There was a time, many years ago, when I was young, my body unbreakable and there was no such thing as the internet, that it was relatively easy to scare the muggles.
See, even that has changed. Back in the day we called them mundanes or cowans. Now popular culture has infected us, not the other way around, and the non-pagans of the world are now muggles.
But I digress.
Back when, it didn’t take much to spook these people. A little mention of magic here, a little spellcasting mutter there, and suddenly that seat on the bus was all yours. You could make room in lineups at the movie theatre, get the last bottle of booze on the shelf…okay, that’s probably stretching it, but the idea is still there. We were unknown, mysterious, creepy. And there was no point in going into the differences between types of pagans. Who would understand?
Then came today.
There I was, in the grocery line, buying a used copy of Skeleton Key (ask Cory & Laine at New World Witchery for all the hoodoo details that are in it) and frozen pizza and I end up chatting with the guy in line behind me about the movie.
Now being me, I couldn’t bring myself to refer to the practice in it as Voodoo when I’m pretty darn sure it’s Hoodoo. Sure, it’s a teeny detail that wouldn’t matter to a muggle, but still, I felt the need to be precise in my statement. It’s possible he misheard me, but I don’t think so, and he didn’t blink at all over the word usage and he understood what I was talking about.
In fact, he joked about having never tried that [hoodoo]. I suggested everything should be tried at least once in life. He agreed. And then we both acknowledged that the conversation had travelled to an odd place.
The mystique, it might be gone, or at least lessened. The subtle unspoken nervousness that could be generated by a well placed word, gone. The sideways glance, the shifting away, gone. I know we’re going for greater understanding and acceptance from society at large, but, but
I think I miss scaring random strangers.