Thursday, October 25, 2012


I somewhat covered the why of it yesterday, but this deserves its own entry. I'm looking a what is beyond "some ancient text says I should" or "the restrictions of my community say I must." I want to explore the choice. When the option is there, why is it taken?

The reasons for veiling are as many as the people who do it. That being said, the simplest answer, and by far the most prominent, is "because I feel called to do it." That calling, that compulsion, can come from faith ("my gods say I should") or a desire to give a certain impression, or a need to identify a certain way, a hope to get a certain effect or benefit.

I have mentioned that my Reiki sensei recommended it. She said it would help with my concentration and focus, reduce the potential for headaches and for being overwhelmed by the emotions of the people around me. In this case, the veil would be a shield or a piece of armor. It is mentioned here and here (the same link noted NSFW yesterday) and here and in a few of the accounts and comments here. While I've felt this pull for years prior to my Reiki training, this recommendation was why I actually tried it. And it wasn't a matter of "sensei said so" but "sensei said this might be helpful and I might want to see if it works for me."

And the answer? It did. I felt safer, more protected, less exposed. And that's probably part of why I still feel called to do it. I feel bombarded, vulnerable. I can cast an energy shield and it helps, but not as much as that physical barrier did- and not nearly as much as the two together did.

Many pagans say their matron goddess requests it of them. Some of the links I've posted already include references to this. Hestia and other hearth goddesses seem to be at the top of the list of goddesses who request this action. In this blog post, the writer mentions specifically that her goddess made a request, not a command. Of all the blogs I've come across in my research, I really enjoyed this one. She gives great examples of how covering works for her and I love that she pointed out the two biggest arguments pagans make against covering are not her reasons for covering. This blog touches on the religious devotion aspect of veiling. This blogger states "My deities don't require it of me, but I feel as though something is telling me that it's the right thing for me to do." My Plain Quaker friend describes it as an individual calling among Quakers as well. Quaker Jane had this page about why some women choose to go plain. This is not the same as modest dress or even just veiling, as I mentioned yesterday, but the reasons are just as relevant.

As for me, I don't have a matron right now. I have, however, felt a pull to hearth goddesses, specifically Brigid and Hestia, for some time and it has gotten much stronger over the past few years - perhaps owing to the fact that I now have a hearth of my own to tend. Likewise, that urge to veil has also been growing stronger since. Second to the recommendation of my sensei, veiling as a sign of my devotion to my path is a very intense desire.

Further along these lines, people are saying that a physical barrier reminds them every day of their faith. The last blog I linked above said "I once heard somewhere (no idea where, now) that the reason Jewish men cover their heads is to remind them that there's something above and beyond them that needs to be paid attention to." I've seen that last part "to remind them that there's something above and beyond them that needs to be paid attention to" quoted over and over among the many blogs and articles I've come across over the past few weeks. This theme of feeling more connected to deity or to faith can also be found in many of the links I've already posted.

Outside of modesty that I talked about yesterday, some pagans say that veiling puts them more in control of themselves. My favorite example of this was in that very first article I came across, "Somewhere amidst the many blogs I read a woman made a comment that she veiled because she didn't have to share herself with everyone. She made the choice on who saw her hair. She deemed a part of herself sacred and set it apart from everyone else, to only share with a select few. I find that concept interesting, that idea of reserved power. A woman may be showing cleavage, wearing a short skirt, and dancing in heels, but her covered hair would represent that she was fully in charge of her body and the decisions made over her body." The article didn't point back to where that came from. I really like this thought. This post also mentions that it can be empowering to be completely in control of who gets to see their hair.

I read a comment on a thread in the Noble Pagan forums (you have to be a member to read it, and I signed up just because the cache indicated there might be some good information there, so I won't link it because of the membership requirements) where a Catholic woman said she recently joined an Eastern Catholic church where the priest encourages women to veil. The reason given was, in her words, "he said that in every major religion of the world anything that is considered Sacred and Mysterious has been veiled and hidden from common site. He then looked at all the women in the church and asked us 'What could possibly be more Sacred, more Mysterious than Woman from whom all life comes.'"

