Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
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 Ė 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 Ė 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 Crowleyís 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.
How I Wear the Pentacle (or Not)
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Article ID: 14516
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 24th. 2011
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If I had to guess I would say that most of the people who identify themselves as Pagan are familiar with this symbol: the pentacle. The pentacle is perhaps one of the most widely recognized Pagan symbols. It is seen in books, on Pagan websites, on television, and on Pagans and Wiccans themselves.
Whether you wear one yourself or you know someone who does, chances are you know that jewelry featuring pentacles is very popular with some Pagans. I myself have a pentacle necklace that I love to wear whenever I can. Iíve had some interesting experiences when wearing it or seeing someone else wearing one.
Probably nine times out of ten, if Iím wearing my pentacle necklace, itís hidden under my shirt. This is just easier for me. This helps me avoid any unwanted conflict. But this also brings up questions from friends who know Iím Pagan and canít seem to understand why Iíd hide it. Iíve been asked way too many times, ďAre you ashamed to let people know youíre Pagan? Why are you so embarrassed, girl?Ē
Very rarely do I wear my necklace where others can see it. If Iím at home, I donít really care if itís hidden. My family is aware of my Pagan beliefs and has come to accept them (at least a little bit) over the last several years (Itís been a long process) .
Sometimes, if Iím going somewhere alone or with Pagan friends, Iíll wear my necklace so it can be seenÖ really, just to see what itís like and what might happen (a social experiment, if you will) . Thing is, this social experiment usually has negative results: everything from the nasty glares in the frozen foods section of Wal-Mart to the outright laughter and nasty comments at the movies with friends. But truly, I think that those people are a minority; most people donít notice at all.
If Iím on campus (Iím a college student) and Iím wearing my pentacle necklace, itís always hidden. The university I go to has a fairly strong Christian presence, and though I donít think anyone would be truly nasty, Iíve never felt quite comfortable with the idea of being openly Pagan there.
If asked, for most of these last few years, Iíve always identified as a solitary Pagan. Iíve made Pagan friends in my own town, from my old high school, and online. Iíve even been in this situation in high school: Iíd heard a rumor that a girl in one my classes was a Wiccan, so I pretty much just asked her at lunch, and weíre still good friends.
The first time I heard of Wicca or Paganism, I was more than halfway through my freshman year of high school. It was awesome at first. I met a group of friends (There were like six of them, not including me) who said they were Wiccan and started hanging with them. I borrowed books from them; we had conversations at lunch about witchcraft and the Goddess. We thought we were it. We were just totally awesome. Then I told my mom about my new interest and she freaked out. My parents convinced themselves I was worshipping Satan, but it was also just a phase that would pass. (Soon Iíd decide Iíd done bad and become a good Christian girl.)
Then the other students noticed. Thatís when things started getting really bad. Some of my classmates cornered me after my last class (gym) one day and held a mock exorcism with someoneís cross necklace and ďholy waterĒ from the water fountain. A teacher who witnessed this did nothing to stop it. I also had a pentacle necklace I wore back then. I took it off one day because a bunch of students were laughing at me. It disappeared from my bag sometime between the end of lunch and the end of the school day. Summer was a welcome break that year. My parents thought I was over the whole ďWicca thing.Ē
Summer break was over too soon.
My sophomore year was miserable. Apparently, the rumor mill had a longer memory than Iíd thought it would. I was picked on constantly from the first day back because of the group of friends I hung out with. I was lectured for reading articles on this website using the library computers during lunch. My teachers found out and started giving me these ďthatís so sadĒ looks. How could such an intelligent honors student get caught up in something so bad?
It was a shock to have people react that way. I pretty much jumped head first into the ďbroom closetĒ (and I hadnít even heard that term at the time) .
I reconnected with some (and made new) non-Wiccan friends (while ignoring the Wiccan ones at school) . I showed up at Christian events like ďSee you at the poleĒ before class and helped out when a local church held a food drive. I fought to make even better grades, to impress teachers and my parents. I felt like a poseur, a fake, and a liar. While junior year wasnít exactly awesome, it wasn't as bad as the first two years.
My senior year was awesome, and by far the best year of my high school education. That year made up for most of the horrible crap that went on during the first three years. By then the rumor mill had pretty much stopped buzzing, there were far more important things going on: college applications, class cookouts, and all around celebration. We were seniors! I was the ďgood girlĒ again by graduation day.
Over those years, my beliefs didnít fade away, they grew stronger. My parents noticed this and I think that my being the ďgood girlĒ has made it easier for them to believe that Iím not worshipping Satan every night after they go to sleep. I read more and more. I tried to reconnect with those Wiccan friends (only to find that all but a few of them were ďover itĒ) . For them, it had only been a fad, a passing phase to get attention from classmates. Others were angry that Iíd pretty much abandoned them (and they had every right to be) .
At some point I canít remember, I stopped calling myself ďWiccanĒ (with lots of exclamation points and smiley faces) and just became ďPagan.Ē Iíve had people tell me that I started out as a ďfluffy bunnyĒ and finally grew up and became a ďserious Pagan.Ē
So, Iíve been asked many times: ďWhy donít you wear your pentacle so people can see it? Are you ashamed to be Pagan? Why are you so embarrassed?Ē
The answer is no, Iím not ashamed. Iím not embarrassed and I donít want to be. Iíve just learned that there is a time and a place for everything, including displaying religious symbols and beliefs. Iíve learned that this world isnít the all-accepting place Iíd thought it would be. Even though the First Amendment guarantees ďfreedom of religion, Ē that doesnít mean that others will accept or understand my beliefs. It doesnít mean that they have to know about them either. I learned all of this the hard way.
Iíve worked so hard to make it to college, you donít even know. Iím lucky that I made it at all; itís not an easy thing to do. Itís expensive, the coursework is difficult, and if I can walk away better educated and with a degree in four years, then Iíll be better off for it.
Yes, overall college is a more accepting place with better people than I grew up with. I wonít trust it that much though. My early high school years were horrible. I donít want my college years to be the same. I wonít risk it, and if you think Iím less for thatÖwell fine, thatís your prerogative and your way, not mine.
If Iím wearing my pentacle necklace, chances are you wonít see it. It might be a long time before I change my religion on Facebook to ďPaganĒ (if I ever do; right now Iím thinking that wonít happen) . I donít tell everyone I meet while walking down the street that Iím Pagan. My beliefs and my spirituality are my business and mine alone if I donít want anyone else to know. That doesnít mean Iím less proud of my beliefs than you are.
Location: USA, South Carolina
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