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Author Topic: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.  (Read 2108 times)

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WhitePhoenix

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How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« on: July 30, 2011, 03:35:54 AM »

The fact that I am a Witch has never actually been aired out in my house, but everyone knows. It's kind of the running joke, really. We don't take it deadly seriously. Dad will record movies "because there are witches/fairies/dragons/cats in it!" and my mom and sister crack the occasional joke. They're not being disrespectful or anything, it's just not a big deal.

However, I'm actually fearful of what could happen if members of our family outside this household found out. Mainly my mom's aunt and uncle. They are very nice people who do a lot for us, but they're super Christian. I'm not even so much worried for myself if they found out, but more worried about how they'd treat my mom. I'm afraid they'd give her a really hard time and treat her like she'd failed as a mother.

Is anyone else in that kind of situation? Like you want to be out of the Broom Closet entirely, and you're ready to take on the world, but you feel like you need to protect your supportive friends and family?
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dragonspring

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 09:53:08 AM »

I don't tell people outside my immediate family and close friends about my beliefs because there is really no reason too.  A lot of my extended family are Christians and I just don't think they need to know and it would cause them some discomfort.  I am openly Pagan with those I love and even more so with my Pagan family but other than that, I don't feel a need to broadcast my beliefs.
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earthmuffin

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 10:33:08 AM »

I'm similar to DS. I've always been very private about my spiritual beliefs so trending toward paganism in recent years has not made a change in that. I talk to people I'm comfortable sharing with and there's really no reason to discuss it with the rest of them.

Perhaps because a lot of us come from Christian backgrounds and most Christians have been trained to "spread the word" so they are always talking about their beliefs and what have you, we feel like there is something wrong if we aren't constantly talking about our spiritual lives.
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Fox

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 12:55:25 PM »

My spiritual beliefs are personal and I will only share with that that I feel need to know or those that I want to share with.  For me, it is no one's business but my own as my spiritually isn't for them, it is for me and me alone.
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Tirya

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 01:10:29 PM »

If your parents don't have a problem with your spiritual beliefs, have you talked to them about your concerns? It seems more like you're worried about how it would affect them, so to me it's best to talk with them about it. You may learn that they've already dealt with it and you don't know it, or that they're not concerned about it.

I also agree with the other opinions that your spiritual beliefs aren't something that you need to bring up in everyday conversation. IMHO you shouldn't have to "live in fear of being found out", but the opposite of that is not necessarily "wear a two foot pentacle and a button saying 'I'm a Pagan - ask me how!'" :)
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WhitePhoenix

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 04:00:24 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I agree that spirituality is a personal thing, and by being completely out of the Broom Closet I don't mean I would be obnoxious. But it does worry me that if others in the family did somehow find out, there would be a conflict.
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BronwynWolf

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 07:32:02 PM »

Just live  your life the best you can, Kit. If they do find out along the line, they will also have to look at the fact you are the same person now they know as before they found out.

Yes, I did have that "problem". My parents knew about my Path, although we rarely got into religious or spitiual discussions. My godmother, gods love her, was devout Catholic. We just never mentioned it, and she didn't expect me to go to church every week, and that was it...Until I got married. I had some pagany badges on the dashboard of my car, and she rode with me to the wedding site the day before to help with the cleaning. When we got back to my parents', I was a nervous wreck. She hadn't commented to me. I KNEW she would say something to them. I was right. She asked my mother about it. Mom told her calmly that I had found a different spitiual path, and I was happy and content, and it had even helped me master some problems my aunt was aware I'd been dealing with. ANd that was the end of that. The aunt told my mother that, as I was an adult, she guessed it was my choice to make and she just hoped I'd be safe with it. She never mentioned it to me, or anyone else as far as I know. No one was treated differently after. Ce la vie.
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vordan

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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 01:10:12 AM »

Don't get me wrong, I agree that spirituality is a personal thing, and by being completely out of the Broom Closet I don't mean I would be obnoxious. But it does worry me that if others in the family did somehow find out, there would be a conflict.

Some people upon finding out, will want you to be ashamed of being different  from them, though you have done nothing wrong. They will try and bring you to your metaphoric knees to beg forgiveness for the sin of being not like them. It will not matter if they break you, your offense to them is unforgivable and their world too small. You must at those times be candid about your beliefs, stare them in the face and never be ashamed. They will perhaps then respect you a little even if they shun you. You are who you are.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 08:05:10 AM by vordan »
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Re: How being Pagan can affect others in your family.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 03:50:14 PM »

One major thing I will say before sharing my own anecdote is something that Jason over at The Wild Hunt (awesome site for those of you yet to discover it!) posted is when you are confronted about your beliefs, do not let them dictate your beliefs to you. By that I mean speak only of what you do believe (divinity in all things, many paths, etc.), rather than let a conversation dwell on what you don't believe (don't worship the Xtian Devil et al., etc.). This will reinforce for your listener, even if they come away believing you're going to hell (as a Heathen, I usually laugh), when they replay the conversation in their mind (and they will), all of your talking points will be positive, non-threatening messages. Just my  :2cents:.

As for dealing with overly-zealous family members, I have to admit I may get some on-the-job training with that. My mother-in-law has been aware of our (MrsV, LilV, and m'self) beliefs for a good while now (even watched LilV while we would go to coven meetings before that fell apart), but since moving closer to her own family (she's one of 13 siblings!), all of whom are very religous, she's become...well...a bit of a Jesus-freak, lacing nearly every phone conversation and Facebook message with a religious subtext. I hope I can keep a cool head and follow my own above advice when the (I believe inevitable) confrontation occurs. My own parents have been as supportive as you describe yours being, and what a blessing that is. I'm glad they're behind you in this.
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