That’s a great question!
Paganism today is so different from the Paganism of 100 years ago. You will not find most pagans today with ratty robes, warts on their noses, putting eye of newt in a bubbling black cauldron. In my home, we don’t stuff children in ovens, we stuff fresh bread dough in them! Bread dough that was kneaded by little hands and created with love and thankfulness stirred in.
In the average pagan home, you will find some trappings of the old world and the new. Sunlight plants on a windowsill, glittering crystals and smokey incense (or a misty diffuser!) thoughtfully arranged on a kitchen counter or perhaps bright colorful fabrics and beautiful statues of Gods and Goddess. Maybe there are soft furs draped across sofa backs and tall drinking horns full of mead. How about an ornate wheel of the year hanging prominently on the wall next to the family portraits?
What if this house was in a densely packed neighborhood?
This is some of what is Paganism today. This is my kind of Paganism.
The above example describes my home. The home where I raise and live with my family. It’s complicated and chaotic. It’s peaceful and moving and yes, sometimes difficult and sad. It is the average family, in an average town in your average neighborhood. We don’t live in some dark hollow (though I admit that would be nice sometimes!) We interact with our neighbors on a daily basis. Our children play with all the neighborhood kids. We host dinners on occasion and enjoy going out on the weekends to hike or visit fun “nerdy” conventions.
Do we stand out in our neighborhood? Yes sometimes we do. We are in the deep south. I’m in an interracial marriage and instead of a Jesus fish bumper sticker or church logo, my mom issued minivan sports Goddess and Odin ones! Ha! Sometimes I catch people giving me the strangest looks from my rear view mirror.
We are also rabid animal and nature lovers. Well at least I am, my husband takes a more conservative role behind the scenes. I am out front, leading the charge, teaching my children that they should stand up for what they believe in. Whether it be saving the old trees at the park or their religious freedom.
Generally speaking however, our lives are very tame and no different than our more mainstream neighbors. We celebrate almost all the same holidays even if we call them by different names. We have more Gods and Goddesses to embrace and seek guidance. We believe in magic, both real and implied. I teach my children to honor their ancestors and the magical creatures that surround our home. We roast marshmallows by the firepit and discuss the ancient tales that have been passed down from our forefathers.
So what makes the modern pagan family? You do, your family and mine.