Betwixt-and-Between: What would be your best advice to a “baby pagan”? One who, due to the economy, has moved back in with her Christian parents and isn’t particularly keen on announcing a sudden interest in everything they find most unthinkable?
Sadly, your plight is altogether common. Many folks who are new to Witchy Ways have been forced to stuff themselves back into the broom closet when their life takes a bad bounce or two. Moving back in with the ‘rents is stressful enough, but when one has to squelch one’s Faith in the process it’s doubly painful. And Paganism being such an open and freeing religion to immerse oneself in…….well, the situation just SUCKS is all.
But here’s the deal, Twixt. There are several easy strategies you can employ that can get you through this rough time.
1) Hiding in plain sight. So your Conservative Christian overlords frown on Pagan Altars in your bedroom? Fine. No problem. How are they with candles? Houseplants? Scarves with Celtic knotwork designs?
With a little ingenuity one can carve a devotional corner to Aphrodite (or Herne, or Isis, or Chango) out of innocuous items that to an untrained eye will just resemble a shelf of knick-knacks. You may not be able to have it ‘dripping with Pentacles’, but you can probably get away four or five small candles in elemental colors and a bowl of oak leaves. Whatever resonates with you – wherever you can find it!
2) Services are 24/7. “Church” is a strange word to most pagans. We don’t go to a building to worship for one hour every Sunday, and we don’t have a gigantic monolithic, monotheistic corporation hanging over us and guiding our every question and response.
- Church, to a Witch, is whenever you step outside in the morning.
- Church is when Mother Moon rises.
- Church is when you take a strange way home from work one day and later learn there was a car accident on the main path.
- Church is when you wake up crying tears of joy over a beautiful dream that showed you the way through a problem.
- Church is feeling the sublime stillness at the moment of the Summer Solstice and knowing exactly where you are on the Wheel of the Year.
And all of these ‘Services’ can be experienced whenever and wherever you happen to be.
3) Thoughts and Feelings are invisible. A good friend of mine did a lot of traveling up and down the Coast of California, and he used to have what he called “Bus Rituals”. He’d be on a Trailways bus, with nothing to do for 4 or 6 hours (except breathe and not fall off his seat), and so he would go into deep trance and concoct elaborate, gorgeous, intricate Sabbat rituals in his mind, starring entire Pantheons of Goddesses, long dead scientists, popular movie stars and musical innovators. Or just him and the God and Goddess. Whatever he could think up, whomever he wished, whenever he had enough time.
4) Physical Fitness is Spiritual Fitness. If you MUST get out from under the protective (read: ‘smothering’) wing of the Parents, tell them you are going to taking a walk. And do so. But stop at your favorite trees and feel their deep wisdom. Pile little rocks at that odd corner of the parking lot. Pick flowers and place them at that bluff that overlooks the valley. Leave trinkets in branches. Offer snacks to the fairies. Get out and Experience your newfound Earth-Based Religion.
As annoying as this move is, in some ways in can benefit your explorations into the Occult. You are going to have to work harder at your Craft, Twixt, and go deeper into your being to find your answers. The good news is that you already possess all of the tools that you will need for this journey. And you can be a witch at anytime, in any place and with anybody present. You’ll just be an invisible witch for awhile.
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