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ATHENAFOREVER81's Photo ATHENAFOREVER81 SparkPoints: (65,101)
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8/8/14 1:29 P

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I dont tell anyone unless they outright ask me. I dont hide it either and I am sure some people suspect, but unless they ask, I dont feel obligated to offer that information up to them.




It's hard to beat a person who never gives up!



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AMBER2HAWK's Photo AMBER2HAWK SparkPoints: (49)
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8/3/14 10:01 A

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Personally I don't mention it unless in trusted close company. I consider myself private, as still in the broom closet but the door is wide open. I live it at home and tend to blend as much as I can so as not to 'freak out' any visitors. But over all, aside from wearing a pentacle necklace tucked under my collar, I'm not very forward in public about it.

If the matter does come up I generally say I'm a spiritual and don't adhere to any particular religion unless I do trust the person to not fly off the handle. Then I answer eclectic pagan, mainly because I don't follow any one religion in paganism.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you Judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid." ~Albert Einstein

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly while bad people will find a way around the laws. ~ Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"To dictate what is and is not natural, however, simply because you disagree with it, is ego." ~a friend
SYNKYTTEN Posts: 117
7/12/14 11:26 A

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straight out, i dont dance around it.

If they ask what itis I tell them I practice an earth based witchcraft religion.

The rest depends on their reaction to that lol

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6/26/14 1:03 A

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I had just barely came out of the "broom closet"... when I moved away from my home town... and security of the pagan community I had become involved with. So for many years, I kept my broom out of sight... not hidden exactly... just not visible to just anyone.

A few years ago... I realized that many of my co-workers were under the impression that I was an atheist. I wasn't exactly sure how that rumor started at first... maybe because I worked Christmas every year without complaint... even signed up for it... although no one ever took notice that I took vacation days prior to Christmas. Maybe it was because I never took part in their heated discussions about the bible... or ever went to church... or said "Amen"... but I did figure out WHO started the rumor that I was an atheist...

One co-worker finally asked me straight out... "Are you atheist ?"

"Nope... I am a Pagan"

At least it gave them something new to talk about... it hasn't been bad really. I keep them dazed and confused... especially with books that I started to bring in to read... Tibetan Book on Living and Dying... Tao of Pooh... Jesus... Buddha... Rituals for Pagans... Conversations with God...





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PRANA_DANCER's Photo PRANA_DANCER SparkPoints: (36,919)
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6/25/14 9:34 A

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I don't, but only because I think philosophy, religion and politics aren't really the realm of polite conversation because they can cause so many problems. If someone asks, I'll tell them that I'm non-diest and that I try to live in accordance with the laws of nature. If they ask me to go into more detail, I'll happily continue talking about it but I won't bring it up myself.

Your happiness is up to you. Whatever happened in your life to make you who you are up until the point you realize this is irrelevant. It is your responsibility now to take control and change your life to be what you want it to be.

Energy and persistence conquer all things. Make time, not excuses.


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ALMISSE's Photo ALMISSE SparkPoints: (17,920)
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6/16/14 11:24 A

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I don't really tell people. My parents know, my dad is non-religious so even though he didn't understand it, he didn't really care either. My mom is semi-religious, but understands and is fine with it. My boyfriend knows, it took time to bring it up since there are a lot of misconceptions, but his attitude is "as long as what you believe isn't forced on me, I don't mind it."

Some friends from high school know, but we don't really talk about it. I wore a pentacle all the time in school so I've never really had to mention it, but I did enjoy people knowing. Now I have a small triple moon pentacle that I wear around the house because I like to have it on. I usually don't wear it out since I have other jewelry for that, and while I've never run into someone who had a problem with me over it, I'd rather not take the chance. It's not something I feel everyone needs to know like I used to as a teen, lol. Now my spirituality defines me in that it shapes who I am, and people can see who I am through my actions, not my religious "title" itself.

ETA: Ok, I forgot to mention I do mention it on certain forms of social media here. It seems online more people are quick to assume you're Christian, plus it helps find like-minded people and make new friends. If someone starts giving you grief over it, you can block them, and end it, a luxury we don't get in real life. Lol. I have it listed on my facebook, but it doesn't come up so people who really want to know, can find out, but if they don't care, it's not being thrown in their face either. Like on my signature here, I put bipolar as a way of meeting people who suffer the same problems, and as a warning that I can be "off" some days. I put Pagan to meet more Pagans, and to avoid the assumptions that I'm Christian, or atheist. Then I mention friendly first so people know I'm not just a "crazy witch person," but a kind, civil, human being.

