Dealing with people who are afraid of your beliefs
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Posts: 108 6/2/09 11:22 A
Shosha, I had not thought of that. His wife and I are on good terms, and I think if the opportunity comes up I will ask him... but if not, I will have to just let it go. I don't like conflict, so I will try not to create any.
Edited by: MICHECOX1 at: 6/2/2009 (11:25)
current weight: 139.0
Posts: 125 6/1/09 11:25 A
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that he's moving away.
Some people don't take separation from friends and/or family well. Is it even remotely possible that he thinks this is going to "ease" the separation? *shrug*
Shot in the dark, I know, but people are weird at times. My oldest daughter had a friend who was a year behind her in school and suddenly cut all ties with her just before graduation. A year later we found out that she'd had a hard time "losing" her friend... even though they live just a few houses apart.
Perhaps when the move is made the community will go back to normal. I am sorry, truely. People get weird sometimes, as I've already said. may you have Love, light and blessings.
Shosha Mother of the MoonHill
"There are nights when the Wolves are silent and only the Moon howls" ~George Carlin
current weight: 246.0
Posts: 18,679 5/31/09 5:33 P
I agree with Celtic_Witch and since you had a fairly good relationship with him I would try to get the chance to ask him what the problem is. If you don't get the chance before they move out I would then put it off to small mindedness and let it go. You could also try writing him a letter about what is going on and instead of mailing it to him send it to him thought the spirit world. Brightest blessings on the resolution of your problem.
I appreciate the ideas, all... His wife and sister in law have been disturbed by the changes in him. It just doesn't make sense.
My other neighbors don't care. A couple of them are actually crazy or iffy and don't come out when we're around often, but the rest of them know me and my husband (he's a quaker/friend) and don't have any issues with us. It is just very hard for me to understand how someone can go from being so interested and friendly and spending time with us to refusing to make eye contact.
Now this neighbor's mother is very anti-pagan, and she has told him that pagans and wiccans are bad people, will cast spells on you, summon spirits, etc but he and I have had multiple conversations on that topic and he acted as if I had allayed his fears.
Getting him to talk is going to be difficult. His wife and I hang out quite a bit (we're both military wives) and she can't even get him to tell her why he doesn't speak to us anymore. All he says is he gets a "bad vibe" from us, doesn't like how we dress, etc. I am halfway between giving up and waiting until he moves, or confronting him and getting it all dealt with. I think part of it could the the alt lifestyle (husband and I are both bi, into BDSM, etc) because he has a strong dislike of our friends that are a part of those lifestyles.
I don't know if confronting him is worth the effort, because I know I wouldn't be able to trust him or be friends with him again. I just want the community here to get along because it makes our parties and BBQs so difficult.
current weight: 139.0
Fitness Minutes: (38,685) Posts: 4,787 5/29/09 7:15 P
Since you have been friendly previously I would ask him what has caused the problem. If you know the specifics you can address them not only with him but with your other neighbors.
Treasury of Gifts unending, Open now my closed heart’s door Waken spirit deep within me Send me giving’s gift once more.
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Posts: 1,400 5/29/09 2:37 P
Hi Y'all! I'm just gonna jump in here because I've had similar problems in the past. The first when I lived in Spain, from clients in the mental health field and most recently from an old school friend. I've given up on my old New Orleans school friend who believes many strange things, such as if you were raised catholic (I was) and you leave the church, you are "doomed & destined for hell." But as to your neighbor. If he reads there are lots of great books that explain things in simple non-threatening ways. Even better you could try a "movie night" & show something like 'Practical Magic' which might open another dialog about myths & facts about Native American Spirituality, Wicca and alternative beliefs.
Also have you talked to others in your community to see how they feel about his irrational actions?
And last but not least, does this man have ANY history of mental illnesses which might predispose him to this kind of extreme behavior? Believe me, as a nurse with over 25 years of counseling & mental health experience, that was my FIRST thought. If so just stay AWAY from him & do nothing to provoke him (not that you would intentionally, he just sounds unstable!) Good Luck I hoped this helped some. Bright Blessings, glenda
Dreams have NO limits. If you can dream it, you CAN do it!
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Posts: 1,605 5/29/09 1:09 P
I'm so sorry. I had no intention of over-simplifying, and I apologize if it sounded like it.
Your last message seems to be describing someone who is in the process of tipping over into paranoia, and it sounds a bit scary.
