Are You Pagan? Really?  

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Before I even begin to venture down the road I am about to, let me get one thing straight; I realize there are many paths of Paganism and that spirituality starts with your heart. However, I believe actions speak what the heart feels. If you're Pagan, why do you celebrate Christian holidays?


I'm not talking about going to see family on 'their' holiday. I do that too, it's more of a tradition than a religious thing. I'm talking about full blown celebrations. See, over Easter weekend I noticed many of my Pagan Facebook friends posting various unusual status messages like:
  • "Happy Easter everyone!"
  • "Have a safe and wonderful Easter!"
  • "Watching the movies the kids got in their Easter baskets"
  • "The Easter bunny was here and brought lots of goodies!"
Then I saw photos of Easter egg hunts and the like. Ummm, what? I didn't see much of this at all on or around Ostara. Why not have egg hunts and do fun things on Ostara? What's with giving kids Easter baskets? My mother does that every year and it irritates me and every year I have to have a discussion with her. I am constantly reminding her that she is 2 weeks late on the baskets. I find that disrespectful, but that's a rant for another time.

Like I said, I realize people visit family on holidays and such. What I don't understand is the sheep mentality. I mean, I have some Jewish friends; I don't see them giving each other Easter baskets 'just because it's Easter' or having a Christmas tree and giving each other presents on Christmas. They have their own traditions. They don't celebrate other religion's holidays just because 'everyone else is' - so why do some Pagans? It's just easier?  Look, I've been fighting my mom about this for years and eventually one day, if she continues to shove her holidays down my throat, she won't see us at all, even for a simple 'holiday' dinner.

Exposing children to other religions is absolutely fine, it makes them knowledgeable and well rounded. Having them celebrate other religions is odd to me. Shouldn't we first institute our beliefs within the family and then branch out?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at Wednesday, April 07, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

24 comments

Tom  

may i ask you something? what will happen if somebody just makes fun of paganism or wicca??

April 7, 2010 at 7:39 AM
Witchy Mama  

Tom, you are the sunshine in my day...

April 7, 2010 at 7:46 AM
Wikked Wit...  

I agree. I was unfortunately driving back from FL (visiting mom) and she doesnt know my beliefs yet, so I didnt get to do anything but remind my daughter what day it was and enjoy the pretty drive. My in-laws nivited her to church for Easter, and of course she said yes, because her cousins were all there having fun. I made sure to explain the pagan origins of Easter, and who Ostara is and the same for the rest of the holidays. I want her to make her own choice, because I don't want to be guilty of proselytizing as I had experienced. Every morning we say goodbye to Mama Moon and she fades away and Daddy Sun comes up. I live in the bible belt, so Jesus and Christianity and kinda shoved in her face. I think I'm doing a good job balancing it all out. She's a smart cookie, too. ;) Great blog! ~Amanda

April 7, 2010 at 8:04 AM
Bridgett  

I'm the lone Pagan in my family. So we celebrate both on Ostara and on Easter. My husband is agnositc, so he's always just along for the ride. My entire family is Christian and for the most part, are unaware that I'm Pagan.

So my kiddos help me set up my altars and learn about fertility and new beginnings....then go to church with my parents and learn about Jesus rising from the dead. And I'm okay with that. I had Christianity stuffed down my throat for far too long and I resent the hell out of my parents for it. I want my kids to see what's out there as far as religions and pick what the best fit is for them. Just because Paganism is my perfect fit doesn't mean it's Parker's or Autumn's. And I refuse to do to them what my parents did to me.

If I had local Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu friends, I'd probably expose the kids to their religions too! LOL

I think the main reason it appears a lot of folks celebrate Christian holidays is because they're 'in the closet' with family and friends and don't want to seem conspicuous. I know, for me, there are a ton of Christians on my friend's list which makes me feel stifled. It's the main reason I set up my other FB page, using my magickal name. I needed a place where I could just be me. Being in the broom closet, even partially, sucks ass.

I will say this though...I didn't wish anybody a Happy Easter! LOL (The kids did get baskets though...compliments of my mother.)

April 7, 2010 at 8:25 AM
Wikked Wit...  

BTW... I'm sure you saw the video of my daughter singing the Jesus song at church. My sis in law has her kids there, and she invited my daughter out. Sadie knows that I dont believe in Jesus, other than he was a nice guy who lived long ago. I am in the closet, especially around here... It is UBER CHRISTIAN here in Alabama. My daughter has been singing that song, and it does give me the creeps. I had to go on Easter Sunday, because she was performing, and I squirmed and yawned the whole time. Also, Sadie did get a basket, because if that kid woke up and there wasnt chocolate waiting she'd freak out. I have turned her into a sugar junky!! :-P I thought of setting up a separate FB page also. I wish I could be open like you.

