Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tolerance in the Wake of 9/11

Let's face it.....9/11 was a day that shall live in infamy in the United States of America. As well it should. Let us get a few facts straight at the outset. A small group of Al Qaeda extremists caused the death of over 3000 people by taking control of 4 flights, impacting both of the World Trade Towers, another into the Pentagon and the last impacted into a field after passengers forced it down.

I, as do most Americans, know where I was and what I was doing as my heart sank into my chest and tightened. I was heart sickened, shocked, angered and deeply saddened. I had also come to see the reality of life and that people that want to do horrific things could impact me and my family. So at what point did we also come to blame all of Islam and the Muslim population as a whole worldwide? Where is our logic and have we not seen this behavior before? No? Really?

I am not a warmonger. I am also not quick to judge others. Now let us look at some of the ridiculous behaviors that have happened since that day. I will stay with the most current. We are involved in 2 wars. Many more Americans and Muslims and others have died as a result with little truly accomplished. There has been an Islamic Community Center by the site for a very long time (more than a year) and now it is an issue. There are Christian Pastors wishing to burn copies of the Quran. Why?

Here is my view. I have met, and remain friends with many people of Islamic and Muslim faith. I am friends with many of varied faiths. It amazes me that we are taking a "holier than though" and "absolutes" approach. This was a very small group of extremists that caused this and other events. Jihad is an extremist view held by people of extreme beliefs.

If we look back on history we can find events that have been caused by virtually every faith that could be held in comparison and some even exceed this violation and the loss of life. The Crusades. The writing of the Maleous Maleficarum aka "The Witches Hammer", written by 2 catholic priests. This book brought about "the inquisition/the burning times". The ongoing battle over the Gaza Strip. The Mountain Meadows Massacre. At what point do we deem ourselves "holier than thou?"

I think we need to take a personal inventory,of sorts, and make a decision to try to be more tolerant of other faiths. We all realize that there are parts of other faiths that we disagree with, thus, the vast number of faiths that exist. Does this mean that we become elitist in our own faith? Where do we justify the "we are right and they are wrong" mentality? Or do we simply shut down that part of our intelligence and logic so we can rationalize our corresponding poor behavior?

Don't get me wrong........people that perpetrate these types of actions can, and should be, punished. But do we punish everyone that has a similar belief to the offenders? If we did that, we would not have a human race to worry about. At the very least we would have anarchy worldwide.

In closing I ask each and every one of my readers to stop and think. How many more people do we need to lose before we learn tolerance? Justice obtained through violence is not justice. It is illogical tyrrany and makes us no better than those we are persecuting. "An eye for an eye" means the perpetrators eye, not a mass group of people of similar faith. We need to begin thinking with our minds instead of our raw emotions before the world as we know becomes nothing but a war zone. Our survival depends on it. Tolerance means not forgetting but forgiving and understanding the source.

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 20 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public knowledge. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gratitude Determines Attitude

I have been, and remain, a Correctional Officer for the Texas State Department of Criminal Justice. On January 15th of 2010 my shoulder had finally seen the last of its action after years of wear and tear and I knew that something had to be done in order for me to continue having effective use of this arm. This is also my dominant arm.

I called in sick and promptly scheduled a doctors appointment with my primary care physician and was soon sitting in his office in Huntsville, Texas. As is standard he did some usual strength and mobility tests and immediately referred me to an orthropedic surgeon for further evaluation.

As time went on, the State of Texas continued to subtract my earned "time" from the books and on February 23, 2010 I ran out of State time and as they say "slid off the books" and onto leave without pay status. After seeing the first surgeon I was referred to his partner, a specialist in sports injuries and the eventual surgeon that would do the actual surgery.

Surgery was the least of my concerns at that time. I was living in the bachelor officers quarters at the prison unit and on March 15th I called about my final check from the State and they informed me that they had been holding my check for 2 weeks waiting for me to turn in my state ID and uniforms. I drove to the unit and turned in everything.

