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Coming Out as Heathen, Pagan, or Wiccan

By Galina Krasskova

I have no particularly compelling conversion story of my own. I had already left my birth religion as a teen and my transition into polytheism and later on to Heathenry was fairly straightforward and organic. It helped that I was already living on my own and wasn’t dependent on the good graces of my biological family. Shortly before I converted, I had also picked up and moved nearly 400 miles away from the town of my birth, so I also had few friends in my new city; thus, when I later began to make friends and contacts, I was already polytheistic and that was the “Galina” that people got to know. There was no transition to confuse or startle my new friends. Not everyone is so lucky.

That being the case, I want to say this right now: converting to a polytheistic faith, returning to the ways of one’s ancestors, taking up again that ancient contract and those ancient threads so terribly sundered is a tremendously courageous and even radical act for our time. It takes remarkable courage to engage with oneself in this manner, not to mention the potential criticism and backlash that one can face from friends, colleagues, and family. Through conscious, committed conversion, a person is willfully stripping away the lens of monotheism, of cultural and social conditioning, of religious, community, and family expectations. That’s huge. Done well, it is a deprogramming of sorts, a rooting out—usually over the process of years and years—of all those ways that we have been molded by monotheism and its self-serving, world- and body-hating, unhealthy Weltanschauung. It is a re-education that begins with a stripping down and often stripping away of everything that we once held dear, and every way by which we once defined ourselves. That’s a terribly frightening and vulnerable place to be.

Read the original article at: Patheos

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