So I get to be school project for my sister-in-law, known here as “Sis”. I’m her Cultural Immersion Project. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? We’re both American women of European decent aged within 3 years of one another – can we really have different cultures? Simply, yes. You see, Sis more so than my Joshwa has stayed close to the evangelical life of their mother’s family and I may very well be the very first Pagan Sis has ever met! We’ve known each other for 7 years now, but until recently, we weren’t really close; and there are some who would say that we still aren’t “close” because we don’t talk every day and live a few hours apart (and possibly very soon, even more than a few) – but they can kiss my butt. I adore Sis and I’m proud to see her coming into her own in getting to know herself separately from the family (they have serious issues with enmeshment – I’m able to recognize enmeshment because I see it in my own family). We’re a heck of a lot closer than I am with the sister I grew up with (whom I’m not really on speaking terms with currently) and we’re both happy with our relationship.
Now, Sis has known most of the time we’ve known each other than I’m a Pagan. I was living as an out Pagan when Joshwa and I met and I met Sis, their mother, aunt, and grandmother. Of course, Joshwa was no bigger on talking about…well, much of anything…with them than he is now; so it stayed a secret to them for a while and I’m not entirely sure when they found out since they never asked me directly. But in the time that Sis has known I was a Pagan, we’ve only had very surface discussion about the fact that I wasn’t a Christian. It hasn’t been a problem and we’ve spent more time working on our relationship as sisters than to talk politics and religion – in fact, she thought that I was a Wiccan. (I still have no idea where this came from, but she isn’t the first person in the family to assume when I said “Pagan” I meant “Wiccan”, lol) So it has made me a prime candidate for her project.
She’s learning literally from scratch about Paganism, which I’m sure was a little overwhelming with spotty reception and two girls who aren’t fond of sharing their mom. (my nieces, btw? freaking adorable) Now, as anyone who has approached Paganism from Christianity will recall, that is a LOT of topics to touch on in a single phone conversation! There are so many things that are taken for granted within the Pagan community – like the fact that (at least) MOST of us understand there is a difference between Hollywood magic and mundane magic (bahahahahaha, what an oxymoron! but you know what I mean). Now imagine all the things you learned over time being dumped on you in about a 2 hour time frame. Yeah. Sis deserves a medal for not only taking in everything I was telling her but actually asking intelligent questions. Heck, I’ve been on this path going on 15 years (been working on wrapping my head around that one for a few weeks now) and I don’t always ask intelligent questions when I suddenly find myself drowning in new information. You know, like the last few months as I learn how to be a true(hard) Polytheist.
So, that’s fun. It makes me even more glad I’ve put the effort into this blog (okay, okay, I know not as much of late) to put down my beliefs and examine them more closely. I still rambled and gave answers that I wasn’t always 100% sure she was able to understand. Of course, if you’ve read…well anything on this blog, you’ll know that rambling isn’t exactly something I can help. I didn’t do well in Public Speaking 101, either. ^__^ Mad props to Sis for taking this on and being willing to hear me out when I know her own beliefs aren’t necessarily compatible with my own.