So you want to be a witch?
My 11 year old daughter has been considering it. But it has certain side-effects.
For instance, she is struggling towards goth-dom by wearing skulls and whatever black she can find. Somehow, in my blended tribe of a household, she's managed to come across a black fleece blanket and black pillow case. She has read those more recent vampire books (my generation was Anne Rice) and really is shaping up to be some sort of 'glam goth' theme.
This was bound to happen.
I think that there are a lot of things that we correlate in our early adventures towards the idea of witchcraft. The idea of mystery. It is figuratively shrouded in darkness to many, and that figurativeness translates into literal. We sometimes ride the line of being blatantly ritualistic to oversimplification (HMMM...the solid silver chalice crafted in 1802 with some history behind it or the hand-thrown one that my buddy made under full moonlight and ritually blessed???). As 'noobs' or outsiders coming in, sometimes it is hard to process the differences between necessity and comfort, between practical and not-so-practical.
For instance....I have several athames laying about. When I feel I need a little more masculine force, I use a crude iron one that my husband made on the forge many years ago. When I have a group, I use a silver-colored one that is 'mass produced' and a little fancy, and when I am alone, I use the small, plain one that I bought at the dollar store when I was 16 (EONS ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth).
But differences? Differences only come with experience. You can see them, you can get to learn them, but it is the experience which makes us more adept at what we are doing. Eventually, the self-starters, their black clothes will fall away, their loud pagan jewelry will minimize, and their swishy gypsy clothes might be saved for faire or ritual or something instead of public, everyday wear.
Now, not everyone 'grows up'. I don't expect them to. If I could get away with being perfectly acceptable in 'gypsy clothes' at work, you're dern right I'd wear 'em out of personal preference (They're loose-fitting, comfortable, colorful, and damn CUTE). But short of a stunt or reputation in the pagan community, most of the people I have met that are serious about their craft, well, I haven't noticed all the 'trims or trappings' out in public (they generally save that for ritual, if at all).
Not saying that it doesn't have it's place and each to their own, but personally, I'd rather be taken seriously than look like a Rennie whack-job (no offense to my beloved Rennie friends).
So I think I'll humor her, then point out the differences. Maybe she'll just grow out of it.