April 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM
sugar  

I just wanted to comment as well.. I am the lone Pagan in my family as well. So "lone" that my Hubby is against it, does not like it, always comments on how I'm going to hell. etc etc.. I am not "allowed" to share my beliefs with my children yet. We celebrate Easter and other "christian" holidays, because that's what my family and children are. So far, it is just easier for the peace in the household to go along with it. I know what I feel and believe. I am fine with having this one thing for myself. It will get easier eventually. I hope :)

April 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

Amanda,

How old is your daughter? I agree with 'allowing' children to experience other religions but at the same time we have to instill our values. You're not proselytizing, she's your child. We raise our children with our morals and other beliefs, why not spirituality as well?
If my kids ever came to me and told me they didn't want to participate in Circle or they wanted to read/learn about other religions, I wouldn't hold them back or force them to stay within the confines of my beliefs but at the same time I think it's important for my kids to truly understand the family's spiritual beliefs before going off on their own.

April 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

I think you found the perfect balance. I agree that just because Paganism is the perfect fit for you doesn't mean it is for your kids BUT we as parents have to start somewhere. We raise our children with the same moral beliefs as we have, why not spiritual? As children get older they will have plenty of time to explore other religions. Being exposed to other religions is one thing, participating just because we feel we have to is a completely other ball of wax.

April 7, 2010 at 8:58 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

I truly feel for those who are still in the closet and feel forced to participate in other religions. I can honestly say I don't understand how that happens though.

April 7, 2010 at 8:59 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

Hi Sugar.

I just don't get it. Spirituality is such a personal choice and how others 'condemn' if beliefs they are not the same as their own truly baffles me. I suppose if you're playing the part then you are going to celebrate other religions, I just don't know how some can do that. Kudos to you.

April 7, 2010 at 9:12 AM
Wikked Wit...  

Sadie is 7. I guess, I'm just afraid that I will be swaying her more to my side, and if so, is that ok? I think its my right as her mommy to explain all that I believe in, and I know that is what Christian parents are doing...I was afraid that if I dont let her go along with her cousins right now that she'll be treated differently. She came home the other day from church with the in-laws, and my hubby told me how my mom in law was making statements about Sadie not knowing what the Last Supper is and stuff...ugh. Its having to deal with that crap that keeps me on eggshells. If we lived somewhere else, I'd be more open. It is a very stifled community. I'll just keep muddling through. How did you find a way to be out? Does it cause you much trouble?

April 7, 2010 at 9:22 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

I'm sorry you're in such a situation. I was raised Catholic and my entire family is (mostly) Catholic, or some other denomination of Christianity. CJ (my other half) comes from a family of Baptists. In fact, his grandfather is a Baptist preacher.

I just stood my ground. I guess I'm bullheaded but there was NO way I was going to let ANYONE tell me what to believe let alone make me feel bad for believing what I do. It doesn't cause me trouble; I get a lot of grief around 'holidays' though.

This was last Easter: http://www.witchymama.com/2009/04/i-respect-you-you-respect-me.html

April 7, 2010 at 9:30 AM
DogsDeserveFreedom  

I've noticed this. I also try to remember that many people have families that celebrate these holidays such as Easter.

Personally, I am one of those - I don't have kids but I have neices and nephews (who tend to go to church and youth group, etc). I have my own celebration with my husband on Ostara. Part of that celebration is the packing of "Easter Eggs" for the rest of our family. We share this with our family in this way because it is our way of celebrating with them and bringing our family together.

Now that we have our addition built we plan to have big family dinners for our pagan holidays. We did have to wait until we had the space for more than the two of us, though.

April 7, 2010 at 9:40 AM
UnbalancedLibra   

That sounds wonderful!

April 7, 2010 at 9:40 AM
Riceball Mommy  

My husband isn't Pagan and we are both very attached to our family traditions that were established. So we celebrate secular Easter and Christmas. We had no discussions of resurrections, or the birth of Jesus. I try to do something special for Ostara and Yule, and I also try to get some sort of small gift both holidays. I also take the time to explain some of the Pagan origins of certain aspects of each holiday to my daughter and how they have influenced the secular holiday that we celebrate.
Religion was never a big part of holidays in my family, only in recent years has my grandmother started saying grace at holiday meals. So I never really saw them as religious holidays, or even especially Christian holidays, and I still don't. When space permits though, I want to have a Yule tree, and a Christmas tree someday. And next year I'll have to plan ahead to have eggs to paint for Ostara (I just didn't have eggs this year). I did explain why we paint the eggs though we did them.

