Growing Up Pagan: Dealing with Opposition
Article ID: 14570
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,019
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Author: Bear Stormcrowe
Posted: July 10th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,292
"On every full moon, rituals ... take place on hilltops, beaches, in open fields and in ordinary houses. Writers, teachers, nurses, computer programmers, artists, lawyers, poets, plumbers, and auto mechanics -- women and men from many backgrounds come together to celebrate the mysteries of the Triple Goddess of the Dance of Life. The religion they practice is called Witchcraft." -- Starhawk
In the age of technology, information concerning The Craft comes readily available for all inquiring minds to find. This is such that those who oppose the practice of witchcraft could find that their beliefs concerning us, witches, as a whole are false and ill-founded. Earlier and earlier I see the craft taking hold of those young ones in early middle school even and what frightens me is this: The opposition they will face should they choose to walk the Well Worn Path.
At 21, growing up in a southern Baptist household has had its infuriating moments but also its liberating moments as well. It can be a difficult road to travel until you root yourself deep into the soil from which all life on earth prospers which is why I offer my own story and my own technique (if one could call it a technique, it is more of mindset) to keep yourself firmly planted as a child of the earth.
Allow me to start with the most recent occurrence, as this will create the base of the rest of my little anecdote. My mother is a born and raised Southern Baptist woman hell bent on the glory of God. As of late, her mother (who is also Southern Baptist) fell ill to lung cancer of both types: Small Cell and Large Cell, which spread to various places in her body. After having put her mother in the nursing home, my mom and I began sifting through her belonging in her trailer that she was not allowed to take with her to the home. On the way back to my home, I engaged in casual conversation with my mom where she began talking about wanting Kristy (my fiancée) and I to be happy and do the right thing. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is really sweet of her” until she spoke words I couldn’t believe:
“I don’t like some of the things that you do. I don’t like you having all those Witchcraft books in your room.” After this my mind went blank, I stared out into the thick dark of the night and listened to her in pieces, “I want to y’all to do the right thing…” then babbling and then…to my shock, “I want to be able to love my grandkids.”
I was floored. How could this woman seriously spit out those words in my presence? It was a clear indication of how my and Kristy’s choice to raise our children pagan would affect the family glue.
[Allow me to sidebar for a moment: At this point, the family glue became very unimportant to me. End of sidebar.]
I sat there, mouth open slightly at what she said. Regardless of religious preference, her love for her grandchildren and her child for that matter shouldn’t change. Of course, growing up I was always been looked down upon for taking up an interest in things different from the “Christian Way”. I always wanted to plant trees, herbs, and flowers and I always felt that I had a power in me that I could use to help others—help the earth. Part of me wanted to cry, and part of me wanted to come out and say, “Look, I’m pagan and I will raise my children that way.” Alas, I cannot come out to my family because then I would have no place to live (and being a student…that’s kind of a bad thing.)
So what now?
Handling Those Who Oppose You
In such situations as mine, it is a very iffy thing to come out to your family when you know for certain you will be alienated from them for the rest of your life. However, I am very open about my secretive practice. I have my altar set up in my room so when you open my door it is there in plain view; I give my mom and dad herbal remedies and ideas to help calm their ailments; and I show my concern for the planet and even sat down with my mom and picked out trees from the arbor day foundation (Four of which were part of the Nine Sacred Trees) to plant in the yard this spring/summer. My point?
Gradually ease your family and friends into the ideals and practices of the craft. Getting to the point where you can tell them what you are with full confidence that they know Pagan and Wiccan religions are not about devil-worshiping but honoring the earth, the Gods and Goddesses, and honoring yourself may take a long time. In all honesty, it may take until the day you move out of your childhood home to get to that point and even then it is not a guarantee that they will accept your lifestyle with open arms.
Never get discouraged by this though. If you are at peace with yourself and you know that this is the right path, never falter from it. My mother basically said if my children, her grandchildren, were raised in the craft she could never be able to love them; yet, I still stand strong in the light of my Gods and Goddesses and I am happy. Do what makes you happy, and never change to placate someone just because they feel it is wrong. Offer information and practices as you go along. If you are apt to cooking do some kitchen witchery. Take a page from a green witch and plant an herb garden, flowers, and trees and use those in many aspects of your life and offer healing things to those you love as gifts.
As always, I write this article in the light of Lugh and Danu and with love to all my fellow Pagans and Earth-Children. May bright blessings and prosperity come your way and as always—Blessed Be.
-Adam Osborne (Sacred Magick)
Eclectic Pagan, High Priest, and Lightworker.
Location: Salisbury, North Carolina
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