Broaching Paganism With Others

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about discussing your practice with others, or to be exact, how to approach others with the topic of one’s pagan practice.

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Topic for the Week of 7/29:  How do I approach the topic of my practice with someone new, while dating, or with children?

I don’t normally broach the subject, as I don’t really feel the need to shout from the rooftops what my belief system is.  But, I am happy to honestly answer questions in a relaxed demeanor when they arise.  While answering questions, though, I usually will try to avoid “trigger words” such as witch, pagan, spell casting, magick, etc.   These words will often close down a conversation with someone that is not familiar with these faiths and practices.

This is not so much to force acceptance from them, but rather because I would like to teach them that perhaps any negative preconceived notions they might have about these labels could be wrong.

Instead, I usually explain that I follow an earth-based religion where I connect to the earth, the elements, and the energy that makes up us and all that is around us.  I may explain some of my practices from this angle as well, if they have more questions.  But, I usually will refrain from using the “labels” until -they- bring up these labels, either by naming some to seek the right one or by asking what the correct terms would be.

This approach will, of course, also depend on if I feel my personal safety would be at risk or not, as there are people out there that… will reject non-mainstream beliefs with violence.  Fortunately, I live in an area of the country (and the world) where that is not so common place.

For children, it is much the same.  I feel it is more important to communicate a connection and respect for the earth than to put a label upon myself.  I’ve found that when it comes to this discussion, children are often less likely to need labels on a whole and more interested in the “meat” of a topic instead.

As for dating.  It never really mattered until meeting you. With those that I was with before, it was just about sex.  Those partners didn’t need to know about that part of my life, or really any part of my life.  I wasn’t looking to connect on any substantial level back then.

I am pretty sure when the topic eventually came up with you, though, that I explained it to you much as I outlined it above.  We have been together for over eleven years now, and just this year I have finally begun sharing more of my path with you beyond the basics I’d explained so long ago, and I have found this sharing to be a wonderful experience.

Scarcity Issues

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, but I did it twice because I was so comfortable in the bathtub at the time that I just didn’t want to move on.

The meditation today dealt with “autopilot”. You know, those times that everyone has where they just go through the motions without really being mindful or conscious of what they’re doing? I do this a lot while driving, but I know it’s not the only time.

The meditation, though, was an encouragement to seek out those times and be present in them instead of letting the time, experiences, and choices that those times you are on autopilot go to waste. It outlined a few methods to assist in “checking in” with yourself during the day in order to further this awareness of when you are “checking out” of your day.

I liked this meditation, and I think the practice of pulling yourself out of those moments is really important. It’s when I spend too much time on autopilot that the world begins to look lackluster, and I think this may be one of the subtle steps that slips me deeper into depression when it starts to sneak up on me.

Today’s card is the Five of Pentacles, which in this deck is titled as Poverty. The Five of cups is a representation of hardship, harshness, tests, and trials in the area of resources, money, and the physical world.

What struck me on this card is that in the image the wealthy-dressed individual is the beggar, and the farmer dressed individual is the charitable one. This card’s appearance today in the daily draw is a reminder to me that I’m not as bad off as my fears try to tell me I am.

I work hard and struggle constantly to bring in funds because I am focused on the constant, nagging fear that my financial stability is at risk. The key words there are “at risk”, because if I really sit down and think it through, the fact of the matter is that that stability really isn’t at risk. My fear is far out of proportion to the reality of the situation. Between what I make and the help I seek out when I need it, things are on track and stable, it’s just my inner shadow whispering to me that they aren’t.

The Five of Pentacles is telling me to spend a bit more time remembering this instead of listening to that insidious shadow always whispering in my ear.

Deck Used: Visions of Life Tarot