Articles/Essays From Pagans
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
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
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: 1,455
Times Read: 3,988
RSS Views: 12,812
Posted: March 14th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,988
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 1997-2014 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).