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?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
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.
I'm Not Proud To Be Pagan
Article ID: 13856
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,167
Times Read: 8,355
RSS Views: 12,812
Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 14th. 2010
Times Viewed: 8,355
In a previous piece here on Witchvox, I related the story of how I dared to show up at a hot, Southern Pagan Pride event in *gasp* shorts and a T-shirt rather than the apparent requisite flowing skirt, glitter and fairy wings. One of the other attendees took offense at my attire and sent me a very nasty anonymous email taking me to task for not being “Pagan enough” to present at the event.
What I didn’t mention in that previous piece is that my anonymous e-mailer also railed at me for packing up my husband and then- 2 1/2 –year-old child and leaving the event shortly before the local anti-Pagan protesters were scheduled to arrive (nice of the protesters to let us know when they were coming) . In the words of my angry e-mailer, my not staying to confront the protesters was proof that I wasn’t “proud to be Pagan, ” apparently because I wanted my hot, not-napped-yet toddler away from the protesters and into a nice, air-conditioned car.
But the accusation that I wasn’t “proud to be Pagan” made me think, and in the two years since, I’ve come to the conclusion that no, I’m not proud to be Pagan.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed to be Pagan – I’m perfectly happy in my religion of choice and have desire to call myself anything else. If I thought my Paganism were a shameful thing, I sure as heck would not be here writing about it so often! I also would not have married another Pagan, which I did in 2001, nor would we be raising our daughter in this faith.
I am not proud to be Pagan in the same way I am not proud to have brown hair. My hair color is just a part of me; so is my faith. I am not proud to be Pagan in the same way I am not proud to be monogamous with my spouse – it’s just in my (and his) emotional makeup to be happier with just one lover; it’s just in my emotional makeup to be happier being Pagan than I was anything else (Christian and Buddhist, specifically) . With the exception of mentioning it here, do I run around announcing to the world that’s not part of my marriage that I’ve chosen monogamy? Of course not. Nor do I need to constantly announce to the non-Pagan world that I am one.
That being said, I am very proud of some of the things I’ve done since I’ve become Pagan – both spiritual and not. I’ve been Pagan since I was twenty-two years old (which is over half a lifetime ago) , so I have a pretty long list of accomplishments including graduating from college at the tender age of forty-six, helping start two Pagan festivals, one of which is celebrating its 25th year in 2010, and having two books published and another one on the way. But being proud of things I’ve done while I also happened to identify as Pagan – even Pagan things – and being proud to *be* Pagan are not the same.
Despite my experiences two years ago at this Pagan Pride event – and believe me, these folks are *not* typical of what I or anyone else experiences at a Pagan Pride festival – I honestly enjoy the chance to spend time in Pagan Space with my “peeps” and in the figurative arms of my community. I value the workshops and shopping opportunities and networking that these events provide. But this still does not mean that I am proud to be something I just do. I am not particularly proud of breathing.
One could make the argument that I could be proud of my Pagan or “witchy” abilities. What abilities? Reading tarot? Planning and running a Sabbat ritual for up to twenty people? Teaching? Why? Should I be proud of my ability to carry a tune in a bucket? I’m not. It’s just part of what I am. Should I be proud of my ability to drive a car? I’m not – it’s a life skill I need to get things done, just like running a ritual or reading tarot. (Okay, I’ll admit that I’m a little proud of my ability to drive a stick shift car, but only because I’m better at it than my husband who is usually better at everything. But I digress.) My “skills” are like other people’s ability to draw or play a musical instrument well enough to make a living at it – in other words, a gift from the Gods and therefore nothing I should take pride in because, in my opinion, the Gods are at least willing to give similar or even better gifts to all of us. I’m not even remotely unique in this. So why should I be proud of my Gods-given talents?
The concept of Pagan pride is varying and relative, just like the concept of patriotism. As the daughter-in-law of a veteran, I always stand when the flag goes by during a parade, and I am teaching his granddaughter to do the same. However, this is a very different level of patriotism from people who love their country so much that they join a branch of the military in order to help defend it. I honor people who make this choice, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them, but it’s not one I would make for myself.
So it should be in the Pagan community. I honor and appreciate the ones who are willing to face our detractors when and if they choose to confront us at a public event, but in general I will personally choose not to. Not so much because I’ve done my share of counter-protesting in my younger days (my husband is constantly amazed that I was never arrested for this; so am I) , but because – as I was at the above-mentioned Pagan pride event – I am often accompanied by a preschooler, a 20-pound dog, or both. Apparently in some people’s eyes I would get an “A” grade for “standing up to the fundies” but I would rather get an “A” as a responsible parent and dog owner and actively remove the small, relatively helpless beings I am directly responsible for from what could be a potentially dangerous situation. If this labels me as somehow ashamed of my faith, so be it. I’d rather be a good parent and a bad Pagan than a good Pagan and a bad parent.
There is no standard in our community, as I mentioned in an earlier piece, of what constitutes “Pagan enough.” This is a good thing – I suspect not one of us would meet that standard.
In the meantime, I don’t have to be proud to be Pagan. I just am one.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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