Edited by: ALMISSE at: 6/17/2014 (06:39)
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GEALACH's Photo GEALACH Posts: 4
6/8/14 8:52 A

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My mother went to school to be a nun so my family doesn't know. My husband found a beautiful Buddha statue on the sidewalk (yard sale leftovers?) and brought it home. We cleaned it up, painted it and put it in the garden. My mother freaked. Said she was buying me a Mary statue to put in it's place. I once told a co-worker I was pagan and shortly thereafter was laid off even tho there were people who were newer then myself. I once had a greeter at Kmart scream at the sight of my pent, hit her knees, pull a rosary out of her pocket and proceed to pray over me. When I complained to the manager she said "Well, she's really religious... she probably just didn't realize it was the star of David." Roll eyes here.

I don't normally venture out of the closet with people until I've known them a LOOOONG time and I feel comfortable that they won't pull the"You worship the Devil?!?" card. I have a great group of friends and circle mates and my husband is an unending pillar of support. But when I do tell people I'm pagan I most certainly do NOT use the word "witch" as it has been almost as badly corrupted as the swastika. Between the Catholic church and Hollywood, there isn't a chance for us. I usually explain it by pointing out Native American's are pagan, Buddhists are pagan and Hindu's are pagan. These all seem to be more widely accepted then the word "witch".

I am the daughter of the Earth & water & the nursling of the sky; I pass through the pores of the ocean & shores; I change, but I cannot die.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Cloud)


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MMTORI's Photo MMTORI SparkPoints: (521)
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6/2/14 8:30 A

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Most of my family doesn't know. My sister is a Pagan too. Most people just assume you are Christian, which is kind of funny when you think about it. I asked one person that was trying to explain to my that I had just gone astray and would be welcomed back, that I didn't want to worship a torture device anymore and he was clueless to what I meant. That's the only time I've been blunt or belligerent to anyone. He was just too annoying. One of my best friends is an avid Christian (takes all sorts of extra classes at her church) and doesn't have a problem with me being a Druid. Now if I could just lose a bit faster.

T

“What good is recognition, awards, and accolades without integrity? - Modar


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CRJARRETT02 SparkPoints: (5)
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5/11/14 12:56 A

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First - Congrats to all with their weight loss. Second, being military, I'm subtle...I have a slideshow as my background on my computer. Most don't even realize, but that's ok. Family is good with it and though my sister is a bit conservative, she doesn't push too hard or too often. Basic respect given and received.


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5/10/14 9:36 A

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I am at the point in my life where I really don't care if people know or not. Almost everyone I know isn't pagan but supportive. But then I am very open to their religions also. With the current family situation, I have been receiving prayers from many Christians, I accept every single one with sincere thanks that care enough to do that. Only one negative in recent years and gee she was, ( I smile when I write that ) caretaker for my FIL with designs on my husband, spent money she wasn't supposed to, used my name to order stuff, invalid DL and lied point blank about her record for previous fraud and drug abuse. Oh, but I was going to hell because she was a good Christian and said so herself.
I will continue to accept prayers off all faiths for my husband's continued healing from open heart surgery and the devastating infection that has kept in the hospital for 4 weeks.

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JOYCECAIN's Photo JOYCECAIN SparkPoints: (63,954)
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4/27/14 5:25 P

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I told certain friends. Jo Ann knows but ignores it. But everyone who comes to visit me at my apartment when I move, will know.

"Staying Strong"


"Love"
Joycecain




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ARTEMISTHEGREEK's Photo ARTEMISTHEGREEK Posts: 273
4/26/14 3:48 P

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I am not out at work. I just don't want to deal with it, there. In other walks of my life, I don't make a big point about it one way or the other. I'm sure the lawn mowing guy knows; he's had to mow around the Maypole. I did hold back from certain very Catholic relatives I was close to, but they have passed on -- and so probably know from the other side of the Gates.... Dad is an atheist and at this point in the stages of early dementia that he'd never remember. He would think it "stupid", but no more than he thinks/thought other religions are essentially "stupid". (But since he told Mother he wanted to name me Brunhilde, and my brother, Thor, who knows???)

To Kittez7 -- I knew someone who wore a pentacle out in public. One of her friends exclaimed, mistaking it for a Star of David, "I didn't know you were Jewish!" To which she replied, "I didn't know you couldn't count".


Yep, there I am, swimming through the desert sands. Might just be a mirage, after all. But this is life, and we learn best about it if we explore it, and take our chances. A life unexplored, after all, is one of the saddest things out there.


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KITTEZ7's Photo KITTEZ7 SparkPoints: (3,047)
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5/30/13 11:24 A

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I am just me, and I am Pagan. If people ask I will tell them, but most of the time they do not. If they really know me - then they know already. If someone does not like me because of who I am, then that is what is. Also the pentacle I am usually wearing around my neck tends to give me away to those that want to make a deal out of it.

