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SKYLARAGROTERA's Photo SKYLARAGROTERA SparkPoints: (610)
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3/2/14 8:51 P

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My biggest challenge has been my family, who are all very Christian (Southern Baptist) - most just simply say that they will "pray for me" - and I accept that.

However, most of my closest friends and family know that I am a Pagan and some know that I am specifically a Celtic/Eclectic Wiccan. I have to say that some are more understanding than others - I love debating theology with some of my closest friends and I can talk for hours with some on all facets of religion, including my own religion. One, who has recently become a "born again" Christian and has gotten very heavily involved with his church recently sent me a message just to wish me a Merry Imbolc. It was funny, because his message was, "I haven't a clue how you celebrate - but do what you do, my lovely friend, and have fun doing it!" It made my heart smile.

I actually wear my religion proudly - and permanently - on my arm. Two years ago, I had my dedication tattooed.

Another of the bigger challenges is finding places to shop for supplies - there are only 3 stores in my area - two of which are at least a 30-60 minute drive away and the other of which tends to be much pricier. I realize I can shop online, but sometimes you have an urge to do a working or a ritual and don't want to have to wait for shipping.

It's hard being Pagan here in the deep south - my pentacle gets mistaken for a Star of David, I get asked if I am a Devil Worshiper and of course the ever present "You're going to Hell." But I just try and smile and ask the Goddess to give me patience and tolerance of intolerant people. It helps!

Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done - Robert Heinlein

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how we react to it - Charles R. Swindoll

If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all. = Dan Rather


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ELLEVAMP89's Photo ELLEVAMP89 SparkPoints: (7,582)
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2/25/14 7:38 A

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I don't really think I have any "challenges" with being "out of the broom closet" as some say...my only issue is when people ask if I "worship satan" when I tell them my religion.

Emily A.A.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”

Mark Caine



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ETERNAL_STUDENT's Photo ETERNAL_STUDENT SparkPoints: (4,658)
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2/21/14 8:56 A

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Actually I'm not really out. I have a few friends that know and my husband does, but that's really it. I dearly want a pentacle, something to wear around to show people how I think about and interact with the world. That, to me, would be being "out".

But my school is heavily Christian, so much so that at barbeques will have random prayers and 'The Rock' is the most popular club on campus. You wouldn't think it, considering we're a school of alternative medicine, but for some reason chiropractors are a heavily Christian modality. I don't mind, I really don't, but I don't want to lose patients because they're offended that I'm a "devil worshipper" and right now, most of my patients in the student clinic are chiropractors.

I talked to my friend about it and she said that I could just say that it's a symbol of the sheng and ke cycle: http://www.yinyanghouse.com/files/u2/FiveE
lementsCycleBalanceImbalance.jpg

But that would be a lie and I don't want to lie.

On top of that, as accepting as my husband is we know his family isn't. So we hide it. They don't know he's an atheist, they just know we don't go to church. They begrudgingly accept us as "lapsed Christians", but we have no idea how they'd react to the truth.

And because I've been hiding for so long, it's habit. It's hard to even picture being out. The freedom itself frightens me. Message boards like this have been the only place I've been able to communicate but it's not the same as in person.

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LAURETTACH1966's Photo LAURETTACH1966 Posts: 216
2/9/14 11:29 A

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I am totally out. My son and daughter are also starting to follow a Pagan Path as well. I have never felt more complete since I started following my path.
Anyone that has an issue with it does not need to be a part of my life and I will tell them so that its their choice but no one will change my path.

I have never been shy to say that I wiccan to anyone and I have really not had any backlash at least not to my face anyway.
The most important people in my life are happy that I am happy and that is what matters to me.

Lauretta
Co-Leader Calling all Canadians


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JAVAWITCH SparkPoints: (12,969)
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2/9/14 9:09 A

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The people I have told are ok with it. Of course I knew they would be so that's why I told them! I haven't told anyone else because I do know a lot of Christians and Catholics who would have a hard time with it. I think spirituality is personal for each individual, so I'm ok with not telling the people in my life.

