Dwarf-Lord of Ponte Vedra (apathyinboots) wrote in paganborn,
Dwarf-Lord of Ponte Vedra

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The "Weird Witch" Syndrome

Hey everyone. I had an experience the other day that I thought I would share with the community.

I work part-time at a dance studio, teaching dance and acting. This past saturday I was at the studio, sitting in the break room in between classes. I was talking with some of the high school-age students about various matters and the topic of religion came up. When questioned, I told the kids that I was a Neo-Druid Pagan. One of them seemed down-right astonished and had a look on his face like someone had just told him that 2+4=chair. His exact response was, "But you're not weird enough". At first I was a little bit insulted by this. My discrimination alarm went off and I started wondering if this kid was brought up in some sort of extremist Christian household. After giving a quizical look and an akward laugh, I asked him what he meant by that. He went on to talk about all the people at his school that he knew were Pagan. He said they were all reclusive people that dressed very gothy and were generally angry at everyone. As far as he was concerned, being strange and apart from everyone else was a part of the "wicca thing". I starting thinking about the matter later that day. It's true that stereotypes run prevalant through any groups, but I'm not about to act shocked that my Buddhist friend is not running around with a shaved head, orange robe, and prayer beads. Are we, as an amalgamation of the various Pagan religions, actually trying to ostracize ourselves from society? I'm not saying here that it's a fantastic idea to bow to the status-quo. I find myself doing quite the opposite very often. However, I don't live in a shack, wear robes everywhere, carry a big staff around with me all the time, adorn myself with an insane amount of rings and necklaces, or avoid "normal" people. Yet, it seems that when many people hear the term "pagan" or "witch", that is the image that is conjured up. I'm wondering if any of you have run into similar situations and your thoughts on the matter. Thanks

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