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Thread: Coming out of the Broom Closet

  1. #21

    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    My parents were from two distinctly different religions based on the same faith....my mom was Roman Catholic and my dad was Mormon (not the many wives type). I thought it would be harder to talk to my mom about religion simply because RC is pretty structured, tight, and very unforgiving really. In all actuality, my mom was.....not really supportive, but not against it either. She simply said 'follow what you feel is right, not what I or anyone else tells you is right'. I think that was the kindest thing anyone had ever said to me. My dad, on the other hand, who is usually supportive, asked me to please rethink it over because he wanted me to join him in heaven instead of his firstborn going to hell. I had to kindly explain my Path to him and listen to his protests, but eventually he came to understand, at least a little. I felt bad; no one wants their parent to believe that they are going to suffer because of their spiritual differences. At least, I didn't. Now he just grunts whenever the subject of religion comes up. ^-^ Not that I go ahead and shout it out to the world either. It's sort of frowned upon in my workplace so I keep a lid on it when the subject comes up, only because the politics in the Navy are ridiculous. If they don't ask, I don't tell and when they do ask, I don't tell everything. Navy people are a suspicious lot (black cat = bad luck suspicious, I think I'm thinking of another word but can't quite think it. XD). Ah! Superstitous is what I meant!
    The Past is our Cradle, not our Prison; there is Danger as well as Appeal in its Glamour. The Past is for Inspiration, not Immitation; Continuation, not Repetition.

    Its a long way back to Eden, dear. Don't sweat the small stuff.

  2. #22
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    lol...I started this thread, and I still haven't answered in it...


    I have considered myself pagan in one form or another since jr high--11/12 ish, when I learned that there was a name for things that made more sense to me than the standard Christian theology I'd grown up with...so I've been "coming our of the broom closet" one way or another for the past 17/18 years (yup...I'm about to hit the third decade for all you math geniuses :P).

    Ummm...I broke my parents and family in gently...even though I *thought* they wouldn't care, it was sort of a combination of not wanting to make waves, and wanting to keep it too myself to see where it went kind of thing. By high school my friends knew, but they were into it too, so it was a collaborative effort for the most part. I fully admit, I was incredibly outspoken and thought *everyone* needed to know...looking back it was totally obnoxious (but it was good practice--when I need to pull it out, I have a rockin arsenal). I let my parents know in stages starting with, "I want to learn about other religions" (which my parents thought was a great idea...part of my confirmation class was actually going to a mosque, a synagogue and the Hindu temple in St Louis). By the time I left for college, my parents knew about "the pagan thing" and it was neither a shock or a big deal to them. My mom's main concern wast that I was careful about what groups I joined that I was sure they weren't fronting for some cult or something.

    I've never had a problem being openly pagan, not even in the military--but I also am not openly pagan with everyone (like the inlaws--thats just drama I don't want) and I don't throw in peoples faces, and I worked my ass off. When I went thru bootcamp, I was assistant RPPO (weareoceansaway knows what that is )--and everyone in my division had their chance to have their say (since we had the traditional "evening prayers and reflection" quiet time). In Norfolk, where I was stationed for six years, there's a local drumcircle, several local pagan/occult/alternative spirituality shops, a local gather, public sabbats--the pagan community is out there, if you can't find it, you aren't looking...and alot of them are military. On both of my ships and at the hospital, I was not only known to be pagan, but quite often I was the pagan referral system ("Oh! New guy is pagan! Send him to HM3!). I've heard many people say its difficult to be Pagan in the military...but somehow I lucked out--in my last workspace, at one point in time, there were 6 Pagans of one flavor or another (that was basically 20% of the office).

    Now...I'm only an asshole when I need to be (there aren't many people holding signs around here like there are in Va Beach--there might have been many pagans, but it was also the headquarters for Pat Robertson's ilk). I don't find it necessary to tell people...because people aren't in each others pockets in the civilian world they way they are in the Navy. A few people at work and school know, and my family knows...and really, no one cares.

