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Author Topic: Partners And Paganism  (Read 16307 times)
Helena
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« Topic Start: November 22, 2007, 03:22:33 am »

I'm curious to know how those of you with, or who have had, non-Pagan but open-minded partners have gotten them involved in your religion? I am certainly not implying conversion or getting them involved against their will. My fiancÚ flirted with Wicca shortly before we met four and a half years ago. He didn't do much beyond reading Wiccan texts and while he found it all very interesting, he's ultimately very happy being "somewhere between Atheist and Agnostic" (in his words).

As I've recently begun to take my religion to the next level and challenge my understanding with research into a variety of Pagan traditions, as well as magical practices, my partner has voiced interest in getting involved. I know above all, he's most interested in showing support to me, rather than as making a conscious decision to seek out Paganism as a religion for himself. I'd like to know from those of you who have been in similar experiences how you got your partners involved, or at least more informed about your religion, and whether or not it resulted in a good or bad experience for you both in the end?
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Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #1: November 22, 2007, 12:00:28 pm »

I'm curious to know how those of you with, or who have had, non-Pagan but open-minded partners have gotten them involved in your religion? [snip] I'd like to know from those of you who have been in similar experiences how you got your partners involved, or at least more informed about your religion, and whether or not it resulted in a good or bad experience for you both in the end?
My boyfriend is not pagan, but he is fairly open minded. He actually messed around with Wicca before we met too... and ended up casting some dumb spell and apparently had a not-so-nice encounter with something. So when we first started talking about my spirituality, he was understandably a little wary.

We've done some meditating together, and that has been very good. He meditates on his own sometimes now. We've also worked with a pendulum. At one point, over the phone, I would ask him to move it in his mind and then it would show itself with me physically holding the pendulum on the other end of the phone and I would tell him what he was doing with it. lol. I think that kind of hit home. lol.

We kind of got into taoism around the same time as well.

He also likes the Wheel of the Year concept, especially with Yule, since it gives him something else besides Christmas to think about during the holiday season. He comes from a pretty strict Christian family, and according to them they've completely ruined anything he might have gotten out of Christianity. hmph.

Lately he's been getting more into plant spirit shamanism, actually. I'm not sure how I feel about this, since he's not much one for doing a ton of research and I think just kind of likes the concept more than anything, I suppose. He is reading some books on it though, and he's not doing anything overtly stupid, so I'm fine with it.

Overall, I don't think he's a terribly religious person, and that's fine. He has a pretty good understanding and respect for my spirituality now, and that's been great.

I would say, if your fiance is kind of more interested in knowing what's up with you as you say, that basic meditating would be great. I don't see how that could do anything but bring two people who love each other even closer together. And of course you can always take hikes together and do things like that and talk about how you feel about everything. Smiley
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #2: November 22, 2007, 12:49:47 pm »

And of course you can always take hikes together and do things like that and talk about how you feel about everything. Smiley

Take hikes together? That might be relevant if a person is following an earthcentric path of some stripe. Not all of us do. And not all of us live where taking a hike is possible, either.
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Didgeridoo
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« Reply #3: November 22, 2007, 12:58:38 pm »

-snip-

My long-term girlfriend is Buddhist and she really doesn't care what I do. So long as I don't become some psycho-fundamentalist pagan or something all will be well. I'm fortunate that she's so open-minded. We don't share much in rituals or practices since I just can't meditate as long as her. Maybe someday we'll be able to share that experience a bit better but not until I'm better at quieting my chaotic mind.
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« Reply #4: November 22, 2007, 03:35:48 pm »

I'm curious to know how those of you with, or who have had, non-Pagan but open-minded partners have gotten them involved in your religion? >snip<

Well, my husband hasn't tried to have me burnt or anything yet- so that's hopeful!
Seriously though, he is pretty open-minded and wouldn't dream of telling me that I was wrong, but he's not all that interested. Sometimes I fel like he tries to appear interested for my sake, but it often fails. It used to upset me, but after a few pointers from people on here I realise that it's ok to have something that is completely your own, no matter how close you are in your relationship. I have to admit though, I'd still like it if one day he had a genuine interest.
If you want to read more along these lines, then I recommend searching for the post in the Seeker's Bar and Grill- 'Starting a Family Tradition'. The post kind of digressed from it's original intent a bit, but there was some interesting discussion on getting partner's involved in religion.
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Exact as a snowflake'
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« Reply #5: November 22, 2007, 04:08:35 pm »

Take hikes together? That might be relevant if a person is following an earthcentric path of some stripe. Not all of us do. And not all of us live where taking a hike is possible, either.

