In response to my wife’s blog post (see http://hazelgishappy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/a-place-of-mutual-respect.html?m=1) this one of mine is from my point of view, here I will keep it short, it is a blog entry after all. Shameless plug time, I will expand on this aspect of our relationship in my book ‘A Path Laid Bare’, to be published November 2013, The Wolfenhowle Press.
When we met over 10 years ago, I did make Hazel aware of my spiritual side, although I do admit I was vague, my path is vague even to me as I don’t follow any particular established pagan traditions so there have never been any convenient label I can attach to my journey. What was something I could firmly explain is the life long connection with my goddess Selket, even so that was perhaps vague too. I left it open ended and happy to answer any questions should she have them.
Hazel at this time was undecided if she had or wanted a spiritual path, her sister of course I knew was a committed Christian so in a way there was some background, or familiarity with that particular path more than any other. I was happy to leave it at that, I’ve never been one to push my particular beliefs at anyone and unless you already know me, most people who encounter me will be blissfully unaware as I have never been fond of obvious trappings as I don’t have any to dangle in front of people. Not to say I’ve ever been trying to hide my path, on the contrary I am willing to discuss openly any aspect of my path for those that want to know, as mine tends towards all being in the mind through meditation, vitalisation and project, the witness my practices and the potential of Hazel to form any opinion about them were severely limited.
Over the following years we lived quite happily in Dover and with the birth of our children increasing interaction with the local community with things such as nursery school, play groups and school led Hazel to encounter many activities at a local community centre that is housed in a Christian centre. Slowly I could see the increasing interest and flicker of awaking spiritual needs. At first, and I will be quite honest here, I thought this could become a problem not knowing how others would react more than anything. We’ve been together long enough and both are well aware of each other to know if we are bad people or not, so I hoped that this would work out.
I needn’t have been concerned as it turned out as Hazel’s involvement and growth at that Church continued the lack of my appearance at services perhaps became apparent, and so my reasons had to really be explained. I was most surprised at the acceptance, yes there were a few curious glances especially at Hazel baptism that I attended, and other subsequent times I’ve been around others from the church I’ve felt their interest to understand what I do, although none have broached the subject for whatever reason.
In any case, the happiness that I saw Hazel gain from these experiences and the conversations comparing and contrasting each other’s beliefs has led to a deepening in our relationship, for there is much in common between a pagan and Christian path that many fail to notice and instead like to focus on the differences, usually because they want to use it as a weapon. It has and will continue to be a difference between us, but it will continue to unite us, for the occasions when Hazel comes home from church to excitedly explain that such and such experience she had, and I would agree and say yes, us pagans call that experience by another word and it is most wondrous isn’t it? That is what should be that binds all the faiths together and not the differences.
Our children go to a Church of England school, and Hazel takes them to Sunday school, that may suggest an undue influence but our boys have their own choices to make, if they see what Christianity has and at the opportunities that I have with them to explain a little of mine, they can make their choice when they feel they can. Sound understanding is vital no matter which path they finally choose as it will strength their own and provide an understanding of the others point of view.