April 7, 2010 at 10:01 AM
inannasstar  

I couldn't agree with you more and felt the same way on Easter when I saw so many Easter wishes from Pagans. I don't mind celebrating any holiday or tradition with a friend, I'm very open...but I'm not going to celebrate a holiday that is not my path in my home with my family. We celebrated Ostara with dying eggs, doing an egg hunt and having our Ostara baskets ON OSTARA.

April 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM
Petula  

I understand exactly what you're saying even though it doesn't apply to me. Interesting post/topic. I think it would be hypocritical if a Christian participated in Pagan practices. So it makes sense.

April 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM
Witchy Mama  

This is another area where my confusion comes in; if easter and christmas are not religious what exactly are you celebrating? You say you're very attached to family traditions, yet you do have a tradition for Ostara and Yule so why not embrace and become attached to those; where your beliefs lie - instead of a christian holiday you really don't believe in?

April 7, 2010 at 8:53 PM
Witchy Mama  

Thank the Gods, someone who is on my wavelength!

April 7, 2010 at 8:54 PM
Witchy Mama  

Well Petula, many christians dress their kids up on Halloween and send them out trick or treating. Halloween (Samhain) is a VERY spiritual Sabbat for Pagans.

April 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM
Miss D  

I can understand where you are coming from and agree to a point, but I don't think you need be miffed about it. Pretend for a minute like I'm not in the closet. I still tell my family Happy Easter and Merry Christmas. I give them Christmas gifts. I also wish my Jewish bestfriend a happy Hanukkah and buy her a Hanukkah present. I am not now nor ever have been Jewish, but someone I care about is and I will show my respect and love for her by acknowledging special days in her faith. She is not pagan, but will buy me a Yule present.
I still celebrate Easter with my family because it's FUN. Every year the whole family (2 grandparents, 17 parents, 20 grandkids, and 1 great-grandkid) get together and we have a massive blow-out, enter at your own risk confetti egg/silly string fight. It won't happen on Ostara b/c my family is not Pagan. They are Catholic. Does that give me the right to make them change the date? That's asking a bit much for the size of my family. Does that mean I should not participate because it's offensive that they are celebrating on the wrong day? Well, then I would miss out on a lot of fun and family time. Also, I know plenty of Pagans that choose to celebrate Ostara on the nearest full moon. Sometimes that can be weeks before or after. Are they wrong? If your best friend invited you to their house for Easter dinner, would you turn them down simply because it's not "the right holiday"? I think that would be kind of rude. I think you should look at it the other way, too. Would you be mad if someone gave you a Yule present, even though they were not Pagan? Would you be upset if your family was Catholic, but wanted to celebrate Ostara with you? Should their friends be upset because their egg hunt pictures appeared on the internet two weeks before Easter?

Not trying to ruffle feathers, just coming at from a different angle. :)

April 7, 2010 at 10:32 PM
Witchy Mama  

Great response and excellent questions. In fact, I will address them in a separate post.

April 8, 2010 at 6:08 AM
Anonymous  

My husband is neither Christian or Pagan and his favorite holiday is Christmas. For Easter it's more about the Easter Bunny, I used to get a basket with toys and a bit of candy. My daughter got a Ostara gift from me, and if I would have remembered to buy eggs we would have colored them then. And for Christmas it's about Santa, and the magic of the season. My daughter gets a present for Yule too, and hopefully this year I'll get everything together and make that white "Yule" cake. I think it's more celebrating the family tradition, and for Christmas it's celebrating that idea of giving, peace, and beauty as well as the tradition. Also for both holidays, I'm carrying on traditions with my daughter that my grandma started with me, and I'm not willing to change those. My grandma was very important to me, as are my other grandparents, so I want to keep celebrating those traditions. I never grew up with them being labeled as Christian holidays, so I don't make that connection. Easter was always about toys, eggs and candy, and Christmas was about the tree, Santa, the magic of the season, and the spirit of giving.

April 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM
Tom  

no, i mean..all my friends at school like to make fun of wicca :( i hate them really much!

April 12, 2010 at 8:03 PM

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