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ImageWoodwife
Jun 11, 2010 11:20 AM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
Are you in or out of the broom closet?
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ImageWoodwife
Jun 11, 2010 12:36 PM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
I'm stradling the doorway. But then I did always like those liminal spaces.

I'm out on a need to know basis, I guess. If asked outright I would be honest, but I admit to sorta skirting the issue at times.

When I lived in CA and NV it wasn't a big deal and I can't honestly think of anyone ever asking what my religion was. In a place where you can see Elvis at the dry cleaner, drag queens at the market and there are slot machines in the McDonalds, people aren't surprised at anything...it's Vegas!

Here in Texas it's different. People you've just met will ask you where you go to church. I usually just say that I'm not much of a church goer and I study at home. Sometimes this satisfies them, sometimes not. I've had a few uncomfortable moments.

The Cottage in the Thicket , a place for pagans and friends.

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Curlyhut
Jun 11, 2010 2:32 PM CST
Name: Cindy
London, KY
Reality is just an illusion.
I feel the same as WoodWife. I work in HR Dept, so I have to be professional and my beliefs do not beling in this environment. Most of the people I work with know me and I have even read for several of them, but I am still closed by choice. I keep my tattoo covered, and I was even repremanded one day because my necklace had popped out my shirt. One of our applicants was appauld I was wearing a pentacle. Oh well. At any rate I find living in the bible belt of the South, its a 50/50. Where I live, the pagan community is probably less than a couple hundred at the most. Out of the closet. If you go North, I think they are more open. One thing I have learned over the years when people ask me of my faith is I dont talk to brick walls. If someone has a honest question, I will answer it. If they are just trying to pick an argument, I dont bother. I dont feel the need to defend who I am. I have learned that some people don't want to understand. Sad but true.
Val
Jun 11, 2010 3:08 PM CST
Name: Val
Ohio
I'm somewhere in the middle too. Normally, people don't ask so I don't bring it up. Even if asked, I usually give a vague answer. Usually, that's all people are interested in anyway. If they continue to ask, I'll be more direct.

Those who know me well, know about my religious beliefs. It's a part of me. Most of my basic beliefs go back to childhood so my parents are familiar with them. It's really not a big deal in my family or with the in-laws and it has seldom been an issue with anyone else. As for the people who don't know me well, I don't see why they would need to know.

So I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm not secretive but I don't have a neon sign over my head either.
Imagegemini_sage
Jun 11, 2010 7:37 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY
If asked, I answer honestly, otherwise, I don't see a reason to bring it up. I'm often put off when upon first meeting someone, they have to work in "I'm a born again Christian"....I always want to respond with, "did something go wrong the first time?". Of course, people can tell at first glance I'm not trying to conform to societal norms, so they're usually not all that surprised. Actually, most are more fascinated than put off.
ImageEufaula
Jun 12, 2010 6:52 AM CST
Name: Lynn
I agree with everyone here on this subject. I do not hide what I believe but I do not "spout " either! When met with the "What Church" question, I just say that I am a member of a certain Church back home, which I joined when I was 15. When I meet a "prober" or someone who just has to have a religious Identity for me , I tell them that I follow a more traditional Native American path. This usually mystifies or satisfies the questioner. I just do not believe any one on the outside wants to hear the word Pagan. But if they did or if they would just "Google" if need be, they would see that it in all actuality, it means those who follow the Old ways and walks in conjunction with Nature.
My path is never blocked, it just needs sweeping!
Imagesheryl
Jun 12, 2010 7:00 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
I was amazed, last month - a receptionist that I've spoken to a hundred times (at the local extension office) went shocked and cold on me when I spelled out my e-mail address; our domain is pagancat.com. I was surprised to get that kind of reaction from someone who already knows that I'm a friendly and (generally) nice person.

But as I've said - this little town is the buckle of the bible belt..... or at least one of the first notches.
ImageWoodwife
Jun 12, 2010 9:22 AM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
I would like to do an article here on cubits about pagans. I would like it to be about "the pagan next door", not so much about beliefs but about who pagans are in everyday life, do you think that's a good idea?



The Cottage in the Thicket , a place for pagans and friends.

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Imagesheryl
Jun 12, 2010 10:27 AM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
I'm good with that ... most people here knew me as Pagancat and have probably guessed where I come from. I guess when we came up with the Atheist thread, one of the other lovely cubit owners declared that the devil had come to cubits or some such nonsense.

Needless to say, 'they' are definitely out there.... Rolling my eyes.
AlohaHoya
Jun 12, 2010 11:11 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Re: an article... Wendy, when you gave us the definitions of Pagan and Heathen, many of us were totally unaware of their original meaning/definition. Imagine how 'they' would react...and what they would learn. Stereotypes may be erased and people learn that just because we call outselves 'whatever Rolling my eyes. " doesn't mean we burn babies at the stake and ride broomsticks. (my BS is in the repair shop...don't know about yours Whistling ).

I say go for it!

Carol
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagegingin
Jun 12, 2010 2:14 PM CST
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Carol....the dog ate mine Whistling

When I was a waitress on St. George Island,Fl. I found that the "born agains" were the WORST to wait on!! Expected every thing on a silver platter and left literature and a very small tip. HELLO...literature don't pay the bills!!!

When the subject of church comes up, I reply with "The church of my back yard". Love beer thirty watching the wildlife and smelling the flowers....means much more then the "wrath of God" and doom and gloom. Rain is liquid sunshine. Mother Earth smells SO good after a nice rain and the world smiles in flowers. Smiling
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
ImageWoodwife
Jun 12, 2010 3:08 PM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
I doubt the hard core "if you're not a Christian you worship Satan" types will have a change of heart but maybe there's some open minds out there....I hope...

