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Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:46 am
by Kitsune
Last Thursday me and Grimwell were asked to come to a Stampede breakfast... not wholly surprising in and of itself, since it is during Stampede currently (Calgary Stampede - for those of you who've never heard of it, it's the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth"... basically the biggest outdoor rodeo, with rides added, and a heck of a lot of "Cowboy & Indian" Heritage stuff).

It took place at a nearby church, and and we were mainly invited a) because the woman wanted to get to know us outside of work, and b) she knows we're not christian.

We had a good time, and this woman and her husband are actually quite interesting people, but her views on God are pretty much "I know my bible, and I know my God, and therefore I'M RIGHT, and every other religion is wrong". After talking with this woman for about 5 minutes (in which I was very good, and kept my feelings to myself), I had a desperate urge to go out and buy a pentacle and wear it in defiance more than anything else... even though she didn't say a single thing against Paganism (more against followers of the Koran actually)!

I thought that I was over this sort of thing, but I guess I'm not. She's a relatively nice person to talk to when she's not talking religion, but I almost felt like I had to hide while I was around her. So, beyond thinking about buying myself an actual Pentacle necklace (which my husband is against... he doesn't like idea of me being so blatant about it here in the bible belt), what can I do? I answer people openly about my religion (even her if she ever asks me), I inform people when they ask what paganism is... I'm doing all of it except actually converting people!

On a side note, my husband said he doesn't generally tell people he's Pagan anymore, he'll just tell them that he doesn't believe in their God... not because he's afraid of their reaction, but because he's gotten tired of explaining what Paganism is to people!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:53 am
by Hytegia
I think of it as a Natural instinct of self-preservation... But I can see where you're comeing from! :)

It's like a Sports team. If you see one team showboating and waving signs and cheerleaders shakin their ass shouting "GO TEAM!" while you're sitting in a corner, with nothing. I guess it could be argued that YOU want to be that cheerleader, shaking your metaphorical *** and shouting about how proud you are of what you are.
:D
It's basic instinct. Less about competition with us (seeing as we're not even competing for souls) and more about pride in what we do.

I think you should, Kits. Follow your heart, and it'll never fail you. Locate the nearest Spencer's Gifts and buy one for about $7-$8 and just hold it, and think about if you want to wear it or not. Maybe you'll feel the urge to NOT wear it, and maybe you'll be in that "go uppy" mood with the planets and decide to wear it!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:26 am
by Kystar
Since you connect very strongly with Japanese culture, why not find something from their spirituality that resonates with you? Even if it's one of those cheesy Asian character necklaces? That way, you're not wearing something that is associated with "Devil Worship" in your area, but you're wearing something that re-enforces your own spirituality.

Hubby wears a Celtic Shield It means something to him, it's easy for both of us to identify the elements to it, but it doesn't scream "Witch" or "Witchcraft" to the world.
Image (Not my pic, found it on Google).

I will sometimes wear a Sign of the Light Necklace that I had special-made for me...if I don't feel a situation is appropriate for my small pentacle. (Sign of the Light is actually an alchemy symbol for the Earth, a Circle Quartered by an equal armed cross, the term "Sign of the Light" comes from Susan Coopers' "The Dark Is Rising Sequence"...of which I'm a great fan. Image from Wikimedia.org...yes, I troll Google for quick images.) I'd put a pic of the actual necklace up, but I don't have one. :/
Image

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:21 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
It's like those moments when you're with someone of the same gender who looks very different than you do, but is comfortable and beautiful in that form. You start to question your own beauty, and then to come up with ways that other person is less than you. You're human, my friend! We're none of us perfect, and sometimes we get to go back and go through the same old stuff we have healed and long since finished just for the fun of it.

Don't feel badly, or less, or anything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyoPfkUa5s8 Here's a song for you. Go into the "dark" with the intention to illuminate it. flyaway: In the process, know yourself, you foxy lady! Go belly dancing, and just feel your worth. :hug:

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:37 pm
by white_harmony
That's a good idea Kystar. We (Arcanum and I) tend to do that from time to time when we know it's probably not appropriate around some people to have the pentacle necklace out there .. Some people are so easily offended *sigh* However, we do have other necklaces that still have meaning to us. At the Mediaeval Fayre here every July (*squeels in joy* It's on this weekend hehe) there is one particular jeweler I always go and see. So far of his, we have 2 different designs that we just adore. My own is called "The Nine Daughters of Ran", and if you know the story behind it, it's actually quite beautiful. I love wearing that pendant lol. Arcanums is a geometric symbol design. Quite intriguing with .. Damn it I'll take photos, it's much easier to explain lol. *toddles off to take photos*

This is the geometric -
Image

This is the 9 Daughters of Ran -
Image

Photos not the best ... But you get the idea. I can't remember the name of the geometric symbol, but when I read up on it I was like .. Wow, interesting ... Read more .. lol

So there are other things you can do to assert yourself, or your difference, or your faith/belief to others without being blatant about it, but still get the self satisfaction of wearing something and saying "This is me!"