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DONDAIN's Photo DONDAIN SparkPoints: (30,749)
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5/22/13 11:59 A

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I don't talk about religion at work. I live in the Bible Belt. I don't necessarily hide it but I don't flaunt it either. We are not allowed to wear pendants at work. I wear my necklace under my shirt. If anyone notices I will answer questions, but I don't bring it up. Others will talk "God" all the time as this is God country. My friends and family know. My friends are generally like minded or at least tolerant. I try to let people get to know me first before they find out my religion. That way they have a better understanding of what it is when they do find out. They automatically do not think I worship the devil.

"People who laugh actually live longer than those who don't laugh. Few persons realize that health actually varies according to the amount of laughter."- James J. Walsh

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ARTEMISTHEGREEK's Photo ARTEMISTHEGREEK Posts: 273
5/5/13 2:04 P

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At work re religion (or weight loss!!): need to know basis. Or if I simply want to say.

Some folk guessed about the weight loss. (The program below relates to current weight loss needs - I lost 35 pounds prior to this, and some folk noticed...)

Some of them responded carefully, as sometimes weight loss is due to a negative physical outcome.



Yep, there I am, swimming through the desert sands. Might just be a mirage, after all. But this is life, and we learn best about it if we explore it, and take our chances. A life unexplored, after all, is one of the saddest things out there.


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STEVENWOLF's Photo STEVENWOLF Posts: 20
5/1/13 10:17 A

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I really don't bring up that I am pagan. Usually everything is OK. Plus I get to listen when religion gets brought up who is real and who is fake. Mostly I have had great exp. Some bad ones with people getting mad when they find out. If when they ask me I tell them. You will be suprised in how many people just assume your christian and that is that. BB all

 
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3/23/13 9:35 A

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Somehow am I the only one that finds it amazing this post started two years ago? This is fantastic everyone wants to share their stories, I love this!
I as well agree with others here I normally don't discuss politics or religion with new persons I meet. Nor do I usually run around in the middle of the city waving my arms in the air yelling I'm a pagan and I'm proud. However I do wear a pent, sometimes inside my top, sometimes not. If someone asks I tell them. There are a surprising number of people who are actually interested and not judgemental, probably 50-50 in my experiences.
Blessed be

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NANS_NEW_VISION's Photo NANS_NEW_VISION Posts: 43
3/19/13 5:00 A

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I have found that for the most part, if you are matter of fact and non-apologetic when discussing your beliefs, people won't question you.

The last time I really had someone question me, it was stopped when I told her I was more than happy to go to one of her religious services, if she came to one of mine. She declined.

Rediscovering who I am, one tiny step at a time.


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LOPTR27 SparkPoints: (7,275)
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3/18/13 10:21 P

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I have a shirt that says "I am Pagan" on the back. Surprisingly, I've never gotten any crap for that. I live in a fairly conservative area, but I've actually had several people say they really liked the shirt. One woman even commented that she thought she was the only Pagan in the area.

Usually, I don't run around advertising and people don't really ask. I think a lot of people assume I'm an atheist. Really embarrassed a friend of mine when she was going on about how much she hates religion and I informed her I was religious. That's kinda how it comes up usually - people say something expecting me to agree with them and I'll say I'm Pagan or whatever. I don't go into specifics unless they ask, and most people don't really ask anymore about it.

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NANS_NEW_VISION's Photo NANS_NEW_VISION Posts: 43
3/10/13 10:07 A

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I've been completely out of the broom closet for quite a number of years. I don't announce it to all and sundry, but if someone asks, I am honest in my response. I've been a practising Pagan for nearly 20 years.

For those who have further questions about what that means, I tell them that I follow/worship the indigenous Gods of the British Isles.



Rediscovering who I am, one tiny step at a time.


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MUFFINSKI's Photo MUFFINSKI Posts: 217
2/27/13 12:17 P

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I only tell close friends...I pretty much stay in the Broom Closet. I married a Catholic and though he knew when we started dating, all those years ago, he is still not really comfortable with it. I don't hide my books, cards and I have a Pagan holidays calender, but, same as the previous remarks, it doesn't really come up.

I know I never ask a persons religion and I don't especially like it when people talk about their faith all the time, so I keep silent.

"To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent."

I guess that's what I do.... emoticon









"Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." Ayn Rand


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GREEDYBIRD's Photo GREEDYBIRD Posts: 79
2/25/13 10:30 A

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I have only told a few people, other than that I just quit hiding it. Like most said if they ask I explain but usually it doesn't come up to be honest.

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2/23/13 9:56 P

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I don't unless it comes up. So if somebody says something unintentionally insulting, I might explain (if it feels safe to do so).

Otherwise, if I'm in the mood, I just wear a pentacle; that way other Pagans can find me and they know--or at least suspect--that I am also Pagan.

