I am currently living in North Florida but I plan on moving soon to North Mississippi. Where I live is mostly considered the bible belt and where I'm moving to seems to be the same way. I usually keep to myself and find people I can connect to online.
And my question is: How do you as a pagan, if you are living in a small town where the majority is Christian, deal with living there? Are you open about your religion? And how do you find like minded people? What are the challenges?
I live in a small town here in East Tennessee, its mostly Christian and you run the risk of running into holier than thou's while grocery shopping at our one little grocery store. But for the most part, its not bad. I just don't talk religion with anyone. Around here its not "do you go to church" its "where do you go to church". I just say that I don't go and leave it at that. I try not to engage and I've got pretty good at giving off the "end the topic now" vibe. I found my pagan community through meetup.com. Started going to some of the monthly public meetings and got to know people from there. The sad part is that no one lives in my town, so I have to travel up to an hour to do anything, but, its well worth it IMO. I've made some very close friends that I trust wholeheartedly.
I think some of the challenges are that, it can seem kinda lonely at times. If we can't make the trip then we have to stay home. Not really anyone around here to do anything with. And you do have to find ways to deal with people who want to "help" you, BUT, in a small town you eventually get to know who those people are and how to avoid them.
Meet up and witchvox are two very good ways of finding other pagans with in a hundred miles of you.
Day to day living, well I simply keep it in the family. My next door neighbors do not know my religion, and have never even asked. I do believe there was a passing comment when I first moved in about the local churchs and I said I would have to drive many miles to have fellowship with my choosen path and that was that.
The lonely thing, well there is always PS!
ive lived in west texas for five years now, planning on moving because we are feed up with this area. midland texas is widely and outspokenly christian. its hard to speak your mind about your beliefs without someone bashing you because of your open minds. my husband and i because of his religious preference of christ follower(i dont call him christian because to me most Christians that label themselves as such are hypocritical and dont follow the bible but just go to church to feel good) well we tried a few churchs upon our dismay and couldnt find one that wasnt a complete waste of time. they would literealy find something to bash one about no matter if it wasnt or was in the bible. So upon my husbands request we stopped going to church, he feels like as a christian he would learn more from his family and friends and life by living with God and for God day to day than hanging out with those who only live so on the weekends. our biggest issue was that the pastor bitched him out for working on sunday.-.- his job is sporadic and pays well, being an event tech he has to work some sundays to set up concerts for monday and other events sometimes church events...which is why it irked him off that the pastor would say such a thing. he and i do bible studies and he leaves me be when im doing my spell work. we have made no real friends and have found that most of the people that live here would rather drink and party and go back to church for forgiveness than live their life in a manner pleasing to their gods..whoever they may be. the pagan friends we have made here have many times tried to split us apart or assume because my husband and i like to hang out with each other that it means we are open to threesomes....which we arent. nothing wrong with it, just not for us.
so far we havent meet any like minded people which is why we are moving back to his moms house upon the news of our new nephew due in october. he has several job offers and we are literally depressed because we cant find anyone to hang out with. its hard to find friends when married, what i mean by this is it has been hard on us to find any couple friends besides those in family. those who want to be our friends dont understand that my husband and i are best friends and when he hangs out on his off time he takes me along and he does the same to me unless i dont feel well, then mostly he ends up cancelling his plans.
it also i have noticed bugs the shit out of his single friends that we set up date nights to go out and just be him and i alone. with both our schedules sometimes its impossible for us to see one another unless we are in bed sleeping. this has been our challenge to find friends who respect our relationship.
his family has just started after 5 years to realize that he and i enjoy each others company...which i dont see why we wouldnt its why we got married...lol
at first they blew up at him saying she needs to stop clinging to you, my parents would say the same thing to me...but after awhile they realized we are miserable without being close to one another.
now if i could actually find a friends who didnt grow jealous of what i have with my husband and didnt mind him hanging around without them thinking both of us are available that would be great.
Midland??? You are 'bout in the middle of BFE Nowhere, ain't ya? I grew up in San Angelo. I now live in the DFW area.
You said you're moving...Where to?
down to houston area with family, mom in law is trying to find a house big enough for our own spaces. my husbands family makes me feel like a real family its great! :)
NICE!! DAVIDS fam too,just like the WALTONS......lots of diversity and fun
wow i can't imagine being a pagan near the bible belt..... yeah if your not happy i suggest you to move to your mothers ... i hope you find more pagan friends... and maybe his new job will give him a similar work schedule... so you two can spend time with each other.
i really hope he doesnt have the same schedule but a normal one...he works late hours as an event tech and hardly get time together in the evenings. but thanks!
I have NO issues living in VIRGINNY.......
A sense of humor,smiling and being helpful.I'm good buds with my neighbor the Judge and talk to REV Delores who has the church down the road.....It is ALL about liking you,yourself first, and how you present you......I'm in the South,VIRGINNY...I talk to anyone,anytime,if they wish. i've invited neighbors to our fire pit,I've done readings,down spells for lost pets,displaced kids,I'm open friendly and enjoy me. My DAVID uis a retired USAF MAJ,so I live in upper middle class Cul de sac.....I'm me.....Try Witches Voice too,local meet ups where yiu are. i get involved in "stuff" too,so they see me as me......not just the wilde black haired witch in the big house......but I dont take me so serious,you know?
hello i am kasey. just joined this website yesterday.... yell though i don't live on the bible belt .....i still have a little bit trouble in my area.... the local pagan metaphysical shop closed like 2 years ago .... it was the only place out local pagans got together to celebrate some of our sabbaths. our local stone store ..... took away their coolest stones. and the one bookstore with the most new age books in the area closed down .....i started noticing a while back that the new age books in other book store were no only hard to find but they only had like 5 or 10 some more relating to ghosts and faries or angels not magick or spells or shamanism. at work we get the church group on sundays that come in .... that constantly had out cards on jesus...whoblah, whoblah, whoblah! and i always have people handing them to me saying i hope you make it to heaven..... then they aways ask me what church i go to? I go to the Unitarian Universalist Association....then i get .." that aint a religion and .... i have to learn to bit my tounge cause then all i want to say it ....." well then welcome to the New Age." its on it way of being a religion... just like wicca it has to be approved my the goverment before it can be reconized as a religion. For those that are wondering what the Unitarian Universalism is ....its where all religions meet ... on one basic idea that the is something out there and we have a good understanding of good and bad ... and you can share your religious ideas with those from other religions with out judgement. anyway the point is that this happens every sunday..... you know i wonder how they would feel if pagans were as persistent as they are. how would they feel if we pushed are religion on them and rejected their beliefs and told them that they are wrong or mislead... and that they are going to go to hell... or that some deity that they don't even believe in like thoth or isis is going to take their souls.... the truth is we DON'T DO THAT!!! SIMPLY BECAUSE WE DON'T BELIEVE IN CONVERTING PEOPLE OR JUDGING THEM FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE!!!!! OR CHANGING THE RULES!!! what makes me mad is they don't see our point of view and do they try . because that would make them wrong! because if look at paganism and research stuff like Alchemy, and the crusade and the church during the crusades.... there lies some of the truth about the sciences that exist, parts of the bible that don't exist .... history about why is most the world christian and why it is inforced ..... Christians (people) are afraid of what they don't understand or what might crush what they believe.