So this week, I am writing about "Keeping Up with the Joneses". Do you know what I mean by that?
It's a phrase that those of us have heard once or twice in our lives. I have actually heard it quite often and also been accused of doing as well. If you don't know what it means, its basically comparing yourself to your neighbor to see what your worth is. For some people it is having the fancier house, car, trophy wife, latest smart phone, expensive clothing, you name it!
This past week, I was watching the movie "Mona Lisa Smile". In one of the scenes there is a wedding and one character turns to the other asking if she had heard the phrase and then points out that the couple they are talking about is sitting right there. This made me think about my past, what I have done with my life, and where I want to go from here.
There is a competitive nature in all people. To do better, and sometimes better than another person. Is this wrong? No, I don't believe so. It gives each person a goal to strive to achieve something greater in their lives than what they currently have. Now there is a difference in my thinking though. I think that if a person goes out and furthers their education to better themselves, that is a great financial or intellectual investment. Now whether it is going to college, trade school, or simply reading more books from their local library to further their knowledge in a particular subject matter then these are all great investments. I feel if a person goes out and purchases a corvette just because their neighbor or someone they know recently purchased one (and they can not financially afford one) then they are a fool. However, if that person decided to save their money week by week, or get a better paying job, invested money wisely in something that turned around financial reward and then went out and purchased the car, then it is well deserved and may the Goddess give them the ability to drive it safely and explore the limits of the car within the legal driving laws of course.LOL
I see and have dressed in many styles during my years of coming out the broom closet to who I am today. When I first started out in the craft, I was quite teen. The musical group Cure was big and I dressed similar to their style what I feel has evolved into today's Goth. I had dark black hair with blue highlights, wore all black with lots of black lace and silver jewelry with as many symbols of the darkside as my mother and my friends mothers would certainly confirm that I could get my greedy hands on or as my allowance back then would allow. Since being a teen, I have upgraded my silver plated jewelry with longer lasting steel, silver, and even a few gold pieces I have invested in over the years. I normally don't wear more than one piece of jewelry at a time during my easy going mundane life as a stay at home mom. These days its normally one of two pieces. A black leather cord with a steel pent and silver Goddess figure that was gifted to me by my sister and best friend Katherine. Or its the second necklace I normally wear that is a bunch of various stones on a string that was gifted to me by my friend and mentor Nora that I cherish because she has made such a difference in my life.
Over the years, my taste have become simplier in life. Not to mention the fact that I have a two year old that loves grabbing and pulling on my necklaces and earrings. I have people in my life that love to display their necklaces and they will wear anywhere from one to twenty at one time. For some people that can be a bit much, but frankly one of my friends can rock twenty necklaces at once! She sometimes also wears a pent that is six inches in diameter as well. There are some people that talk bad about "In your face Pagans". My friend is definitely one of those people. Do I love her any less, OH HECK NO! I love that she is comfortable with who she is! Does she love me any less because I only wear one necklace? Nope, she loves me just as much as I love her and we will always have each others backs no matter what the situation.
Ritual items are in the same as well. There are those out there that think if you don't spend $100 on a chalice, ritual blade, BOS, etc that you are not a serious Pagan. Not true. There are Pagans that do not use an altar at all as well as those that can sucessfully use items they already own. Kitchen Witches are wonder examples of people that can use what they have on hand and don't find it a need to have to spend money. Another friend uses her favorite Magnalite pot on her stove as her cauldron, a wooden spoon for her wand, a glass from her cupboard as her chalice and so forth. They are just tools that a person can use in their faith to be an extension of their magic. The tools themselves are not going to create the magic because the magic is within you! So whether or not you purchased your wand made of copper and various crystals and stones or whether it is a switch from your backyard both tools will hold the same amount of magic and energy you personally put into it!
In the past I have been accused of not being Pagan enough. To them I say it is their problem not mine. They have the choice not to practice with me or not. The Gods and Goddesses I worship know I love them and that is ok with me!
If you are new to the craft, please know that you do not have to purchase any fancy tools unless you really want to and its your style. Also dress with what you feel comfortable with. Whether or not its of a conservative nature, Vintage 50's (which I would love to be able to dress one day), or a futuristic style that you create all on your own. Be true to what is in your heart and feels right to you, don't do it because the Joneses told you in order to worship the Gods you need X, Y, and Z, or because I told you so!