To Wear, or not to Wear?

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Hytegia
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To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Hytegia » Mon May 10, 2010 10:18 pm

An internal conflict boils within me which requires advice from everyone who reads this -

As you all know, I've enlisted in the U.S. Navy. I ship off to basic training on June 28th, and had a list of things I was to bring to basic with me... And only 1 thing I could keep the entire duration of the training - a religious symbol.

If I had it my way, it would be simple: Wear my pennacle. If they give me **** then I file a complaint. Done deal.
But, as we all know, the way of this world is not a simple one. It's mostly full of biggotry and a good portion of hate - and the military is not famous for it's ability to tolerate differences of moral and religious grounds. So I've stayed awake many hours staring at the ceiling, contemplating the future : to hide, and make it easy on myself - or to be true to myself, and weather the storm?

...
I'm truly at a loss for what to do. I am running out of time to make this decision, and I would like noting more than advice from other people who may, or may not, have had te same predicament and maybe some advice. Any advice.

Please.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Tue May 11, 2010 4:28 am

I know we're talking about the US Army here and in a Fundy neck of the woods, but my sister finished up basic training for the militia last year. Now, she's not a religious person by any means, but she would not have been ostracized for such a symbol. Then again, generally this area is OK regarding freedom of spirituality. Most of the privates and the officers are "promiscuous" anyway, and any religious persecution, if necessary, would be met with outing the scandal of sleeping with privates under their jurisdiction with wifes/husbands on civilian land.

Go with your gut. If it were me at this point in my life, I would wear it, but that is not the case four years ago.
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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by white_harmony » Tue May 11, 2010 1:26 pm

If it were me, I'd wear it. I've never had to ask the "to wear, or not to wear" question, so I guess I've been lucky, but I also feel that if it feels right to you to wear it, then do so.
~ The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death ~

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Kystar » Tue May 11, 2010 4:13 pm

I'd have to say that you should do what makes you feel most like you.

However, as I've faced faintly similar circumstances (not wanting to offend in-laws by wearing my pentacle to a holiday dinner,) I found a compromise was possible. I have two necklaces that to the outside observer don't have any strong religious overtones, but to ME mean something.

One is a circle cut by an equal-armed cross...known as a Sun Symbol to some, or a symbol for Earth in Alchemy. In my first strongly fantasy book series I read which lead me to paganism, it is the Sign of the Light. (Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence) It represents many things to me, but ultimately, it is simply the symbol of Magick in my mind.

The other is a nine-pointed star in a circle, which makes a strong Sun symbol. However, mine is in Silver, which unifies the Sun and Moon to me. Thus making it a god/goddess symbol. They both have strong religious meanings to me, but aren't overtly pagan and therefore stir little suspicion.

I tend to wear the Silver Star to things that have an association with the Sun (Christmas dinner), and the Sign to other family gatherings.

My advice is, if you feel you can make due with another symbol that isn't overtly pagan, but is "safer", do so. If you feel it's too much like hiding or betraying your faith, then don't.
Good luck.
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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Kitsune » Tue May 11, 2010 6:36 pm

I would wear it, but then, I don't generally wear a pentacle since my husband asked me not to. Instead I find other jewelry that means more to me than the star and circle. A plain star with a gem in it would do just as well for you, if you consecrate it to mean such.

Personally, I wouldn't even think of how wearing a pentacle would look to others, but think about how your reasons for wearing it, and your reasons for not. If you don't want to wear it so as to not alienate any of your fellow army guys, then that's probably alright to wear something different. On the other hand, if you don't want to wear it because you're ashamed to have to explain what it means, you should look at your own feelings and why you feel that way about it.

Simply put (since I'm tired and rambling) understand your reasons for wearing or not wearing it, and make certain that regardless of the choice, that you're doing it for the right reasons. :hug:
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Dark Waters » Wed May 12, 2010 6:48 pm

Navy is a little different than the Army I was in. In the Army, Metal neclaces were frowned upon regardless of religion or meaning because the metal could reflect light at night and give away position, and on a quiet night, even the jangle of a pendant and chain can be heard and give warning. Such things may or may not apply to the Navy. :-#

However, I did have a druidic friend in training and his military tags (dog tags) list last name, first name (middle initial if applicable), id number and religious preference. He proudly wore his that listed him as Pagan as if it were a religious symbol in its own right. 8-)

Also a consideration is your job type if you are dealing with heavy machinery or vehicles, you won't be allowed to wear a dangling necklace, or id tags, because of the hazard of it dropping out of your shirt while bent over motors and it catching in the machinery. If you work with generators or electronic repairs - same prohibition with regards to electrocution. [-X

But if you are allowed to have it, wear it and wear it proudly. The military has recognized the symbol as official for a while now. If anyone does have a problem with it, it is personal to them and who cares what others think, because they have no official leg to stand on. \:D/
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My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Kitsune » Wed May 12, 2010 8:45 pm

I suppose you could also draw a symbol of it and have it get it done as a tattoo, if you're old enough... With a tattoo though, I'd suggest someplace you can hide it without too much difficulty... on your shoulder or the back of your neck or something (I have a tattoo, and I know that sometimes I want to be considered without it and the sometimes bad connentations you can get with having one).

Or if money isn't quite the issue it was, you could get it tattoo'd so that it will glow in the dark... then you just need a bit of smudge powder and it will be covered for army issues, and yet its almost invisible in the daylight. It's an idea at least. :-k
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Kystar » Wed May 12, 2010 10:13 pm

Glow in the dark tattoos? WHA?! :-k :-k :-k
You say "Witch" like it's a bad thing!

