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Author Topic: Respectable Pagans?  (Read 17599 times)
Mithril
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« Topic Start: April 18, 2007, 09:33:02 pm »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?
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« Reply #1: April 18, 2007, 09:36:21 pm »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies. I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

I'm not Wiccan, but I am Pagan.

And most Pagans I know are either jobless by choice (I'm a SAHM, which is full-time but only pays in giggles) or working real jobs.  Some are underemployed, some by choice and some not.  They're responsible people.

Sure, there are some that are crazy and do nothing.  But you find them everywhere.  Most Pagans, like most other people, have jobs and lives and families like everyone else.
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« Reply #2: April 18, 2007, 09:39:05 pm »

Ha! When I finally get the courage to tell my parents, at least I can show them I'm crazy for believing this stuff. Then maybe *I* can actually believe I'm not totally insane.
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« Reply #3: April 18, 2007, 09:47:33 pm »

Ha! When I finally get the courage to tell my parents, at least I can show them I'm crazy for believing this stuff. Then maybe *I* can actually believe I'm not totally insane.

Not with Freudian slips like that!  Grin  (bolding mind)

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« Reply #4: April 18, 2007, 10:50:55 pm »

I try to have an open mind and don't have anything against tattoos or hippies, but in general, do pagans tend to be what people like my close minded parents consider unrespectable and not fit to associate with, or is that just a stereotype almost as bad as the black-robed, warty which cackling over a cauldron?

There are people of all popular religions who aren't fit to associate with -- this is certainly true of Pagan religions (you can find examples on the Net with little effort). but it is also true of Christianity. Fred Phelps immediately comes to mind. Most adult members of Pagan religions work, have families, or both.
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« Reply #5: April 18, 2007, 11:22:41 pm »

Not with Freudian slips like that!  Grin  (bolding mind)

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OMG!!!  The newbies are catching Randallisms now!!  Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #6: April 19, 2007, 12:31:42 am »

I'm in the broom closet and am trying to figure out how to tell my parents about Wicca. They are average Christians and slightly conservative, and perfectly 'respectable' people. When I sounded my mother out about Wicca, she muttered something about rock and tree worshipping, crazy, tattooed hippies.. ..
Is what I'm trying to ask making sense, and do you see what I mean by asking?

Uh-oh, my husband and myself actually are tattooed, crazy, tree hugging hippies  Grin

While we have as little to do with the mainstream western culture as we can, I think we are respectable. We work for ourselves, we have three successful grown kids (success being they are very decent, happy people who are responsible and have higher than average income), we actually live by our beliefs and work hard to hurt as few people as possible and promote positive changes whenever we can.


*sigh* Perhaps your parents would be more impressed with the fact I hold a Summa Cum Laude degree from Berkeley, have been commissioned by cities for public works of art, was long listed for a spot on the US Olympic Team (equestrian), hubby is a published, brilliant writer and the business we created brings us a six figure income. That stuff is usually considered respectable. Yet we are certainly hippies and although not Wiccan, I am a witch.

I don't see a problem with being a tree hugging crazy person who believe in magic, but then I do not have to impress your folks with how normal witches are. My mom never really accepted it, we simply never discussed religion when she came to visit, devout Catholic that she was. But I was out of the house when I told her I was a witch, so it was easier. She just trusted  that it must be okay because she liked who I was and didn't see me jump off a roof trying to fly my broom or anything. It is a tough issue.
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« Reply #7: April 19, 2007, 02:15:29 am »

I'm not Wiccan, but I am Pagan.

And most Pagans I know are either jobless by choice (I'm a SAHM, which is full-time but only pays in giggles) or working real jobs.  Some are underemployed, some by choice and some not.  They're responsible people.

I'm one of those self-unemployed people.  (Looks like we'll have the resources to start my small business this summer, cross your fingers for me!)

