Children & The Craft

Posted in Christian Witch on June 17, 2008 – 5:08 pm
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Children dancing around the maypole

Parenting in this day and age is not an easy thing to do, add to that being a Pagan Parent and youve got a whole new challenge on your hands. As Pagan parents we are not only faced with the everyday challenges, but the worry of someone deciding that our religion isnt safe” for children and trying to take them away from us is a huge cloud over us. We not only have to decide how to raise our children in our religion, but how to keep them safe from those who would harm us because of our religion. It’s not an easy task and one that some Pagan parents have opted not to cover by keeping their religion hidden from their children. Though this is certainly an understandable path to take, it is a sad one indeed. Silver Ravenwolf put it best What kind of religion are we practicing if we cant share it with our children.” in this essay and speech, I hope to not only touch on why we should share our religion with our children, but ways to do just that. At the end of this essay I will give examples of a Ritual, craft projects, spells, & chants that you can do with your child as well as reference books and websites.

The biggest concern for most Pagan parents is someone finding out that we are pagans/witches and they will try to take our children away from us. This is the scariest thing in the world that could happen to a person. There are many ways that a parent can protect their family from this happening. The first thing that all Pagan parents should do is bookmark every Pagan site they can find on the web. There are many, and all of them have fought and won many a battle for pagan parents. Mostly they have contacts in every area that you can get a hold of if the need ever arises. If you happen to be in an area where you feel especially vulnerable to attack, locate your local Unitarian Universalist Church. Often they have a CUUPs (Coven of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) Chapter, and by belonging to a church of sorts, few people question your religion then.

What I have done in raising my two sons is talking with them. Just like with anything else that is inappropriate for public discussion, Ive talked with them about how our religion and beliefs are to something we discuss when were in the store or restaurant or at someone elses home. Ive explained to them that not everyone understands other peoples religions and it can sometimes upset other people. I then explain to them, in appropriate ways for their ages, the different religions. I show them how we should tolerate differences, and accept other people, but also teach them that not everyone believes that this is the right way to treat other people. Its not an easy subject, but they do understand, however you will have to remind them when it is and isnt ok to discuss religion.

 

Some parents have decided to completely by pass this step by not sharing their religion at all with their children. Although I dont agree with this, I do understand it. However, my belief is that if my religion isnt good enough to share with my children, why am I in it myself? I know my children can understand that you cant discuss everything you want, anywhere you want. And the more they understand about our religion, the more they will understand about others.

So how much do we share with our children of the craft? Do we let them practice magick? Go to rituals? What is there for children to do in what sometimes seems a very Adult religion? Yes, I share all of this with my children, depending of course on the nature and circumstances.

Rituals

 

I go to many public, semi-public and private rituals, as well as do my own at home. Depending on my level of participation, the type of ritual, and the level of child-friendly atmosphere of the ritual, I decide if I will bring my children or not. Some of the public rituals that I have attended are such that children would have a hard time understanding what is going on, might be disruptive, or could get scared or disturbed by the nature of the ritual. If there is going to be children activities I take my children, if not I leave them at home and we celebrate on our own. Some rituals are wonderful for children to attend and set up so that children will have as much fun as the adults. When I am going to have a main part in a ritual, I generally leave my children at home because my concentration needs to be on the ritual, not on how my children are acting for whoever is taking care of them. Rituals that I do at home are the same. I have created rituals that are just for my boys to do with me. I have created rituals with specific parts for my sons to do. I have also done rituals where I have had to be completely separated from the rest of the family so as not to be disturbed. This is usually much harder for me, because my sons like participating in my rituals at home and dont want to leave me alone. So only when its absolutely necessary, do I exclude my sons from a ritual?

Spells and Magick

Spells and Magick are simply interactive prayers. I do allow my sons to work Magick with me and on their own. I have taught them the laws of Karma, the three fold law, and to harm none (which isnt always easy for a 7 yo who is angry at his brother for not sharing a toy). I have also taught them that the power of their thought and energy is very strong and shouldnt be used lightly. When I do Magick, that they can be involved in, I let them help me by putting their energy into the workings. I have given my sons herbs and tools to accomplish their own spells. Mostly their spells are simple, they want a particular toy, they want their brother to play nicely, and they want more time with mommy. When we do spells together for these goals, generally we just do a little meditation and focus our energy on the goal. Sometimes we gather the herbs and we burn them together.

Introducing the Gods to children isnt as difficult to do as one would think. There are many movies and books out there that are useful to a Pagan parent. My youngest was introduced to the Egyptian God Anubis through the movie The Mummy. From the first day he saw that movie, even though Anubis was only mentioned briefly in it, my youngest son has been a devoted worshiper of Anubis. What I have done to encourage this is found every book I could on Anubis and the Egyptian pantheon. There are plenty out there for both children and adults. Ive also searched plenty on the Internet, looking for as much information about Anubis as I could find. In the long run, mostly what have come in handy are my own gut feeling and my sons.

