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Switch to Forum Live View Any "secret" pagans out yonder?
5 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2009 - 10:27PM #1
Noxy
Posts: 5

I'm just curious to know... and what's your reason?


 


Mines is I'm sick of people being absolutly boggled with the fact I'm normal... and not some gothic teen like everyone else that brags about being pagan, wiccan, or even satanist...I have a friend who is a satanist who says the same thing. We look and act..normal because we are and if someone somehow finds out our faith they are rather taken back. So. That's my reason for dancing around the 'what's your faith' question that comes up. What's your's and anyone out there whose wiser than I...-which there are bound to be plenty ha!- Give some insight on how to deal with it... -sigh-

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 8:34AM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

Noxy,


Are you asking why Pagans/Wiccans prefer not to 'come out'? Or are you asking about dealing with answering the what's your faith question?


Let me respond right now to your first sentence. After twenty-seven years of being Pagan, I long ago reached the conclusion that all Pagans are ordinary, normal folks. Some people at various stages of his or her life will act out in order to stand out because they don't want to admit they are ordinary. It may also be that they have issues, often around self-esteem and/or need something to build a self-identity on to put some distance between what they currently are. Bragging about being Pagan, Wiccan or even Satanist then becomes simply a convenient way in whatever society/community/situation they are currently in of standing out and being different, at least in their minds. Or it might be with music, clothing, ideas....etc.


There are a couple of other reasons that you might want to consider, at least where Paganism and the Religion of Wicca (or Neo-Wicca) are concerned.


In books targeted towards adolescent consumers, more than a few authors claim that being Pagan and/or Wiccan is something that sets one apart, (occasionally) that one is born being, that makes one superior, that makes one a member of an elite group and essentially gives one bragging rights. Witches call this the witchie-in-the-night syndrome. This kind of ego-stroking is particularly attractive to those still maturing (whether adolescent or adult-bodied) because it provides quick surface-level answers to all the central questions one is grappling with. Such claims IMO have little to do with the fundamental nature of embracing Paganism as an enduring wisdom walk. Even less so to the Religion of Wicca, which was conceived to be for the few, simply because it is a mystery faith not a universalistic religion. Neo-Wicca usually has the Mysteries removed along with a fair amount of what is recognisable as Wicca yet here too, the answers being provided rarely stand up to the road-test of maturity.


Then there are Pagans as well as Wiccans who sincerely believe that the non-religion that is Paganism and/or whatever variety of Wicca is being practised should align to the same perimeters, have the same rights as and be as accepted as those faiths that they are familiar with - the Abrahamic model. Here you get calls for all practitioners to come 'out of the broom closet', stand up and be counted. The deeper implications of this unity and the price for such visibility are usually not addressed in such calls. Now there has been growing recognition over the last 80 years since modern Paganism and Wicca were conceived. The enduring acknowledgement including legal rights comes from the slow and usually localised work of dedicated practitioners, all of whom struggle with the self-definition that is Paganism and/or the self-adaptation that is Neo-Wicca that does not always align to the Religion itself.


One final thought prompted by your post. Self-responsibility is a recognisable part of most self-definitions of Paganism and practices/adaptations of Wicca. This isn't just being responsible for whatever consequences happen as you do whatever you want, whenever and to whomever. Self-responsibility, IMO, includes being responsible for how you act, what, when and how you choose to tell others. All the time. No exceptions. Like it or not, if you take on an honorific like Pagan or Wiccan, you essentially are representing these to others. What you do or don't do will have consequences therefore. Being self-responsible also requires self-understanding because you (generic you) must understand the choices you make or want to make. You want to brag to someone about being Pagan. Why? Why this person? What are you trying to prove? What do you need from doing so? What do you want the other person to do or change?


So let me know if this got anywhere near what you were wanting to discuss Noxy.


C.H.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2009 - 1:24PM #3
Kindred322
Posts: 80

For me, my spiritual path is highly personal and dependent on no one but myself and the Gods (of course relationships with other people, nature, are vital components too). I believe it is about self-definition and identification...there is no 'right path' so to speak...that has been the hardest lesson to learn after transitioning from Christianitys "right way, one true path" theology. I Choose not to flaunt my faith because it is highly personal and changes as I grow...most mainstream religious folks ha ve difficulty accepting an evolving spiritual life (as aposed to concrete, absolute truths).


I also agree with CH. Good insights about some peoples motivations for their claims to paganism or witchcraft or wicca, etc.


So far my motto is "Know thy heart for it speaks true". maybe our subconscious mind/spirit/soul knows more than our consciousness does in this life.