Pagans in my immediate social circle:  my Celt works tech support for a high school.  His other partner, who is a treehugging hippy (though only semi-pagan; she identifies as 'Reform Jew/Earth spirituality thingy'), is a junior sysadmin for a university.  That same office contains another pagan I know as a senior sysadmin (I think she's getting the title, too); in fact, they have trouble getting pager coversage for Samhain and the Jewish high holy days, but not for Christmas and Easter.  Another works three days a week as a programmer (he was full-time, but decided he liked the free time) and spends his other two workdays on game design and making jam.  I know a few grad students, someone who works phone tech support at another college, a couple of office workers, a clerk at Barnes and Noble, a librarian, a freelance web designer, some folks who do graphics work and cleanup for movies (they just finished Pirates 3 last week).

If we expand that to people I know less well (long-distance or more casual acquaintances) I can add a few military folks, a bunch more miscellaneous office workers in a variety of industries, an office manager, um ....  Right, my training group included a couple of students, one or two self-employed, a speech pathologist, a working artist or two, and a number of folks whose employment status I either didn't know or can't render efficiently.

So, yeah, pagans are people just like other people.  I happen to know a lot of geeky ones, hence the preponderance of sysadmins, programmers, and tech support stuff among the ones I spend much time with.
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« Reply #8: April 19, 2007, 03:34:07 am »

If we expand that to people I know less well (long-distance or more casual acquaintances) I can add a few military folks ...

Thanks Darkhawk, excellent points (we come from all walks of life) and you also reminded me I forgot my own son!  Shocked

My youngest is Special Forces (Green Beret) Staff Sargent (at least he was, he was just promoted again and I'm not sure exactly what he is now) and has always been Wiccanish but has become very interested in Astaru of late. Here he is winning a medal for sharp shooting, and yes, that is Iraq in the background. If he isn't respectable, I sure wouldn't mention it to him myself  Grin

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« Reply #9: April 19, 2007, 05:46:42 am »

You could tell them about the late Sgt. Patrick Stewart, killed in action in Afganistan.  His widow fought to have a wiccan pentagram engraved on his tombstone.  There are actually a substantial number of pagan military personel.

BTW. no tatoos or piercings here, and I'm a department manager.
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« Reply #10: April 19, 2007, 08:06:32 am »

From a mostly non-Pagan perspective here...

When I first came to the Cauldron (in the ignorance of youth  Tongue) I was actually a bit surprised at how normal people were in general. People would talk about jobs, families, the news, gardening, even recipes -- none of which I recall involving toads.  Wink

Yep yep. Perfectly sane and normal people here. Except Shadow, of course -- take a look inside her head.  Tongue *runs*

Maybe, if you have out-of-the-closet Pagan friends who aren't the tree-hugging hippie stereotype, you could introduce them to your parents, without telling them that they're Pagans until later.
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« Reply #11: April 19, 2007, 08:08:31 am »


*sigh* Perhaps your parents would be more impressed with the fact I hold a Summa Cum Laude degree from Berkeley, have been commissioned by cities for public works of art, was long listed for a spot on the US Olympic Team (equestrian), hubby is a published, brilliant writer and the business we created brings us a six figure income. That stuff is usually considered respectable. Yet we are certainly hippies and although not Wiccan, I am a witch.


Please teach me how I can attain that kind of life, senseiGrin
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« Reply #12: April 19, 2007, 08:12:27 am »

Not with Freudian slips like that!  Grin  (bolding mind)

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Ohhhh nooooo!  It's an epidemic!
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« Reply #13: April 19, 2007, 08:21:33 am »

Yep yep. Perfectly sane and normal people here. Except Shadow, of course -- take a look inside her head.  Tongue *runs*

Hey!  I resemble that remark! Cheesy

besides, I might not be sane, but I'm fairly respectable. Tongue
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« Reply #14: April 19, 2007, 08:26:53 am »

lol, thanks everyone. I feel a bit more confident now. Unfortunately, I don't have any pagan friends, so there's no one I can show to my parents and say "See? They're perfectly decent AND they're pagan!"
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