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LINEBACKER1968's Photo LINEBACKER1968 Posts: 393
2/23/13 6:37 A

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I just tell them i don't believe in jesus or talking snakes

Moving Foward!!!


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PATKEEF1's Photo PATKEEF1 SparkPoints: (7,716)
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9/8/12 1:01 A

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well i am a born witch and was a long journey to learn this. i made the mistake of talking to a minister. he said i was a child of satan. well i didnt believe that. then there was the day when i sat with a unity minister. He explained that i was one of those special angels that are here to help mankind.We are healers,teachers and are very special people Now with that said, i just cant help messing with those Jehovah Witness that come around. I tell them that Jesus was a witch and boy that opens up a whole can of worms .They just cant wrap their heads around that one. They kinda leave me alone after that. I am a healer i can hold a child and break their fever,touch people and take away their pain. I have reached that time in life when i find myself a teacher. I teach those who are sent my way. Love and Light Ms Pat.

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OKIECAT's Photo OKIECAT SparkPoints: (15,640)
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8/4/12 9:02 P

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well said by both of you. walk a careful path with mindful deeds.

Nothing works unless you do.


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ROSEDAUGHTER5's Photo ROSEDAUGHTER5 Posts: 70
8/4/12 12:22 P

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How did I tell people I was Pagan? Well...

I told my best friend, first. She was very supportive, and asked lots of questions so she would know what my religion was, and how I practices. Even though she's an atheist, she was incredibly supportive.

My mother was slightly less supportive. She tried to be, but she never really understood. I had hoped that she would understand, because she is an anthropologist and does not attend church. However, when I went in my room as a teenager to read and study different paths, she would tease me and say, "Oh, are you practicing your spells?" and laugh. That hurt. I knew she was trying to be accepting, but she makes comments like that to this day, when I am twenty-one, living in my own home, and have been a practicing Wiccan for six years.

I never did tell my grandparents. It would hurt them, because they honestly believe that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as their saviour will go straight to hell. (I'm not saying Christ was bad. I believe he was a wise man with many good things to say. I just don't think he was the son of God.) So, when they noticed that I no longer attended church, I simply said that I was uncomfortable with large numbers of people (true) and preferred to worship on my own (also true).

All of this to say: it depends on your relationship. If you know someone will love you and accept you regardless of your faith, go for it! If they have questions, answer to the best of your ability. Very rarely are you being interrogated. Usually, your friends are curious and honestly want to know more.

If you know that "coming out of the broom closet" will hurt someone you love, or will put stress on your relationship, maybe it's best to wait, or work out a very gentle way to tell them.


Happy, healthy, and a force to be reckoned with.


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LOVEOFTHEDARK's Photo LOVEOFTHEDARK SparkPoints: (603)
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7/28/12 11:45 P

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It depends for me as well.
Many times, what brings the subject up is my pentacle necklace. In my area, people tend to get concerned when they see a pentacle, and they tend to assume that I must worship Satan. I wear mostly black, and I suppose I would fit into the category that some call Goth.
Well, if its genuine curiosity, I will tell them that I follow an earth based spiritual path, rooted in Celtic and Egyptian mythology. That's almost always enough to satisfy them. I'm also a bit of a prankster, and when I get someone who throws me an accusatory vibe along with the question, I will tell them that I am a Left Hand Path Pagan, and that they can go look it up if they really want to know.
Now, there's not a lot of truthful info on the Left Hand Path, and often what comes up in a google search is Christian churches warning parents of teenagers who might be sucked into worshiping the devil, etc...
It just gives me a good harmless giggle at their assuming expense. :)

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7/22/12 10:11 P

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depends on how well I know there person and how open they seem. I generally wait for them to ask or if that kind of topic comes up. I work in mental halt in OKlahoma, so it is a wide mix of christian and other paths. I f they say they will pray for me,then I graciously accept their prayers ( good vibes accepted). And offer them the same. Hopefully by then They know me and know my personal ethics.

Nothing works unless you do.


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THALIA_RAYNNE's Photo THALIA_RAYNNE Posts: 457
7/17/12 12:56 P

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I usually don't until the topic happens to come up. But if a person is pushing their religion on me then I go and say "Hey I am a pagan...please let me be" Granted that usually stops it and I don't care what they think of what my beliefs are...mine are mine and theirs is theirs

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MEANREDS92 Posts: 818
7/16/12 9:29 P

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I don't unless it comes up in casual conversation with people I already know. I normally just say "Oh, I'm Wiccan, it`s a nature-based relgion" I've found that generally it`s enough to satisfy people's curiosity. Unless of course someone is trying to 'recruit' me, to which I say "I prefer to keep religion private, but I appreciate your concern" Sympethetic listening works wonders--most of the time.

