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Cosmic Egg

When a Non pagan asks about "Being Pagan"

By Gretchen



We met at a dinner party. He was seated across from me, and we both felt like a good long chat. We talked about everything, how he built his own house in the North Carolina hills, how I moved from Texas with my cat, how to raise a good crop of begonias, how to get Republicans out of the White House. There were a lot of laughs. His friends were nudging each other. Then he asked.

"I see you're wearing an unusual necklace. I hope you don't mind if I ask, does that have some symbolic significance?"

I touched my pentacle. "It represents my spiritual path."

"And what is that exactly?"

"Pagan," I tried to shrug it off.

But he persisted. "What do you mean, pagan, what is that?"

"Earth-based, pre-Christian, western…"

He looked confused and shook his head. "So what does it mean, pagan…"

"I am a witch."

He pressed his lips together, dropped his eyes from mine, turned his head away, and didn't speak to me again for the rest of the evening.
You never know what kind of response you're going to get. The person you're talking to is in charge of their response.

Another time, I was on my way to a Solstice celebration in a new place. I was walking in robes, carrying my athame, so I surely looked conspicuous. I passed an open door and stuck my head in to ask directions. The young man I encountered told me where to find my meeting place, then looked me over and asked the obvious question.

"Is it a costume party?"

"No, we're a Pagan group celebrating the Solstice. It's one of our holy days."

"So Pagan, I've heard of that, what is it that you all do? I mean, what do you celebrate on your holy day?"

"Oh, summer-fall-winter-spring, north-south-east-west, earth-air-fire-water…"

"Makes sense to me. Have fun." So I went on my way.

You never know what kind of response you're going to get. The person you're talking to is in charge of their response.

Another time, I was walking around campus when I almost stumbled across this girl I hardly knew. She was sitting in the grass by herself, just looking at her hands in her lap. As soon as she saw me she started to talk.

"My boyfriend… my daughter… I met this guy… my stomach… my car." A long story started to come out.

"Wait wait wait," I said. "Is there something you want me to do?"

"You can help me, can't you? I mean, you are special, right? You wear that necklace, doesn't that mean something?"

"Yah, it means I practice The Craft."

"Well, I sure could use some of that right now, I'm in the worst shape I've ever been in my life. Please do whatever you can for me."

"Okay. I could give you a reading, find out what to do, make you a talisman. Also we can heal up that stomach right quick."

"Really? You mean you can do that?"

"As soon as you're ready."

She started laughing. "I'm ready right now!" She let out a little gasp. The next thing she said was, "How did you do that?"

"You said you were ready."

"My stomach! First it hurt and now it doesn't."

You never know what kind of response you're going to get. The person you're talking to is in charge of their response.

Another time I was on the phone with one of my Christian friends. She was trying to ask and I was trying to answer. We sputtered around each other for a few minutes, feeling our way toward understanding, working with mutual high regard, making that extra effort to be excruciatingly truthful. Finally she said, "Oh, it's all just spiritual sense. It's all good." And that, I thought, summed it up nicely for the two of us.


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