case, I think she was just excited because she had a pentagram tattoo that she flashed at me also. This meant she was interested in learning the craft. She was definitely a beginner so I gave her a few suggestions of books to read to get her started.
Did this situation bring back long lost childhood memories that I buried long ago? Yes it did. But! The biggest difference now is that I am comfortable in my own skin. I am proud to be a redhead with green eyes. There aren't that many of us. It means I have Scottish or Irish heritage and that's all. Now that I am older, I own it, I put on my witch hat proudly. Go ahead and ask me if I'm a witch. You might be surprised at the answer!
*images above were found on Pinterest.