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THINKINMARQ's Photo THINKINMARQ SparkPoints: (5,999)
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2/8/14 12:37 A

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I'm not really "out". I used to be but I got tired of all of the questions. Heck, I get tired of the questions my boyfriend asks me. I wish I could just hand out pamphlets to everyone that I come out to. I understand that they are curious and that this might be the first time they've every met someone who doesn't belong to a major religion...it can just be exhausting playing 20 questions.

My second biggest challenge is that my mother thought this was a "phase" for several years. Now that I'm 28 and I haven't "grown out of it" I think she's confused at what to do. She got me a ouiji board this Christmas, which I found endearing because I know that's her way of showing me that she accepts me, but it's never going to be used so I feel bad. =/

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TULLY46's Photo TULLY46 SparkPoints: (3,916)
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12/30/13 4:02 P

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Hi! I just joined SPARKPEOPLE & thought this was a good discussion to reply to. It lets you get to know me:) I was raised in a strict Baptist home, went to a Christian school & lived that
way most of my life. I guess about 5 years ago I realized that I only believed what I did because that's all I had ever been taught. I decided that I was going to start studying some different beliefs & that quickly brought me to Paganism. Our town is one that is small & filled
with Christian churches so it is hard to find anyone that would speak to me, but I did find a lady who told me to start studying the history of the holidays. Once I did that, my eyes were
opened to a lot of untruths I had been taught in church. I would not consider myself a Wiccan though I find it interesting & would love to learn more. Right now I am probably closer to Druidism. I love nature & feel my best when walking in the woods. I feel such a connection & it is good. I am getting into crystals & their meanings, using them as they should be, etc. I am finding a love of history & studying Goddesses. Despite our town being the way it is, I wear jewelry that is definitely Pagan. I also have a tattoo on the back of my neck that would make people wonder about me. lol. I am willing to speak about it, but only if asked. I do not want to be preached at & I will shut a person down in a nice but quick way. I have had that already too much in my life. I have lost friends & relatives because of this, but it's okay. Sad, but okay. I wish there was a group here or more people that I could speak with, but it's very solitary. I hope that I can find some good friendships here:)

'And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight
in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to
bloom' Anais Nin

'Don't stumble over something behind you'

'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone'



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JMOSESRN's Photo JMOSESRN Posts: 368
11/5/13 1:03 P

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I get tired of explaining. Tired of trying to counteract all the assumptions and misconceptions. My spirituality is very personal to me and having to defend it can be draining... emoticon

keep Moving Forward


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EXOTEC's Photo EXOTEC Posts: 2,966
7/6/13 12:45 P

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Ignorance on the part of others. I don't subscribe to any particular pagan "religion." I define myself more as a non-Christian, which attracts all sorts of negative press from Christians in the present social atmosphere. If I were to name a path, I suppose I lean most toward Druidism... although my beliefs don't have "identities' ('gods'). I have an affinity for nature and spirit and our place in this magical reality we are part of. Where did the magic go for Christians, and other "organized religions"? what is the point, if it's just rote and dogma? how does that feed the spirit? is that what their god wants? I am at a loss.

I am "out" only insofar as I don't hide it. It's very clear to anyone who knows me that I'm not Christian. Most don't query me about it further than that, presumably because they know they'll get answers, and sometimes those answers are prickly enough that they don't want to explore the whys of their own beliefs. I wear a pentacle. I wear an Ouroboros ring. I play Christmas and Easter as happy social events, unrelated to mystic Christian dogma. I note, if not celebrate, the changing seasons.

I don't usually have very deeply troubling issues with people at large. After all, as others have said here, you don't just go up to people and announce your personal beliefs.

