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Sadly, this is an old truth that became a myth, but some people are trying to make it true again. Pagans went from hiding to being in the open, and now there are those who are trying to stick us back into the shadows.
For a very large part of history, those following the Old Ways, especially those who incorporated magick into their belief system, had to do so in secrecy. Followers of monotheistic religions had it in for the Pagans of old, and it was dangerous to have anyone know your beliefs, for fear of torture or death. Pagans practiced behind closed doors, alone or in secret groups, trying to maintain their faith and stay safe as well.
Eventually, things started to change and pagans came into the light, stepping out of the “broom closet” and out into the world. To this day it’s still dangerous to be Pagan in some areas, but we’ve put a lot of work into being able to be who we are openly and without fear, like followers of other religions can do. While we may keep the details of our practices to ourselves or our coven, we have worked very hard to have our religion as a whole accepted, so we can live openly in safety.
There have always been some who resisted coming into the open, but generally we were all moving in the same direction. At some point not too long ago though, a minority of Pagans started pushing the idea that we needed to go back into that broom closet, and that “real” Pagans kept their beliefs secret. They hold that by being open, they dilute their beliefs and allow “unworthy” followers in, who are not part of the coven or bloodline. It’s not a popular movement, but it does exist.
Generally, Pagans want to be accepted in society for who we are. We want it to be as safe to say “I’m Pagan” as it is to say “I’m Jewish.” We do value privacy and keeping some parts of our path quiet, only to be shared with other followers, but most of us would never want to go back to a time when we had to live in shadow and secrecy, hiding ourselves and our beliefs from the world.