Your browser does not support script

Pagan Perspectives

Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

The Rules
Note: The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

For Further
Visit The

WitchVox List
of 242
'Net Sites:

Chat Boards
Email Lists
IRC Channels

Past Questions
112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

102. Do Interfaith Conferences/ Discussions Work? - [29]

101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

96. If You Were Granted Three Wishes... - [179]

95. How Do You Feel About War? - [153]

94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

93. Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds? - [56]

92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

90. Which Christmas Ghost Would You Like To Be? - [82]

89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

88. Are We Alone in The Universe? - [67]

87. The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes? - [50]

86. How’s Your Gratitude Attitude? - [64]

85. What’s Your Motivation? - [97]

84. Between the Veils: What Did You See? - [80]

83. Time to Talk Politics and Elections… - [109]

82. Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings - [50]

81. ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past? - [97]

80. Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other? - [104]

79. Have You Switched Pagan Paths? - [110]

78. Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan? - [268]

77. Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists? - [91]

76. America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer? - [103]

75. So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web? - [43]

74. What is/was your 2002 New Year's resolution - [23]

73. Do You Believe in Faeries? - [44]

72. Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible? - [28]

71. How Do YOU View the Balance of Light and Dark? - [22]

70. What's News? - [22]

69. What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? - [17]

68. Are You Wild About Harry? - [80]

67. What Is Music? - [18]

66. What Did You Do this Samhain? - [8]

65. What ARE the most "Frequently Asked Questions' About Witches? - [31]

64. What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations? - [119]

63. Have You Done Any Protection Spells or Workings? - [38]

62. What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"? - [77]

61. Are You Willing To Give Up Some Civil Liberties To Be Safe? - [69]

60. What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? - [289]

59. 911 America: Talking Through The Terror... - [969]

58. What Are Your Plans For Fall? - [21]

57. If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - [56]

56. What Would You Like to See at The Voice? - [65]

55. What Lies Beyond? - [28]

54. What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind? - [18]

53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

52. Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival? - [26]

51. What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"? - [44]

50. What's Your Magickal Focus? - [33]

49. Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - [41]

48. How Fares The First Amendment? - [20]

47. Are you a Talker or a Listener? - [14]

46. Predator and Prey - What Beasts Live Within You? - [44]

45. Who Do You Trust? - [22]

44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

43. What's On Your Balloon? - [52]

42. Is There An Energy Crisis? - [30]

41. What Makes You So Special? - [33]

40. What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - [101]

39. Who Are Your Gods? - [55]

38. What Are The Greatest Challenges That Pagans Face Today? - [35]

37. What's On Your Altar? - [45]

36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

29. How About Some New Holidays? - [39]

28. Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? - [93]

27. Where Are The Pagan Social Programs? Do We Care? - [22]

26. What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan? - [87]

25. What Are The Boundaries? - [26]

24. What is Pagan History and What is Pagan Belief? - [44]

23. Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"? - [61]

22. What More Do You Want To Know About Paganism? - [45]

21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

19. What do YOU of our newest entry into the Presidential Political Pool? - [61]

20. What have YOU done to trace your family history? - [11]

18. Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas! - [43]

17. Does Older Equal Better? - [199]

16. What is the best gift that you ever received? - [28]

15. What are YOU Thankful For? - [87]

14. The Unresolved US Election - [263]

13. Divination - [29]

12. Pagan Choice for the y2k US Election - [129]

11. Hollywood Hype - [74]

10. Money and the Craft - [82]

9. Pagan Jokes and Humorous Stories - [37]

8. Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans - [63]

7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

5. Pagan books/web sites-dynamic or drivel? - [46]

4. The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View? - [181]

3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 25,799,948  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 181

Lurker/Post Ratio: 181 to 1

Question of the Week: 4 - 8/27/2000

The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View?

Some Pagans feel that it might be better if everyone Pagan was just open about their beliefs. Some, on the other hand, are sick of 'in your face' Pagans or groups. Others feel that in some areas of the country being "in" is almost a necessity. But we've also heard some background grumbling that expresses rather resentfully that those who remain hidden are simply reaping the benefits earned-while experiencing none of the backlash-by those who are openly fighting for pagan rights.

The apprehension of what the impact of openly declaring a pagan belief might be on a family or work relationship is as much a concern in the decision-making process as what the reaction of a neighborhood or community might be in other cases. So, are YOU in or out? How far out is 'too far' out? What are the pitfalls or the rewards? Why should everyone be out, in, or just make his or her own decision about the broomcloset occupancy rate.