The inmates have "chain bags" that are used to carry their belongings whenever in transit and this is what I was handed when i turned in my uniforms and was instructed to put them in. I surrendered my state identification and complied, feeling like an inmate the entire time. The next day I received my check and paid the bills that had piled up for the previous 2 weeks.

On March 22nd I received the surgery. This was the beginning of what has proven to be an "adventure" to say the least. I immediately applied for short term disability way back in February prior to falling "off the books". Needless to say, the fight with the insurance company has been trying, simply to get the benefits that I have paid for every month throughout my employment.

We are now at April 11th and I still have not received my first short term disability check. The bills have piled up, the truck has been repossessed, and we are almost out of food and everything else that we all think our very existence relies upon.

So Nathan, what is your point? How have I kept from going stark raving mad? I took a walk a short while ago and while I walked it came to me. I stay positive, not because I have too, but because I am grateful for all that I HAVE and all that cannot be taken away from me.

I awoke with a heartbeat and breathing. I awoke with 2 children that are alive and healthy. I awoke with many friends and family that love me. And I have many other things in my life to be grateful for. Everything else is material "stuff" and when you have lost those things you haven't really lost the most important things in your life. I have a great deal to be grateful for. One of which is the friend that has allowed me to stay with he and his wife and has taken care of me post surgery.

This is what I meant by our gratitude determines our attitude. I could have been brought down to the depths of despair. Could have thrown my hands up in the air and given up on life, and in turn I would have let my sons down, all of my loving friends and family down, and myself down in the process. That would be too easy and would be the path of least resistance to be sure. Selfishness is always easy......for some people.

My friends, keep in mind that negativity begets negativity and positivitity begets positivity. I choose to stay positive, not because it is always the easiest road to take, but because it is the only road that does not send me off the broken bridge and down into the deep ravene below and crashing into a heap of flesh. My brightest blessings to you all and may you all remember, regardless of your religious faith, be grateful for what you HAVE as even when I have been at my lowest point in my life..........I have still been alive and that is indeed something to be grateful for!

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public's awareness. Not for ridicule or degradation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going Green and Wicca

The concept of "going green" is not a new one but it is one I will be doing a series of articles on as it is so crucial to our survival, and also really a main tenet of the Wiccan faith. We are by faith nature lovers and see deity within all creation, including ourselves. Now I must qualify this as I know some will say "then you are self worshippers". Not quite the point. We believe that deity exists within us and not "out there" somewhere. We do not think of ourselves as deity/Gods,etc.

For many years we, as a human race, have gone about our daily lives without really giving the way we are doing this a second thought. We have created waste and toxins and they have to go somewhere. Where do they go? Into the ground, into our waterways, and into the atmosphere that protects us. This isn't going to be an article all about global warming as that would take up the entire article. I will, however, visit the subject in a future article.

So what are the ways we are polluting currently and in the past? Every day we dump unknown quantities of "garbage" into landfills. Within this garbage is tons of non-biodegradable refuse. This simply means that in a million years from now, if the Earth still exists, this refuse will still be there, much as the day it was buried. We continue to drive our cars without giving it much of a thought about how much exhaust is damaging our health and the health of the ozone layer.

While recycling has become a movement through the years, we still fall way short of doing all we should be doing. Why? Because the majority of us have become so busy with our lives that we simply do not slow down and think and just "throw it away". Pretty easy when you get the out of sight, out of mind habit. Let's face it......we have become a society of "refuse and not re-use". So busy that we do not consciously think about where all of that is going to end up.

In addition to doing this, we also use products that contain toxic chemicals in our homes and in our daily lives. We eat foods that have been inundated with chemical/artificial everything. From sweeteners, to preservatives. We eat these without thinking too much about it until it affects our health through cancers and other disorders. Heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and obesity are just the by-products and how do we correct those? By taking synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Some would question then, "how do those affect our environment?" Well, everyone is going to urinate and defecate. It is unpleasant to think about, however, it is a fact that we cannot deny as all things organic leave organic waste. So then if we are eating synthetic foods and taking synthetic drugs then where is the waste going? Into our water treatment plants and into the Earths water table. Nasty thought huh? I think so too. We will continue to reap the "benefits" of our behavior over and over. The result? We will make the Earth, and ourselves, sicker and sicker in the process.