Along the same lines, there are several cultures and faiths where hair is held sacred in some way. Sikhism (a beautiful religion of which so little is known in the mainstream that followers are often mistaken for extremists) is a big example of this. The practice of kesh, allowing one's hair to grow naturally, is used as a way to honor God and the perfection of his creation. The turban that a Sikh wears over his hair is part of this honoring as it keeps the long hair they are forbidden to cut clean and protected. Sikhism is a great example of men who are required to veil as a sign of their devotion! There is even a touching observance called Pag Vatauni where two people may exchange their turbans as a sign of deep and permanent friendship. Women may also wear a turban if they choose, or some other method of covering the hair, but covering the face with a veil is forbidden for both men and women. Some Eastern and Native American cultures believed that hair was sacred, I have heard it explained as an extension of one's soul and so it was not cut. This principle is sometimes why it is covered, though it is not always covered in cultures that adhere to this. In the Victorian era, hair of a deceased loved one was often made into jewelry or wigs for dolls because of its connectedness with the person who is no longer living.

I list these only as an example of considering hair sacred and hiding the sacred from common view. This reason does not resonate that much with me. Only insomuch that I am a sacred being and my entire body is sacred, not just a part of it.(And that in no way is meant to imply that only the head and hair is sacred to these cultures, I'm just trying to illustrate that this would not be one of my reasons to veil.)

Another reason to wear a veil sometimes cited by pagans is as a symbol of marriage. The Jewish guidelines apply to married women, as do the Islamic guidelines in some communities, though unmarried women do sometimes make the choice. This woman says that she enjoys keeping her hair hidden from everyone except her husband.

The comment by Jennifer on this post shows that she does not agree with keeping a body part covered because it is owned by someone else. This post that I've linked before also mentions that it is most often unmarried women who feel their veil is not a representation of marriage but many married women do.

I'm of two minds about this reason, and perhaps my take could be related to the fact that I am currently without a husband, and that I have a wonderful boyfriend who has made absolutely zero demands on my appearance. (It should be noted that most of the women who say they veil in part to keep something else special for their husbands do not also say that their husbands asked it of them. In fact, I only found one reference of a spousal request, three links above.) My first thought is that there honestly is a part of me that likes the idea of considering my body to be something special and sacred and that I choose who to share it with, and if I share it with you, you should take it as the special and sacred act it is. Husband, family, close friends, those are the people who I would trust to allow myself to be completely exposed to them, which is what removing my veil would accomplish in this instance. Those who know me well know that my trust is hard to earn, and those that know me better know just how meaningful it is if I choose to share parts of my sacred and special physical body with them.

But then, I think of 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. In those passages, it indicates a man should never cover his head while praying (11:4) but a woman should always cover her head because an uncovered head is like shaving (11:5) and a shaved head on a woman is shameful (11:6). A man doesn't cover because he was made in God's image, where a woman was made in man's image, from man, and for man (11:3 and 11:7-9) 11:10 states, "For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority" (New Living Translation). That bit right there makes my mind shout "No! Resist, resist!"
1 Corinthians goes on to say that men and women are connected, because woman was made from the first man and all other men were born of woman (11:11-12). In 11:13-16, Paul somehow draws the conclusion that a man's hair should never be worn long but a woman's hair must be, but it must also be covered because it is her pride and joy (11:15). This last verse is interesting because it states "And isn't long hair a woman's pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering." This implies to me that a woman's hair is her veil, so I am confused as to why two verses ago a woman must cover her hair when the hair is the covering. It's not the first contradiction in the Bible, to be sure, but that's not why I'm here.

Of course, the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, and indeed the Bible as a whole, is not a source for my religious faith and practice. So wearing a veil certainly does not mean that I am some man's property or under some man's authority. This is not a meaning for many who choose to veil either, but the historical reason is there, and that is a perception of me that I do not desire. Would it stop me from veiling? Nope. It might stop me from saying "for my husband" as a reason, though. Wearing a veil as a symbol of devotion to a spouse is not without merits. There is a part of me that sees it as a beautiful thing; a sign of my loyalty to the person who I choose to spend the rest of my life with. But it would not be done because he wanted me to, but because it would be something I wanted to do for him.

So I mentioned perception. I want to explore this more, so that's going to be the topic for next time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Summation

I feel like my earlier post was pretty long and that I probably didn't draw the points I wanted to draw as well as I wanted to.