 Reponses:   There are 181 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

I Like To Show People The Courtesy That I Expect From Them... Sep 1st. at 7:12:54 pm EDT

blackthorne (walnut creek, California US) Age: 35 - Email

I like to show people the courtesy that I expect from them. I don't expect the question about religion to come up with people in the workplace because I consider it rude, and I also do not want to know what religion the other workers are..If they want to tell me fine..but I don't want religion to be a game of show and tell. Even people who are pagan-friendly can be obnoxious with thier questions. I have had occasion to tell people about it at times, and I have had

the most wonderfull of not caring. Total Apathy. I think that we can all revel in what a wonderfull think in these times.

I Like To Think That I Have One Foot In And One... Sep 1st. at 8:08:17 pm EDT

Spicy (Victoria, British Columbia CA) Age: 26 - Email

I like to think that I have one foot in and one foot out.I have been rudiculed so many times about my religion that it is hard for me to maintain the "out of the closet".I wear my pentacle with pride and I answer questions openly and honestly to those that really want to hear.Others just give the "look" and carry on.My closest friends and my family know my religion.However my mother being a baptist had a problem with it in the beginning untill she took the time to listen to me and to stop thinking of me as a "broom-riding satanist".I feel that society has driven people to think of evil when they hear the word witch or when they see a pentacle.I was told at work to not wear my pentacle and I took it off right then and there and asked them to take off their cross.Discrimination, hatered and ignorance has what kept me some-what in the closet for the saftey of my children and my home.

I Am Not Wiccan Or Pagan, I Actually Do Not Know What... Sep 1st. at 9:40:49 pm EDT

Kimba (Las Vegas, Nevada US) Age: 33 - Email

I am not wiccan or pagan, I actually do not know what "religion" I am since society has to label everything. I wanted to be Celtic Christian, because I do believe in a natural state of being, in energies that heal and guide, and in one God..But, was turned away for not being catholic. I am with alot of others that have posted about not wanting the bible thumpers in your face or religion shoved down your throat. People see what you are on the outside and make a judgement without even getting to know YOU the INSIDE. It is sad when you even get the weirdest looks when people find out you read tarot cards, much less hear about your religious practices. I do know the persecution that society can inflict on people first hand, and I just do not understand it. I really don't. Hopefully one day our children will be able to live in peace and harmony, no matter their religion, skin color, or backround, one can only hope.

Unfortuneately, In Some Areas Of The Country, It Is Still Not Safe... Sep 1st. at 10:34:07 pm EDT

Gaoth (Small Town, Oklahoma US) Age: 38

Unfortuneately, in some areas of the country, it is still not safe to come out of the closet. Those, who like me live in the "bible belt" know what I mean. You can still have serious problems because of your beliefs. If you live in a small town, it is much worse. There is NO pagan community to support you, and an organized, powerful "christian" community to harass you. Why come out of the closet, when to do so would only cost you friends, business opportunities, and in some cases, even be dangerous.

Those of us who live in these areas know that the burning times are not as far removed as some might think. We still have to be extremely careful who we trust with our secret. Those of you who live in more "liberated" areas, should be thankful that you can be more open about who you are, but don't be too quick to judge those of us who must remain hidden for now.

That is my opinion, for now some of us must stay in the closet.

I Am Both In And Out. "what?" You Ask. How Can You... Sep 1st. at 11:46:22 pm EDT

Emerald Wave (Dallas, Texas US) Age: 21 - Email

I am both in and out. "What?" you ask. How can you be both? Well, my husband knows, of course. Then my friends here in Texas know. But my family and my husband's family, NO, and big N-O. I also want peace in my family. All of my family are strict Baptists and I already get the "why haven't you found a chruch home" every time I talk to them. My husband's family, well they are Christian as is he. They don't push it on me, but if his family did know they would definitely flip! So there I am in the "broom closet."

One the other hand I am out. I wear my pentagram necklace and my crystals. I don't shy away when religion comes up in conversation. I have a few Pagan friends and we don't run away to shadowy corners to discuss our religion. So there I am out.

Now for the benefits, well. Being IN the proverbial closet keeps family peace and avoids severe prayer and intervention by loved ones. Being OUT allows me to be comfortable with myself, and I definitely enjoy life more.

As for the pitfalls, IN makes me uncomfortable and not myself. OUT means everyone and their brother will at some point ask for a love spell! (I work at a resturant and I think that it is a prerequisite to have a messed love life to work there.LOL)OUT also proves to definitely be the uphill road. I have already had an intervention from the Jehovah's Witness cook that works with me.

