Today my son and I are going house hunting.
We hope to find a place with enough rooms so we can rent out at least one, a nice private back yard, a Circle room, and a full basement.
The private backyard is important. It's nice to have a place to do outdoor ritual on warm Esbat evenings or for Sabbat barbecues.
Although, having a tall fence doesn't necessarily mean privacy.
I remember one Lughnasadh, many many years ago, in Bakersfield, California when several policemen BROKE through my 6 foot tall gate and nastily challenged my group! They had the street blocked off with police cars, and guns were drawn.
I left the ritual in charge of my Priest and took the uniformed guys aside.
"Why are you here? What do you want?"
Their response was, "What is that KNIFE for?"
"It's a ritual blade, never used for cutting anything. It represents the element AIR in our tradition. Why are you here? What do you want?
"What's that FIRE for?"
"We're having a barbecue??? Why are you here, What do you want?"
In the end, their explanation was that the smoke from our fire was going into the air conditioning unit next door, and that is why they needed 8 policeman to break my gate.
I asked, "Isn't that a job for the Fire Department?"
This was during the Satanic Panic in Kern County. A book by Jeffrey Victor, a policeman, explains it all. A social worker led children to report abuse, falsely. The resulting panic resulted in many ruined lives. It was insane! The authorities were digging up people's living rooms and backyards, searching for bodies that did not exist.
Here is an article on some of the cases leading up to the full blown panic, at which point the Feds were called in to put a stop to the abuse by authorities.
This is one reason many of us left the Valley.
In retrospect, none the people arrested, as in the Salem trials, were witches at all. They were Christians. And in the end, the culprits destroying so many lives were one policeman and one misguided, mentally ill social worker with a vendetta.
It was a frightening time, however. And any witch who thinks the United States of America guarantees religious freedom or who thinks, 'It can't happen to me!" is kidding themselves.
Read the book and the articles on the Satanic Panic of the mid-1980s.
There are reasons for staying in the closet.