Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
Nothing Special... Part Two
The Third Path
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Rights and Perceptions
Article ID: 8103
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,432
Times Read: 2,793
Posted: December 28th. 2003
Times Viewed: 2,793
Where are we really? In my experience, we have a long way to go before true acceptance is achieved. I live in the heart of the Bible Belt and I see the intolerance and the ignorance every day. Even those who are trying to be "accepting" are usually vaguely insulting.
While I am not in the closet, I don't advertise either. It would probably be detrimental to my husband's career and my children's social lives if I were completely out. My husband is a soldier in the US Army, as I was for 14 years. There is no greater example of a cross-section of the melting pot that is the United States. And yet, there is almost no acceptance among the higher ranks of who and what I am. I have had my superiors flat out tell me that I did not deserve my children, that I was going to hell, that I was an embarrassment to the military. Let's keep in mind here that this statement was delivered to me, a soldier with an exemplary military record, above and beyond the call of duty. Let's also note that this same man had been in more disciplinary trouble than several soldiers put together. But because I was Pagan, I was a horrible soldier and person.
Recently, a good friend found out that I was Pagan. Her e-mail to me stated that she didn't hold it against me and that it wouldn't affect our friendship. Excuse me? Wouldn't hold it against me? Am I supposed to be grateful that she isn't going to hold MY choice of religion against me? Shouldn't it have been a non-issue? How would she have felt if I had told her that following Catholicism wouldn't affect our friendship? Why is Paganism always something to be tolerated? I feel that I should expect the same respect for my beliefs that many of more mainstream religions DEMAND.
My point is that I think there is a lot of misconception out there about who and what we are. The first thing anyone says to me when they discover my religion is that I don't look like a Pagan! I try not to smack them across the head and to calmly explain that Pagans are as diverse a group as any other. I try to explain that Pagans are all around them: as doctors, teachers, plumbers, lawyers, mothers, fathers, neighbors. That there are so many more facets to Paganism than the ones they see portrayed in the media and in the movies. Some may very well fit the stereotype, while many do not, and that is okay! I am the perfect example of this. On the surface, I am a 33-year-old, redheaded, slightly chubby (little stretch there!), Army wife and mother of four boys. I spend my days in track pants and a ponytail, chasing kids, a cat and a puppy. I take my son to karate, help another with his homework. I bake cookies, clean the house, cook dinner, change diapers. My mom is my best friend. My favorite color is lavender and I love the hair bands of the 80's. I collect anything cow-themed. I wear a pentagram around my neck. That is the only outward sign that makes me different. And why is that? Because I am not any different. I love my life, my husband, my kids, my family, my country. And I love my God and my Goddess.
Too many non-Pagans assume they understand Paganism and all that it stands for. Not too long ago, I was rudely approached by a non-Pagan woman. She asked me if that was a pentagram around my neck. I said that it was and she immediately tried to rip it off my neck. When asked what her issue was, I was told that I was in love with Satan and deserved to die in eternal pain. So, I asked her if she really knew anything about my beliefs. She could not come up with a single accurate fact. So, I told her that my beliefs centered on the basic tenet of "An it harm none, do what thou will," basically the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." I explained to her what my personal beliefs were and how I lived my life around them. In talking to her, I was able to point out some of the similarities between her beliefs and mine. When we parted, she hugged me, thanked me, and told me that she had no idea how truly in line with one another her basic beliefs and mine were. Surprisingly, she and I are on the road to becoming close friends. She has asked to borrow some of the books in my library because she said she was tired of being ignorant.
I wish there were more people like her. I don't expect all people to completely understand my religion and all that it entails. All I expect is the respect to hold my beliefs and have them honored as valid as any other. I think there is still much work to be done before the Pagan community as a whole can be accepted as a valid religion, instead of as a passing phase or fad. Too many times, my beliefs are dismissed as invalid or temporary. Too many believe that Paganism is merely a cult or Satan's "cover" or that its followers are suffering from low self-esteem. On the brink of the New Year, my resolution is to be more open and honest about who and what I am. If it takes confrontation to foster knowledge, so be it. I am a Witch and proud of it!!!
Location: Fort Huachuca, Arizona
Author's Profile: To learn more about Kim - Click HERE
Bio: Kiki is a practicing solitary, following a green path. She has been studying/practicing for about six years and is always learning more. She is a US Army vet and a mom of four, trying to raise her family in the best way she can. She is also a small-time published writer of children's stories.
Other Articles: Kim has posted 1 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Kim... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
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