What It Is Wednesday: Nervous Wiccans
Question for my pagan/heathen/shaman/hippie/woo-woo friends in particular as well as their friends:
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself expanding on my spirituality, in some cases doubling back to a different understanding of early beliefs, never changing or recanting or neglecting any of the things I’ve learned through personal unconfirmed gnosis which you know I value more than scripture, BOS, trad teachings. If Deity teaches me directly, then that’s the top priority in the order of precedence of spiritual growth (IMHO). Lately, when I’ve mentioned this expansion and breadth to experiences that are already deep, some people have misunderstood that I’ve changed my mind about beliefs I’ve expressed in the past bc they don’t understand the multiple layers I’ve experienced. For some it becomes a “Ha-ha, I knew you’d see the light,” when all I can think is that they are not seeing the light themselves but only a tiny angle of so much more to study and learn. Then it becomes about their ego and them wanting to say “I told you so,” and tell me their spirituality is right and they’re still missing the point of how deep this rabbit hole goes. I would be happy to teach them what I’ve learned but they’re never willing to hear–just to debate–so I don’t push at all. I can’t see myself ever being mainstream anything, but I am definitely always growing and changing and learning. And I like that. Just because I learn something new does not mean old beliefs are wrong. It’s leveling up. It’s all augmentation of my spiritual life, and that’s a very devout and deeply held spiritual life. I walk every day in the sacred way, whether others understand that or not. I’m less inclined to want to be categorized or pigeon-holed, which is no surprise to people who know me well, but I find that others who don’t know me well NEED to categorize me because they don’t understand me.
So here’s something I’ve been noticing in others, particularly in the last 6 months. I am seeing long-time Wiccans (particularly but not exclusively), some with big names, some incredible teachers, but all in the public eye to some extent, doing things that SOUND like recanting. When I talk to them, they still hold their beliefs but seem wary of expressing them, even though their beliefs are well-known and their art and businesses still reflect that. There’s a tendency to explain away their uniqueness and…well, almost like they’re suddenly making excuses. I grew up in a Baptist church where I was taught you do not, even is you’re facing persecution or execution, deny your God, and I’ve held to that, always. So maybe that’s why this feels weird to me. It’s like many are suddenly trying to hide or deflect attention from their beliefs. I feel THAT in the world around me right now, and maybe it’s bc of some of the mob-rule I see online and in communities, especially in an election year. Maybe it’s fear of a return to the Burning Times if you’re caught speaking up. Maybe there’s a more dangerous time coming for all of us who don’t believe in a cookie-cutter manner. Maybe it’s just residuals of the people who’ve bullied me for the last couple of years without ever even asking me what I believe…though I do recognize that the same people bully women who do attend their church but don’t wear pantyhose because not wearing pantyhose is heresy for the Christian Fashion Police? A good church-going friend made me laugh when she told me that.
I know from talks with Kelley Harrell and others that many of us who are attuned to the Earth feel something coming and that the Earth is a little out of whack, but is this more of the same? A way of protecting ourselves by emphasizing our normality over our uniqueness? A way to fit in better and face less harm? I’m curious about your thoughts on this.