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BELINDADUVESSA's Photo BELINDADUVESSA Posts: 212
1/5/12 5:30 P

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I don't keep it a secret, but I don't announce it to the world, either. On Facebook, I put my religion as "Spiritualist" which is such a broad term that no one really knows what to actually make of it. Most of the people I went to school with, my husband, and my children all know that I am. My mother is open to it as well but I'm not completely sure if I've ever told her that I'm Pagan.

I have a co-worker who is very openly Pagan and very openly against the "Christian" God. I don't necessarily agree with him but because that's what my coworkers see in regards to Paganism, they think all Pagans are Satanist and Satan-worshipers. I even had my boss ask me if I was Pagan one time because I have a Pentacle tattoo on my back. I told him I wasn't really any one religion or another, which, as of right now, is true. I'm closest to being Wiccan but I don't usually even throw that label out there. People around here at too judgmental. You can't walk 2 blocks without running into a church. It's that kind of town. So, I don't announce it.

I am, however, slowly teaching my children what I know, as is their father. My oldest is 6 and my ex fiance's family had their kids in circle around that age, so that's what we're doing. My husband and I don't completely see eye to eye in regards to religion, but it's also not that far off, either. But in the end, if they follow in my footsteps or decide to be Christian (or really any other religion for that matter) then that's their choice.

Mother of 4, 2 boys and 2 girls
CHEFWITCH's Photo CHEFWITCH Posts: 892
1/4/12 12:10 P

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I don't mention it. If someone asks I might but usually I just say that my faith is personal and don't want to discuss it. Okay, so I only use that response when I'm be 'recruited' or if I know which way the conversation is being steered. I don't care much what other people think, many people at work know and I've had a few run-ins with snide comments and such but I'm pretty quick tongued and I can shut it down tout de suite. I admit though, I don't get much negativity from others; but I certainly don't tolerate being spoken down to.



The Chef Witch and food psycho


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AINE40's Photo AINE40 Posts: 104
1/1/12 3:40 P

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Happy New Years Everyone! I just wanted to state that I love reading the responses on this thread. Especially the last one.;) I have already broken the typical school teacher stereotype have a sleeve tattoo and being a belly dancer. I wish I was brave or strong enough to share my what i believe in. I will continue through my actions being a good person. Thanks everone for the interesting topic and responses!

Imperfection Is Beauty, Madness is Genius, & It's Better To Be Absolutely Ridiculous Than Absolutely Boring ..


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PANAC3A's Photo PANAC3A Posts: 656
1/1/12 1:34 P

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This is a great topic...this is also going to take a little while so I hope you're all sitting down!!!

I've been a practicing witch for about 20 years or so, I really don't keep track, I just do it. I don't believe in a higher power but I do believe in the spirit of things so "giving back what you take" is very important to me.

I met my husband about 8 years ago and he's an atheist, which works really well for me. He doesn't judge me or anyone else no matter what they believe and I do the same. We are very firm in practicing religious tolerance in our household. Since we have 7 kids together (5 are his, 2 are mine), and two very evil ex-wives, we make sure the kids aren't being led around by the nose with religion. We want to make sure they know about all of them and let them make their own decision when they're ready. And we are very open about answering any questions they may have. He and I know enough about other faiths that we're pretty confident in giving them an accurate answer.

"Knowing your enemy" is the best way to defend your personal beliefs. I know that sounds harsh , but it's the best way I can describe it. When someone asks us what we believe, we have no issues in telling anyone. When they start trying to convince us that their faith is the "only one", or they start acting is such a way that is totally against their own faith, that's when knowing your enemy comes into play. There are so many people out there that are only following their faith on Sundays and the rest of the week they behave like they have no religious beliefs. My husband and I, more than once, have been told that we act more like Christains than the ones who go to church. I find that to be very disturbing; people who don't believe in a god have better moral values than those who do. Hypocrites! We LIVE that way, and they only pretend to one day a week.

So, I don't have any issues telling anyone like it is. I have tattoos, jewelry and clothing that boldly announces what I believe. I don't care what people think because my actions will always speak louder that what is on my skin. Religious tolerance is what I "preach"; if I can accept anyone, no matter what their religion or belief and not question their decision because it is their "God-given" right to choose what suits them best, then they had better damned well be tolerant of mine or they wouldn't be practicing what their bible teaches. If they can't or they refuse to even think that way, they're not worth another second of my time. I have a lot of friends who know what I believe and they have never questioned it...they accept is as my choice. Yes, religion is like a penis...don't go pressuring people or going on "mission trips" to convert people from third world countries to change religions. Religion is a very personal thing. You don't go asking a complete stranger what vibrator they used last night, it's none of anyone's business. But if they persist and they don't like the answer, then they will have a challenge on their hands because chances are, I'll know more about their faith than they do.