On the occasions someone has noted and recognized it, it's been a positive experience:
I was perusing an incense shop at a flea market not long ago (not especially pagan-oriented), and when I leaned over to pick up a product, my pentacle slipped out and waved around. The proprietor noticed, said she liked it, and proceeded to lead me by the hand through several new items, others she especially liked, and then gave me a handful of samples (gratis!) that came to more than the amount I actually purchased! amazing.
Another time I was coming down in the elevator from an appointment in the local university hospital (of all places!), and someone in scrubs sharing the ride must have noticed...he didn't make any remark on the ride down, but when I got out he smiled and offered me a "Blessed Be." Another amazement. LOL
I was approached (in a Walmart - again, of all places) by a lady who hesitantly wondered to me if I knew of the local pagan group, and whether we might meet there for their monthly get-togethers. She was nervous about opening the topic, I could see. But I told her yes, I did attend when I could, and I hoped to see her there again.

It's nice to have positive recognition. Nicer still to not have too much negative recognition. After all, the general public is mostly clueless beyond the "Buffy" crowd. Most don't have any true concept of what the pentacle or the ring or any other thing signifies. I suppose that may be a good thing in some cases!

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis


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ERIKAARTUSO's Photo ERIKAARTUSO SparkPoints: (1,104)
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6/30/13 1:44 P

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I think that the hardest part is finding open minded people. I have been out for about a year now and about half of the people that I have come across have asked me some sort of crazy outlandish question. The one I get the most is are you a Satan worshiper. I hate that. My mother was accused of the same thing and now I know what she really was. I wear my pentacle everyday and most of the time it hangs outside my shirt. I have just learned to deal with the looks, but the questions sometimes hurt. emoticon

but I am till proud to be who I am. emoticon

Edited by: ERIKAARTUSO at: 6/30/2013 (13:46)
ERIKA ARTUSO


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EVILPASSION's Photo EVILPASSION Posts: 84
6/18/13 5:45 A

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I would find it very difficult STARTING a relationship with someone that was not openminded. However, if I had an ongoing, loving, nurturing and supportive relationship with someone of another faith who would be bothered by it, I think that I would simply do as you are doing and keep my thoughts to myself except when in nurturing company.

It is too hard these days to find a good partner and the gods led you there for a reason. emoticon

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel....yet.


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SCARLETTDAWN's Photo SCARLETTDAWN SparkPoints: (1,364)
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6/18/13 5:41 A

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I am almost completely in the closet. The only person who knows I'm Pagan is my best friend, I know she doesn't judge. My husband is a Christian, except he doesn't read the Bible or pray, but he is totally opposed to any outside religions. Therefore I pray, study, and practice in secret. Makes me feel more connected to the early witches. emoticon I've had a lot of Pagans think I'm crazy, but I can't see leaving a good man who takes care of me and our son just because we believe different things.

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EVILPASSION's Photo EVILPASSION Posts: 84
4/25/13 5:49 P

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I'm fairly 'out' here in a very closed minded area. My daughter and I do collect crosses and pictures of churches (from an architectural standpoing) so people tent to think there is "hope" for us. Sometimes when they are pushing me too hard I will tell them that a good Pagan is more Christian than a Sundary Christian and they either respond with genuine curiousity or the wander away horrifed. Whatever...works for me. emoticon

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel....yet.


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ASILLA's Photo ASILLA SparkPoints: (65,204)
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2/22/13 8:10 A

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I do wear my pent always, seldom but sometimes on the inside of my shirt. Depending. not exactly that that think it might offend someone, more that some people are so narrow minded and I tire of lunacy there are some very scary/crazy people. I've been threatened before, not pretty. How can people profess to be "good forgiving god believing people" and threaten me for what I believe in? Wouldn't their god be angry at them for judging me?

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WITERAVEN's Photo WITERAVEN SparkPoints: (671)
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2/17/13 3:35 P

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JESSARENEA, I am very proud and comfortable with my beliefs but I don't go around introducing myself as Pagan every time I meet someone or have a conversation. I wear my pentacle all the time. If the subject comes up and I'm asked I certainly don't hesitate to tell people but I don't find ways to add it to conversations or Say 'Hi, I'm a witch'... just like most people don't go around saying 'Hi, I'm Christian' or Muslim or whatever their beliefs are.