There is plenty of paranoia floating around anyway, with folks losing jobs and homes, income going down while costs keep going up, government struggling under the years of accumulated debt, etc.
Folks are scared, and they don't even know what to be scared of...so they get all into wierd ideas, like there is something or somebody they could pin it all on.
Perhaps at this point it is time to raise the drawbridge and batten down the hatches till this person leaves the neighborhood. Put up your shields and protection spells (harm to none, of course) and maybe send the guy "pink light" if that's your thing. but maybe better yet, just stay away from him. maybe it's a good time for a little vacation.
current weight: 248.0
Posts: 108 5/29/09 12:18 P
Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple. He does not have any tribal associations or teachings, and only learned that his mom is part Native when he was in his late teens. He couldn't have membership with a tribe because of the dilution. (I believe you have to be 1/8) So his beliefs are all based on a couple (pagan) books on shamanism and totem animals plus whatever his mom told him. He is honestly more Christian than anything else. I had been hoping with his interest in native beliefs that he would be understanding.
But for me the issue lies in the conflict it is causing in the community. We are a very close knit bunch of neighbors, and his attitudes are making it hard for anyone to spend any time with him. He does not speak to me or my husband, and he doesn't like or speak to any of our (secular, atheist) friends. I want to smooth things over in our community. Basically he is causing his wife to have to choose between having friends and making him happy, and as her friend I am concerned about her well-being. She is trying to strike a balance and it is putting stress on their relationship.
And does anyone know the significance of shaving the entire body? The best I found was during the Inquisition, the Inquisitor would shave his entire body because it was believed witches magic would be picked up through hair.
The whole situation is incredibly awkward and making our neighborhood parties difficult. I even bought a book on native beliefs as a gift for him and he wouldn't have it. It is just hard for me, having such strong beliefs about hospitality, to have a person I had in my house and fed multiple times, and convinced his wife not to leave him and to go counseling for their marriage, to see him treat me and my husband and friends like this.
current weight: 139.0
Posts: 1,605 5/29/09 12:06 P
You can't really change someone else's irrational beliefs. You might try a letter explaining about the Rede.
However, here is a clue that may help with understanding his fear.
Many pagans use Wiccan and Witch more or less interchangeably, and consider that that the two words come from the same root. "We" also know a witch to be someone who uses magic, of one kind or another, for various purposes.
With this setup, it is important to realize that some Indigenous Americans, particularly in the Southwest, use Spanish as their primary language. In Spanish, there are different words for witch. A person "we" might call a "healing witch", who uses magic for positive purposes, would be called a "curandera/curandero". However, the most common translation for "witch" is "bruja/brujo". This term applies strictly to "black magic" practitioners of various types.
So maybe it is a cultural/linguistic misunderstanding. Maybe it would suffice to clarify your path as being "curandera", not "bruja".
current weight: 248.0
Posts: 108 5/29/09 11:48 A
Hi all, I was hoping for some perspectives on how to deal with fear from people who have bad opinions of paganism and witchcraft. My neighbor is absolutely terrified of my husband (deist) and I(pagan)and avoids us as much as possible. This is a recent development.
He says he follows the Native American religion, which I explained to him as being similar to paganism, while being from different cultures they all have similar roots. His wife and I are quite good friends and we have had the two of them over many, many times for dinner and even had discussions over religion. My husband and I are very much alt lifestylers, but we didn't talk to him about our lifestyles until he asked.
Anyway, one day after we had them over for a dinner party he just stopped talking to us, shaved all the hair on his body, turned all the mirrors in his house, and tells his wife and sister in law that they shouldn't hang around us because he "gets a bad vibe". This was strange, because we had some good discussions previously about native spirituality and paganism and we'd hung out and watched movies, etc. He knows I don't summon angels or consort with demons or anything of that sort. I know the shaving/mirror turning had something to do with us from conversations I've had with his wife.
What can or should I do? This is causing some tension in our neighborhood. (we're all close and hang out together) There's a part of me that wants to be mischievous and freak him out, a part of me that wants to confront him and talk it out, and part of me wants to wait because he's moving out in the end of June anyways. He really does not like us and his wife and sister in law say he has discussions about us and our friends all the time and he talks bad about us to the people at his work. I don't know if it's the paganism or the alt lifestyles but I am tired of the tension in the neighborhood.
How would you handle a situation like this? They're only here until the end of June and then they move out and I don't think we'll see much of them. I just don't want to leave on bad terms, but I don't know that I can change his mind and prejudices.
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