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Author Topic: talking to peers about paganism  (Read 1456 times)

yellew

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talking to peers about paganism
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:43:18 pm »
I see many threads about talking to parents about religion, which is a really heavy topic, but do any of you have any pagan friends? Do your friends know about your religion?
I have a couple friends who are pagan and my boyfriend is pagan. I haven't really told any of my friends, even if some of them are pagan as well. I suppose I'm a little afraid of being judged or lumped into the cringey teen pagans category you see all over the internet. (You know the ones I'm talking about.)
My boyfriend knows I'm pagan and we've talked about it quite a bit. I think he's leaning towards a Celtic and/or Wiccan path, wheareas I'm more of a Norse Druid. (Which is just being a Druid with a Nordic hearth culture.)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 09:49:52 pm by yellew »

Emma Eldritch

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Re: talking to peers about paganism
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 11:29:36 pm »
I see many threads about talking to parents about religion, which is a really heavy topic, but do any of you have any pagan friends? Do your friends know about your religion?
I have a couple friends who are pagan and my boyfriend is pagan. I haven't really told any of my friends, even if some of them are pagan as well. I suppose I'm a little afraid of being judged or lumped into the cringey teen pagans category you see all over the internet. (You know the ones I'm talking about.)
My boyfriend knows I'm pagan and we've talked about it quite a bit. I think he's leaning towards a Celtic and/or Wiccan path, wheareas I'm more of a Norse Druid. (Which is just being a Druid with a Nordic hearth culture.)

Okay, so I'm not a teen - I'm an old, but I was once young. I came into paganism back in the 90s, when 'teen wicca' was most definitely A Thing and just as cringeworthy as the shit you can find on youtube and tumblr and instagram nowadays.

When I was growing up, I actually had a few friends who were also interested in witchcraft. We did not all agree on how things worked, but just having people to talk to about books and magic was a really special thing. We were our own little highschool coven and I remember it fondly... even if it didn't end very well. (Weirdly, I did a podcast on this topic last month and within 24 hours of recording it one of the girls from that group found me on instagram. Spooooooky.)

Anyway, my advice is that if you do already have friends who are pagan you shouldn't be scared to talk to them. Remember, no matter what you do as a teenager? You're gonna find it cringey as shit some day. So don't worry about it. Seriously, just learn and have fun and experiment - everyone is always learning, and if you worry about people judging you it can hold you back. Also if you have like minded friends you guys can have some really fun times doing rituals or reading fortunes even if you don't all subscribe to the exact same belief systems.

PerditaPickle

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Re: talking to peers about paganism
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 10:27:35 am »
Okay, so I'm not a teen - I'm an old, but I was once young.

Some good advice from Emma there, I feel.  I, too, am an old - but in my mind I still feel about 19  :D  (boy do I wish my body felt the same way, too!  But anyway I digress...).

I agree that talking with your peers, is good - especially the known pagan ones.  You can approach the subject tentatively if that feels like the right thing, and then build from there - or just go with quite a blunt approach, whichever feels more 'right' with your circle of friends.  ("So, you might've figured out that I'm a pagan too...")

I recall as a teen my best friend & I used to go to the library and browse the occult shelves together, but that was as far as it went - imagine how things could've been different if we'd had that initial conversation about our thoughts (who knows?).  (There was no such thing as a pagan-y/new age-ish shop in our town back then, hence we had to settle for the library/second hand bookshop.)

As an adult with a small handful of pagan friends - we don't have the same practices or outlooks, but it sure is nice to have people to have those discussions with.

As for my non-pagan friends, only the really close and non-judgemental ones actually know I'm pagan, and we don't tend to spend a whole lot of time discussing the matter.  Oh, and my husband.  The rest know I'm a hippy with some weird outlooks on life, and most probably wouldn't be too phased if I did come out of the broom closet to them.  Actually, there's one or two who I suspect may have pagan leanings themselves so I should probably take my own advice and broach the subject, but we'll see, maybe in the new year...

It could be that you do get 'lumped' into other categories you'd rather not be put in, at least initially - but a) try not to let other people's opinions worry you, and b) further discussion should adjust people's initial assumptions over time.

I don't know if this is true wherever in the world you are, but from the teen discussions I overhear these days I feel like young people are more open and relaxed about their conversation topics than was the case "in my day" (you know, when the dinosaurs roamed!).  This includes sensitive subjects such as political views, mental health, sexuality, gender identity (I commute daily with whole handfuls of sixth form college students aged about 16-18, and they're not shy with their discussions, or particularly worried who eavesdrops on them).  Of course I'm over-generalising here, but the point I'm trying to make is just not to be worried about having open discussions with your peers (though not on the train, I'd suggest!).

Good luck, anyway - however you decide to proceed.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

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