Damn His Handsome Hide!

Curse your eyes, WMFH! Curse you for planting the seed of going to university after the school year is over. I had pretty much given up any hope of a higher education due to my being a complete prosimian when it comes to math, and now I am shopping the local U’s catalog and saying, “Ooooh! 19th century German literature!? German phonics?? Fluency Through Dramatization?!? I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” Wait, I can also take Western Mythology? Latin? Lignuistics? Russian? But.. but… but…

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I can’t afford this! But I would LOVE to actually achieve some level of fluency in German, not to mention supplement and enhance my ADF studies.

Because I want to avoid moments like this.

Coming Out from Behind Your Winter Wardrobe

Today was the first day of class (German and Music Appreciation, both with “He Who Shall Be Named WMFH” henceforth). German will be par for the course, Music Appreciation will most likely be a blast. WMFH is even more F-able teaching music, but that doesn’t surprise me. Language makes me swoon, but music… well, it’s just the second most sacred thing a human can do, if you catch my drift. However, the most important thing that happened today is that I officially “came out” publicly as Pagan for the first time. I wasn’t intending on doing it, it wasn’t some grand gesture. We were doing introductions in class and WMFH asked me why I was taking German, so I answered truthfully and said it was for my Pagan clergy program. While my friends and family know I am Pagan, it’s never been anything I discussed outside of my immediate circle. I’ve never considered it anyone’s business. In my opinion, it’s a fine line between disclosing one’s religious views in a relevant situation and proselytizing or posturing. As a Pagan, I am accustom to people reacting poorly to my beliefs, usually in the form of ridicule and eye rolling. I am not one of those who considers it my duty to correct them. I have been Pagan for almost 30 years now, and in those 3 decades I have learned that you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind unless they want it changed, so save your breath.

However, one thing I have also come to understand is that I can no longer live this part of my life in the shadows. Before I started the Dedicant program, my religious views were my own, done in private, and had nothing to do with anyone else. Now, as a practicing priestess and future clergy, the rules have changed. I have chosen to become a public figure in the Pagan community, something that I hadn’t honestly considered until now. As a priestess part of my job is to represent. I represent my grove, my community, my gods, and my ancestors. I can’t hide this from the casual acquaintance anymore, it is a major part of my public identity. To keep it private would mean to resort to circumvention and subterfuge in answering the most basic questions about my life. So when WMFH asked me why I was taking German, I answered. And the world did not end, the sky did not fall, and no one batted an eye. Granted, I live in a hippie college town in one of the most liberal states in the country, so it wasn’t as if I expected someone to jump up and proclaim me a blasphemer or point at me and shriek like Donald Sutherland in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. Still, it felt odd, and a bit liberating. I had to do it again in MA class, and again, no Chicken Little scenario.

I am still getting used to the fact that people who don’t know me on the island have already heard of me as “The Priestess”. Apparently, people who have attended our rituals have spread the word and our gatherings have become the coveted invitation. It’s odd that my reputation is preceding me in an area that I have only just recently embraced publicly.

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