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Witchcraft vs. Religion
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 10044
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lady GoldenRaven
Posted: August 25th. 2005
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I have been a Wytch for over 20 years; needless to say, I have had numerous interfaith relationships. For the most part, I have been lucky; problems have been few. The times I did have a problem, it was with casual acquaintances. For example: I was in the waiting room of my husband’s dentist - the secretary saw my pentacle and asked if I was Pagan. Proudly, I said yes. Next thing I know, she was cramming Jesus down my throat. I calmly and quietly told her, this is not the time or place to discuss such things. She continued “harassing” me, saying she would “pray” for me and that she would NOT give up trying to get me to “see the light.” I told her, again - not the time or place and, if she continued, I would say something to her boss. She was a Baptist, her boss was Jewish. In the hour I sat there, she would NOT let it go and I ended up telling her boss. He promptly agreed with me and told his secretary, “This is NOT a church and if you would like to continue employment in this office, you will leave your religion at the door!” Needless to say, we changed dentists, my husband being Druid and all.
I also worked with a nurse who was affiliated with the Christian Missionary Alliance. She worked the afternoon shift, I worked the midnight shift. When she found out I was Pagan, she literally scooted her chair away from me by three feet as she gave me her report! This was sad, but funny in a way. She stated she will not sit next to someone who was “married to Satan.” I tried to explain that would be difficult, since I do not believe in Satan. She could not grasp the concept at all.
I was also fired from a job because of my religion, although the reasons given were “incompatibility, ” whatever that meant. I could have pursued this in a court, but felt it not worth the time or energy, since I really did not like the place - one of the dirtier, nastier nursing homes in the area.
Closer, platonic relationships, I have had no problems with. All of my friends, relatives, and clubs I belong to (my skating club, SCA, etc.), know and UNDERSTAND what my religion is all about. I have had no problems discussing my religion with them. They are all of various faiths or have chosen to not follow any particular faith. It took some longer than others to grasp our ways, but all have had respect towards my religion. They never tried to convert me nor degrade me for my ways. Some, I have had many conversations with; they were truly interested in learning the FACTS and asked many questions. I would much rather have a conversation with them, as it is dispelling the myths and ignorance. Many of my friends have asked me to do various workings for them, light candles and say prayers as well. They have been very accepting of my ways; we even “compare” religions. By that, I mean, a question would come up about rituals, incense, bells, etc. Most realize the Christian rituals stem from our rituals. This is not to say Wytchs invented our rituals either. All present day rituals have been born out of our ancestors, who were heavily into ritual. One example was Pope John Paul’s televised funeral rites. I watched this with a friend and her mother (a devout Catholic). I explained the purpose of the bishop walking widdershins around the Pope’s body, I explained the incense, the ringing of the bells, etc. The mother was amazed and said she did not realize any of this. She further surprised me by saying she expected most Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant, have no clue what the various aspects of RITUAL means. To which I agreed. They go through the motions without understanding what they are doing.
All of my platonic relationships with those of the Christian faith are based on respect. I never disrespect theirs and vice versa. I think it ironic though, that whenever they have a spiritual, personal, or physical crises, it is me they call for help and guidance. I have listened to them and helped where I could. Many want me to do “spells” of various types for them. Most are health related issues - which I have no problem doing. I have even done banishment rituals for two of my friends. I have done healing rituals for them as well.
As far as personal relationships are concerned, I have also been fortunate. While I am currently in my fourth long-term relationship, I have only had difficulty with one of them regarding my religion. Two of the relationships, they let me “do my thing, ” did not ask questions nor did they degrade me for it, or try to change me. In the second relationship, his family was devout Lutheran, active in the church. I did sit down with them and their minister and had many conversations regarding our ways. Both the minister and the family were put at ease.
My third long term relationship was by far the strangest. I married into a Ukrainian Catholic family. My husband was the only one who had a “problem” with what I did. Although I continued my practice, he wanted nothing to do with it. However, his sister tried to explain to him in terms he could understand. She was VP for a major business and traveled the world. This opened her up to other religions, so she took it upon herself to study Wytchcraft. This did not help with my husband, at least until AFTER the divorce. Then, he decided to read up on our ways and ask questions. A day late and a dollar short for our relationship, but at least he understands and is not so ignorant now.
My current relationship of two years is great. He was raised Catholic, but his family are not strict Catholics; none have attended mass in years, save for his mother. She just recently started going back, but she is also near her time of crossing over, so I am not surprised. He, in fact, has “come home” to our ways. I am currently teaching him and I must say, I am proud of him. Not only is he learning what I teach, but has taken it upon himself to study on his own. He believes his path to be Druidic, so he is “cramming” all he can on that. We were handfasted last year, his family in attendance. They were amazed at the beauty, spirituality, and emotional feelings they felt during the ritual.
My own blood family? I have none on my mother’s side really. I do not speak to those who remain, but for other reasons, none having to do with my religion. My father’s side? Not a problem. In fact, besides myself, there are four other Wytches that I know about. His side is rather large, myself being one of 26 grandkids. My grandmother was a kitchen Wytch, out of necessity of raising a dozen kids in the Depression Era. She would also plant by the moon phase, harvest by the moon, etc. She was Scottish, my grandfather Irish. They made sure the ways of our ancestors were not forgotten. They raised my daddy in a Presbyterian church - which in my opinion is one of the more tolerant of Christian denominations. But, they made sure we knew of our ancestor’s Pagan ways as well.
So, I have always said and continue to say, I am truly blessed by all my relationships at any level. My only negative encounters are with casual acquaintances - I do not need those people in my life. I have very little negativity in my life and plan on keeping it that way. If someone cannot accept who I am or my ways, I do not keep them in my life, unless they have the RESPECT to keep their mouths shut about it. I do not need negative energies. I will sum up this essay by saying ninety-nine percent of my relationships whether personal, platonic, or otherwise have all been positive. The other one percent - such is life.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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