There is a time and place for all things... balance... emoticon

Linebacker... don't think of all those years studying as 'wrong'... if you hadn't done that you wouldn't have the understanding of your spirituality that you do... knowledge is always good, it helps us make informed opinions. emoticon

emoticon

Edited by: WITERAVEN at: 2/17/2013 (15:38)
The way to the Universe is through one's Self.


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LINEBACKER1968's Photo LINEBACKER1968 Posts: 393
2/16/13 2:44 P

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Wow where do I start. I guess I feel like starting life over. Coming to grips with how wrong I was. I spent many years studying in ministry and my doubts started 10 yrs ago. They really intensified about 5yrs ago to the point I felt like I had to lie to myself just to read my bible. Accepting that in a lot of ways I'm a social out cast. In the african american community to question the idea of god is taboo.

Moving Foward!!!


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AMBROSIAHINO's Photo AMBROSIAHINO Posts: 323
2/5/13 9:21 A

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I have plenty of people that know, but I don't advertise it. I don't generally wear my pentacle (I wear a claddagh daily) except around people that know. Generally, when asked about "what church do you attend?" I answer that we haven't found one that suits our needs. But I have plenty of people in my life that don't need to know. Ever. My grandpa is a Southern Baptist preacher and my mom has begged me to never let him find out.

When asked by someone that I feel would not be offended by the truth, I tell them, and answer any questions. My in-laws know and so do all my friends. My parents and brother know (and one cousin). But co-workers? Casual acquaintances? That depends on the person.

Amber and Wayne
Together in 2005, married since 2007

Eric Daniel born 10/17/2010

Baby #2
due 11/25/2014


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CHEFWITCH's Photo CHEFWITCH Posts: 887
1/24/13 11:35 A

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I don't mention it but if it comes up and someone asks I tell them I'm a witch (I'm not a practicing Wiccan anymore, but a kitchen witch). I don't get into elaborate discussions with anyone about it - I avoid discussing religion and politics like the plague but I will give a snappy retort if someone gets offensive. Usually the only thing I have to say is, 'careful, your ignorance is showing'. Once in a great while I've got someone I REALLY have to tell off and then I do and they leave me alone. I guess here in NY I've got it better than other places, most folks don't really care nor do they ask.

Edited by: CHEFWITCH at: 1/24/2013 (11:36)
The Chef Witch and food psycho


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MARETIDE's Photo MARETIDE Posts: 187
1/24/13 7:20 A

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"Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"
"I'm not a witch I'm a Druid."
silence.

"Are you a good Witch or a bad Witch?"
"Depends on my mood. Are you a good Christian or a bad Christian?"

Onward, comrades!
Come and join my team!
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GOODWITCH333's Photo GOODWITCH333 SparkPoints: (13,321)
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1/23/13 7:58 P

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I'm fairly quiet about my faith, but I do occasionally get the "SO.. What do you guys do? Sacrifice Virgins?" I am so tempted to start in on Abraham's sacrifice of his favorite son, Joe and rant that human sacrifice is a Christian thing ( as well as historically many other faiths) but usually I just end up being glib and saying " No..Why? Do you know any virgins??


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1/13/13 10:13 P

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I read a history book almost two decades ago that had a passage about Druids, and I have often used it to explain Wicca and Witches. It said that "... All Druids were Celts, but not all Celts were Druids" (Meaning the original Druids) I use a similar phrase that "all Wiccans are Witches, but not all witches are Wiccan".

Nothing changes unless you change it- paraphrasing of the Dali Lama. Not all who wander are lost.


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MARETIDE's Photo MARETIDE Posts: 187
1/13/13 8:59 P

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I think I have it easy... kinda. No one outside the Pagan community really knows what a Druid is, so it doesn't have the same stigma as Wicca and Witchcraft with the mainstream. Our symbols are also more obscure and less likely to be misconstrued. I really haven't had too many issues.