I talked about modest dress in Abrahamic faiths because that is the source of the vast majority of information I was able to find. This by no means indicates that it can't be relevant to my pagan life, nor is it an exhaustive exploration.

With the exception of those places where it is required by law, I do not believe that the vast majority of women who cover do so because they are being forced. Most of what I have been able to determine, from reading accounts and talking to people, is that they make this choice. It is a choice based on rules and laws that they may be advised to follow, but for most of them, they follow them because they want to.

This is important to note because so many people think that such coverings mean they are being controlled. Sometimes it does, but not always. What I really wanted to point out, the thing that a lot of pagans - Westerners in general - don't understand is that it is not about control. And where it is, those are the radicals, not the norm.

Is It Hiding?

The thing about modest dress is that it starts with modesty. Merriam Webster defines modesty as 1: freedom of conceit or vanity and 2: propriety in dress, speech, or conduct. It's interesting to note that what defines propriety, appropriateness or decency, is not universal. What is appropriate for one culture or group can be totally indecent to another. It would be impossible and counterproductive to my purpose to explore every possible aspect of what is modest in the scope of this blog, especially given my background in anthropology, so I'm going to give it my own definition. I'm going to say modesty is that factor of humbleness, of not drawing attention to oneself and, in the context of clothing, it is dressing in an unexposed, unassuming, and simple manner. That actually covers quite a lot (no pun intended, but I'm not going to revise it!), and at the end of writing this, I may completely disagree with my own definition. Peachy!

I want to include plain in my own definition, but that's not always the case in modest dress. I've seen some women in hijabs that were truly beautiful patterns. I remember a stunning one that was black with large bright roses, and one woman wearing a loose pant style in a lovely shade of lavender. That's not plain to me. Plain dress and modest dress do sometimes go together, but not always. I might touch on plain as well, though, where it's relevant.

I would begin by asking you to think of any and every culture, to include a religious community as a culture, that comes to mind that involves some form of modest dress. Islam is probably the first, or Amish, Mennonite, maybe Quaker, Judaism has some, and some other denominations of Christianity as well (of which Amish, Mennonite, and Quaker are).

Some of them, like the Amish - a denomination of Mennonites, have such precise rules on the matter that it not only serves to set standards for modesty but also identifies them as part of a distinct group. Interestingly, these rules, part of the Ordnung that also dictates all aspects of Amish life, vary from community to community. So one group might wear all black and one might allow colors or patterns in their dress. Mennonite communities also follow an Ordnung that could include rules for plain dress or allow their members to be as indistinguishable from any Joe Public they meet on the street. Plain dress among Quakers seems to be like this as well. Among the Christian groups, it seems pretty common that the rules of modest dress are individual to specific communities. I never felt that the Catholic faith I was raised in had any kind of strict requirement on how I dress, but my aunt and uncle are both modest dressers and I've seen them sometimes get stopped on the street by a random person asking if they were missionaries.

Christian guidelines for modest dress mostly come from 1 Timothy 2:9 "And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes." (New Living Translation) This is pretty liberal in the requirements, though guidelines for what is considered appropriate are found in other areas of the Bible.

The basis of tzniut in Jewish traditions is to dress in a way that does not attract attention. Halakha includes some other more specific rules about things, like how much skin should be exposed, from the Bible, Talmud, and rabbinic law sources. Halakha has largely been open to interpretation, so you can easily find Jewish groups who never expose ankles or collarbones and groups who do. Tzniut specifically states that a married woman must cover her hair. Snoods and tichels, a favorite among pagans, are common for this - some rabbis will even allow wigs for this purpose. The practice of veiling for married Jewish women is mostly observed in synagogue, with some covering whenever out side the home as well. Interestingly enough, the practice of wearing a kippah for men seems to be extremely common, relatively speaking. I can't say how many Jewish people I run into on a day to day, but I have certainly seen more men in kippahs than I have seen women in tichels.

