WAY FAR OUT OF THE BROOM CLOSET
Ive never been one to hide what Im
doing as far as my religion is concerned. Ive also never been
a great sharer of my business with others. This served me well in my
15-year stint working in a Wall Street Brokerage. Folks who knew me
well, knew I was a Pagan, and folks who didnt know me well, didnt
know anything about me. Just the way it should be.
This dont ask, dont tell policy of religion
also worked well with my last remaining family: my husbands massive
group of relatives. Eds parents knew we were Pagan and a couple
of aunts and uncles possibly knew but didnt really know what Pagan
was. This all changed with the handfasting we ran last month. Eds
cousin from the wilds of North Carolina wanted to get married in a Pagan
ceremony by Pagan clergy. The clergy part was no problem, since Im
certified legal clergy with some oddball lovable group of religious
inclusionists already. It was the You want me to run a Pagan ritual
in front of 50 or more of my in-laws? part that I wasnt
so sure of.
The day of the ceremony (which turned out to be a mix of Wiccan and
Druid ideas, and very lovely) I was truly struck with stage-fright.
Here were people who knew me as Eds wife Norma, not Norma, the
Senior Druid of Green Man. Those are two completely different roles.
What were they going to think of me parading around in a robe, waving
incense and inviting their dead ancestors to the ritual? I shouldnt
have worried so much and I should have remembered how accepting and
loving the family always is. They wanted for Eds cousin and husband-to-be
whatever it was that the couple wanted for themselves. The family was
truly open to the whole idea. People were really listening as we called
the elements and the Kindreds and thinking about what we said. Tears
fell when we invoked the ancestors as each person thought of the missing
family members, and I felt that I could almost hear Jesus and Mary invoked
as we asked them to think of heroes, bright and shining ones, and their
concept of Deity. Thanks to the family and their love, the ceremony
worked better than I ever imagined it would.
And how do I feel now that Im wide out in the open with my Paganism
to all of Eds family? Liberated and empowered? Nope. Strange.
A little uncomfortable too. I was happier when only a select few knew.
I almost feel like my religion was my special secret. The secret affected
my interaction with the family, but only I knew about it. Somehow, that
made it seem more special to me bright and shiny, but still occult.
I guess some people are never meant to come that far out of the broom
closet, for their own comfort.
Well, theres no going back now and lately another of Eds
cousins has been talking about having us do their handfasting. So I
guess I need to get used to my brand new family role as Eds wife
the Pagan Druid Witch...
POETRY & STORIES