How then do we begin to correct this? Well, pretty simple really. It is just a matter of changing/breaking old habits and using resources already in place within our society. Recycling centers have existed for decades yet we are nowhere near doing everything we can do in that area. We can start by saving our plastics and our newspapers and magazines and taking the simple step of finding the recycling centers or participating in the programs in our communities and delivering our "garbage" to them. And some of them even pay you for doing the responsible thing.

Myself, I have aligned myself with a green company and I now work that business full time. They are green, and have been for over 25 years. You will find those links on my blog. I use the products they sell and in so doing reduce the impact on our environment. I am not saying that you should hop right over and join this company or even use their products, but I am saying we all need to weigh the options and begin using the ones that improve the situation of our damaging the Earth and her waters.

I hope you will join me. Here are some simple steps that YOU can do to help this cause:

1: Recycle 2: Use "green" products 3: Drive less and walk or bicycle more 4: Stop using synthetic foods and medications and go "natural" when feasible 5: Eat more healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle 6: Use biodegradable products any time we possibly can 7: If you see someone illegally "dumping" REPORT IT 8: Practice every day in changing poor environmental habits.
You can see this list could go on page after page but you get the idea.

I hope you will join me again for my next topic along this same line and I thank you for taking the time and effort to read this, whether it was here or on my blog. May the Lord and Lady bless you always and may you have the fortitude to make the changes that we must all make in order to bring about meaningful change.

Nathan Jeffery

Author and Wiccan Religious Leader

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Toxic Water-The Slow Killing Of Our Waterways

We have all been aware of our waterways being polluted by industrial waste as well as our own for many years. We are aware of it but what have we really done to correct it? Truth is, we can modify our own behavior but how do we modify others behavior and then begin to "heal" the water and the earth surrounded by, and beneath It? We will be discussing some of those issues here.

I remember growing up going to Gunnison Bend Reservoir in the small town I grew up in. Delta, Utah was, and remains very much an agricultural area. That means there are cattle being raised in the area. That goes without saying. As I grew older I discovered what people were doing with the carcasses of animals that had died and was sickened to learn that they had been being dumped into the reservoir for years.

Now, that is rather disgusting in and of itself, however, I suppose that I could look at it as at least they biodegrade. Right? Well, yes they do but that is still just creepy. Now, I bring this up as over the past few years there have been "mercury level" warnings and bans on fishing or warnings about eating the fish caught in Utah waters. Now the question arises, how did mercury levels get so high? The answer? Car batteries. I have found out from locals that there are tons of them full of lead and mercury that have been being dumped into the water for years.

We know that there has been dead animals, batteries, raw sewage, run off of road grime, salt from ice melt used during the winters......but at what point did we stop and evaluate what all of those in concert were doing when we add in industrial waste? We have and so has the government. We have the E.P.A. that from what I have seen has done a mediocre job at best at policing the illegal dumping of these toxins into our waterways.

Why have they done such a poor job, or it appears that they have been? It is my personal opinion that there are bribes being made by huge corporations to the "officials" at some level. This is just my opinion so this isn't meant to slander anyone. It IS public knowledge that some of these worst polluters pay handsomely into political campaign contributions and therein lies a major problem.

How do we now correct the problem? Do we impeach them all? Do we do an investigation to find out who is taking bribes? None of these are really within our power. What is in our power is to begin looking at candidates for government that support a "green" platform and will stick to their guns. In addition, we can come together as a global population and begin changing our behaviors AND being HEALING the damage that we have caused.

Back to the message that was sent to me on Facebook. A fellow Wiccan sent me a message regarding a movement that was begun by a Native American to have a Water Healing Energy Raising. I am including this information here as it is the inspiration for this article and I want to invite everyone, regardless of faith or belief to participate. Hold ritual, prayer, or whatever you wish to call is all the same just different names, and let's raise healing energy and begin to reclaim and repair our waterways so our children and their children's children will have clean water in the future.

