By Kristen Newcombe
Pagan, it means to be open and understanding to all beliefs and never judge someone for what they look like or what they believe in. This is what I have learned from my Pagan parents. Over the last thirteen years of my life my parents have been openly Pagan. They opened a non-profit and try to help others as often as they can. My mother has always said that we aren’t Pagan to make money. They spend money to help others when they can, be it donating food to “Pagans In Need”, or helping out a family in need who may need new mattresses, because theirs were unhealthy and making them sick. They may have started out as solitary witches, but slowly they have become a major hub for the pagan community and have adopted many groups into their little Pagan family. Their festival is a gathering of friends and family and continues to grow every year. I am so proud of my Pagan parents and what they have accomplished.
My parent’s non-profit includes an animal sanctuary, they have taken in multiple cats and even a few dogs. Some of the dogs have found forever homes and some of the cats are available for adoption every festival held on the grounds, when we have any. It is open to everyone so that the community can see that being Pagan does not inherently mean being a heathen or a tree hugger. We as a family have committed ourselves into helping the environment by adopting the four miles of road we live on. We were the first in the county and possibly the State to adopt an unpaved road. For the last 15 years we have been walking the road and picking up the trash that our neighbors throw out their windows. We are here to help Mother Earth. It has been a slow process, but the neighbors have seen the difference that we have made and will now wave at us or stop and chat with my dad while we clean up the road. On a couple occasions they even thank us for doing it. Which is nice to hear.
For the longest time my friends would ask me what it was like to live with Pagan parents. I would tell them that it really isn’t any different than living with non-Pagan parents. The only difference is that my parents like to plant trees and open their property up to anyone who needs to come out and escape from the pressures of living in the city.
My parents have always been there to help me when I needed it and for that I am eternally grateful. It is because of my Pagan upbringing that has made me the person I am today. Being able to accept people for who they are and not judge them. Having a desire to help those in need and advocate for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Along with advocating for those who can’t, it lead me to look into teaching as a profession.