Broomclosets suck.

Waxing Egg/Pink Moon (Age: 12 Days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Clear skies, chilly
Snowpack: gone :)

It didn't hit me until a few days ago that I was making my way back into the broomcloset and not attending to my children's spiritual education because I was afraid. Now, one may ask what I am afraid of. When I was younger (foolhardy and feisty), I was public about my non-Christian status. I asked questions in an attempt to make sense of Christianity that, among other things, lead to my getting thrown out of a church. Protip: Don't ask the Catholic priest: how he can be sure that god is real when the bible is written by fallible human hands and people lie for power, thus how does he know his scripture is true? I was 12 at the time this happened. That peer who invited me to go to church with her stopped talking to me and her parents were down right frosty towards me after the incident. Go figure. Getting thrown out of a church was a very confusing experience for me because I thought that everybody was welcome in a church and I knew that asking questions was the best way to learn something. It was a matter that had been troubling me and I figured since the priest knew more then I did, he was a good person to ask. Silly me, I was using logic.

That, however, was really tame compared to the harassment I got from my peers. They would do things like talk about how I was going to Hell because I didn't believe in Jesus, that my family was going to suffer because of me, and that my lack of faith was the reason why my elderly great-grandmother died. (It was Alzheimer disease, but I had a hard time grasping that.) Now, you may ask, why did the topic of religion even come up when I was going to a secular school. The problem is one teacher decided to demand to ask us all 'who made you?' one day. My peers answered 'god' and I answered 'my parents.' I had a rough understanding of where babies came from, even in 3rd grade. The teacher flipped her lid, banished me out of her class room with the classmate who she some how learned was Jewish. We spent a good half year stuck in the hallway because of that shit. I think this is part of the reason why I have so much difficulty with multiplication, to be honest.

But, when that little fact came out, all the bullies used it as fodder to harass me. And it got nasty. As I got older and I started trying to make sense of how the world worked and fumbling my way through theological concepts, I had people who would ambush me with this demand that I convert to their faith or go to hell. I was already getting pushed around in other areas. This was one point that I just couldn't get pushed into because I hit my limit. Thus, the harassment got worse over the years. It wound up with things like my acquiring a reputation as a 'whore' after they decided the epithet 'Satan's whore' was good for me. That resulted in a couple of guys from the local collage propositioning me for sexual favors. I was 14 at the time.

Somewhere around when they started in on the 'Satan's whore' business, I fell into Wicca. As I learned about the history and mythos of the faith, I got angry. So, when someone decided to use my 'godless' status as an excuse to shove me into a locker, I grabbed 'em by the lapels and used their momentum to slam them into a locker while telling them quite loudly to stop mocking my religion. I stayed 'loud and proud' for a long time. Heck, I was one of the two token pagans at the Catholic private college I attended. (The other being my best friend. The nuns were wonderful to us. Our peers were apparently afraid of me but decided to physically harass my friend. She didn't let me know about it until years after the fact. I was livid on her behalf. She said it was sweet of me.)

No, I got quiet after I had kids. Why did I get quiet after I had kids, because it was no longer just me and my husband to worry about. And my husband is a big guy, he can handle pretty much anything that gets thrown at him and does it well. But having these two little boys to worry about, I got progressively quieter and quieter about my faith until I all but stopped practicing for a while there. (Loki had some choice words to say about that. Pointedly reminded me the worst they could do was kill me, because they really couldn't do anything else beyond that due to the fact that the rest of the family would step in to protect the boys if needed. He also reminded me that I am a fighter and that fighting was an option. Somehow, I forgot that.)

I guess it was a few weeks ago, as the kids started talking about Easter (actually, I think the itch started closer to Christmas) that I got to feeling angry that they were being indoctrinated passively into the Christian faith. And it hit me that if I didn't give them any sort of grounding, someone else would. And, quite frankly, the variety of Christians around my neck of the woods has been skewed increasingly towards the Dominionist variety. I'll be damned if I'm going to let them get their mitts on my boys. Those folks are dangerous as fuck.

So, I am taking steps to come out of the broomcloset that I found myself in and moving towards actively teaching the boys about my faith. Beloved is indifferent to the subject of religion, though he is happy to support what I say and willing to explain things in the terms of the Norse faith (as much as he understands). I did some divination on this recently. I was told to focus on family traditions and ancestor worship as a way to start the process of their spiritual education. While my household will probably never be one for saying grace before the meal (I thank the lives that give us our sustenance as I am cooking and do my best to honor them through creating the best meal I can each time. It seems to work.) I think we need to have some more formalized activity of worship going on.

With Easter coming, I will be doing something for Ostara. It will be small and the kids are probably going to be happier that they're getting a special surprise rather then anything else. And I'm going to start making active things for honoring the gods that the kids can do. They're not old enough to light candles on their own but maybe the electric tea lights will count. And I know there will be someway to put out offerings as the weather gets nice.

At the same time, I am terrified that the neighbors are going to do horrible, horrible things to us for this. And I am saddened and angered by that fear. Even more so that, on some level, it is justified.

1 comment:

ashivon said...

A norse pagan will say u are obligated to do what is right, by your faith, by your ancestors and your god/godess. As one of a few pagans in my group who doesn't homeschool I understand your concerns. Depending on the age of you kids starting off small ways is a good idea under the heading of "family traditions". A small ritual here or there . I told mine straight some people won't like it and its okay to stand up for yourself and your family. Don't worry you got this!