 

He has spent plenty of time talking with Anubis, and Anubis has done plenty for him. My son, one day, decided that Anubis was going to come and visit us that night. He was adamant about this fact. Said that Anubis would be stopping by at Midnight and that I was to awaken him as soon as Anubis got there. No matter how hard I tried, I couldnt talk him out of this idea. I was not sure what would happen if Anubis didnt show up. I settled myself down and meditated on what to do. Then an idea popped into my head that I should go to the store and look for a gift from Anubis and I did just that.

 

I went to Wal-Mart and started looking for something, anything that called out to me from Anubis. Suddenly I spotted a big black stuffed dog in the stuffed toy bin. It was on sale as well! This looked exactly like the type of dogs that are associated with Anubis. This was it! But, I knew I couldnt go home with just one, so I started digging through the bin to find a second one, and came up with nothing. So I searched through the rest of the toy area, pleading with Anubis to send me something for my other son as well. I couldnt go home with just one toy! Then, as if from heaven, there was the EXACT same dog just lying on a shelf in the middle of the department! I couldnt believe it, no I could believe it, it was from Anubis himself. He had sent me to the store, he had given me the two dogs, and I knew that he was telling my son that he was with him.

 

When I got home, I wrote up a little note to my sons from Anubis, saying that he couldnt stay, but he wanted them to know that he was there and protecting them and the dogs were a symbol of that protection. The next morning my sons woke up and were so excited that Anubis had been there and left them these two dogs to protect them. Anubis has done this many times for my youngest son, letting me and him know that he is with my son at all times. I make sure never to question my son when he says, Anubis told me”, because Im sure that Anubis did. The Gods will present themselves to you and your children when they are ready to, be open to what they have to say listen to your children and listen to your heart.

Creating a special Altar for your children can be a wonderful way to teach them about our religion. There are many ways to do this. One way is to take a box, you can either use a box already made or make one yourself with cardboard. Find material that your child likes to put on the sides and bottom of the box as an altar cloth. Either make it removable or permanent. You can also paint the box, both inside and out, instead of having material. Then you gather up things that your child identifies with the elements for the quarters, the god and goddess, and anything else that your child wants on the altar. Also come up with ideas for your ritual tools that are child-friendly. Instead of an athame, make your own wand by going on a nature walk and finding a branch from a tree that has fallen. Instead of candles get colored glow sticks or flash lights.

Whatever you decide to have in your Childs altar box, make sure they understand that these arent for playing with, but are for doing rituals and Magick only. Then the next time you do a ritual with them, have them get out their Altar box so that they can use their tools. Make it easily accessible to the child and make sure that you can change it for the seasons. Or instead of just one altar box, create several, one for general Magick, one for each of the Sabbats, one for Moon rituals. Be creative and let your child suggest, as much as they like, it is their altar box.

Another thing that most Pagan parents are concerned about is the socialization of our children. There are more and more children coming to open rituals, but is that enough? With the explosion of the Internet over the last several years, I have found many other pagan parents, and right in my own back yard. Many of which have regular gatherings. There is also a new and growing organization called The Spiral Scouts. This is an Earth-Based alternative to the Boy Scouts. This group not only gives our children ways to socialize with other Pagan kids, but also helps us parents teach our children about our religion! However, there arent many groups around the country, so you may have to start one yourself if this is something youre interested in. They do everything that the Boy & Girl scouts do, but with a Pagan slant to it. However, if this idea doesnt appeal to you, starting your own Pagan kids group isnt hard. It takes a willingness to be organized, advertise and talk with other pagan parents.

Creating Rituals for kids is something that is rather new. More and more books are being written for the Pagan Parent, and they all have great ideas. To create your own kids ritual, take a look at your Childs interests. One parent I know created a ritual based totally on Poke’mon. That one show has taught the world’s children about the elements. But its not hard to find other cartoons, games, images that appeal to children to use for a ritual. Have fun with it and talk with your child about what they like, and if theyd have fun doing those things. Ideas that are always fun to use are water guns for cleansing with water, flash lights and glow sticks for fire, bubbles for air or water, playdoh for earth, and water balloons. Props in a childrens ritual is very important. Where we adults use props to get in touch with our inner child, props help to keep children focused in a ritual. Also, make sure there is something for each child to do, and depending on their age, try to stay away from anything that is long and boring. Meditations are not good to do in a childrens ritual, especially if the average age for the child is under 14. Instead u se music for energy raising. Have children dance around, sing, clap or bang on drums.

Above all else, keep things moving, fun and light hearted!


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This entry was written by Kendra, filed under Christian Witch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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