Pressure

I was not sure where to put this post, but it does have some relationship to religion.

My father has only been in my life again the past year or so.  He had legal troubles, fled the police for two years, and just recently was freed from prison.  He was out of my life since I was about 12.  He comes from an extremely conservative family.  He is not a bad man.  He simply has his troubles.

I called him yesterday to wish him a happy father’s day, and after a few minutes he began to beg me to “change your ways,” and to marry a wife and have children.  I told him that my sister is having plenty of children.  But that isn’t good enough for him because she doesn’t bear his effing last name.

I was as kind and understanding toward him as I could be.  I know that he has an extremely different worldview than I do, influenced as he is by his family’s extremely conservative Pentecostal assumptions.  I explained to him that there is no changing my gay nature.  God never did it.  Nothing ever changed it.  And the one time I did pray about the matter at 15 I didn’t receive the sort of response that would be acceptable to anyone who doesn’t accept gay people as they are and as they love.

I am inclined toward the single life even as a gay person.  I do not date, and I do not have sex at this time in my life.  I might like to given the right opportunities, but the last several years that has not been right for me.  And I do not want children adopted or otherwise.  I have to take care of myself and my mental health.  I do not want to be responsible for children.  I am delighted by my one year old nephew and newborn niece, and that is enough for me.

I create in my own way.  I create prayers and rituals.  I at least try to inspire others to grow spiritually and in healing when they reach out to me for that.  I flourish in my spiritual life.  I reach out to the wounded people in my mother’s family to somehow inspire their own flourishing.  All of this is for me a very fruitful way to live, and I don’t need children to complete me or anyone else.

I am appalled that my father cannot feel fulfilled by his own grandchildren simply because they don’t bear his name.  Then he began to beg me to do this for him. Sorry, I’m not in the business of creating children for other people.  This is my life.

I am sure I will have to revisit this topic with him again, and I hope I can find the right words to convey to him my own values and worldview, but I don’t know if it will ever get through to him.  How does one communicate well one’s views to someone whose religious and educational background is so different from the place one currently inhabits?  I will of course try to be understanding of where he is coming from and exercise empathy, but it may be the time to give him a right telling off if he doesn’t back off.

Although I have drifted from Christianity somewhat over the last year or so, I have mostly been involved in Catholicism and high church Anglicanism rather than Pentecostalism, and among the Catholic and high Anglican cultures we have a place for the unmarried.  Although less common than in Catholicism, there are Anglican priests who personally choose not to marry, including the high church Anglican priest I currently have, and there is a monastic life in the Episcopal Church.  My priest has never married, and he is mature in years.

Though my Anglican clergy have encouraged me to explore taking religious vows in a monastic setting, I have also decided that this is not my calling, though I do live a life of mostly solitary prayer.  I have much of the structure in my personal life that a monastic would, but I do this in the context of my own life in the world, and when I do interact with others in the context of my personal religious life, it is usually those who have fallen through the cracks and have no other source of spiritual nourishment.

I have found the single life congenial to these practices, and in my Anglican context I have found support for this way of life.  I am not inhibited by the needs of a family.  When someone calls me needing my prayers or a ritual, as long as I’m not at work, I’ve been able to drop everything and go to that person.  I have seen the healing effect this has had on them.  Having become accustomed to this sort of culture that has alternatives to marriage in the spiritual life, I am baffled by this sudden pressure to marry a woman and pro-create.  I have never ever encountered anything like this in the high Anglican culture I have been immersed in which has now been my culture for almost half my life.

Have you ever dealt with similar pressures?  I suppose I have become so immersed in my own little world and niches that this is a totally unexpected and bizarre pressure to have placed on me now.

When I ponder being the misfit that I am in my broader society here in the Bible belt and within my family I always take comfort in this passage from Isaiah:

“Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.”  (Isaiah 56:3-8 KJV)

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Protection from a deceased pet?

I’m not certain this is the right place to ask this.

A wild animal has been threatening my children on our property. This has been ongoing for a couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to determine how to deal with it. Due to where we live and the specifics of the situation, it is more complicated than it should be.

I told my husband that I wished I had the ability to handle it magically, but I’m well aware that this is beyond what I currently know.

I then had a dream where a deceased pet of ours came back and dealt with the situation.

It was a vivid dream. After, during my morning prayers, I requested the help of this deceased animal. This is also beyond my comfort zone or current understanding, but I was following my gut despite being a bit uncomfortable with it.

It seems to have worked. Since then, there has been no sign that the wild animal has been back on our property. I am still extremely cautious due to the safety risk and not knowing if it is for sure gone, but this is the longest we’ve gone without seeing sign of it since the situation started.

This is mind boggling to me as a newbie. So I thought I would ask here. Is this a thing? Do deceased pets still have any ability to stay with us or assist us? The more things like this happen in my life, the more I sincerely worry that I am losing touch with reality. ::)

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Hello

Hello,
Just posting a quick note. I’ve just joined and probably wont speak much for a while. Not trying to be antisocial just careful :)
Frankly I’ve joined as I’m wanting to learn more about The Morrigan ( particularly Babd ) having had a few taps on the shoulder so to speak ( and a lot before I realised they could be taps..
I’m a slow person when it comes to committing to something as binding or powerful as dieties, not to mention am only just exploring my beliefs, so am still taking a slow step at a time.
Anyway I saw some members and posts on here that related and so., here I am.

