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Author Topic: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet  (Read 1921 times)

sephira

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Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« on: October 28, 2011, 05:24:24 pm »
This may sound like a silly topic to start so bear with me. I have been to other boards and have noticed, and been told even, that TC is about the only board where people feel comfortable coming out of the deity closet. I'm talking about those of you who are 'god-bothered' and those who have been drawn to a particular deity.

Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?


*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.
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Firaza

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 05:44:35 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?


I've only shared information about my relationship with my Patron to close friends who are also deeply spiritual or who are very open-minded about spirituality in general. A few were impressed, and some were unaffected by the new information.

Quote from: sephira;28047
Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?


Only if I was speaking with people who I felt would accept the information without reacting poorly.

Quote from: sephira;28047
Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?

*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.

 
I don't know. I haven't been on other Pagan boards, so I can only assume that the environment of The Cauldron makes people feel comfortable enough to sharing their experiences.

monsnoleedra

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 05:58:18 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
..
Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

I'm pretty open about my deity relationship with everyone.  Admititly I don't broadcast it since I hold it to be personal and not really for public input or consideration.  So for me it may or may not be a topic of discussion upon other boards though I have spoken of my spiritual beliefs and deity material on a few boards.

Quote
Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Sure, within reason. Within reason being about the gods / goddesses themselves, rituals, ceremonies, offerings, etc that are things that can be explained or expounded upon through words and exchanges.  Yet the spiritual facet really can't be explained or discussed as parts are unique to me alone and other parts are like visions where their not supposed to be spoken of but reserved for the individual.

Quote
Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

If some one wants to trully ask I have no problem answering.  If someone puts up something that to me is wrong I have no problems speaking up in that capacity either.  Won't say they are wrong but have no problem saying it is not the way I understand it or have had it revealed to me.

Quote
Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?

In truth I think much of it has to do with the fact its shallow and they have only selected those parts that support thier positions.  So any discussion quickly crosses into the realm of your challenging them or dis-crediting them because there is no depth to their beliefs.  Those who have dug deep into their spirituality and religious beliefs I find tend to have no problem with discussing or speaking on thier deities.  Of course that is my opinion only so others may differ.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 06:00:30 pm by monsnoleedra »

2greyhounds

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 06:21:18 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
This may sound like a silly topic to start so bear with me. I have been to other boards and have noticed, and been told even, that TC is about the only board where people feel comfortable coming out of the deity closet. I'm talking about those of you who are 'god-bothered' and those who have been drawn to a particular deity.

Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?


*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.

 this is a great topic, because it can be so difficult to go through something and know that a deity was in some way helpful in a situation and be so grateful and in awe of this, but to not have anyone to share the story or the experience with. I plan on writing it down for the future to share with my children someday,and to make sure i do not forget any of the details, but have been unable to tell any of my friends or family as they would not understand. I don't really know how I would have reacted if someone told me something like that only a few months ago before I had these experiences myself.

Etheric1

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 06:52:09 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
This may sound like a silly topic to start so bear with me. I have been to other boards and have noticed, and been told even, that TC is about the only board where people feel comfortable coming out of the deity closet. I'm talking about those of you who are 'god-bothered' and those who have been drawn to a particular deity.

Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?


*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.

Outside of my temple group, no I have not really shared it, no.  Reason being is there are still a lot of people out there who make a lot of judgments and make people different from them feel as though there is something wrong with them.  Also, I often do not have the energy to start answering their questions (dumb or otherwise) about what I consider scared to me.  Simply, it's none of their flippin' business.

I do not like it when people are broadcasting their faith all over the place - pagan or otherwise.  I'd rather people keep their god(s) to themselves unless there is an honest desire for learning to happen, or they are in a setting conducive to working with alternative faiths.  Quite simply, it's not always very safe to discuss these topics without someone deciding to make a major issue out of it.  Sadly there can be very real-world consequences to deal with from ignorant people and I'd just as soon not have to address them whenever some idiot starts making waves.

Now if I can tell the person does want to have an open discussion, I'm happy to talk to them, just not openly for everyone to hear.  Or if I'm in a pagan bookstore, I'll be more than happy to chat with others because they are more likely to be tolerant.  Otherwise, in my experience not everyone that says they want to learn about another person's beliefs are actually interested in making a good faith effort, sometimes they want to learn so they can attack those ideas for whatever reason.  

Maybe I'm a bit overly cautious or paranoid but I have little faith in most people to tolerate what they don't understand or accept a faith that is so different to their own.  Here on TC everyone seems to be willing to open up about who they work with and it seems like a safe environment to do so, so I'm more than willing to chat up a storm about these things.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 06:54:34 pm by Etheric1 »
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Jenett

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 06:59:49 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
This may sound like a silly topic to start so bear with me. I have been to other boards and have noticed, and been told even, that TC is about the only board where people feel comfortable coming out of the deity closet. I'm talking about those of you who are 'god-bothered' and those who have been drawn to a particular deity.


It's not the only online discussion space - but I think it's unusual among web fora.

(I've seen pretty extensive discussion come up over the years on both email lists and places like LiveJournal communities - basically, anywhere that encourages long-form communication and tracking of conversations with some kind of quoting option, rather than short response. Usenet, too, back in the day.)

Something about the nature/culture of many web fora (I have Theories about this) tends to discourage deeper conversation in general, and since deeper deity conversation tends to fall into that category, it's not surprising it shows up less there too.

Quote
Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?


Yes. In person (both in small group work, individually with friends, and more generally in a couple of settings) and online (within appropriate context: you can see references on my blog, though how explicit I am about it varies a bit.)

Various other online settings.