    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #23
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    My family believes in the God-Jesus paradigm but aren't very religious, they don't go to church or anything (except for my uncle), so that part was never an issue. As long as I don't worship the devil they don't care. Some of them just made fun of me for it...the term "witchy-poo" was brought up often. But, my family sucks and I hardly ever see them so it doesn't matter anyway.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
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  4. #24
    Copper Member Celest's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    * reads replies from her broom-closet :
    What you see depends on what you are looking for.

  5. #25
    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    The trouble with my broom closet was that so many of my family were in there too.... it was like the elephant in the room. Everyone knew about it, but it was rarely discussed openly and even then NEVER in front of outsiders.

    Nowadays I'm fairly open about my beliefs - in certain quarters. So although I've given talks and run workshops, I wouldn't necessarily shout to all and sundry in the local co-op about my beliefs. There's a time for every purpose as the psalmist says (that's funny, it's the second time I've written about psalms this evening)....
    www.thewolfenhowlepress.com


    Phantom Turnips never die.... they just get stewed occasionally....

  6. #26
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    I'm so deep in the broom closet I can't find myself ~nervous laugh~. When I started exploring religion my mom gave me a funny look, but said nothing. When I started studying the bible with the neighbors, who are jehovah's witness, she got a little upset about it. I tried to calm her down and she finally excepted it; I think. That was a little over a year ago and since then I've discovered paganism and know that this is the path for me. I'm afraid to tell my neighbors. They are good people I've known all my life and I don't want to damage that relationship. At the same time I need to stop studying with them. I want to tell my mom but fear has reared it's head once again. My mom and I have never been good at talking to each other about personal stuff. Those conversations always turn into shouting matches. I don't know what I would say to either of them, Any advice or help, especially about the neighbors and study thing, would be most welcome.
    “It's impossible," said pride. "It's risky," said experience. "It's pointless," said reason. "Give it a try," whispered the heart.

  7. #27
    Copper Member Celest's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    [quote author=Evergreen link=topic=49.msg4452#msg4452 date=1287439527]
    I'm so deep in the broom closet I can't find myself ~nervous laugh~. When I started exploring religion my mom gave me a funny look, but said nothing. When I started studying the bible with the neighbors, who are jehovah's witness, she got a little upset about it. I tried to calm her down and she finally excepted it; I think. That was a little over a year ago and since then I've discovered paganism and know that this is the path for me. I'm afraid to tell my neighbors. They are good people I've known all my life and I don't want to damage that relationship. At the same time I need to stop studying with them. I want to tell my mom but fear has reared it's head once again. My mom and I have never been good at talking to each other about personal stuff. Those conversations always turn into shouting matches. I don't know what I would say to either of them, Any advice or help, especially about the neighbors and study thing, would be most welcome.
    [/quote]

    What if you wrote your Mom a letter and told her that you are exploring other religions. You don't have to get specific right away, especially if this is new to you. You have lots of time to figure out where your path is, and lots of time to tell your mom.
    As for your neighbours, you could tell them that you have enjoyed the bible studies , but you would like to learn more about some other religions. They may not take it well; my grandmother was a jW and she was convinced that the rest of the family was all going to hell anyways. I never told her I was pagan.
    Good Luck!
    What you see depends on what you are looking for.

  8. #28
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    My mom found out I was "practicing magic" when I was in my early teen years. She freaked out and called my great-uncle to intervene. He'd been in a cult and had to run away from it when he was younger and since he was ordained to marry people she assumed he would talk me out of it. I think she thought he would tell me his horror story to make me fall in line. He told me that magic was in everything and that I should look at the world around me for it before practicing it without guidance, but not that I shouldn't practice at all. He even told me that he would teach me some things the next time I came to visit. Sadly, he passed away before I could take him up on this offer.