The Qur'an includes rules on modest dress for both men and women. The word hijab is used as a name for the veil that covers the hair and neck as well as the practice of wearing such a veil, though the Qur'an does not use that term in that way. The Qur'an states, "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed." (in one translation) Even this is open to interpretation among Muslim communities. Some leaders will say that exposing the face and hands is appropriate where others may say it is not. Some follow guidelines relative to the society they are in, for example seeing a woman in a full burqa in the United States is fairly uncommon. It would draw more attention to them and the entire purpose of modest dress is to not draw attention. It's kind of a catch 22 in the Western world, though, because veiling in general is so misunderstood.

Part of the misunderstanding, and thus the controversy, is that the majority of women who wear a hijab outside of places where it is required by law (like Iran and Saudi Arabia where the hijab is mandatory) do so because they choose it. Every single woman I spoke to when I started this research confirmed this. In contrast to the places where hijab is required, there are some where it is banned altogether. Muslims in those areas who choose to wear a hijab have been fighting for their right to do so. I remember a story fairly recently of a young girl who was fighting for her right to wear a hijab in France where it is banned in public schools. (It should be noted that it is not specifically a hijab that is banned in public schools in France, but any conspicuous religious symbol. This would include Christian veils and things like large cross jewelry as well.)

But now I think my train of thought is wandering a bit. The politics of allowing veils or not is not what I want to talk about, at least not at this time.

The main point here is that these "rules" for modest dress are open to interpretation across the board, and what rules a member must adhere to depends on the decisions of the leaders of the community they are in. They are not simply a means of female oppression, though how they are interpreted can lead to that. The basis of most of these rules is to set followers, both men and women, apart from those who do not believe that way. The stricter rules for women almost always state that it is for their protection; that men are uncontrollable creatures and the best way to protect women from their unwanted advances is to remove themselves from the gaze of men.

Yes, an argument can be made here that these rules are interpreted by leaders who are men and are written by men in patriarchal societies where women are more often than not treated as property. But if you really look into those societies, those origins, that may be true but being a woman was not without its privileges. Muhammad's wives were well revered among early Muslims, a lot of the laws pertaining to women's dress in the Qur'an apply only to them. The larger Islamic community following those laws is thus emulating the wives of the prophet; it is not unlike considering Catholic nuns to be brides of Jesus. The word hijab in the Qur'an originally meant a veil between men and Muhammad's wives when speaking to them, and it was the responsibility of the man to have that veil in place. Also, the laws usually allow a woman to be uncovered for her husband and male relatives. It could be further argued that the laws are in place to protect women of a certain group from outsiders - men who don't have the same restrictions on behavior because they are not part of the group who might be tempted to act improperly if they see too much of a woman. The rules are not, then, put in place to control women, but to spare them dealing with uncontrollable men.

What Does This Mean For Me?

The thing about modest dress is that it doesn't apply to pagans at all, at least not in these terms. A pagan does not need to be modest because women are shameful or because men are sinful. Pagan women, and men, are taught that bodies are beautiful and sacred, they should be honored and respected. In this article, the writer talks about modesty as an issue of self-respect. She states that she wants her daughter to know that she does not have "to show it off to attract the attention of a boy." In one of the comments, a gentleman states, "there's a big difference in clothing that reflects a healthy, innocent, casual, Pagan comfort with one's body and clothing that sexualizes the wearer." That's exactly it; a low-cut top might be considered immodest to some, but perfectly acceptable to a woman confident and comfortable with her body.

This blogger makes a distinction between being modest and being self-aware and responsible. Modesty among pagans is really about personal comfort and personal choice. The Charge of the Goddess indicates, "and ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites." I'm not a 'naked in my rites' kind of pagan. Many are, some are not. That's just not where my comfort lies. Part of being pagan means we have taken our spiritual journey into our own hands, and there are no hard and fast, across-the-board rules.

This article (it warns NSFW, though I didn't think it was so bad) goes so far as to say that pagan modesty is treating one's own body with respect and a lack of self-consciousness. She spoke of two well known priestesses in pagan circles as being modest not because of their long, flowy dresses but because "they own their bodies, they use their bodies, they respect them and they carry themselves with confidence and grace." "They own their bodies." I love this. Modesty, then is not about hiding from others, but about being in control of yourself.