Unfortunatley for us, others are ignorant when it comes to Paganism, Wicca and so on. Most people either don't know what it is, or their churches and demonized it. We have to prove to people that we're not evil devil worshipers...which is usually thier first response. In which case the proper reaction to this is to tell them that there is no devil in the craft. It seems that family members are the hardest to deal with. I have a lot of family that have no clue what I believe but it's not important because they live far away from me. My parents and two of my brothers know and are ok with it. They accept me no matter what, and that's the way it should be. The point is; education. You may have to teach people and try and make them at least understand that you have the choice to believe whatever you want and they shouldn't judge you for it. They don't have to agree, but they shouldn't try and change your mind. If they are totally resistant, then let it be and walk away. It may be painful, but the choice is a very personal one that truly is no one else's concern.

~"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively." - Bob Marley

(¯`v´¯)
*`·.¸.·´*
*¸¸* Ramy
*¸.·´¸.·¨) ¸.·¨)
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AINE40's Photo AINE40 Posts: 104
12/31/11 6:57 P

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Only a small group of my friends know about me being pagan. Ive been studying wicca just for a short while now,but have felt out of touch with Christianity. I teach grade school, so i know coming out of "the broom closet" would cause problems for me personally and professionally. So,i keep to myself and share with those that I trust and won't judge me. There are certain pieces of jewelry i would like to wear,but I'm not able to because of people thinking I'm evil or a devil worshipper. Its unfortunate it and complicated eh?! emoticon

Imperfection Is Beauty, Madness is Genius, & It's Better To Be Absolutely Ridiculous Than Absolutely Boring ..


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12/28/11 8:33 P

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Lots of good advice here. I agree with what many of the others have said. I will speak with people if it's out of genuine curiosity or if they are just being super nosy. I also agree that if some one truly is interested in your beliefs, setting up a time to speak seriously is best. Often when people hear "Pagan", pre-conceived ideas form in their minds and is very likely to be very different from what "Pagan" means to you. I wear a pentagram and I have to tell you, no one has ever noticed or asked about it.

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12/28/11 7:21 P

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I only tell people if the subject comes up. Its not like everyone else walks around saying what their beliefs are without it being brought up. (Well, okay some people do, but not everyone)
I actually wrote a letter to my mother about it when I was a teen. She and my husband are the only ones in my family that know. A number of people at my job know, but the subject has come up and they all take it in stride. Some even ask questions in a very friendly and curious way.

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4/7/11 2:12 P

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I normally don't tell people. It's just that they normally don't ask. I think I carry a neon sign above my head, because most people just seem to know. I guess maybe because I have been following the pagan path since I was about thirteen, so it's been about 20+ years. I think the fact that I wear a rose quartz and a triquetra around my neck are a stater. Then you add in my tattoos. I don't try to hide what I am, but I don't introduce myself as 'Hi, I'm Naomi and I'm a Pagan'.

If it comes up or I am questioned, I have no problem answering. If someone tries to convert me, well, I'll listen to what they have to say and ask the same of them. Not that it always works, but we all believe in something; don't we?

When I first moved into my house, I got called 'bruja' by the neighbors kids! And I didn't even know them. I kind of thought it was cool, yup; I really am weird like that. But, as time goes by, I find that I am the person that people come to when no one else will understand the 'weird things' in their life.

My spirituality is a huge part of my life, but I don't let it define me as a person.



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LAUGHINGLYCAN's Photo LAUGHINGLYCAN Posts: 10
4/5/11 7:19 P

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I tend not to say anything unless someone asks me directly. I am open and anyone who walks into my home or sees my tattoos suspect, but I don't feel the need to cram my personal beliefs onto others and I expect others to have the same respect. I have run into a few, however, that feel the need to convert me and I simply say my peace and walk away.

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4/4/11 2:50 A

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Sometimes if I'm just telling people general facts about me I will tell them that I am pagan and then specify from there if they ask. If some one is trying to convert me I tell them I am pagan and am happy with my beliefs most people are respectful. My family, who are baptists, know but we don't talk about it. My dad will share things he sees or finds about Ireland so he's at least tolerant enough to share that much with me.

“Though my soul may set in darkness, It will rise in perfect light, I have loved the stars too fondly To be fearful of the night” ~Sarah Williams



"When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives." - Ned Stark ~A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin



"Winter is coming" Stark House Motto ~George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire Series
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4/2/11 9:39 A

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I just come out and say it if they ask sure i get many questions after that like why or the bible says etc but i tell them straight who i am and what i am i can not hide it i have magickal symbols tattooed on my wrist and neck so no point in hiding it from people. i live in the 5th most conservative city in the country and there so against anything that is not Christianity but i just tell them im Pagen and proud
!

