I’m going to voice an opinion. It’s only mine, and it may be shared to a greater or lesser degree by others, I don’t know.
There’s a standard question that I get asked when people find out I’m a witch… “are you a white witch or a black witch?”
My usual answer is: “I’m a me witch. Which means that I work with whatever works best for me, accepting full responsibility for my actions and any repercussions that they may bring. My skin tone is also called ‘peaches & cream’ so to call me black or white would be incorrect; I’m palest orange.” 😀
This response tends to spark interesting conversation or outright horror in the querant, mainly because, I think, they’re conditioned to do a couple of things;
a) ask the black/white question
b) only view things as black or white
c) not think about the lightest orange part and laugh
Humans as a overall species are conditioned to see things as either black or white, one kind or another. We’re taught from an early age at school that you are in one social group or team or the other. If you’re one of the “lucky” ones, you are in the ‘right’ clique or the ‘winning’ team. Doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else, it just means someone arbitrarily judged you into black/white. It’s why we ask questions like the black/white witch one, or the Catholic or Protestant ones. You see, it’s not just pagans who get the question!
So many people take their belief incredibly seriously. Which is fine, it is a serious thing. It is to me too. But I do recognise that being able to laugh at myself is a good thing. Reminds me I’m human and not some rote-following machine. If I can combine my self-deprecation into a description of my belief/practice that gets people thinking outside black/white, then I’ve done something effective. I’ve perhaps broadened someone’s thinking. If not, I’ve at least said something funny.
So here’s my question to you all – and I mean the Christians, Pagans, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Islamists, Daoists, Taoists, Mormons, Scientologists and the Venerable Order of the Sacred Gherkin – how do you respond to black/white queries? Do you make black/white answers? Do you try to encourage thinking? Are you open to discussion? Are you willing to sit with me and laugh when we find common ground or disagree on points?
Are you a black or a white (insert your belief here)??