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:50 pm
by Kystar
Those are LOVELY! What's the jeweler's name or shop name? Do they do online sales?

I have a coin pendant from the Ren Fair that I wear...it has a Great Horned Owl in flight on the face, and the pentacle on the back. I COULD turn it around...but I don't need to...the pentacle is against my skin...and my Guide is facing the world. Hubby got a Dragon/Celtic Knot one. They stamped them right there at the faire in front of us. It was cool.

But, yes, there are ways to show your faith without the controversy that the Pentacle seems to generate thanks to some ancient bad press!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:54 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
I would also like the name of the jeweller! WOW!!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:02 pm
by white_harmony
The name of the jeweler is RuneMaster Jewelry. I can't seem to locate his business card at the moment, but since we will be at the fayre in 2 days time, I will definitely get a new one and find out if he does online orders. All of his work is amazing. He was actually telling us the process and length of time it took him to perfect the geometric one .. It took him years to get it right. The intersecting pyramids is 3D, so its the same on the back as it is the front.

Ah hah! Did some research ... And this is his website:
http://www.runemaster.com.au/

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:37 pm
by Kitsune
Thanks guys! I was really starting to wonder if I was that uncomfortable with my faith or something... It's a very weird feeling for me, wanting to display my religion. I would love to get something asian, I just haven't found one that suits me yet.

You guys have jewelers who will actually do specialty jewelry? Wow, I wish I could find that out here. We only have one Pagan gathering a year here in Calgary... and it's advertised so little it's almost not worth the effort. (point in case, I'm part of their group on Facebook, and I don't know if we're having a pagan pride festival this year, although they're usually in August).

Oh, and thank you so much for that link. I don't think I've heard the tale you're refering to, but I'll probally go look it up in a bit.

I am going to have to check out this wonderful new jewelers page you gave us first though.

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:56 pm
by white_harmony
Your very much welcome :-D

I can completely understand the want to display your faith for all to see. I had similar feelings years ago. These days, living where I do, I am able to walk out and about with my pentacle around my neck and no one looks at me like I'm the spawn of the devil or something, so I think I'm quite lucky.

Another thought for you to consider - If you cannot find something Asian that suits you, why not a Reiki symbol? Years ago I found them being sold here. I actually gifted to a friend of mine a cho-ku-rei symbol on a necklace and she loved it. Another year, I got her the Universal Love (or Om I think is the spelling?) symbol done beautifully on a pendant. I actually own a set of drop earrings done in that same symbol lol.

I wish you luck in finding something that suits you for your own uniqueness and faith :hug:

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:31 am
by Kystar
OH! I am such an airhead!

For anyone who might want custom stuff...or might want some slightly more elaborate elven style stuff...here's the link to the woman who not only did my wedding circlet, but also did my Sign necklace.

http://www.camiasdesigns.com

Kelly is her name, and she's really good...but for some reason, I never saw her post the pic I sent her from my wedding. Dunno. Oh well.

She made me a lovely triple moon circlet with two triquettas on it, and a moonstone in the full moon. (Would have preferred the moonstone to BE the full moon, but she only has like two sizes of gems, so meh...if that's the only miff...not a big one.) I don't have any pictures up somewhere that I can link to except Facebook and they're snots about allowing access! If anyone wants a picture, I can email one. To get an idea of her stuff. By, my headpiece was BASIC compared to a lot of the stuff on her website!

Maybe she can help, Kitsune!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:03 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
No way... I was JUST looking at her site last night!!! I am looking for my wedding circlet. Good to hear such a great reference!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:37 am
by Kystar
She was really easy to work with since I was ordering a custom piece, too. She did a wonderful job. I actually wanted the simple triple moon as it is something that I could wear at other times...like Ren faires, Halloween, or any sort of Pagan event I might get dressed up for. Or even, getting dressed up!

I'm very happy with the circlet and the pendant she made!

And her prices were very reasonable for custom work!

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:34 pm
by Kitsune
Actually, I've thought about getting a Reiki symbol... something keeps telling me that while it's useful, I've already done it, and therefore don't need to dedicate my life to it again, if that makes any sense.

On the other hand, I found exactly what I want on that first site you gave us. The Symbol of Seith. I was entranced by it and couldn't figure out why... until I did a bit of research and found out that it's a symbol used for divination, seers, and similar minor magics. Which is exactly what I'm looking for!

I think I'm going to be buying one next week, or as soon as our car issues are handled.

How is the wedding stuff coming along Crazy? Were you able to get the location you were after?

Re: Asserting my Paganism

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:27 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
Keep us updated! I would love to see you wearing something that you really feel expresses you :)

Yeppers! We were able to get the exact spot, and have it for the day. It's in a beautiful park with a green gazebo that I want to use as a dance floor. (We want to get married under this beautiful tree). Apparently, not many people are booking outdoor weddings in October :badgrin: We have a backup, a friend's (flipping AWESOME medieval) cabin nearby if it starts raining. However, the ceremony is still in the park, rain or shine.

Do you know where you're getting your pendant from yet? Will it be from WH's site?