Some of my Coven-mates have a running joke about me, which I love for its wit, humor, and silliness for which they are known to engage in on occasion. It is something I have brought up in conversation with other friends of mine almost anytime the conversation turns to raising children. As I have mentioned, I have kids and am raising them involved in spirituality. I think it is a disservice not to; the trick is to let them lead and not to force their path, beliefs, or ideas. A very difficult line to walk, but one I am willing to attempt to do so. But I digress. It is also well known that I am a second generation Contemporary Pagan myself, which brings us to the joke.
There are not many second-generationers in my age group. Oh, we exist, I am proof of such and I know a handful of others. So the joke is that when I am in a group of Contemporary Pagans, that I am like some mysterious unheard of creature… like a unicorn… just hanging out in the room trying to ‘fit in.’ Unless discussion turns towards raising children my uniqueness in that area is not something I notice. Whether we are upon this path because of birth or by conversion we are all of equal standing and worth; no special status for me just because of the circumstance of blood.
In fact the only time I am ever really aware of any small difference is when it comes to conversion stories. Most Contemporary Pagans have one. For some it is a slow meandering wondering where they just landed upon our little island in the sea of spirituality, and for others it is a cataclysmic storm that cast them ashore soaked, shivering, and with nothing but memories of the turmoil that cast them overboard. These stories are a bonding point around which our community grows from and shares. It has been this way for a long time, but it is changing. I have no story and neither do my kids or the many kids I see running amuck at festivals. I’m just going to say we as a community have this whole fertility religion thing down.
I’m not upset about not having a story. I am happy not having one, and if ever I have one then I will be happy with it and the journey that lead me astray. It happens. Life happens. I have elders, from who I learned about my Gods and Goddesses growing up, who are no longer Contemporary Pagans. I am happy for them. They were called and they answered. May I be so courageous if ever I am called by such unfamiliar voices!
So why then do I bother bringing up the joke and conversion story bit? Because I was reminded of something empowering a couple of days ago in regards to it. I admit that I was schooled by a ten year old girl, who without meaning to gave me a lesson of reflection. As happens from time to time the topic of conversion was brought up and it was pointed out that I was the only one in the group that was not a convert, a unicorn we joked. Nay, we, as adults do far too frequently, had over looked the shop owner’s daughter. Quickly apologies were said and she was declared a member of the unicorn club. However; here is where the schooling took place. She simply stated, “I don’t want to be a unicorn. I’m a dragon.”
In a single instance, I had been handed a tasty morsel of contemplation. We, all of us, you, me, and everyone else too, can choose for ourselves the nature and form for which we want to take. Each of us in our own manner is a fantastical beast from myth and lore. More importantly, we are free to decide which one/s we will be kith and kin to. We can be a dragon, or an ogre, a unicorn, an elf, a goblin, or any other creature of tale, new or old, that allows us to express our inner most selves. This is something I have long known but in that moment it was a lesson in not defining the roles of others but to instead focus upon the wondrous being at our center and to let it shine forth a star. Together we are a constellation that depicts grand tales across the celestial sea, a reflection of the divine story of our Lady and our Lord. Something the dragon in the room reminded me to remember.
"Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path."