I mentioned yesterday that I have been wearing long skirts as part of my work wardrobe for over a year. A couple months ago, I was stopped by a coworker in the hallway, I think it was on an 'ok to wear shorts' day but I was still in my regular skirt, who asked, "why do you wear those skirts all the time? They really hide your figure." Maybe that's the point, creep! And by the point, I don't mean I'm hiding my body because it is shameful or disgusting and shouldn't be seen by man or beast, but I am shielding myself from unwanted attention - especially in my work environment where even the comment about my figure is inappropriate. The way I dress means I am in control of who sees what parts of my body and when. There is no patriarchal head of my household standing over me saying I must do this because some obscure text says that flesh is obscene. I choose to present myself a certain way so I'm not judged on the curve of my hips or the shapeliness of my calves. What's wrong with that?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Held Back

I started writing on this topic years ago. Years, something like 10 years ago if I were to guess. It was initially to be exploring my first really deep research into the practice of veiling - in this case, the doctrine of some religions to encourage their followers to cover their head and hair. When my research began, all those years ago, I had only a vague understanding of head covering (and the closely related modest and plain dressing) for religious reasons. The blog post I started to write back then was prompted by an article that included a word I had never heard or seen before: hijab. Being the research-obsessed soul that I am, I looked up this word, and found other things; articles, accounts, scholarly explorations of the Western opinion of veiling. This one word led me to months of research on various religion's guidelines on modest dress. For someone who once seriously considered a cloistered life (and when I say seriously, I mean not a fleeting thought, but a long period starting in my childhood where I was certain that's where my life would take me), this was quite the interesting subject. Sadly, because my research started so long ago, all of the links to relevant articles that I managed to save are no longer active.

My first thought about modest dress was probably the same as most people in the Western world: it's just another way for a male-dominated society to repress females. Sometimes it is. But to most of the proponents of the practice it is far from it. One of the articles I found was of a journalist taking accounts of Muslim women and what wearing a hijab meant to them. At the time, a woman at my place of employment wore a full hijab and I had several opportunities to speak with her about the practice as well. What I found across the board was that most women felt empowered, not oppressed. They felt like they were being judged by colleagues on their abilities not on their bodies. It became my understanding that the guidelines for veiling in the Qur'an are written for just that purpose - to bring women to an equal playing field with men, so to speak. (Yes, it's true that in practice sometimes it is used for female oppression and control, but I'll get to that another time. That is actually not the norm.) Christianity and Judaism have guidelines for modest dress as well. For most of them, they are not hard and fast rules depending on one's denomination. Modest dress and veiling are a choice, more often than not. One of the more touching stories about making the choice to wear modest dress I have heard is from a friend of mine. She is a plain Quaker and one of her feelings of being called to plain dress was because she wanted people to know at a glance that she was trustworthy and helpful and decent. 

Frankly, I've always found a veiled woman to be extremely beautiful. I like the aesthetic of it. Maybe it's because I'm seeing a woman's face without distractions of hairstyle. Maybe it's the confidence that just radiates from these women, it is so much more than a power suit and pumps. I really can't explain it, I just find it beautiful. Maybe that look, wanting to be beautiful like those women in veils with bright, intelligent eyes and a confident, assured manner is one of the reasons I wanted to be a nun. Even when I left the Catholic church and started on my pagan path as a teenager, the thought of joining a convent never really left me. I used to say "I'd be a nun except I'd have to be Catholic." In many ways, that's still largely true. A lot of people who choose to follow their faith's doctrine for modest dress say they do so because they felt called to do so. Some part of their faith - God, angels, something - told them that was their path. And they felt more like themselves once they accepted it. At this point in my life, I have come to the understanding that I have been called to veil for most of my life.

This leads me to an interesting place. Having been firmly committed to my pagan spirituality for near 20 years, I know the drive to veil has been nagging at me for longer than that. There are always excuses for making the change. I have a rather narrow-minded, power suit and pumps wearing, Christian boss, and a "no hats other than for religious reasons" policy in the company. I tried seven or eight years ago to cover my hair at work with something like a prayer cap. My manager asked about it, I said it was a spiritual choice. She tolerated it on the day to day, but when clients came to tour the office, I was told to remove it. So I gave up. Why do I let my boss, who has zero understanding of my spiritual drives, dictate when my choice of dress is not appropriate? I don't know. A lack of confidence, maybe. The trouble I've found is that there really is no pagan equivalent to veiling or modest dress. There is no passage like I Timothy or I Corinthians or the tzniut in paganism with guidelines and rules. In fact, many pagans take that Western approach and think the practice is exactly the opposite of what paganism is. I've even spoken to other pagans, one a former Quaker, who have run into the same problems I have. We would veil, except that we don't want to be mistaken for following some religious doctrine that we don't actually follow. This is mostly out of respect for those doctrines and why those women veil, and additionally to avoid the notion that veiling is oppression. As pagans, we wouldn't have the "for religious reasons" fall back when someone says that way of dress is against the rules (as in my office).

