Who is Amanda Trammell?
Amanda Trammell was born and raised in Wyoming, where she has lived the majority of her life in Cheyenne. She grew up in a middle-, working-class family, and graduated from Cheyenne East High in 2003. Amanda has been married for over 14 years, and has been a stay at home mom for her three children for the last decade. Active in her children's life she is on the schools PTO, helps her son's Cub Scout pack, and is a Girl Scout leader for her daughters troop. She recently decided to go back to school and is attending the local community college. She does not like to subscribe to any political party. Amanda follows an earth-based religious path that falls under Paganism.
Excerpt from interview with Amanda Trammell by Whitney Dow, 2018
Q: Let’s talk more about you. When you think of yourself, what’s sort of like the hierarchy of your identity? What’s the most important things about you, like the top five most important things?
Trammell: [01:19:26] The top five most important things about me?
Q: That make you who you are.
Trammell: [01:19:30] That make me who I am? Well, I’ll tell you right now they’re constantly in flux. If you asked me two years ago, I would say the number one thing that makes me who I am are my children. I’m a stay at home mom. I was going on having that title for eight years. That was my identity. Mom groups, play dates. What are the kids doing? Once my son entered kindergarten, I realized that that cannot be my identity forever. So, the number one thing that makes me me, I would say, would be my creative nature. My favorite things to do are to sew and craft. I won’t lie. I became a Girl Scout leader because it allows me an excuse to do those things all the time. Let me put myself in a position where I can just do the fun stuff.
Beyond that, I am a wife. I have been married for almost fourteen years. I was a homemaker. I’ll probably still be a homemaker until the day I die. I’m just going to school now for a degree so I can do something else besides sit around the house all the time. I don’t know. Things that make me me are, like I said, they’re in flux. I have a passion for inspiring others. Like I said, I love to be a Girl Scout leader. It’s more than just sewing and cooking and crafts. It’s, okay, you girls want to do something with this. Well, how are we going to make that happen? I get the, well, I don’t know, Miss Amanda. And I’m like, well, let’s stop and think about it. How do we get from sitting in this meeting to going out and—I don’t know. What is one thing they really wanted to do? Oh, they wanted to go to Yellowstone. We didn’t quite make that happen.
Q: What about, are you religious?
Trammell: [01:23:38] I am religious. But I am not Christian religious. I actually follow a pagan path. But, I’m a very eclectic pagan. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have one dedicated path and that’s where it’s at. Most pagans that I found don’t have a specific path they follow. A lot of them tend to borrow a little bit from this and a little bit from that and kind of do what feels right for them. That being said, I encourage my kids to find their own path. They’ve attended a couple of different churches in town. And they’ve talked to different people. It’s another one of those them finding their own way to go about it. My husband identifies as Christian. We’ve got that kind of diversity in our household, which makes for some heated conversations sometimes. But, it’s what makes life fun.
Q: What defines a pagan?
Trammell: [01:24:46] A pagan, okay, so a pagan is actually an umbrella term that generally describes anybody who doesn’t follow a Christian path or believe in the Christian God. By that account, most religions are considered pagan. But, in today’s society, pagans are more druids, wiccan, people that follow the Norse pantheon. And they actually prefer to be called heathens. A heathen is a pagan. But a pagan is not a heathen. Just putting that word out there. Yes, that’s an insult right there.
Q: Now, these are mostly Norse and northern European?
Trammell: [01:25:33] A lot of them are northern European.
Q: Is there a diversity of people in the pagan community?
Trammell: [01:25:39] Oh, yes.
Q: But is it mostly white? Is it other races in pagans? Or is it all kinds of different races?
Trammell: [01:25:46] It’s all kinds of different races. The pagan community is vast, and they don’t all follow the European paths. Those are just the ones that I’m most familiar with. We do have people that’ll come to a group. I belong to covenant, which is open to anybody, versus a coven, which is very closed off. We’ll get people from all walks of life, all ethnicities, and all faiths that fall under the pagan umbrella. It’s easier to say, “Hi, I’m pagan,” versus, “Oh, I do Daoism and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Ball it up, and that’s my path.” Diverse doesn’t even begin to describe the pagan community.
Q: That’s interesting. So you talk about growing up here, and this is very cliquish. You have relationships with people who are from Wyoming, and there’s that, and that it’s a very white community. It’s not a diverse community that you grew up in. I’m just trying to think, just trying to get an understanding of sort of your social network. Who are the people you spend time with on a day-to-day basis?
Trammell: [01:27:05] Okay. Well, for the pagan community, Wyoming, we’re all in the closet. You want to find pagans that are out in the open, you have to go down to Colorado. That’s where my group meets, is Colorado. That’s where I get the melting pot of diversity for my social circle. Within Girl Scouts we have a diverse group but not as diverse as it could be. But that’s also very located right here in Cheyenne. As I stated before, Cheyenne’s not really diverse. Like, we have some. But, it’s not that big. L triple C [Laramie County Community College] is where I go to school right now. That has more diversity in it than my Girl Scouts do, honestly. But, for there, we have athletes on scholarships. We’ve got other things that draw in the different crowd. And it’s cheaper than going to UW [University of Wyoming] or CSU [Colorado State University]. Spend half our time at a cheaper school.