I have almost always shared a home with people who subscribe to Catholicism. The difference between my demoralizing upbringing and the encouraging and accepting household I am living in now is night and day.
You can read about my journey to paganism here, but to give you the short of it, my father is a Catholic and it was expected for my sister and I to be raised as such. When I told my parents I was a pagan, they rejected it wholly and told me that I was not to share that with anyone else because if I did the rest of my father’s family – and much of my mother’s Baptist family – would disown me.
They may have also told me that it was a fake religion for idiots and liars who wanted to take advantage of others…
Growing up in that place of judgement was incredibly hard, and I’m sure many of you experienced something similar. And I am sorry you had to go through that.
No one should ever have to live somewhere they are subjected to ridicule and condemnation for who they are.
Regardless, I am here to show you that while there are people like this out in the world, not all Judeo-Christians are. For example, I have been married for five years to a Catholic man who loves me as I am and who has known the entire time he’s been with me that I am a pagan.
To be fair, my husband, Puck as we will refer to him, is originally from Ireland and the Irish version of Catholicism is quite different than your standard American Catholicism. In fact, most of the Irish nationals I have met are all very accepting and accommodating for witches, and I have met many thanks to Puck.
How do we make our individual faiths mix in our home though?
It’s a good question. Well, as I mentioned in my series on Christian magick, many Christian practices are deeply rooted in paganism so they make for a near seamless mix in many situations.
All of the big Catholic holidays match (or get really close to matching) the exact days of the big pagan holidays – although we celebrate quite a few more. I usually opt to do a solitary ritual where I celebrate with my Gods on my own terms since I’m not entirely comfortable sharing that with others just yet, but some holidays we celebrate in more conventional ways.
For the most part, Puck isn’t big on going to mass except for Christmas and Easter. I don’t mind attending mass because the sermons are often of the same theme of the pagan holidays and sometimes it’s good to get a new perspective on the meaning of the season. I occasionally attend pagan sabbats as well, but they often don’t agree with my schedule and I almost always do a solitary ritual regardless of whether I attend a group ritual or not.
We have altars and global religious paraphernalia throughout the house. While I try to make an effort to have a daily spiritual practice, Puck does not, but he also doesn’t mind that I do my own thing and “smell up” our home with incense – he rather enjoys coming home to a new scent at the end of the day!
We honor both the pagan Gods and the Christian God. Just because I don’t pray to Puck’s God, does not mean we don’t honor Him in our home and just because Puck doesn’t pray to my Gods does not mean we don’t honor Them in our home. Everyone has a place of respect here.
I think the most important thing of all is that we respect each other’s differences. Although I offer for him to attend Sabbats with me or to attend mass with him, I don’t push him to participate in my spiritual practices. We also don’t make a big deal about witchcraft, we refer to it as me “doing my thing”.
I think it’s also important to note that I give him a warning when I need some alone time for ritual or the like just so he doesn’t interrupt me. However, with practical magick – which is the bulk of what I do – it’s mostly such powerful subtle magick that no one notices it being done unless it is pointed out.
So I guess being in a religiously diverse home isn’t a big deal so long as you accept each other and your different spiritual practices. Although I think this should be a lesson for life in general…