I’ve recently written a few posts about everyday Pagans, or, as I like to call them, EDPs. Most American Pagans are really pretty “normal” people.
You couldn’t pick them out of a crowd as Pagans because they look and dress a lot like everyone else. They get up and go to work, or work at home raising a family, or go to school. They’re parents, nurses, doctors, lawyers, computer programers, landscape designers, psychologists, insurance claims processors, graphic artists, librarians, retail clerks. They live in urban centers and the surrounding suburbs. They have aged parents, partners, kids, neighbors, and pets. They vote, join the local book club, help organize the local food drive, foster rescued animals, donate to the local blood drive, jog with the early-morning workout crew, and can be passionate about a sports team, tv series, or some local band.
I’d love to see local Pagan Pride organizers (and others — bloggers, I’m looking at you!) focus more attention on EDPs (and much less, which is to say almost zero, attention trying to engage with the meme that we worship Satan or are evil. Quit reinforcing those stereotypes by arguing against them.) If we’re talking Pagan Pride, we should be proud to highlight our local Pagan firefighters, students, athletes, veterans, business owners, involved parents, etc.
Here are a few EDPs who’ve shared their stories with me. How many EDPs can you find to spotlight?
MK is a dog groomer, voracious reader, and gardener. She’s been married to her husband for twenty-one years and lives outside of Philly with their two dogs and a cat. MK has been a Pagan for eighteen years, having left Catholicism because of “the hypocrisy of the Church’s teachings vs. Jesus’ words and example.” Her boss’ wife suggested that she read Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and MK says that it changed her life forever. She’s out of the Broom Closet to her friends and family, except for her husband’s very conservative Catholic parents.
She’s now in a small coven with her two best friends, working with Sekhmet, and reports that she couldn’t be a happier person.
Rudi is thirty-three years old and works at a local hospital, generating birth certificates for newborns babies. S/he lives with hir parents because the hospital job doesn’t provide enough income. Like millions of Americans, Rudi is looking for a different job that would allow hir to move away from home and be financially independent.
Rudi says that, “I’ve always been Pagan, just didn’t always know it, and before that I was ‘weird.’ In high school, I read Scott Cunningham’s The Truth About Witchcraft Today, and never looked back. I’ve been reading and studying ever since, though I haven’t always been the best at daily practice.”
While Rudi doesn’t generally go around announcing that s/he’s Pagan, hir family and friends know. Some co-workers know, as well. Rudi explains that, “I understand why many people have to stay in the broom closet, I’ve just never been very good at hiding who I am, and I’ve given up.”
Thefirstdark is twenty-three years old and explains that she’s “a triple minority – I’m a woman, I’m black, and I am Pagan. I enjoyed [a post about EDPs], it helps us know there are a lot of others like myself, and help us to network with others in our area (or online!).”