Practical ways to co-exist

Gainful employment is a reality for most Druids. This forum is a place to discuss challenges and opportunities facing Druids in the workplace.
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wolf560
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Practical ways to co-exist

Postby wolf560 » 21 Jan 2011, 19:12

I have long told all of my workmates that I am "a Celtic Shaman".
I do so because I am not one to hide (or want to keep things invisible) in the place where I spend a great deal of my life. I feel that if they are allowed to have statues or devices that proclaim their beliefs I should be able to as well.

I discovered early on that certain words were "worse" than others;
Witch- Sorceror- Warlock- Non-Believer- Magic- Spells- Coven- etc.

Each of these names conjure (LOL) up images of all things evil & nasty....

I chose the following words and have used them for years now;
Shaman, Druid, Inspiration, Gnosis, Reverence, Study Groups, etc.

Each of these names are easy and innocuous and are not 'harmful' to most....
Amazingly enough, it actually inspired many people to ask me what it meant and that offered me the chance to let them see how nice my path was. People began to inquire more about everything and soon I had people telling me that they were 'Witches' and Pagans as well. They were thanking me for bringing a "Good impression" to their beliefs.

Unfortunately most of these people also asked me not to tell their fellow workers....
Perhaps if they had begun using other words for their beliefs they might have been able to "come out of the Broom Closet" as well?



I don't really NEED to be called a "Druid" versus a "Celtic Shaman" and if these words both became a problem I would simply call myself whatever worked among my colleagues. It is my 'Path' and the name of that path or my name within it that truly matters....
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Badger Bob » 21 Jan 2011, 20:32

There are two things at work here by the looks of it. Preconceptions based on the words used, words which most folk only hear in newspaper scare stories or in the rantings of less ecumenically minded preachers and pre-judging a person by how they first appear. Fortunately in the UK it is considered gauche (at best) to bring up the subject of religious beliefs at work so I generally only share mine with the people I meet outside work and then it is in an atmosphere of shared interest among people I know well enough to trust. By the time I get to explain my path people know me well enough to realise that I'm not evil or some kind of pervert and that the most licentious revelries I get up to might involve nothing more scandalous that a bit of folk music and cider. By that time it is too late to spoil my first impression (like a tweed Bagpuss I'm told, a wise old saggy cloth cat for non-UK folks or those over 35) and so I am free to use pretty much what vocabulary I choose without causing injury to my image. There is a lot to be said for the gentle approach.

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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby DJ Droood » 21 Jan 2011, 20:43

It is funny, but I never have this conversation at work...in the work culture I am in, it seems kind of rude...it is almost like talking about your sexual preferences...nobody is really that interested, it is none of their business, and it doesn't do much to keep the widgets moving along the assembly line. My work experience is that talk is either about business, light general interest topics, American Idol, hockey and uncontroversial current events....to be honest, most of the people I work with don't seem very interested or knowledgeable about politics/religion.
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby wolf560 » 21 Jan 2011, 22:02

I guess I have had the pleasure (or pain perhaps) of always having people in my line of work that talk religion and politics. Then again, I do not work in an office atmosphere where I only interact with my co-workers a few hours a day. We tend to talk about a lot of things when were sitting around before (or after) a long patrol in the Afghan hills.

It has been said that a band of ten soldiers in combat will become closer than family in a relatively short time.....

Perhaps that is why we end up talking about religion and everything else amongst us.

That being said, only a very few become agitated enough to leave or try to convert others. But if you are the only Pagan among a large vocal group of Christians (or Muslims) it can get a bit lonely after awhile.

Its funny that I never felt lonely among Hindi, Shinto, or Native Americans...
They always welcomed me with open arms and were curious about my beliefs
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Huathe » 22 Jan 2011, 06:07

Only two people at my job know of my involvement in druidry. Both I trusted well enough for me to tell them and one actually said I would make a good druid. That is when I told him. Both are Christians.
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Badger Bob » 22 Jan 2011, 11:15

During my brief spell in the army all talk about religion and politics was forbidden. You need to be sure that the people shooting at you are in front of you...

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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Explorer » 22 Jan 2011, 12:27

By that time it is too late to spoil my first impression
I'm sure that could still change if you tell them that story about how you once cooked and ate part of your leg.
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Badger Bob » 22 Jan 2011, 14:19

That story is reserved for the very few people who get to see the scar. The scene is usually reminiscent of the bit before the shark hits the boat in Jaws :D

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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Mark B » 22 Jan 2011, 16:24

No one knows about my spiritual side at work or out of work for the matter. I would like to talk about such things but the people around me would not understand and take the piss :shrug: (work) or don't seem interested :where: (home and friends). It makes me feel quite lonely sometimes. I really should get out more and meet like minded people....
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Badger Bob » 22 Jan 2011, 17:06

Have you tried going to a moot Mark? You shouldn't have any trouble finding one within travelling distance from Purley. Even if you only go once in a while it can be good to meet up with others in an atmosphere where you can talk openly.

It can be a very disheartening experience to talk to your work colleagues only to be met with ridicule and scorn but it is often the norm these days.

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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby Susanne » 22 Jan 2011, 17:11

That story is reserved for the very few people who get to see the scar. The scene is usually reminiscent of the bit before the shark hits the boat in Jaws
Whoa, doesn't that make me curious....but then again, maybe not! :grin:

Where I work there are folks from all walks of life, economic & educational backgrounds... housekeepers, office staff, techs, RNs, MDs & surgeons.... I find it makes no difference where people fall in those groups as to how they react to my spirituality, which is very refreshing. I don't advertise it by any means but some of my coworkers know & as with any small workplace word seems to get around.
Luckily I live in a state that is very accepting of people's differences (for the most part) from the people who were born & raised here to the "transplants" that come to get away from the cities.
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby wolf560 » 22 Jan 2011, 21:28

Have you tried going to a moot Mark?
Here in the USA we sometimes use a service called "meetup.com".

I have had a lot of luck with these since you can wander in on a regular meeting and size up the type of people who are there. You can decide whether or not to introduce yourself and whether or not to ever return.

Here is the "London England Pagan Meetup section";
http://www.meetup.com/find/?keywords=lo ... Country=us
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Re: Practical ways to co-exist

Postby wolf560 » 22 Jan 2011, 21:31

Hmmmm... sorry... only one actual Meetup group ("London Spiritual Chat")

Try using different city names and different words in the search engine.
I used Druid-Witch-Pagan-Heathen-Coven-Spiritual and used Phoenix, Glendale, Maryvale, etc. (all the smaller towns names)ended up with about 15 meetings to choose from here.

Cheers..!!
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The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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2011 BS
Speakers Corner (Sep 2011) A lesson in the Ogham
Divination method; The Awen Stones

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