All in all, I believe that it should be a personal choice. As far as how much is too much, well, we will just have to trust that our fellow Pagans will remember the burning times and know when enough is enough.

I Come From An Area That Is Mixed And Diversed With Religion... Sep 1st. at 11:58:22 pm EDT

Quinn J Roundy (Brigham City, Utah US) Age: 21 - Email

I come from an area that is mixed and diversed with religion. I go to work to find many of a like mind with me as well as those who opose my beliefs but not me. So in short I am out of the closet.

I am moving to a high christian area (Utah) and have not as yet considered the notion of whether or not I should reveal myself there or not.

I think that if you live in a community that persecute witches and pagans than you should remain in the closet just for your own protection. There are other ways to protest and defend your beliefs.

Even though I do live in a open community I am currently facing criminal charges which relate to the practice of witchcraft. I have not yet been tried and feel that I have a very good chance of "winning" my case. If this case was held in Utah (where I am moving in one week) then I would not attempt and simply plea guilty and pay penalty.

I am not an activist, I belief that there is a difference between believing and enforcing in a faith. When people ask me about my beliefs I openly explain what we are and are not. If people persecute me I have the option and means to ignore or walk away. I believe that trying to convince somebody of something that they are already against is futile. Pagans and Witches have seldom been "evangilists".

As far as reward for being an open person about my beliefs, I think that making friends and finding support is the greatest and most important thing you find.

As far as pitfalls, well, I am being sued because of the ignorance of the local police and do still hear harsh words from many (thou most people just give dirty looks)

These are just my thoughts and beliefs, do with them what you will and Blessed Be.

PS: the city shown below is where I am moving and not where I am at now.

Well, I'm Essentially Out, But I Don't Broadcast It Nor, Which I... Sep 2nd. at 12:01:20 am EDT

Luis Felipe Morales (Santa Barbara, California US) Age: 23 - Email

Well, I'm essentially out, but I don't broadcast it NOR, which I think is just as bad as broadcasting and which IMNSHO displays the same underlying insecurities, do I rabidly jump on every opportunity to tell people I'm a pagan. If they ask, or if it seems VERY appropriate to the conversation, I am as open about it as I can be, given my own underlying insecurities and slight apprehension as to most people's reactions.

The exception to this is that I have quite methodically outed myself, always in private and almost always in person, to my nuclear family, relatives I'm particularly close to, and all my close friends. Reactions have varied (my a-little-too-Christian sister avoids the issue, my mother smiled at me and said "I raised my kids to know what they were doing and I trust you to make the right decisions for your own life." (big ups to Mom!).

As a matter of fact my more liberal friends have rather blithely accepted it, while my devout Christian friends have actively engaged me in discussion! I much prefer the latter, to be sure, as long as it remains civil, which admittedly it hasn't always -- I have one friend, a pastor-in-training, who manages to bring out a lot of the anger I still feel at Christianity's habit of active dissemination of disinformation and we thus don't always stay too civil -- but there again, I have one friend who emailed me: "I know that if you've chosen to be a pagan, that means you've done a lot of thinking and reading and research -- I know you didn't choose blindly. But I don't understand your choice to be a pagan. Please tell me about it. I want to know more." (Big ups Margie!)

Now, I have the freedom to be out, as out as I care to be, because I live in Santa Barbara, California -- now while many of our liberals are just guilty rich liberals, we do have a sizable granola contingent and not too much in the way of hardline Christianity, except perhaps among our Latino population, which appears to basically choose between hardcore Catholicism and hardcore evangelist Protestantism (DISCLAIMER: Yes, I'm Latino. No, I'm not a 'member of the community.' This is a halfass opinion based on equally halfass observation.)

So not everyone has my freedom to be out. Not everyone lives in SB -- some of us still live in my native Santa Maria, Gods help 'em!

Of course there IS a 'too far out.' It's when I think I'd rather be dealing with an entire Foursquare youth ministry than with your obnoxious Pagan ass.

And of course I think everyone makes his/her own decision. There is no why; it's a basic human right called 'self-determination.' 'Those who remain hidden' have made a decision to be so and 'those who are openly fighting for pagan rights' have also decided: they are fighting (not solely, but obviously) in their OWN self-interest and have no need to be dog-in-the-manger about it when their good works trickle down to benefit cryptoPagans.

Me? I'm somewhere in the middle, fighting, if what I do is fighting, one person at a time.

Well I Am Out. I Hav Always Been A Public Witch But... Sep 2nd. at 2:21:48 am EDT

Fey (Hubbard, Ohio US) Age: 38 - Email

Well I am out. I hav always been a public witch but as I am sure you know it can be hazardous and always entertaining. ( car vandalized, threats, cat exterminated.) But I could not live in the closet. I have more than enough trouble being one person let alone two.

