Pagans and Family
A few weeks ago, we had a chat here on The Pagan Household about the idea of family. Patrick, our intrepid leader, expressed his fear that a lot of people don’t come to The Pagan Household because they don’t think that they are family oriented, or that because they don’t have children this is not the website for them. In other words, Pagans do not always identify with the term “family.”
I do not have children. My partner and I are not married. Nonetheless, we are a family. Our Pagan people are our family. I think this website is about more than what our overall society defines as a “traditional family unit”. Within Paganism we have every combination of family: single parents with children, same-sex partners, covens as family, polyamory: I think we are here to celebrate whatever form your family takes.
One of the reasons that I was first drawn to Paganism (outside of my need to find the Gods) was because through Paganism, I found my people. In the Pagan community I found the community that I belong to. It’s very rare for me to come across someone else who identifies as Pagan that I don’t enjoy hanging out with, at least in short durations. The Pagan community brings me such joy. I love going to the large gatherings and seeing the many and various forms of people that our community attracts. We have such color, creativity and talent to offer. Our imaginations are endless. In fact, I think we’re the coolest thing since sliced bread.
I consider my pirate crew in Ohio as my family. My coven here in New Orleans is also my family. They may not be blood (and this is not saying that my blood family isn’t just as important to me), but my Pagan family is my chosen family. I think we get lucky in this life to eventually find our chosen family, and I know that, sadly, some people never do. I am amongst the lucky ones, and this is something for which I give thanks to the Gods every day. My life would be a lonely place without my people.
When I have a depressing moment where I think I’m too weird or wonder why I couldn’t be “normal”, I touch base with my people and realize that I would never want my life to be any different than it is, that the “normal” people have very dull lives in comparison to mine.
The tradition I practice is big about this concept of community. When you are welcomed into Blue Star, you are welcomed into “the family”. We fight, we bicker, sometimes we even ignore each other, but at the end of the day, what family doesn’t? Last weekend while at PantheaCon, I received my first degree Initiation and it really was a homecoming for me.
As an overall community we need to reassess what we define as family. I don’t know that I will ever have children. I am not at a place in my life where they are something to consider yet, but my lack of children does not negate the value of my family unit. The overall community that we live in is working hard to redefine the idea of family, and while the Pagan community is generally extremely liberal in how we regard family, I think we still have some deeply rooted expectations of what a family looks like.
I think a family consists of people who love each other, trust each other, and are willing to support each other when times are tough. I hope that other people agree. What form does your family take? I would love to hear your stories and see your pictures. I think it’s only through showing our own personal stories that we can connect with the greater whole to redefine the concepts behind words like “family,” and this website is a great place to start.