Today there was a story in the media about police officers being given days off to celebrate the pagan festivals. Just like other religions really – all respectable and proper. It made me smile. How far have we come from the days – not so long ago – when I used to teach in a Church of England school and was absolutely terrified of losing my job? I wasn’t a witch but I was so scared of someone discovering my interest in paganism and “shopping” me. I don’t think legally I could have been fired, but my position would have been untenable. I would have had to resign.

I imagine it was until recently the same in the police force. We may have anti-discrimination laws, but we all know that in reality, peer pressure and other subtle forms of bullying can make it impossible to be open and honest. A bit like being gay – it may be legal and above board but in the real world sometimes it’s easier all round to say in the closet.

But according to the news report today, pagan police officers can now officially come out of the broom closet. Requests for leave to celebrate the pagan festivals will be viewed sympathetically, and there’s even a Pagan Police Association. There’s also the Pagan Police Group UK, a website for pagan police officers and their families. Presumably the brave souls who have declared their beliefs are subject to a lot of ribbing and teasing from their colleagues, but it’s a start.

And in a similar vein I came across an interesting person recently on Twitter, who works as a Pagan Prison Chaplain. I didn’t know such people existed but she very kindly sent me full details. Apparently every faith has a right to be represented in prison chaplaincy because prisoners come from all faiths. So any inmate who either professes themselves to be a practising pagan, or expresses a serious interest in learning more about it, is entitled to access to a chaplain from the Pagan Federation Prison where to purchase phentermine hydrochloride Ministry. People who undertake this work are volunteers and it seems on reading all the information sent to me that it must be a very demanding role indeed.

I was thinking today of how difficult it must be to feel that connection with the earth and the seasons when you’re incarcerated in a high security prison. It made me think of an idea I read about a while ago, something on the lines of this: imagine if the skies were covered every single night and nobody ever got a glimpse of the stars. And then imagine if, for one night only, the skies would be clear and the whole universe of sparkling stars could be seen. Wouldn’t everyone on the planet spend that one precious night outside just gazing and gazing in awe and wonder? Yet in reality most nights we spend tucked up inside watching our screens, totally oblivious to the beauty above us. We just take it for granted.

This must be what it’s like for a prisoner. The simple joys of walking out in the woods or hills or along a beach would be seen as something so very special, but something we at liberty may take for granted. It made me think that I must keep my eyes open and appreciate what’s around me all the time. I’m not planning on any spells inside of course, but we can become prisoners in our homes all too easily.

Tomorrow I’m off to a famous stone circle to do some dowsing with a lady who’s an expert in this field. I’m looking forward to this immensely, and shall spare a thought for all those who cannot for whatever reason get out of doors to enjoy the fresh air and wonders of nature. Even torrential rain must seem lovely when you’re inside with no access to the outside.

If anyone’s interested in finding out more about the Pagan Federation Prison Ministry, do contact the Pagan Federation for further details. And the link to the story about pagan police officers is http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8154812.stm.

5 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Kat_RN 10 years ago

    Thanks for your reminder about the night sky. I had a rough day at work today and all I wanted to do was get home and sit down. I checked my mail, then read your post, then went outside for a few minutes with the night sky. It really helps put things in perspective. I feel better, thanks.
    Kat

  2. i remember reading about the PF prison work some years ago. i really cannot imagine being locked away, away from nature…

  3. Kath 10 years ago

    “Came out of the broom closet”, I love that! This resonated with me, because I am a qualified hypnotherapist, but I soon learned not to mention that when being interviewed as peoples reaction was often one of suspicion, or I was considered a bit “weird”. One lady said to me (after I’d got the job and we became quite freindly), that she expected me to turn up in “kaftan and crystals”. Only on my days off dear 🙂

    best wishes Kath http://www.railwaycottage.blogspot.com

  4. Becca Smalldon 10 years ago

    ha ha! i loved that story – i was on the train when i read it, and did a really loud and happy woop woop, got stared at, but it was still a great feeling!

  5. Natalie 10 years ago

    Brilliant yes – I work for the police and have been ‘out’ for a number of years now. Someone has to be at the vanguard to make it ok for others to express who they really are at work – and yes, its a lot like being gay. Today I contacted Andy Purdy, the guy who is setting up the Pagan Police Assoc to offer my support. The world is moving on from the ‘burning times’!

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?