Pack It Up, Pack It In

Earlier this week, a friend back at college asked me to write a letter to our Pagan student group sharing my experiences and thoughts post-college as a Pagan. Honestly, it was pretty hard to write. I ended up with a five page letter and about a page’s worth of bullet pointed advice for them. But it got me thinking, and there was a lot that I didn’t get to say. Mostly because I didn’t think about it until later.

When I graduated college, I couldn’t wait to start my life. Life had other plans. My gods had other plans. I ended up in a dark place for a year but I leaned on my gods more than ever. I made an oath to them as well, even though it’s something that I never do. Now that I am better, I need to start making good on that oath.

We move in two weeks. Well, we get the keys in two weeks and then we go in to paint and the following Monday, Alec will be here at our current apartment supervising the move from here to there. Lots to get done: packing, deciding what to keep and what to sell/donate, cleaning everything. But frankly, I can’t stop thinking about the second bedroom, the one that will be my office and temple space.

Looking for a new place, we agreed that we needed more space. Specifically, I needed a space of my own where I could do my Pagan things and have some privacy for that and a place to work. While Alec has had his own space, it’s been hard on me not to have room to work. I’m very expansive when it comes to things and I like being able to see all my options. But, more specifically, I needed an easier way to get to my altars and shrines. The ones I currently have are so far in the back of our bedroom, segmented away by mounds of clothes and our bed that getting to it has been more of a challenge than not. So as we get ready to move into our new place, I keep thinking about all the shrines and altars I can build, both indoors and on the balcony we will be upgrading to. It’s very exciting.

One of the things that I came upon after sending my letter off was living as a closeted Pagan versus living out and proud. But there’s a middle ground that I occupy, liminal child that I am. I don’t hide my faith; never really have. I’m lucky enough to be someone who is able to stand up for themselves. When it comes to displaying my faith, I make no qualms to hide it. Whenever I did in the past, I relented quickly. Being completely secretive has never been an option for me, at least not in that regard. These days, I vary my pendants and other jewelry, but typically they each have some sort of meaning or spiritual significance. My ankh for Anubis and the Kemetic ideals that I still favor; the crow with its spirals and knotwork for The Morrigan; the skull bracelet I wear from time to time (to work) as a memento mori and a reminder of what I owe The Crow Lass; the stag earrings that I purchased years ago for the Stag Queen. I wear them all as beautiful reminders to myself of who I serve, who I work with. And if asked, I will tell people. Most of these are incognito, though, but the crow especially has a small pentacle in its breast, one that you can only see if you look closely. But I don’t hide it. I don’t think I can.

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