By Cat Gina Cole
One of the questions asked this week was:
“What Pagan issues are you concerned about?”
We had a wide range of concerns, and I was very touched by some of the replies that follow below.
“One thing that concerns me is aging as a pagan. Will I be able to get pagan clergy to visit when I am in a seniors’ facility or a hospital? Some facilities are decidedly Christian. Also what happens to my magical tools when I die? Most don’t think about it, but I have an entire section of my will devoted to that to ensure my tools are passed on for the greatest benefit of my community and family.”
“I think of this as well. I happen to have younger Pagan family and very close pagan friends much of my things and my writings will go to. As for having a Pagan clergy, that is much more difficult. I was surprised the hospitals local to me, of which one is Christian, allow me to be on their list as “Alternative Religion Clergy” Not that I have been called much in this small area, but I have made several visits over the years. At first, I was surprised to learn that hospitals have such an option but many still do if you ask.”
“I do a lot of hospital visits. I simply announce myself as Clergy, with no qualifier. I even have a placard for my car that says Clergy for parking. I have never been turned away by a facility. At a Catholic hospital, the family of one friend who had AIDS asked me to leave and the nurses told them that he could have any minister he wanted to visit him. As for your Magickal tools, you might want to put those in your will.”
“I have been in a similar situation. I was bedside with an unconscious coven mate, whose spouse and other family were present. When they discovered I was a Pagan clergy, they wanted me to leave. The spouse, also a coven mate, told them if they were uncomfortable they could wait outside. They went and got the nurse, who pretty much told them the same thing. I was very uncomfortable tho.”
“With my ‘group,’ (I was much younger then) we had two older members that we provided palliative and hospice care in-house 24/7. I guess it depends on your people, I don’t think it was noble, it was just the right thing to do. I’ve worked in the medical field for a long while and have been ill often on my own.
My folks are always ready to jump in where we can. Maybe it’s because we know what it’s like when there’s a lack of a helping hand about?”
“I am fortunate to have younger folk in my coven who make certain I have rides after dark.”
“My concern is the death of the Craft in 100 years! And by that I mean strictly initiatory witchcraft.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because the younglings…..-seem opposed to the Craft… specifically. Some have even decried the Craft is “church for witches” and that it’s an “organized religion….” According to my Gardnerian teacher, the number of initiates of Gardnerians is on the decline and it has been for several years. So yeah, I’m extremely concerned for the future of the Craft if the majority has such a negative view of it.”
“I’m concerned that businesses and schools seem to feel free to discriminate against Paganism. My friend worked at Hobby Lobby, for example, and was fired the first time she dared to wear a pentacle to work. She never fought against it, but that’s when I decided it was time to tell people to “embrace the woo-woo” and be proudly pagan and fight against discrimination. Do we or do we not profess to be a nation of “freedom of religion?”
There is a wide range of concerns here, all very serious and valid, and there was much discussion about them. Join us in the forum, lend us your voice and ask your questions. We look forward to seeing you there. https://www.facebook.com/