But all joking aside I really respect the members of our group for their choice to stay in the closet. I know this choice is a hard one because so much comes into play. You have the right to be an open witch....but can youu live with what may occur afterwards. So sadly enough that is what it comes down to...what is right and what you can live with.

But I also feel that to stay underground merely helps encourage the air of doubt and lack of knowledge that got us a little hot in past generations. Fear=Doubt=Suspicion=Hate. How can we blast away at the clouds surrounding us if everyone is not able to stand and be counted. So you see I am at a cross purpose. It is a rough call to make but in the end it is your call.

Well. I Used To Be Very Open And Didnt Care Who Knew... Sep 2nd. at 3:07:28 am EDT

Aspen (Gulf Shores, Alabama US) Age: 17 - Email

Well. I used to be very open and didnt care who knew that i was Wiccan.But i ran into a large problem.The majority of the people in my city and especially my school are, by their heritage, very descriminitory. That group of peple got the information of the members of my coven and started harassing us.Now this was not a just a group of kids harassing us with the usual "FREAK", this was a very large group of the more known people making threats on our lives.

Well we took the matter to the faculty and made complaints, and were ignored the first time. So the parents again scheduled a confrence, and were againg ignored, because the faculty knew we were not chirstian, and held that to mean that we were lowest priority. We took the matter to our local law enforcement and got some of the kids making death treats put in jail(due to their privious police records) and took the matter with the administration to the board of education, and had my principal "fired".

Im still open about my beliefs, but im more selective on who knows now. But I do belive that all pegans should be open to some extent, we dont need to be yelling out to everyone we pass, but we also dont need to keep it a secret.

This Is A Very Good Question For All Wiccans And Pagans To... Sep 2nd. at 3:47:17 am EDT

Dragonis Firemist (Harwinton, Connecticut US) Age: 41

This is a very good question for all Wiccans and Pagans to seriously give thought to. Some of the things to factor in are, your social position in the comunity in which you live, the type of job you have and the position you hold in the company. For example with myself I let the people in my comunity know my religious beliefs if they ask, followed by an explanation of what it is. Yet at my job there are people who know what my religous beliefs are and I am constantly being reminded to not let the clients I work with know. I am a counselor for troubled boys in a reform school and I have been warned that my religous beliefs are not open for discussion with any of them. I have also had to be very careful in some public settings as to whom I mention what my religion is, the other day I was in a shop which sold curio items, that so many of us Wiccans like to explore, when the clerk mentioned to me about a youth craft day sponsored by a local Christian church. The clerk new my position as a counselor, but did not know my religious beliefs, when asked I explained in detail and was told by another customer in the vicinity that my beliefs where sacriligous at the least and that society should still burn people like us. One must be careful what one says in public, there are still fundies who do not like us.

Personal Safety And Safety Of Family And Friends Should Be Taken Into... Sep 2nd. at 8:41:24 am EDT

Cellina Rhiannon (Madison, Virginia US) Age: 28 - Email

Personal safety and safety of family and friends should be taken into consideration while timidly stepping out of the closet. Everyone has a right to privacy especially in a world where that is slipping away from us. I feel that if one is comfortable with the pace of exposure, then one has a right to either linger in the doorway or come out with drums and horns blazing. It is up to the individual and should at no time feel threatened or harrassed. We are each unique and sensitive persons here to bring in the light of enlightenment to all. It is up to each how this done. The decision isn't just black and white, many parts of life are realy quite gray.

I've Always Believed That It's A Totally Personal Decision. I Must Say... Sep 2nd. at 9:42:59 am EDT

Hera (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 30

I've always believed that it's a totally personal decision.

I must say that I am selective about whom I reveal my beliefs to. What I definitely know is that in today's world, people are more aware of Pagans and Wiccans than ever before. I am surprised at people's reactions sometimes.

I have nothing to hide and I am proud of my beliefs and the path that I have chosen. I don't feel like I need to advertise to the world that I am a Witch, but I do believe that I have the right to speak of my beliefs just as freely as someone who is Catholic, etc, etc.

We've come a long way in dispelling the myths about Witchcraft, but I think we still have a way to go. As long as we continue to stand together, in time we will receive the same respect and be taken just as seriously as any other religion. Whether you choose to stay in the Broomcloset or not is a personal decision. Whatever your decision... You are Witch, and you should be proud!

Blessed Be!

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15  

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.