Hearth and Home
Wheel of the Year
Pagan Parent and Child
Introducing the Wee Ones to Your Path
I am finding through reading other's blogs and talking with pagan parents that the newer generations of children are especially amazing in their connection to the high power. These wee ones embody a something extra that I've not seen before. They have been born to us, the ones who will nurture, protect and raise them in a way that will bring humankind into a new awareness. The big thing is we are aware of being entrusted with these amazing souls but so many have no clue what to do! I resorted to my attachment parenting method with Pixie, as now over eight years later I can see what a success it was. Proving the naysayers that it was not an excuse to let my child run wild. I may not have been a true attachment parent because I feel boundaries and routine are very much needed with young children, they need that security. Some APers disagree with how I raised her. I feel I stayed true to the practice and followed her cues and acted accordingly. My girl is amazing, well-adjusted and the most well mannered child you'd ever meet. She is secure in knowing I am always here for her and that she will never lack what she needs most with me.
When I began introducing her to my practices it was more a matter of me doing my own thing and her toddler curiousity getting the better of her. We had our special meals for feast days (sabbats to some of you) to start, as she grew older she would help prepare, set the table and decorate. As she grew older and her dexterity improved we moved on to crafts and activities which introduced her to each feast day and the meanings behind it. In her homeschooling we learned of all major world religions in addition to my spiritual path. By the time she was five she was particular about what she believed in and it was her own brand of paganism different from mine. (proud mama moment). I saw early on that she favored the more Druidic and Native American path of her maternal great grandfather (as well as her ancestry, her paternal grandmother is French Canadian and Native American (they lump it together as "Iroquois", one or more of the Iroquois nation, but I think there may be Algonquin there too, still researching). Her connection to the trees and animals is amazing to watch. She is the next generation of empath in my family at least the sixth generation as my great-grandfather and his father both had the gift of connecting with animals, horses especially.
With the feast days I focused more on my more favorite, Samhuinn, Yule, Summer Solstice and Spring Equinox. As she grew older I included the rest, found activities she'd enjoy and decorations she was thrilled to place around and hang up. Her first ritual was at age six, a Summer Solstice ritual for the Sun. She loved it and was such a natural. She has joined me in many rituals and spellwork since (during Yule that same year we did a peace and healing spell together).
In following my witchy path I began talking to her about various herbs, their uses, what was safe or poisonous. This last summer she stopped my niece from picking digitalis and another (escapes me) toxic herb. She then began lecturing her about the importance of knowing what she's handling. (another proud mama moment). Along with herbs and various plants we spent a lot of time out in the woods, this is an area quite special to me so I shared it with her. She learned the trees, sang to them and talked to them. We took nature hikes where she learned tracks and scat of our forest neighbors (bear scat in the middle of the road was our most scary/exciting!). This girl has a love for amphibians, she'll catch the fastest snake, frog or toad and will assist red efts across the road to save them from certain death from car tires. With this love of flora and fauna came an easier approach to understanding the celebrations. She loved to find bits and such to leave on our altars, or outside for the fey.
The key is to start small when they are small. She was probably two or two and a half when I began introducing her. Small tasks to help their parents are a thrill to most kids and repetition each year reinforces the lessons. Instead of inundating them with info just have fun, there are many books out there with all sorts of activities and ideas as stepping stones. My friend Lora has a free newsletter for kids, Pooka's Sandbox, that Pixie and her cousin just adore. It makes each celebration fun and interesting for them. My two favorite books for activities for Pagan families is Pagan Family: Handing the Old Ways Down by Ceisiwr Serith and Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. There are others out there, Kristen Madden has a few I quite like. If you choose to get the books they are excellent for starting out but it's best to find what works for you and your family. I believe Pagan paths are what embody your own truths and not what someone else in a book or coven tell you. Instinct and plenty of meditation and slow time work best. oh, and trust. Trust in yourself.
Magic and the Wee Ones
Pixie would tell you that she’s a spring faery (despite being born in October I find that this suits her. Air corresponds with Spring and as a Libra with an Aquarian Moon, Air is her dominant element) so when looking for magic for her to work with I looked at what element she best responds to.
Her introduction to “spells” came at a young age, when she started sleeping in her own room some nights at about age 2 1/2 she needed a way to feel safe and relaxed and from there came her bedtime ritual of cupping a ball of light and chanting, then releasing this ball of white light to keep her safe as she sleeps. She also calls upon Epona to bring her good dreams (Epona=horses=Pixie’s passion, she made a good choice). Last October she performed her first spell solo, a Samhuinn Condolence spell to help her move past her grief after grandfather’s sudden passing earlier last year. It helped her quite a bit thankfully, now back to the bubble magic….
As Air is dominant with her bubble magic was a perfect fit. We sat down with her bubblewand and bubble solution. We talked about what sort of wishes are made in magic (her wishes of the past have been for ice cream.. ;) ) she asked me what I do when I do magical workings and I explained that I do things to bring good energies to people I love and to myself, to help heal people, etc. She sat, said a little something and then made her wish and imagined blowing that wish into the bubble she was making. She had great fun and was very busy wishmaking. It was very basic and easy for her to do.