Story of about most pagans today is the story of being half-in and half-out of the closet as we meander on our paths, religions, and belief systems.
For me, I was very lucky to have open-minded parents, but they were open-minded to an extent. They strictly viewed their daughter’s religion as a hobby.
Even as a twelve-year-old girl, I knew better. As I got older and I become more familiar with my faith and worship, I realize how my religion has shaped me; its formed my mind, heart, and soul. It has helped me discover discipline and practice.
My religion has helped me find the time and energy for self-care such are playing my ukulele, writing in my journal, and doing yoga. I’ve added some of my “hobbies” into my religion.
So in a way, Mom had the right idea, but she drastically undermined what P(p)aganism meant to me.
Granted, I was twelve years old. How many twelve-year-old kids you know wanted to find their purpose in life?
As I grew up, to my family my faith became less of a religion to other people and more of a “fun fact” about me. My family thought I was a Wiccan for most of my childhood. In reality, I was more of a Wiccan-influenced witch than a Wiccan.
It was difficult to talk to my family what is the single-most important part of who I am. Not only because they’d ask me in the most inopportune time for me, but because I was discovering this new thing too. Because I am always in a perpetual discovering, it was hard for me to formulate what my religion was exactly.
I recall as a child that people either in my family or not tried to persuade my sister and I to their perspective. Throughout my childhood, there was a pervasive assumption that my sister and I were actually Christian, and that this Wicca-stuff was a phase.
Because I was the youngest, (I was twelve) there was a time my grandmother eyed me and told me to say the Lord’s Prayer over Thanksgiving dinner.
Oh, I knew it. I just chose not to say it.
Instead, I said:
Rubba’ dub dub!
Thanks for the grub!
My grandmother blanched, but everyone else laughed.
(I learned this from my father, who by the way, grew up Christian and is a Freemason, but never took tradition very seriously. And never did I apparently.)
She never asked me to do that ever again.
Another time, my father’s employer gave him books and movies about Christianity to my sister and I. As if telling us that humans lived with the dinosaurs will convince us to change our minds about our religion.
At the time, I recall thinking, how malleable do these people think my mind is? I’ve listened to my heart, and what I am pursuing now is my own truth.
When I was in my early twenties, I was going through major changes in my faith. I began to question everything until I stripped myself entirely of all things Pagan into someone who only studied atheism and philosophy.
Before and after this drastic change, the people I lived with in my early twenties questioned my religion incessantly. It was like I was there just to convince them.
People I’ve lived with either treated my religion as a fun fact or worse, an opportunity to discuss religion with me.
It’s been a year since I decided to pursue Dodekatheism. Since it has only been a year, I am always finding out new things (again). You can see constantly rearranging my altar + shrine. I am always fixing my devotionals and always thinking up new things to do. (By the way, I have to update my altar and shrine blog post because my altar + shrine has changed). I am still listening to my heart and seeking my truth, but this time, through the Theoi.