Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 14232
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,150
Times Read: 3,209
RSS Views: 15,391
Author: Lori Dake
Posted: January 16th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,209
Many times, I will post a comment somewhere on ‘Teh Interwebz’ or state something at a social gathering that goes against the grain. Because of my unconventional views, I am either automatically dismissed for being ________, without even giving my thoughts the same consideration as what others receive. It becomes even more puzzling when I do agree with the general consensus, and my views are still dismissed. I suppose I should just chalk it up to sheeple mentality, wanting to be encompassed by bobble-headed yes men, and I usually do, but I must admit, sometimes it really annoys me.
I'm just... complicated. My beliefs are not at the forefront of everything I do, nor is my family, my view on politics, my business, my diet or even my fashion sense. I believe everything should be in balance, and those who pour everything into one issue miss the big picture of why we're even here. It's true we can't please everyone all of the time, but what does it take to please at least the majority once in a blue moon? I suppose I'll never be a good politician, simply because my views are indeed so complex.
I suppose I just wonder if there are other Pagans out there who feel just as isolated. At this time of year, we Magical Folk are brought out into the spotlight, and for many of us, it can become rather unpleasant. “She doesn't speak for me!” is always going to surface, unless the interview is so sterile and generic that the final draft becomes a rather boring read. I “dress up” for the Sabbats, but sometimes I feel more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. The time the Chicago Sun-Times sought my family out for the standard “What Real Witches Do” article some years back, we put on our garb and set up our altar for the photo op. It felt incredibly staged to me, but I went along with it, as I know it's important to let the world know us otherwise “normal” folk do indeed exist. I tried to be as inclusive as possible with my responses, but when the article appeared in the paper a couple days later, I was kind of displeased with myself for wishing I would have put my foot down a bit more sternly.
Since then, I've made it my mission not to concern myself too much with making everyone happy, and it's ended up isolating me more than made me welcome in my own community. For example:
- We homeschooled our son, primarily so he would receive a solid education in a safe and nurturing environment. (Anyone who's watched the news in the last couple of years is well aware how bad the public high schools are in Chicago!) Because most homeschoolers still fulfill the stereotype of hard-line Christians, it was quite an effort to develop a secular curriculum that had a slant toward our beliefs and values.
Most Pagans I've met send their kids to public schools, even if the schools aren't good, because they harbor the socialistic ideal of making the schools better. That's great on paper and an ideal I do endorse, but at the end of the day, I simply could not risk our son's education and well-being suffering due to my politics.
- While I tend to sway toward the liberal side of things, I find myself occasionally siding with the Republicans and Tea Party folks on several issues. I may be fiscally conservative, because I do focus on the bottom line, but I take people into consideration with those facts and figures. What looks good on paper can in fact be decidedly cruel. However, just like the courts, I do not accept ignorance and stupidity as excuses. In that vein, I whole-heartedly endorse furthering educating the public about social aspects, because I believe by doing so, a lot of our financial problems can be quelled or even eliminated.
In New York, they're looking into banning soda from being used with food stamp dollars. I think it's a wonderful idea, because it serves no nutritional value. It's a great start, but I would like to take it further, sticking the shopping primarily to whole foods that need to be cooked. Some people cry out against it, citing those who are homeless or disabled from being able to feed themselves easily on a shopping list as that. I believe if the food stamp program was run more like WIC , which I have used both in my time of need (and have since paid back the taxpayers in spades!) , where cooking and nutritional classes are offered and severely limits what can be purchased (though I'd add fresh fruits and vegetables and make farmers markets required to accept the vouchers) , most of those issues would be dissolved. The taxpayers would be satisfied, and the stereotypes would be lessened.
- I believe there will always be a need for a well-funded and active military, if for no other reason, there are some seriously evil people in the world who would walk all over us otherwise. I am well aware this is a very hot topic within the Pagan community, and my thoughts on the matter  have been met with opposition, and at times outright hostility. Yes, I have a personal stake in the matter, but that is actually beside the point. I am very proud of our son, and while I too wish for peace, sometimes, it really does have to be gained with a sword rather than a pen. Bullies and terrorists of any variety, especially those who have no fear of consequences and are actually rewarded for their martyrdom, do not do sit-downs. They're nuts, plain and simple, and no amount of tolerance extension and sensitivity training is going to change several generations of hate and violence.
The American military culture has made vast improvements over the years in educating their personnel in acceptable ways to train their Warriors. In fact, the military was several years ahead of the curve with accepting black soldiers as equals , even if it was due to ulterior motives. (Sometimes, people just accept/tolerate things in spite of themselves. “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, ” is a pretty common mantra.)
But sadly, there is still a long way to go before dogmatism, racism, misogyny and homophobia are no longer issues. It's a work in progress, and from all the thousands of posts I've read and conversations I've had with military folks, I can have faith times are indeed changing. There is simply so much information out there, and many new recruits are accustomed to the new cultural landscape we civilians take as standards, so I say to please have patience but be vigilant nonetheless.
- We are equals, but we are not the same, and I think sometimes, people forget that. Variety is the spice of life, and in my experiences, in no other religious community is that more obvious than in ours. As we know, if one asks ten Pagans what they believe, they will get twenty answers. We don't subjugate ourselves to a strict list of do's and don'ts passed down to man from a single, authoritative deity who uses fear to instill blind obedience . Many of us were raised in just such a religious background, and our questioning of the aforementioned list led us to find another path that will lead us toward divinity.
Sure, we'll climb that mountain with some of the same people, and we should expect to give and receive a boost whenever it's truly needed. But never should we expect those people to be beside us the entire journey. If I think someone is going to follow a road that leads to a dead end, or if I think the path I'm taking looks a lot easier/more direct/quicker, I will probably disagree with him or her. But, as long as that person isn't going to cause harm to others, I'll wish the fool good luck with that. (Ha!)
So yes, I'm complicated, but that's because I'm Pagan. The way I see it, we should all be just as complex, even if those complexities don't have a whole lot in common with mine.
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