by norma

I’ve never been one to hide what I’m doing as far as my religion is concerned. I’ve 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 didn’t know me well, didn’t know anything about me. Just the way it should be.

This “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of religion also worked well with my last remaining family: my husband’s massive group of relatives. Ed’s parents knew we were Pagan and a couple of aunts and uncles possibly knew but didn’t really know what “Pagan” was. This all changed with the handfasting we ran last month. Ed’s 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 I’m 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 wasn’t 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 Ed’s 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 shouldn’t have worried so much and I should have remembered how accepting and loving the family always is. They wanted for Ed’s 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 I’m wide out in the open with my Paganism to all of Ed’s 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, there’s no going back now and lately another of Ed’s 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 Ed’s wife the Pagan Druid Witch...