According to the website this is a "global effort to come together worldwide, To heal the Earth and it's waters which are increasingly threatened and so very crucial to our survival here on this planet". The website to read more and connect is HERE. Please join myself, and countless others for this monumental energy raising ceremony.

At the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Conference in Sedona, Arizona USA on December 6, 2009, a message came that we are to reach out to all belief systems to manifest energy for our planetary waters on May 18, 2010. Through the astrological realms, planetary alignments indicate that May 18, 2010 would give us the most powerful energies to manifest pure and abundant waters for all nations.

Thank you to Amanda for bringing me this information and brightest blessings to you all for paying attention and joining me in getting the word out about this important, and very critical task of healing our Earth and her waters.

Nathan Jeffery

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wiccan Beliefs on Satan - My Perspective

Let me begin by stating emphatically that Wicca is not, and has never been, a Satanic faith. For centuries there has been this label of Wiccan means Satanist. Well, I am to discuss my views on this not only as a Wiccan but as a Wiccan religious leader. So how did all of this begin? Well, there are a great many theories out there so here is mine.

One theory has it that it is because we like to wear black all of the time. While many of us do so, it has absolutely no religious significance except that which we give it. I like it because it represents for me an inclusion of every color in the spectrum of color. It is not devoid of all color but contains them all. Much like we as Wiccans are to love everyone, without exception, whenever possible. All colors are represented in nature so it is understandable that many of us wear black.

Another theory has it that we wear black as it is the color of evil. This is an interesting one. Let us look at this as does red always represent anger.....or love......or anything other than the emotion we attach to it? At what point do we make the separation or similarity between the two? Again we must be cautious in our assumptions. I heard it said once that assume makes an ass out of you and me.

Is there a correlation when color is involved? Of course there is in some aspects. As humans we generally are lovers of light naturally. All plants grow when they have sunlight so it makes sense that we, as human beings, would also be attracted to it as well. We are organic, as is everything in nature. We do, as Wiccans, refer to the "light and dark" of magic and to make a comparison of what many would call "good and evil". My understanding of this is that we all are capable of great acts of kindness and good behavior and we call that the light side of humanity. Of course, we are again, as human beings, capable of great atrocities and we generally call that the dark side.

I must point out the fact that all faiths through history, including Christianity, use colors in their worship. Does a Catholic priest wearing a black robe and collar with a white shirt make him evil? Or a nun wearing a habit evil? Of course not.....that would be ludicrous and small minded to say, of course. So enough of the chat about color. I think my point on my thoughts has been made.

So how do we get the Satanic label? Well this is much easier, quite frankly, to explain. During the many years prior to Christ there were Pagan faiths. Then came Christianity and many things changed and suddenly we were labeled evil and there many atrocities against those that fought Christianity, supposedly done in the name of Christ. Behavior like this is still seen every day as we get involved in religious wars around the globe.

The Christian scriptures speak of Satan as being Lucifer, or an angel cast out of heaven by God. As I understand it, Christ wanted to send us here to earth so that we could have free agency and learn and grow as intelligent beings. Lucifer had the idea to force us all to return to God. This was not in agreement with God or his alleged son Jesus Christ so he was cast out when he went against God. (I also do not contest the historical fact that Christ was on earth and concede he was a wise teacher, however, I disagree that he was deity)

Now, here is my major point. At no time in history did the term Satan exist prior to Christianity. There were those that behaved well and those that did not and they were generally dealt with in a number of ways and many of them were admittedly, barbaric. There are still those today that behave in the same way.There are those today that believe capital punishment is barbaric. I will not address my views on this here as that is not my topic.

The Satanic Church of America was not even formed until 1976 in the United States by Anton LaVey, along with his scriptures or gospels of Satanism. Now, I will not argue as to the validity or nullity of the Satanic faith. It has the same protections in this country as any other. They believe what they believe and while I disagree with their theory I will not make any argument against their right to practice, save it that they harm none or be held accountable within the civil laws of our society.

There are many versions of the Rede but I will share this simple one with you here.

Wiccan Rede

"Bide the Wiccan law you must, In perfect love and perfect trust. And these eight words the Rede fulfill: 'An ye harm none do what ye will.

