Keep coming back

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Keep coming back
10
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 7:24pm

I used to come here regularly about 4 years ago. Things happened and my life has just been not very fun for the past few years. I'm married to a great man but he's not understanding of my pagan leanings. His family is VERY Christian. They would not tolerate it at all. My family is for the most part estranged from me for other reasons. Some of them would be very welcoming, others would not.

So I've tried to suppress my views for the sake of peace. But I am not happy. We don't go to church even though my kids go with the grandparents occasionally. I am not against that. But it is not for me. I have gone and tried to be a good Christian. I can't do it. I have brought up the Unitarian church to DH and he won't have any of it. So I have not had any religion in my life to speak of for the last 4 years. I used to do some Wicca practices in secret. I would go in the woods and do a circle and do spells in secret. It made me feel good but a little guilty at having to hide it. I feel it's just not worth the upheaval it will cause if I come out in the open. So I stopped doing anything and tried to believe the way my DH and his family do. They are very strong personalities.

But not doing anything has made me feel worse. I feel empty. The church they go to is so superficial and hypocritical. The people there I believe mean well but I cannot justify their preachings with their actions sometimes.

I have libertarian political views. I don't agree with a lot of things liberals do, but I do believe that gay people should have the same rights as anybody else to marry and to raise children. I don't believe the govt. should be able to tell a woman she can't abort a child but i do believe it is ending a human life. If the woman can live with that it is her business.

So I have some views that don't necessarily align with the typical pagan, however I am undeniably drawn to paganism.

Is there a place for me? Can I find fulfillment without destroying my family life? I would love to talk to someone who has been in the same situation perhaps or close to it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2007
In reply to: rain65
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 8:41pm
Many Pagans are in the same boat as you are, mainly because Christians vastly outnumber Pagans in this country, so chances are good that a person's SO and/or his family is Christian. And it can be very difficult to find an SO who is understanding of your Pagan beliefs. Most people associate Paganism with Satanism, evil, sacrificing babies and animals, etc. I myself am lucky, because I was raised agnostic and my DH, while neither Christian nor Pagan himself, supports my beliefs.

Another misconception that people have about Pagans is that they almost view us like hippies. They think that we're all liberal, pro-choice, democratic, etc., and that is not true. I've talked with other Pagans who are conservative, Republican, and pro-life. I myself am so left-winged that I don't know if I even register on the political spectrum. But that's just me. I'm also very much pro-choice and am a feminist. When you become a Pagan your core political beliefs do not have to change. Politics and religion/spirituality do not necessarily mean the same thing with Paganism that they do with Christianity. Paganism is a good belief system for gays, lesbians and transgendered people, because there were many gods/goddesses who were gay, lesbian and transvestites. So Paganism is more open to people who are not straight sexually. So if you're of a particular bent, say a green person, a tree hugger (whatever term you'd like to use), then Paganism is the right way to go.



I understand how you feel about having to hide your beliefs. I live in the conservative South and I can't go anywhere in public---the grocery store, the bank, the hair salon, the library, the post office---without someone discussing God or Sunday school or the Bible. There's practically a church on every corner. There are build boards advertising churches, telling me to trust Jesus, etc. Looking at me you wouldn't be able to tell that I was a Pagan. One good thing is that I'm a Druid, not a Wiccan or a Witch, so the pentacle is not my religious symbol. I can wear my nature jewelry and people just think that I'm a tree hugger and not a devil worshiping Pagan. It can definitely feel empty and feel like you're not being yourself and not being able to express yourself as you truly are. It's not fair that Christians can be who they are and live freely and we can't.



Have you tried to educate your DH about your religion? If you could get him to at least understand where you're coming from, then you would have someone in your corner. I wouldn't attempt to educate his family as well at this point, but you could try with him and see what happens. Sometimes in order to keep the peace it's just easier to remain in the broom closet. Differences in religion can really turn into a battleground in families, especially when there are children involved. The Christians in the family are afraid that the kids are going to start dancing naked around the bonfire on Samhain. People are very ignorant about Paganism and unfortunately they prefer to cling to their ignorance and not want to learn what it is really about.



I wish that I had some easy answers for you. Hopefully some of the others here who are where you are can help you out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
In reply to: rain65
Sat, 06-05-2010 - 9:11pm
Hi sisterhoney!Thanks for the response! I sent you an email. Yes I have talked to DH about my beliefs. His attitude is tolerant but not indulgent. He does not want it around the kids. He's fine when I dance around naked at the full moon but otherwise no. (OK that's not really fair to him. He's a great guy and I respect him immensely. If I was to start going to the universal church by myself he would probably accept it. But I don't think he would want me taking the kids.) I am torn because he is such a good man. He is a great provider, very intelligent, a great lover with a great sense of humor. I love him very much. I am just not happy in the world he wants for his family.
Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
In reply to: rain65
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 6:17pm

Hi, I read your posts and I understand what you are going through.

siggy line


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
In reply to: rain65
Wed, 06-09-2010 - 7:28pm

Thank you nawleansdarlin. You said a lot of truth. I know that if I pretend to be what I am not it will only feel worse. I have trodden that path long enough. I am trying to gather the courage to be who I really am and not apologize for it. I will never come out to his parents (at least while the kids are at home) because I would never hear the end of the preaching, praying and trying to "save" me. I can even see them trying to get DH to leave me and take the kids away, so that will never happen as long as the kids are young. I believe that DH would tell them to take a flying leap but the risk is just not worth it.

I have felt dead inside for too long. I'm old enough to know myself and what I believe. I respect others' beliefs and I'm fine with them taking the kids to church if the kids want to go. In fact they are at bible school with the grandparents this week. But when they ask about other religions and beliefs I answer their questions honestly. I was very proud of ds-8 who has Asperger Syndrome. He recently asked about reincarnation because he has a classmate who believes in it. I told him what I know and helped him do more research on it. He decided that he wasn't sure about it and would give it more thought before he decided if it was true or not. If MIL had heard that conversation I feel sure there would be an uproar!

