Articles/Essays From Pagans
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Banishments, Conjurings, and Hexes for a Modern World
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Saying the "P" Word
Article ID: 13701
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,329
Times Read: 4,454
RSS Views: 12,812
Posted: March 14th. 2010
Times Viewed: 4,454
Not too long ago, in the context of a charitable association I have through the coven that I co-lead, I was invited to a “thank- you” cocktail party. The experience inspired some bizarre behavior on my part. Let me explain.
Many witches and polytheists these days have an uncomfortable relationship with what is commonly called amongst many of us “the broom closet”. We are sometimes uncomfortable discussing our membership in a non-mainstream faith, despite all this “fastest growing religion” stuff we all keep quoting amongst ourselves (I keep hearing that phrase, but no one seems able to prove it very well, because the US census, as I understand it, does not keep religion data, or does not publish it, and the other metrics seem contradictory as to exactly how many or even how best to calculate this data…)
At any rate, despite the fact that I long ago firmly extricated myself and closed the door on that dusty closet and am open to family, friends, and even work colleagues, I sometimes feel the need to shield myself.
Which brings me back to the cocktail party. I was invited because our group regularly makes in-kind donations to this charity, something started by my first HPS. I left our info last year, so they contacted me, and so I went.
It was swell. Open bar, delectable snacks, and folks from across the do-gooder spectrum-postal workers, members of a Shul, (delightful couple) and teachers. This was my first such thank you event.
In retrospect, I was an idiot.
Some of the conversations I had went more or less like this:
ME: Hi, Nice to meet you. What group are you from? How did you find (charity x) (I am working on my shyness. So proud of myself here!
THEM: I am from (insert perfectly mundane group here. Local “Association of Florists”. Teachers. Postal workers.) We do an in-kind drive every year- we collect toys, clothing.
ME: That’s great. So does my group, but ours is very modest. (Biting in to tiny sliver of pizza, taking swig of vodka.)
THEM: What kind of group is that?
ME: Well… we kind of do… like… meditation…. folklore… mythology
THEM: Really? Like what?
ME: Oh, it’s just a group that hugs trees, meditates, does stuff...and I try to remind them to give back and all…
THEM: Oh. That’s nice. What is it called? What do you mean- hug trees??
ME: Ummm… how about those Mets? (Grabbing waiter for another snack)
I don’t know why, suddenly confronted with this situation, I felt the need to hide it and mumble and otherwise bury the “P” word. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that non-profit work is within my future career spectrum, and I didn’t want any raised eyebrows to go up in any kind of circle or circumstance where people with even an indirect and remote chance of impacting my future earning capacity are present.
But then, in retrospect, it occurred to me that they had the name of my group already in their files–though only my personal name was on the name tag they gave me for the reception–they had invited me with an envelope that had our group’s name on it (although spelled incorrectly) and why should I be ashamed of what I believe?
After all- wasn’t it those very beliefs that motivated me to organize our modest little in-kind donation in the first place?
I think so.
And isn’t my name already all over the Internet next to words that scream PAGAN if you truly wanted to search for it?
And even if it did impact my future career, would I want to work for an organization that subtly, and against the law, I might add, refused to hire me or promote me or otherwise utilize my skills because of my religious beliefs- when they should focus on my suitability for the job, and be rejecting me or accepting me on that basis alone? Even if I was desperate for a job and truly needed one right this second?
I realize that with my mouth and gregarious personality and enthusiasm for spirituality -- not just my own but my curiosity about others as well -- I should probably be more judicious about bringing up faith in conversation. “Religion is nobody’s business!” a fellow seeker on my path told me recently. And I suppose they are right- for them. And I mean no disrespect and try to respect other people’s wishes, even if they are contrary to what I would wish for myself.
But I have to admit- I find it hard sometimes to know what to do. To me, it seems like the only way we can start living in peace and not drive ourselves crazily unhappy in the process is to begin to deconstruct and cease the behavior that communicates that there is something wrong about being who we are, and to shield myself from you, I not am going to say what I am. Aside from the fact that it may be insulting to the listener–why should I presume they would denounce me?
How could we have begun discussing the notion of same-sex marriage as a nation if no one had avowed their identity back when the modern gay rights movement began? Seems to me that movement would have gone nowhere- instead of into the national consciousness and our state and federal legislatures.
I am not saying that this is the right stance in all times and places- of course, it is not. I am lucky- I live and work in a liberal milieu, for the most part. But for me, this is what works.
So if who I am and what I do comes up in conversation, I won’t hide the P word again, but I won’t club you with it either.
With your Permission, that is.
Location: New York, New York
Author's Profile: To learn more about Valerie - Click HERE
Bio: Vhelen is a witch and priestess living in New York.
Other Articles: Valerie has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Valerie... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 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 G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
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.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).