Q&A – Family Tension

A question from a fan: “Hi MistressPrime, I hope u can help me. I’m Wiccan my family knows and some of them don’t approve because they’re conservative Christian. They’ll leave bible verses or comments that push their beliefs on my Facebook page. They say things on my posts that hurt my feelings. It upsets me. I don’t get why they can’t see my point of view. How can I deal with them but also not create more problems in the family? Thanks for ur help! Caitlin”

Hi Caitlin,

I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I responded to a similar question on a FB group post recently. It’s the holiday season so family and drama, especially around differing religions, has a tendency to ramp up this time of the year. I’m going to share similar advice that I gave to the person in that group.

Let me start by saying navigating differing religious perspectives and family on social media is a tricky pain in the ass. Understanding that your pushy Christian family members may feel it is their duty to save you from “the devil” means that nothing you say about what you believe, especially if it’s anything other than Christian, will ever soothe their discomfort or even shut them up. So, you have options…

The most passive option is that you can ignore their posts and comments on your page, but leaving it there will be a reminder and a continued form of oppression that will build resentment between you and those family members. In my opinion it’s not the best course of action, but it could be the lowest risk of family drama. Also, If they are comments on a post, you can Hide them. Go to the three dots (…) when you hover over their comment. Select Hide.

Another option is you can screen capture the thread, this way you can ensure you have their whole comment and it’s context, and then delete the comment. This allows you to cover your backside in case anyone in the family disputes what was actually said on your page. I learned this the hard way in a similar issue with my family. Unless they’re looking regularly at your page there’s a chance they won’t even notice it’s gone. Now you can drop it from there and move on or you can choose to talk privately with that family member and explain how their comment was hurtful to you.

If your family regularly leave these kinds of hurtful comments on your page, but you’re afraid to unfriend them because it may cause further family drama I would recommend the privacy settings option. Keep them on your friends list, but add them to a custom list. If you put them on the Restricted Friend List that option gives them access to only your Public posts and information. Putting them on the Acquaintances Friends List means you would need to set your post’s privacy settings to Friends minus Acquaintances to prevent them from seeing any particular posts, but they would still be able to see anything that’s listed as Friends Only or Public. You can further protect yourself if they posts a lot of things you find objectionable on their own page by Unfollowing their pages entirely. This maintains you’re still on each other’s friends list but you no longer see their page updates in your Home Feed. You can still go to their page to read their posts when you want.

Now you also have the option to Unfriend. This has a greater potential for blowback, so choose this option with that knowledge. People get seriously butthurt over being unfriended on social media. But I will add, in some cases this can be the best option, especially if you’re being harassed by family who don’t seem to respect you or your decisions.

The most extreme option is Unfriend and Block. This option is burning the bridge. Also, your family may possibly report back to them what they see on your page. And again, in some cases this may be the best option to help maintain one’s personal well being and limit the toxic interactions.

If possible, I would recommend against arguing in the comments with them because, in the end, it’s just not worth your emotional energy to try to change their mind on FB. A discussion in person, or at the very least by phone, rather than through text where your intention might be misunderstood and could cause greater misunderstanding and additional unnecessary pain is a prefered choice. You have a greater chance of being understood. Granted, they still may not hear you, but there’s a better chance than by text.

In the end, know that YOU aren’t creating this tension in the family. They are. You aren’t the one trying to impose your perspective upon them. You should not feel bad or at fault about what they’re doing to you.

Whichever choice you make, I wish you the best of luck!

Spell for Honest and Wise Communication

Use the spell when communication patterns have become stale, negative, limited, or dishonest.

Materials:

  • Two pieces of paper
  • Writing utensil
  • Clear jar
  • Salt
  • Dried or fresh Sage

Spell:

  1. Write your name and the name of the person with whom you wish to communicate on two separate pieces of paper.
  2. Fill a clean, clear jar with salt and a handful of dried or fresh Sage leaves.
  3. Place the two papers inside the jar. Don’t put the lid on it. Leave it open.
  4. Gently swirl the contents of the jar until the papers are completely submerged in the salt and Sage as you envision yourself having a productive, wise, and honest conversation with the person in question.
  5. Leave the jar in the area where you’re most likely to come in contact with the person, or alternatively, take out the two slips of paper, fold them together, and keep them tucked inside your pocket during conversations.

*************************************************

Found in Llewellyn’s Witches Spell-a-Day Almanac

Ravens at the Crossroads

I’ve mentioned it on most other platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram, but I haven’t remotely mentioned it here yet so if you haven’t been following me on any of those other platforms this will be news. Everyone else, if you already know the story you can scroll down to the music video. 😉

In February of this year, my friend Tyler and I were attending PantheaCon with a couple of our friends. It was their first time attending for all of them. I had attended the event for many years and was grateful to spend it with them. Attending PCon is often like a reunion with my magical family. It’s the only time I get to spend any quality face to face time with some folks, especially those from the east coast.

One morning Tyler and I helped cover the Ardantane Pagan Learning Center booth in the vendor’s room while Amber and Azrael K were busy giving a presentation.

As I sat there lamenting the recent losses of Pagan author, DJ Conway and my friend Ed, I was reminded about a project I knew that had been proposed years ago regarding recording the oral history of the Covenant of the Goddess from the people who had been there. I wasn’t sure what happened with the progress of that project. As I wondered this out loud, Tyler mentioned the word “podcast”.

He explained he had prior experience working on a podcast. I then mentioned I have both experience with radio and journalism as a former staff writer for a magazine for many years. We sat there and thought about it for a moment and then wondered… why not?

