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The Pentacle Dilemma

I'm not just a depressed cougar; I'm a depressed cougar who's a little bit witchy.

I use Tarot cards. (Who doesn't.) I read witchy books. (Fair enough.) I wear a silver pentacle around my neck every day. (...)

One of the best things about shedding the 9-to-5 life a few months ago (and the dress code that goes with it) has been feeling comfortable enough to wear my pentacle necklace without tucking it inside my shirt. I always hated hiding it at work, and hated even more the days I decided not to wear it at all. It didn't feel right, but it also felt like too big of a risk to wear it for all to see. It was a dilemma I struggled with for years.

Some mornings, one of the first thoughts I had waking up was, "Am I going to wear it today?" It was another way of asking, "Am I going to be myself today?"

A symbol is just a symbol, but when it's a religious or spiritual symbol (in my case, the latter, for all intents and purposes), the decision not to wear it can feel heavy.

I wouldn't say I'm a Wiccan, and I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a witch, either. I'm simply "kind of witchy."

I get that some people (witchy people, mostly) might say that it's disrespectful to wear a pentacle without taking the belief system and life path it represents more seriously. Perhaps some people would liken it to wearing an "I'm vegan!" button but eating a ham sandwich once a week, or saying you're "somewhat Christian" or "occasionally Jewish."

I admit, I'm a dabbler in many things in my life, and dabbling in something that many consider sacred is generally frowned upon. However, I've come to the conclusion that if something furthers my healing and brings me some happiness and comfort, doing it somewhat casually is better than not doing it at all. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Life is hard, and we all need a bit of love and light in our lives, now more than ever. I say: you do you. This philosophy seems to be working for me. So fuck it.

Having said that, I know I should take my witchiness more seriously. I should be meditating at my altar every day. (Yes, I have an altar.) There's a lot of witchy shit I should be doing on a regular basis, like following the phases of the moon and eating more intentionally. I have many moments when I worry that I'm not "witchy enough" to wear a pentacle in public. However...

  1. I'm wearing the pentacle for me, not for other people; and

  2. Not every person who wears a little cross around their neck does all the stuff good Christians and Catholics are supposed to do, either.

I wear a pentacle because it's a symbol of my identity. I cherish what the symbol stands for, and the best part of me for which it stands: the Divine Feminine, if you will. This is not something I want to hide; it's something I want to celebrate and reclaim.

I'm glad to have relieved myself of the pressure that I felt to hide it from my coworkers' eyes. It's embarrassing how many mornings I got dressed for work and put the pentacle necklace on, took it off, put it on again, only to resign myself to leaving it in my jewellery box for another day.

The pentacle is a misunderstood symbol. I've studied it a bit, but I'm no expert on the history or significance of it. I only know its significance to me. I don't want to feel like I have to hide who I am out of fear of being judged. Doing this for years only left me judging myself for the lack of courage to be myself.

There may come a day when I choose not to wear my pentacle necklace anymore. But after spending so long in jobs that weren't meant for me, wearing work clothes that weren't the right fit, who can blame me for wanting to wear something that is?

- M.B.

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