It's still a good chance to talk away from the distractions of everyday life, though.  I find it hard to see how getting outside and talking and walking would be /bad/!
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Helena
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« Reply #6: November 22, 2007, 04:39:11 pm »

We've done some meditating together, and that has been very good. He meditates on his own sometimes now. We've also worked with a pendulum. At one point, over the phone, I would ask him to move it in his mind and then it would show itself with me physically holding the pendulum on the other end of the phone and I would tell him what he was doing with it. lol. I think that kind of hit home. lol.

[...]

I would say, if your fiance is kind of more interested in knowing what's up with you as you say, that basic meditating would be great. I don't see how that could do anything but bring two people who love each other even closer together. And of course you can always take hikes together and do things like that and talk about how you feel about everything. Smiley

That sounds like a great idea. I was never really good at quietening my mind enough to really achieve great results with meditation (with my eyes closed anyway), but I think my partner would love the hiking idea. Just being close to nature together and letting him walk in the shoes of a pantheist could be quite interesting.

Actually, we used to do a similar thing as you with the pendulum, but we would "send" colours to each other by envisioning a coloured light emanating from one of us to the other and the receiver trying to 'sense' what colour it was. That was a lot of fun even though we weren't always very accurate! I must try that pendulum game with him too Cheesy.
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Mandi
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« Reply #7: November 22, 2007, 04:48:08 pm »



He articulates it well.  My hubbs just doesn't want to talk about it.  I'm pretty sure it's because I've badgered him with it for the last however many years though.  Lol.  He finally came to the point where he in utter frustration declared "religion isn't something that everyone is interested in enough to talk about all the time."  He begged for reprieve in so many words.

Ideally I had hoped for someone who would share my path, but come to think of it, my path isn't exactly one of promised lands and effortless harvests.  It makes me a not so fun person at times.  When I'm integrating a new concept, or neck deep in something I'm not a very amicable person. 

Because of this I tend to keep a lot of my more 'off the deep end' stuff to myself. He is very understanding though that when I pull back into 'me space' it's not long term, and given a few days things even out. 

I'll share random day to days like, hey, theres sage in the soup.  and bay leaves - or that a certain combination of spices is designed to elicit particular responses ;-) but other than that I try not to drag him into the why fors of my every action.  It's significant to me, but asking him to be inundated by my sacred space isn't always good for someone who needs plain ol silence to unwind.  Drives me batty all the same.  I would love to have him as a captive audience, just as I'm sure he would love for me to listen to blow by blows of his fantasy football league (which I find trivial, boring and utterly stupid.  I so wont lie.  I try in five minute stints, but CRIMENY!)

I used to try about the religion thing though.  I used to chase him from room to room talking at him.  In all honesty, we did have a phase where I explained to him the 'basics' of paganism, and he was receptive.  During these years I was also more active publicly, necessitating at least an understanding.

We're open and honest, for the most part he is aware of the path that I follow although not my every intention - it's just that I try to make the time that we're together about US and things that we enjoy together rather than spending too much time talking about stuff that makes him have to 'humor me'

I understand the hiking thing.  It's a neutral activity in which you can get your inner pagan on, still be romantic and together and do something that gets you outside, together and getting some exercise.  Our thing is mountain biking, which I'm great at alone, but when I'm with him I'm so busy watching him that I can't concentrate on anything else, make stupid mistakes and then end up mad that he's showing off and distracting me and I can't tune into the things that even me out.