What ye send out comes back to thee, So ever mind the law of three. Follow this with mind and heart, and Merry ye meet, and Merry ye part."

This is a very simplified version of our Rede, however, it is enough to show that we are not hateful, spiteful people that would take the negative side of life and pray for destruction of ourselves or anything in nature. We are a loving and accepting people that only wish to live in tune with nature and other people around us. I am accepting of all others. The funny part of this statement is that Christ also taught this principle when he walked upon this earth so many years ago. So why then do so many so readily go against their own teachings?

In a nutshell here are my views of Satan. Satan has never existed. There are negative poles and negative energies that some would deem evil, however, I do not believe there to be an entity or deity that propagates such deep negativity as to rule a "hell". There is dark and light in all of nature. Night and day. Sun and moon. For each and everyone of us these hold differing meanings. To accept the existence of Satan, that I have already stated did not exist prior to the advent of Christianity, I would have to accept Christ as being deity. I do not, and that makes me simply non-Christian, not anti-Christian.

So my view of what Satan or Satanic represents is this. Satan was made up by people already upon the earth that wanted a scapegoat to blame for their shortcomings, poor behaviors, and absolute atrocities against people and nature. If you were to ask any of the inmates in our prisons if they were guilty the vast majority would say "no.....or it wasn't nearly as bad as the justice system made it out to be". But they find God in there and the same system uses this as a weight of measure every day in parole hearings. I know this because I am a correctional officer.

In summary, we are not here to convert anyone. We do not proselytize or knock on doors. We are not out to get your children and turn them to our ways. We are simply a religion of nature loving, Lord and Lady worshiping, Wiccans. The majority of Wiccans just want to be left alone in peace to worship in the way we wish without being looked down upon and hated for NOT being another faith. I am not by any means negative or Satanic in any way and have never been. I do not follow a path of darkness. I also fully realize that I have within me the same attributes of any human being and that I am capable of great things, or despicable atrocities.

Everything in life is a choice, aside from natures forces. I hope that you will take a long hard look at what your beliefs tell you. I certainly do every day and while at times even the best of us, Wiccan, Pagan,Jewish,Islamic,Mormon, etc. do not fully live up to our teachings, we are all essentially seeking the same fulfillment of life. Peacefully and amicably together. Perhaps one day we will set aside our petty differences and come together as a whole, accepting one another with our similarities as well as our differences.

The majority of the faiths out there teach peace and acceptance and it is my wish that we all will be who we are and live our lives as an example for others so that in the end, regardless of what faith we are, we will return to mother earth with the respect of deity (whatever we wish to label them) and of our fellow man. As I said in the beginning, this is my perspective and does not reflect everyone's views within the Wiccan faith.

Brightest blessings to you all and I wish you all of the love and peace in the world,

Nathan Jeffery

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Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

The False Dichotomy of the Modern Wiccan

Dichotomy......what is it and how and why is it to be avoided? This is an interesting question so let us first define what it is and why my title differs from it's definition. Dichotomy is the splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts. In other words, it is a partition of the whole (or a set) into two parts. Wow, now that's a mouthful and bends the mind a bit. (

So how does that fit into this article? Well, many of us in the Wiccan faith tend to separate our faith from our public profile as it were. What I mean by that is we tend to unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, "hide" our faith from the public knowledge of our coworkers and even our friends and family. Now I know what you are saying. Well, by that definition how can that be a dichotomy? Well, it can't and that is the topic of discussion in this article.

Being Wiccan is like no other faith. And when you are Wiccan you are by all means all of the time.......a Wiccan. So why then do we create a false dichotomy by pretending NOT to be who and what we are? This is called a false dichotomous relationship. I am Wiccan through and through. I can never completely sever that fact, regardless of how convenient it might be. I am still Wiccan even when I do not share my views with my coworkers, friends and family.

My views have become a part of me. They are integrated into the way I think, behave and interact with others. I do this without even thinking. Now, for me......I am an openly Wiccan man. I make no attempts at hiding my beliefs or the very nature of them. By doing this I no longer suffer the negative affects of this false dichotomy. So, how does this make you suffer? How can you be open and honest and have negative physical and mental costs involved with that? You can't.

