A letter from a Craft sister in Texas
A job transfer had moved us 1200 miles. The hardest thing to
deal with was the isolation. No one in our home Circle had
contacts in the new town. Instead of lessons twice a month, and
the loving safety net of our circle, we had each other, phone
calls, and homesick letters. We were suddenly involuntary
solitaires. We had to find new ways to deal with things.
Holidays, once filled with an extended family of 25 or more, are
a trifle flat when the turkey only has to feed two. So we
volunteered to work at a charity dinner for senior citizens, and
I wore my pentagram tucked inside my shirt. As I was pouring
coffee for one of the guests, it fell out.
She: "Is that what I think it is?" (pointing)
Me: "Yes, Ma'am."
She: "But if you're a...I mean... What are you doing here?"
Me: "My religion teaches me to value and respect others;
and the elderly are our memories."
She nodded and went back to her meal. Next time someone tries to
tell her that witches are evil, it will be my face she remembers.
Finally we met another group, and shared a Circle for the first
time in months. It felt like coming home. Later, it turned out
one of our newfound friends knew a lonely solitary in our home
town. In the same city where we know four covens, countless
solitaires, and a rich Pagan social life, she is alone. She
can't find anyone, and the isolation is painful.
Excuse me while I get on my soapbox.
This has gone on long enough. I am tired of hearing the Lady's
name spoken in whispers. I am tired of pretending, tired of
hiding, sick unto death of knowing Pagan parents must teach their
children to hide. As I write, it is March '87. I am about to
put to paper my favorite "gee-if-only." Indulge me. Join me.
Let it begin small. The first year, we will all agree on some
recognition symbol; a green button. Anytime you see someone else
wearing a blank green button, you'll know this person is a fellow
Pagan, one who has read this and shares the dream. (I hope
you'll share it as well: start by finding someone with a button-
maker, and become your local supplier.) Anytime you see someone
wearing a blank green button, give them your name and address and
get theirs too. This is called "networking" _ and suggest they
send their address also to us at "Come from the Shadows".
Pass the word. Every time you talk to a friend who's in the
Craft, share the dream. Make sure they get a button, too.
The second year we change our blank buttons for ones that say
"I.P.T." That's the easy part. We only intensify our work.
Kindred, our neighbors are afraid of us. It is a fear born of
misinformation and it will continue only as long as we permit it.
The second year we work to raise public awareness, challenging
stereotypes. That means we all get to do our part, with articles
like this, with letters to the editor politely responding to
silly Halloween articles, and with volunteer work. We walk a
Path that teaches the Threefold Law; let's start putting some
time, energy, and love into our towns. Answer the crisis phone
line, visit the elderly, donate books on the Craft to the
library, become an active member of your community.
And in your spare moments, print and distribute the buttons for
the big day. Let's dream big: let's plan on Winder Solstice of
1990. The buttons would be available all the preceding year at
our rituals, bookstores, lectures, etc., distributed and put away
until the appointed time.
Here's my dream, see it with me.
She's a para-legal, and after three years of preparation, she's
still very scared. Meditation helps. She pins the button, kept
on her alter for months, to her blouse. Her phone rings. A
friend across the city needs encouragement. Reassuring him
reassures her. She walks out to her car with her head held high.
He's a telephone lineman. He pins the button on his workshirt,
helps his second-grader pin one on as well. "Let's do it," he
says, and they smile. from the door, his wife calls, "Good
A couple exchange kisses in the driveway. The buttons clatter
together. He gets into his car, headed for the shipyard. She
drives the other way, headed for the university.
They aren't alone. Winter Solstice has dawned bright and clear,
and across the country every Pagan we could reach in three years
is taking part. This is the day it all pays off, the networking,
the community work, the countless rituals for healing and
understanding. It's solstice Morning and they have walked out of
their doors to go about their daily routine wearing buttons that
I'm Pagan too!
Come from the Shadows
How many? Estimates of the number of Pagans in this country
vary, but thousands at the very least. Can you see it?
The para-legal and the parking attendant exchange shocked
glances. The telephone lineman takes a service call and the
farmer who answers the door is wearing a button. His wife gives
her "extra" button to a woman in the grocery store _ a solitaire,
somehow missed by the networking efforts, she is close to tears
when she realizes that she is not alone. The shipyard engineer
counts buttons in rush hour traffic, while his wife loses count
on campus before lunch.
The media go crazy, interviewing people all over the place. The
public are suddenly aware of the Pagans in their midst, not as
isolated freaks but as a group. We are not the faceless enemy --
we are their neighbors, their coworkers. We are their league
coaches, their Red Cross volunteers. We are citizens concerned
about our towns, our country, our planet. We are contributing to
the care of our fellow wo/man and asking for the right to worship
as we choose.
We are the children of the Earth and the Sky come home, re-
claiming our right to walk in the sunlight. "Enough. It is
Pleas send comments, suggestions, etc. to:
Come from the Shadows, c/o B.C. Fogle
2041 1st Street East #118, RAFB, Texas 78150