Living in mixed households; Where is the love?

I was looking through stuff I was going to post to the blog and this is the last entry that never ended up on the blog. I intended to post it some time in November 2012 in response to Ayslyn’s post on her blog. I had to change a little little detail in it but other than that it is completely intact, as is my opinion on the matter. 🙂

Pagans and non pagans

When I hear about the stick (trouble/mischief/trolling) that some pagans get for being pagans it can really annoy me, but in general we can easily say “it’s because they don’t understand”, “they just don’t know any better” or “they’re just closed minded is all”. We can get away as easily as when people give us stick for our other personal or political views, or our habits and tastes in music.

That’s the way I cope with it on a daily basis. It’s a bit like when you support different football teams sometimes – you can say some pretty nasty things about the other team but at the end of the day you don’t feel like that about the people personally. It can be just a bit of banter sometimes.

The “thing” and how I get around it at home

At home, my paganism is my “thing”. OK, OK I’m lucky enough to live with a Dad who follows Druidic beliefs and an agnostic mum who just says “why is it so important to believe anything?” (why must we believe things completely and exclusively? Why can’t we just live our lives as we like and forget about who’s right and wrong?). My sister was also part of my first coven. My little brother is a sort of student (?) of mine now… I just shove books his way and hope that works for him, because I don’t think I’m ready to teach a soul.

Anyway, at home we just treat my witchiness as my “thing”. My Dad’s “thing” may be to over study things, so he has an “anorac thing” and is really into fire engines, armoured vehicles, the world wars, wars, pirates… cool things really. (watch out if you wake up late, he has a second world war air raid siren…) My older brother’s “thing” is computer games, my middle brother’s “thing” is mechanics and my littlest brother’s “thing” is books and mythology.

The most important thing is Compromise.

You have to start off and accept:

Not everyone is going to think your “thing” is important.

When my brother (middle) bought a Landrover and started to dedicate a lot of time and money to it I just thought it was a complete waste. Of course, he got loads of fulfilment from it.

At the end of the day, when I’m outside doing a ritual and it’s only Dad who doesn’t think it’s weird, I can understand.

Don’t expect your family to feel the same way you do about the things you do.

Another thing is this concept of “My family just doesn’t understand”. OK, a lot of families clearly don’t. I did a google search for Wicca lately (looking for websites to show my brother) and found several that were giving advice to parents on how to deal with the demonic forces that were making their children turn to Wicca. Yup, it’s quite clear that some people still don’t get it. We just believe something different.

But I think there’s a small portion of us who are lying to ourselves. Sometimes our families are just concerned about us; maybe we’re deceiving ourselves. My Mum has often voiced her concerns about this. (I come from a family of people who might have been considered natural mystics and mediums on my mother’s side, but they never really went into it) My Mum once said “Your great aunt never needed to do all those rituals and spells (I think she actually said something more along the lines of “aerie faerie stuff” or something) but she still just knew things”. Of course I then agreed and said I understood her point of view but explained why I do rituals and spells. (1. personal beliefs, 2. raises energies)

Your family might actually understand what you believe but think you’re leading yourself on (fooling yourself, that is). Ask yourself; might you be? I frequently asked myself that and it lead me, sometimes, to the revelation that (at points) I was going about it all completely the wrong way.

Just remember; the best way of finding your inner self (which is the goal of a lot of people who decide to take a pagan path these days) is not necessarily the way that someone else is doing it. Don’t get caught up trying to follow somebody else’s path if it’s leading you nowhere. That was one of my biggest revelations. XD Seems a bit obvious though, doesn’t it?

Be truthful to yourself.

OK, getting stick for being a pagan annoys me (and sometimes entertains me) but there’s something that really upsets me.

When people effectively love you less for your faith. I haven’t experienced this much before. It’s definitely been a barrier between me and some of my friends; I dropped it into a perfectly good conversation once and disappointment dawned on my friend’s face. He was an agnostic and immediately I saw his face read “you believe all that angel, astral projection, aura fluff?” (as if he had a stereotype of pagans being very impressionable people and that we’ll believe any “fluff” we hear). The moment his face changed I was more disappointed than he was – willing to sign off all the years he’d known me to be a very intelligent person (if I do say so myself) on the basis of my religion. Lovely.

However, the real problem is when families pretty much disown their kids or distance themselves from offspring because of their paganism. I could not possibly offer advice for this, but at the end of the day if your parents don’t want paganism practised in their house then don’t practice it in their house. It’s their home and they deserve to feel safe and secure within it, and as if it’s respected.

Honesty is the best policy, because you may one day find yourself drowning in lies, but at the end of the day sometimes you have to keep it to yourself no matter how wrong it feels. Only you can decide whether you have to come out of the Broom-Closet.