The reason I am discussing this is due to the number of emails and questions I receive in chat about "how can you be openly Wiccan? Don't you worry about what others might think?" The answer of course is not just no, but hell no! I am very proud of being who and what I am. It is no different than those of Christian faith standing up and declaring their devotion to Jesus Christ. We simply differ in our views and that in no way encroaches on their beliefs.

There are sooooo many Wiccans that still hold their heads in shame, and for what purpose? I, for one, am very proud to be a child of theLord and the Lady and make no apologies for it at any time, nor to anyone. Even if religion were not a protected right here in the United States of America I would die before I denounced my religious convictions. You could call this article a "call to pride".

When you chose, which I honestly believe this faith chooses you, you swore at initiation to always love the Lord and the Lady and to be reverant before them in all of their splendor......or words to that effect. To deny who and what you are is to deny them and all of nature which, consequently, includes each and every one of us and everything on and within the earth and space and time.

I urge you to avoid the pain and the anxiety that comes with trying to separate that which you were born to and that which you so deeply believe and realize that it is all for naught to try to deny it. It is a true false dichotomy and I am proud to stand with each one of my brothers and sisters of any and every faith. After all, we all may have our differing views on deity and the worship thereof, but inexplicably we all came from the same source. Let us all get along in love and peace and be who we are, proudly.

Brightest Blessings )0(

Nathan Jeffery

As Featured On EzineArticles

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the publics awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.


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Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Costs of Secrecy

I received a message through skype earlier today and it got me thinking about how secrets affect our lives every day. Keeping secrets can be good sometimes, however, what are the side effects of doing so? Are they benign or do they work like a cancer on our very soul, eating away at who and what we believe ourselves to be?

I will attempt to examine this in some detail without completely boring you, my reader, or sounding as if I was coming to this topic in a victim mentality. When I was younger I recall doing things that I knew were against the rules or "taboo". I also remember well how I felt while keeping the secret bottled up inside. And, yes, there are some secrets that remain so today and are just better left in that little place we call the "skeleton closet".

I remember well the knots that welled up within my stomach, that wrenching feeling deep down that told me that I really knew that there could be hell to pay when it was discovered what I had done. Of course, looking back now, I fully realize just how trivial keeping the secret really was, and that keeping the secret really only made me sick and very on edge. Generally when the truth came out, discipline was swift and the pain generally subsided. I also now recall how much relief was there after it was out in the open and dealt with.

How many men and women have had adulterous affairs? And of those, how many of those people became mentally and physically ill from keeping the affair a secret? Most come into the light of day eventually and the damage is already done. Not unlike my example of a child hiding a secret, the physical and mental toll it takes is the same. It makes one edgy, knots well up in the stomach, and it is what will eventually end in divorce. In this situation why is it so difficult to just say "the marriage has issues" or the "marriage is in trouble" and deal with it prior to getting into that situation of lies and deceit?

This one leads back to my opening comment about the skype message I received. I grew up Mormon and made the transition to Wicca and that is already known. What I hadn't really stated prior was this. I kept it a secret how I felt and what I believed for many years. I knew what I believed but out of fear of retribution and ridicule, I kept it bottled up and it was like a time bomb. I always felt incomplete, unfulfilled and generally felt that I was being watched by everyone......although that was not, in fact, the reality of the situation. I functioned this way for years and when i finally "came out", while there was some of the ridicule and retribution, it was nowhere near at the level I predicted it would be.

I have been participating in a rating and comment group for business. We write articles, make blog posts, and make videos and then comment and rate one an-others work. At first I began by making them all about marketing concepts and how to self brand......all of the while hiding who I was "deep down". The knots began to well up and I felt again incomplete as a businessman and something had to give. I was always on edge, muscles tense, headaches and all of the usual side effects. And happened. An awakening of sorts. Why not mix my deep seeded faith AND my business?

