Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 16,486,390


April 20th. 2014 ...

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

The Oak King's Domain (A Story)

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective


March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!


March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness


March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

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 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

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

Reclaiming Independence


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

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward


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 Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy


November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?


November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 10171

VoxAcct: 248429

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,738

Times Read: 6,818

RSS Views: 60,126
Samhain, Ancestor Worship, and the Family Medical Leave Act

Author: Ari C.
Posted: October 22nd. 2006
Times Viewed: 6,818

Last year, at my place of employment, I put in for two days off before Samhain. The coven had planned a Samhain campout and outdoor ritual, with many pending initiations (though I didn't include this on the request slip). For good and valid reasons, my boss rejected my leave request. Our shop employs four people in a highly stressful situation that calls for at least six people and one recently quit. "Understaffed" doesn't begin to describe the situation. I am not resentful (really). I'll figure something out.

Meanwhile, as a purely intellectual exercise, I started to consider ways to challenge the decision.

If I really wanted to push the issue:

There is the obvious fact that I'm requesting time off for a religious event. I am out of the broom closet in all aspects of my life, and my co-workers and employer (a small government agency in Kansas) are well aware that I am a Witch. They may not know the true meaning of "Witch, " but they do know that I am one.

Believe it or not, I don't have any problems there regarding my faith. Since I didn't have to hide the fact, I could make a little noise and probably get the time off based on religion alone. It wouldn't take a detailed explanation of Samhain to convince my boss that this is a major Sabbat and High Holy Day.

But, if that didn't work. . .

There is Paid Personal Leave. I can take time off for 1) funerals for "other than those of immediate family members, " and 2) for serious illnesses of family members (for both items, see below).

Then there is Funeral Leave. Dictionary.com defines 'funeral' as "A ceremony or group of ceremonies held in connection with the burial or cremation of a dead person" (italics mine). This definition works for me; it makes allowances for the in-house air-conditioned funeral service, and the graveside ceremony. And it also allows for additional "ceremonies, " with no time limit. Our employee handbook states: "In the event of a death in a regular employees immediate family, the employee will be given funeral leave, with pay, to make arrangements and/or attend the funeral."

During Samhain, we pay homage to our ancestors, who have usually "passed on." Being the only Pagan in my blood family, phase one of a funeral consists of the internment/cremation, replete with the usual needless peripheral services such as overpriced coffins and short rides in gas-guzzling hearses. In most cases, phase one has taken place far enough in the past that, by itself, it could not qualify for my present circumstances.

But for pagans, and Witches in particular, the "funeral" can consist of multiple, annual ceremonies. Every Samhain we have one. What is Samhain but a funeral "ceremony"? In fact, our funerals never really end. Note the phrase "make arrangements and/or attend." For how long? It doesn't say. We continue to "attend" the funeral (or ceremonies) every year. And I get three days of paid funeral leave.

What if I can't get time off for a "funeral"? Not to worry. I got the FMLA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 became the 11th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in, well, 1993. On the Federal and State level (see Nevada Department of Human Resources et al. v. Hibbs et al.) ** this act requires reinstatement of an employee who was absent for up to 12 weeks for certain "family value" reasons, such as taking care of a newborn or sick family member. Obviously, the original purpose was to support and encourage "family values" (a Good Thing) and was enacted to help households where the single parent or both parents work, and also to help the rearing and the early development of children. It is designed to "balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity."***

The wording of this amendment, which (incidentally) completely fails to address the world of spirit, is still open to multiple interpretations. Particularly in the light of the Pagan tradition of ancestor-worship.

Family values? No problem. Samhain is a golden opportunity to get acquainted with Aunt Ethel or Uncle Ed, who bought the farm long before I was even born, should they decide to tune in during a Samhain ritual. I can think of no better way of encouraging family cohesiveness. Even my deceased evil stepfather would qualify.

In a social reality torn to shreds by high divorce rates, upwardly mobile and inaccessible youth, and the insane lifestyle many of us are forced to adapt to just to keep financially afloat, this may be the only time we have to commune with our relatives. Or with children we never knew we had (if you are male). It can happen.

What other non-pagan religion can provide such spiritual nurture for the family unit, and still be a potential fount of surprises? If I have learned anything in this lifetime, it is that the Gods have a sense of humor, and seize every opportunity to demonstrate it.

It gets better. The Act states that a "son or daughter means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is under 18 years of age or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability."

In the "Definitions" section, "child" is not defined at all (but I'm sure it is in some other precedent case. But why spoil the fun?) Why couldn't we define child as a spiritual entity? Despite a grim and officious veneer, a courtroom is often the scene of incredible semantic mischief. That's why lawyers are so good at crossword puzzles. Our "child" can be an Elemental; they're known (at least to us) for their mischievous, childlike behavior. We might also define "child" as: spiritual guides, sylphs, power animals, trolls, gnomes, totems, zephyrs, even salamanders. Non-human beings don't seem to be exempt. Even one's mixed breed cat. . .But I digress.

The "child" would have to be less than eighteen years of age. In most cases I can imagine, this would complicate things. Spirits, and especially Elementals, all tend to be quite old. But with our access to things like alternative dimensions, astral planes and sacred spaces where time ceases to exist, there may yet be a cunning way to circumnavigate this issue.

But what fun we could have if we focused on the phrase "incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability." Spirits are the ultimate "physically disabled." They are quite capable of taking care of themselves, but we don't have to tell them that, do we? How would they know otherwise? They probably can't see them anyway.

And if I were to get really blunt and down to earth. . .

The FMLA allows for "care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent -- but or a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition."*** From a non-pagan perspective, death certainly qualifies as "as serious health condition." Find a lawyer to argue that one. But never mind. With enough phone calls you'll find one who will.

My spiritual teachers, physical and non, have taught me that mundane solutions to a problem, when available, should take priority over magickal ones.

Maybe I'll just call in sick.

Sources:

*From our Employees Handbook
**"A Victory for Families, But Hardly a Panacea: The Supreme Court Holds That the Family and Medical Leave Act Applies to States" by Joanna Grossman
(see http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20030603.html and
***From The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us and vol=000 and invol=01-1368





Footnotes:
Our Employees Handbook

"A Victory for Families, But Hardly a Panacea: The Supreme Court Holds That the Family and Medical Leave Act Applies to States" by Joanna Grossman see http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20030603.html

From The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us and vol=000 and invol=01-1368


Copyright: Copyright 2005 Mark Shepherd



ABOUT...

Ari C.


Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Website: http://www.pagansanctumrecovery.org/

Author's Profile: To learn more about Ari C. - Click HERE

Bio: Bio: Mark Shepherd writes fantasy and science fiction, and has collaborated with Mercedes Lackey on the Serrated Edge urban fantasy series. His magickal name is Arianna ab chan Cernunnos (Ari C. for short) and is a co-founder of Pagan Sanctum Recovery, a 12-step substance and behavioral abuse program for pagans, by pagans. He is the high priest of CORE (Coven of Ram and Eagle) , a Welsh Celtic/Faery tradition. He is not a lawyer.




Other Articles: Ari C. has posted 1 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Ari C.... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Ari C. ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



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, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ 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.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


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).