It is typical that, when something is a big part of your life, you tend to be proud of if and want to show it off - you know the deal. Well this applies to myself and Paganism; I am proud to be who I am, I am proud of what I believe, and I also happen to think that I have the right to be proud of it.
Therefore, I try to always wear my pentacle necklace, and sometimes my pentacle earings.
Above: one necklace pendant I own
(NOTE: although these are not MY images, the resemble exactly what I have)
Below: necklace and earings I have
Who would think there was a problem with that? I'm not trying to rub it in people's faces, and I'm not wearing it for any reason or person other than myself. I wear it to remind myself of the Law of Three, I wear it to help myself think clearly and have a pagan mindset throughout my day.
(Of course there was a 'but' coming) Since I started wearing them, it has typically prompted questions from others who don't know what it means. No problem, and I try to answer... however, every time 'Pagan' comes up, their perception of me seems to chance. In their eyes, I seem to either turn into a tree-hugging, pot-smoking hippie, someone belonging to a cult, or someone who worships Satan and is therefore evil or insane. All common perceptions. And all unfair perceptions, as most of us don't fit those stereotypes.
I have become, within my school, "the freaky witch girl" because someone thought being Pagan meant worshiping Satan and practicing Witchcraft, and the word quickly spread.
In a different situation, a Christian boy (I am not say this could be said for all Christians! Just this one I met) at a volunteer RDA (Riding Disabled Association) I went to for a while, asked what the sign meant. As soon as the word Pagan left my lips, he accused me of devilworship and witchcraft. After that, he wouldn't come near me...
And though I can't remember why, I remember I'd given up trying to talk to the group of people and was leaving, and this boy, who had so promptly judged me, attempted to scewer me with a pitchfork from behind!
Not only did it hurt my body, it hurt my mind. What sort of world do we live in, if a boy litterally attacks a girl (with a pitchfork!) for her beliefs?
This judgement is not fair. It is not kind. Yet it still exists.
I've been told, "just don't wear the necklace then!". But WHY shouldn't I? I have a right! Just as any Christian has the right to wear a cross. Just like any Catholic is allowed to wear their Saint Christopher. The fact that simply wearing a necklace, that my beliefs, could have me attacked, shunned, and victimized is despicable. What is wrong with the world?
Further more, in my school: no jewelry is permitted, except in the form of a religious symbol. Christians may wear crosses, Maori's may wear greenstones, and Catholics their Saint Christopher, etc. etc. BUT whenever a teacher spots MY religious symbol, I am told to either remove it and put it in my bag, or be sent home and have a detention. How is THAT for biased?
So, here is my message. Be proud of who you are. Stand up for yourself, and don't be afraid to tell people what you believe.
Wait - isn't that exactly what I just said got me bullied? Yes it is. BUT (always with the "but"s!) if enough of us are doing this, and enough of us are strong enough, eventually the word will get out, and eventually we will be counted. Don't back down - don't let the teachers tell you that you don't have a right to show your beliefs if others can. Just be strong.
We cannot let the world think they can shun us, and put us down. We count as much as they do.
Further reading and links: