Working a “regular” job can create a unique set of challenges when one is a witch. Among these are Sabbats & time off, religious discussions, and trying to keep the Law of Threes in the front of our minds, especially when you work for people that it would be soooo much easier to just wish off the face of the earth.
During my weekdays, I supervise an office of six women. Five of these women are tremendously conservative and run the gamut of Baptist all the way to hardcore Pentecostal Holiness. The sixth woman is a whole lot more liberal (which I imagine she’d have to be, given her “live & let live” attitude toward everything from religion to sexual orientation) than the others. She kind of renews my faith in humanity down here in the southern bible belt.
Because I am more ready for the celebration of my Sabbats this year than any year prior, there will be some odd days that I am going to be taking off from work. (Odd to them; not to me, ha ha…) I was pretty happy about Mabon falling on a Saturday this year, because I didn’t have to take off of work early to prepare the back yard for my circle. This actually turned out beautifully, as I’d invited a couple of my most spiritual friends to join me for our Equinox gathering, and while we were having our good time, we were also freaking out the next door neighbors who were gearing up for their own party, and decided to stop and watch from their deck the goings on in my yard.
So back to “our” Sabbats and taking time off from work: I think I can swing November 1, given I’m kind of a party animal and everyone at the office just knows that “Halloween” is my favorite holiday. Simple solution. Work half a day, go home, celebrate as late as we want, sleep in the next day, and forget about work on the first.
And as an aside, if you are of the Pagan persuasion, you can get away with all kinds of witchy tricks in the workplace during Samhein season. 😉 Witchy gear started lining the shelves of our retail outlets around Labor Day, here in the States. For example, I keep two little toy Emperor Penguins on my computer CPU. You know they mate for life, right? At any rate, I saw the cutest little fascinator in the shape of a little purple satin witch hat with black lace accents. While I don’t rock a fascinator in any way, shape, or form, I just KNEW that Mrs. Penguin would look absolutely adorable sporting it. And she does. And she can totally get away with it, because right now is the season. (And yes, I know it’s not correct to start a sentence with “and,” but the more you get to know me, the more you will know that I’m kind of a rebel, even for a grammar queen such as myself.)
Yule? I don’t think that would pose a terrible challenge. I mean, people take extra time off before and after Christmas all the time, so this won’t raise eyebrows.
It’s convenient that the Christians shaped many of their holidays after ours, and some of them even coincide. This makes it a wee bit easier for that oddball Pagan to fly under the radar without having to deal with the fallout of being “the” heathen in the workplace.
But then we come upon things like Imbolg and Beltane. I imagine calling in sick would sound better than, “I really need to take the day for Groundhog Day next month,” or “I’m taking May Day off this year, because the weather should be beautiful, and we want to celebrate fertility in the back yard that night.” I would imagine that many, if not most of us just make up excuses to take our Sabbats off, because, let’s be honest. I don’t know that all that many of us can really advertise why we need the first day of Summer/Midsummer off. 😉 Unless, of course, your boss is Pagan as well.
Conflict, Solutions, and the Law of Threes
What a lot of places of employment really don’t understand is the actual benefit of having a witch in the workplace. And I think that is simply because of the spiritual climate in many places (not just the US Bible Belt). There are a lot more of “them” (and by “them” I mean mainstream religion) than there are of “us.” I believe that we are all shown a path that is best suited for us, and would really appreciate it if we could simply leave religious preference out of the workplace, entirely, so that our jobs can be a judgment-free zone.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have meditated on office conflict on more than one occasion and visualized peace in place of the aforementioned conflict, and surprise! Whatever it was they were fighting about seemed to have fallen along the side of the road. That’s how I handle conflict.
There are times when maybe your boss or upper management can really work your nerves, and the furthest thing from your mind, when angered, are those eight important words, “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.” I know we are no different than our mainstream counterparts in this respect. I know that my mom was really big on the Golden Rule back in the day, and even then, it was hard to keep that in the forefront when wishing all kinds of ill-will on the “enemy.” But I’m an adult, now, and sometimes it’s really tempting to want to figuratively turn someone into a toad, but we don’t do it. There have been many occasions where I have had to simply shut the office door, turn on some Enya, and just chill out. Deep breathing and meditation exercises come in handy during times like that. It’s after that when I can sit back and remember that what it is that I put out into the universe in the heat of anger will come back to me threefold. Just sayin’.
Religious Debate in the Workplace
Then you have the deep, religious discussions. Maybe YOU all don’t, but they are very commonplace in my workplace. (Remember, I live in the southeastern United States, where there is almost literally a church on every corner, and in my town, finding a Pagan-related meet up group is as likely as winning the PowerBall lottery.)
There are two things I firmly believe should not be discussed at work; religion and politics. Apparently my group only believes in HALF of that concept, so the upcoming presidential debates and elections are completely off limits.
Why can’t religion be like that? I mean, really. I don’t judge my neighbor because I, personally, think it’s bizarre that she would speak in tongues during her church service. (I dated a guy in high school that took me to a service where they did that and I can tell you…It scared the hell out of me so bad I flew out of the Sanctuary like the Devil, himself, was after me…and remember, this was back in the day when I believed in Satan…I also believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, as well.) I don’t look at any of them sideways because they believe differently than I do. I mean, c’mon…the Devil made me do it? Seriously? Christian fabrication to scare our Pagan ancestors into Christianity back in the day. Again, just sayin’. I don’t bash you, so why do you bash me? When the day comes that I don’t absolutely have to work for a living comes, I will come out of the broom closet and tell them who I really am, but for now? I’m sure they would find a way to get rid of me.
Personally, I do have two friends that work where I do that know who and what I am. One I’ve known for more than five years and is one of my best friends. He is also the youngest son of a preacher…Pentecostal, at that. He actually thinks that it’s cool, and has NO problem with my belief system, although, you should have seen the look on his face when I told him I didn’t believe in Satan or hell. *snicker* My other friend there is someone that I met long before she started working there, and rumor had it that I was kind of witchy (small towns-gotta love them), but that didn’t stop her from getting to know ME and not my religion. Now that she knows me and knows I’m not some scary-going-to-hell-heathen, she doesn’t even bat an eye and even joined us for our Mabon celebration the other night.
If you can find an ally in your workplace, great! If not? That is why sites like this one are so very valuable to people like we are. Sometimes you are stuck in a void where like-minded individuals are not, and the Internet may be one (if not your only) link to the outside world.
I hope that sharing this will help dealing with being a Witch in the workplace.
Blessed be, y’all! 😉