It took us a few months to pull some pieces together, but eventually we got everything squared away and Ravens at the Crossroads posted our first episode on July 29 with Tommie StarChild.

Now we’re only 12 episodes in, we’ve already traveled three times for events that allowed us the opportunity to meet people and/or conduct interviews with some amazing people. We’ve also had the good fortune to be interviewed by other Pagan podcasts, with more lined up on the schedule.

Our mundane lives have been keeping us both busy so we haven’t always had a podcast in queue to release each week. Fortunately, we have a bunch of new interviews that will be released next week and for several weeks after.

Overall, we just hope people enjoy them. I really hope folks learn neat new things about other people, traditions, events, and communities.

You can find Ravens at the Crossroads on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music, and of course, directly on our website: https://ravensatthecrossroads.com/

Something About You – Level 42

How, how can it be
That a love carved out of caring
Fashioned by fate could suffer so hard
From the games played once too often
But making mistakes is a part of life’s imperfection
Born of the years
Is it so wrong to be human after all?

Drawn into the stream of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams, they can’t disguise the truth

That there is something about you, baby, so right
I wouldn’t be without you, baby tonight

If ever our love was concealed
No one can say that we didn’t feel
A million things and a perfect dream of life (gone) fragile but free
We remain tender together
If not so in love
And it’s not so wrong, we’re only human after all

These changing years, they add to your confusion
Oh and you need to hear the time that told the truth

That there is something about you, baby so right
Don’t want to be without you, baby tonight
Because there’s something about you, baby, so right
I couldn’t live without you, baby, tonight

And that there’s something about you, yeah
And I couldn’t be without you, tonight

I Might Understand You

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a young man sitting near the back of the gas station. He looked up at me and as I passed him our eyes locked. I felt a need to check on him, but I needed to be somewhere else at that moment. I figured I could circle back around after I was done.

Once I finished what I was doing I noticed he had moved closer to where I was and was now sitting on a bench. I pulled up, rolled my window down and asked, “Is everything ok?”

“No” he responded, “today is the worst day of my life”. And with that we began talking. I parked my car and walked over with a bottle of water and we talked for almost an hour.

I learned he was 33, was having problems with his mom, his ex-girlfriend, his mom’s boyfriend, and life in general. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with anxiety, depression, unemployment, homelessness, low feelings of self-worth, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. When I asked him if he felt like he might harm himself he responded that he did not plan to nor did he want to do that.

He explained that he’d had a disagreement with his mom and her boyfriend the night before and in order to not deal with them he instead spent the evening outside just wandering. Honestly, he looked like he might have spent more than just one night outside.

He told me he sometimes heard voices, but he wasn’t sure if he was actually having auditory hallucinations or if the people who had repeatedly shown him a lack of understanding and intolerance were lying to him. Truth be told, it could be both.

I later learned that some people who have bipolar disorder can suffer from “Psychosis” and have auditory hallucinations but not everyone knows that, even therapists.

I reminded him that he’s going to be ok and that while things seem bleak at the moment they are likely to improve if he keeps moving in the direction that is in his best interest. Things such as continuing with therapy, getting a job, and finding a safe place to live, either with family or friends. He said he had options.

We talked until he felt better overall and decided on a plan to go to a friend’s home, get a shower and rest before planning his next course of action: either move to his father’s or go back to his mother’s. One step at a time.

I honestly have no idea if my stopping to talk with him helped at all, but I hope so. At the very least I wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone.

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) George Harrison

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you
Won’t you please
Oh won’t you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

George Harrison

The cult of Artemis in Ephesus and the possible explanation of the Bee Symbol

Stefanos Skarmintzos

The worship of a female deity begins in the vicinity of Ephesus from the Bronze Age if not earlier but is attested before the Ionian migration (1). But archaeological research dates the first buildings on the site of the Artemision to the geometric period (1100 – 800 BC), but many literary sources attribute the founding of the shrine of Artemis to the Amazons testifying to its antiquity and the exotic nature of the cult of the goddess in that area. The Greeks merged the worship of the local deity with the Greek goddess Artemis, which was called Ephesia and did not oppressed the few natives who lived around the sanctuary of Artemis. They built the citadel of Ephesus around 1500 meter from the original shrine so as not openly provoke the neighboring tribes. Yet they transformed the local goddess cult into the Greek Artemis “Mistress of Animals”. (2) The ancient…

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D. J. Conway, Raven Grimassi, Edain McCoy, Ralph Metzner: What is Read and Remembered, Lives

I’m genuinely heartbroken with so much loss this month.

The Witching Hour

45609132_2432927726723575_6048530940341256192_n Image from Mondazzi Book, Bead & Crystal

Four prominent authors have passed in the past month: D. J. (Deanna) Conway, Raven Grimassi (aka Gary Charles Erbe), Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner. We lost D. J. Conway in early February, and Raven Grimassi and Edain McCoy and Ralph Metzner in March. What links these four prolific authors is the fact that their books, focused on slightly different paths in modern paganism, were all well loved and popular during a time when the pagan community was passionately devoted to reading and supporting its authors.

There were some books about the nascent witchcraft movement in the 1960s and 1970s (like those by Hans Holzer, Colin Wilson, Marian Weinstein, Doreen Valiente, Leo Martello and Sybil Leek, among others), but American paganism didn’t really start to take off in a systemic way until the late 1970s. Prior to that, many seekers read books by British…

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Observations & Opinions from Outside the Broom Closet

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