Sunday, 7 August 2016

A quick question.

I'm running on some post-ritual bliss right now. I am also exhausted and need to sleep, because we are getting up early to go on a road trip!

I went to a great small Lammas ritual this evening with a few people from the local community. It was a lot of fun, really great energy. The rain held off a bit, though we could use it. My province currently has 3 out of control fires, which is a little concerning.

The wind was strong, we were right by the ocean, and the grey sky was just a lovely backdrop to the whole affair.

One the way out of the park post ritual, we came across a large patch of heather. We harvested a bit, and as soon as I got home the rain started. Heather is associated with calling rain. I feel like I should go harvest a whole damn field, we need rain so badly.

I have another ritual next week (for Hekate), which should also be great fun as it's at one of my favourite beaches in the province. Late night swimming? Maybe? :D

So earlier this week, my friend, let's call her K, sent me this message on facebook after I had posted something witchcraft related:

I told her I wanted to blog about it, and here we are.

Honestly, I am lucky that I don't need to hide who I am from most of my family. I don't filter most of my stuff. Most of that is for a few reasons.
1- I don't talk to a lot of my extended family. My mother doesn't give two shits about what I do provided I am happy and not harming anyone.
2- A lot of my friends are pagan or pagan-friendly, or they just skip over my post. I don't generally stay friends with people who are constantly berating other people for choice they make about their spirituality.
3- I don't have co-workers on my private facebook, so it's not going to be an issue with my work.

Now, I realize that there are LOADS of people who can't, for whatever reason, be open about who they are. I recognize that my laissez-faire attitude to not giving a fuck if anyone knows I am a Pagan probably would not get me far in a more conservative place. I am lucky that working where I work guarantees my right to live my life however I wish within the confines of the law. In other places, it can be very tricky to be open and out about who you are. Even harder with your own family.

I love my family - some out of genuine love, others out of obligation. However, being the black sheep child of a black sheep child I am very used to not being understood and not fitting in. Even in my day-to-day, I know I am not everyone's cup of tea. I can't hold myself accountable to standards held by people who claim to know who I am but are willing to shame me for who I actually am. Coming out as pagan and poly was actually pretty simple for me - I told my mother, sister, and few cousins. My grandmother is an elderly devout Catholic who it served no purpose to tell. Everyone else... well, meh. They don't factor into my life very much, so their opinions of my choices are negligible.

My friends are different. I have lots of non-pagan friends. I would hazard to say that most of my friends aren't pagan (which is a massive shift from maybe 5-8 years ago). However, while my spirituality is a part of who I am and what I often measure myself by, it's not something that comes up in every day conversation. If they ask, I'll talk about it, but generally what we have in common is not spiritual. So no real drama there, thankfully.

The main thing I wanted to express is for those who cannot be open about who they are and what they believe - you do what is right for you, and whatever you need to protect yourself and your beliefs. That is not an invitation to go and hurt other people, it's just me saying that there should be no pressure to be open if it is not safe for you to be so. You take care of yourself. A large part of witchcraft, and one that a lot of people fail to discuss, is to be silent. Secrets are a normal and acceptable thing. So if this is something that you have to keep secret because you'll lose your family or you'll lose your job because some people are bigots- be secret! It's okay! Your personal safety is paramount - avoid putting yourself in harm's way if you fear for your safety.

So I guess it's a long answer to a neat question. :) Thanks, K!