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5 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2009 - 9:21PM #4
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

I wear my religion on my sleave, well as much as a Celtic recon can... I have discussions with coworkers (and anyone else for that matter) when ever possible, generally because I enjoy discussing religion in general.


Though I do understand the general reasons for not being open about it.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2009 - 3:55AM #5
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 946

For me, it's just not anything to brag about. I don't feel any need to identify myself religiously most of the time, and when I do, it depends on who I'm talking to and what they need to hear. If it's someone who's staunchly Christian, they'll probably only hear about the Christian side of my faith (I haven't thrown over Christianity, but the Christian beliefs I do hold are very liberal), and even then, it's nothing to brag about either.  If it's someone who's Pagan, they'll hear more about the Pagan side. If they're neither, or if I don't know, they might hear the mishmash.  


And it also depends on the context of the conversation. Are we heading into a deep discussion about religion? Or are we simply talking about religious identity in a social context, along the lines of, "I celebrate Christmas, do you?"  And it depends, too, on how well I know them. If it's a friend, I'd be very open about what I believe and practice. If it's a casual acquaintance, it depends on the situation. If it's one of my extended family, it depends on whether it's one of my fundamentalist cousins or one of my liberal minded cousins.


I reconnected with a childhood friend on Facebook recently, and found that she was practicing Paganism. So right there, we had something new to talk about. But if there hadn't been a mention of it on her Facebook page, I probably wouldn't have thought to bring it up.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2009 - 3:16AM #6
Innerpoint
Posts: 1,067

Another thing to consider when speaking of someone 'coming out' is the person's own comfort zone.  I know of some who are known to me and they expect me to keep my silence since they aren't comfortable in having others know where their beliefs lie.  It could be that a family member (mother and/or father, grandmother, spouse, etc.) would be upset in the extreme and their personal, familial lives would suffer as a consequence.

There are so many reasons - both pro and con - and I normally don't question someone when they ask that they not be 'outed'.

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2009 - 7:29AM #7
Willow333
Posts: 5

Oct 21, 2009 -- 6:58PM, Hexpainter wrote:


When I'm at work or out with friends or even family I state the following:


 


Beer drinking rules are in affect:


"No Discussion of Politics, Religion or Sports to ensue."


If any of these subjects come up.  I shut up.




I am a solitary Witch following a modified Celtic Wiccan path. I like the Hindu Goddess Shakti.
I am still in the broom closet. I like your beer drinking rules. I am not comfortable being out, yet.


Willow

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2009 - 1:55PM #8
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658

I have some dear friends who are closet heathens as their business in the Bible Belt would die if they were "outed".  I respect their decision, as they are doing their best to provide for their children all the plusses that country life brings, while protecting them from the price of parochial intolerance.


I live on the west coast in the suburbs.  I was an open heathen in the army, and remember our catechism:

"Ye though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the toughest son of a bitch in the valley."


I would rather it cost me job offers when searching, than jobs once "discovered" (been there, done that).  I live a life I stand behind, my faith is but one part of it.  Let those who would attack our community waste their bile on me, and receive only indifference or laughter in response.  In my wake I leave those who now equate "Pagan" with "Family Values" rather than "Goth/druggie/flake".  Not a bad legacy.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2009 - 7:46PM #9
Noxy
Posts: 5

Heh that's a great way to put it. Like I understand some reasons for keeping in the broom closet so-to-say, such as not wanting it to influence a job and jeopardise one's income. It sickens me that there are jerks out there who like..seriously judge by that :( But yeah, since there are so many annoying...boasty people out there it's quite hard to make a dent in people's opinions. I'm hoping the lack of those kinds of people in adulthood might make things a little easier but from hearing the comments of those who have already reached and are established in that point..this is going to be difficult.


 


Nov 16, 2009 -- 1:55PM, John_T_Mainer wrote:


I have some dear friends who are closet heathens as their business in the Bible Belt would die if they were "outed".  I respect their decision, as they are doing their best to provide for their children all the plusses that country life brings, while protecting them from the price of parochial intolerance.


I live on the west coast in the suburbs.  I was an open heathen in the army, and remember our catechism:

"Ye though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the toughest son of a bitch in the valley."


I would rather it cost me job offers when searching, than jobs once "discovered" (been there, done that).  I live a life I stand behind, my faith is but one part of it.  Let those who would attack our community waste their bile on me, and receive only indifference or laughter in response.  In my wake I leave those who now equate "Pagan" with "Family Values" rather than "Goth/druggie/flake".  Not a bad legacy.


 


 




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