Seemed like a great idea at the time so I went with it. Needless to say I am still "with it". So how does this come into play within this article? I had been hiding who I truly was and when I came out about it and began making videos about Wiccan products and Wiccan things......I suddenly received fewer ratings and fewer comments. I received comments on my Facebook profile about "what happened to you?" What happened WAS me and shall remain. I felt relief.

The comment sent to my skype this morning said,"If I'm being honest - the Wiccan Stuff isn't my bag either Nathan. I do my best to eat the chicken and spit out the bones in my interactions with EVERYONE. But some of the stuff on those sites (Images More than anything) are a bit against the grain. I would work on building YOU - rather than the Wiccan Beliefs. You'll get A LOT bigger audience!

While this comment is true, I would still not be ME in doing that very thing, and my Wiccan beliefs govern everything else in my life. To this individual I sent the response that I appreciated his opinion, however. ME and my Wiccan beliefs are one in the same. It would be like any other faith in business not being their faith while they are doing business. It would be a secret and therein a lie! Feels good to be ME instead of what others expect and the secret being out has made life so much more simple. Cost me friends? Not many, and those that decided to stop rating and commenting were never friends to begin with in the grand scheme of things. Life goes on in peace and business. Well, I am still here and still doing business.....just without the stress of "the secret".

Another big one, and one I encountered often, both as a paramedic and a religious leader, is premarital/teen pregnancy. This secret is a biggie and does so much damage mentally, physically, and spiritually, that I would be remiss if I did not address this secret and the aftermath here in this article. The fact of the matter is that some teens, regardless of religious upbringing, will engage in pre-marital sex. Of those some of the young women will become pregnant. The teachings within many faiths make this very taboo.

So what is the effect? For women that I have spoken to that have been in this situation it is very heavy to pack the weight of this secret around. They feel ashamed (although they shouldn't as nature happens), they feel that they have let their parents down or even let themselves down and that takes a tremendous amount of energy, physical and mental, in order to maintain the secret. They compound the morning sickness by holding the secret in and the knots and the vomiting associated with morning sickness, compounded by the lie, become excruciating.

Depression is not uncommon from what I have seen and many times these young women will seek counsel from religious leaders. Now this can be stressful as well because by sharing the secret with clergy, will the clergy divulge this "secret" to their parents who are generally also of this faith? And what then will be the resulting consequences of this decision? You can see the paradox involved here. Many will become depressed, some suicidal, and all over something, that while not necessarily planned, can be dealt with in an adult and loving manner.

I have seen many young women involved in a premarital pregnancy that have not kept the secret, and the results are never as grave as had the secret been kept. While some parents "freak out" and many actually go against their faith and try to convince the teen to abort, the majority do not and eventually accept the reality of the situation and again take on the role of loving and supportive parent. Secrets do damage my friends. Some damage even causes the loss of lives when in fact it shouldn't.

My question then is this. Do we keep secrets? Of course we do. However, at some point we must cease harboring secrets in order for us to truly be who we are and who we were meant to be. Ultimately it really doesn't matter what everyone else thinks, but what we ourselves think, and when we can accept responsibility for our own actions, behaviors and choices, how wonderful life can be. Life isn't always easy. life isn't always without stress and pain and all of the other human emotions that make us who and what we are. However, secrets make us DIFFERENT than who we really are and we must think about what the cost benefit ratio will be if we decide to keep a deep dark skeleton in that closet.

Be who and what you are. The God/Goddess didn't make junk, nor does deity intend for you to be miserable in order to placate or bow to the wishes of everyone else. We are all here for this short period of time we call life. We need to learn the lessons we are meant to learn, however they may present themselves, and act upon them for the benefit of ourselves and those we love and care about. I urge you to purge the negative influences of all of those secrets that you hold deep down inside and feel the freedom of just being proud of who and what you are as a fellow human being. In the end you will respect yourself much more and those around you, that truly care about you, will have more respect FOR you as well.

Until next time my friends, be kind to yourself, be honest and true to your nature and brightest blessings to you always. As always you may reach me privately by email at

Nathan Jeffery

Author-Business and Religious Leader

Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing his faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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