What kind of things would you like to see explained? I'm open to suggestions.

eta: I wouldn't name names, just meant general stuff like...pagans brush their teeth and go to work and love their children....(and even though it can be tempting, would never never eat them.... :P)
The Cottage in the Thicket , a place for pagans and friends.

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[Last edited Jun 12, 2010 3:12 PM CST]
Quote | Post #264794 (12)
Imagesheryl
Jun 12, 2010 3:16 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
Well, the word definitions and roots are a good place to start. Then the effusive gushing about our talents can start.
AlohaHoya
Jun 12, 2010 4:23 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Speaking of broomsticks, in The Botany of Desire Michael Pollan writes about 4 plants, in individual chapters, that have evolked passions in our history, and one of them is Cannibis (other three are Apple, Tulip and Potato). Anyway he writes that all thru history the 'Seers', sages, witches, oracles etc., more often than not, used or were influenced by Cannabis use among other drugs...and that the Witches traditionally injested/applied the drugs vaginally with dildo like things....thus....the images of witches riding broomsticks!!

Now there's a useless piece of interesting information! Whistling
Leap. The net will appear.
ImageWoodwife
Jun 12, 2010 4:37 PM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
Some modern day folks have made witch's ointment using the recipes that were obtained during the witch trials. They usually contained datura, like those pretty daturas and brugmansias that so many people in the gardening forums grow. Whistling . The descriptions of the trip are interesting.

Let me see if I can find a link.

The Cottage in the Thicket , a place for pagans and friends.

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ImageWoodwife
Jun 12, 2010 4:50 PM CST
Name: Wendy
N. of Houston, Texas - 8b
An Old Wive's Tale
From the website The Witching Hours ( http://www.shanmonster.com/witch/index.html )

http://www.shanmonster.com/witch/flying.html

In 1992, an anonymous man conducted a similar experiment. He writes,

The unguent was rubbed on the pulse points of the hands and feet, after 5 minutes, a great feeling of tiredness and coldness overcame me and I lay down, my breathing slowed and I began to feel a bit panicky that I would die, however I convinced myself that if I did go into respiratory collapse or heart failure the instructions I had left with a friend who was attending me would enable him to provide artificial respiration and call an ambulance.

My understanding of time became impossible so I could not decide how long my experiences lasted. Eventually I stopped being fearful and my mind seemed to be becoming detached from its normal state, there was still a feeling of coldness then I seemed to be floating upwards. I found myself soaring above the rooftops of London and my body was no longer human it had become amorphous like a giant squid, with its tentacles streaming behind it. With a little concentration I could change my body into virtually any shape I so desired.

I seemed to be heading West and eventually came to a hillside, there I met a number of other people who informed me that the meeting place was not on this world but in the stars. I immediately shot into the sky towards a very bright star, I was not alone and as I flew towards the star many others were with me, our bodies seemed to melt into each other and I remember intense sensations of pleasure running up and down my body, which at the same time was not my body but everyones, it's difficult to describe.

Eventually I came to an enormous hall and walked upon its cold floor towards a flight of steps, either side of the hall were enormous pillars that stretched up so high I could not see a ceiling. As I came to the top of the steps I saw a hooded figure of a woman, she looked at me though her face was hidden by the hood. I suddenly felt an incredible sensation of power emanating from the woman and I became very frightened.

The woman began to remove her hood and through fear I averted my gaze, a voice in my head told me to look up, I did and the face of the woman shone so brightly it hurt, not just my eyes but my whole body. I then remember a sensation of falling and cannot remember anything else (Witchcraft Herbal Lore and Flying Ointments).

The Cottage in the Thicket , a place for pagans and friends.

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AlohaHoya
Jun 12, 2010 4:59 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Interesting...don't think I want to try it....
Leap. The net will appear.
smaug1525
Jun 14, 2010 1:16 PM CST
In being raised Baptist, I was constantly informed of how people would mock my religion and try to convert me to the satanic ways of the world. My family was, and still is, very church oriented and we were always told to keep our friendships and love (marriage) interests in the church. We attended all worship services and all social functions. This meant the large majority of my time was spent in or at church functions where we could be safe from the evils of the outside world.

When I grew older I learned to read on my own. I studied the Bible, even went to Baptist college to become a preacher. It was then that I realized the everything I had been told was a fairy tale, designed to keep us in line. Nowdays, when people ask my faith, I tell them I am pagan. They usually ask what traumatic event turned me away from God. I inform them that with most born agains it is indeed a traumatic event which left them in need of finding a fairy tale to make them feel better, with me, however, I just started thinking.

The odd thing is, now I am older I find that it is the christians that attack personal beliefs. No one ever questioned my belief in the christian faith, only my lack of belief in it. Ultimately I am a philosopher. I believe in powers higher than myself but only because it makes it easier to carry on through this world. I find most belief systems offer no proof, only theory. That said, believe what you will. Just watch out for those who would burn you for their own fear of not knowing truth.
AlohaHoya
Jun 14, 2010 5:03 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Well said, smaug. That's why this cubit and the Atheist cubit feels so safe, for me.
Leap. The net will appear.
Val
Jun 14, 2010 5:20 PM CST
Name: Val
Ohio
Have you noticed the lack of people proselytizing? I'm not aware of any pagan religion that believes in proselytizing. There isn't a belief that everyone should have the same religious views.

But pagans aren't the only religious group that doesn't believe in proselytizing. I've known Buddhists and Hindus that are the same way. It's nice not to have to worry about someone trying to shove their beliefs down your throat by telling you what you are "supposed" to believe.

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