I Am Pagan
Author: Lady Wolfwind
I am Pagan. It’s that simple. It’s never really been a struggle for me. I didn’t understand the meaning of Pagan until I was older. My grandparents raised me. I called them Mom and Dad. My mother was old fashioned, as I imagined women of her generation were. She stayed home and Dad worked. She kept an immaculate home and raised a huge garden every year from which she canned and froze most of our vegetables. Her flower gardens were straight from the pages of a magazine. There was never a mention of religion or of a God in our home. They believed in right and wrong. They didn’t swear, drink or do drugs. They helped people when they could.
I took an interest in the occult at a very young age. Around the age of eleven or so I was hanging in the witchcraft section of the library. I checked out everything I could find on witchcraft, astrology, and the zodiac. I brought them home and never gave a thought to keeping them hidden. My mother read some of them, especially those concerning horoscopes and was fascinated. My older sister (biologically my aunt and quite a few years older than me) made sarcastic remarks. Soon her children were calling me a witch and telling me that I looked evil. I still didn’t take offense.
I’ve had various paranormal experiences, mostly associated with the deaths of my parents. I believe strongly in reincarnation. There’s really never been any other choice for me. I’ve been to college and I’ve studied various religions. None of them have made much sense to me. I never really felt I was on a path. It was more my life and the way I lived it and what I believed in. I always sensed I was different from other people. Other people are attracted to me, I am quite likeable, it seems. It’s just that I don’t think like they do.
My mother crossed over when I was fourteen and my father followed when I was twenty-two. My sisters have never spoken to me since. It’s okay. I have my own family. I have and am still raising 6 children. Kind of two families. There are four older children with children of their own. I have a daughter thirteen and a son seven still living at home. I know some of you think this is just another story of how I came to be Pagan. It’s not. I just had to fill in a little back history of my life.
Of my four older children the three oldest are girls. I am sad to say that we are not very close, in a traditional way. Growing up, I never mentioned religion in our home either. We speak on the phone; we email each other, etc. They live on the other side of the country. I long for solitude, for quiet. I don’t like the drama and the gossip. They tend to fight with one another and talk about each other and want me to take sides. I listen but I don’t have any comments. They will just have to work it out. I love them and they love me. They have the greatest respect for me as their mother. We know this. We just don’t talk much.
What this story is about is my relationship with one of the two oldest daughters. We will call her Nicole. She’s always been very intense. No amount of attention was enough. A lot of people would try to pay attention to her thinking she was neglected. They quickly found out that this was not the case. As she grew older she would tell others stories. Stories about how bad her life was. She would twist your words around to make situations more to her liking. She is very prone to deep, passionate spells where she is “into” something and that is all she can think about, talk about and so forth.
When I moved back across the country, more close to home, she was very upset. It wasn’t that she wasn’t welcome to come but she was in a relationship and had a child and another one on the way. She called me almost everyday. I knew she missed me. She would keep me on the phone for hours.
I never said much because she had to fill me in on every minute and every word every person said to her since the last time we spoke. I listened. I’ve listened for the last 4 years. She doesn’t know what I do in my life or how our life is. It is of no interest to her.
Awhile back she was “into” tattoos. She called and told me of her plans to tattoo her whole body. She was very excited about this and it’s all she could talk about for months. I told her that she might want to think about it very carefully before she did it, to be sure it wouldn’t be something she’d regret when she was older.
I asked her if maybe a couple of tattoos would satisfy her and not a whole body tattoo. It seemed that she took that as a sign that I didn’t agree with her and proceeded to tattoo her whole body.
It’s okay. It’s her body. If that’s what she wants, who am I to disagree? It’s just not something I would do. Okay, so now I get a bombardment of every tattoo she gets asking me what I think. “It’s pretty.” I tell her. And it is. So now she isn’t into the tattooing any more. I never hear mention of it. I don’t know how she feels about them or if she’s going to get them finished. What is upsetting to me is her latest obsession.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy she has found something to be passionate about that doesn’t involve inking herself or drinking and such. She has two sons and it is good that they have some sort of structure in their lives. I want them to grow up well.