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by white_harmony » Wed May 12, 2010 10:32 pm

Kystar wrote:Glow in the dark tattoos? WHA?! :-k :-k :-k
What she said .. I haven't heard of those before?!
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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Kitsune » Fri May 14, 2010 9:06 pm

http://www.zimbio.com/Tattoos/articles/ ... +Glow+Dark

Here's the link. The pictures aren't very good on that page, so I've included a few others. It's still somewhat new tech, so you may have to look to find a place doing it near you. I think it's awesome though. I'd love to get this sort of tattoo for my second one... feathers flowing down my arms... nearly invisible in the daylight, they come through as a very faint white. I have a friend who got one done... it's pretty awesome.

I found a second one with better pictures. They're pretty awesome, I must admit, I love the idea.

http://www.tattooartists.org/Gal3975_UV ... ht_Ink.asp

The final page here is more safety issues on getting them, something that we may as well keep in mind, since it is relatively new. A quick rundown of the page is that the FDA has approved the ones that glow under a black light, but not the ones that will simply glow in the dark. Which honestly is even better for the army situation. Although, if it's in an obvious place, I'd still darken it for night missions... The last thing you'd want is to be in the middle of a night op and suddenly be glowing.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/glow-in- ... ttoos.html
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Hytegia » Sat May 15, 2010 11:13 pm

After much advice with some Spirits, we've concocted several scenarios for what will happen.
Me not wearing the Pennacle weighs heavily in my favor, statistically, for enjoying things.

HOWEVER -
if there is one thing I always swore every time I thought about it. Since the first day I came out of the broom closet : I will never lie to myself.
Could I live happily knowing that when this question came into my head - the very question which I judge myself on - that I denied myself? The road ahead of me may be reletively easy (unlikely), or extremely difficult... But I think that I'll survive well enough.
When the gods want to shape something, it's with fire, anvil, and hammer.


I'll wear my Pennacle.
Thanks guys. :]
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Dark Waters » Sat May 29, 2010 4:24 am

Just thought of it when you mentioned that last quote "When the gods want to shape something, it's with fire, anvil, and hammer."

Had a friend first round in Korea who wore Thor's Hammer, smaller one on duty - larger one off duty (something to consider).

But same considerations mentioned before when around machinery or electricity. As an electronics tech I was around high voltage
so no necklaces or even rings were allowed, and when possible keep one hand in pocket (the only place in the Army where that was
acceptable) to prevent grounding oneself.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by davisherm » Sat May 29, 2010 3:44 pm

I'm proud of your decision, both to enlist and to continue wearing your pentacle.

I wore my pentacle every day. It was never an issue. I had a couple civilian staffers give me odd looks and ask me if I was a Satanist once, but that's the absolute worst of it. When in uniform, it'll be under your inner shirt, by your dog tags and the uniform code requires that it be fairly small, anyway so it won't be obvious to most people. Half the people who saw mine assumed I was Jewish! LOL

If nothing else, it always gave me a touchstone, something to ground myself with when I lost focus or felt misplaced. Holding my pentacle while I called the directions was immeasurably comforting to me on those nights when the loneliness hit hard. Of course, you'll be on a ship (I imagine) with a few hundred to a few thousand other sailors. So chances are, you'll find other pagans. There's an oddly high number of us in uniformed service. And it's not like you don't already have vast experience in being a lone practitioner surrounded by cowen.

Bright blessings to you, my brother in faith and arms.
"I just want to play on my Panpipes..." Cake

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Hytegia » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:58 pm

I ship off June 28th, just an FYI. you can drop me your address via PM and I'll mail you a letter out of RTC incase you want to drop me a note of inspiration or whatnot.
The more mail I have, the easier it is to forget that I'm supposed to be miserable. xD
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Re: To Wear, or not to Wear?

Post by Lotus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:02 pm

Sorry that I got to this late.

I've noticed that you did choose to wear your symbol. Good for you since the choice was yours and yours only all along. I however stopped wearing my ankh to work quite a few years ago. Wearing the ankh seemed to be like wearing a bullseye to work. It caused more problems than what it was worth. People would even scoff at me and make a point to cause me drama for wearing it. I've seen people in the area wear pagan symbols without any flak but I always seem to get the angry old church goin' women all riled up.
Right now I have been wearing a symbol special to me. More of a history thing than anything else. Although this symbol is religious and no longer the religion I am, I still wear it. Partly that this symbol still functions as a talisman for me. The pendant I wear is a St. Benedict metal that was given to me as a gift. They bought it in Vatican city blessed by Pope John Paul II. I know many in the pagan community still give me problems for wearing this symbol. A friend opened my eyes that I could still wear this symbol even though I am no longer Catholic. You see, my ancestors were Catholic and this is also honoring them when I wear it. This is part of my past and still is a big part of me and who I am.
This friend who encouraged me to continue wearing this symbol is also Pagan with Catholic roots. He wears all his symbols together because each has a unique meaning to him.

My answer to you is to use the advice of your guides. In this area where I live the ankh becomes a burden. There is also a "spell" set into motion here that causes problems for people wearing certain symbols. A local church deliberately 'cursed' the energy to attack and cause hardships for those wearing pagan symbols. This is their way of trying to get us back into the fold. My Catholic symbol seems to offset this curse without being untrue to myself.


Sorry for just babbling,
Lotus
I have not been the same since that house fell on my sister.

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