It is, however, a thing I generally only bring up when there's a reason to - such as sharing information that might help someone else, offering a direct experience, etc. So if people don't ask in a space, I'm not likely to talk about it.
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Etheric1

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 07:08:17 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.

I don't think anything you posted was offensive, no worries here. :)

A few things I forgot to add that are important:  I DO occasionally do things that might spark a conversation - like putting a Born Again Pagan bumper sticker on my car.  When I lived in Florida I did get a snotty message written on a piece of paper that said "may God have mercy on your soul."  Thankfully where I live in Colorado is much more tolerant.

I will share the specifics of my relationships with the gods I most often honor with people I already know and trust to be good to talk to.  But that list is extremely short.  

In the rare instance where someone might benefit from talking about these things and I'm comfortable with them and want to help, then yes I might discuss things but even then I measure how in depth I will go on some topics.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 07:09:29 pm by Etheric1 »
No matter how dark the fur, the bunny is still fluffy. - Mel\'s Law of Dark Fluffs.
Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear. – Albert Camus
You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them. - unknown
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PhantomQueen

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 10:47:40 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047
This may sound like a silly topic to start so bear with me. I have been to other boards and have noticed, and been told even, that TC is about the only board where people feel comfortable coming out of the deity closet. I'm talking about those of you who are 'god-bothered' and those who have been drawn to a particular deity.

Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

Would you feel comfortable discussing you relationship anywhere other than here?

Under what conditions would you feel comfortable discussing your relationship?

Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?


*I'm using it an umbrella term for lack of a better term. Forgive me if I offend.

 
I've been to other sites and have come 'out of the broom closet', so to speak. I've been on one for about 3 years now and sometimes it's almost like 'I'm home!'.  There are a coule people in the 'real' worl (ie  not on website) that know I'm pagan.  They've known me as a person for a few years before they knew I was pagan.  I think this helps in some situations as I don't get prejudged.  Two of my friends are devout Christians in hteir 60's.  They were taken aback when they realised I was pagan (they saw my altar in my living room) but couldn't really say much except 'It's what you believe, but it's definitely not something I'd get into'.  If it weren't for the fact that we've known each other for almost 10 years, I don't think they'd be so polite about it.  They'd more than likely not want to bother with me.  Religion is such a personal thing and I don't think many pagans have the need to stand on a soapbox and broadcast their beliefs like others.  It's something between that particular person and their deity/ies.  It's a direct pipeline between the two instead of having to go and confess the loudest  in 'church' to prove to everyone else in town that you're a true ________ (fill in the blank).  If people ask me about my beliefs, I'd answer them without going into too deep a discussion.  I don't feel the need to defend my personal beliefs at all and tell people so if they start arguing that I'm 'wrong' in my thinking.  I'm secure enough in myself that I'd let these people rant and whatever.  I'll go along my path as I see fit and allow them to go along theirs with the same respect.

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 10:51:04 pm »
Quote from: sephira;28047


 
... in my experience it's perfectly normal for pagans to talk about their deities, it's almost a getting-to-know you ritual.

Or is this supposed to be asking about non-pagan-centred environments?  Because this board is far from the only pagan-centred environment, on the web or off it....
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Fier

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 11:08:30 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;28069

basically, anywhere that encourages long-form communication and tracking of conversations with some kind of quoting option, rather than short response.

 
This is a really good point I had not considered. The quoting rule promotes more in-depth and ongoing conversation that would get confusing and forgotten on boards where quoting isn't used.

sephira

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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 12:10:46 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;28057
In truth I think much of it has to do with the fact its shallow and they have only selected those parts that support thier positions.  So any discussion quickly crosses into the realm of your challenging them or dis-crediting them because there is no depth to their beliefs.  Those who have dug deep into their spirituality and religious beliefs I find tend to have no problem with discussing or speaking on thier deities.  Of course that is my opinion only so others may differ.

I think you have hit the nail on the proverbial head.


Quote from: Etheric1;28066

Here on TC everyone seems to be willing to open up about who they work with and it seems like a safe environment to do so, so I'm more than willing to chat up a storm about these things.

I've noticed this as well.
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;28093

Or is this supposed to be asking about non-pagan-centred environments?  Because this board is far from the only pagan-centred environment, on the web or off it....

No, we are talking about pagan-centered environments. Sorry I wasn't more clear. And yes, I am aware that there are other pagan centered environments. I was referring to them in my post, but again, I am sorry I wasn't more clear.



Thanks for your input everyone. I was just so curious about why this was! Someone said, and you know who you are, that perhaps it's the level of maturity here that has a lot to do with it and I do think they are correct. With the exception of a couple of people, this forum is extremely open and fosters a sense of understanding and even compassion. I truly enjoy being here! Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 12:12:48 am by sephira »
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Re: Conditions for coming out of the Deity closet
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2011, 08:34:45 am »
Quote from: sephira;28047
Have you ever discussed your deity relationship anywhere other than here? If so, how well was it received?

Not the Internet (except probably at The Witches' Thicket many years ago when it was a sister forum), but I probably discussed it some on GEnie and Fidonet back before the Internet was easily accessible outside of colleges and research facilities. However, it's more because I don't have time to do other boards than it is because I know they would not be well-received elsewhere. I have no idea how such discussions would go over on other boards.

Quote
Why do you suppose other Pagans* have such a hard time coming out of the Deity closet on other boards?

Probably becasuse being "god-bothered" is relatively rare.  People either don't understand it or get upset because they figure they should be "god-bothered" as well or because on some boards so many outrageous claims are made that people who are truly "god-bothered" don't want to sound like the people who claim to be reincarnations of Isis with super-magical powers.
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