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KARLA_PHX's Photo KARLA_PHX Posts: 177
3/27/11 8:31 P

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My husband and a couple of my close friends know that I consider myself pagan, which is what I call myself because I don't really adhere to any one sect or tradition. I am attracted to some aspects of Wicca, Druidism and Asartu but not all, and I consider Jesus Christ to be an enlightened being and a great teacher but I do not believe him to be the "son of god" and think the organized Christian church has completely perverted his message. I've also recently begun a meditaion practice based in Eastern teachings. But beyond that, I am not "out of the broom closet" so to speak. I come from an extended family of hardcore Southern Baptists who very much believe that if you don't "accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior" you are doomed to hell, and while my parents are not as rabid, they are not overly accepting of non-christians either. My dad, to his credit, always told me "there are three things you don't discuss in polite company: sex, politics and religion" and I pretty much adhere to that. I don't discuss religion at work; in fact, I could get fired if I do because my company has policies specifically forbidding any "religious expression" in the office. You can't even have a cross or a plaque with a bible verse hanging in your cubicle, much less ask someone about their religion (I'm told this is the result of a nasty religious discrimination lawsuit we lost a few years back.) In general if someone asks me about religion, I say that I prefer not to discuss it, and the vast majority of people drop the subject. Basically I believe religion and spirituality should be a private matter, and you set a better example if you walk it rather than talk it. Prosletyzing drives me nuts; I totally agree with the "Religion is like a penis" comment!



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3/20/11 2:41 A

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I don't have to tell people any more, everyone knows. I've been public about it since the beginning. If someone asks, I just tell them straight forward that I'm heathen. If they ask for specifics, I explain the fornsiðr.

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NICOLELYNNB's Photo NICOLELYNNB Posts: 267
3/19/11 4:12 P

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I live smack in the middle of the Southern Bible Belt, which often leaves me subject to alienation/discrimination. So I tell people that I refuse to discuss religion (or politics). It usually shuts people up. If someone is genuinely curious, I'll talk to them about it and answer their questions, but otherwise, I let the situation dictate. A firm, "I don't believe in/celebrate that" or "My beliefs are personal" usually closes the subject.

I don't really have a pagan support/social group, but I am personally okay with that. It's whatever works for you!


ps- a great quote I came across the other day which describes exactly how I feel about the matter:

"Religion is like a penis.
It's fine to have one.
It's fine to be proud of it.
But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around,
And PLEASE don't try to shove it down my childrens' throats."



emoticon

Edited by: NICOLELYNNB at: 3/19/2011 (16:15)
"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." James Oppenheim


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TWUBBL's Photo TWUBBL Posts: 57
2/24/11 6:25 P

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There are two topics I try to steer away from in crowds...Politics and Religion. Both subjects are known to start wars, and I don't really like fighting. So when I'm with people who aren't within my private circle yet ask about my religion I explain that I don't like to talk about P & R and that is usually sufficent. If I'm with someone who is close to me, I have found them leaning towards a Wiccan / Pagan lifestyle of their own, and we usually have a very nice discussion. There are so many people following a Wiccan path in my area, that the local hospitals (where I work), have Wiccan on the list of religions for their patients to check off.

Edited by: TWUBBL at: 2/24/2011 (18:26)
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CRYSTALJEM's Photo CRYSTALJEM Posts: 1,605
2/19/11 2:55 P

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I love your response of 'I worship in my own way'. My beliefs come from such a variety of backgrounds. I am eclectic to say the least. I like to trust my inner bell to help me learn and grow. I have struggled greatly with the question of explaining my beliefs to others in the last few years.

I have a tween and a teen. While they know our beliefs, and we have tried to teach them about the many varied beliefs on this earth, I still don't know how to help them explain it to someone else either. They do not "follow" my beliefs blindly, I am trying to guide them to find their own path by asking their own questions, while at them same time instilling the basic values and attitude required to live and to find their path.

While I try to be truthful and teach my children to be truthful, there are certainly times where less information is better than more.

I finally realize though that it's not my "duty" to explain my beliefs to anyone who simply asks. It's not as simple as saying I'm Baptist or something where the label itself provides a relative representation of basic beliefs. I am so many things, I have not found one label which comes close to really saying it all.

I've found the comments here very helpful.