Onward, comrades!
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JESSARENEA's Photo JESSARENEA SparkPoints: (4,252)
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1/13/13 2:32 A

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Right before Christmas, my dad equated me with a devil worshipper and said it was un-christian people ,like devil worshipping witches, who went into Sandy Hook and shot all of those poor kids...just cause some report said that guy was a goth...So, my answer, ignorance is the biggest challenge. Unlike everyone else, though, I admit my beliefs loud and proud! If the Christians can, so can I!

Nothing changes unless you change it- paraphrasing of the Dali Lama. Not all who wander are lost.


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WITERAVEN's Photo WITERAVEN SparkPoints: (671)
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1/10/13 10:17 A

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A good friend of mine once said, "your faith is like your underwear, everyone knows you have them, not everyone needs to know the color"

emoticon

Like others, I am discrete, I don't hide my beliefs but I don't go shouting them from the roof top either.

The way to the Universe is through one's Self.


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LORELLELAURA's Photo LORELLELAURA SparkPoints: (10,818)
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1/10/13 7:56 A

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People who still think of paganism as being devil worship (I have ad someone ask me this) and I get tired of explaining that it is a wonderful, gentle craft and the number one rule is to harm none..I have no time for people who view me differently when they find out

Lorelle xx

A woman without curves is like jeans without pockets, there's nowhere to put your hands...


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VCLANCY50's Photo VCLANCY50 SparkPoints: (956)
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1/9/13 7:48 P

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I guess for me, I think of being out as not necessarily I bringing it up but not hiding it. Things might be a little different for me because I live in a very small town (less than 2000). For years, I went out of my way to not draw attention (not that I try now) but you know I let my kids go to bible school, I let the missionaries visit, I let the world think what they wanted. In that, I still do. But I have stopped not talking about it. I wear a pentagram, I decorate for my holidays, I send treats on my special days. The is year my cards said Happy Yule and they received Yule treats. That kind of thing. But I still have people who are not accepting or who treat my children differently... I guess I am not really making any sense. If questions were the only thing that happened, then temper wouldn't be an issue.

You Can Do ANYTHING...But You CAN'T Expect it to Be EASY!
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JEANNIE1238's Photo JEANNIE1238 Posts: 2,522
1/9/13 7:33 A

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I don't bring up being Wiccan, but sometimes conversation end up with me outing myself. Usually it's not so bad, but on an occasion I get the third degree. I have lost a "friend" because of my belief. You can try and teach people what Paganism is, but doesn't mean they will listen. I figure people either accept me as I am or not; I don't need to explain things to them. If they are interested and ask question then I do.
I do wear (or did until my cat ran off with it) my pentacle on the outside of my shirt. I figure if Christians can wear a cross, Jews can wear the Star of David, then I can wear the pentacle. I have ran into a few people who have come up to me out of the blue and gave me a hug for not hiding myself. The first time I got a hug, I came to the realization that wearing the pentacle on the outside might actually help others get the courage not to hide who they are. And people asked me questions about it, which I really don't mind. I rather tell people the truth then have someone tell them lies.


Edited by: JEANNIE1238 at: 1/9/2013 (07:42)


Virginia,MN

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1/9/13 1:02 A

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What is out for you? I am out, but not pushy about it. I wear my pentacle, but keep it under my shirt when I am in the grocery or groups of people I don't know and some I do know. If someone asks me I tell them, but I don't walk up to people and say "I am Pagan." When I worked, I often worked for companies that had a Christian management. If they had asked me I would have told them. Many of my coworkers knew. I don't like to fight, and yes I would, but why bring it up

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JMOSESRN's Photo JMOSESRN Posts: 368
1/8/13 6:29 P

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I have a hard time with people who have misguided notions of what Paganism is and isn't. I get tired of having to explain myself and my faith....

keep Moving Forward


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1/8/13 3:10 P

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For me, the biggest hurtle is my temper... I have a problem with people that are closed minded and can accept "agree to disagree"....lol... and people that judge my children or grandchildren...it brings out the mama bear...

You Can Do ANYTHING...But You CAN'T Expect it to Be EASY!
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