I brought up this topic that I started and left unfinished years ago because I've recently been led to do some more research  and I found that there actually are a good deal of pagans out there who veil. Everyone who makes the choice does so for their own reasons, of course, but the basis for most seems to be that they feel called to do it. That there is no pagan equivalent to veiling isn't entirely true. Hestia is a veiled goddess. As is Vesta, her Roman counterpart, and Frigga, and Persephone, and Brigid, and Isis, and many others. One article I came across led me to another and another and another and I am very encouraged to be finding so much information and accounts on pagan veiling. I know now I've been called to it for years, and the more I resist, the louder it gets. The sensei who taught me Reiki recommended covering my head because, as a Reiki master, my crown chakra is always open to accept the energy of the universe, and thus the energy of everyone around me. That was the reason for the spiritual choice to wear a cap at work that I have already mentioned. I gave up on it then and it's been nagging at my mind ever since. Within the last year or so, I started wearing a hood I made in ritual celebrations, and I feel a resonance within my practice when I do. I have worn a skirt to work every day for more than a year as my own little mini modest dress. But a veil or head covering, that's what I really feel drawn to, at least in certain situations. One of the main ones is work, and I still think I'd need to get permission somehow. Would they need a letter from my ministers? Is it enough to just say it is required of my faith (my own, personal faith, of which no one in the world has ever followed or would ever follow after me)? I feel encouraged by my recent research. Encouraged, but still resisting. I'm still letting others control this thing that I've needed to do for most of my life.    

My thoughts on this subject do not end here. Over the next few posts, I want to look at the practice of modest dress as a whole, which in this context will include veiling, and also the many reasons people might choose it. Modesty means different things to different people. I also want to look at the negative side. A friend of mine coincidentally shared someone's blog entry just today related to this, but I will save sharing that until I get to that part of the topic.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just Discression

I've mostly kept things that pertain to my faith off of this blog. I had another one for that, actually, tied to one of my websites. But I never kept up with it as well as I should have.

The reason for the separation was, at first, out of fear. Most people have a reaction, a judgement, if one announces one is a pagan. It's not something most of us wear on our sleeves. Tied to the same reason was that I worried about what my family would think of me. Later on, it just became a way to keep my regular, every day life separate from an aspect of myself that is deeply personal. Then I slowly started putting things into the regular blog, like holiday wishes or the Gratitude Project, and those edges started to blur, and now I see that none of my reasons for the segregation are admissible anymore.

One is that I really don't care how complete strangers judge me. I've been on my faith path for almost twenty years, certainly longer than I've had this blog. If my readers don't know the kind of person I am, or if they think suddenly knowing my faith changes who I am, they can go follow some other blog. Of my family, most of them know. For some, we kind of adopt a 'don't ask, don't tell' approach. For all of them- none of them actually read my blog. So, no big deal! The last reason, keeping my faith and my every day life separate, I've since learned is an impossibility. My faith is a part of my everyday life and I can no sooner separate the two than I can take off my own hand when I'm not using it.

Well, my websites are down for the count and the associated blog got more spam than it ever had readers anyway. So, it's all going to come together. I'll be copying over some posts from the other blog that I want to save and I'll stop censuring myself with regards to my faith here.

So, in case you missed it:

I am a pagan!  

Neo-pagan is probably a more accurate term, but I don't self-identify with it. I consider myself eclectic with very strong Hermetic and Wiccan influences. Sometimes, I will even say I am Wiccan, but that's not completely accurate. Paganism is a unique faith in that it has as many denominations as it has practitioners  My path is my own and it is constantly changing and evolving, as well it should.

I just wanted to let you know, dear readers, in case you see me start spouting some crazy pagany stuff and wonder where it comes from!