After reading one of last week’s posts, Alan suggested that a yoni dove might not be the most appropriate tchotchke to keep in my workspace. I reminded him that I’ve been in this office for well over a year, and as such my co-workers finished judging me a long time ago. But he was unmoved, which got me wondering if maybe I should think about toning things down around here. Now on a mission, I grabbed my camera and surveyed my surroundings with fresh eyes to determine whether or not I’ve overdone the Pagan décor. Again.
To start with, here’s a birthday card from Douglas that sits on the ledge of my bulletin board. “Ah, the mighty stag,” you might say to yourself, “ancient symbol of the Horned One.” Except the inside of the card reads, “Buck firthdays,” so no, this is not in any way a reflection of my Pagan beliefs. Perhaps a reflection of other life choices, but not my beliefs. Let’s move on.
Next, we find Lord Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, and Beyoncé, the Big Metal Chicken. Ganesha is not a Pagan deity per se, and since my job involves mountains of unreasonable requests from angry, high-maintenance homeowners, His presence is fully warranted. And Beyoncé… okay, I don’t have a good reason for Beyoncé being on my desk, but it makes me happy, and a happy me is a productive me.
At first glance, a miniature clay bottle bearing the image of Poseidon may come across as overtly Pagan, but it’s tiny, you guys; hardly noticeable. The fact that my boss asked if there was a potion in it really just puts a glaring spotlight on her potential for micromanagement.
Here we have a framed postcard of La Bocca della Verità, which is an obvious reference to the classic screwball comedy Roman Holiday. Also, there’s… um, a figurine of a singing and/or screaming woman with a crescent moon floating over her head. Which was made by a Houston-area artist. Buy local, y’all. What are you doing to give back to your community?
This is a nazar, and it wards off the Evil Eye. And yes, keeping something like this around could possibly suggest a belief in Witchcraft, but a) it doesn’t suggest that I’m the one practicing Witchcraft, b) it’s still not inherently Pagan, and c) see “angry, high-maintenance homeowners” above. I honestly should’ve saved the receipt and written this off as a viable business expense.
Oh. Right. I kind of forgot about these. On top of the pile is the Portable Fortitude deck, which… yeah, I should probably take that home, but the rest are just normal books. About oracles. And Voodoo. Huh. Okay, you know what? The one at the bottom is a book of daily meditations by Demi Lovato. If you’re going to judge me for anything, judge me for that.
Now here’s a little something that is not Pagan in the least: A small ceramic dish that Sarah gave me for my birthday many years ago. The squid’s not even a totem animal: Sarah picked it out because I’m terrified of giant squid. So definitely not Pagan, just cruel.
Okay, okay, before you say anything, let me point out that the cauldron was a Christmas gift from my cousin, who bought it specifically for me to use as a paperweight. And I can’t let my family down, right? That would be un-Southern. Besides, while all of these various objets d’art are ultimately eclectic and eccentric and kitchy, it’s not like I’m burning candles or chanting incantations or leaving skulls all over the damn place.
I CAN SO TOTALLY EXPLAIN THAT. It was also a gift, and also produced by a local artist, and Día de los Muertos is a vital part of Texas history, people. This pillow is nothing but a cunning display of State Effing Pride.
Rationalizations aside, in looking at all of these pictures together, I will begrudgingly admit that I’ve gone a bit overboard with the pre-Christian clutter. But I’m also very lucky in that I work in an environment where my religion is a non-issue. “Be as you as you want” is the order of the day around this place, so long as we all get our work done and don’t blow up the building. Granted, banging away on my blog doesn’t really count as getting my work done, but hey, at least I’ll only get written up for shirking instead of blasphemy and bad taste.