A Guide for Loved Ones of Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches

The intended audience of this guide is for close family and friends of Pagans who are brand new to Earth-Centered religions: parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, and best friends.  While some of these materials are produced by the Pagan community for Pagans, this guide isn’t intended to convert you (Witches and Pagans do not prothletyze).  It is more to give you a general understanding of your loved one’s beliefs.

Books: All of these publications are produced to explain the fundamentals of Paganism.  The first two are for general reference, while the other publications are to characterize the history of Paganism in the United States and to discuss the legal rights of Pagans.  All of these are easy to find in bookstores and your local library (if your branch does not have it, try interlibrary loan).

  • Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higgenbottom
  • Wicca: The Complete Guide by D.J. Conway *Just the first few chapters
  • Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler *Again, just the first few chapters
  • Pagans and the Law by Dana D. Eilers

Websites: These websites are shorter, more concentrated explanations of Paganism, including holidays and common terms.

Podcast Episodes and Youtube Videos: Its important to understand your loved one’s anxiety or reservations about coming out.  The following resources are Pagans–including Pagan parents–discussing their experiences coming out and their paths.

© Ariadne Woods


A Reading and a Confession

Most of the people in my life know I read tarot, despite my in or out status in that relationship. Consequently the other day a new friend from one of my grad classes who is having man issues called me and asked for a reading.  We met at Starbucks and after the cards have been dealt and discussed we began talking about other readings we have both experienced.  I told her about one a fellow Pagan gave me with her Goddess oracle deck.  Which led to a conversation about religion where I had to cop to my witchy ways.

I have never come out to a friend so cavalierly before this weekend.  I always sit the friend down and give them a speech and let them ask questions and yada yada yada.  Quite a formal affair, like I am cluing them into a big controversy.  But this time, I felt comfortable enough just saying, “I am a witch.”  And it went swimmingly.  My friend even admitted she thought I already was Pagan due to my love of tarot.

This whole event led to a pretty big revelation for me.  Yes there are still people out there who are very intolerant of Paganism (my family included).  But the world is changing.  Or at least my world is.  I feel more comfortable in my own skin and more honest in my day to day life.  Maybe it is because I live in a new city and am making wonderful friends.  Or maybe it’s because I am beginning to accept myself a little more.

© Ariadne Woods