For the first few months she called me everyday and all she could talk about was God and how good he is to her. She’d talk about all the good people in her life. She was constantly posting on Facebook how her Father loved her and so on and so on and so on.
Okay, I get it.
In one of her rants to me on the phone about how other people lived their lives I made my mind up to tell her that I believed that everyone had the right to live as they chose. She, on the other hand, believes that the world should be converted to Christianity or else.
I have always kept my mouth shut. I didn’t need to feed the fire. I didn’t want trouble in my life or my life gossiped about. I couldn’t do it. I told her exactly what I felt and what my beliefs are. I told her that everyone has his or her own path and not everyone will believe exactly as she does. She ended our conversation by telling me that she understood.
Do I wish I had never said anything.
On January 31st, I was getting ready to go outside and say my thanks to the Goddess under the beautiful blue moon. My youngest daughter brought me my computer and told me I should read what Nicole had written. Okay, no problem. Posted to me was a brief message that she was no longer seeking my affirmation and as of tonight she is starting a new life with out me. She told me that she had erased my phone number from her phone and wouldn’t be speaking to me anymore. Okay, she’ll get over this and the phase will pass. It’s been like this before; she’s just not cut me off.
Then the fun started. She started calling relatives on the pretense she wanted to send them cards for the New Year, and ever so slightly changed the subject to my Pagan beliefs and “Can you believe that?” Something had to be done to save the souls of the two younger ones living at home still. Now mind you, I’m not raising them any different than I did the four oldest. I worship the Sabbats and Esbats etc. They are invited to join in and do. They find it enjoyable. I do not push my beliefs on them but will discuss it when asked. I want them to develop themselves and find the path that makes them happiest, even if it is one of the Abrahamic paths.
Nicole called my youngest daughter and tells her that I’m going to burn in hell and reads scripture to her. She tells her that Satan has spoken to me and that her Christian path is the only way. I have bibles being sent to my house, for crying out loud. Nicole tells her younger sister not to tell her that they talked or what they talked about.
I have tried sending Nicole emails asking her to please respect our privacy and rights to believe what we want. I have tried asking her not to disrespect my time as a mother by encouraging her sister to hide things from me. It doesn’t work. I finally sent her an email and told her not to call here or email sister, her younger brother or me. It seemed so hard. She’s my daughter. My youngest daughter sees this as terrible and thinks it’s forever.
I know Nicole. It will pass. She started bombarding Facebook with scripture to the point that I had to hide her posts. My status column was full of nothing but God. She recently sent me an email asking if she and her new boyfriend could come here to visit. I told her that she is always welcome. I again tried to explain my stance to her. This was days ago and she hasn’t replied.
I love my children. I tried to raise them right. My first priority was to be a mother. I don’t know what to do with this assault. I am Pagan. It will not change. I have been my whole life. I live simply. We live in the country. I have gardens and grow my own herbs. I have animals that adopt me. Most days you can find them curled up at my feet or following me around.
I do not have a cell phone; I do not use a microwave. Not because I don’t want to but because it just doesn’t cross my mind to. I have a dryer. I use the clothesline. I help out every person I can. My husband and I buy school supplies for children we will never meet, we donate food to people who cannot afford to eat. We counsel the kids who work for us to keep them off the streets and away from drugs. I feed the chicken and say a thank you every morning to the Goddess who has blessed me with this life. I do not preach to others, nor do I mention my beliefs unless asked.
I wanted to share this with all of you here. It’s hard when the ridicule comes from your own family, much less your own child. I don’t speak of it to anyone; I don’t share the hurt that has come from my inability to have a satisfying relationship with this one child. Life can be so hard sometimes. I’m sure that the Goddess has put this on my path so I could look deeply into who I am and ask myself what I truly believe.
I AM PAGAN. This who I am.