There comes a point in all of our spiritual paths, that we will have to answer various questions about our beliefs. Either it will be questions within ourselves, or questions from others if we are out of the broom closet. No matter where or who these questions are coming from, you need to make sure that you are ready for them. It seems like the questions, at least for me, come at the worst possible time. Usually when I have other things on my mind than answering any questions. So what are some questions that I have been asked?
In no particular order
Q. "So you can tell me my future?" (Or some variation when people find out I read tarot)
A. "Yes and No. I can "see" how things will be if you continue on the current path you are on. I also add that they will only hear what they are meant to hear, and ready to hear. This has been an issue at a few readings that I have done. I was getting a message, but being told that the person was not ready to hear everything that went along with it. (Call me crazy, but my cards actually "talk" to me). I let them know that if they make a change, no matter how minor, the outcome may change. Many people just want to know how to get out of a situation, or that things will get better. Sometimes hearing that things will get better, is enough for them to make the changes they are "supposed" to.
Q. "So you do spells and stuff?"
A. "Yes." This seems to be the one thing that most people are interested in. Unless they ask for more in-depth information, I tend to leave the answer at that.
Q. "Can you do one for me?"
A. For me this is a tricky area. This goes back to people wanting a simple solution to their problems. They think, that a spell will instantly solve all their problems. this is when I will usually explain to them how a spell actually works. The explanation that I have found easiest is using either the "Birthday Cake" or "Parking Spot" metaphor. When you make a wish on a birthday cake when you are younger, you hope, pray and wish real hard for what it is you want. Once you have the idea firmly in your mind, you blow out the candle. This, of course, is similar to how a spell works. You put all your focus and energy into what you are wanting to manifest. You take the time to gather what you need to help your energies be the strongest. You may say some words that help you focus, and release the energy that you have built up into the universe. Does it always work, no. But then again, do you always get what you wished for on your birthday? No. So what happens, maybe you try again later. Maybe you make some changes that help the manifestation become reality. Maybe you get some birthday money late, and you go and buy that gift that you really wanted. The other way to look at it is when you are driving through a crowded parking lot. All you can think about is how you really need a spot to park. That is all you can think about. All of your energy is going into finding just one parking spot. And what you do you know, you happen upon a car that is just about to leave, and you get the spot that you wanted. Again same thing. All of your energy goes into what you want, until finally you get it, or change something to help it happen.
Q. "Oh my god, you are going to hell! I have to save you. You need to come to church with me...etc"
A. While I have been lucky enough to never have encountered this, I have gotten some not so nice looks from people. How do you handle it? Well there is the book answer "I don't believe in hell, or that I need to be saved..." Me personally, I have a rather twisted sense of humor at times, and would say "Well in that case, first rounds on me!" Of course, I will caution against this to perfect strangers.
Q. "Since you are a Pagan, shouldn't you be a Pacifist? How can you be in the Army?"
A. I have encountered this a few times. No where is there a set a rules that says I cant be in the military. In fact, there are various paths that are not so peaceful. Not everything about being a Pagan is peaceful and serene. This is another one that could be turned around. Well as a Christian/ Muslim/ Random Faith, aren't you supposed to love everyone? Why did you choose a career where the main purpose is to go to war?
Q."What exactly do you call yourself/ believe?"
A. This is a little tricky for me lately. As I have stated before, I identify as "Wiccan" I would consider myself more of an Eclectic Pagan recently. When I first found this path, it was all "I'm Wiccan, and that's it." Now I find myself looking at other paths, and pulling a little from here and there. At one point I had a friend try to convince me that I should follow a strictly Egyptian Path. Personally, I think that is the nice thing about being Pagan. We are free to chose what we want to believe and how we want to practice that belief. I do spell work occasionally, I read tarot, leaning runes, don't identify with any deities other than the Goddess and the God (none by name), and have the freedom to practice how I want. I believe in the duality of the universe, that we are responsible for our actions, and have to answer for the bad actions we take.
So that is just a short list of some of the questions that come up with our beliefs. What about you? What other questions have you encountered, and how did you handle them? How would you have answered the questions above?
Remember, the more questions we answer, the better we will be understood.