#SpeakingUpForMyBeliefs (non) VR to Shadow Harvest

Although this hashtag was created by Shadow Harvest back in August, I originally saw Amethyst Ascension’s reply that she did the other day.   I found both of their thoughts on the matter very interesting.  I think that this topic is one that most people are a bit awkward with, whether they are under the pagan umbrella, or just of a different religion to whatever is being worshiped in the moment.

Essentially, the question is what do you do in situations where you are stuck with people worshiping where there is an expectation of the “accepted norm” of following along, or risk standing out due to lack of conformity.

church

The example given was being a pagan at a Christian wedding where they request everyone to bow their heads to pray during the ceremony.  This included mention of certain scripture or vows that you do not agree with personally, or have an issue with.

For me?  This also fits into when I visit other people’s homes.  J’s parents like to hold hands and say Grace before they eat.   Out east, some of my family also say Grace (without the hand holding, because my family is NOT a touchy feely type of family).

So…. what do I do?

First, I accept that I can’t control what other people do, I can only control my own actions and behavior.

Second, it depends on the situation.    Do I wear my pagan jewelry when visiting a church?  Absolutely.    I do not see it as a disrespect to the church, but rather feel I am presenting myself as… myself, and showing that I have come FOR a reason.   I’m essentially saying “although this is not my faith, I’m here for you”.

This follows as well with prayer.  No, I do not participate in the bowing of my head and entreaty to their god.  But I am there for it.  I’m standing tall and projecting my own well wishes, my own hopes for their future, my own entreaties to my own entities and energies.   I don’t know their religion.  I don’t know their beliefs.  It would, in my opinion, be disrespectful to pretend to be doing something I don’t know anything about or does not follow MY beliefs.  It would be, essentially, being deceptive within a sacred space.   And for me?  That’s not okay.

hands

As for Grace…  In J’s parents home as well as other people’s homes when they want to say Grace?  I will hold hands if it is a part of their tradition, because I believe this creates a circle of energy that goes beyond prayer and into intention.   But, I do not bow my head and pray their prayer.  Instead, I again put out my own entreaties to my own energies and entities.  Entreaties that will align with the spirit of saying Grace, and will add to that circle of energy created in that moment.

This is how I deal with these situations.

There are plenty of times when life has required me to intentionally hide my faith.  There have been places I have traveled where personal safety made it an imperative.  Personal safety trumps everything else, including my feelings of being disrespectful by being dishonest in a sacred space.  That aside?   I do me, and I expect others to do them and LET me do me.

Sometimes Shit Falls Apart

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on how the benefits of a calm mind created by daily meditation assists in a better life.

This was a very apropos topic, considering the card that I pulled today (more on that below), but I do agree with the topic for the guided meditation today.   I have noticed that on the days where I do not manage to fit my meditation in during my morning routine, that the day seems harder, longer… and just overall a bit more stressful.

On a side note, something else I’ve noticed is that if I hit the snooze in the morning… I feel way crappier when I get up (and throughout the day) than I do if I just get my ass out of bed when the alarm goes off the first time.    I think I’m going to have to ban myself from hitting snooze, or rolling back over for more sleep when I wake up early on a day I don’t need to.

Today’s draw is the Tower card of the Major Arcana.  This is a card that is representative of sudden, abrupt, and unavoidable change.  I think that a lot of people look at this card and have an immediate “oh shit” moment, and honestly?  Me too.  Not because I think it is a bad card.  I don’t.   But, like many people, I hate the process of change.  The end result?  Probably great… usually great.  You adapt and you move on.   The process?  That shit sucks.

When I look at this card, I see that ‘oh shit’ moment.   I see the struggle, as the beavers prepare to fell the tree and the bird that called the tree home grabs what he can and makes a run for it.

What I see isn’t something I see.  It’s something I feel when I look at the card, but am unable to pick apart and explain HOW I get there.   And that is that evolution is inevitable and required.   Shit has to fall apart in order to make way for better shit to come forth.  Sometimes?  It feels like the end of the world, but like the depression that sometimes nips at my heels and at other times swallows me whole… there IS an end to the chaos, and things always fall back into balance again in the end.   The key is to ride it out, and strive to stay safe through the process.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot