Wiccan Friend

Just your friendly neighborhood Witch. Thoughts on Wicca, Witchcraft, Tarot, and Paganism today.

Tag Archives: Pagan

Thoughts on pagan business.

Or moreover, thoughts on being a pagan who owns a business.

I want to be clear that this is not an advertisement for my business.  I do not wish for my blog to turn into spam and certainly respect my subscribers more than that.

I feel really fortunate and proud to own a business.  I didn’t finish college, don’t know any trades, and have few marketable skills besides being a creative thinker type.  Actually I used to have on my resume “creative think tank” as a description of my skills.  Furthermore, I am proud to own a business which can really help people.  Without going into much detail and alerting Google’s crawlers, possibly outing myself, I teach people how to invest.  I myself hate numbers and was never good at math or technical things like math.  I am however good with people and love to flex the more creative side of my brain in building a business.  This is where my Brother and now business partner steps into the picture.

He is Baptist Minister with a degree in Theology who instead of having a congregation was called to help people through their finances.  I respect his decision to take a non-traditional approach to his faith a lot.  He, for some time now, has owned a financial planning business that doesn’t charge the client for his time.  Through everything he does the client never has to write him a check for his services, and then behind the scenes he works hard to get as many contracts with companies as he can as a free agent.  He wanted to start another company but needed help with the administration and creative side of things and asked me to jump on board.  We did a few months of planning then went live with our business a little over a year ago.  He still to this day does not know I’m a Pagan/Wiccan/Witch.

I am certainly proud of what I do for people.  I could rattle on for hours about it.  I just wish as a pagan that I could find someway to bring what I do to the pagan community.  My problem is with the target audience.  During the initial phase of our business planning we really wanted to narrow down who are our “5 pointers”, and what are the five points.  After a lot of research and debate we found out the answer to those questions and although I wasn’t shocked I did find myself disappointed.  Most of the people I know, and associate with, didn’t fit the target.  In fact the largest group of people who fit our target audience are Christian church-goers.  Truthfully it is not a bad demographic to have, but I constantly wish that I could use what I know to help the Pagan community along with my pagan friends.  I look at my business partner with envy sometimes because what he is able to provide for his friends, and fellow worshipers.

Right now I think there are Two major things that are holding me back from really approaching my fellow pagans as a target audience.

  1. Coming out to my Brother and Business Partner.  I know that if I were to start sending him business from unknown areas and avenues that he would eventually find out.  He talks about his faith a lot and doesn’t have a problem, like most Baptist Ministers, talking about that faith to strangers and asking about their views points and feelings.  I don’t think that he would ever turn business down when it comes to what someone’s religion is, but it would definitely get him into preacher mode.  I would feel horrible if he caused someone grief from a referral I sent his way.
  2. I feel like I might not be giving my fellow pagans due credit.  I feel sometimes that I am pigeon-holing pagans into a category that is based on my own bias.  They say to be successful in sales you have to spend 80% of your time in your target market.   Out of all of the pagans I know currently I really can only think of two that fit that target.  Am I maybe limiting what I can do by what I know and my own bias?  I think maybe I am.

I know people who can help people with everything financial in their life.  Credit, Insurance, Investments, Health Care, and Retirement are only a few of the things that I know the pagan community deals with just as much as any other community.  I get closer everyday to coming out of the Broom Closet with myself and my business.  It is starting to feel less of a choice and more of an obligation, especially since there is a lot of good I could do for people if I were more open.

Wastes… of all kinds.

Filing this one under canine wastes.  From the Associated Press.

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) – A smelly problem is piling at trails around Jackson where people go hiking and cross-country skiing with their dogs. How big is this problem? Bridger-Teton National Forest officials say they recently counted 173 piles of dog waste around just one trailhead.

The problem is so bad, it’s contributing to elevated bacteria levels in nearby streams.

District Ranger Dale Deiter said the situation is “not acceptable.” He’s promising to step up enforcement so people clean up their dogs’ acts.

Come on, really?  This is admittedly one of my pet peeves about dog owners.  No pun intended.

  • Heartworms
  • Whipworms
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Parvo
  • Corona
  • Giardiasis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • That is a list of disease spread through dog feces.  Guess what folks, some of those are zoonotic.  This means that they can pass from dog to humans.   True Story:  I worked with a gentleman at a dog boarding facility that contracted Giardia from one of the dogs at the facility.  He was sick for weeks, and when I say sick I mean in the worst way.  He could never be more than feet from the bathroom and wasn’t able to sleep while he was sick because he wouldn’t make it to the bathroom in time when he had another attack.  Cases like this are rare indeed but I really don’t wish the pain he went through on anyone.  Those most at risk are going to be other dogs and children.  Check out a good veterinary article about Dogs and Zoonotic disease here.

    Speaking of the Earth and waste I wanted to take a moment to show a wonderful website.  Have you ever been driving somewhere and seen someone litter but not had the courage or opportunity to say something about it.  Often I yell out the window at other motorist but have found they not only do they not hear me but often assume I am not saying anything nice.  At times, that may causes a more dangerous situation then someone throwing out a plastic cup or flicking their cig onto the shoulder of the highway, but don’t get me starting on flicking cigarettes out your window.  Lets just hope this helps that problem.  Let me introduce you to www.litterbutt.com. If you live in the states of PA, TX or NC when you report someone using Litterbutt.com the person reported will receive a letter from the State notifying them they were caught littering and fines for littering, though no fine levied.  Maybe it will convince them that people are watching and it is not ok to throw trash onto the side of the road.

    The third and final waste is one of human life.  Recently the Wild Hunt reported on what has to be the years, possibly the decades, most hypocritical tweets from Colorado Springs Senator Dave Schultheis.  Please read the original post to support the Wild Hunt here.  In response I can say this.  The reason why so many Christians will find what was said ok is the sad simple fact that the large majority of Christians believe that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ.  Therefore if you have not accepted Christ as your Savior then you are in serious trouble.  It really means that those of other faiths start off on a bad foot.  After all if the pagan community really is a lesser faith then I guess it doesn’t matter if you treat them badly.  We are already damned to them.  I really don’t believe he thought he was being hypocritical.  He was just representing Christianity the best he knew how… poorly.  Although, I can’t say I don’t have a bias against Christianity I can certainly say that I don’t hate Christians.  I do hate this kind of hateful attitude towards pagans.  I only hope that people realize this is not a reason to hate Christians just Senator Schultheis and others like him who continue to put down groups and people they know nothing about.  Make Love, not Hate.

    Blessed Be fellow pagans and christians.  My heart aches for us all.

    My meeting with a High Priest and High Priestess

    Friday turned out to be just a crazy good day.  My business made a good deal of money, I got a lot of work done, and after work went to a meeting with the HPS and HP of a coven named Rose Hollow.  Amber and Eric were such a nice surprise.  I really did go into this meeting with no expectations and was just glad to meet a fellow pagan.

    My wife and I are currently looking for a Wicca 101 class.  We are at the point in our lives where we are craving some religious structure and find it hard to find that on our own.  We also are looking for pagan friends.  Our experience with having non-pagan friends has not turned out good so far, but that is a whole other post.

    So, in the rain and through busy Dallas rush hour traffic we drove to a Starbucks and made a connection.  It is weird but afterwards I discovered that I might just have a prejudice against pagans.  I know this because I was so relieved that that Amber and Eric were normal and truly down to earth people.  I don’t know exactly what I was so surprised by but I remember thinking afterwards just how cool and honest they seemed.  It was also refreshing to hear that a Pagan group is active in the community.  Rose Hollow appearently does a good deal of charity for the area.  The HPS even told this story how they donated to a local church that they knew needed help with their coat and blanket drive recently.  In my head I am saying to myself, “Woah, that takes a real want to help someone,” but in actuality I just tried to play it cool.  I didn’t want to seem overly eager to be apart of this coven.  I have to keep reminding myself to hold back and be objective, but  I know that these guys are a good fit because of something I learned from the real estate business.  If during the visit to a property the potential buyers are already making plans and envisioning themselves in the property then they have already made a decision.  In my head I could already see myself banging a drum at ritual and think about what I was going to wear.

    The initial meeting turned out well and we were invited to their Imbolc ritual here in February.  We are excited to get to know the rest of the coven.  I know even though I could get along with the HP and HPS that it is important that I get to know the rest of the Coven before making any definite decisions.  So far, so good.

    Birth of a Pagan

    The story of where, who, and how I became a Pagan.

    Where:

    I grew up on a farm in a small Texas town of about 13k people.  We raised sheep, chickens, rabbits, and had many other pets like horses, dogs, cats, etc…  On our property there was a small grove of pecan trees, a cedar maze, and a small but delightful section of woods.  I feel fortunate that we were able to live in a place to do things I don’t think most people get to do.  We would seasonally work the land.  Early winter was pecan season, spring time meant taking the sheep to market and seed the fields.  Summer was full of firefly, squash, and wild berries.  Fall always produced the most amazing tomatoes.  The secret to a perfect fresh off the vine tomato is that it has to get below 75 degrees at night.  It is almost like we had our own eco-system and life cycle right on the farm.  It came at the cost of lots of long hours and spent weekends working outside and tending to various farm projects.  This wonderful and magical place gave me such a deep respect and connection to nature.  Later as I grew up I came to realize how important this place was to me.

    Who:

    My father was a tough man.  He was reserved and wrathful.  I still to this day do not truly know the man.  I only know what he is like.  The gifts I got from him and the lessons he taught me, knowingly or not, are invaluable.   He taught me life is tough and unfair.  For some people it is a constant struggle, and others just a series of lessons and ways to gain experience.  He showed me what hard work is and defined suffering.  He was the example of sacrifice and provided well for his family.  Don’t misunderstand he was a horrible Dad and had little to do directly with my journey into manhood, but I still was able to learn and grow.  And unknowingly that was his greatest gift to me.  The understanding that any situation I am in, as long as I am still alive I can change it.  That became the basis of my introduction into Witchcraft.

    How:

    I was raised Lutheran.  That is a denomination of the Christian faith.  Even from a young age I never felt like I belonged in the Church.  There was too much that wasn’t addressed and I knew that I didn’t agree with all of it.  The things I loved about the Lutheran faith kept me coming back.  The music, the weekly ritual, the symbolism.   I might have gone somewhere else but I was ignorant to what was out there.  Though I didn’t agree with all of it I wanted to know why, so I think that I made a very good choice.  I started working for the Church.  In my mid teens I starting helping with Sunday school and made an effort to be more involved.  It was my secret that I was evaluating and coming to terms with what I believed is my best religious path.  When I turned 18 I wasn’t sure if I was Christian, but was offered a paying job as the youth minister of my church.  I shouldn’t have agreed to it.  I should have been honest with the Pastor and told him that I was unsure about my Christian faith, but I saw the opportunity to really find out what I believe.  It was an opportunity to study the bible and lead a group of young people.  I set up my office, complete with DOS based computer and began what ended up a short journey.

    I remember having just finished the Earthsea series of books by Ursula K Leguin about a year before.  They really got me fascinated in fantasy magic.  So I went to the internet.  Now this was 1998, so Internet was definitely alive and well.  In my house we only had

    Click to Read It

    dial up as broadband was just not available to us.  I remember just typing into a search engine Magic.  Eventually I ran across Witchcraft.  It had set my heart on fire.  I remember going out to the local bookstore and buying a book called Celtic Magic by DJ Conway.  I come from an Irish background so it seemed fitting.  I turned out to be more than just a spell book but more of a 101 to Wicca and the practice of Witchcraft.  It sounded like a Religion almost…

    Over the course of my time as a youth minister I was able to solidify my beliefs.  I always kept them very private, and my lessons and teachings were very much in line with the church’s wishes but at the end of the first year I resigned, not only from youth ministry but from Christianity.  I had toiled around with the idea of being some kind of Christian Witch, but in my heart knew that I couldn’t be a half Christian, or a half Witch.  I spent the next year studying magic based paganism.  Eventually that turned from Witchcraft into Wicca.  By my Sophomore year in college I had started my own Book of Shadows and was spending a lot of time in libraries and bookstores trying to wrap my head around everything and soak in as much as possible.  In was the first time in my life where I felt that my brain and heart were both thirsty for knowledge and experience.

    I have realized something very recently.  I was listening to a Podcast and one of the host which I truly admire said they really believe in the practice of group initiating into Wicca.  They mentioned that they felt it the only true way to enter this faith.  At first I was appalled because when I came to Wicca I did so in such a isolated and small Christian based community that I didn’t have the benefit of a group or coven.  I had to self initiate, which I hold that moment dear to my heart.  This really got me thinking and the truth came to me that I had always wanted to be a part of a coven and get back to group Ritual work.  It was some of my fondest memories of religion growing up.  It donned on me that there is no reason why I can’t do that now.  I may have grown up in a small oppressed community but I don’t live there now.  I am perfectly able to go out and find a place to belong now.

    My wife and I are meeting with a High Priestess of a near by coven this Friday.  We really are seeking out two major things.  Friends who are pagan, and formal training.  We have both read and own many Wicca 101 and have been pagan for many years.  There is value to us however in seeing other people who hold similar believes sacred.  I update Friday to share our experience.

    What about the readers?  How did you come to know the Craft, Wicca, Paganism, or the like?  Share with me.  I am dying to hear other peoples stories. What is your Where, Who, and How?

    Until next time, Blessed Be.