Pardon the length.  A Turkey day glass of wine has left me chatty.
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Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
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« Reply #8: November 22, 2007, 06:26:39 pm »

It's still a good chance to talk away from the distractions of everyday life, though.  I find it hard to see how getting outside and talking and walking would be /bad/!

Never said it wasn't. Just around here, the only chance for a hike is a walk around a city block.
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Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #9: November 22, 2007, 06:39:18 pm »

Take hikes together? That might be relevant if a person is following an earthcentric path of some stripe. Not all of us do. And not all of us live where taking a hike is possible, either.

I'm not saying all Pagans are tree-huggers, but I think HeartShadow and Mandi got my meaning. I think of most Pagans at least getting some enjoyment and connection about being outside, and walking is not overtly religious while still having the possibility of being spiritual.

I understand about the city thing though, of course. But even walking in a city can be quite nice!...
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #10: November 22, 2007, 07:10:38 pm »

Just around here, the only chance for a hike is a walk around a city block.

I also live in the heart of the city here in Sydney where we are surrounded by more corporate buildings than trees sometimes, but it can still be very exhilirating feeling a cool breeze and seeing the sweeping views of the harbour... until you take in one deep breath of the smog and it's like smoking a pack of cigarettes with one inhalation Undecided.
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« Reply #11: November 22, 2007, 09:04:57 pm »

until you take in one deep breath of the smog and it's like smoking a pack of cigarettes with one inhalation Undecided.

Yeah. Around here, when a bus passes you, you take a deep breath first, then exhale after it's gone. It's the sanest thing to do. Our air is horrible.
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« Reply #12: November 22, 2007, 09:07:12 pm »

Yeah. Around here, when a bus passes you, you take a deep breath first, then exhale after it's gone. It's the sanest thing to do. Our air is horrible.

Gosh, you make me feel so blessed for living out in the middle of nowhere.
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And heart's frosty discipline
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« Reply #13: November 22, 2007, 09:09:09 pm »

Well, my husband hasn't tried to have me burnt or anything yet- so that's hopeful!
Seriously though, he is pretty open-minded and wouldn't dream of telling me that I was wrong, but he's not all that interested. Sometimes I fel like he tries to appear interested for my sake, but it often fails. It used to upset me, but after a few pointers from people on here I realise that it's ok to have something that is completely your own, no matter how close you are in your relationship. I have to admit though, I'd still like it if one day he had a genuine interest.
If you want to read more along these lines, then I recommend searching for the post in the Seeker's Bar and Grill- 'Starting a Family Tradition'. The post kind of digressed from it's original intent a bit, but there was some interesting discussion on getting partner's involved in religion.

I can understand how it can be disappointing to not be able to share something meaningful to you, whether it be your spirituality or otherwise, with your beloved. I think your feelings were completely legitimate but I am glad that you're happy with having Paganism completely for yourself. I have never been with anyone who was Pagan, or even really curious about it as a path for themselves at all, and I don't really mind. However, I do wonder from time to time what we could achieve if I had a partner who could fuel my spiritual fire too Smiley.

After reading the other thread on 'Starting a Family Tradition', I would have to say my boyfriend is in a similar case to your husband, where probably the easiest way to get him enthusiastically involved in is through food. It's a good thing we have so many Sabbats that can be celebrated (and celebrated well!) with abundant feasts. Imagine if we believed in communion with the divine through fasting... I don't think my boyfriend would be quite so eager to participate with me!
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« Reply #14: November 22, 2007, 09:14:40 pm »


After reading the other thread on 'Starting a Family Tradition', I would have to say my boyfriend is in a similar case to your husband, where probably the easiest way to get him enthusiastically involved in is through food. It's a good thing we have so many Sabbats that can be celebrated (and celebrated well!) with abundant feasts. Imagine if we believed in communion with the divine through fasting... I don't think my boyfriend would be quite so eager to participate with me!


Lol, I know exactly what you mean! I think my husband is grateful for that too. He can't cook very well and doesn't enjoy it, whereas I do, so he would be at a total loss if I were fasting!
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath

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