Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shunned and Criticized by Friends and Family

It has come to my attention a new topic at hand, one which pains me to speak of, but I know it needs to be put out there. How can one truly lead an honest, Pagan life when we are constantly criticized and shunned just for speaking about the subject? When I was a teenager and lived with my grandfather, I was getting very deep into Paganism, but I had to keep it a secret from my family and friends at school because every time someone would talk about Paganism, Wicca, or witchcraft, the topic leader would get gasps and immediately everyone would start putting down the Craft, saying it was "evil" and "satanic" and "devil worship." Of course, in my naivety of being a mere teenager, practicing with only two of my young friends, I would never speak of the subject, let alone let my friends know what we were doing behind closed doors, and in the confines of school stairwells.

Friends were one thing, but family, the ones that you're taught to be able to confide in, to tell your deepest secrets to without fear of criticism...... How do you tell your highly devoted, God-fearing, Christian family members that you, their little one, their niece, their granddaughter, are a practicing Pagan? Easy. As a teenager, you don't. The fear of being more of a disappointment than I already was in their eyes because I was wearing darker colors, sleeves on my arms and hands, and always locked myself away in my room while blasting 94.9 Zeta on my radio in order to hide from reality (I was a rebellious teenager, what can I say?), was far too risky at that point in my life. I felt that if I told my family I was a Pagan who actively practiced the craft, they were surely going to disown me. Even now, 10 years later, they never bring up the subject of religion with me, most likely because they see I proudly post pictures and hang banners of MY beautiful faith. My family was the type of family that didn't speak of a subject if they knew the ending result was going to be them learning about something they have absolutely no interest in knowing about, heck, I don't even think they acknowledge the existence of Paganism.

So, how is it that you live a happy young (or long) life as a practicing Pagan with family and friends that are closed-minded and critical? You can either tell them flat-out and reap the consequences, or you just not worry about what they think of you. Be happy with you are, on the inside and on the outside.
I hope this helps those of you out there that are "in-the-broom-closet" Pagans, and I hope to hear from you all about the day you "came out" to your family and friends about your religion. Merry part, and merry meet again. ~*~Blessed Be~*~
)o( Vairde

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