Standing Up for Paganism

Goddess Shrine at Circle Sanctuary 2013

Goddess Shrine at Circle Sanctuary, Wisconsin

We’re Being Recognized

Pagan paths are increasingly becoming more accepted in the United States.  In recent years, we’ve seen the military place pentacles and Mjolnirs on headstones, which was a huge project through Circle Sanctuary and several of the ministers there.  At the beginning of November, Wiccan Priest Blake Kirk gave the invocation at the city council meeting in Huntsville, Alabama.  There are so many ways that the Pagan faiths are finding their way into everyday American life.

But what are YOU doing to show the positive aspects of our faiths and trying to dispel the myths that are abundant?  By our nature, we don’t proselytize.  In many of our different sects, it’s strictly forbidden.  This doesn’t mean that we have to remain quiet however when untruths are told.  I think it’s our duty to try to gently educate when these situations come up.

We’re Being Misrepresented

Take for example the recent article on Time Magazine’s website, “Why Witches on TV Spell Trouble in Real Life” by Jennifer Latson.  There are so many untruths in this article that you have to wonder if the writer actually sought out any information about the true nature of Witchcraft or Paganism in any form.  While this article is quite detrimental to the Pagan faiths, it can also be a launching point to show what we are really about.  For most Pagans, it’s not about damning people with spells or making lives miserable.  Many of us, but not all, are healers and peaceful people.  That was not reflected in the article at all.

Using Moments for Gentle Education

I once brought it up to a friend that was very firm in her Christian faith that the Pagan faiths are used as slurs nearly every day.  Saying such things as “She’s such a witch!’ may be a colloquialism, but it’s also degrading to Pagans and Witches in particular.  I asked her what she would think if someone said “Man, that woman is such a dirty Christian!”  She sat back and thought about it for a minute and said that she hadn’t realized that what she was saying was really offensive until I said it in that context.  A few weeks later I heard her correct someone she knew, saying that it was offensive.  It was a teachable moment.

We have teachable moments every day of our lives.  Whether it be something on the Pagan track or something else, stand up and make the point.  Gently.  Don’t get in people’s faces, but let them know why their speech is offensive.  Gently put it in context they can understand.  Don’t hate on any faith, and don’t let someone trample on yours.