This December was the one-year anniversary of my conversion to Paganism. I had gotten my first tarot deck on Halloween and was trying to bill it as a spooky thing to do for Halloween, but god knows I wanted one more than anything. That December, I finally gave in to an impulse I had been feeling for years: getting into Shinto. I had wanted to for a while, but when you’ve been raised as a southern Baptist all your life changing religions tends to be a thing that try not to consider. Now that I look back, I can see how my initial interest in Shinto planted the seeds for my eventual practice in it years down the road. Kemeticism came only a little while later, as I tried to get in contact with Anpu, whom I had loved for a long time from a purely mythological perspective. But my new-found freedom to explore other religions allowed me to approach him as a real, living deity.
And while all this was going on, my parents were (probably) none the wiser.
Or at least they were for the first 6 or 7 months. After my altars became more and more conspicuous (and I didn’t have the heart to put them away, as well as getting the feeling that I really really shouldn’t) they began to suspect something was up. I don’t know if I was a good enough liar to pull off the explanations I had, but that was all I had. I couldn’t tell them, I couldn’t be open with them. I was 18 years old but I was (and still am) dependent upon them. And they threatened me with an exorcism if they found out I was doing witchcraft. Which I was. And that scared me.
But when I move out, when I get a place of my own, I’m going to have shrines and an altar and they’re going to be in plain sight. And if my parents ever think to come and visit their child?
What am I going to tell them?
I refuse to put away my religious expression when it’s my own property, but I know that it will hurt them. And they will worry themselves sick over the fate of my immortal soul. So, is it an inevitability? How do I prepare to deliver news that will most definitely shock and disgust my own parents?
It’s one year later and I’m not keeping this secret as well as I thought I could. How do you take it upon yourself to prepare to break your parents’ hearts?