“What are you wearing?,” asked my father. Reaching for my flower head wreath, I said “I bought it at the Renaissance Festival.” Frowning he asked, “Why are you wearing that?” “It’s Easter. It just feels right to wear it.” He made some sort of parental guttural sound acknowledging my response. Still frowning, he said after a pause, “Well, it suits you. But don’t go outside like that.”
“You’re Episcopal?,” I asked my friend, “You don’t seem like the religious type.” She smiled, “I was raised Episcopalian. I’m not sure what I am now.” I was certain of my identity, “I’m agnostic. I don’t know and I don’t think I care.” She crooked her head, “I don’t believe you. You’re one of the most spiritual people I’ve ever met.”
Several of us were sitting in a meeting room, discussing all things demography and beyond. “What’s Harry Potter?,” one of the girls asked. One of the guys answered with some detail and was delighted to do so. Another girl asked, “I don’t understand. What are muggles?” He answered with a serious tone, “People without magic. We would all be muggles. Well, except for maybe GG.”
These are echoes of conversations that led me out of the broom closet. I was a teenager for the exchange with my father, in my mid-20s for the conversation with my friend, and in my early 30s for the Harry Potter discussion. Cheezy as they may seem [Oy! Harry Potter? Really?], these conversations demonstrate what others saw in me, but I did not readily see myself. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I understood that I am Pagan.
The first person with whom I ever discussed my non-traditional (or uber-traditional — depending on how you view it!) spiritual leanings was Jax. I have always been considered an odd duck in my family; telling them I am pagan was not an issue and brought little to no conflict. Telling friends can still be a challenge, though no one seems the least bit surprised when I do. Admittedly, I don’t tell colleagues unless it comes up in conversation. No one discusses religion openly at my day job (thank the gods!), so I am confident and comfortable with this course of nondisclosure.
I feel some fealty to Wicca because it was the first genre of Paganism I explored, but I can’t say that’s exactly what I am now. I supposed I’m still figuring that out. I can say it feels right to meaningfully recognize the passing of time through the changing of seasons. This blog is a passion project for myself and Jax. We can’t help but believe there are other Pagans like us, who want to celebrate who they are openly, sans bitterness against other religions and with the hope of educating through inclusion. With this blog, we can discover together how to celebrate who we are and what we believe while not excluding friends and family of other faiths.