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
In reply to: rain65
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 9:32pm

Yeah, that would not go over too well with my MIL either.

siggy line


 

Avatar for sunflowergirl2
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
In reply to: rain65
Thu, 06-17-2010 - 9:54am

I think sometimes we forget that for almost 1,000 years Paganism and Christianity were practiced together.

Photobucket 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
In reply to: rain65
Tue, 06-22-2010 - 6:40pm
Yes, I agree. The churches of today I believe are a far cry from what they should be. And I really have to bite my tongue when MIL starts in with the "The Bible tells us everything we need to know about everything" stuff. The trouble is it's not the bible she's listening to. It's the translation of it by organized religion that has agendas. But hey, if it makes her feel better about her life, who am I to say anything? I just wish that she would have the same attitude toward others and their beliefs.
Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
In reply to: rain65
Tue, 06-22-2010 - 9:48pm

"if it makes her feel better about her life, who am I to say anything? I just wish that she would have the same attitude toward others and their beliefs."


I dream of that every day of my life.

siggy line


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
In reply to: rain65
Wed, 06-23-2010 - 12:50pm
Nice to have you back on the board. ((HUGS))

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
In reply to: rain65
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 2:09pm
Sending HUGE HUGS your way! I am sorry you have such constraints on your following your own spiritual path and beliefs. I hope you find a way to answer your own Spirit's call, even if it is always as a Solitary for now. I understand having to be careful and sensitive with a DH's and extended family's beliefs and views. I'll share a bit of my journey from Christian to Wiccan/Pagan, in hopes something in there will be helpful to you on your journey...



When I married (34 years ago now!) I was a non-practicing spiritual Seeker, raised Catholic. My DH was raised Episcopal. He was still active in his family's church. Since getting married in his church had deep meaning to him, we were married there. I tried studying and being "confirmed" in the Episcopal church. It was nice and familiar, having been Catholic. But in the end, did not satisfy my inner spiritual yearnings. I even tried going back to the Catholic Church some years later, but there were too many points of conflict, that had not changed since I left it as an adult after college, so that was also unsuccessful to me. There was some great conflict in the Episcopal church in the late '70s, and as a result DH stopped going to church and wanted to have nothing more to do with a church community. He still is Christian, but has chosen a solitary approach with his beliefs. He had no problem even when I took DD with me to the Catholic Church when I tried going back to that version of Christianity. She had her First Communion. DH attended but did not go to Mass with us. DD herself found that she wasn't happy going to church there any more, either, after awhile, and I also found I could not fully accept the Church's teachings, just as I could not earlier on when I left the first time. :\\



So, I returned to my spiritual searching, always sharing with DH & DD. I eventually joined a small Zen group in a nearby city, and started doing sitting meditation and attending their Saturday sittings and talks with the Roshi. DD came to some, as there were other children who also came on Saturdays. :) DH was not interested, but not threatened or concerned about my or our DD, going. Zen taught me a lot about inner single minded focus through the meditation practice. Again, though, it did not sustain or fulfill my yearning spirit. :( So for some years I continue as a Seeker, on my own. Until DD started asking me about the Goddess and Wicca and Witches. Something opened in my spirit, and we headed to the bookstore. :P DH at first was quite threatened by "Witchcraft" and "Magick" and "Pagan." He had been taught the prejudiced misinformation about all of this, conditioned to the negative and fearful attitude that is endemic in our society and culture, being dominated by Christianity as it is.



I left books out. I talked about what I was learning. What Wicca was about. How it revered our connection to all of life, to nature, to the universe. How the value of "Harm None" is inherent and that Witchcraft, Magick, was used for positive reasons. As he saw DD & I learn to do ritual to celebrate the Sabbats, he began to understand the deep integrity and love this path contains, and saw the very same deep moral values that he was familiar with, being raised Christian. :) He was not interested in participating himself, but came to respect DD's and my path. When I joined a Unitarian Universalist church he would come to some of the events, but again was not interested in coming to Sunday services, etc. DD attended a few Sundays, but wasn't drawn into it, either. The benefit was that we met some fellow Pagans there. :) While the structure of the UU wasn't for me, I believe the Goddess sent me there to connect with the Pagans, as I had been asking Her for years to help me find some Wiccans with which to form a Circle. :) And, so a few of us Pagans with Wicca orientation, created our own little Circle. We take turns at each other's homes, to do and plan ritual. After a year, we planned and had a dedication ceremony to the Goddess and God. Through all this DH got to know the other people and liked them, joined us for meals after ritual, etc., while not attending or being interested in ritual at all. He is still that way, accepting, accommodating, and supportive of my own spiritual path, and of DD's, who is an adult now. Yet he continues his own solitary path, just living his life according to his inner beliefs, with no desire for a spiritual community with other people.



I don't know if your husband can become as open about your path, if you try to share more about it with him. I hope so. It is not fair or right to live in a country that guarantees religious freedom, and be denied it for yourself. It breaks my heart this can be so true for so many Pagans of all kinds, and many other minority religions as well. I hope & pray you can find a way to follow your inner Spirit. Sending many HUGS!



Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



Photobucket



Strong like a mountain,

Flowing like a river."

~~Tai Chi Chih



Photobucket





Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photobucket



Mika Dog




"All things share the same breath;

the beast, the tree, the man.

The Air shares its spirit with

all the life it supports."

--Chief Seattle



"If there are no dogs in Heaven,

then when I die I want to go where they went."

~Will Rogers



"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress

can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

~~Mahatma Gandhi





Photobucket Photobucket






Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(