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Experience

I was just wondering everyone’s opinion on a minimum of experience a person should have before selling readings? I have known several who pick up a tarot deck and in as little as two months start promoting themselves to sell readings online. One was charging $80 a reading after one half way decent practice reading.

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Request of Prayer and Good Vibes for healing my body and mind

Hello,

I have multiple physical problems. The worst is Degenerative Disc Disease. I’ve had my Lumbar Spine fused in surgery with titanium, and next Spring I have to have my Cervical Spine (neck) fused in surgery with titanium as well.

I would like to request prayer for healing. I’ll take any kind of healing. I’m in a lot of pain every day.

I also have Major Depressive Disorder and Psychosis, Anxiety and PTSD. I’d also like to request prayer for the healing of my mind.

Thank you so much. All prayers will be received with love, open arms and heart, and with much gratitude.

MARK Warrior / Alex

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I’m New; Blog, Journal?; a little history of myself

Hello,

I’m new. I tried to join other forums but for some reason the “robot/human” verifications never worked correctly. So I’m here. :)

I’m 35 and I live in USA. I’m interested in Wicca, Witchcraft and Magic. I’ve been collecting books and reading as much as I can about it. I come out of Christianity about 3 years ago. I’ve had a bit of trouble finding people to talk with and all, about Wicca, Witchcraft and Magic.

I’ve only performed a few ‘spells’, but got great and quick results. I’m very interested in Protection and Healing, and I find that I’m attracted toward essential oils, incense, candles, and Tarot, though I’ve got sooo much more to learn before I go anywhere with any of this. I’m also very interested in Chakras, Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation.

I’m all alone. I practice alone, except when I talk with a very select few Witchy friends online. We’ve shared spells and helped each other out a bit… I had a friend who made me a smudge stick and I used essential oils and attempted to create a “prosperity” oil, which really seriously seems to have worked. I sent it to my friend and she used it and was able to buy a brand new house. :)

As far as I know from what I’ve studied so far, I believe I’m on the path of Solitary Eclectic.

Is there any place on this forum where we can keep a blog or journal? I’m interested in keeping one here if it’s available.

I look forward to meeting some of you on here. I’m excited but kinda nervous. I’m sorta going into this a little ignorant and blind, but I’m very willing to learn.

Thank you for reading this. Have a good evening.

MARK Warrior / Alex

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Moving back to the Bible Belt’s Bible Belt.

I grew up in a deeply fundamentalist Christian area of the south. I’m talking the kind of people that even thought Christian rock and roll was too worldly and Harry Potter was just plain demonic. I left for college and never looked back, until now. Work has recently relocated me to a town about half an hour from where I grew up. In many ways, this is a positive, as I have many old friendships and family in the area. The job is great, cost of living is low, and it’s a great place to raise a family, religion not withstanding.

But the timing is terrible. A several year long crisis in my Christian faith has me now taking a break from Christianity and exploring paganism. I currently do not attend Christian services, have put away my Bibles, and am giving myself full permission to explore other faiths.

I am in no way ready to turn my back on my Christian faith forever, but any future in Christianity for me certainly won’t look anything like it does in this area of the world. I also admit the possibility that paganism in general is a better fit for me, and my future path may not include Christianity at all. I simply don’t know where this is going to end up for me.

In the meantime, this puts in me in an awkward position. I am now surrounded by family and old friends who knew me as an outspoken faithful Christian. I’m embarrassed now by how obnoxious I was as a teenager “on fire for God” but that was the norm here. It seems the vast majority of my connections in the area have remained fairly conservative Christians. Christian rock is now allowed, Harry Potter still is not. ;)

I’m astonished by how much pressure people are putting on me to go to church with them. If I won’t commit to going with them, they begin pressuring me to visit other churches they approve of, or offering to take my kids to church with them. I’m not just talking about family members either, I’m talking about everyone. It comes up in every conversation I’ve had. I’ve had random strangers witnessing to me in parking lots. Everyone is claiming to know God’s will for my life, and telling me that things that went terribly wrong in my life were all apart of God’s plan. People have corrected my children for watching Disney shows with witches and spells, or for listening to non-Christian music.

I can count on one hand the number of secular conversations I’ve had here. 90% of conversations are all brought back to God and church in some way.

These are all people I care about, and I know that this is how they show their own love, as misguided as it may be. I do not want to hurt any feelings, burn any bridges, or make anyone unduly worried about me. But I need a way to handle all of this without feeling dishonest. I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not. But I am not at all comfortable being honest at this point either. Frankly, I’m concerned about what people might start praying over me if they knew! It is not unheard of for people down here to pray for disasters to happen in order to “bring people back to the fold.” I don’t want that energy directed toward me or my family.

Any advice?

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