Edited by: CRYSTALJEM at: 2/20/2011 (17:35)
"In greater terms positive and negative have little meaning, for the physical experience is meant as a learning one. " The Nature Of Personal Reality: Seth by Jane Roberts


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2/18/11 10:39 A

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I'm an Ár nDraíocht Féin Druid myself. (ADF.ORG) I like being able to connect with my culture and religious beliefs as part of my daily life and also to be able to look for historical precedents for my worship. I really like the honesty and depth of ADF.
As far as telling people about my religious beliefs, I usually let them bring it up. If they are someone I don't trust with the information then I will just tell them I worship in my own way. As far as family members, I am lucky that my own are very supportive and have been since I was a child and first realised I was pagan. My wife's Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles are a different matter. VERY Baptist. For them, I just try to keep it quiet, be respectful of their beliefs and not make waves.

Unecumque homo est, ibi benifico locus est - Seneca.


It is the duty of a gentleman to know how to ride, to shoot, to fence, to box, to swim, to row and to dance. He should be graceful. If attacked by ruffians, a man should be able to defend himself, and also to defend women from their insults ---
Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture. 1886


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2/18/11 1:27 A

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My grandmother got me into my path so my folks kind of got use to the idea that I wasn't going to be christian from a really early age.

As to most people out there, well they know mostly because they will see my pentagram around my neck or something to that effect.

Funnyest one was my husbands side of the family who are LDS (mormons), the first time he brings me to see them the first Q they ask of course is what is my standing and what sect am I a member of because they all assumed that he was marrying within their religion.

I just shake my head and said, no I'm Pagan, the look on their faces was priceless. They stopped talking went really silent and that was the last of it with them asking such questions, till I ended up meeting the rest of the family 9 months later at his mom's wedding, there I got asked when was I going to convert and had he taken me to temple as yet and when was I due (they though he'd knocked me up - they don't seem to understand that where childfree and I'm in medical menopause).

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2/16/11 6:50 A

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Typically, I reserve such information for people who ask about it with a desire to genuinely learn and grow. It's quite easy to have a sense of whether they are coming from a place of genuine curiosity or just wanting to find something about you to criticize.

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."

H.H. the Dalai Lama


"You people and your quaint categories."

Captain Jack Harkness


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2/16/11 6:50 A

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Typically, I reserve such information for people who ask about it with a desire to genuinely learn and grow. It's quite easy to have a sense of whether they are coming from a place of genuine curiosity or just wanting to find something about you to criticize.

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."

H.H. the Dalai Lama


"You people and your quaint categories."

Captain Jack Harkness


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2/16/11 6:49 A

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Typically, I reserve such information for people who ask about it with a desire to genuinely learn and grow. It's quite easy to have a sense of whether they are coming from a place of genuine curiosity or just wanting to find something about you to criticize.

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."

H.H. the Dalai Lama


"You people and your quaint categories."

Captain Jack Harkness


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2/16/11 6:49 A

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Typically, I reserve such information for people who ask about it with a desire to genuinely learn and grow. It's quite easy to have a sense of whether they are coming from a place of genuine curiosity or just wanting to find something about you to criticize.

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."

H.H. the Dalai Lama


"You people and your quaint categories."

Captain Jack Harkness


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ALOHACYL's Photo ALOHACYL Posts: 4,582
2/15/11 11:48 A

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I normally don't. I live and work in an area where people honestly believe Pagans, Wiccans, Goddess followers, any earth-related religion are "devil worshippers" so it is best to let it alone. I am a solitary and in this area, you should remain "silent." My Mother knows and it was a big step for her being Catholic. One thing that seems to satisfy her is that I incorporate my Catholic upbringing with my Wiccan traditions. I'm not fully "lost" to her.... emoticon

You can't wait for motivation to strike; sometimes you need to dig deep into yourself and find the motivation on your own.


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ZAIVALA's Photo ZAIVALA Posts: 2,019
2/14/11 7:55 P

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My best advice is, don't give them a label. If you tell them you're Pagan or Wiccan, they will have in their own mind what that means, and it likely will be miles away from what it means to you. If they start asking about church, just tell them you have your own beliefs. You don't have to trigger anyone, just protect yourself. If someone really wants and needs to know, set up some time to talk to them about your relationship with Deity/ies, and tell/show them your sincerity. It is counter-productive to put this in an attacking way -- doing so is labelling Christians (or others) the same way you do not wish to be labelled.

Feel free to write me at zaivalananda@gmail.com if you want to discuss this with me further.

Hugs,
Moss

I overcame my spiritual obesity, now for the physical!


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AMANDALEIGH57 Posts: 28
2/14/11 7:16 P

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I'm new to paganism (and weightloss for that matter!), I just started reading and learning about it last year and I don't know any other pagans or have any teachers so I'm just kind of figuring things out for myself at this point. I was wondering if any of you had any advice on telling people (especially family) that you have decided to follow a pagan religious path? Also if anyone is willing to share some of their beliefs/traditions please feel free to send me a message. I know everyone does things differently and I would love to learn from you.

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