    This was in a time when I was swinging between Christianity and Paganism and since my parents weren't religious(just fearful of magic) I only really had my friends in my own age group and church leaders to guide me. My mother also pulled me out of the church I was attending because I listened to religious music all the time and prayed constantly. She honestly believed they were brainwashing me, and I'm not to sure they weren't.

    At the same time I went through that *first* love stage, and when my mom found out I was saying "I love you" to one of the guys from my school and thinking about dating, she told me I didn't know what love was and that I was too young to understand. I may have been too young to understand, but I had thought that my mother loved me and I loved her, so if I didn't know what love was, obviously what we felt for each other wasn't love. At least, that was my line of thought at the time.

    This led to some bitterness which is slowly starting to dissipate, but all of this led to me hiding whatever I believed at the time from my parents and has continued into today. I tried to start a discussion on the subject, about how religions interested me and I was thinking of minoring in Religious Studies, but my mother was evasive, so I assume she's just not ready to hear it. My fiance's family is Catholic, though they don't all go to church, but they expect us to have a formal church wedding and for our children to be baptized and so on and so forth... I'm considering gathering up every pastor from every faith I can locate and taking them all to a park and saying, however you do this in your faith lets do it now, for all such events. Either way, I haven't really come out to family except for my fiance. All of my friends are aware, however.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
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  9. #29
    Supporter Maulus's Avatar
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    I don't think i have ever been in the broom cupboard per se, Before i went off to Uni, my Mom bought me a book on Runes and a set of Clay runes ( i can read runic script as a result) but i found using them for divination quite difficult. The following year she bought me a Tarot set ( which i found easier but still not amazingly Easy)
    While at Uni, a friend bought me a Ryder Waite deck as a present which i immediately took to, in fact i still have that deck around the house, i bought a box for it which i still have, i now use that as a sort of portable altar

    I remember doing a calendar reading for my mom with the Ryder waite deck and scared myself at how accurate it was (Predicting a holiday overseas in september that would lead to a love interest)
    My mom, at least has always known that i am, or at least had pagan leanings, we never talk about it, but my mom is quite spiritual too.

    My Wife proudly tells people that i am Pagan, especially to our friends that are also Pagan. Personally i don't tell people unless they ask me. I consider my path quite a personal one and have learned my lessons from my bible bashing days, not everyone cares about your religion.

    M
    In the end, only you know if you were right or wrong, so tolerate others beliefs, no matter how wrong, they may be right...

  10. #30
    SunSpireFire
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    Re: Coming out of the Broom Closet

    While my immediate family was never very religious when I was growing up, in recent years my mother has banded together with her sister and her family and become quite religious. I don't see them often enough to know if it's all the time (I'm on the opposite side of the country), so most of the the time it seems to be only when it's convenient for her ... which is mean to say, but that's the way I see it. Like around Christmas, and the week long christian musical festival the whole family goes to in august each year. I give my mum more credit than that tho, at least I'd HOPE she wasn't that hypocritical.... anyway.. getting off topic.

    Currently most of my family identifies with Christianity, and half of them are VERY religious. So, the only people who I've told that I don't believe in the christian god, are my mother and my sister, and honestly.... since it's not a prominent issue I doubt either of them even remember me telling them so. When I told them, at the time I wasn't sure if I believed in any sort of supreme being of any sort.

    I would, however, never say anything to my aunt's husband (I word it like that because I have two uncles... my mother's brother, and her sister's husband). He love's debate, his brother is a minister... and he's been known to get too involved and try to bash you in the face with his religious beliefs. As an unspoken rule we generally stay away from talking about religion in such a way that would provoke a debate..

    this is getting lengthy, apologies. Outside the need to come out to my family and close friends as an asexual, (aside from truth, also in part to stop the 'babiez-havzingz' lectures) I've never found the need to shout it out what I believe, unless it's come up in friendly conversation, and until very recently I didn't think I'd ever have a label for it anyway.

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